Song of the Day: Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – Holy Man
Visionary percussionist and veteran bandleader Kahil El’Zabar shared a new single Holy Man, from his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble's forthcoming new album Spirit Gatherer - Tribute to Don Cherry.
Don Cherry was a true original. A pioneer of the jazz avant-garde, he first emerged as part of the Ornette Coleman group. After quickly establishing himself as a key figure in America, he eventually relocated to Europe, where he moved beyond jazz to pursue a universal spirit music. Cherry’s quest was spiritual, musical, social, and political – open-hearted and profoundly humane, his life and art were dedicated to beauty and the betterment of all humanity. His music carries a crucial message for today, and Kahil El’Zabar and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble dedicate their new album Spirit Gatherer to him, both to honour his legacy and highlight his ever-growing importance.
As ever, El’Zabar leads the album on multi-percussion, steering the group and setting the pace with his trademark combination of peerless rhythmic invention, melodic subtlety, and grounded spiritual direction. Support from regular frontline collaborators Corey Wilkes on trumpet and Alex Harding on baritone sax builds out the sound, with Wilkes channeling the quicksilver improvising brilliance of Cherry himself while Harding embarks on deep-rooted thematic investigations. But Spirit Gatherer is lifted even higher by the presence of two illustrious guests: Dwight Trible, vocalist with the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, and multi-instrumentalist David Ornette Cherry, Don Cherry’s eldest son. Performed by a group of artists who intimately understand the profundity of Don Cherry’s contribution to universal musical and artistic culture, Spirit Gatherer is powerful, spiritualized tribute to one of the giants of twentieth-century music.
Listen to Kahil El’Zabar new single Holy Man, from his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble's forthcoming new album Spirit Gatherer - Tribute to Don Cherry:
Don Cherry’s eldest son, the multi-instrumentalist, educator and composer David Ornette Cherry, has an intimate familial understanding of his father’s musical philosophy. He played with Don from the age of sixteen, and has collaborated with many jazz greats including Billy Higgins, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell. His latest album, Organic Nation Listening Club (The Continual), was released on Spiritmuse in 2021, to critical acclaim. On Spirit Gatherer, he adds spiritual warmth and energy on piano and melodica and invokes the instantly recognizable language of his father’s music when playing douss’n’gouni, the West African hunter’s harp.
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble will perform a Tribute to Don Cherry this Sunday 20 NOV at EFG London Jazz Festival 2022 at Barbican to celebrate the life and legacy of the extraordinary musician & composer Don Cherry with members of the Cherry family Neneh Cherry, David Ornette Cherry, Naima Karlsson and Tyson, alongside Ana Ruiz, for a once in a lifetime performance!
Watch the below video to Kahil El’Zabar new single Holy Man, from his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble's forthcoming new album Spirit Gatherer - Tribute to Don Cherry.
Other wicked songs and projects worth checking this week:
Hermanos Gutiérrez - Thunderbird
Leland Whitty - Awake
Surprise Chef - Velodrome
FKJ - Us - A COLORS SHOW
Marquis Hill - Black Alchemy/Hall of Mirrors
Tom Skinner - The Journey
Kham Meslien - Ta confiance
Matt Carmichael - Road To The Sea
Emmet Cohen - Uptown in Orbit
aki - Twijfelaar
Greg Spero - Evolution (Tiny Room Sessions)
Atlas Maior - Basalt
Venna - Sicily' Box
Charlie Stacey - Music Is Healing
Zeñel - 5dB Freestyle
Radio Citizen - Kantine
Unc D - Toots
Julius Rodriguez - Dora’s Lullaby
The Headhunters - Rocking At The Mole House