November 2002

Kahil El'Zabar Trio
Love Outside of Dreams
Delmark Records

Love Outside of Dreams (Delmark) finds Chicago percussionist Kahil El'Zabar playing trap set, hand drums and thumb piano while leading a trio in a program of spiritually based original compositions with tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist David Murray and bassist Fred Hopkins. El'Zabar lays down the bohemian groove on "One World Family" and vocalizes with Murray on a call-and-response "Song for a New South Africa." Though this is a group that tends to play free and modern, it also knows how to swing, as it demonstrates on the rough-edged "Nia" and a tribute to Ellington, "The Ebullient Duke." This is Hopkins' last recording; he died in 1999. His deep, dark sound, slip-sliding pitches and tension-generating pedal points are especially effective in his telepathic exchanges with El'Zabar on the title track.

Originally published in November 2002
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