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Traveling The Spaceways
Ahmed Abdullah

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Track Listing
1. We Travel the Spaceways
2. 21st Century part 1
3. 21st Century part 2
4. 21st Century part 3
5. Dancing Shadows
6. Love in Outerspace
7. Enlightenment
8. East of Uz
9. New Horizons
10. They Plan - dedicated to David Baker

Detailed Description / Musicians
Musicians:
Ahmed Abdullah - trumpet, vocals
Billy Bang - violin
Craig Harris - trombone
Salim Washington - tenor sax
Alex Harding - barritone sax
Owuor Arunga - trumpet
Masujaa - guitar
Radu Oluwu Ben Judah - bass
Cody Moffett - drums
Monique Ngozi Nri - vocals, poetry
Miles Griffith - vocals
Louis Reyes Rivera - poetry


Description:
Traveling the Spaceways is as beautiful an homage to Sun Ra as it gets. However, the rapturous chaos and truculence that characterized so many of the maverick composer's performances and recordings should not be expected. While this side of Sun Ra is not completely obliterated, trumpeter/arranger Ahmed Abdullah chose to concentrate on his Ellingtonian bent. The music sways with style, and the voicings are often enthralling. The opening track, "We Travel the Spaceways," sets the tone, each musician playing a clear and distinctive role thanks to Abdullah's deft arrangements. He emphasizes cohesion and elicits a fine group effort from a tight ensemble. Although Abdullah delivers some tasteful choruses, the trumpeter often defers to other bandmembers to fill the solo spots. Therefore, listeners are treated to some memorable interventions by outstanding soloists. Baritone saxophonist Alex Harding is adequately ferocious on "21st Century, Pt. 3," trombonist Craig Harris is visceral and soulful on "New Horizons," and violinist Billy Bang is simply dazzling on "They Plan" -- these last two compositions sharing a deeply moving quality. The recording also prominently features vocalists and poets, and once again Abdullah succeeds by making the vocal parts an integral and indispensable component of the music. The songs and poetry blend remarkably well and often contribute greatly to the mood of the pieces. With this remarkable outing, Abdullah outdid himself and achieved remarkable results that should not be overlooked. Back on Saturn, the master can be proud of this tribute.

--Alain Drouot
All Music Guide


  Available Items by Ahmed Abdullah About Ahmed Abdullah 

Website: http://www.ahmedian.com

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.

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