374

Ahmed Abdul-Malik: Jazz Sounds of Africa

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Ahmed Abdul-Malik: Jazz Sounds of Africa Ahmed Abdul-Malik was a resourceful and versatile bassist capable of fitting in with the groups of Thelonious Monk, Herbie Mann, and others. On his few recordings as a leader, he dove head first into his fascination with African music, documented on the two early '60s sessions collected here on Jazz Sounds of Africa.

Other musicians with similar aspirations, such as Coltrane, simply fused African rhythms into a jazz context. Abdul-Malik created tunes that work solely with the West African musical idiom called highlife, which fuses calypso and Latin music, and has rounded up several players on exotic instruments (he himself doubles on the oud) to complete the effect. There’s little on either session that could properly be called jazz, and there is more than a hint of National Geographic surrounding these records. Nonetheless, it’s an ambitious recording and a compelling listen.

Most of the selections on the first session and a large part of the second are pleasant tunes in the calypso vein, played by a large horn-based ensemble powered by the fleet drumming of Andrew Cyrille. On the first session Calo Scott makes a huge contribution, showing his dexterity on the cello (both as a soloist and by holding down the bottom end when Abdul-Malik switches to oud) and on the violin, bowing an eerie solo on a sparsely populated “Out of Nowhere.” The second session delves deeper into the rhythmic possibilities of African music, which quickly grows tiresome except for those with a high tolerance for long periods of drumming. Nevertheless, Jazz Sounds of Africa is a compelling work from a man best known for his work under the leadership of other people.


Track Listing: 1. Nights On Saturn 2. The Hustlers 3. Oud BLues 4. La Ibkey 5. Don't Blame Me 6. Hannibal's Carnivals 7. Wakida Hena 8. African Bossa Nova 9. Nadusilma 10. Out of Nowhere 11. Communication 12. Suffering.

Personnel: Ahmed Abdul-Malik-bass, oud; Calo Scott-violin, cello; Tommy Turrentine-trumpet; Eric Dixon-tenor saxophone; Bilal Abdurrahman-clarinet, percussion, Korean reed instrument; Andrew Cyrille-drums; Richard Williams-trumpet; Edwin Steede-alto saxophone; Taft Chandler-tenor saxophone; Rupert Allenye-flute; Rudy Collins-drums; Montego Joe-conga, bongo; Chief Bey-African drum.

Title: Jazz Sounds Of Africa | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Coalesce" CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Makes My Heart Sway" CD/LP/Track Review Makes My Heart Sway
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos" CD/LP/Track Review B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.