Joe Chambers

The Almoravid

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AllMusic Review by

Drummer Joe Chambers' first album as a leader (cut for Muse and reissued on this 1998 CD by 32 Jazz) actually contains two selections apiece from three different sessions. Two cuts are from 1971 and match Chambers with trumpeter Woody Shaw, trombonist Garnett Brown, Harold Vick on tenor and flute, keyboardist George Cables, and bassist Cecil McBee. On October 8, 1973 Chambers, Cedar Walton, and bassist Richard Davis were joined by three percussionists, while the November 1, 1973 session has Chambers and electric bassist Walter Booker recording with the same trio of percussion players. Overall, four of the pieces are Chambers' originals while there is one song apiece from Joe Zawinul and Andrew Hill. In most cases, the leader's drums and the percussionists are in the forefront, the individual selections have weak themes and, although the complex rhythms are intriguing, the music is not all that memorable. Perhaps if the selections had been programmed as a suite or if there was some logical development from tune to tune, then this well-intentioned effort would have been more successful.

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