At the age of just twenty-one Emma Rawicz has already sown many of the important seeds for a major career. She clearly can be considered a part of the wave of Young British Jazz which has been making its mark worldwide. The North Devon-born saxophonist, whose Polish surname comes from her Warsaw-born grandfather, who settled in the UK during World War 2, has already led her band for several international festival appearances, single-handedly negotiated and managed a seventeen-concert UK tour for her quintet and recently founded her own big band. She has headlined at Ronnie Scott’s, won the award for Newcomer of the Year at the 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Emma Rawicz has a Jazz FM Awards nomination to her name, as well as being a finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician competition. “Chroma”, her ACT debut, marks a new and important step.
The album title "Chroma" (the Greek word for colour or paint) is very significant: Emma Rawicz is a synesthete, in other words, she always involuntarily and simultaneously experiences music through a second sensory pathway, colour. “I can’t do anything else while listening to music because there is always a sensory overload going on as I Iisten,” she says. All of the tracks, with one exception, are named after relatively little-known colours.
The band is mostly made up of the kind of in-demand UK players whom one finds in many contexts: Drummer/percussionist Asaf Sirkis, pianist Ivo Neame and bassist Conor Chaplin have already appeared on ACT albums: Sirkis with Gwilym Simcock, and Neame and Chaplin in bands led by Marius Neset. Guitarist Ant Law has already made his mark with his own albums and with his work with Tim Garland. The less-known name on "Chroma" is Emma’s friend from the same student cohort, vocalist Immy Churchill, another rising star. Rawicz: “Immy has an incredibly wide range of influences from a whole range of songwriters to being deeply into the jazz tradition. She has the knowledge and the open mind to walk into any musical situation without knowledge of the context, and bring her own voice to it.” Their interaction and empathy is one of the joys of this album.
"An astonishing new talent" (Jamie Cullum), “a name on everyone’s lips right now” (BBC 3) and "a force to be reckoned with" (Jazzwise).
Debut album by rising star Emma Rawicz