Home » Jazz Articles » Omri Ziegele’s Where’s Africa Trio: Can Walk On Sand

304

Album Review

Omri Ziegele’s Where’s Africa Trio: Can Walk On Sand

By

Sign in to view read count
Omri Ziegele’s Where’s Africa Trio: Can Walk On Sand
This could almost be a band "on a hiding to nothing" considering it self-consciously mines the seam of vibrant music first tapped by the likes of Chris McGregor and Harry Miller. Given the fact that it's only a trio, it's inevitable perhaps that the group lacks the sheer sonic impact of McGregor's much larger bands, but even by comparison with Miller's group Isipingo, which was usually a sextet, the music this band produces is wanting in depth and fire.

It's sometimes down to brevity for why this is so. The reading of Dollar Brand's "Tyntiana" runs less than four minutes and the music simply doesn't catch fire because the player's seem stymied by the piece itself, as if the improvisational fire simply doesn't catch.

It's also sad to note that the absence of a bassist is really felt, especially on Oliver Nelson's boppish "Butch & Butch" where Schweizer and Ntshoko, even while they manage to mark the one minute and twenty three seconds of its passing with some fervor, simply don't do the same in terms of killing the impression of the reading as merely perfunctory.

McGregor's "Andromeda" has been lifted to stellar heights on record by both the composer's Brotherhood of Breath and the Dedication Orchestra and while those readings were the antithesis of the perfunctory, the lasting impression here is of a casual warm-up for all of Ziegele's impassioned rhetoric.

A different frame of reference applies to the leader's entirely solo reading of "Summertime" and it serves to indicate how there should perhaps be a moratorium declared on recording the Gershwin composition. Ziegele's vocalizing is best ignored but because it's an integral part of the reading it has the effect of making his fractious lines seem even more disingenuous. Overall, it's unlikely to replace the memory of Sidney Bechet's reading of the piece.

There's a nice pitch to Johnny Dyani's "Ithi Gqi" where the trio is rounded out by the addition of Jurg Wickihalder on soprano sax, who even while he hews pretty close to the Steve Lacy model indicates also how the majority of the music here is best served by larger ensembles. The unison horns nail the exuberant line very nicely, and while Schweizer's drive is different to that of, say, McGregor, she turns in one of her most telling solos of the whole program.

Track Listing

It's About Time; Tyntiana; Giggin'; Soul Eyes; Butch & Butch; Andromeda; Can Walk On Sand; Rare Bird; Summertime; Ithi Gqi; Mbiza.

Personnel

Omri Ziegele: alto sax, voice; Irene Schweizer: piano; Makaya Ntshoko: drums. Jurg Wickihalder: soprano sax, alto sax (on #7, 10 and 11)

Album information

Title: Can Walk On Sand | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Cookin’ with Jaws and the Queen: The Legendary...
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Shirley Scott
Warm Up
The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.