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Modal jazz, poetry and sambas, jug playing, Haitian, African and Afro-Cuban rhythms lend many shades to Derf Reklaws "From The Nile".
This is not a "world music" album, but the notable excursions into global rhythms will please those with eclectic yearnings. It's far from being a straight jazz album, although jazz fans will surely like Reklaws version of Coltranes "Ole" and the original opening tune "Sunrise On The Nile". Percussion jams, chanting, poetry, modal jazz, Haitian rhythms and a sense of theatre give "From The Nile" a wide spread musical scope.
"Every song on this album is a tribute in one way or another to the people who helped to formulate my musical education," says Reklaw. That includes the Pharoahs (the legendary ?60s underground soul jazz ensemble from Chicago that first connected Ubiquity to Reklaw by way of two re-issues on Ubiquity imprint Luv N'Haight), whom Reklaw was a member of for 5 years. Despite the multitude of influences "From The Nile" flows like one mans dream and demonstrates a consistency in sound powered by a hunger for depth and experimentation.
To refer to Derf Reklaw as a man of many talents would be to understate his abilities. The former Pharoah is a musician, composer, choreographer, lecturer, vocalist and inventor amongst other things. It is highly appropriate that he resides in Leimert Park LA, which is quickly becoming a focal point for jazz innovation on the West Coast. "From The Nile" is his debut album for Ubiquity and provides sonic testament to his endless capabilities.
Reklaw moved to LA from Chicago in 1979. He is an artist in residence at several educational institutions including UCLA, Santa monica College, LA Conservatory and View Park Academy. His career has enabled him to play to with artists like Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, Eddie Harris, Minnie Ripperton, Ahmad Jamal, Sting and Lionel Hampton. This latest album features guest spots from drummer Billy Higgins, poet Kamau Daaood and original member of the Pharoahs Lui Lui Satterfield.