Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Shamek Farrah & Folks - 1978 - La Dee La La

Shamek Farrah & Folks 
La Dee La La

01. La Dee La La Song 9:16
02. Waiting For Marvin 7:34
03. The White Lady 10:07
04. And Along Came Ron Rahsaan 9:44

Acoustic Bass – Kiyoto Fujiwara (tracks: B1)
Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Vocals – Shamek Farrah (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2)
Bongos, Percussion, Vocals – Lenny King (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Congas – Roger Howell (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Drums – Ayon Falu (tracks: B1)
Drums, Vocals – Ron Rahsaan (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Electric Bass – Hasan Jenkins (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Guitar – Harry Jenson* (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Piano – Saeed Amik (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Piano, Vocals – Sonelius Smith (tracks: A1, B1)
Tenor Saxophone – Grant Reed (tracks: B1)
Trombone – Marvin Neal (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Trumpet – Abdullah Khalid (tracks: A1, A2, B2), Malachi Thompson (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Vocals – Ghanniya Green (tracks: A1, A2, B2), Vivian Chandler (tracks: A1, A2, B2)

Recorded at Sound Ideas New York City 6/78

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

I downloaded this from the great Never Enough Rhodes blog some time ago, yesterday I was giving it a listen, and decided I wanted a copy for my collection and upon entering the interwebs I discovered that mint copies of the LP go for 280 USD and the Cd in mint condition averages over a 100 USD... wee bit over my budget!
Well... Thank you again mister Never Enough Rhodes for sharing this very expensive beauty with us!

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