Experimental feature

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Experimental feature

There’s an unexpected twist to alto saxophonist Matana Roberts’ ongoing exploration of the African-American experience when Jeremiah Abiah’s powerful operatic tenor bursts into a slow, blues-drenched free-jazz pedal.

It crops up again, along with spoken word – an excerpt of Fannie Lou Hammer’s speech at the 1968 Democratic convention – Roberts’ “wordspeak” poetry and traditional folk themes. It’s all held together by jaunty themes and continuous improvisation from the smoky-toned Roberts and her quintet. Spiky trumpet, rhythmic piano and a performance refreshingly free of cliché.

Matana Roberts

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