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December 1999

Kali Z. Fasteau Trio with Noah Howard and Bobby Few
Expatriate Kin
CIMP Recordings

New Jersey-born world traveling musician Zusaan Kali Fasteau has several recordings to her credit. The ten performances on these two CDs display superficial differences, but in texture and soundscape they are very much alike: buoyant and spiritually uplifting in Fasteau's soprano sax and Noah Howard's alto or Joe McPhee's tenor, her cello, and Bobby Few's distinctive bell-like percussive touch on piano.

A spiritual meandering? With Howard she often creates a middle-eastern quality, utilizing a thin, reedy quality on soprano, or everyone contributes to energetic freedom as on "One for Mo" and the picturesque abstractness of "Nightbirds in Paris" on Expatriate Kin. In and out of the tracks one senses having heard some of the ensuing music in previous guises, as if its makers return to already developed melodic patterns and textures. "Truth Be Told" lifts off the best on Expatriate Kin; yet I anticipated an undulating quality on "Cardinal Flight" that never arrived.

Originally published in December 1999
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