Into a New Journey (Gatefold)
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A really beautiful record from the Ambiance ensemble – a group led by reedman Daoud Abubakar Balewa – a musician with the same underground prominence as Plunky Nakabinde and Idris Ackamoor during the same generation! Like both of those artists, Daoud has a way of moving effortlessly between spiritual jazz and more soul-based styles – heard here on one of his standout records from the early 80s, which blends his own work on a variety of saxes with nicely flowing accompaniment on piano, percussion, guitars, and a slight touch of Fender Rhodes – mostly instrumental, but with a few vocal moments from time to time! The vibe is late spiritual jazz – not as tightly tied to Coltrane-based modes, and nicely finding its own space in the universe – on titles that include "Eastwind", "Something Better", "Into A New Journey", and "The Arrival" – plus versions of "Black Narcissus", "500 Miles", and "Windows"