Advertisement
Advertisement

Diaspora Meets Afro Horn: Jazz – A Music Of The Spirit, Out Of Sistas’ Place

In brief:
"...the clean, clear trumpet voice riding high over the dense Arkestral accompaniment, a natural leader whose impact is felt on every one of the eight tracks on this fine set"

The Sun Ra Arkestra, both with and post Ra, is notoriously a closed shop, a collective of fine musicians who rarely if ever step out into the limelight as solo artists to make their own mark.

One of the few exceptions has been trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah, a member of the Arkestra since 1975, who has recorded sparsely since the 1980s, most notably with Billy Bang. His was the clean, clear trumpet voice riding high over the dense Arkestral accompaniment, a natural leader whose impact is felt on every one of the eight tracks on this fine set.

Advertisement

He has a strong supporting cast with him here, notably fellow Arkestra members Alex Harding on baritone and Radu Ben Judah on bass, the renowned Bob Stewart on tuba, and Donald Smith, brother of Lonnie Liston, on piano. Don Chapman, a new name to me, plays some committed tenor sax throughout. Of the title of this set, Sistas’ Place is the Brooklyn venue where Abdullah has been musical director for some two decades.

The mix of music is much what we would expect from an Arkestra stalwart, with an opening joyous romp in Accent, righteous musical poetry on Eternal Spiralling Spirit from Monique Ngozi Nri, Abdullah’s wife, and the ebullient Magwalandini by Miriam Makeba, a 9/8 South African township jive.

Inevitably, the shadow of Ra looms large, with three Ra originals: Discipline 27 – there were 99 Disciplines in the Ra songbook – is the usual space chant, Love In Outer Space a 6/4 slow dance chart with poetic support, Lights On A Satellite an unrolling intervallic delight. The concluding Reminiscing, written by Ra bassist Shobedoo and a showpiece for Ben Judah, allows everyone to have a good blow to end proceedings in great style.

MP3 downloads and recording streams of this album are available from all the usual outlets.

Find out more about Diaspora Meets Afro Horn: Jazz – A Music Of The Spirit/Out Of Sistas’ Place at ahmedian.com.

Discography
Accent; Eternal Spiralling Spirit; Discipline 27; Love In Outer Space; Magwalandini; Lights On A Satellite; Terra Firma; Reminiscing (68.41)
Ahmed Abdullah (t, flh, v); Don Chapman (ts); Alex Harding (bar); Bob Stewart (tba); Donald Smith (p); Radu Ben Judah (b); Ronnie Burrage, Roman Diaz, Francisco Mora Catlett (d, pc); Monique Ngozi Nri (v).
ahmedian.com

Latest audio reviews

Advertisement

More from this author

Advertisement

Jazz Journal articles by month

Advertisement

BK Trio: Hit It!

Even if the contemporary infrastructure of the organ combo business is a fraction of what it used to be in the halcyon days, there...
Advertisement

Obituary: George Wein

George Wein, once characterised by the New Yorker’s Lillian Ross as a man “who seemed to be filled with controlled frenzy”, was a music...
Advertisement

Ike Quebec: saying it with sound

Tenor-man Ike Abrams Quebec is a somewhat forgotten figure these days but from the mid 40s to the early 60s his distinguished Gene Ammons...
Advertisement

Dana Gillespie – Weren’t Born A Man

If anyone has a stronger claim to being a missing link between David Bowie and Bessie Smith than Dana Gillespie then I don't know...
Advertisement

The Frank Sinatra Show with Ella Fitzgerald

This TV show, made 10 December 1959 for the ABC Television network, was intended as an outside broadcast but fell on a rare rainy...
Advertisement

JJ 03/81: Richie Cole at Bull’s Head, London

Richie Cole is a natural clown. He milks every situation for its ridiculous possibili­ties, yet at the Bull's Head in Barnes he gave a...