21 September 2008

Kahil El'Zabar with Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors at Saalfelden 1987

Regular readers of this blog may recall that we posted two albums by Kahil El'Zabar back in August, both of them released on the Sound Aspects label. They may also recall that due to an intervention by the label proprietor, the links to the files of these recordings disappeared.

Kahil El'Zabar made at least one more album for Sound Aspects called "Sacred Love" which featured Malachi Favors (who was also on the album with Billy Bang) and Lester Bowie. I do have the album, but since we're under restrictions, I'm not going to post it. The pictures appended to this post are from the back sleeve of the album, though.

Instead I propose to post something even better, a live recording from the Saalfelden jazz festival in 1987 with the same line-up. Here you'll get 20 minutes of extra music as compared to the album.

Those familiar with the other recordings will know the basic structure by now. El'Zabar starts out on earth drum, switches later to a regular drum set and finally settles in on the thumb piano. Malachi Favors stays close to El'Zabar, using the bass as a second rhythmic-percussive instrument, leaving Lester Bowie free to extrapolate on the top. The African rootedness of this set is strongly present throughout.

Two-thirds of the trio are no longer with us, but El'Zabar is still active, releasing records on the Chicago-based Delmark label. He's a long-time member of Chicago's AACM and was voted Chicagoan of the year in 2004 by the Chicago Tribune, also thereby crediting his wider work as an educator and community leader.

Basic info:


Saalfelden Jazz Festival, Saalfelden, Austria
Aug 28, 1987

01 part one 45:37
02 part two 14:57
03 encore 07:37

Three pieces somewhat artificially separated, but in reality one contiguous piece with an encore at the end.

Most likely recorded from radio. There is a noticeable hiss in the quieter passages.

Another Dime, no longer on the tracker, so I've no idea who recorded/upped this one, but in any case, a tip of the hat for making this available.

ADDENDUM: It has been brought to my notice that there is another posting of this set here: http://ubu-space.blogspot.com/2008/06/kahil-elzabar-lester-bowie-malachi.html. These were posted as flacs. To save server space, I'll delete the flacs from this post, but keep the mp3 file. Those wanting the flacs are advised to seek out the other posting.

Mp3 file here:



kinabalu said...

mp3 version:


flac version:


Tantris said...

This is excellent - thanks.

Radenko said...

thanks a lot. anything with el'zabar is much appreciated.

1009 said...

interesting set -- didn't know about this one.

seeing this made me remember a bowie record that, as far as i can tell, is oop: *american gumbo*, wch is a compilation of a couple of bowie's 70s records. anyone out there got it?

Anonymous said...

Hi 1009: If I'm not mistaken, the "American Gumbo" CD was a reissue of two of Bowie's LP's - "Rope-a-Dope" and "Fast Last".

1009 said...

That sounds precisely correct. I'd love to hear either one on its own, of course.

Volkan Terzioglu said...

There is also one compilation called "Mirage" which involves three albums :
* Hello Dolly,
* Rope-a-Dope,
* Bugle Boy Bop
Are these oop?

1009 said...

Hadn't seen those before, Volkan, but Amazon (US) has the comp. listed at a rather outrageous price. Appears to be oop, but I could be wrong.

For what it's worth, the other (Gumbo) fetches pretty high prices on Amazon, making it unlikely it is in print either.

ubu said...

That "Mirage" compilation is quite alright...

I have posted this very El'Zabar show on my blog quite a while ago (I think I even put a link in a comment on this blog), slightly edited (re-tracked/spliced, the sonics are the very same, just as I got this from dime). For those interested, find it here:


kinabalu said...


ach, so! Looks like I've could have saved myself the trouble. Anyhow, I'll add an addendum to the post pointing to the alternative posting and to save server space, I'll delete the flac files, but keep the mp3 file since you only posted flacs.

glmr et al,

I've got the two Bowie 70s records on Muse (and the Bugle Boy Bop as an mp3 download). If these are OOP, I could always post them here, if there's an interest. Mind you, the "Fast Last" is slighly warped. I will certainly be posting "African Children" at some point which I have both on lp and as a flac download.

Volkan Terzioglu said...

Lester Bowie's three albums Hello Dolly, Rope-a-Dope and Bugle Boy Bop were issued in one double cd called Mirage. And here it is :
1 : http://tinyurl.com/4bpavo
2 : http://tinyurl.com/3tvjnw
3 : http://tinyurl.com/3ltber

1009 said...

Thanks so much for this, Volkan! I know the Nothing Is blog posted a vinyl rip of Bugle Boy a year or two or three ago, but I'm excited to hear a cleaned-up (?) version.

As a side note, I absolutely loved the Bowie quotes in George Lewis' book. Hysterical, to-the-point, & always w/ an undercurrent of aesthetic-theoretical sophistication.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. I'm a huge Kahil El'Zabar fan and would love to hear this, but the mp3 version seems to be down. Any chance of a re-posting? Thanks!

kinabalu said...

Man, oh, man! Looks like I deleted the wrong file. Reposted and should be here if everything went all right:


Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks so much for the re-post. The music is amazing.

Only somewhat relatedly, last night I saw David Murray perform in Baltimore. He was incredible. With him on bass, was Jaribu Shahid, who also plays bass with the Art Ensemble of Chicago after Malachi Favors' passing. He too was something special -- a great player, full of ideas, and a good match for Murray, who was just exploding with thought and craft and passion.

Anonymous said...

NIce pictures = copyrighted by Helmut Klien, Rankweil, Austria

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! A great upload!!

corvimax said...

A very late and warm thank you

This is Ethnic Heritage Ensemble 'A Tribute to Don Cherry'
RAI3, live broadcast from Sant'Anna Arresi, Piazza del Nuraghe, Sardinia (Jazz 2008 festival)

Kahil El'Zabar; drums, percussion, vocals
Corey Wilkes; trombone, flugelhorn, percussion
Ernest Dawkins; sax, percussion
Farred Haque; guitar


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francisco santos said...

kin, can you re post, please?...