Taking its name from the 1967 album by jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, Straight No Chaser champions ‘interplanetary’ sounds: from the ancient to the future, it travels along the connections between the music created by the African diaspora — that’s jazz from a feminist London collective, house and techno from a club night in Brooklyn, Samba from a Brazilian singer, and everything in between. First founded in 1988, this is the second of their revived issues after a 10-year hiatus.
Designed by Ian Swift, who also worked on The Face, the two-toned design and uncoated pages blend the aesthetics of its past with modern design. Magazine makers around us have waxed poetic about Straight No Chaser as a relic of London’s music scene in the 90s, something that had a profound influence on them and became a major impetus behind their own publishing ventures. But you’ll understand the power of its storytelling when you hold a copy in your hands — even though it was founded almost three decades ago, every musician, collective and movement written about is as relevant as ever to the communities around us today.
In this issue:
Profiles of band-leaders Cassie Kinoshi (SEED Ensemble), Tenderlonious (22a), Femi Koleoso (Ezra Collective) and keys whiz Joe Armon-Jones. There is also a host of spirited individuals like Midori Takada, Nabihah Iqbal, Nat Birchall and Ben LeMar Gay. The London-Lagos-Accra connection is explored alongside Durban’s Qgom scene. On the indie imprint tip there’s Gondwana, Jazz re:freshed, Detroit Love and On the Corner. For the crate diggers there’s Motown’s Black Forum and nuff reviews.