Kiefer - When There's Love Around
Label: Stones Throw
Released: September 2021
Albums that can synthesise bliss are necessary in my opinion, yet sometimes it is hard to submit to the beautiful states that music speaks of - when they are presented against the backdrop of today’s world. Yet in the wake of our time spent in lockdown, it cannot be denied that high calibre releases bloomed like flowers and Kiefer’s ‘When There’s Love Around’ is no exception.
Undeniably Jazz and truly on Bedroom Frequencies, ‘When There’s Love Around’ releases the room’s tension moment by moment. It hails to the masters through contemporary spirit and empathy, and the project is a shining example of absolute equality being achieved between an inspired selection of musicians.
The motifs form slowly, utilising repetition that does not become repetitive. They expand outwards through dynamics, fluctuating with feeling. I have listened to the album several times in the last few weeks, yet even here at point of review, it is still rich with surprises.
The lush second half (which upon closer inspection we discover to be a tribute to Kiefer’s late Grandmother) exists in almost total service of the melodies - the drums are binding but never abrasive, the bass notes melt into one another in perfectly sustained legato and the synths provide a necessary gloss of modernity.
Recorded over three sessions, 'When There's Love Around' was conceived in 2020, one of the sessions being at the invitation of Jazzy Jeff in his home studio. One can only imagine these sessions, not to mention the rehearsals. Unpredictable and intelligent, the compositions bear no resemblance to anything but themselves, which in the field of Jazz is the ultimate aim.
“I find something about the Herculean type of Jazz performer really alienating. I want to celebrate human connection” - Kiefer