Album Review

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – “Freedom Jazz Dance ” – [Delmark]

Rococo   7/5/2005   CD, Jazz

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble is the brainchild of AACM member Kahil El ‘Zabar, who has provided the rhythmic foundation for a revolving cast of band members since the group’s inception in the mid-70’s. This time out the lineup includes trombonist Joseph Bowie (brother of Lester and founder of Defunkt), saxophonist Ernest Dawkins, and guitarist Fareed Haque: an exemplary group of jazz musicians, creating soulful, spiritual music. I can never get tired of the funky, Eddie Harris-penned title track. Guitarist Haque swings mightily on “Mama’s House,” and the voice-and-percussion treatment on “This Little Light of Mine” really shines. (Ouch.) Seriously, this is great stuff.

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