224

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Hot 'N' Heavy: Live At The Ascension Loft

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Hot 'N' Heavy: Live At The Ascension Loft For more than thirty years, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has carried the American tradition of percussive jazz onward from a distinctly African-Chicago-American perspective. This live session, recorded in percussionist Kahil El'Zabar's loft, continues the long line of stellar recordings, but with a new and seemingly ever changing lineup.

The EHE has included, among others, saxophonists Edward Wilkerson, Jr., Light Henry Huff and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, trombonist Joseph Bowie and percussionist Harold Atu Murray. Besides El'Zabar's Ritual Trio, it is one of the longest continuously working groups in jazz. The current lineup includes longstanding member Ernest Dawkins on alto saxophone, plus recent additions trumpeter Corey Wilkes and guitarist Fareed Haque.

The session opens with the earth drum of El'Zabar setting the pulse for "Major To Minor, a joyous fourteen-minute union of two horns, backed by Haque's rhythm accompaniment. Wilkes, a fast rising star and member of the new Art Ensemble of Chicago, works a conventional solo in a unconventional manner with some slick electronic effects. As with AEC, his fresh take (and young years) are a signal that the music will be carried on by a younger generation.

The swinging "MT, for the late trumpeter Malachi Thompson, shares the "free-bop attitude with the spice of El'Zabar's kalimba thumb piano. He switches to a regular drum kit on the title track as the horns are allowed to move farther out, with what is always a trademark of an EHE sound, that ever present rhythm. While El'Zabar can bring the thunder, his sense of time (or is it place?) is grounded. Wilkes puts two horns to his lips and the stoic Dawkins plays within a trance-induced solo of speed.

The thoughtful "There Is A Place slows things down. The kalimba, paired with Haque's acoustic guitar, sets up Wilkes' slow drawn-out trumpet effects, before Haque twists some effects out of his guitar as he alters it with objects. Not to worry, the rhythm remains, and El'Zabar repeats the question, "Can you find a place where there's peace and happiness?

The disc ends with South American forms of "Black As Vera Cruz and the multiple percussive forms that all the members take up here. After over an hour of music your ears are demanding more.


Track Listing: Major To Minor; MT; Hot N Heavy; There Is A Place; Black As Vera Cruz.

Personnel: Kahil ElZabar: earth drum, kalimba, drums, percussion; Corey Wilkes: trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion; Ernest Khabeer Dawkins: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, percussion; Fareed Haque: electric guitar, acoustic guitar.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "True Love Collection" CD/LP/Track Review True Love Collection
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 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!