The African origin of jazz illustrated by an international quintet. Nothing new, but these five are original. Israeli saxophonist Idit Shner is undoubtedly a John Coltrane disciple, albeit with a personal sound. The energetic percussionist and vocalist John Mambira is from Zimbabwe while the tight playing rhythm section (pianist and keyboardist Torrey Newhart, bassist Baxter, drummer Ken Mastrogiovanni) is from Oregon. For a few songs they invited the committed artist Ratie D (aka Claire Ratidzo Dangarembwa-Morgan) to provide extra color with thumb piano and vocals.
Together they bring an exciting cocktail that properly tightens the links between Western jazz and African traditions. They casually add links through soul and Latina accents enhanced with a Santana touch ('Step By Step'!). Listen to opening track 'Obsidian Horses' followed by the trance of the title track and the addiction is a fact.
A startling debut and one for the year-end lists without a doubt!