Album Review

Sultan’s Juma Aboriginal Music Society – “Whispers From The Archive” – [Porter Records]

humana   11/17/2012   CD, Jazz

Luckily for us, Juma Sultan had the presence of mind to record the performances and jam sessions of his group AMS (pronounced “yams”), since they were never commercially recorded. This release offers us a “window into” a “unique period of jazz history” (read the liner notes!). Track 1 is a satisfying example of the group’s late style of straight-ahead jazz. Track 2 captures an impromptu jam session. Track 3 is a catchy snapshot of Motown pop, while Tracks 4 and 6 represent portions of the group’s most-played compositions. Tracks 5 and 7 are parts of a piece that is a blend of popular and abstract styles. Sultan’s bass and percussion set the tone for the group’s signature sound of “polyrhythmic African-influenced percussion underlying highly abstract improvisations.” This is more than a CD–it’s a treasure from the past. Enjoy.

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