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Downtown Music Gallery review | Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2013

DINAMITRI JAZZ FOLKLORE & AMIRI BARAKA - Live in Sant’Anna Arresi 2013 (Rudi Records 1029; Italy) Featuring Amiri Baraka on voice/poetry, Dimitri Espinoza on alto sax, Gabrio Baldacci on electric guitar, Giuseppi Scardino on bari sax and Simone Padovani on drums plus Emanuele Parrini on violin & Avram Fefer on alto sax. This is the second disc from the Dinamitri Jazz Folklore & Amiri Baraka. The first one was on Rai Trade and is now out-of-print. This disc was recorded at Sant’Anna Arresi Festival in Italy in 2013 and dedicated to Sun Ra. The late Amiri Baraka was a legendary poet, playwright and political organizer. He was one of the greatest of all jazz poets and throughout this disc, his incisive words are at the center of what makes this disc so special. The music was written by Dimitri Espinoza and is most compelling and diverse, rarely free, never aimless or uninteresting. Instead of Mr. Baraka spitting out his honest words/views, he takes his time so that the music fits his sentiments perfectly. Baraka’s voice has never sounded better than it does here since he is integral to what makes this disc so great. “The original western holocaust was slavery”, so says Mr. Baraka and who can deny that?!? There are few solos here so the ones there are stand out even more, especially Mr. Baldacci’s electric guitar on “Akendengue”, and Sardino’s bari sax. There is a long, fascinating poem about and message to Sun Ra which is one of the highlights of this disc. What is wonderful about this disc is that it works so well and leaves us with a sly treasure from the ever controversial Amiri Baraka. He may have passed to another realm, but his words here really ring true. [Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery]

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