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...

7

Akua Dixon: Akua Dixon

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Cellist Akua Dixon has been at it for decades: She's performed with jazz royalty like Duke Ellington, penned arrangements for non-jazz giants like Lauryn Hill and Aretha Franklin, and recorded with everybody from trumpet titan Dizzy Gillespie to trombonist Steve Turre to David Byrne, the beyond-category former frontman of the Talking Heads. Unfortunately, all of that support work has given Dixon little time to focus on putting music out under her own name. Akua Dixon, believe it or not, is only her second album.

This project finds Dixon working through her own arrangements of classics with a string quartet and some notable guests, including bassist Kenny Davis and violinists Regina Carter and the late John Blake, Jr. The majority of the music they make is enthralling. "A Gozar Con Mi Combo" is an absolute joy to behold, "Moon River" sparkles with life, and "Libertango" charms the ears from the start. Then there's the intense build and forward thrust of Charles Mingus' "Haitian Fight Song," a number that's bolstered by Davis' bass, enlivened by Blake's violin, and driven by Dixon's son—guest drummer Orion Turre ; a soulful look at Ellington via "Freedom"; and an alluring "Besame Mucho" that shines a light on the core players on this project.

On occasion, the music seems to sag a bit, losing focus along the way ("Alone Together") or coming off as a bit aimless from the start ("It Never Entered My Mind"), but these types of issues are few. Dixon's talents are many and varied, and it's wonderful to see her putting herself first after so much time working in the background. With the release of her debut—Moving On (Self Produced, 2012)—and this follow-up, Dixon is finally getting the attention she deserves.

Track Listing: Haitian Fight Song; Alone Together; Freedom; It Never Entered My Mind; A Gozar Con Mi Combo; Moon River; Libertango; Lush Life; Besame Mucho; Poinciana.

Personnel: Akua Dixon: cello, vocals (4); John Black, Jr.: violin (1, 5); Regina Carter: violin (3, 5, 7); Kenny Davis: bass (1, 4, 5, 8); Patrisa Tomassini: violin; Ina Paris: viola; Gwen Laster: violin (1, 4, 5, 8, 10); Chala Yancy: violin (2, 6); Andromeda Turre: vocals (8); Orion Turre: drums (1).

Title: Akua Dixon | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Akua's Dance

Akua's Dance

Self Produced
2017

buy
Akua Dixon

Akua Dixon

Self Produced
2015

buy
Moving On

Moving On

Akua's Music
2011

buy

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019
Read Rasif Album Reviews
Rasif
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 21, 2019
Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019