Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Spellbound

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Spellbound

Article excerpt

Ahmed Abdul-Malik

Spellbound

Real Gone Music RGM-0166

Ahmed Abdul-Malik (b) Ray Nance (cnt, vln) Seldon Powell (ts, fl) Paul Neves (p) Walter Perkins (d) Hamza Aldeen (oud). New York, NY, March 12, 1964

Spellbound/Never On Sunday/Body And Soul/Song Of Delilah/Cinema Blues. TT 32:45

There are too few Ray Nance recordings outside of the Duke Ellington Traveling Symphony Orchestra that he inhabited from 1940 - 1963. Here is one of those rare recordings and a welcome one for its reemergence with the reissue of this forget little gem of a session under the leadership of Ahmed Abdul-Malik.

Primarily known for his time as a sideman with Thelonious Monk, Randy Weston and Art Blakey, Abdul-Malik did make six albums as a leader, this being the final one resulting in a straight ahead date with a slightly offbeat twist. Originally released on LP on the Status label this album has less overt Middle Eastern focus which had been major a part of his previous five albums. Status was a part of the Prestige family of labels at the time and this beautiful blowing date has somehow been forgotten in the CD reissue age until now. Oddly enough, the CD label Real Gone Music is a member of the Concord Music Group, undeservingly relegating this reissue to a secondary label just as it resided in the LP era.

Showcasing not only Nance on comet and violin, the album features Seldon Powell on tenor and flute in a rare blowing excursion for this busy New York studio musician. The lineup also added the very interesting Hamza Aldeen on two of the titles playing the rarely heard oud. (The oud is an Arabic stringed instrument resembling a lute or mandolin. Pronounced as it looks, or like Billie Holiday singing 'ooo ooo ooo, what a little moonlight can do?') And what a fascinating addition the oud is! Abdul-Malik had recorded on the instrument himself in the past and it appears likely that this is the only time that Aldeen ever recorded in a jazz context. …

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