Following a banner year for Pete Cunningham — best known as dextrous saxophonist Ishmael and leader of the namesake Ishmael Ensemble – 2019 now brings debut album A State of Flow. This new long player builds on Cunningham’s work as proud protector of Bristolian heritage, sketching loving sonic pictures of the South West in his Bristol-inspired Severn Songs series, whilst also incubating local visual and musical talent, within the Ensemble.
It touches on various styles of jazz, stirring ambient invocations, club-ready percussive workouts, spiralling grooves and hazy psychedelic electronica. This would be a confusing melange, but for Cunningham’s excursions as a genre-agnostic DJ – something evident in the real house shuffle of Lapwing – which evokes walking into a smoky after hours haunt and finding a session in full, forward motion or the organic garage beats of Full Circle and classic trip hop style Waterfall fuelled by Holysseus Fly’s honey toned and evocative vocals.
Label: Severn Songs
Catalogue Number: SEVS4