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1. Sans Souci
2. Lonely Woman
3. Tara's Song
4. Nothing But Love
5. Tapestry from an Asteroid
6. Blue Monk
7. Fate in a Pleasant Mood
8. The Cave
9. Iko Iko
Detailed Description / Musicians--Scott Yanow
Ahmed Abdullah - trumpets, vocals
Alex Harding - baritone saxophone
Billy Bang - violin
Alex Blake - bass
Andrei Strobert - drums
With the lineup of musicians on this release from the Finnish Tum label, one would expect the music to be an avant-garde blowout, but the results are something quite a bit different. There are fiery stretches of free improvisation, but there are also happily ragged versions of Gigi Gryce's "Sans Souci" and Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk," a passionate and surprisingly cooking rendition of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," and singing by trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah on a pair of likable if moderately silly Sun Ra tunes. Of Abdullah's original pieces, "The Cave" has plenty of fire while "Tara's Song" is a bit touching. While the ensembles are not always perfectly in tune, they are quite listenable and there are plenty of unpredictable solos along the way from Abdullah, baritonist Alex Harding, and violinist Billy Bang, with bassist Alex Blake and drummer Andrei Storbert providing stimulating support. This is a surprising date, one that rewards repeated listenings.
All Music Guide
| ||Available Items by Ahmed Abdullah|| ||About Ahmed Abdullah|| |
Ahmed Abdullah is a trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator, organizer and bandleader who has led his own ensembles since 1972.
His groups have at times been called Abdullah, The Solomonic Unit, Diaspora or most recently Ebonic Tones. As a performing artist, his first recording as a leader was a track on the Wildflower Series Volume 3 in 1976. The session was produced by Alan Douglass in association with Sam Rivers. The series stands as a testament to the adventurous music and its creators in the 1970?s Loft Movement. For the last thirty years, Ahmed has spent his time performing in various capacities while developing his many talents. During that period he has toured, recorded or performed with the Sun Ra Arkestra, (he's on twenty-five recordings with Sun Ra) Ed Blackwell, Arthur Blythe, Billy Bang, Ms. Dianne McIntyre, Sam Rivers, Hamiet Bluiett, Rashid Ali and his own groups.
Ahmed worked for Carnegie Hall's Education Department and the Brookyln Philharmonic as a performing and teaching artist for a number of years. He is currently a Teaching Fellow with the Department of Education, teaching music at Mother Hale Academy, in the Bronx. As well, he is an adjunct professor at New School University where he teaches a course on the music and philosophy of Sun Ra. He has written a yet-to-be published memoir of his experience in the music, A Strange Celestial Road (Traveling the Spaceways) . He leads Diaspora (Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra) which combines poetry and lyrics with a large instrumental group. He is a founding member of the collective quartet, NAM. Abdullah?s latest project, Ebonic Tones, features Billy Bang, Alex Blake, Alex Harding and Andrei Strobert.
In 1998, Abdullah was offered the position of Music Director of Sistas' Place, a Bedford Stuyvesant coffee house. Since then, he has introduced many of the adventurous musicians of the Seventies' Loft Movement to this venue with great success. His vision has allowed for the expansion of its Saturday Night Jazz programming, from a bi-monthly to a weekly format initiating several new forums along the way, all supported by grants from BET Jazz, Meet the Composer, New York State Council on the Arts through the Brooklyn Arts Council and the International Association of Jazz Educators.
Ahmed Abdullah is a founding member of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC), an umbrella group of venues and organizations that have produced five successful Jazz Festivals in Brooklyn. Currently Ahmed works with that organization through Melchizedek Music Prodcutions, a family company and prodcues several shows for the CBJC throughout the year.
In the last year Abdullah's CD releases have included NAM Live at the Vision Festival on Clean Feed Records, AA's Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra, Traveling the Spaceways on Planet Arts Recordings and AA's Ebonic Tones Tara's Song on Tum Records, all of which can be purchased from this website.