Soweto Kinch – 'The Legend of Mike Smith' album review

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Soweto Kinch – 'The Legend of Mike Smith'

  • Rated as: 4/5

Alto sax master and rapper Kinch hasn’t produced a homage to former Radio 1 DJ Mike Smith, or indeed the vocalist and keys man with the Dave Clark Five. This Smith is a fictional everyman, sent on a Dante-inspired jazz journey through modern-day manifestations of the seven deadly sins. It’s a trip long and richly textured enough to make up a double album – a record which is Kinch’s best work to date.

Jazz and hip hop are seamlessly blended, without Kinch ever compromising either style. Classical and klezmer flourishes add to the mix while the sax solos are as clean and skilled as ever. His raps, laid over some tricksy beats, cover human foibles in intelligent and original ways, including a haunting indictment of corporate greed on ‘Avaritia’. Hip hop fans, jazzers, the Mike Smiths of the world and many more listeners besides will find a lot to enjoy here.

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