Luke Stewart & Jarvis Earnshaw Quartet – s/t

If you like your jazz to be mystical, highly atmospheric and transportive, then Luke Stewart and Jarvis Earnshaw Quartet’s self-titled record on No Quarter is the album for you.

Recorded in the winter of this year, this record features dense landscapes of unpredictable sounds. The quartet plays as vibrantly and free as possible, utilizing every sonic aspect of their instruments, developing a vast palette of sonic textures and dimensions to paint with.

Roughened sax solos (courtesy of Devan Waldman) swirl and erupt into wheezes and dissonant howls throughout the record’s five tracks, often leading the band into free, interstellar jams. Meanwhile, Luke Stewart’s walking bass lines and guttural bowed drones add broad strokes and skittering rhythms, complimenting and creating a launching pad for Ryan Sawyer’s ricochet drumming. Simultaneously, Jarvis Earnshaw weaves around the Waldman’s saxophone with a web of twanging sitar notes, sometimes even blanketing the entire background with his glistening, meditative sounds.

While some moments on this record are more intense than others, there’s never a time where the group comes off as chaotic. Even when the quartet dips into atonal zones and plays with lightning speed, they always keep the music feeling generally cool and placid. Between the zen vibes given off by the sitar and the predominately hushed production style, the album retains a spiritual and soothing quality, making this a very mellow and accessible listen.

If you’re a fan of the ethereal atmospheres of John Coltranes’ Love Supreme era and the psychedelic notions of Davis’ On The Corner or Alice Coltrane’s early solo records, then you’ll greatly appreciate Luke Stewart and Jarvis Earnshaw Quartet’s LP.

Preorder it here ahead of its October 15th drop date.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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