All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

374

Ahmed Abdul-Malik: Jazz Sounds of Africa

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
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

Related Articles

Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Slægt" CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Root Structure" CD/LP/Track Review Root Structure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "First Things First" CD/LP/Track Review First Things First
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "Octopus" CD/LP/Track Review Octopus
by Don Phipps
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "...don't buy him a parrot..." CD/LP/Track Review ...don't buy him a parrot...
by John Sharpe
Published: January 29, 2018