Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble announce 50th anniversary album, Open Me, A Higher Consciousness of Sound and Spirit

Photo: Christopher Andrew

In celebration of Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble‘s milestone 50th anniversary, Spiritmuse Records has a special release from them on the way. On March 8th, they’ll release a new album titled Open Me, A Higher Consciousness of Sound and Spirit, described as “a visionary journey into deep roots and future routes, channeling traditions old and new”. The record features originals like ‘Barundi’, ‘Hang Tuff’, ‘Ornette’ ,and ‘Great Black Music’ as well as other modern compositions which El’Zabar arranged, including an interpretation of Miles Davis’ ‘All Blues’.

Alongside the news, Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble are giving us the first phenomenal taste from the album in the shape of lead single ‘Compared To What’, a protest song originally written by Eugene McDaniel which was first recorded by Robert Flack in 1969, and later, Les McCann and Eddie Harris. Of the track, El’Zabar says:

“Compared To What’ was my father, Clifton Blackburn Sr’s favourite 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.’”

‘Compared To What’ comes with an accompanying video and you can watch it below.

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