Master percussionist and composer Kahil El’Zabar brings an innate groove and spirituality to everything he puts his hands to. Evident on his last album with the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, these qualities continue on his latest collaborative release, both in essence and name.
Set for release on Spiritmuse, Spirit Groove – which sees him team up with legendary tenor sax player David Murray – brings together a combination of live and studio recordings crafted in June of last year whilst the pair were together in El’Zabar’s home of Chicago. Joined on the album by acoustic bassist Emma Dayhu of Herbie Hancock’s band and Junius Paul Qt bandmate Justin Dillard on synth, organ and pianist, the entirety of the release immerses you in the history of the genre, exploring the realms and possibilities of spiritual jazz as an art form.
Tracing the themes exhibited across the album El’Zabar explains that they “speak to the embodiment of their titles”, moving through subjects of faith, true love and introspection, while our pick ‘One World Family’, a track that he co-wrote with David Murray in the 80s that is hailed as their theme song, is a mesmeric 15 minute opus carried along by a free-flowing groove.
Kahil El’Zabar’s Spirit Groove ft. David Murray will be released 12th June via Spiritmuse Records.