Afrikan Culture

Afrikan Culture

After several captivating releases with Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka and the Ancestors, saxophonist and London jazz pacesetter Shabaka Hutchings ventures something markedly more introspective on his solo debut, Afrikan Culture. Performing without his surname, Shabaka shifts his focus away from tenor saxophone and toward an array of other sounds, from bass clarinet and clarinet to the West African kora, Japanese shakuhachi, and assorted bells and chimes, creating a soundscape of elusive, contemplative beauty. His idiosyncratic path as a multi-instrumentalist recalls his Impulse! forebear Pharoah Sanders, who did so much to emphasize connections between jazz and music of the African diaspora more broadly. “Ital is vital” has a driving rhythm reminiscent of Sons of Kemet, but the mood of Afrikan Culture is more aptly summarized by titles such as “Explore inner space,” “The dimension of subtle awareness,” and “Black meditation.” Alina Bzhezhinska, Kwake Bass, Dave Okumu, and Kadialy Kouyate make guest appearances on harp, electronics, guitar, and kora, respectively.

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