* David Murray and Kahil El’Zabar Duo

June 16, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Rhizome DC
6950 Maple St NW
Washington, DC 20012

It’s easy to talk about the way jazz developed in the 1970s and ’80s without mentioning saxophonist David Murray, and many have done it – it was a quicksilver time for the music, and there’s lots of ground to cover. But that would be an act of vast omission. Murray came to New York in 1975, when the loft jazz scene was spreading an ethos of self-sustainment and assertiveness throughout lower Manhattan, and quickly became a centerpiece of that world. He opened his own loft space, Studio Infinity, and became a founding member of the influential World Saxophone Quartet. He was a disciple of the shrieking, torrential saxophonist Albert Ayler, but in Murray’s wide wavelengths of vibrato and his fierce tone you can hear the entire lineage of saxophone protagonism that preceded him, from Coleman Hawkins through John Coltrane.

Here he performs in a duo with his often collaborator percussionist Kahil El’Zabar, leader of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and a onetime president of the AACM. El’Zabar is a polyglot on percussion, knowing more varied percussion and rhythmic techniques and styles than many members of the Foreign Service! From smooth South African grooves to mean street swings on the drum kit, El’Zabar brings a world-wearied, world traveled heart beat to whatever group he plays behind.



Giovanni Russonello

About Giovanni Russonello

view all posts

Giovanni is the founder of CapitalBop, and a music critic for the New York Times. He previously served as a contributor to the Washington Post, the FADER, JazzTimes, NPR Music and others, and hosted “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. As head of CapitalBop, he has covered the D.C. jazz scene since 2010. (He is no longer directly involved in the presenting of CapitalBop's concerts.) He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. Reach Giovanni at editor@capitalbop.com. Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.