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Tag: Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

Chicago’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble Returns To Erie With the Spirit

 

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble at Artlore Studio 2019

Lately there’s been a revival of interest in so-called spiritual jazz, a meditative offshoot of the 1960’s avant-garde that was advanced by figures such as the late harpist and organist Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, a tenor saxophonist very much with us whose “Promises,” a collaboration with British electronic musician Floating Points, topped many critics’ lists of 2021’s best jazz recordings.

The attention these once undervalued players are receiving is both gratifying and overdue, but spiritual jazz has never gone away, as anyone who has had the privilege of attending the nearly annual Erie concerts of Kahil El’Zabar‘s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble can tell you.

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Roll Call: 27 August, 2021, part 2

I get a lot of music for my consideration, 398 releases so far this year. Almost all of them are notable for something, and I’d like to give them their due. So, every week, more or less, I’ll offer hot takes on the releases of the preceding seven days. Last week was so busy–15 new releases–that I spread it out over two posts, and two weeks. Where this leaves this week’s 12 (!) new releases is anyone’s guess. I’m not complaining; this has been a very rewarding week of listening.

Jazz musicians interrogating life’s biggest questions is nothing new, but I can’t recall anything quite like  “Portals, Volume 1 – Mourning” (Sunnyside Records). Then again, its composer Caroline Davis isn’t quite like any other jazz musician.

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