Dadisi Komolafe: Nimbus West Redux
9th August 2019
Title: Hassan’s Walk
Label: Pure Pleasure
Originally released in 1983 on Nimbus West Records in Los Angeles, USA, Pure Pleasure has offered jazz fans a real prize. If for no other reason that Nimbus releases have always been hard to track down. This particular album was a tough cookie to find even in its original form. Nimbus centred around one Horace Tapscott, a black American jazz pianist and composer. He formed the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra in 1961. Komolafe was wholly influenced by Tapscott and joined Tapscott’s Cross Roads Art Academy, sponsored by the UGAMA (Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension) Foundation, a sort of community-based workshop.
And Dadisi Komolafe? Well his mother knew him best as Arthur…Arthur Wells. A man of the sax and also the flute. If you could find other Nimbus releases, you’d find him guesting on some of those too but this was his only lead LP and it features Roberto Miranda on bass, Sunship Theus on drums, Eric Tillman on piano, Rickey Kelly on vibes and Dadisi Komolafe on his favoured flute and alto sax to offer free-form explorations over steady beats.
There’s plenty of air on this recording. Space spills in and around the artist and feels slightly out of control, as you would sense on a live concert recording. It’s as if the adventurous, multi-layered and complex jazz presentation was being allowed to roam by the studio space. This dovetails with the feel from the players here.
There’s no edge to the mids or bloom to the bass but the frequencies have that open-aired aspect to them. A bit on the fresh side if you will which, if anything, adds to the exciting and, if anything, risky feel to the presentation. This is music that could and does go anywhere, in any direction. It’s quite a ride.
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