Karibu is Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius’ third release as a band leader. Kasius contributes her compositional skills along with her deft skills as a pianist. Elizabeth has played and composed many styles of music and with Karibu, the listener is taking on a fulfilling hybrid journey of jazz/world sounds.
The performances and chemistry of the players is quickly evident and deepens the overall experience. The project is produced by Stu Kuby, who has been responsible for the creation and production of music for a wide variety of artists including: Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Whitney Houston, Roberta Flack, Michael Bolton, Doctor John, Aretha Franklin, Michael MacDonald, Gladys Knight, Al Jarreau, Aaron Neville, Herbie Hancock, Paul McCartney, and beyond.
Each cut is uniquely its own piece within the fabric of this collection of original compositions. The collection opens with “Karibu” which in itself mean welcome. The cut offers a delightfully breezy sound immediately embracing the listener to open their hearts to this diverse expedition. “Malaika Mlongo” is a comforting lullaby that instantly soothes the listener with somber percussive notes and elongated bass lines, augmented with flute (Rebecca Kleinmann) and clarinet (Jonathan Greene) perfect for an evening on the back porch sipping your favorite refreshing drink, and looking out on the horizon.
“O Feche” featuring Zorkie’s vocals is a special treat as his full-bodied voice graces this original composition with the lyrics sung in the language of Ga. Another inspirational cut is “Mbizerere” and it is based on a traditional mbira song from Zimbabwe.
In closing, the Bill-Evans inspired “Aire” was written for Elizabeth’s life partner, her husband Andrew for their wedding day, it is an introspective and tender piece that truly conveys a message of deeply rooted love. Jonathan Greene really shines on this track with a breathy, deeply toned tenor sax sound that dances upon the beautifully conveyed piano accompaniment by Kasius. Elizabeth creates well-placed harmony and emotionally effective colors while the two interact beautifully, making this piece an absolutely gorgeous closing to a complete musical crossing.
Karibu, is a wonderful addition to any jazz or world collection to create a textural counterpoint of diversity, beauty and new musical pathways.
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