Jaimie Branch: sound untamed
The American trumpeter's new album is packed full of strong jazz music with a message to match.
It’s not just the “new English scene” that’s shaking up the jazzosphere this decade. Chicago is also home to a bunch of inspired young musicians committed to taking jazz in new directions. And aside from just the charismatic drummer Makaya McCraven (the most famous amongst them) there are a handful of equally exciting rebels, including the extra-terrestrial Jaimie Branch.
An active member of her local label International Anthem Records, the thirty-year-old trumpeter signs here a confusing and crazy sequel to the already confusing and crazy Fly or Die of 2017, called Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise.
With her new record, Branch not only plays the trumpet but also sings. From her lips comes a virulent, libertarian, feminist, anti-racist, anti-establishment discourse tackling socio-political issues. This Lester Bowie- Don Cherry-Booker Little love child would find it far too restrictive to stick exclusively to jazz.
America is a patchwork and so is Jaimie Branch’s music: we find jazz, of course, both free and traditional, but also blues, Amerindian sounds, contemporary and avant-garde music that she infuses with both whispers and screams, depending on the message she’s trying to convey.
This magnificent wall of noise and fury doesn’t exactly make Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise easy-listening, but its density, radicalism and beauty are so great that every last detail of the record deserves appreciation.