May 27, 2024

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CD review: Joe Chambers – Dance Kobina 2023: Video, CD cover

Drummer, percussionist, vibraphonist, composer, and Blue Note legend Joe Chambers returns with the February 3 release of Dance Kobina, his 3rd Blue Note album as a leader which explores the deep musical connection between Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, Argentinian, and African music.

The follow-up to his 2021 album Samba de Maracatu was co-produced by pianist Andrés Vial and recorded in both New York and Montreal. The album presents compelling Chambers originals including “Gazelle Suite,” “Ruth,” and “Caravanserai,” as well as interpretations of pieces by Vial, Kurt Weill, Joe Henderson, and Karl Ratzer.

The album’s vibrant title track composed by Vial is available to stream or download now. Originally lacking a title, Chambers suggested “Dance Kobina” as the name for the piece because of its uplifting, dancing quality, and as a nod to the presence of Congolese percussionist Elli Miller Maboungou at the session. In Lingala, a Bantu language spoken in the Congo, ‘kobina’ means ‘to dance.’ The performance features Chambers on drums, Maboungou on Ngoma drums, Vial on piano, Caoilainn Power on alto saxophone, Michael Davidson on vibraphone, and Ira Coleman on bass.

In the mid-to-late 1960s, Chambers played drums for numerous Blue Note luminaries appearing on some of the decade’s most progressive albums including Bobby Hutcherson’s Components and Happenings, Wayne Shorter’s Adam’s Apple, Freddie Hubbard’s Breaking Point, Joe Henderson’s Mode for Joe, Sam Rivers’ Contours, Andrew Hill’s Andrew!!!, Donald Byrd’s Fancy Free, and many more.

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