The Return BLACK FoCUs 8/10 Jazz fusion with London attitude
As one half of Yussef Kamaal, Kamaal Williams – aka Peckham-based keyboardist Henry Wu – blazed a new path for jazz, taking the silky fusion sounds of Roy Ayers and Lonnie Liston Smith and injecting them with urgent London flavour. Yussef Kamaal met an acrimonious end last year, but The Return finds Wu back at the helm of a new four-piece band. “High Roller” and “Medina” are laidback and elegant, blessed with Wu’s dazzling, twinkling keyboard runs. But “Broken theme” adds a note of challenge, recalling the fractured rhythms of the ’90s broken-beat scene, while “London Shuffle” is dark, heads-down funk with a scorching solo from guesting guitarist Mansur Brown.