|| Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
21st Century Union March
Cat. No.: SHCD142
Joseph Bowie trombone, miscellaneous percussion
Edward Wilkerson tenor saxophone, alto clarinet, miscellaneous percussion
Kahil El'Zabar earth drums, sanza, miscellaneous percussion, vocals
1. Crumb Puck You Let Slide (Kahil El'Zabar) 6:48
2. Fanfare (Kahil El'Zabar) 8:58
3. Lover Man (Ramirez / Davis / Sherman) 3:23
4. How the Cow See Cirrus (Kahil El'Zabar) 11:43
5. Missing Miles (Kahil El'Zabar) 5:03
6. Burundi (Kahil El'Zabar) 10:05
7. Love Outside of Dreams (Kahil El'Zabar) 6:27
8. Dear Albert (Kahil El'Zabar) 9:01
9. Procession (Kahil El'Zabar) 3:14
Total time: 72:44
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The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has been "breaking the habit of boredom and
pushing beyond nostalgia into the present" for almost 20 years. Their music
fuses traditional African rhythmic and melodic sensibilities with popular African
American musical forms. The Ensemble's unique instrumentation trap drums,
African and Latin hand-percussion, saxophone, trombone, digeridoo, bass clarinet
and kalimba endow their music with a warm textural richness and depth.
Within a framework of organic, understated compositions, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
imparts an ancestral wisdom and conjures an energy and sparks rarely encountered
in contem-porary music.
In 1976, Kahil El'Zabar, having just graduated from the school of Chicago's legendary
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, teamed up with tenor saxophonist
Edward Wilkerson, Jr. Wilkerson has been called "one of the most thoughtful
minds in modern experimental music", and is himself the leader of the premier
Windy City Octet Eight Bold Souls and the big band Shadow Vignettes. Kahil El'Zabar
is an accomplished trap drummer, having worked with acclaimed soul blues and R&B
artist Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, and jazz greats from Cannonball Adderley
to David Murray. El'Zabar is also a virtuoso kalimba player, master of Mandingo-style
drum, balaphonist, flautist and vocalist.
Trombonist Joseph Bowie, leader of the legendary jazz-funk ensemble Defunkt, joined
the Ensemble in 1988. Bowie's lean, metallic lines and muscular phrases made him
the perfect third side of the triangle. Out front, Bowie complements Wilkerson's
radiant tone and ingenious soloing. Also an accomplished congo player, Bowie masterfully
aids El'Zabar in creating the stratified rhythmic layers for which the ensemble
is known. 21st Century Union March celebrates 20 years of polyrhythmic and polyphonic
invention. It is an anthem for the New Afrikan experience in the next millennium.
Anyawu Arts, WPFWRadio
Katea Stitt is the daughter of the legendary saxophonist Sonny Stitt. She is
also a jazz producer and tour manager and an oral historian for the Smithsonian
Institution Jazz Oral History Program.