On this London group’s first LP for Impulse!, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings uses jazz’s cultural memory as a rich language that informs an entirely new conversation. The music of Shabaka Hutchings, the 33-year-old saxophonist and bandleader of London’s Sons of Kemet, insists that memory isn’t enough. Hutchings is a fixture in many projects, including cosmic jazz trio the Comet Is Coming, Afrofuturist outfit the Ancestors, and occasionally as a guest player with the Sun Ra Arkestra. His work with Sons of Kemet is notable for its fervent politics and open-borders approach to genre. On the group’s third LP, Your Queen Is a Reptile. Hutchings merges his classical clarinet and jazz orchestra training with the music he’s heard growing up in the Caribbean, traveling in South Africa, and living in London.
“That’s an aspect of being a part of a musical diaspora,”. “Not being from the place that jazz is born from means that I don’t feel any ultimate reverence to it. It’s just about finding ways of reinterpreting how we’re thinking about the music.” said Hutchings.