Saturday, January 7, 2012

5.) Daxaar - Steve Reid Ensemble (Top Jazz Picks '11)

Steve Reid Ensemble
Domino Records.

No kidding, I nearly bought this album in 2008 on account of Kieran Hebden’s involvement alone. The man behind Four Tet had, by this point, completed three releases with percussion-master Steve Reid as a duo, but none of them would compare to the full arrangements of Daxaar.

I’ll leave it to the video below (which I love) to illustrate how and why these musicians gathered in Africa but the results readily justify the means. Whether falling effortlessly into a loose groove (on ‘Jiggy Jiggy’) or a freeform spiral (‘Big G’s Family’), the septet’s casual chemistry is mind-blowing. 

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