Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shamek Farrah - "La Dee La La" (1980)

Originally posted by Bacoso at "Orgy in Rhythm", November 2006.
Kindly re-upped by Bacoso to complete the Shamek Farrah collection. Text by Rex Butters

Reed player Shamek Farrah ranks with the great unrecorded. Two releases on Strata East in the ‘70s, some for RA, a release in ‘95. The reissue of this 1978 recording reintroduces a roomful of rarely heard musicians, along with a young Malachi Thompson. Roger Howell’s congas and Lenny King’s percussion give the music a tropical feel, while Saeed Amik’s quick luscious piano harmonies blossom all over the music.

The disc opens with the title track. Preceding the '80s African jazz boom, “La Dee La La” features a lush, easygoing composition and arrangement, not unlike Abdullah Ibrahim’s gentle Cape Town swing. After a bracing acapella chorus intro, pianist Saeed Amir introduces the chords, Lenny King and Roger Howell hit the hand drums, and Ghanniya Green sings the theme. Guitarist Harry Jenson plays silky rhythm, while Farrah’s playful soprano sax composes festive variations. Playing a vocalesque plunger mute, trumpeter Abdullah Khalid makes a soulful statement, followed by Amir’s elegant variations.

Moving into a warmer hemisphere, “Waiting for Marvin” sees Amik’s effervescent piano dance over the joyously grooving rhythm section. Farrah serves ripe alto, twisting through the changes. Thompson romps his full-toned trumpet around the festive sounds, followed by Amik’s cool, refreshing inspirations. The orchestra returns to take it out. Some shuffling on “White Lady” brings Sonelius Smith to the piano chair. Sans percussionists, the band just swings with Farrah taking the first solo. Smith plays chords blocks, as opposed to Amik’s blending shimmer. Thompson soars again, casually taking chances. Smith solos with deliberation, poking out the right handed notes.

Jenson’s limber electric guitar slyly welcomes the listener to “And Along Came Ron Rahsaan.” With King and Howell back, Farrah blows soprano, making way for Marvin Neal’s meaty trombone solo. With Vivian Chandler singing wordlessly, Amik builds a final graceful musical lattice.
By Rex Butters@AllAboutJazz


01 La Dee La La Song
02 Waiting for Marvin
03 The White Lady
04 And Along Came Ron Rahsaan


Shamek Farrah - alto sax, soprano sax
Grant Reed - tenor sax
Abdullah Khalid - trumpet
Malachi Thompson - trumpet
Marvin Neal - trombone
Saeed Amik, Sonelius Smith - piano
Hasan Jenkins - electric bass
Kiyoto Fujiwara - acoustic bass
Ron Rahsaan, Ayon Falu - drums
Roger Howell - conga
Lenny King - bongos and percussion
Harry Jenson - guitar
Ghanniya Green, Vivian Chandler - vocals
Recorded in 1978

Also available by Shamek Farrah at 'Never Enough Rhodes' :
"First Impressions" (1974)
"The World of the Children" (1976)


christopher said...

Hey thanks but the link is missing the "H" in the beginning "HTTP"

Musics great though, keep it UP!

Anonymous said...

a nice memorial to orgy in rythm. that site will be missed. how about another OIR classic

katonah said...

many thanks .. this was a big "want"!!

Simon666 said...

Thanks Christopher, link fixed now.
Glad to help out, Katonah!

taro nombei said...

Many thanks, Simon
I wasn't aware of this one *at all* so I'm looking forward immensely.
Greatly appreciated.

Hoochie Coochie man said...

This indeed was a BIG "want" thanks for it!!

Anonymous said...

I have the og LP, but a quick check in my itunes tells me I never got round to ripping it. That's just not good, so...thanking you!!!

Rev. bIGhIG said...

And again!
Double thanks.