Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

110

Shamek Farrah and Folks: La Dee La La

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Reed player Shamek Farrah ranks with the great unrecorded. Two releases on Strata East in the '70s, some for RA, a release in '95. The reissue of this 1978 recording for RA by Quadraphonic Sound Module reintroduces a roomful of rarely heard musicians, along with a young Malachi Thompson. Roger Howell's congas and Lenny King's percussion give the music a tropical feel, while Saeed Amik's quick luscious piano harmonies blossom all over the music.

The disc opens with the title track. Preceding the '80s African jazz boom, "La Dee La La" features a lush, easygoing composition and arrangement, not unlike Abdullah Ibrahim's gentle Cape Town swing. After a bracing acapella chorus intro, pianist Saeed Amir introduces the chords, Lenny King and Roger Howell hit the hand drums, and Ghanniya Green sings the theme. Guitarist Harry Jenson plays silky rhythm, while Farrah's playful soprano sax composes festive variations. Playing a vocalesque plunger mute, trumpeter Abdullah Khalid makes a soulful statement, followed by Amir's elegant variations.

Moving into a warmer hemisphere, "Waiting for Marvin" sees Amik's effervescent piano dance over the joyously grooving rhythm section. Farrah serves ripe alto, twisting through the changes. Thompson romps his full-toned trumpet around the festive sounds, followed by Amik's cool, refreshing inspirations. The orchestra returns to take it out. Some shuffling on "White Lady" brings Sonelius Smith to the piano chair. Sans percussionists, the band just swings with Farrah taking the first solo. Smith plays chords blocks, as opposed to Amik's blending shimmer. Thompson soars again, casually taking chances. Smith solos with deliberation, poking out the right handed notes.

Jenson's limber electric guitar slyly welcomes the listener to "And Along Came Ron Rahsaan." With King and Howell back, Farrah blows soprano, making way for Marvin Neal's meaty trombone solo. With Vivian Chandler singing wordlessly, Amik builds a final graceful musical lattice.

Thanks to the all-inclusive reissue mania of the CD format, Shamek Farrah and Folks return to delight a new and larger audience, timelessly, almost thirty years later.


Track Listing: La Dee La La Song; Waiting for Marvin; the White Lady; And Along Came Ron Rahsaan.

Personnel: Shamek Farrah, alto sax, soprano sax; Grant Reed, tenor sax; Abdullah Khalid, trumpet; Malachi Thompson, trumpet; Marvin Neal, trombone; Saeed Amik, piano; Sonelius Smith, piano; Hasan Jenkins, electric bass; Kiyoto Fujiwara, acoustic bass; Ron Rahsaan, drums; Ayon Falu, drums; Roger Howell, conga; Lenny King, bongos and percussion; Harry Jenson, guitar; Ghanniya Green, vocal; Vivian Chandler, voca

Title: La Dee La La | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Quadraphonic Sound Module


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "Masters Of War" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Of War
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Mercerville" CD/LP/Track Review Mercerville
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "The Chicago Blues Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Blues Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 11, 2017

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!