Andre Lamb/Warren Smith The Dogon Duo Engine Studios
Multi-reedist Andrew Lamb teams up with percussionist Warren Smith to form the Dogon Duo, whose self-titled disc is comprised of sources influenced by various types of world music that resonate in the spirit. The first song, "Shanty House, announces the duo's bare bones approach, with Lamb's visceral tenor declamations interlocking with Smith's drum thrashing. "Mirage, a tune with strong Native American overtones, features Lamb on flute. He turns bottles into wind instruments on the haunting "Lake Tanganyika, then uses them for an amplifying effect when he blows the flute.
"Mojo Bag is arguably the most focused and imaginative of all of the sax/drum duets. Lamb wails solo for a couple of minutes, then Smith weaves his own passionate, imaginative lead before Lamb rejoins him to take the song out. Lamb's mismar on "Roses in the Sand gives the tune a distinct Middle Eastern feeling; on "Bathsheba, he blows the tenor with something close to anguish.
"Call of the Spirits features Smith on drums, balafon, and whistle and Lamb on mismar; he returns to tenor for the spiraling "Obelisk and the brooding "Dialog, which closes the disc with more driving, rhythmically diverse drumming by Smith.
Year of the Endless Movement
Lamb is also a member of the Moving Form, an ensemble whose stirring Year of the Endless Movement presents music and poetry in a dynamic symbiosis. Will Halsey passionately recites his original poems and works written by Henry Dumas, all delivered in the spirit and tradition of Miguel Piñero, Amiri Baraka, and the Nuoyrican Poets Café.
On "Saba, Tom Abbs supplies a funk groove on the bass over Andrei Strobert's drums. Lamb, a kind of jazz naturalist, solos over all of this on conch shell. Halsey intones the title and supplies poetry written by Dumas. "We Weep is a poetry slam on what history has taught us. "Even The Dust, based on another Dumas work, is a badass groove with Lamb's no holds barred tenor solo reflecting the urgency of the poetry, eventually dialing down to a Coltrane-like lament, at once contemplative and outraged.
The excellent satire "Law features Lamb opening on mismar, giving the tune a strong Mideast vibe; then over Abbs' relentless bass line he returns to tenor, whereupon the tempo accelerates to bebop pace and structure. Halsey's words are a powerful indictment of the Rodney King incident, describing the tape as "a breakthrough in music videos/It's amazing how easily the camera captures/These age-old traditions.
Another standout cut is "November 22, 1963, where Halsey uses the 40th anniversary of JFK's assassination as the launching point for a satirical reexamination of America's legacy of violence. Abbs' tuba supplies the pulse of the bristling satire, bringing to mind Mingus' "Fables of Faubus.
Tracks and Personnel
The Dogon Duo
Tracks: Shanty House; Mirage; Dogon; Lake Tanganyika; Mojo Bag; Roses in the Sand; Bathsheba; Call of the Spirits; Obelisk; Dialog.
Personnel: Andrew Lamb: tenor sax, flute, recorder, mismar & bottles; Warren Smith: drums, balafon, whistle.
Year of the Endless Movement
Tracks: Saba; Even the Dust; Nonahjayno, Nonahjayno; Law; I Know You Want To Leave Me; November 22, 1963; Flesh of the Spirit.
Personnel: Andrew Lamb: tenor saxophone, flute, conch shell, mismaar; Will Halsey: poetry recitation; Andrei Strobert: drums and percussion; Tom Abbs: bass, tuba.