Back when Ruby Rushton released their debut album in 2015, the London jazz landscape looked very different. Moses Boyd hadn’t yet released the genre-unifying ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’, continuing to lead countless bands from the rhythm section. FKA Yussef Kamaal Trio had only just first teased their output on Boiler Room, never mind releasing an album which opened jazz up to a completely new audience. Shabakah Hutchins too continued to operate from the shadows, before The Ancestors, Sons of Kemet and Comet is Coming got their dues.
All this is to say, Ruby Rushton were there too; prospering and developing in the backrooms alongside much of this exciting new jazz generation who are now doing for London what broken beat was in the mid 90s. Their first album Two For Joy perhaps suffered from its timing, but was a triumph nonetheless, fuelled by a love of Coltrane, Yusef Lateef and Fela Kuti to more contemporary artists like Slum Village and Sa-Ra.
Trudi’s Songbook Volume One continues in much the same vein, but is now riding a sizeable wave to help their sound reach wider audiences. Led by Tenderlonious on flute and sax, the band’s current lineup now consists of Nick Walters on trumpet, Aidan Shepherd on keys, bass-player Fergus Ireland, Joseph Deenmamode on percussion and Eddie Hick on drums. Together it took them just one day to record the album’s content; no overdubs, just musical precision and ramped up energy. Clocking in at over eight minutes,‘Elephant Castle’ comes second on the album, rooting Ruby Rushton’s undeniable London sound in samba influences. Trudi’s Songbook may be following two instrumental albums for jazz’s development in the last 12 months, but don’t think they’re jumping on the bandwagon. Ruby Rushton are merely grabbing a board and riding the surf they’ve helped generate.
Trudi’s Songbook Volume One is out 19th May – buy from Bandcamp. Catch the Ruby Rushton album launch at The Jazz Café on 5th May, alongside 22a family Neue Grafik, Tenderlonious, Dennis Ayler and Sterling Styles. Look out for our video session with Ruby dropping soon.
For more 22a on STW:
Premiere: Neue Grafik feat. Wayne Snow – ‘We Are Good’
Label Spotlight: 22a (mixed by Tenderlonious)
Premiere: Tenderlonious – ‘Song For My Father’
Premiere: Dennis Ayler – ‘Ms Chambers’
Premiere: Dennis Ayler feat. Tenderlonious – Nobody But U
Premiere: Dennis Ayler – ‘Friday Night’