Ahmed Abdullah

Live at Ali's Alley

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Trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah featured French horn and cello in his instrumental configuration, while also working alongside tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman on this 1978 date. It's symbolic of the decade's "loft" jazz, a free-wheeling date with uneven but often compelling solos, as well as periods of rambling, unproductive, and ragged ensemble work. Freeman's blistering tenor sax is uniformly inspired, while Abdullah's solos are also aggressive and energetic. Vincent Chancey's French horn and Muneer Abdul Fataah's cello contributions provide interesting contrast, while bassist Jerome Hunter and drummer Rashied Sinan are competent and effective, though not memorable.