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Album Review

Bey, Faruq Z. W/ Northwoods Improvisers – “Infa ‘a ” – [Qbico]

Thurston Hunger   3/22/2007   12-inch, Jazz

Qbico often has cool color-swirled vinyl, but this time it seems like
it’s mood-vinyl, a soothing and fervent green spins around the turntable
almost as an entrancing as this release itself. There are minor flashes
of red and blue and white…but the green is elemental and rich. This
supports the garden of sound cultivated here, Bey’s sax takes deep
roots, often shadowed and wrapped with brotherly vines from fellow
saxmen Mike Carey and Skeeter Shelton. Nick Ashton’s drums drop dewdrops
on all the players, moist with cymbals plenty. Mike Gilmore’s vibes
are what make this so green…so alive…hell they even make a track
called “Ethiopia” sound lush. That has a nice mystic run to it, and
in the latter half bassist Mike Johnston and Ashton get one of those
infinite grooves ala Parker and Drake going, magic carpet rise! Again
Gilmore is the sonic photosynthesis here..listen to him wrap up that
“Ethiopia” number. On the flipside we explore life on “After Death”
with Mike Carey communicating via kalimba and Bey slowly stirring
the song along. Again an almost Egyptian flare rises from the ashes,
if anyone stumbles on this review by way or searching jazz and Gilmore,
as Sun Ra built an Arkestra that took to the skies, in Detroit Faruq
Z. Bey and his Northwoods are in full bloom. Pristine earth soul jazz.

-Thurston Hunger

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