La Saboteuse - Yazz Ahmed

Yazz Ahmed's Middle-Eastern Jazz Excursions

Part of an exciting movement revitalising jazz, trumpeter Yazz Ahmed has a singular, Arabic-inspired style that sets her apart.


La Saboteuse, the new album from British-Bahraini musician Yazz Ahmed, maps out a captivating new direction for jazz. The trumpeter and flugelhorn-playing artist, like contemporaries Kamasi Washington, Sons of Kemet, Yussef Kamaal, or The Comet is Coming, comes at the genre from a fresh angle, and there’s a legion of new jazz fans out there in-tune with the sound.

Yazz’s second record (and first for Naim Records) is an ambitious and brilliant combination of her British jazz background and Arabic roots, realised in a way none have imagined before. “I love the sounds of Arabic music. The singing is humanistic,” she commented. “It’s very passionate. I’ve absorbed it, but only in the past few years has it come to the surface. I want to embrace my culture and my British jazz heritage.”

La Saboteuse - Yazz Ahmed

'Haunting and elegant'  
The Guardian ****

'A must-watch figure in the jazz world'  Aquarium Drunkyard

This musician paints arresting scenes and atmospheres with her music. Haunting trumpet mixes with Arabic rhythms, and cool vibraphone overlaps with subtle undercurrents of electronica on The Space Between the Fish and the Moon. On The Lost Pearl, urgent drums and undulating bass runs suggest a night drive across the desert in pursuit of some mysterious prize. 

The record features contributions from the MOBO-winning Shabaka Hutchings on bass clarinet, Naadia Sherriff on Fender Rhodes keys, and Lewis Wright on vibraphone. With its beautifully realised, three-dimensional sound, this is a dream listen for jazz fans that demand the best quality audio.

Yazz has collaborated with Radiohead and These New Puritans, drawing on their indie rock and electronic influences for her unique take on jazz; it’s led Jazzwise to describe her as “the go-to horn player on the alternative rock scene”. You can detect this inspiration on album track Organ Eternal, with its tumbling beats and melancholy, descending horn figure.

She’s earned rave reviews elsewhere in the music press too, with Bandcamp Daily proclaiming that her “potent mix of post-bop lyricism and modern fusion soundscaping makes connections with both head and heart.”

La Saboteuse - Yazz Ahmed

La Saboteuse has been released in four distinct parts, with Bristol artist Sophie Bass providing gorgeous record sleeves that echo the beguiling enigma of the music within. These striking sleeves have been crafted into a debossed gatefold design that houses the heavyweight double disc album and are accompanied by an detail rich 16 page booklet highlighting all performers on the record. The CD edition mirrors this arrangement with a spot UV finish and 28 booklet unravelling  further details of the album. Both physical formats will be available from 2nd June.

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