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Friday, July 25, 2008

Sabir Mateen - Other Places Other Spaces (Nu Bop, 2008) ****

Sabir Mateen is one of those highly active free jazz musicians who play in many bands (TEST, William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, The Other Other Quartet, Earth People to name but a few). By comparison, he has released relatively little as a leader, and that's a pity. Apart from Mateen on tenor, alto, flute, clarinet and alto clarinet, the band further consists of Raymond A.King on piano, Jane Wang on bass and cello and Ravish Momin on drums, talking drums and percussion. Mateen has always been a free jazz man in heart and soul, enjoying the rhythms, enjoying the freedom, enjoying the expressiveness, enjoying the interplay, and going at it to the full. Mateen is great on this album, and so is the band, and they are at their best in the high energy full steam moments, when the four musicians push each other forward relentlessly. The slower tracks such as "For The Unborn One", or the more avant-garde tracks such as "Shades Of Khusenaton" I find a little less focused or less engaging. But all the rest is raw and intense, and especially on the longest tracks do all musicians, and especially Mateen get the space to unleash their musical power. And the last track "Journey Into The Deepness Of Positive Light" is surely one of the highlights of the album, showing both the power and the tenderness of the band. And all that straight from the heart. No embellishments. No pretense. No water added. Straight. The real deal.

© stef


Anonymous said...

Sabir is vastly under-appreciated. He is quite an excellent musician.