Jazz, as a genre, has always lent itself to other genres easily because jazz, in its essence, has never really been just one thing. What allows jazz to work is removing the boundaries of more conventional styles to allow other influences to come in, it’s an ever shifting, moving style that still refuses to be type cast or stereotyped.
This open-armed approach to music is here to see – or rather hear – in Oxford’s Brickwork Lizards four-track EP, it’s an EP of two halves with two songs taking the vocal jazz of the 1930’s and 1940’s while the remaining two tracks (‘Nikriz Longa’ and ‘Sama’i Waltz’) explore Northern Africa’s, Arabic rhythms that sit next to the instruments of traditional 1950’s jazz and the result is, at times, exhilarating.
Personally, I prefer the bookend tracks rather than songs ‘I Want to Spend the Night With You’ and ‘Roses’ but all four tracks reveal a clever, interesting musical mind both in style and arrangement, the fact this was recorded live makes it all the more impressive.
From the booming opening notes of track one from the double bass, to track four’s final Arabic flavours, this EP has much to offer and sits as a wonderful continuation from the bands 2018 album, ‘Haneen’. Brickwork Lizards is a band of musicians that blend, weave and experiment with musical shapes, hunt them out.