256

Salim Washington Harlem Arts Ensemble: Harlem Homecoming

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Salim Washington Harlem Arts Ensemble: Harlem Homecoming Harlem Homecoming is a celebration of what this music ought to be all about. It's also some kind of antidote to all the technically proficient but ultimately clinical modern mainstream stuff, and its uninhibited joyfulness brings a smile to the face and a fire to the heart.

For evidence of this, look no further than the title track. The section work is of the order which would have had Mingus shouting his exhortations, and Melanie Dyer's viola extends the modest (if nearly nonexistent) history of that instrument in this music; Washington himself solos on tenor sax as though his life depended on it, and the whole makes for the kind of listening that's scarce these days.

The term "incendiary" is sometimes applied to the alto sax, but here in the hands of Kurtis Rivers on "Maestro Joe, its use is no hyperbole, and that downright contagious joy of life comes through on the same track via Kuumba Frank Lacy's trombone. Donald Smith's piano, with its sly allusion to the barrelhouse, has in it a weight of history that seems like anything but a burden.

Lacy's "Stranded shows also that this band has a grasp of tonal colour that sets it apart. Henry Cook's alto flute is prominent in the theme statement before Washington solos on tenor sax and shows how John Coltrane's influence doesn't have to manifest itself in the slavish devotion to that master's methodology; Washington's work has about it a similarity of urgency in musical communication, and the results are again ripe with the kind of life that a whole lot of musicians just don't seem able to hit at the moment.

On "Horace T Waldron Ricks gets a trumpet sound fat enough to pass for flugelhorn, and his lyricism is joy for the ears. Again the ensemble wastes no time in hitting the spot throughout this one, and the results are again the product of some kind of urgency that could just be defined as life.

Hell, this all adds up to a wakeup call as much as it does a programme of music. Anyone eager to have their faith in this music restored—and those who suffer from jaded ear syndrome—will be doing themselves a favour by hearing this one.

Track Listing: Morning Is The Time For Miracles; Harlem Homecoming; Country Walk; Maestro Joe; In Search Of Sane Alternatives; Jamila; Stranded; Horace T.; There Is Now Grass Growing In Antarctica; How Great Thou Art/Yes Lord.

Personnel: Salim Washington: Tenor Sax, Flute, Oboe, Vocals; Kuumba Frank Lacy: Trombone, Flugelhorn; Waldron Ricks: Trumpet; Melanie Dyer: Viola; Kurtis Rivers: Alto Sax, Clarinet; Henry Cook: Baritone Sax, Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet; Rumas Barrett: Djembe, Congas, Tambourine, Bells, Washboard; Donald Smith: Piano; Andy McCloud: Bass; Steve Neil: Bass; Mark Johnson: Drums; Taru Alexander: Drums; Aaron Johnson: Tuba (Collective Personnel)

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Ujam Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Wanderlust" CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Before The Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana" CD/LP/Track Review Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 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!