Indies Exclusive Limited Deluxe Edition.
The new album from Chicago spiritual jazz shaman Kahil El'Zabar, leading an ensemble of enviable upcoming talent. A cross-generational collaboration from a jazz luminary whose work spans more than five decades, El'Zabar's extraordinary legacy is already sealed. And yet, with a recent run of sagacious righteous communions, both under the long-standing Ethnic Heritage Ensemble moniker and in partnership with the tenor saxophonist and clarinet virtuoso David Murray, the multi-instrumentalist composer is far from finished inspiring and reflecting as he mentors a new generation of Chicago bred talent: a quartet in fact.
That lineup includes trumpet player, bells shaker and spirit bowl percussionist Corey Wilkes, who makes a welcome return to the fold having previously lent his swinging and more suffused skills to the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble album, Be Known Ancient/Future/Music. Another returning collaborator, the seasoned keyboardist Justin Dillard, laid down church service organ and cascading, accentuate piano on Kahil's Spirit Groove collaboration with David Murray. Here he plays a similar rich subtle blend of dappled, dotted and spiritually eased grooves and more relaxed jazz swing. Rounding that circle with expressive and serenaded spiralling, rasping reeds and both tenor and soprano saxophone is the cosmic elevating Isaiah Collier.
The evocative spiritual trinket percussion of Stanley Cowell and presence of Pharoah Sanders can be felt keenly on this humble but urgently expressed offering of jug poured and tines thumbed kalimba, swift-of-wing spiraled and rasped saxophone, and yearned, soothed trumpet righteousness. This is music for the mind, body and soul; earthy yet beautifully elevating; a bridge between the ancient roots of El'Zabar's infectious groove & the urgency of the modern crisis-riven moment. What the world needs right now is exactly what El'Zabar and his quartet have on offer: A Time for Healing.