Sam Newsome: Global Unity (2002)
As the album's title suggests, the music produced here is a melding of influences from disparate cultures. Combining an all-originals program, instruments from around the world, and international players, Newsome creates a multicultural sound. He coaxes from his soprano a shakuhachi-like voice that conveys an East Asian melody on 'A Night in Indonesia'. Crossing to the other side of the globe on 'Into-Nation of Islam', Newsome's horn transforms into a snake charmers flute and with the support of dumbek evokes a Middle Eastern vibe.
While improvisation occurs on Global Unity, links to mainstream jazz remain tenuous. The leader places a higher premium on melodic and rhythmic development than on soloing over conventional chord changes. Music fans with broad tastes will find Sam Newsome's take on world beat rewarding; straight-ahead fans should temper their expectations.
Track Listing: When You See the Light; A Night in Indonesia; An Afrasian Occasion; The Wedding March of a Playboy; Into-Nation of Islam; Bongo Betty; The Sucker?s Game; Dance of the Deli Lama; Dread Man Walking; When You Hide from Me
Personnel: Sam Newsome - soprano sax; Elisabeth Kontomanou ? voice; Marvin Sewell ? guitars; Jean-Michel Pilc ? piano; Ugonna Okegwo ? bass; Satoshi Takeishi ? Japanese percussion; Gilad ? percussion; Mel Baker ? electric bass; Matt Balitsaris ? mandola, 12 string guitar; Jeff Berman ? vibes, percussion; Adam Cruz ? steel pan, percussion; Kahlil Kwame Bell ? kalimba; Meg Okura - violin
Record Label: Palmetto Records