Song of Time – Live at the Vision Festival
Ahmed Abdullah trumpet / Alex Harding baritone saxophone / Jimmy Weinstein drums / Masa Kamaguchi double bass
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NAM is a cooperative group of four brilliant musicians. The group, assembled together by trumpet player Ahmed Abdullah, crosses cultural and generational divides with the purpose of enriching and encouraging its audience in a similar pursuit. The music you can hear on this recording also reflects the increasing influence of Buddhism in Ahmed’s life making it an extraordinary example of spirituality in Jazz. The group was formed when Alex Harding invited Ahmed to a rehearsal. The result was the formation of NAM and a landmark recording with CIMP records. The sound of NAM’s baritone-trumpet front line and bass and drum rhythm section makes a stong counter balance to the spiritual element in the music, pushing it to outstanding levels of strenght and, simultaneously, lyricism. This strong balance of forces and the fact that NAM is a fixed line-up band brings the music to a consistent high level of performance. NAM is yet another group achieving the difficult balance between freedom and structure, with all its members being brilliant improvisors and complete musicians. Ahmed Abdullah, trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader, leads his own ensembles since 1972. He was born in Harlem in 1947 and moved to the lower east side when he was 16. He worked with the Sun Ra Arkestra for 18 years and is listed in over 25 recordings with this band. He played and recorded with musicians like Ed Blackwell, Arthur Blythe, Billy Bang, Sam Rivers, Hamiet Bluiett, Andrew Cyrille, Charles Brackeen and Rashied Ali. Blues-drenched baritone saxophonist Alex Harding was born in 1967 in Detroit. He studied, among others, with Yusef Lateef. After moving to New York in 1993, he joined the Julius Hemphill Sextet, David Murray’s Big Band and Hamiet Bluiett’s Baritone Group. He also played and recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams, Lester Bowie, Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, Sun Ra Arkestra (under Marshall Allen’s leadership) and Frank Lowe. Drummer/ composer Jimmy Weinstein was born in Chicago but grew up in California and Mallorca, Spain. He later moved to NY where he studied at the Drummers Collective and Barry Harris Jazz Cultural Theater. Moving to Boston in 1986 he attended the Berklee College of Music and studied percussion with Max Roach. He collaborated with, among others, Ben Monder, Chris Dahlgren, Jeff Parker and Chris Cheek. Masa Kamaguchi has performed extensively in Europe, Asia and United States. He has played bass for over 15 years with groups ranging from traditional big bands to smaller, free-jazz experimental projects. After relocating from his native Japan he studied at the Berklee School of Music.