Oran Etkin Gathering Light Motema 2014 Multi-reedist Oran Etkin gathers his scattered points of inspiration from the whole of the Eastern Hemisphere and a good bit of the Western one. Etkin's main horn is the bass clarinet...not completely unheard of, Eric Dolphy played a mean one, but one heard infrequently enough that it remains almost a novelty. Etkin opens Gathering Light with Ki Narto Saboo's Gambang Suling," his bass clarinet reaching eastward toward the Indian Ocean and parts tropical. The original Taxi Dance" pits Etkin's clarinet against Curtis Fowlkes' Teagarden-inspired trombone. If ...read more
Multi-reedist Oran Etkin's first album--Kelenia (Motema Music, 2009)--fused Malian sounds and Jewish music with jazz. Its follow-up--Wake Up, Clarinet! (1-2-3-4 Go, 2010)--was geared toward kids. Now, for round three, Etkin has cast his net over a huge portion of the globe, pulling together, arranging, and morphing musical ideals he's encountered while touring through Asia, Israel, and portions of Europe. Gathering Light is a gloriously global musical mélange that finds Etkin in good company, creating alternately gripping and grooving performances with the help of some of the most distinct personalities on the scene today. Ubiquitous guitarist Lionel Loueke, ...read more
Exposure to traditional African music is limited in the western hemisphere so it is always a pleasant surprise when a recording is released, especially when it is a solid, well above average effort. Clarinetist and saxophonist Oran Etkin has fused Malian music with elements of improvisation and jazz in his debut, Kelenia. This is not just mere pastiche but a successful melding of musical genres into a work that maintains a strong traditional identity while solidly remaining a modern art form of the 21st century. All the tunes, save one, consist of either old ...read more
As the open air arias of grilling cicadas and bustling barbecues mix in with the distant thumping of convertibles to announce the new solstice, what better than a hot, mellifluously ornate African chant to brush off what is left of spring and get everyone in a festive mood?The cause of celebration? Summer, of course. But also Yekeke," an oasis of a song to kick off the festivities to the lively African jazz concoctions of clarinetist Oran Etkin's group, Kelenia.As soon as its first rhythms are intoned, pale shoulders might be seen loosening and locking to the ...read more
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