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Kahil El’Zabar Trio: Love Outside of Dreams

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.

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