EP Review: Jas Kayser, ‘Unforced Rhythm of Grace’

Buy Unforced Rhythm of Grace on Bandcamp; listen on Spotify or Youtube

Originally published in the August 2020 issue of Jazzwise

Image courtesy of Jas Kayser

Unforced Rhythm of Grace is an exciting debut three-track EP in which drummer and composer Jas Kayser carves a distinct sound with a rhythmic Afrobeat foundation, squelchy, swaying horns, and dense, geometric chords.

It opens with a nine-drum whirl of Pejambel and Guadalupe rhythms, then samples an interview of Afrobeat pioneer and civil rights activist Fela Kuti stressing artists’ responsibility to reflect their social and political environs. The second track, ‘Ku Variations’, fills out Brice Wassy’s futurist 5/4 groove ‘Ku Jazz’ with a weightier bassline and a woozy, stretched-out trumpet in lieu of vocals.

The last track, ‘Feel It’, ventures into a more trance-like realm with its synthy, subdued chorus. The listener dances out of it, though, as the bass and trumpet embark on a darting melody that grows in tenacity and funkiness

Jas Kayser Unforced Rhythm of Grace Self-release (CD, DL) Jas Kayser (d), Juan Mejia (perc), Aaron Holthus (b), Ron Cha (ky) and Milena Casado Fauquet (t). Rec. date not stated