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Ethnic Heritage Ensemble at The Center for New Music

Read "Ethnic Heritage Ensemble at The Center for New Music" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble Center for New Music San Francisco, CA February 15, 2016 San Francisco's Tenderloin District is a down-and-out area which wags have christened “Twitterloin," (owing to the proximity of Twitter and other tax companies given tax subsidies to erect their palatial edifices in this culturally diverse neighborhood). And the Center for New Music, on Taylor Street, is a gem in its heart. While the arrival of the tech industry, and ...

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Kahil El'Zabar Ritual Trio: Follow The Sun

Read "Follow The Sun" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

It is safe to state that the percussionist Kahil El'Zabar has never made a mediocre or a mundane album and Follow the Sun is no exception. On this intriguing and provocative disc El'Zabar leads his group through five originals and four covers that he interprets with his signature, fluid touch.Oscar Hammerstein II's heartsick standard “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" gets a raw yet sophisticated makeover as El'Zabar and bassist Junius Paul lay down rumbling, intricate vamps. Over ...

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Kahil El'Zabar Quartet: What It Is!

Read "What It Is!" reviewed by Troy Collins

Since the early 1980s percussionist Kahil El'Zabar has led numerous dates as a leader, with much of his work issued by Chicago's Delmark Records. Some of his most impressive efforts for the label have featured collaborations with renowned artists, including New Thing-era luminaries such as Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre, Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp, as well as peers like Ernest Dawkins, David Murray and the late Billy Bang. What It Is! covers relatively new territory though, with the AACM veteran serving ...

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Kahil El'Zabar/ Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Mama's House Live

Read "Mama's House Live" reviewed by Mark Corroto

To say that Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (EHE), now in its 35th year, is an institution is technically correct. The sounds created, however, are anything but conservatively labeled as establishment."

The EHE has had many combinations, including the original 1973 lineup of Edward Wilkerson and Light Henry Huff. Later versions included trombonist Joseph Bowie, percussionist “Atu" Harold Murray and, more recently, guitarist Fareed Haque, who is featured EHE's previous CD/DVD Live At Ascension Loft (Delmark, 2007).

Recorded live in ...

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Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio featuring Pharoah Sanders: Ooh Live!

Read "Ooh Live!" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Kahil El'Zabar, a product of Chicago's South Side African-American community, is a true musical renaissance man. By trade, a percussionist who is fluent on conventional Western drums, he has mastered the esoteric and exotic instruments of his ancestors as well. He is a member of Chicago's famed AACM, has played with Dizzy Gillespie and Stevie Wonder, scored for film, arranged for the theater and taught at the university level. Along with the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, his Ritual ...

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Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio: Ooh Live!

Read "Ooh Live!" reviewed by John Barron

Ooh! is the artistic conception of veteran percussionist Kahil El'Zabar and an acronym for Operative Oracles for Humanity. To jumpstart his newly founded creative endeavor, the famed Chicago improviser has released Ooh! Live, a recording of his Ritual Trio from a 2000 concert at The Hot House in Chicago. El'Zabar's fellow oracles for this date were the late bassist Malachi Favors, legendary Chicago musician Ari Brown--perhaps best known as a saxophonist but featured here mainly on piano--and special guest Pharoah ...

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Kahil El'Zabar's Infinity Orchestra: Transmigration

Read "Transmigration" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Kahil El'Zabar is a man of many inventions. His music has a pure passion that transcends the mundane. He lifts compositions with imagination into realms that are at once startling and captivating. He manifests those traits on this splendid recording where his compositions are zapped into a three-dimensional impact by Ernest Dawkins (alto saxophone and percussion), Joseph Bowie (trombone and percussion) and the 39-piece Infinity Orchestra from France which has some exciting and innovative musicians.

El'Zabar leads the ...

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Kahil El: Transmigration

Read "Transmigration" reviewed by John Barron

Over the years, master percussionist, composer and bandleader Kahil El'Zabar has become something of an adopted son to the Aquitaine region of France. For two months each year El'Zabar teaches, conducts workshops and leads concerts throughout the region. In the spring of 2005, the Chicago resident traveled to Bordeaux, the capital of Aquitaine, to record his 39-piece Infinity Orchestra during a series of concerts at the National Theater of Bordeaux. The resulting disc, Transmigration, is a monumental musical celebration of ...

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Kahil El'Zabar's Infinity Orchestra: Transmigration

Read "Transmigration" reviewed by Nic Jones

To date, drummer/bandleader Kahil El'Zabar has had his music and ensembles extensively documented. That endeavor culminates in this title and it's nothing short of revelatory in as much as it's nothing less than notification of his art moving to another level.

This impression is underscored by the fact that Transmigration marks a fundamental break with the precedent on record for El'Zabar's music. No less than thirty nine musicians, rappers and vocalists are listed in addition to the leader, trombonist Joseph ...

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Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio featuring Billy Bang: Big M: A Tribute to Malachi Favors

Read "Big M: A Tribute to Malachi Favors" reviewed by Troy Collins

Malachi Favors Maghostut was more than simply the bassist for the AACM's seminal Art Ensemble of Chicago, he was a musical force whose influence ranged far across the creative music spectrum. An estimable collaborator, Favors held down sideman duties in other ensembles, including percussionist Kahil El'Zabar's long-running Ritual Trio. Since Favors' passing in 2004, Yosef Ben Israel fills his role in the trio, alongside tenor saxophonist/pianist Ari Brown.

Big M was recorded the same week as the Ritual ...

INTERVIEWS

Kahil El'Zabar: Urban Bushman

Read "Kahil El'Zabar: Urban Bushman" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

When Chicago percussionist Kahil El'Zabar rolls into town this month--a nicely more common occurrence in recent years--it will be with one of his longest-standing bands. And it will occur at an unusual, but highly appropriate, venue. Rather than the usual jazz club date he ordinarily plays, El'Zabar will appear at S.O.B's, the city's largest and best known club for so-called 'world music.' It's a ridiculous name for a genre, but an apt one for El'Zabar's blend of ...

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Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio: Live At The River East Art Center

Read "Live At The River East Art Center" reviewed by Michael McCaw

Kahil El'Zabar and his numerous musical collaborations have a majesty of quiet determinism, a lyrical sense of space, and a consummate sound.El'Zabar's Ritual Trio has been around for a number of years, and his association with violinist Billy Bang, this recording's special guest, goes back to the days when they were high school b-ballers. But the core trio of El'Zabar on percussion (he's also a proponent of the kalimba as a complete instrument), overlooked tenor master Ari Brown, ...


Let Me Forget

"Let Me Forget" is from the album Lisipi and the video was taken from a live concert at the Bflat jazz club in Cagliari, Italy on January 17, 2019. The Rome-based trio consists of Liliya Akhmetzyanova on piano, Silvio Canargiu on bass, and Pierpaolo Frailis on drums.

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