Friday, December 1, 2023

Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble - "Compared to What"

Photo by Christopher Andrew

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Kahil El'Zabar's group has announced a new album, single, and tour. The single, "Compared to What," is rooted in the tradition of blues and jazz. That being said, even if those genres aren't typically your thing, I'd advise you to give the new song a chance. This is the style of music that isn't truly locked into a single genre. "Compared to What" shows how jazz and blues are truly the roots of all modern music. There are threads of hip hop, indie rock, soul, dance music... literally any modern genre you can think of reflected here. This is the kind of song that will have you gleefully diving into the artist's back catalog, and seeing as how it's fifty years of music, there is plenty to discover.

Kahil El'Zabar says of the group's new single:

“Compared To What’ was my father, Clifton Blackburn Sr’s favorite tune. On Saturdays he would play jazz all day, and later in the evening, he would scat, sing rhythms, and then he and I would improvise together on the grooves that he taught me. It was all ‘Compared to What.’”

You can watch the video for "Compared to What" below. Open Me, A Higher Consciousness of Sound and Spirit is due out March 8 on Spiritmuse Records. For more on Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Sat. Jan. 13 - New York, NY @ Winter JazzfestFri. Jan. 19 - Brussels, BE @ Flagey (Brussels Jazz Festival)Sat. Jan. 20 - Paris, FR @ Sons D’HiverThu. Feb. 1 - Chicago, IL @ The PromontorySat. Feb. 3 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Blue LlamaTue. Feb. 6 - Washington, DC @ RhizomeWed. Feb. 7 - Philadelphia, PA @ Solar MythSat. Feb. 10 - Baltimore, MD @ An die MusikSun. Feb. 11 - Erie, PA @ City GalleryMon. Feb. 12 - Rochester, NY @ Bop ShopTue. Feb. 13 - Burlington, VT @ Radio BeanWed. Feb. 14 - Montreal, QC @ La Sala RosaFri. Feb. 16 - Toronto, ON @ Caliban Arts @ Redwood TheatreSat. Feb. 17 - Detroit, MI @ N’Namdi Center For Contemporary ArtSun. Feb. 18 - Madison, WI @ Cafe CodaFri. Feb. 23 - Portland, OR @ PDX Jazz FestivalSun. Feb. 25 - Santa Monica, CA @ First Presbyterian Church (Jacaranda Performance Series)Mon. Feb. 26 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel 

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