When British saxophonist Alan Skidmore (Skid, to his friends and admirers) first collaborated with South African percussion and vocal ensemble Amampondo in 1999 on the album The Call, the results were a sensationally successful fusion of Skid's Coltrane-inspired tenor sax and the joyous, infectious rhythmic drive of his new colleagues. Ubizo was both the name of the follow-up and of the resulting collaborative group, more wide-ranging then before in that it now included Skid's regular UK quartet (plus German trumpeter Ingolf Burkhardt and producer Colin Towns, guesting on keyboards) as well as the South African ensemble. Skid's easy way with swaying melodies such as “Dumisani” or “Sobabini” (a remake of a tune from The Call) is countered by the percussive intensity of “Olutalo,” whose multiple layers more than counter the gritty passion of Skid's soloing.
By Kevin Whitehead on 12.01.04 in Spotlights
Listening to jazz from around the world, one hears so many beautiful regional accents: the sound that results when jazz language and values merge with homegrown cultural attitudes and local growing conditions. Not that c...
By Kevin Whitehead on 02.25.15 in Features
Kevin Whitehead on how the prolific saxophonist has defeated expectations.
By Britt Robson on 02.11.15 in Reviews
The Vijay Iyer Trio set a remarkably high bar with their two prior studio releases, Historicity in 2009 and Accelerando in 2012, each one consensually rated among the top two or three releases of the year in jazz polls a...
By Ron Hart on 02.02.15 in Features
Celebrating Blue Note's 75th anniversary by examining its relationship with hip-hop