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...

147

Kahil El'Zabar w/ David Murray: One World Family

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz musicians are among the most prolific artists around. It’s not uncommon, particularly in the freer strains of the idiom, for an artist to have a half dozen albums under his or her belt on an annual basis. Sales of course are an entirely different matter and even the busiest artists in the music frequently go relatively unrecognized for their efforts. In terms of sheer fecundity David Murray’s discography has been the yardstick by which other musicians are compared for some time now. The exact number is debatable, but the count on sessions Murray has graced easily tallies into the triple digits. As is to be expected with rampant activity comes the inevitable gradation of quality. Murray’s track record is surprisingly solid, but there are a number of projects in his oeuvre that haven’t been on par with his usual reservoir of creativity and talent.

Kahil El’Zabar’s docket is similarly stacked with undertakings. Over the past several years he’s fronted a handful of regularly working groups including The Ritual Trio and Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and has released a steady stream of recordings that routinely illustrate both his prowess and his vision. The teaming of these two musical giants in the intimate environment of CIMP’s Spirit Room was an inspired stroke genius that surpasses expectations. To my ears, Murray hasn’t sounded this focused and spontaneous in years. The loose arrangements and informal atmosphere coupled with El’Zabar’s menagerie of percussive devices from drum kit to kalimba and balafon allow Murray’s horns, and especially his tenor, to blossom in ways much of his other work has not allowed him to do.

The opening “Ryan’s Groove” attains an early summit. El’Zabar’s gorgeous kalimba (thumb piano) spools out a loose rhythm over which Murray is free to extemporize on throaty, whinnying tenor. The formers ensuing solo is alone worth the price of this disc- a delicately crafted reverie that squeezes every drop of melodic emotion from the metal tines of its vehicle of expression. To put in the simplest and most emphatic terms El’Zabar’s kalimba is the most unrepentantly beautiful sound in improvised music.

Later tracks like the blustery “Upsy Daisey” signal the drummer’s shift to traditional trap kit, but it’s on the pieces where his arsenal of palm percussion devices are on hand that things really gel. Murray’s spiritual-infused “Far Too Long” is an ideal example. El’Zabar’s dual conga, Earth drum set-up spreads a tight, but spacious balm beneath Murray’s preaching tenor that rises and wanes in an emotive confluence of ideas with the formers vocalized chants. This is Soul music, pure and simple. No excess trappings or accoutrements. Just two men opening their minds and hearts in front of the mics and coming up with undiluted aural magic gleaned from a Griot tapestry of traditions.


Title: One World Family | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: I Am Digital Media

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

It's Time

It's Time

Kahil El'Zabar
It's Time

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Follow The Sun

Follow The Sun

Delmark Records
2014

buy
What It Is!

What It Is!

Delmark Records
2013

buy
Ooh Live!

Ooh Live!

Bright Moments/Katalyst
2008

buy
 

Magg-Zelma

I Am Digital Media
2008

buy
Transmigration

Transmigration

Delmark Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Oh My, Those Boys!" CD/LP/Track Review Oh My, Those Boys!
by John Sharpe
Published: May 29, 2018
Read "6 Mulleres" CD/LP/Track Review 6 Mulleres
by Don Phipps
Published: September 1, 2018
Read "In the Wake" CD/LP/Track Review In the Wake
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn" CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Trio vol 3" CD/LP/Track Review Trio vol 3
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 13, 2018
Read "Walk The Walk" CD/LP/Track Review Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018