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CD Review: Kahil El’zabar’s Ritual Trio

Live At The River East Arts Center (Delmark) is a definitive example of the roots of classic improvisational Jazz. Recorded at the River East Art Theater in Chicago, it features guest violinist Billy Bang.

This is probably the main reason I found this recording incompatible with my taste in music. I listen to Jazz for the horns and percussion, and to have the violin playing repetitive melodies was a distraction. Repetition is common place, also conflicting with what I like about improvisational Jazz.

I did like how the recording kept the integrity of the live performance, leaving conversational lines between band members and commentary to the audience in tact. It also maintained the intimate feel of the small venue.

Being more a fan of Contemporary and Latin Jazz, I did not enjoy the strong Classical influence that is prevalent on this recording. It is quite possible someone who is a fan of the genre will enjoy this CD more then I did.

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