Kahil El'Zabar

A Big M: A Tribute to Malachi Favors

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Kahil El'Zabar's quartet is an all-star group with enormous potential. The material that they interpret on Big M (a tribute to the late Art Ensemble of Chicago bassist Malachi Favors), unfortunately, is not up to the level of the musicians. Much of the time the players are heard here merely jamming on simple vamps that overstay their welcome. There are some fiery moments from the invididual musicians, particularly tenor-saxophonist Ari Brown and violinist Billy Bang (who sounds a bit more conservative than usual) but the weak originals make this a less memorable set than it should have been considering the artists involved.

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