Sometimes, the name an artist or a band takes should be a tell-tale sign of what kind of music you can expect. So, yes, Ambient Jazz Ensemble certainly plays something that holds the name of ambient jazz.
The only problem here is what someone considers as ambient jazz. For many, the first thought that might come to mind is the ‘dreaded’ smooth jazz category, that in the wrong hands turns into elevator music or aural wallpaper, if you will.
Yet, on London Fields, his latest album under the Ambient Jazz Ensemble, composer and producer Colin Baldry has come up with something that can definitely be put under the heading of substantial music – jazz, ambient, soul, all of those at the same time.
While the album, as its title implies presents Baldry’s vision of London, Britain, his musical influences presented here, encompass quite a variety of sources from prime-time Weather Report to Marvin Gaye’s soundtrack to Trouble Man to soul masters like Curtis Mayfield and Minnie Ripperton.
It is a type of music that requires some quite brilliant musicianship and Baldry obviously finds it in saxophonist Ollie Weston, Lynsey Ward on vocals, Sam Crowe on piano / Rhodes as well Baldry’s own son Sam on drums.
So, is ‘London Fields’ either ambient or jazz? Actually, both, and more. Or, you can just simply call it excellent music.
Ambient Jazz Ensemble – ‘London Fields’ Review
On 'London Fields,' Ambient Jazz Ensemble presents music that can proudly bear both ambient and jazz tags.