Album Review

Reklaw, Derf – “From the Nile ” – [Ubiquity Records]

Rococo   7/5/2005   CD, Jazz

A stunning solo debut and contender for jazz album of the year from this former member of The Pharoahs. FROM THE NILE could almost be considered a concept album, incorporating (as it does) such a huge chunk of black musical history. The album opens with a poem in honor of Egyptian ancesters, then goes on to borrow from African, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and black American musical traditions, closing out with a couple of cover tunes from John Coltrane and Eddie Harris. Derf plays flute, sax, and a variety of African instruments. Every track on this album is a gem. Listening to it, I’m reminded of the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s motto: “great black music — ancient to future.” This is truly great black music, full of passion and spirituality.

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