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M'Bizo
World Saxophone Quartet
M'Bizo
Genres: Jazz, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1

The celebrated quartet is joined by an array of African percussionists and instrumentalists on this David Murray-led outing. Composed as a four-part suite, M'Bizo loosely follows the story of legendary bass player Johnny D...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: World Saxophone Quartet
Title: M'Bizo
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Justin Time Records
Original Release Date: 4/6/1999
Re-Release Date: 4/20/1999
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 068944012329

Synopsis

Amazon.com
The celebrated quartet is joined by an array of African percussionists and instrumentalists on this David Murray-led outing. Composed as a four-part suite, M'Bizo loosely follows the story of legendary bass player Johnny Dyani, who, after being forced to leave Africa for musical and political reasons, was unable to return to his homeland before his untimely death in 1986. Actually, this story could work as a metaphor for all the famous African expatriates, which the presence of the African vocalists and musicians who lend support to the quartet on this album underscores. With staggering precision, the 20 or so players assembled here weave fluently and mellifluously throughout this opus with an emotional intensity that is truly joyous and liberating at the same time. The title cut, which jells like a funky, Meters-style march, is a perfect example of the kind of lengthy ensemble playing contained herein: rolling along for 12-plus minutes, this piece showcases the brilliant interaction between the African singers and the quartet itself as the spiritually uplifting choruses mesh perfectly with the braying sax solos of current quartet members Murray, Oliver Lake, Hamiet Bluiett, and John Purcell. With the addition on this track of James Lewis on bass and D.D. Jackson on piano, the quartet sounds more like a real band--and less like an experimental litmus test for some good but sometimes ill-conceived ideas--than ever. The only song not part of the suite, the intro "Snanapo," is uplifting in its own right--a harmonious honkfest with the same sort of Afro-New Orleans fusion of secular and sanctified. Rejoice! The World Saxophone Quartet has created a masterpiece! --Joe S. Harrington

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CD Reviews

A meeting of cultures without the usual 'world jazz' clichés
Gerhard Auer | Leoben, Steiermark Austria | 01/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's almost misleading to label this CD, which features piano, organ, bass, drums and vocals, as a World Saxophone Quartet recording - but to pigeonhole it as 'world jazz' would be inexcusable. They have gone a long way since their first inclusion of African drums on 'Metamorphosis' (1990). This release embraces African culture in an intriguing way; the music breathes the air of Africa from start to finish without any compromise to the advanced playing of Murray, Bluiett, Lake and Purcell (who nevertheless step back from the scene for large amounts of time). It's simply astonishing how well the drumming and the voices of the singers from different African tribes harmonize with the voices of the saxophones; David Murray's upper register screams arguably never had a better background (as strange as this notion may sound). The exhilarating title track in particular is so wonderful that it brings tears to your eyes. - In my humble opinion this is one of Murray's finest achievements - and one of the most beautiful releases of the 90s!"