Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Afro Horn at Zinc Bar

Tomas Pena By

Sign in to view read count
Francisco Mora-Catlett and Afro Horn
Zinc Bar
Greenwich Village, NY
January 8, 2014

There was a moment during Afro-Horn's performance at the Zinc Bar where the lines between reality and fiction became a blur. It occurred when Sam Newsome, an imposing figure of a man and a consummate reed player, appeared to be possessed by the spirit of Probe, the protagonist and wielder of the Afro Horn, a rare object of power in Henry Dumas's short-story, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." In the midst of an intense and passionate solo, Newsome's ..." lips swelled over the reed and each note fell into the circle like an acrobat on a tight rope stretched radially across the center of the universe."

For the uninitiated, Afro Horn is a multicultural, multigenerational ensemble created by the Mexican-American drummer, composer and visionary Francisco Mora-Catlett, who was introduced to the writings of Henry Dumas and the legend of the Afro Horn during his tenure with Sun Ra. Mora-Catlett was so moved with Dumas's message and the concept of an instrument with the power to unite people and "clear out" unfounded notions and misconceptions, that he formed an ensemble around the idea.

The ensemble opened with an invocation praising the ancestors, then wasted no time in plunging into a wildly progressive interpretation of the gospel hymn, "When the Saints Go Marching In," followed by "Afra Jum," a play on the words, "Afro Jam," an open invitation for everyone to participate in the festivities. "Barasuayo Mamakeña" is a praise song dedicated to the West African deity, Elegua. The set concluded with "5XMax," a tribute to the legendary drummer, Max Roach. The music was in the moment, fluid and true to its intrinsic nature, free.

As the evening came to a close there was an eerie silence, a collective feeling of, "What just happened?" and smiles all around. Afro Horn is: Rashaan Carter, bass; Aruan Ortiz, piano; Sam Newsome, reeds; Roman Diaz, percussion/vocals; and Francisco Mora-Catlett, drums, leader. Absent was saxophonist Alex Harding.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Brilliant Corners 2019
By Ian Patterson
March 19, 2019
Live Reviews
A Bowie Celebration: The David Bowie Alumni Tour at Irving Plaza
By Mike Perciaccante
March 16, 2019
Live Reviews
Cheap Trick with Aaron Lee Tasjan at The NYCB Theatre at Westbury
By Mike Perciaccante
March 16, 2019
Live Reviews
Seun Kuti and Africa 80 at Brick & Mortar
By Harry S. Pariser
March 14, 2019
Live Reviews
Live From Paris: Danyèl Waro, Beñat Achiary & Haffyd H
By Martin Longley
March 13, 2019