Conversations brings Archie Shepp to a unique, if not rare, studio session with Kahil El' Zabar's Ritual Trio. An exceptional but logical musical collaboration bringing together two creative voices representing unique innovations in American music--Shepp of the New York music revolution of the 1960's and Kahil El' Zabar's trio representing the music force generated from Chicago's avant-garde, the AACM. Conversations is a tribute to bassist Fred Hopkins who performed with Henry Threadgill's trio Air --another group with its roots in Chicago's avant-garde.
Conversations takes musical turns from a spiritual dialogue on the title cut, to the blues chant on Big Fred, to the in-the-groove cruising of Kari. On its own the Ritual Trio is a versatile and inventive unit with saxophonist Ari Brown moving easily from reeds to piano and Malachi Favors ( who also performs with the Art Ensemble of Chicago), melodically probing the rhythms of Kahil El' Zabars percussion. As a setting for Archie Shepp, is a profoundly musical and spiritual space.
Personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor sax, piano;
Ari Brown, piano, tenor sax; Malachi Favors, bass; Kahil El' Zabar,