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by Wilbur MacKenzie
Throughout the history of jazz, Detroit has produced world-class jazz artists, iconic individualists and ubiquitous sidemen alike. Many have moved to New York or other cities to pursue their career. A handful of great artists remained in Detroit, keeping the creative energy alive there (and consequently Detroit continues to produce incredible talent). One artist who has remained in Detroit over the decades, overcoming social and personal disaster to continue his creative pursuits, is saxophonist and composer Faruq Z. Bey.read more
by Clifford Allen
Though in the jazz world, Detroit and southern Michigan often get the most credit for producing Hahd bop talents like Kenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan and the brothers Jones, there has long been a slow-burning fire of free improvisation and creative music tapping into the Motor City's pulse. Reedmen Faruq Z. Bey and Skeeter Shelton, both onetime co-leaders of the Griot Galaxy, are longtime members of the region's new music community. A somewhat younger set (but not by much) are the ...read more
by Rex Butters
Detroit saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey's third Entropy release finds him returning to a three-horn lineup for the first time since his days with Griot Galaxy. Working a stylistic vein that would have fit '60's Impulse! with their bass-driven, Afro-centric, imaginative ardent songs to the sacred, Bey and the Northwoods Improvisers work from compositions, cues, and inspiration. The group sound, captured live, shows an enthusiastic unit capable of infectious grooves and driving without hands.
Mike Johnston introduces Gemini with a lurking ...read more
by Paul Olson
Detroit saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey's third release with the Northwoods Improvisers, Auzar , may be their best collaboration yet; certainly, it benefits from the addition of fellow Detroiters Mike Carey (on bass clarinet and tenor sax) and Skeeter Shelton (on tenor). These three are ably supported by the core Improvisers lineup of Mike Gilmore on vibes and marimba, Mike Johnston on bass, and Nick Ashton on drums. Auzar was recorded live at Central Michigan University in March of 2004 at ...read more