What It Is!

  • Code: DE5002
  • Manufacturer: Delmark (USA)
  • Manufacturer's code: 0038153500221
  • Price: 59.99 zł
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Soul Jazz / AACM / Avant Jazz
premiera polska:
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: plastikowe etui
Kahil El'Zabar Quartet to jedna z najbardziej barwnych postaci amerykańskiego jazzu, dorobek koncertowy oraz płytowy tego multiinstrumentalisty obejmuje nagrania z Dizzym Gillespiem, Davidem Murrayem, muzykami AACM oraz Sun Drummer Ensemble ( koncertującym z Art Ensemble of Chicago), Canonballem Aderleyem ale także z Paulem Simonem i Stevie Wonderem. Do swoich autorskich nagrań zaprasza Pharoaha Sandersa, Archie'go Sheppa, Hamieta Bluietta czy Billy Banga.

Dwie formacje, które założył wiele lat temu - Ritual Trio i Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, które obok Art Ensemble of Chicago najpełniej spajały w jedno etniczne wątki afro-amerykańskie, szeroko rozumianą muzykę awangardową i jazz.
Najnowsza płyta jego kwartetu to siedem utworów, z których El'Zabar napisał pięć, płyta jest swoistym hołdem, jaki muzycy skłądają dwóm muzykom, szczególnie ważnym dla El'Zabara, są to John Coltrane i Pharaoh Sanders. Stawkę uzupełniają perliście zagrane kompozycje Johna Coltrane'a "Central Park West" i "Impressions".

Najnowszy kwartet Kahila El'Zabara złożony jest z młodych lwów sceny AACM. Saksofonista tenorowy Kevin Nabors, który po raz pierwszy pojawił się na "Cries From The Ghetto" Corey'a Wilkesa, pianista Justin Dillard (McCoy Tyner, Hamid Drake, Roy Hargrove, Branford Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Henry Grimes, Clark Terry, Ellis Marsalis) i kontrabasista Junius Paul (Wynton Marsalis, Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd, Fred Anderson, Roscoe Mitchell, Donald Harrison, Nona Hendryx, Roy Hargrove).

Witalna, pierwotna muzyka powstała na osnowie Coltrane'a i Sandersa przynosi jazzową improwizację przeplatającą się z etnicznym rytmem podawanym bezbłędnie przez lidera. Pomimo tego, że środek współczesnego jazzu zaakceptował koncepcje awangardowe sprzed lat, między innymi te prezentowane przez luminarzy AACM, takie płyty nadal trafiają na półki z muzyką awangardową, trafniejsze chyba wydaje się być określenie nowoczesny mainstream, skrzący się od pierwotnej witalności, która jest cechą rozpoznawczą muzyki tego wyjątkowego muzyka.

Editor's info:
After leading albums on Delmark that featured jazz vets Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp, Kahil El'Zabar is back with a pride of young lions. Tenor saxophonist Kevin Nabors has studied with Von Freeman, Ari Brown and recorded with Corey Wilkes. Keyboardist Justin Dillard is in many bands in various styles of music including his own D-O-3-O organ group. Bassman extraordinaire Junius Paul has recorded with many Chicago jazz greats including Corey Wilkes, Ernest Dawkins and Dee Alexander. Kahil is featured on drums, African hand drum and kalimba. What It Is contains seven songs including a burning "Impressions".

All About Jazz:
[. . .] The eclectic session fully embraces the AACM's credo of "Great Black Music, Ancient to the Future" with its all-inclusive exploration of multiple genres, ranging from the progressive soul jazz groove of the infectious opener "The Nature Of" to the bold impressionism of "Song of Myself." The latter spotlights Dillard's laudable skills on the B3, where he conjures a striking array of psychedelic effects reminiscent of the great Larry Young. The quartet's moving interpretation of John Coltrane's "Central Park West" is similarly bolstered by Dillard's evocative organ flourishes and the leader's primal African hand drumming, reinventing the familiar ballad as a gospel-tinged swinger.

A faithful rendition of "Impressions" hews too close to Coltrane's original however. Nabors and Dillard fulfill their roles with requisite fervor, yet their burgeoning skills are heard to better effect on new material—although even the vivacious set closer "Kari" reveals the pervasive influence of Coltrane's Classic Quartet. On the mesmerizing title track, the foursome weaves a singularly hypnotic mantra devoid of such antecedents, highlighted by luminous Fender Rhodes and exotic African percussion. The kalimba-driven meditation "From The Heart" is equally arresting, a mysterious tone poem that showcases the quartet's subtly expressive capabilities, recalling the leader's Afro-centric Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. [. . .]
by Troy Collins

[. . .] What It Is! includes five originals and two Trane standards (“Central Park West,” “Impressions”). El’Zabar may not be the world’s most deft technician: His busywork fusillades threaten to weigh down “Impressions,” although they’re redeemed by tenorman Kevin Nabors’ explosive energy and pianist Justin Dillard’s personalized, Tyner-esque shadings. But his variegated textures and timbres create a lush, even welcoming ambiance throughout most of the set. Dillard spices up the mix with B3-organ soul-jazz seasoning; bassist Junius Paul prods with both exuberance and finesse, equal parts post-funk strut and deep-pocket swing; and Nabors tops things off with his distinctive blend of melodicism and sass.

On the title track, El’Zabar’s Africanist hand drumming sets an appropriate tone for his lyric message of hope and perseverance, which he delivers in a molasses-rich baritone reminiscent of the late Gil Scott-Heron. On “Song of Myself,” Nabors alternates between extended lines and quickstep flurries set at challenging harmonic juxtapositions against Dillard’s B3 splays and stabs [. . .]
By David Whiteis
[. . .] Master drummer and percussionist Kahil El'Zabar leads a very strong modern jazz band through a set of jazz standards and originals indebted to the spirit of John Coltrane. On this album he is supported by Kevin Nabors on tenor saxophone, Justin Dillard on organ and piano and Junius Paul on bass. The group is well integrated, and El'Zabar brings a great deal of experience to the music from his relationship with the AACM through his leadership of the the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. The El'Zabar original ""The Nature Of" leads off the album with thick bass and drums and Nabors' saxophone entering with an emotional cry. Swirling organ develops a deep meditative vibe, wrapping around Paul's bass to develop a potent groove. Everybody comes together with Nabors digging deep to a powerful conclusion. John Coltrane's "Impressions" gets a terrific reading developing a strong and muscular state. Powerful drums and saxophone lead the way with Nabors solo growing into a passionate storm, egged on by El'Zabar's splashy cymbals. After a deep piano and bass interlude, the saxophone and drums return, culminating in a thrilling cacophony of intense improvisation. The group slowly develops another John Coltrane composition, "Central Park West" with a great rhythm pattern for bass and drums, giving Paul a lot of space, and allowing Nabors to step off the throttle a bit and develop his improvisation in a more melodic fashion. The set ending original "Kari" delves deep into the Coltrane legacy with deep, dark piano accompaniment driving Nabors to bold or dramatic flights of improvisational fancy. This album will definitely appeal to fans that enjoy the music of the classic John Coltrane Quartet. They develop the tradition of the music of the past and bring it into the present with respect and dignity [. . .]
Posted by Tim Niland
[. . .] What It Is! is that latest endeavor, a new album that introduces on record El’zabar’s newest combo, a quartet of himself along with some of the most promising fresh faces on the AACM scene. Kevin Nabors, who we first noticed on Corey Wilkes’ Cries From The Ghetto, plays tenor sax, Justin Dillard (McCoy Tyner, Hamid Drake, Roy Hargrove, Branford Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Henry Grimes, Clark Terry and Ellis Marsalis. handles piano, organ and Rhodes and Junius Paul (Wynton Marsalis, Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd, Fred Anderson, Roscoe Mitchell, Donald Harrison, Nona Hendryx, Roy Hargrove and Corey Wilkes) plays the upright bass. Given the success and longevity of El’zabar’s Ritual Trio and Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, the Quartet could be in for a nice, long ride, too.

The album celebrates the joyful, spiritual modal music of John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, a past musical partner of El’zabar’s. El’zabar wrote five of the seven tracks the Quartet recorded for this album, emulating the extended, modal style perfected by ‘Trane and the RnB infused modal forms championed by Sanders, especially early in his career. But the other two are ‘Trane tunes: one is a fairly straightforward reading of “Impressions” and the other a not-so-straightforward reading of “Central Park West.”

We’ve raved over a cover of this song before: Joe Lovano’s sublime rendering was chosen as one of my first One Track Minds during the fall of ’06 and that one remains the gold standard recording of Coltrane’s 1960 deep cut ballad. El’zabar’s take on it gets points even though the melody is played straight. That’s because there’s this circular, African rhythm churning underneath it, produced by El’zabar’s African earth drum and Paul’s lively bass. Dillard’s organ and Nabors’ sax play that gorgeous melody and harmony in the familiar way, at the familiar pace, but it lines up perfectly with that tribal groove. Nabors’ sax is a little reedier than Trane’s and he’s a little more groove-attuned, but otherwise sounds much like the master. Following Dillard’s gospel intonations and another go around on the chorus is Paul’s woody and aggressive improvisations, which end on the high notes, literally [. . .]
by S. Victor Aaron

Kahil El'Zabar: drums, African earth drum, kalimba
Kevin Nabors: tenor saxophone
Justin Dillard: piano, Hammond B3 organ, Fender Rhodes
Junius Paul: bass

1. Nature Of [9:54]
2. Impressions [9:47]
3. What It Is! [4:04]
4. Song of Myself [11:42]
5. Central Park West [9:37]
6. From the Heart [4:04]
7. Kari [10:05]

total time - 59:19
wydano: 2013-03
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