Michael G. Nastos
"You must have this recording in your collection!"
o For those of you who might be in the midst of discovering new jazz ensembles, the Detroit based group In The Tradition should be on your radar. Their new double CD “Sirius” is chock full of music from the post-bop tradition, with stirring vocal tracks, or originals from band members that will keep you listening now, and for many years to come. Leader, saxophonist and flute player Olujimi Tafataona has conceived a grand vision of African-American expressionism, based in modern jazz while reaching into gospel, blues and funk deeply associated with the Motor City. The band uses tight, concise arrangements and tasteful solos with no wasted space.
Everything is tied to a universal sound and an accessible relationship with the listener - it’s real music that is created, not produced. Of the eighteen selections, you can pick any number of standouts, including Curtis Fuller’s “Chantized,” the sing song Freddie Hubbard composition “Crises,” and Donald Byrd’s familiar “Fancy Free”. Through Brazilian beats, standard ballads and choral music, In The Tradition firmly establishes their roots
and branches. Pianist Foluke Shearer also contributes fresh originals, and you hear versions of the JB Horns arrangement for James Brown “Pass The Peas,” as well as the Earth, Wind & Fire tune penned by ex-Detroiter Charles Stepney “Winter Meeting”.
The diversity and pure spirit from this collective of musicians present should do all music lovers proud. For the serious music maven, “Sirius” is a CD that you simply must have in your collection.
-Michael G. Nastos; Detroit correspondent for Cadence Magazine, contributor to Hot House Magazine, Vice President of the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association, Host Emeritus and program substitute for WEMU, 89.1 FM, Ypsilanti, MI., wemu.org