30 March 2008

SHAMEK FARRAH - FIRST IMPRESSIONS

















Shamek Farrah for Strata East from 1974.
First posted at OIR in September 06.
As Strata East got rolling one of the admirable things it was able to do was offer a platform to some more obscure artists who weren’t being heard elsewise, folks like Billy Parker’s Fourth World (including DeeDee, Ronald, and Cecil Bridgewater); the Washington, DC ensemble Juju (who evolved
from an Art Ensemble knock-off into the great jazz-funk band Oneness of Juju by the mid-70s); and alto sax player Shamek Farrah. I don’t really know too much about Shamek except that he made two great albums of spiritual jazz for Strata in 1974 and ’77 (the second and half of the first in collaboration with pianist Sonelius Smith). Both are way cool, but my favorite is probably this one, recorded with 2 slightly different ensembles but consistent in style: largely dark, minor-mode pieces w/a drone implied or explicit and executed w/plenty of edge. The playing is chunky, heavy, and group-minded; Farrah emits a glorious wail on alto sax that takes the lead on most cuts but still leaves plenty of elbow room for everybody else. The most “out” cut is the opener, Meterologically Tuned (titled perhaps for the bracingly out-of-tune trumpet & sax on the intro & outro unison melodies), skirling horns and percussive piano and a rhythm that moves in and out of focus throughout; while the album closer, First Impressions, hovers like fog above a loping bassline digging a moody jazz-funk furrow so deep it’s hard to see up over the edge (no surprise it was sampled by Tribe Called Quest some years back). One of those obscure gems that dot the catalog and are really deserving of proper CD reissue (there are relatively inexpensive vinyl copies making the LP-reissue rounds periodically; I am uncertain as to legality of parentage on those & so will resist exhorting their purchase).
Kevin Moist on the case again for this review.
Alto Sax: - Shamek Farrah
Bass: - Milton Suggs
Conga: - Calvert "Bo" Satter-White
Drums: - Ron Warwell
Percussion: - Kenny Harper
Piano: - Sonelius Smith
Trumpet: - Norman Person
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl.

19 comments:

bacoso said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/103574656/Shamek_Farrah.rar

yy said...

Thank you !

This album is new to me, but it's Strata-East, so it can't be too bad ;)

Keep 'em coming,

catacaldos said...

Thank you for this jewel.

Dr. Johnny Fever said...

Thanks so much for the Strata-East fest! My ears are in Heaven!!!!!

alex said...

thanks so much for another gem bacoso!
top banana!

Soul Man Red said...

Good job I am off work next week - got to catch up on these Strate East lps. Thanks once again

Michael Can't Sleep said...

Looks amazing. Thanks.

kizza said...

WOW!
I find that i'm really raping your blog - there's just too much great stuff on here! I can't help myself!

ilca76 said...

Thanx!

db said...

great music!
check out
calisoulbrother records
for rare soul, jazz, funk, brazil & latin records!

daytime lovers said...

really great record, thanks for sharing!

James said...

I actually copped this glorious record for 25 cents at Cellophane Records in Seattle back in 1994. It blew me away then, and I thank you for the opportunity to be reunited with it (long since lost) now. Respect!

mulattikmac said...

Very thankful 4 both Shamek lp's

sulingman said...

agreed

sulingman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elguz said...

Thanks for this!, Watch what happens now es ciertamente un hermoso tema, y Meteorologicly tuned recuerda lo mejor de AEC!.

gerireig said...

This sounds like what I'm in the mood for. Very promising. Thanx!

Simon666 said...

re-up

http://www.adrive.com/public/tzYmqR/ShamFarr-1stImp-mp3.zip

Garu said...

Thanks for the re-up!