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Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

Black Is Back - 40th Anniversary Project

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Black Is Back - 40th Anniversary Project (KATALYST )

Percussionist Kahil El' Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with Ernest Khabeer Dawkins on saxophone and Corey Wilkes on trumpet, referencing the history of jazz in contemporary settings, with superb rhythmic textures and excellent soloing.
 

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product information:


UPC: 6394922100554

Label: KATALYST
Catalog ID: KAT 10055
Squidco Product Code: 19171

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at CoLab Space in Chicago, Illinois, on February 20th and 21st, 2013 by Matthew D. Guarnere.


Personnel:

Kahil El'Zabar-percussion

Ernest Khabeer Dawkins-saxophone

Corey Wilkes-trumpet

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Artist Biographies:

"Musician Kahil El'Zabar was born in Chicago, on November 11, 1953. One of three children growing up in a South Side neighborhood, El'Zabar fell in love with the myriad sounds of the city, from doo-wop to jazz. After attending Catholic schools in Chicago, El'Zabar went to Kennedy-King College and later to Malcolm X and Lake Forest colleges. In 1973, he traveled to Africa to attend the University of Ghana and study African music firsthand.

El'Zabar began studying African music at an early age, taking a special interest in drumming. At the age of eighteen, he joined Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and by 1975 he was chairman of the organization. During the early 1970s, El'Zabar also formed his own musical group, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, and later another group, Ritual Trio, with which he still performs. His musical abilities have allowed him to play with such greats at Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Nina Simone, and he has toured the world with both his own groups and others. El'Zabar is active in more than just music, however. He has appeared in several films, including Mo' Money, How U Like Me Now and The Last Set. From 1996 to 1999, El'Zabar organized Traffic at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, an inter-arts program featuring music and poetry.

El'Zabar has also served as an associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has published a book, Mis'taken Brilliance, and tailors clothing both for his band and for others. He is active on the boards of several organizations, including serving as the chairman of The Sun Drummer, an African American drum society, and on the board of directors of the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression. El'Zabar lives in Chicago. He has six children."

-The History Makers (https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/kahil-elzabar-39)
11/13/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Corey Wilkes has established himself as one of the best improvising trumpeters in the modern era. Having the skill and maturity to approach mainstream repertoire of jazz standards with his own unique sensibilities, he combines them with his deep appreciation of hip-hop. Corey continues to bring his brand of musicianship and talent to the forefront of the genre.

As a child, growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Wilkes was surrounded by the sounds of Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk and Jazz. He picked up the trumpet for the first time at the age of 10 participating in his school band programs. Corey's natural talent immediately began to flourish. His confidence and maturity were well beyond his years. As a student at Rich South High School in Richton Park, Illinois, his hard work and dedication secured him a spot in the Illinois All State Honors Jazz Combo; the first student in the school's history to do so.

Corey has also shared the stage with numerous Jazz Masters including but not limited to; Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, James Moody, Kurt Elling, Von Freeman, Greg Osby, Roscoe Mitchell, Marcus Belgrave, Clark Terry, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Mulgrew Miller. His soulful notes can be heard gracing a variety of contemporary projects including sets by DJ Logic, Osunlade and Josh Deep; tracks on Hidden Beach Recordings Presents: Unwrapped Vol. 4, Kahil El Zabar's Ascension Loft Series as well as Nona Hendryx, Soulive, Meshell Ndegocello and Ledisi."

-ArtistEcard (https://artistecard.com/CoreyWilkes)
11/13/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Black Is Back 9:07

2. The Awakening of 2012 8:21

3. Be Bop 4:20

4. Creole Peppa Stew 9:46

5. Who's Yo Mama, Who's Yo Daddy 8:56

6. Walk the Talk 3:44

7. Can You Find a Place 14:06
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble's latest album, Black is Back, is a superb musical effort. For forty years Kahil El' Zabar has led the Ensemble, it's origins stemming from the school and musical environment that the AACM had established in the 60's and 70's, and establishing itself as a premier jazz group. Many musicians have played in the Ensemble, from Pharoah Sanders to Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre to Henry Huff. For the past decade the group has consisted of fellow Chicagoan musicians Ernest Dawkins (New Horizons Ensemble) and Corey Wilkes (Art Ensemble of Chicago).

While their recorded output has been consistently excellent, they seem to have elevated their playing on Black is Back. It starts with the title track that opens the album, with El' Zabar opening with a long solo, playing on thumb piano and percussion (as he does usually in live performances, with the percussion -- bells, chimes, etc. tied to his legs, making sounds by bringing his knees together or stomping on the floor). He fuses African griot with church music, blues and bop, something he's always done but here it feels more intense, more developed than in the past. Several tracks on this album are long, five over 8 minutes, which allows for a deeper, more intimate focus, resulting in engagingly hypnotic, spiritual sonics.

"The Awakening of 2012" and "Be Bop" showcase Dawkins and Wilkes (with El' Zabar on drums), as both create a sound that recall Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker's formidable years together in the 40's, a raw yet jubilant be bop sound that incorporates their contemporary free improvised phrasing. It feels nostalgic yet fresh."Creole Peppa Stew" is a strong, hard bop track that recalls the work done from a more adventurous Blue Note or New Wave Impulse! album. "Who's You Mamma Who's You Daddy" combines El' Zabar's minimal percussive griot chant with the others' bop horn playing, softly at first, then building in intensity, Wilkes playfully soloing on top of the chants and gutteral vocalizing, then Dawkins taking a turn, before returning to all three, with El' Zabar bringing it on home with his infectiously grooving beat.

Leader Kahil El' Zabar has described his own creativity as an emphasis on the spiritual over the technical, digging deep into one's soul and cultural roots to produce good art. This album, more than the others of recent years, exemplifies this, and should be considered a high point in the group's discography."-Stefan Wood, freejazzblog.org

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Trio Recordings
Instant Rewards


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