Africa N`Da Blues
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On Africa N'da Blues, Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio is joined by tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders -- and the group couldn't have asked for a more appropriate guest. Like drummer/percussionist El'Zabar, he is a very flexible musician who is comfortable with both inside and outside playing. Sanders' resumé includes everything from composing ethereal, gorgeous post-bop melodies to embracing the most blistering and atonal of free jazz on John Coltrane's post-1964 albums. Nothing on Africa N'da Blues could honestly be described as free jazz; this post-bop date generally favors an inside/outside approach and is more inside than outside. Most of the material, in fact, is quite melodic, this is true of "Pharoah's Song" and the title track (both written by El'Zabar), as well as performances of Coltrane's "Miles' Mode" and the standard "Autumn Leaves." Coltrane, of course, is Sanders' primary influence, and Ritual Trio members El'Zabar, Ari Brown (piano, tenor and soprano sax), and Malachi Favors (bass) are also big admirers of his work. The Coltrane who influenced this CD isn't the atonal Coltrane of 1965's Om but rather, the more accessible post-bop Coltrane of 1960-1964. Thanks to Sanders' participation, Africa N'da Blues is arguably the strongest album that Ritual Trio recorded for Delmark in the 1990s. ~ Alex Henderson
“Africa N’da Blues features three great AACM members, drummer Kahil El’Zabar, bassist Malachi Favors, and saxophonis/pianist Ari Brown, as well as guest saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. The music presented here has a classic quartet sound and reflects a deep knowledge of the jazz tradition. Rating: Must Hear. - CMJ New Music Report Chicago, December 17 & 18, 1999.
Tracks: 1. Ka-Real (Take 2), 2. Africanos/Latinos, 3. Miles’ Mode, 4. Autumn Leaves, 5. Africa N’da Blues 6. Pharoah’s Song, 7. Ka-Real (Take 1)