Phil Dawson Quintet - It's Time
Format: CD Album
Catalogue No.: FWCD007
Release Date: 19th February 2021
Genre: Jazz (World Fusion)
01: It's Time (Radio Edit)
02: Gnostic Hilife (Nag Hammadi Re-Edit)
03: It's Time (A.K.A. Ouaga Mama)
04: Gnostic Hilife (Flute Edit)
05: It's Time (Fully Spoken)
06: Gnostic Hilife (Original Edit)
A new 6-track mini album from a musician with a long list of credits including South African trumpet legend Hugh Masekela, afrobeat co-creator Tony Allen and Ethiopian jazz originator Mulatu Astatke as well as many Brit-jazz and international roots artists. "It's Time" blends spiritual Afro-jazz groove with free improv, spoken poetry and other-worldly atmosphere, with lyrics and titles hinting at unorthodox takes on reality and the times we live in.
Phil Dawson is a top London guitarist who has worked and schooled himself extensively in many different African, Latin and Brazilian music traditions together with styles that more typically cross the radar of someone with a similar British background: roots reggae, punk rock, blues, soul, R'n'B, jazz and funk. As a sideman, he's played with a host of living legends of Afro-fusion music including South African jazz trumpet giant Hugh Masekela, Nigerian afrobeat co-creator Tony Allen, Ethiojazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, the Algerian "king of rai" Khaled, and London based Ghanaian afro-rock dons Osibisa. Heavy company for sure.
Now he's releasing a new mini 6 track album of original compositions under his own name and band - Phil Dawson ٤-tet - and he's joined by a stellar cast of London's finest players who include Rowland Sutherland (flutes - Airto Moreira, David Murray, Carla Bley), Khadijatou Doyneh (spoken word - The Heliocentrics, Danny Keane), Gaspar Sena (drums - Alfa Mist, Maria Chiara Argiro), Marius Rodrigues (drums - Oriole, Hermeto Hermeto Hermeto), Lekan Babalola (percussion - Cassandra Wilson, Ali Farka Toure) and Matheus Nova (bass - Antonio Forcione, Ed Motta, Jazzinho). Phil himself features on guitars, Fender Rhodes and piano.
'This is great' - Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio 6 (on 'It's Time)
'Beautiful' - Kassin (producer Caetano Veloso, Sonzeira etc) (on 'It's
'Rapid-fire guitar work with variety and energy' – The Guardian, UK
'A great guitarist' – Tony Allen
'An absolute killer - irresistible' - Snowboy (on 'Gnostic Hilife')
'Phil Dawson and his (quintet) are really smoking at the mo. No wonder the London jazz young guns are ripping it up with bands
like this leading the way. Miss them at your peril' – Russ Jones (Future World Funk)
The British guitarist Phil Dawson is a fixture of a plethora of Brit-jazz bands and international roots outfits; his nuanced stylings have graced the work of A-listers from Ethio-jazz guru Mulatu Astatke to such late African greats as Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela. Like any an in-demand session player worth his chops Dawson also fronts his own trio/quartet/quintet, all of which allow him to stretch out and do his own thing, which – with his quintet - he does to pleasing effect here.
Buoyed by flute, bass and percussion, It's Time is a six-track brew combining free improv and spoken word with Afro-spiritual groove and a far-out esotericism befitting these strangest of times. Opener 'It's Time (Radio Edit)' is a psychedelic romp through a beneficent cosmos where ringing chords and woodwind trills underpin Khaditjatou Doyneh's pathos-laden musings on love and the universe and one of three variations on a theme. Over three minutes longer at 9:34, 'It's Time (aka Ougama)' is a freewheeling instrumental made dazzling by Dawson's silver-fingered guitar work; Doyneh resumes her pronouncing on the more dissonant but equally mind expanding 'It's Time (Fully Spoken)'. Then there's 'Gnostic Hilife', whose three interpretations each juxtapose the structures of this West African lingua franca in ways tight, spacious and inventive
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