About grnarrow

Setlist Architect/Art Scene Checker-Outer/Sound Feeler

Warna by Joey Alexander

A funny thing happened to Joey Alexander over the past five years, a whirlwind period during which he became the most brilliantly precocious talent in jazz history—that is, a renowned festival and concert-hall headliner; the youngest musician ever nominated for a Grammy Award in a jazz category; and a media favorite who’s earned a profile on 60 Minutes, a front-page profile in the New York Times and other premier coverage. As heard on WARNA, his new major-label Verve Records debut, he’s simply become one of the most expressive and thrilling pianist-composers currently at work in jazz. Alexander’s precocity can still stun concertgoers, but his music, including original work and personalized interpretations of great songs, has now taken its rightful place in the spotlight. Translating as “color” from Alexander’s native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics’ and readers’ poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. But whereas those recordings were documents of an extraordinary young musician in development, WARNA is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new music by an experienced, confident bandleader. He arrived in New York as a lightning bolt in the spring of 2014, performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual fundraising gala. At the helm of a packed-out theater containing some of Manhattan’s most elite arts benefactors, he dropped jaws with a remarkably lyrical rendition of “’Round Midnight.” A standing ovation ensued, and he hasn’t slowed down since. The following spring, the New York Times wrote in an enthusiastic profile that “For a jazz pianist, the mastery entails a staggering breadth of knowledge about harmony, rhythm and orchestration, all converging in an eloquent synthesis. Joey Alexander has a handle on a good deal of that.” From there, he went on to receive three Grammy nominations, with two of Alexander’s four previous albums topping the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. His live performances have been equally celebrated. At the 58th Grammy Awards, in February of 2016, he played during both the pre-telecast and the primetime TV event. That same year, Joey also performed with Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding for the Obamas at the White House, as part of a nationally televised International Jazz Day special. In 2018, Alexander headlined Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater with a 20-piece string section orchestrated and conducted by Grammy nominee Richard DeRosa. On October 18, 2019, he made his triumphant Carnegie Hall debut to a sold-out Zankel Hall crowd. Early on in Joey’s ascent, the trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center leader Wynton Marsalis said that “there has never been anyone … who could play like that at his age.” Marsalis, who essentially “discovered” Alexander via his YouTube videos and invited him to New York, was spot-on in his assessment. But today, in light of WARNA, one could extend their judgment to say that Joey Alexander continues to perform at the highest level.

I had the chance to catch up with Joey about the creation of Warna. We got into how the album grew from the seed of an idea into the flower of sound I get to share with the listeners. We talk about how the musicians that join him were either selected or how they continued the musical conversations they had started earlier. Like I told Joey offline, Warna is an album I have been really happy to advise advise my pals who may not have stumbled onto it themselves to go ahead and when you feel like you need a Sunday morning to breathe, hit play and sink in.

Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band Back in Madison

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band has built its reputation the long, slow, hard way. After 12 years of playing as many as 300 shows each year, Rev. Peyton, the world’s foremost country blues finger-style picker, along with the biggest little band in the country has pieced together one of the most dedicated followings out there. With all the power of a freight train, the Big Damn Band is known for its live shows. Rev. Peyton delivers guitar pyrotechnics the old fashioned way — ten fingers, a 6 string and an amp cranked at full tilt. In the country blues style, he plays the bass with his thumb, while picking the lead with his fingers at the same time. When he lifts the guitar behind his head to play there’s nothing but skill and 16 gauge nickel strings to make the sounds coming out of the speakers. Beside him on stage are just two other people. His wife, “Washboard” Breezy Peyton playing with all the nuance and percussive power of a New Orleans drum line, and keeping the train moving is Max Senteney on a lean drum kit including a 5 gallon maple syrup bucket. Together they play Peyton’s wildman country blues that’s as much ZZ Top as it is Bukka White. This is real, from the heart, handmade music made by people, for people who don’t have time for any bullshit.

I had the chance to catch up with Rev. Peyton ahead of the March 20th event in Madison at the High Noon Saloon. We get deep into what a live show is like and why is is an all hands on deck type approach and mentality for each and every show. We talk about how the latest album “Poor Until Pay Day” translates that live scene into a record situation. If you have not run into this band and their music or their live scene, you’ll be really amazed how the sound of the road, and taking every chance you can turns into some fierce and fun music that is relate-able for anyone who works hard for a living.

Into The Space Around Us

The final portion of the proGram had the other worlds and this one colliding into one another to find the space within:

Crispy Time- Beat Bronco Organ Trio
Easy Baby- Beat Bronco Organ Trio

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Nonphysical- Moon Hooch
Into The Thick- Black Market Brass
Undying Thirst- Black Market Brass
Lai Lai- Antibalas

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In The Twilight- SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS
Avalanche- Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

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Your Silence Will Not Protect You- Ala.ni
Le Diplomate- Ala.ni Ft. Iggy Pop
Wales- Ala.ni
Sweet Tides- Thievery Corporation Ft. Lou Lou

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Champion of the Arena- The Shakin Jamaican Ft. Everton Paul & Bruce Skerritt

Fisheye View

The middle portion of the proGram saw what it sounded like from a different sort of spot:

Wai’alae- Jake Shimabukuro
**pre-recorded conversation with Jake Shimabukuro**
Twelve- Jake Shimabukuro
Wish You Were Here- Jake Shimabukuro

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Last One Standing- Monophonics
Tell Me- The Devonns

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Miriam and Roger- The Lounge Bar Orchestra
Back Against the Wall- Alex Puddu Ft. Duane Hobson
Sweet Maybe- Casbah 73 Ft. Bart Davenport
How Beautiful- Dr. Rubberfunk
Realisation- Flevans Ft. Laura Vane

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Bamboo Horses- Doctor Fluorescent
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Interlude- Jason Miles // Kind Of New
Ferrari- Jason Miles // Kind Of New (live)

Lentil Circles

The first portion of the regularly scheduled proGram had shape and taste to grow and heal:

A Dream’s A Dream- The Wood Brothers
Don’t Think About My Death- The Wood Brothers

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Two Days Off (and a little bit of liquor)- Avey / Grouws Band
Shake & Bake- The Mary Jo Curry Band Ft. Tom Holland

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Beautiful Bacon Dream- Anton Barbeau
Old Guitars Are Ghosts On The Sunset Strip- The Stillsouls
I Don’t Know I Don’t Care- Shplang
Flameout- Cat Frequency
Pretty Song from Psych-Out- Black Street Carnival
White Light, White Heat- Claudio Cataldi with Aldo Ammirata

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STRESSY- Hanni El Khatib
Jazzhound- The Buttertones
Like Something to Resemble- Cheer-Accident

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Journey in Satchidananda- The Third Mind

Bubbled Across

The final portion of the pre-show fill in took the colors across the sides and back around aGain:

Khazan- Divahn
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Cross the Line- Dubioza Kolektiv Ft. Manu Chao
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Champion Sound (Dancehall 10” Mix)- Subatomic Sound System & Screechy Dan
Headline- Unified Highway
Rid Them (John Arthur Brown Version)- Piper Street Sound
Higher Wire- The Shakin Jamaican Ft. Everton Paul & Bruce Skerritt
Deeper Shade of Jack- The Shakin Jamaican Ft. Everton Paul & Bruce Skerritt

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Let The Rhythm Lead- Jenny Lewis, Habib Koite, Artists for Peace and Justice
Manyè- David Walters
Lady- David Walters Ft. Celia W

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Beyond- Talisk

Bubbled Down

Did a little pre-show early fill in. Here’s what bubbled over and out:

Revival- Laila Biali
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Seeds- JK Group
Bread Out Of Stone- Irreversible Entanglements
Murphy’s Law Impacts L.E.A.P.- Keith Oxman
Pass It On- Kenny Barron/Dave Holland TrioFt. Jonathan Blake
Worry Later- Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio Ft. Jonathan Blake

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Ride- Wolfgang Muthspiel
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Gotta Run- Guitar Elation (live)
The Rewinder- Guitar Elation (live)
Doctor Ghoul- Spiritus Fonktus
Mad Man- Spiritus Fonktus
Ceremony Out- Spiritus Fonktus

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Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’- Tbone Paxton & the RJ Spangler Quartet
Didn’t He Ramble- Derrick Shezbie
Caribbean Second Line- Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra Ft. Amari Ansari/Terrance “Hollywood” Taplin

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Catwalk- Steve Yeager

More New Music From Jake Shimabukuro

It was nearly 15 years ago that the world first caught notice of the stunning musical artistry of Jake Shimabukuro. The young ukulele player’s gorgeous rendition of George Harrison’s classic rock ballad “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” became one of the most-watched clips on the then newly launched YouTube platform. A lavish, exhilarating feast of a performance, it signaled the emergence of a prodigiously gifted virtuoso who was redefining how the ukulele was played and heard. Few artists arrive so clearly – and singularly – talented as Jake did. Guitar Player magazine called him “the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele.” And no less than Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, himself a four-string enthusiast, weighed in with this glowing assessment: “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with him.” That’s because the Hawaii native was burning up the ground behind him. Since the release of his 2006 album, Gently Weeps, Jake has been riding a wave of breakthroughs and triumphs rare for any musician, let alone one who plays a ukulele. A tireless live performer, he’s floored audiences across the globe, appearing at music festivals as varied as Bonnaroo and the Fuji Rock Festival. He’s played with world-renowned orchestras at prestigious venues from the Hollywood Bowl to the Sydney Opera House. He even performed for that rarest of audiences: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And all the while, he’s issued a string of chart-topping and award-winning albums that have challenged all notions of what is possible with a ukulele. Music fans will no doubt hail his latest effort, Trio as an highwater mark for Jake, and he regards it as a personal best. “Beyond playing the ukulele, I’ve really tried to grow as a writer,” he says. “Spending time in Nashville and being around great songwriters has inspired and influenced me, and of course, working with Nolan and Dave has brought me to musical places I never thought possible…”

Another year and another chance to catch up with what Jake is up to. We get into the creation of the new Trio album, including the artists that appear on it, the versions of a couple of classic rock covers and a very meaningful (and beautiful) traditional favorite. We talk about releasing this one on Mascot Label Group. Our conversation weaves us into deeper territory with some words on how music takes shape and changes depending on when you’re listening to it, and how maintaining balance is a key reminder. Trio is in fact, one of those albums where I can sense the growth as a person, an artist and an interpreter of sound that keeps some of then and branches off into the now while leaving room for the then. Aloha.

Who Knew You Grew

The final portion of this week’s proGram had a surprise ending to what should be a little down and re-grouping time.

Dracula’s Monk- Dopapod
Skipjack- Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

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Lost Memories- SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS
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Small Plate- Piper Street Sound Ft. Addis Pablo
Que Que- Cuñao

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El Dorado- Baba Ali
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C Side- Khruangbin & Leon Bridges
Desert Hafia- Zenobia
Accompany Me- Peppermoth
Vladimir- The Reluctant Cosmonaut Ft. Andrew McPherson

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Night Digger- Dub Gabriel
Waltz of The Doomed- Dub Gabriel
Gelati (Interlude)- Giorgi Mikadze
Maglonia- Giorgi Mikadze
Paywall- Bobby Previte/Jamie Saft/Nels Cline

Evergreen Bling

The middle portion of the proGram had a little too much glitter for the middle of the Winter not to show off SUMMA dat ice ice baby:

Money’s No Option- Circles Around The Sun
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What A Drag- Nathaniel Rateliff
Saint Ursula- Sunny Ozell
Stand Up! Whitney Shay
Sock it To Me- Cliff Beach Ft. Honey Larochelle

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Automatic- Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
***pre-recorded conversation with Josh Hoyer***
Ginger Beat- Lucas de Mulder & The New Mastersounds

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Marriage for All or None at All- Karate Boogaloo
Fight Together- Alex Puddu
Hey!- Dr. Rubberfunk
Laid Bare- Dr. Rubberfunk Ft. Stephanie Whitelock

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Dragonball Durag- Thundercat
Anakanafauna- Select Level

Mixed Flavors

The first piece to the regularly scheduled proGram put it all together and added a little secret spice and sauce and shook:

Chase The Blues Away- Eileen Ivers
Wah Wah One Violin- Eileen Ivers

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Help Me Make It Through the Night- Iron Mike Norton
Little Bit Broken- The Wood Brothers
Alabaster- The Wood Brothers
Grievance Merchants- Drive-By Truckers

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Turn It Loose- The Mary Jo Curry Band
Let You Go- Harper and Midwest Kind

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Only She Knows- Loving
I Feel Free- Bhopal’s Flowers
Paper Sun/Love Is Only Sleeping- Spygenius
Pictures Of Matchstick Men- The Jeremy Band

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Claudia Cardinale- The Third Mind
Morning Dew- The Third Mind

Mixin’ In

The second piece to the early morning fill-in took that power and added it to other feel good elements to explore new tastes with all sense buds working:

Changed In Mid Air- Elsa Nilsson
Hindsight- Elsa Nilsson

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Waiting In Vain- Thor De Force Ft. Thor Madsen, Jeppe Skovbakke & Jeppe Gram
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vt-vt- n’sawa-saraca
dualbutterfly- n’sawa-saraca
El Fuego- Cienfuegos
La Bata- Filip y Woppe
El Siete Vidas- Filip y Woppe

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N2 Deep (For Randy Weston, Jerry Gonzalez & Cecil Taylor)- Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
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Jamu Kikao- Dave Sharp Worlds With Ndio Sasa
Manyo Pesa Tek- Dave Sharp Worlds With Ndio Sasa

Within The Mush Room

The first portion of a litte pre-show fillin’ in proGram knows of the powers it contains and added SUM sounds to the feelings:

E.T.- Alex Goodman
Inner Motion- Anson Wright

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Pu: 14- Ville Herrala
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How’s Never- Massimo Biolcati Ft. Dayna Stephens, Sam Yahel & Jongkuk Kim
Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love- Massimo Biolcati Ft. Dayna Stephens, Sam Yahel & Jongkuk Kim
Thread- Justin Varnes Ft. Nick Rosen/Kevin Smith/Mark Rapp/Luke Weathington/John Sandfort
Movement III:Beware the Wolf and Serpent- Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/Wynton Marsalis Ft. Sherman Irby

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Quite Frankly- Sam Hirsh
Kyoto Shuffle- Sam Hirsh
No C!- Sam Hirsh

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Den- Chris Poland

At The Knuckledown With Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal

Night after night at their live shows, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal leave it all on the table, bringing crowds palpably authentic music. This is a real working band; music for the people, by the people. You hear the veracity in his voice. You hear the strife of a guitar amp being pushed to its limits. You hear keyboards hammering notes home while emboldened horns soar over the top of a rhythm section akin to a freight train. The raucous funk and smooth soul emanating from the stage dutifully pays homage to the past soul giants while simultaneously charging forward, piloting themselves into the modern era. This is soul music. Josh formed Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal in 2012 in famed blues town Lincoln, Nebraska. The award-winning five-piece band includes some of the area’s most revered and accomplished musicians. Joining Josh (keyboards/vocals) is Blake DeForest (trumpet), Mike Keeling (bass), Benjamin Kushner (guitar), and Harrison ElDorado (drums). Inspired by the sounds of Stax, Motown, Muscle Shoals, New Orleans, Philly and San Francisco, the band continuously crosses musical boundaries both in style and era, and joins forces each show with a common goal – to have the crowd dancing so much they forget even their smallest troubles. Through all the years now and the many destinations and opening for and playing with all sorts of musical talents, 2020 is bringing more tour dates and some brand new tunes to gather the people together, and help them move and groove it all away.

I had the chance to catch up with friend of the proGram, Josh Hoyer ahead of the February 29th show in Madison at The Knuckledown Saloon. Josh and I talk about what kinda scene will be happening whenever he and Soul Colossal roll into town. Josh really diggs coming through Madison to make music and he gives a real sweet tip of the cap to Chris and the Knuckledown crew as well as sharing that we will get to taste some of the newmusic that is in the works. We discuss the creation of one of those new tunes and find out more about the label he’s working with to put it out. Find out why Color Red, the label of another friend of this program, Mr. Eddie Roberts gets some high praise and deservedly so. And of course, if I was throwing a share a vinyl with my ears party…..it may not be a surprise what album you could expect Josh to bring to the fun.

Bursting Out

The final part of this week’s proGram had what it needed to fully explode with it’s own colors:

King Kong- Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Bronst- Moon Hooch
They’re Already Here- Moon Hooch

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Reptilian’s Dance- SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS
Sweet Water- Barney Mcall Ft. Rita Satch
Sooki The Love Dog- Laneous
True Realm of the Coin- The Rookies
Bones- I Hold the Lion’s Paw Ft. Tarino Montevedo

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Freedom Jazz Dance- Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
***pre-recorded conversation with Kahil El’Zabar***
Wish I Knew (From the Film ‘Be Known’)- Ethnnic Heritage Ensemble
Be Known- Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
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Halfway Up Halfway Down- Jamelody
Is There A Way- Loren Oden & Adrian Younge
Luna Landing- Horatio Luna
Quema- Sotomayor

Greenhouse Magic

The middle portion of the proGram showed the greens-a-growing in the middle of the Winter:

Automatic- Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
Magic- Jordan Mackampa
I Want Magic- Izo FitzRoy
P.S. It’s Not About You- Whitney Shay

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Love Affair- Alex Puddu
Nightflight- Alex Puddu

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Against All Odds- Mr. Confuse
The Night Watcher- Mr. Confuse
Rockets Fly (Martin Harmony Mix)- THE FOREVERS

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Goodbye- Spirit Fingers Ft. Judi Jackson
What Kinda Music- Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes
Tiny Whale- Nathan-Paul

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Sun Is Shining- Thor De Force Ft. Thor Madsen, Jeppe Skovbakke & Jeppe Gram

And That Kitchen Sink

The first part of the proGram had a little bit of this and summa that:

Road Trip- Eileen Ivers
Landslide- Jake Shimabukuro Trio Ft. Rachel James

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I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive- Nina Simone
Mercedes Benz- Robin McKelle

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Give Me The Keys To Your Heart- Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion
greenarrowradio promo- Mary Jo Curry
We All Had a Real Good Time- The Mary Jo Curry Band Ft. Albert Castiglia
Money Talks- Tas Cru
Stay With Me Tonight- Bernard Allison (live)
Backdoor Man- Bernard Allison (live)

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Heroin Again- Drive By Truckers
Aquarius- Jack Ellister
The Story- Starling Planet
Everybody Wants Some More- The Lemon Clocks
Worlds Within Worlds- Dave Buckley and The Watchwood

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Guttermilk- The Bobby Lees
Coin- The Bobby Lees

Raise The Spirit With Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has been “breaking the habits of boredom and pushing beyond nostalgia into the present” for 47 years. Their music fuses traditional African rhythmic and melodic sensibilities with popular African American musical expression and the array of instrumentation endows their music with a warm textural richness and depth. Within a framework of organic, understated compositions, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble imparts an ancestral wisdom and conjures an energy and spark rarely encountered in contemporary music. In 1976, Kahil El’Zabar, having just graduated from the school of Chicago’s legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, teamed up with tenor saxophonist and Edward Wilkerson, Jr. Wilkerson has been called “one of the most thoughtful minds in modern experimental music,” and is himself the leader of the premier Windy City octet Eight Bold Souls and big band Shadow Vignettes. Kahil El’Zabar is an accomplished trap drummer, having worked with acclaimed soul, blues and R&B artists Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, and jazz greats from Cannonball Adderely to David Murray, he is also a virtuostic kalimba player, master of Mandingo-style earth drum, balaphonist, flautist and vocalist. Over the now 47 years of traveling the world and sharing a uniting vibe, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has a trio of musicians that sets a new standard. With the incredible Corey Wilkes on trumpet and Detroit’s own baritone saxophonists, Alex Harding rounding out the group, the fabric of this spiritual afro-futuristic jazz outfit is just starting to warm us up.

I had the chance to catch up with Kahil El’Zabar ahead of the February 29th event here in Madison at Cafe Coda. We get into the players and how they work toGether to create moments where a spark in time in which heightened sensibility & a higher consciousness can be universally shared. We dissect a track off the groups 2019 release “Be Known Ancient/Future/Music”, and how someone like a Mr. Roy Hargrove (RIP) transcended the music and humans scene. As we sit here in 2020, we don;t have to look to hard it seems to find reasons to heal, or send healing vibes….on the day I spoke with Kahil, the EHE had just played a show at Artlore Studio in Eerie, PA which is a venue of our friend Stephen, whose family just went through a tragic situation and their spirits definitely needed to be raised.

Snow Blinds

The final portion of this week’s proGram made sure we didn’t forget that season come and go and we just need to be able to roll with the changes:

Can’t Keep- Dennis Brown Ft. Damian Marley
Wash Dem Away- Dennis Brown Ft. Agent Sasco
Toque- Victor Rice
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Bongadashi- The Hempolics
greenarrowradio promo- MC ZULU
Black Prosperity- MC ZULU
Hand Of God- Sa Roc

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Cue Synthesizer- Destroyer
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Italian Shuffle / Flip Flop & Fly Medley- Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues Ft. Sam Lay
***pre-recorded conversation with Corky Siegel***
Galloping Horses- Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues Ft. Chihsuan Yang & Matthew Santos
I’ll Fly Away- Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues Ft. Bruce Roper, Deb Lader & Sue Demel
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Corpocontinente- Céu
The First Game- Vedan Kolod
The Second Game- Vedan Kolod

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Koto- Antibalas

Closer Looks

The second piece to this week’s proGram took the magnifying glass out to see what is sometimes there but hidden from the view of you:

Texas Drums Pt I & II- Pottery
Lately In Another Time- Loving
Nightmare Forever- Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band

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Broken and Glazed- The Mommyheads
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The Whole- Post Animal
Damaged Goods- Post Animal

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Young Love- Snack Cat
Go My Heart, Go To Heaven- Shabaka and the Ancestors

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Slim Pickings- Izo FitzRoy
Anakanafauna (Nathan Womax Remix)- Select Level
Perfect Fifth- HILA Ft. Jon Goode & Areni Agbabian
Meneate pa’ mi- Sotomayor
In My Soul- Faizal Mostrixx & Karun
Little Threads- POLIÇA