281

Khan Jamal Quintet: Black Awareness

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Khan Jamal Quintet: Black Awareness Vibraphonist Khan Jamal's fourth session for CIMP finds the veteran in the company of old friends for a relaxed atmosphere in which to blow. Longtime collaborator Byard Lancaster plays a sweetly inflected alto that's also capable of a bite. Trombonist Grachan Moncur III stays low-key, most times preferring understatement. Bassist Dylan Taylor and drummer Dwight James keep the pot stirred, while Jamal remains his own man, dwelling on a repetitive line, toying with an innocent melody, or launching dizzying patterns that buy tension from juxtaposed time signatures.

Jamal contributes a jaunty march with vague echoes of Monk and Ayler in "One Comes First, paving the way for a concise statement from Moncur. Taylor keeps his own variations coming, with James steady on cymbals and unpredictable on snare. Lancaster delivers a studied series of improvs, while Jamal stays playful. Moncur's "Riff Raff spins a darker landscape, which Lancaster paints blue. The trombonist plays it sparse, making every note count. Jamal creates a solo that's as much about time change as melodic variation.

A reverent gospel-inspired tune, "Believe, evokes an inspirational beauty through the call and response of Moncur and Lancaster. The unusual time of "Black Awareness finds Lancaster removing his gloves, and he comes out blowing like a jet. Moncur takes a well manicured solo, then Jamal plays like a patio of breezed wind chimes.

Jamal goes solo on "Nubian Queen, creating an appealing calypso. Moncur steps up to take a lean look at Jamal's "Bloom. Lancaster enters from the top of his range and slides down to the honk. Jamal dances with a set of complex two handed structures and the band rejoins for the coda. Archie Shepp's theme, Moncur's "Sonny's Back, Pt. 1 & 2, gets a joyous reading with the trombonist stretching out and Jamal staying knee-deep in the blues.

Black Awareness offers a pleasant hour with the Khan Jamal Quintet and an accessible look at this unappreciated jazz legend.


Track Listing: One Comes First; Riff Raff; Believe; Black Awareness; Nubian Queen; Bloom; Sonny’s Back Pt. 1 & 2.

Personnel: Khan Jamal: vibraphone; Byard Lancaster: alto sax; Grachan Moncur III: trombone; Dylan Taylor: bass; Dwight James: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: CIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Butterflies Fly in Pairs" CD/LP/Track Review Butterflies Fly in Pairs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Back Where I Belong" CD/LP/Track Review Back Where I Belong
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Shock Axis" CD/LP/Track Review Shock Axis
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Upset The Status Quo" CD/LP/Track Review Upset The Status Quo
by James Nadal
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Two Of A Kind" CD/LP/Track Review Two Of A Kind
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!