Kevin Le Gendre // ★★★★ JazzWise (décembre 2020)

There has been a growingrecognition of LA legend Horace Tapscott’s immense contribution to black culture in the past decade, certainly with the emergence of his sidemen and scions, from Dwight Trible to Kamasi Washington. A deeply committed activist as well as pianist, composer and bandleader Tapscott pursued the ideal of the big band as a kind of community- cum-workshop as well as a vehicle for stories that ranged from personal portraits to emphatic Afro-centric manifestos. On this very well-engineered studio recording the 21-piece Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra has the kind of mammoth sound, boosted by a three bass and two drum rhythm section, and potent soloists that lend gravitas to largely modal pieces such as ‘Ancestral Echoes’ and ‘Eternal Egypt Suite’. Lasting from 10 to 27 minutes, the four compositions carry the spirit of anybody from Monk and Randy Weston to Trane and Yusef Lateef, but they nonetheless have a wholly personal imprint that bears testimony to Tapscott’s ability to combine his grandly empowering vision and a wealth of traditions Essential.

 

 

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