Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio: Ooh Live! (2008)
The trio of El'Zabar, Favors and Brown open the disc with a slow burn on "Autumn Leaves." The familiar melody and in-the-pocket groove set the tone for a set of high spirits and open-ended camaraderie.
The centerpiece of the disc, the free-form "In The Land of Ooh," garners an out-of-this-world performance from Sanders. The legendary reedman displays unrelenting intensity as he grinds, growls and wails through the twenty-five minute exploration.
Brown is front and center for a minor-key rendition of the traditional "This Little Light of Mine." The tune opens rubato with the commanding presence of Favors' arco lines before settling into a soulful medium-tempo groove. Brown's rhythmic spontaneity appears unlimited. He incorporates a conversational approach between both of his hands, creating layers of intensity. Favors and El'Zabar follow with matter-of-fact solo turns of their own, swinging and characteristically melodic.
Sanders returns for the disc closer, "Ka's Blues," a spirited chaser that gets the crowd shouting. El'Zabar's driving shuffle and Brown's R&B inspired voicings bring out some vibrant, at times greasy wailing from Sanders who even does some impromptu vocalizing. Brown gets up from the piano midway through to blow a soulful tenor solo before Sanders takes the set out with raw, guttural exuberance.
Track Listing: Autumn Leaves; In The Land of Ooh!; This Little Light of Mine; Ka's Blues.
Personnel: Kahil El'Zabar: drums, voice; Pharoah Sanders: tenor saxophone, voice; Malachi Favors: bass; Ari Brown: piano, tenor saxophone (4).
Record Label: Bright Moments/Katalyst
Style: Modern Jazz