Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
371

Roy Campbell: Akhenaten Suite

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count Views
Roy Campbell: Akhenaten Suite Trumpeter Roy Campbell's music has always traveled the globe and been inspired by world music, be it Afro-Cuban, Asian, Jamaican, West African, the blues or free music. But while he plays with these various influences, Campbell is always firmly planted in the jazz tradition. For Akhenaten Suite, he travels not only the world but back in time. Dedicated to the Egyptian pharoah of the 18th dynasty—husband of Nefertiti, and perhaps father of Tutankhamun—the music was written in the fashion of a Duke Ellington or Gil Evans suite.

Campbell's ensemble includes vibraharpist Bryan Carrott and drummer Zen Matsuura, who worked with him on New Kingdom (Delmark 1991), violinist Billy Bang, and bassist Hillard Greene, a favorite of saxophonist Charles Gayle.

The music was commissioned by, and premiered at, the Vision Festival in New York in 2007, where this recording was made. The enthusiastic crowd coaxes our heroes forward on each track, even though the suite needs no cheering section. Campbell's writing is more Miles Davis/Gil Evans than Sun Ra. As with his previous work, he maintains a heavy amount of swing in his melodies.

The disc opens with an upbeat vibe, its snaking melody touching all the players' strengths. Campbell and Bang intertwine before the leader unwinds some clear, naturally flowing flugelhorn. With that, the direction of the suite is stated. The audience can relax, knowing this will be a thoroughly enjoyable ride. Onward with a nice processional, "Aten And Anarna."



After a brief intro by way of a recorder, the meat of the disc is presented on "Pharaoh's Revenge," which is in two parts. The players stretch out, allowing the listener to savor the sonorities of Bang's unplugged violin. Soon Campbell soars over both Bang and the rhythms laid by Carrott, Matsuura, and Greene. His sound, always graceful, takes on a real sheen of majesty here. The two featured players, Bang and Campbell, deliver the goods throughout.

"Sunset On The Nile" is the closing piece, and the feel is quite luxurious. Roy Campbell has composed a fully formed suite, one which is worth repeated listening sessions.


Track Listing: Akhenaten (Amenhotp) Intro. Part 1; Aten And Anarna; Pharaoh's Revenge Part 1; Pharaoh's Revenge (Tutankhamon) Intro Part 2; Pharaoh's Revenge Part 2; Sunset On The Nile.

Personnel: Roy Campbell: trumpet, flugelhorn, recorder, arghul; Billy Bang: violin; Bryan Carrott: vibraharp; Hillard Greene: bass; Zen Matsuura: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity | Style: Modern Jazz


Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Akhenaten Suite
Akhenaten Suite
AUM Fidelity
2008
buy
Arts Interplay
Arts Interplay
Verve Records
2008
buy
Isms Out
Isms Out
CIMP Records
2005
buy
It's Krunch Time
It's Krunch Time
Thirsty Ear Recordings
2001
buy
Ethnic Stew And Brew
Ethnic Stew And Brew
Delmark Records
2001
buy
[no cover]
New Kingdom
Verve Records
1992
buy
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
trumpet
Marcus Printup Marcus Printup
trumpet
Lee Morgan Lee Morgan
trumpet
Andrew Hill Andrew Hill
piano
Woody Shaw Woody Shaw
trumpet
Lester Bowie Lester Bowie
trumpet
Hamiet Bluiett Hamiet Bluiett
sax, baritone
Paolo Fresu Paolo Fresu
trumpet

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.