Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

6

Kahil El'Zabar Ritual Trio: Follow The Sun

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
It is safe to state that the percussionist Kahil El'Zabar has never made a mediocre or a mundane album and Follow the Sun is no exception. On this intriguing and provocative disc El'Zabar leads his group through five originals and four covers that he interprets with his signature, fluid touch.

Oscar Hammerstein II's heartsick standard "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" gets a raw yet sophisticated makeover as El'Zabar and bassist Junius Paul lay down rumbling, intricate vamps. Over this rhythmic framework tenorists Ari Brown and Artee Duke Payne trade tense and jagged bars in an exhilarating duet. Their respective turns in the spotlight contrast and complement each other with Brown's cool, thick and airy tone resonating against Payne's grittier, more ardent one. Paul's gingerly walking bass lines quickly evolve to a complex and stimulating display of virtuosity. El'Zabar's primal and energetic drumming marks his own elegant, albeit brief, solo. The result is a thrilling mix of emotion and thought, contemplation and unbridled fervor and a uniquely fresh take on an oft-recorded classic.

Overlapping, deceptively simple, refrains and spontaneous phrases form the building blocks for El'Zabar's dynamic and vibrant compositions. One of the highlights of this uniformly outstanding record is "Great Black Music." This sublimely spiritual yet boldly organic piece opens with the leader's haunting kalimba strikes mixed with Paul's deep reverberating strings and Brown's cascading piano notes. El'Zabar and vocalist Dwight Trible's murmurs and chants add to its devotional nature and usher in Payne's wailing, melancholic bagpipes. The combination of voices and the Payne's echoing free reeds create an eerily memorable ambience. Trible's rough-hewn singing over the earthy percussion and Payne's wistful and evocative tones make for a perfect conclusion

Trible shines on saxophonist Wayne Shorter's iconic "Footprints" and on pianist Johnny Green's timeless ballad "Body and Soul." On the former Trible enunciates his poetic lyrics with deep passion and dramatic flair. Payne's broad, gravelly saxophone mirrors the spirit of Trible's song while Brown's bluesy simmering piano enhances the elegiac mood. Trible showcases his scatting abilities on the latter tune as his agile vocals take off on a meandering exploration. His band mates, meanwhile, create a backdrop of delightfully dark harmonies

Ever the innovator, through out a career of three decades and sixty recordings, El'Zabar has maintained the singularity of his vision and a stylistic unity without repeating himself or becoming predictable. This CD is yet another integral and representative slice of his unfettered ingenuity.

Track Listing: Follow The Sun; Softly As In A Morning Sunrise; Great Black Music; Footprints; Grandma’s Hands; Inner Heart; Body And Soul; Our Journey; Up Your Mind.

Personnel: Kahil El’Zabar: drums, kalimba, earth drum, vocals (3,5); Ari Brown: tenor saxophone, piano; Junius Paul: bass; Dwight Trible: vocals (1, 3–5, 7, 9); Duke Payne: tenor saxophone, bagpipes.

Title: Follow The Sun | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Entremundos" CD/LP/Track Review Entremundos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by John Kelman
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Peace and Love" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Harlem" CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Living Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Living Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017