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Zoh Amba

Zoh Amba is a composer, saxophonist, and flutist from Tennessee. Her music blends avant-garde, noise, and devotional hymns. Before studying music at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music, New England Conservatory and studying with David Murray in New York, she spent most of her time writing and practicing saxophone in the forest near her home. Today, her powerfully unique avant-garde music is full of folk melodies, mesmerizing refrains, and repeated incantations. Amba released two records in 2022, her debut record O, Sun which was produced by John Zorn and released on the prestigious label Tzadik. Zoh Amba’s second record, Bhakti features Micah Thomas, Tyshawn Sorey, and Matt Hollenberg. She has collaborated with a variety of high profile musicians such as Jim White (Dirty Three), legendary jazz bassist William Parker, Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), etc. Amba has also performed at well respected venues and festivals Roulette (NY), Ars Nova Presents (Philadelphia), Vision Festival (NY), and Angel City Jazz Festival (LA) along with a 2023 Big Ears Festival’s performance.


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7
Album Review

Francisco Mela & Zoh Amba: Causa y Efecto, Vol. 2

Read "Causa y Efecto, Vol. 2" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Causa y Efecto, Vol. 2 avalanches into a tidal surge of Francisco Mela's terrestrial rhythms and saxophonist/flautist Zoh Amba's unhinged, Albert Ayler like howls. Explosive from the onset and unencumbered by composition, “Causa y Efecto" roils without contrition; setting the stage for the firestorm to come. Mela's incantations--both verbal and percussive--open the magic door through which Zoh's pixie-ish, folk-dance darts and shadows. Born of native songs from Mela's Cuba and Amba's old Tennessee home, “Mundos Diversos" is a complete ...

1
Live Review

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2023

Read "Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2023" reviewed by Mike Chamberlain


Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada May 18-21, 2023 This year's 39th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Victoriaville (FIMAV) was characterized by a new performance space, a good number of noteworthy performances, and trepidation about the future of the festival following artistic director Michel Levasseur's announcement that this would be his last year at the helm. The Centre des Congrès, a new facility next door to ...

18
Album Review

Zoh Amba: Bhakti

Read "Bhakti" reviewed by Mark Corroto


It may be an overused metaphor, but saxophonist Zoh Amba does indeed stand on the shoulders of giants. Proof of that phrase is Bhakti, a tour de force of passionate free jazz. The twenty—something artist draws on traditions born of the 1960s from artists such as Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Peter Brötzmann. Her music, like that of her mentor David Murray's early career explorations, sustains the customs of the 1960's firebrands for a new generation.

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Radio & Podcasts

Zoh Amba, Janel Leppin, & Roberto Ottaviano and Alexander Hawkins

Read "Zoh Amba, Janel Leppin, & Roberto Ottaviano and Alexander Hawkins" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


Free jazz saxophonist Zoh Amba has had much attention focused on her in a fairly short time, and a new album with drummer Francisco Mela will keep those spotlights firmly in place. There's also a track from her debut, Oh Sun!. Cellist Janel Leppin leads a great band on her new Ensemble Volcanic Ash, while Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis always has great musicians with him. His new Allium finds him joined by Tomeka Reid and Josh Abrams. Also new this ...

6
Album Review

Zoh Amba: O Life, O Light Vol. 1

Read "O Life, O Light Vol. 1" reviewed by John Sharpe


Since relocating to NYC from Tennessee, twenty one year old tenor saxophonist and flautist Zoh Amba has been keeping fast company. On her debut O Sun (Tzadik, 2022), in a sign of affirmation label boss John Zorn guests on one track, while O Life, O Light continues in the same vein as she helms a heavyweight trio comprising celebrated bassist William Parker and storied drummer Francisco Mela. Amba studied with David Murray, but her sound owes more to the raw ...

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Radio & Podcasts

Zoh Amba, Vincent Peirani, Kinan Azmeh, Tony Malaby & More New Releases

Read "Zoh Amba, Vincent Peirani, Kinan Azmeh, Tony Malaby & More New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


The beautiful debut album of an emerging artist like Zoh Amba, previously unreleased tracks from the legendary Village Vanguard concerts by Geri Allen, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, the edgy new project by Vincent Peirani and the guitar saxophone interactions of Walter Smith III & Matthew Stevens, Dave Gisler & David Murray, and Tony Malaby & Ben Monder are just some of our favorite things of this month. We hope you enjoy them too. Happy listening!

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“For the Saxophonist Zoh Amba, Free Jazz Is Gospel”

— New York Times (Profile)

 

“Amba’s music is a chaotic spiritual exploration, a path to enlightenment strewn with skronking wails. “The music is God; God is the music,” she recently told the New York Times — a philosophy that, although old as time, has made her one of the brightest new stars in avant-garde jazz.”

— STEREOGUM (Top 40 Band’s of 2022)

Concerts

Apr 21 Sun

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Causa y Efecto, Vol. 2

Self Produced
2025

buy

O, Sun

Tzadik
2022

buy

Bhakti

Mahakala Music
2022

buy

Mellifluous...

Mahakala Music
2022

buy

Videos

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