Zebulon Cafe Concert: This Is It: Live at Zebulon Vol. 1 (2005)
The ensembles on this collection range in size and style from the Charles Gayle Trio and its swirling maelstrom of free jazz to the septet Forro in the Dark's hip-shaking and hypnotizing Brazilian groove, to Kenny Wollesen's sixteen-piece band S.L.A.M. and its melodic anthem "Until the Rain Comes, featuring a superb soprano sax solo by Sam Newsome and a band member shrieking poetry lyrics.
The remaining three tracks on the compilation are just as rousing: trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum's staccato sparring with alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs' Fully Celebrated Orchestra; Baye Kouyate's joyous song "Mali Sadjo, with the Zebulon crowd singing along and Yakouba Sissoko delivering a rapidly-plucked solo on the lute-like kora; and the dialogue of Ken Butler's aforementioned golf-club sitar-tabla and Matt Darriau's reedy Indian shanai validating this quartet's name: Voices of Anxious Objects.
It is surprising to hear relatively sparse clapping at the culmination of some of the album's tracks. But it's a reminder that on some nights entering the cafe feels like being let in on a well-kept secret. Other nights, of course, the secret is out and it's elbow to elbow, just what one would expect for music of the caliber showcased on Live at Zebulon.
Track Listing: BCW; The Mackie Brunette; Par Twelve; Mali Sadjo; Unto the Lord; Pop Corn with the Incidental Music Pipoca Moderna; Until the Rain Comes.
Personnel: Butchland Band; Jim Hobbs & the Fully Celebrated Orchestra; Ken Butler's Voices of Anxious Objects; Baye Kouyate et les Tougarake; Charles Gayle Trio; Forro in the Dark; S.L.A.M.
Record Label: Zebulon Records