Something that came in gentle streaks a few years ago now seems to be in full swing – the revival, rejuvenation, and further innovation of spiritual jazz as a loose genre.
Not only is there renewed interest in the genre’s classics from Joh and Alice Coltrane, Albert Ayler to Sun Ra, and others, but more recent artists like Shabaka Hutchins or Lakecia Benjamin are bringing something new and fresh to the genre.
Based on their most recent album Moonshine you can add multi-instrumentalist Maurice Louca and his nine-person Elephantine collective to that list.
Elephantine holds on to the essential ideas of the genre – covers a wide, loose musical ground rooted in jazz-based improvisational freedom and includes as many other musical elements, particularly those stemming from different world music traditions as you can. All played with emotional intensity and instrumental excellence.
What makes Moonshine also exceptional is that it was recorded in a live session and as Asher Gamedze, another purveyor of the genre notes, ….Moonshine grew out of Elephantine in a collective and organic way. Apart from the drummers, the process of recording the ensemble’s debut album was the first time Maurice had met and played with all the other musicians. Through recording the first record and touring it, they got to know each other quite well (‘family’ is the word Maurice uses to describe their relationships), and the group of musicians became a band….
Maurice Louca & Elephantine – ‘Moonshine’ Review
On 'Moonshine,' Maurice Louca & Elephantine present themselves as a new force in spiritual jazz.