Album of the week: February 18 – Theon Cross

February 18th 2019

Tubist Theon Cross bursts forth from London’s burgeoning jazz scene with his debut full-length, Fyah. One quarter of the Mercury Prize-nominated group Sons of Kemet, Cross uses his solo debut to showcase his skills as a composer, working alongside saxophonist Nubya Garcia and drummer Moses Boyd to deliver a series of groove-driven tracks that evoke images of sweaty dancefloors and bustling, late night jazz clubs without sacrificing the musicality of Cross’ arrangements. Revitalising the long-maligned instrument, Fyah is a journey through London’s vibrant cultural history threaded together by the rumbling low-end of Cross’ tuba, dipping in and out of grime, Jamaican dub, afrobeat and dancehall in an exuberant and joyful document of the diaspora, celebrating the traditions and the evolutions of Afro-Caribbean music. One of 2019’s most vital sounds, Fyahis not just a triumph for Theon Cross but for London’s new jazz community as a whole.

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