Ahmed Abdullah and Tyrone Hill CD reviews

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#1 Sat, 1998-05-30 10:21
Philippa Jordan
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Ahmed Abdullah and Tyrone Hill CD reviews

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OUT OF THE BOX

Tyrone Hill Quartet featuring Marshall Allen

(CIMP

DEDICATION

Ahmed Abdullah=92s Diaspora

(CIMP)

"If you=92re not a myth, whose reality are you. And if you=92re not =
reality, whose myth are you?" Tyrone Hill=92s Out of the Box begins with =
these words, and it=92s a reminder that the impossible equations are =
still thereto be reckoned with and therefore the music and legacy of Sun =
Ra will be propagated for all time. Treatments of Arkestra staples like =
"Angels and Demons at Play" and "Interstellar Lowways" show the music =
has an otherworldly power even in a small group format. Almost as =
significant as the music itself is the fact that this is trombonist =
Hill=92s first recording as a leader and Ra=92s right-hand man Marshall =
Allen=92s first recording outside of the Arkestra in more than three =
decades. Sadly, it=92s also Samurai Celestial=92s final session; the =
drummer passed away just months after this album was made. The set =
showcases all the powerful density and tender nuance (or vice versa) =
that marked Ra=92s wide-ranging and far-reaching big band. Sometimes =
both elements converge in the same composition like in "Angels..." Here =
and throughout the disc, Allen is a force to be reckoned with, his horn =
spilling over with trademark bleats and squawks. The purple one=92s =
gotta be please, wherever he may be.

Dedication is the new release for another Arkestra alumnus, Ahmed =
Abdullah and his band Diaspora. Quite surprisingly, with its sweet, =
exuberant harmonies sailing above fatback upright bass, it=92s an =
extremely accessible recording which may be appreciated as much by those =
who came to jazz through the back door of Phish and the Grateful Dead as =
by more seasoned jazzheads. The criminally underrecorded Abdullah steers =
the quintet with his trumpet, but saxophonist Carlos Ward gets equal =
solo space. Guitarist Masujaa rips an occasional solo but his primary =
contribution is the simple rhythms he provides. Speaking of rhythms, =
this album marks the debut of Cody Moffett playing the unique parade =
drums of his late father Charles, who was a longtime associate of =
Abdullah=92s. Tracks like the opening "Amanpondo", "Deja=92s Vu", and in =
particular "Song of the Force" tap into the rare groove sound that=92s =
again become fashionable, evoking a sound comparable to some of Donald =
Byrd=92s late =9160s Blue Note records. This is no pale imitation, =
though, it=92s the real thing, from CIMP=92s audio verite approach to =
recording to the clearly heartfelt and ultimately very satisfying =
performance of the musicians. Sun Ra achieved a myth-like status before =
he=92d even left the planet. Still, it=92s indeed a tribute that his =
disciples are intent on keeping it real.=20

Pete Gershon

AHMED ABDULLAH,

DEDICATION

CIMP 152

Ahmed Abdullah, tpt flgh vcl; Carlos Ward, flt, as;, Masujaa g; Alex =
Blake, b, el b; Cody Moffett, d. 6/17,18/97, Rossle, NY

Amanpondo/Brazil One/Song of the Force - take 4/ Deja=92s View/Song of =
the Holy Warrior/La Vie En Rose/Song of Love /I'll be Seeing You/Song of =
the Force - take 2 - 72:23

This recording starts off on a happy note and keeps on going from there =
in a pulsating jaunt through the music of various cultures that have a =
common rhythmic thread. As the name of his group (Diaspora) Implies, the =
music is a dispersion of Influences from multiple sources. Abdullah =
creates a mood with his music and instrumentation that would have to =
affect all listeners. I had the wonderful opportunity of seeing him =
perform with the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1988, and the vision of this =
trumpeter parading into the room with the master troubadour and his =
entourage is still with me. The magic that was Ra and that affected all =
around him Is evident on this recording.=20

The extended "Amanpondo" immediately sets the mood. After a ceremonious =
opening by Masujaa, Blake and Moffett and the theme statement, Ward =
takes flight and the entire room seems to swell to the rhythms grounded =
in the South African beat. Abdullah Is noted for compositions that take =
a basic theme that explodes Into a flood of undulating sound. The beat =
is incessant and contagious here as everyone gets the spirit. It carries =
over into 'Brazil One' with a strong Blake bass line behind a =
ritualistic vocal by Abdullah. The trumpet/alto interplay between =
Abdullah and Ward can be mesmerizing. Weird tones blend throughout the =
recording in a throbbing display of dynamic interaction. Two versions of =
"Song of the Force" are included, the second being an aborted attempt =
due to electronic problems, Both versions inspire the spirit through the =
artist's spirited playing.

"Song of the Holy Warrior" is the most adventurous piece. Abdullah and =
Ward are able to out loose in an array of free expression by being =
incited to action b the rhythmic g guitar of Masujaa and the =
Blake/Moffett beat. Blake's short solo on the tune is memorable. The =
triplet that starts with 'La Vie En Rose" at first seems out of place, =
but after hearing them several times and knowing the context of =
dedication that inspired Abdullah to include them they started to grow =
on me It is a lovely tribute to Charles Moffett and the inspiration he =
instilled in Abdullah. Son Cody used the same drum kit on this date as =
his father did on several other CIMP recordings. Abdullah's muted =
trumpet on "Song of Love' speaks volumes for this inspiration and =
dedication, He is a romantic at heart, and his sincerity shines through =
on these three pieces just as much as it does on the pulsating rhythm =
songs.

The music of Abdullah is infections. He instills a feeling of happiness =
and lightheartedness while simultaneously reaching creative highs of =
musical expression. He and his band are a panacea for the ills of the =
world.

Frank Rubolino

Abdullah, tpt flgh vcl; Carlos Ward, flt, as; Maasujaa, g; Alex Blake, =
b, el b; Cody Moffett, d. 6/17,18/97, Rossle, NY

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OUT OF THE BOX


Tyrone Hill Quartet featuring Marshall Allen


(CIMP


DEDICATION


Ahmed Abdullah’s Diaspora


(CIMP)


 


"If you’re not a myth, whose reality are you. And if =
you’re=20
not reality, whose myth are you?" Tyrone Hill’s Out of the =
Box
=20
begins with these words, and it’s a reminder that the impossible =
equations=20
are still thereto be reckoned with and therefore the music and legacy of =
Sun Ra=20
will be propagated for all time. Treatments of Arkestra staples like=20
"Angels and Demons at Play" and "Interstellar =
Lowways" show=20
the music has an otherworldly power even in a small group format. Almost =
as=20
significant as the music itself is the fact that this is trombonist =
Hill’s=20
first recording as a leader and Ra’s right-hand man Marshall =
Allen’s=20
first recording outside of the Arkestra in more than three decades. =
Sadly,=20
it’s also Samurai Celestial’s final session; the drummer =
passed away=20
just months after this album was made. The set showcases all the =
powerful=20
density and tender nuance (or vice versa) that marked Ra’s =
wide-ranging=20
and far-reaching big band. Sometimes both elements converge in the same=20
composition like in "Angels..." Here and throughout the disc, =
Allen is=20
a force to be reckoned with, his horn spilling over with trademark =
bleats and=20
squawks. The purple one’s gotta be please, wherever he may be.


Dedication is the new release for another Arkestra alumnus, =
Ahmed=20
Abdullah and his band Diaspora. Quite surprisingly, with its sweet, =
exuberant=20
harmonies sailing above fatback upright bass, it’s an extremely =
accessible=20
recording which may be appreciated as much by those who came to jazz =
through the=20
back door of Phish and the Grateful Dead as by more seasoned jazzheads. =
The=20
criminally underrecorded Abdullah steers the quintet with his trumpet, =
but=20
saxophonist Carlos Ward gets equal solo space. Guitarist Masujaa rips an =

occasional solo but his primary contribution is the simple rhythms he =
provides.=20
Speaking of rhythms, this album marks the debut of Cody Moffett playing =
the=20
unique parade drums of his late father Charles, who was a longtime =
associate of=20
Abdullah’s. Tracks like the opening "Amanpondo",=20
"Deja’s Vu", and in particular "Song of the =
Force" tap=20
into the rare groove sound that’s again become fashionable, =
evoking a=20
sound comparable to some of Donald Byrd’s late ‘60s Blue =
Note=20
records. This is no pale imitation, though, it’s the real thing, =
from=20
CIMP’s audio verite approach to recording to the clearly heartfelt =
and=20
ultimately very satisfying performance of the musicians. Sun Ra achieved =
a=20
myth-like status before he’d even left the planet. Still, =
it’s=20
indeed a tribute that his disciples are intent on keeping it real.


Pete Gershon


 


 


 


AHMED ABDULLAH,


DEDICATION


CIMP 152


Ahmed Abdullah, tpt flgh vcl; Carlos Ward, flt, as;,=20
Masujaa
g; Alex Blake, b, el b; Cody Moffett, d. =
6/17,18/97,=20
Rossle, NY


Amanpondo/Brazil One/Song of the Force - take 4/ Deja’s =
View/Song of=20
the Holy Warrior/La Vie En Rose/Song of Love /I'll be Seeing You/Song of =
the=20
Force - take 2 - 72:23


This recording starts off on a happy note and keeps on going from =
there in a=20
pulsating jaunt through the music of various cultures that have a common =

rhythmic thread. As the name of his group (Diaspora) Implies, the music =
is a=20
dispersion of Influences from multiple sources. Abdullah creates a mood =
with his=20
music and instrumentation that would have to affect all listeners. I had =
the=20
wonderful opportunity of seeing him perform with the Sun Ra Arkestra in =
1988,=20
and the vision of this trumpeter parading into the room with the master=20
troubadour and his entourage is still with me. The magic that was Ra and =
that=20
affected all around him Is evident on this recording.


The extended "Amanpondo" immediately sets the mood. After a =

ceremonious opening by Masujaa, Blake and Moffett and the theme =
statement, Ward=20
takes flight and the entire room seems to swell to the rhythms grounded =
in the=20
South African beat. Abdullah Is noted for compositions that take a basic =
theme=20
that explodes Into a flood of undulating sound. The beat is incessant =
and=20
contagious here as everyone gets the spirit. It carries over into =
'Brazil One'=20
with a strong Blake bass line behind a ritualistic vocal by Abdullah. =
The=20
trumpet/alto interplay between Abdullah and Ward can be mesmerizing. =
Weird tones=20
blend throughout the recording in a throbbing display of dynamic =
interaction.=20
Two versions of "Song of the Force" are included, the second =
being an=20
aborted attempt due to electronic problems, Both versions inspire the =
spirit=20
through the artist's spirited playing.


"Song of the Holy Warrior" is the most adventurous piece. =
Abdullah=20
and Ward are able to out loose in an array of free expression by being =
incited=20
to action b the rhythmic g guitar of Masujaa and the Blake/Moffett beat. =
Blake's=20
short solo on the tune is memorable. The triplet that starts with 'La =
Vie En=20
Rose" at first seems out of place, but after hearing them several =
times and=20
knowing the context of dedication that inspired Abdullah to include them =
they=20
started to grow on me It is a lovely tribute to Charles Moffett and the=20
inspiration he instilled in Abdullah. Son Cody used the same drum kit on =
this=20
date as his father did on several other CIMP recordings. Abdullah's =
muted=20
trumpet on "Song of Love' speaks volumes for this

face=3DAlbertus> inspiration and =
dedication, He is=20
a romantic at heart, and his sincerity shines through on these three =
pieces just=20
as
face=3DAGaramond>much as it does=20
on the pulsating rhythm songs.

The music of Abdullah is infections. He instills a feeling of =
happiness and=20
lightheartedness while simultaneously reaching creative highs of musical =

expression. He and his band are a panacea for the ills of the world.


Frank Rubolino


Abdullah, tpt flgh vcl; Carlos Ward, flt, as; Maasujaa, g; Alex =
Blake, b, el=20
b; Cody Moffett, d. 6/17,18/97, Rossle, =
NY

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