Vinyl LP £19.49 FW33867
LP on Smithsonian Folkways.
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- At the Helm by East New York Ensemble de Music
More re-press action coming my way...this time it's the East New York Ensemble De Music. Comprising of Soprano Saxophonist Bilal Abdurahman and Ameen Nuraldeen on Vibes the duo are accompanied by various guest musicians for this very impressive LP. These lads are essentially applying elements of Asian composition and melodic structure to the already established sound of jazz that draws mainly on African rhythms. The sleeve notes boast that the lads are seasoned and well traveled performers with five continents covered in their pursuit of a more varied and excitable musical form. I can hear elements of Chinese, Turkish, Indian and Baroque's traditional forms as well as deep African influence that can never be denied. In parts this reminds me of the Ethiopian grooves of Mulatu Astatke, especially on 'Ti-Ti'. It serves the point that these lads aren't exactly breaking new ground (even at the time a relationship between African and Asian composition will have been apparent in many artists and composers repertoire) but their explorations are worthy of note, especially for their version of Freddie Hubbard's 'Sun Flower' performed on what can only be described as the most insane reed instrument of all time, the Korean Reed. It's got a mental tone to it.
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