Kamau Daa'ood

Leimert Park

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On this definitive fusion of jazz and poetry, Daa'ood rails against oppression, speaks out about jazz musicians, and reflects the cultural mood from his perch in Leimert Park, CA. Musical help comes from the B Sharp Quartet, drummer Billy Higgins, pianists Nate Morgan and Horace Tapscott, bassist Dr. Art Davis, saxophonists Phil Vieux and Michael Session, flutist James Newton, and others. Daa'ood's voice is slightly gruff, but direct and powerful. On the title cut, Daa'ood defines his style as "old-school stories with a bebop tongue to the hip-hop future." He lambasts popular music on the bluesy "Army of Healers" and concludes on "Art Blakey's Drumsticks" that society would rather have fatherless children "pick cotton in cyberspace." On "Ancestral Echoes," Tapscott's reverent piano inspires Daa'ood to ponder, "In the wind, we learn that the diehards do not die, they only echo through the universe as light." "Her," "Balm of Gilead," and "Deep River in Her Voice" show a different side of Daa'ood -- one that longs not only for justice, but for peace and quiet. This is the finest combination of jazz and poetry to come out in the '90s, bar none.

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