Point to a random spot on the tapestry of UK underground rap music and it’s likely that Jehst has drifted through and left a mark there, doing something experimental or supporting artists before they become household names.
Further afield, you might be surprised to discover the extent of features he has provided to reverent acts across the globe, from Canada across to OZ. You can even catch him making melancholy on Dusk by Polish producer Blossom released on Project Mooncircle, which remains a hauntingly complex example of Jehst’s range.
It’s rarely remarked upon, but Mr William Shields is a true statesman. Maybe it’s just the nature of the free market, but his hand often remains invisible. Given all this incisive statesmanlike behaviour we thought it appropriate, at this moment when the emergent UK jazz scene is hitting safe cruising altitude, to get Billy Brim’s 5 favourite new school jazz albums:
Yussef Kamaal – Black Focus (Brownswood)
Drummer Yussef Dayes of United Vibrations and multi-faceted musician and producer Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu) join forces for a brief yet pivotal moment. Powerful and infectious.
Alfa Mist – Antiphon (Pink Bird Recording Co)
A beautiful paradox of lush musicality and raw, unrelenting grooves. Alfa Mist’s unpretentious intentions are clear from the offset.
Ezra Collective – Juan Pablo The Philosopher (Enter The Jungle)
Co-signed by the mighty Pharoahe Monch, this talented quintet have delivered 6 tracks solidly rooted in classic jazz and afrobeat. Subtle and hypnotic.
Ruby Rushton – Trudy’s Songbook: Volume 2 (22a)
Hot on the heels of the first volume; this accomplished sextet have already delivered the follow up before the year’s out! Tenderlonius’s flute and sax take centre stage for 6 butter joints featuring percussion from Mo Kolours.
Hello Skinny – Watermelon Sun (Brownswood)
Tom Skinner’s experimental solo venture returns for a second album fusing jazz with a diverse range of dance music genres. Check out the mesmerising tribute ‘Rashad’; dedicated to the late, great, Chicago footwork pioneer DJ Rashad.
While you’re here, check out Kimberley Crofts’ impressive (but not exhaustive!) map of the major UK jazz scene players below.
A personal project which she says would not have been possible without Tomorrow’s Warriors Foundation.