Amazon.com Widgets

Ernest Dawkins: Afro Straight (2012)

By Published: | 3,643 views
Ernest Dawkins: Afro Straight How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Afro Straight is Saturday music. That day following a work week where you take off your suit and tie or uniform, and put on that favorite sweatshirt and pair of jeans to kick back and relax in the familiar confines of your home. The familiar is your solace, and saxophonist Ernest Dawkins
Ernest Dawkins
Ernest Dawkins
b.1953
saxophone
delivering time-honored standards is the equivalent of comfort food for the ears.

Dawkins, a member of Chicago's AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), is a veteran of both outside and inside music-making. His previous disc with his Chicago Trio, Velvet Songs To Baba Fred Anderson (RogueArt, 2011), was a nod to both the tradition and freedom in jazz and his New Horizons Ensemble and Chicago 12 bands, like his work with percussionist Kahil El'Zabar
Kahil El'Zabar
Kahil El'Zabar
b.1953
percussion
and The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, playing music that can soar completely free or remain within an orthodox tradition.

Somewhat like saxophonist John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
's Ballads (Impulse!, 1962), here Dawkins sets out to create a straight-ahead sound. Employing a younger generation of Players—trumpeter Corey Wilkes
Corey Wilkes
Corey Wilkes
b.1979
trumpet
(Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Art Ensemble Of Chicago

band/orchestra
), New Horizons bassist Junius Paul and drummer Isaiah Spencer, plus pianist Willerm Delisfort—the saxophonist covers the music of Coltrane, saxophonist Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
and singer Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
. The record is dedicated to all these artists, a well as saxophonist Von Freeman
Von Freeman
Von Freeman
1922 - 2012
sax, tenor
, whose influence is most felt here.

Dawkins packs the disc with Afro-Latin rhythms and African percussion, employing additional congas. His original, "Afro Straight," is a percussion-only track. But mostly, this is Dawkins reworking the familiar to great effect. "Mr. PC" accelerates from the start, tapping into the heart of bebop, as does Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
's "Woody 'N You," with Wilkes snapping the rubber band with a quicksilver muted trumpet sound. He also plays mute on Shorter's "Footprints," entangling his horn with Dawkins. The band covers a sentimental "God Bless The Child," with Ben Patterson sitting in on Hammond B3, while Dawkins ignites on "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise," tearing through the changes over its sympathetic percussive backing. He even sings "Old Man Blues" over a walking bass, telling the familiar yarn of unrequited love.

The comfort music of Saturday morning blossoms into the possibilities of a night on the town.

Track Listing: Mr. PC; United; Afro Straight; Central Park West; Woody ‘N You; Softly As A Morning Sunrise; God Bless the Child; Footprints; Old Man Blues; Juju.

Personnel: Ernest Dawkins: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, percussion; Corey Wilkes; trumpet; Willerm Delisfort: piano; Junius Paul: bass; Isaiah Spencer: drums; Ruben Alvarez: congas, bongos, chimes, shaker; Greg Carmouche: congas; Greg Penn: congas; Ben Paterson: Hammond B3 organ.

Record Label: Delmark Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.