Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble continues to give the people what they want. That is butt-shakin' blues based jazz. Like Charles Mingus recalling the field hollers, the Art Ensemble of Chicago bringing the beat straight out of Africa, and Dizzy Gillespie spinning into new heights with bebop, Dawkins stirs his listeners to get up and move.
Maybe sometime and somewhere when jazz moved from clubs to concert halls, the gesticulate aspects of the music were lost.
The New Horizons Ensemble rededicates itself to the life-affirming sounds of the African American experience. Formed ten years ago by Dawkins, the band has changed a few players, but it still retains its roots music feel. Trumpeter Ameen Muhammad and trombonist Steve Berry are true showmen in the sense of crowd pleasers. In this live setting their dramatics boost the energy skyward. The opening track, the shortest at 14 minutes, is based on a Senegalese rhythm and allows for a broad-shouldered Dawkins' saxophone attack. He conjures everyone from Coltrane to Gene Ammons here. Where the opener establishes the energy, 'Third Line And Cape Town Shuffle' joins Africa to America by way of New Orleans, with saxophone preaching replaced by Ameen Muhammad's best holy man sermon. The finest track on the date is certainly 'Dolphy And Monk Dance,' which captures the hat and beard logic of jazz's two most unique voices.
The disc ends with 'Jazz To Hip Hop.' Preaching is replaced by rapping as poet Kahari B, son of Mwata Bowden, convincingly ties the rap improvisations, bebop, and even the Lindy hoppers, as he chants 'from jazz, to hip hop, to beatbox, to bebop.' Ernest Dawkins makes a convincing argument that jazz bridges continents and most recently centuries.
Track Listing: Toucouleur; Third Line And Cape Town Shuffle; Dolphy And Monk Dance; Jazz To
Personnel: Ernest Khabeer Dawkins ? Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone; Ameen Muhammad
? Trumpet; Steve Berry ? Trombone; Darius Savage ? Bass; Avreeayl Ra ? Drums;
Kahari B. ? Vocals.
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand. Their massive record collection, my parents taking me to concerts and clubs (only one of five kids to do so), the Magnavox furniture stereo/radio ... it all added up. It was complex, emotional music. And it had rhythm! I drummed and followed the music through the '60s even as I enjoyed the new musics of my generation.
Along with side-trips to other musicians and music, it's been one hell of a pony ride ever since.