WHERE PATHWAYS MEET
Next up in our Brainchild finds are Where Pathways Meet. They were one of the final bands we saw that weekend, squeezing as many as ten members onto the stage in Steez Café on Sunday evening. What followed was a journey through space and time as they paid homage to the great Sun Ra.
Born out of South East-London via the cosmos, they channel spiritual jazz of the highest order. The band take their name from a track on Sun Ra's seminal long-player, Lanquidity. Lead by Axel Kaner-Lidstrom and James Mollison, Pathways play their own workings of Sun Ra's music - having spent the past year reimagining and rearranging his extensive songbook. And jheez! They pull it off no end.
Earlier this month they released their debut EP, Arrival. All the tracks featured are their own interpretations of Sun Ra compositions, except for Jake Long's 10-minute 'March Of the Moon People' (which is killer by the way!) The EP's opener, a reworking of Ra's 'Mu' comes in at 13 minutes in length. It's a true demonstration of the way in which Where Pathways Meet excel: combining spiritual horns and a complex rhythm section with driving basslines holding down the groove. It helps that the group are formed of some of SE London's finest musicians: Maisha's Jake Long (drums) and Amané Suganami (keys), Nerija's Rosaline Turton (trombone) and Kokoroko's Mutale Chashi (bass), to name a few.
On that Sunday evening at Brainchild, without knowing much about their music, you could genuinely hear the deep influence of the Sun Ra Arkestra. For all the nuances and complexities in the music, their playing is so tight that the arrangements are met with plenty of breadth and space. Pathways succeed in taking Sun Ra's music out of the traditional jazz setting, bringing dance-floor energy to audiences.
Listen to Arrival. Go see them live and let their sonic spiritual awakenings sooth your soul. You won't regret it.
This Ear to the Ground is part a series of discoveries we made at Brainchild festival.
Find out more here.