Poll-winning Detroit-reared bassist Dave Sharp (Killer Joe Trio, The Melvins) takes you around the world in a little under an hour. Here, the bassist gathers a large international cast, appearing on alternating tracks. Following Secret Seven (Blue Pie, 2010), the artist extends his reach but still interconnects Western and Eastern modalities with the jazz vernacular. One of the major positives of this outing is that it doesn't sound mechanical or what may be considered standard world music fare. Each piece tenders a soul-stirring vista, featuring subtle hues, layered treatments, and a seamless integration of disparate styles and genres.
Sharp merges swampy New Orleans grooves with East Indian raga-like content, along with modern jazz statements and vocals that seemingly float above the variable metrics. He merges spry, Middle Eastern and North African applications, employing artists who perform on indigenous percussion and stringed-instruments. On "Eastern Flame," Sharp anchors a straight-four jazz-rock pulse via his pliant lines for a rather sultry oeuvre that is breezy yet forceful by design and tinted with mystical attributes, and wordless vocal chants.
The program contains a touch of exotica, and it's easy to detect the players' proclamation of good cheer, framed on a high-level of craftsmanship and rock-solid technical acumen. Hence, it's not always business as usual unlike many other products of this ilk. Otherwise, the ensemble exercises a piquant and spirited soul-jazz jaunt on "Nu Africa," which is one of three bonus tracks tacked on to the end of the album. With extended horns and featuring Cheikh Lo's vocals the band merges a festive union of incongruent musical spirits. Ultimately, Sharp's creative edge and perspicacious gameplan instills a comprehensive and extremely entertaining agenda, sans any filler material or superfluous soloing escapades.
Track Listing: Sherehe; Nu Africa; Return; Mystery Blues; Sunrise; Eastern Flame;
Desert Sky; Kalinjar; Rain Raga; Dakar Detroit; Nu Africa – The D Mix;
Nu Africa – Nola Mix; Nu Africa – Nola Mix.
Personnel: Dave Sharp: electric and upright bass; Chris Kaecher: saxophones and
flute (1, 2, 6, 7, 8); Cheikh Lo: vocals (2), drums (10); Parthiv
Gohil: vocals (3,4,6,9); Walter White: trumpet and flugelhorn (1,2);
Gayelynne McKinney: drums (2,3,4,6); Elden Kelly: fretless guitar,
cumbush (3,5,6,7); Caroly Koebel: percussion (1,5,7); Pathe Jassi:
guitar (10); Gary Schunk: piano (4,8); Atmaram Chaitanya: tamboura
(6,8); Mehdi Darvishi: Daf (5); Samba Ndokh Mbaye: Tama (2,11-13);
John Churchville: tabla (6); Jay Antani: table (8,9); Eenor: guitar
and guitarra (9); Igor Houwat: oud (5); Indrajit Roy Chowdhury: sitar
(8); Andre Frappier: lead guitar (1); Evan Perri: rhythm guitar (1);
Chris Codish: Hammond B3 (2); Duncan McMillan: Hammond B3 (3);
Prashanth Gururaja: violin (3); Eric Wilhelm: drums (12).
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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