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Kamau Daaood: The Words of a Man

Rex  Butters By

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I think once the music had the tendency to create thinkers and artists, different ways of looking at the world, and depth of character, depth of thought.
At the Watts Jazz Festival, An Army of Healers heats up a late summer day in south central LA. with troopers like Kharon Harrison, Bobby Bryant, Jr., Trevor Ware, Derf Reklaw, Nate Morgan, and the soaring vocals of Dwight Trible. Leading the band, a man with a voice like a baritone sax solo, more Pepper than Mulligan, with an R&B rasp to his tone. Kamau Daaood easily holds his own, the words building imagistic phrases flashing pictures to the mind's eye, journeying back to reinforce the original idea, just like a saxophone solo. Now a veteran performer, one of his first readings found him unexpectedly leading the Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra at the request of Horace Tapscott.

Asked to move to New York and join the Last Poets at the age of 18, Daaood refused and like Tapscott made "Act Locally" a reality to the improvement of his community. His protean jazz saturated lines have shared podiums with the likes of Gil Scott Heron and Amiri Baraka, and besides his CD Leimert Park , he's appeared on CDs by Dwight Trible and Derf Reklaw. This mid-fifties grandfather held a 20's trendy Temple Bar crowd enchanted performing with the dynamic Build An Ark, which he shrugs off when I mention it, ascribes it to sincerity. "I tell old school stories with a bebop tongue to the hip hop future. I see new rainbows in their eyes as we stand in the puddles of melted chains," he says on Leimert Park. His third book, The Language of Saxophones: Collected Works , comes out in April from San Francisco's City Lights Press. Kamau Daaood reconnects us to the current of words as Word.


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