Not to discredit the way records are made in the present, but there is something uniquely special when a group of musicians get together in the same room and track some legit Ethiopian-jazz direct to two-inch tape utilizing the best microphones and gear available. Under the direction of engineer/producer, Kamal de Iruretagoyena Humphrey, this stellar group of multicultural musicians recorded in studio without headphones to optimize the intimate setting inspired by the spiritual jazz masterpiece:
"Celestial Blues" by Gary Bartz and Joe Henderson's "Earth"
These type of live recording sessions do have their obstacles. The legendary drummer, James Gadson, had to go in to the hospital the day before the session. Just before downbeat, master-percussionist, Kahlil Cummings, told the band that he had another session... that night! This is the life when working with such sought after musicians. The result of such brilliant chemistry is what you are about to listen to in Kibrom's Circles.
Ethiopian-born Jazz musician Kibrom Birhane mixes Spiritual Jazz with Ethiopian Jazz motifs to create a unique and deep sound that resonates across many cultures and musical concepts. His understanding of Jazz and improvisation is unparalleled among Jazz artist in the world today. This understanding combined with a connection to the spirits create a rich and diverse tapestry of sounds, ideas and discoveries. Kibrom is a member of Los Angeles based Ethio-Cali group, that has included Jazz luminaries Kamasi Washington, Dexter Story, Mark De-Clive Lowe and many others.
Randal Fisher - the wunderkind saxophonist raised in Los Angeles, who's big soulful sound compliments the likes of Aloe Black, Tony Allen, Meklit, Dexter Story's Wondem, and the Pan-African People's Arkestra.
Kahlil Cummings - LA's master percussionist via Guinea attains talents so massive, he has worked with Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Janelle Monae and Gwen Stefani while directing his own ensemble Extra-Ancestral and the all queen ensembles bacteria, Bloco Obini. Nadav Peled is a recent addition to Los Angeles from Israel with well-versed African-Jazz guitar stylings showcased with Gili Yalo and Thelma de Freitas while leading his NY-based Anbessa Orchestra.
Rounding out the ensemble are the Ethiopian bass-legend, Misgana Mulat, who has worked with the likes of Mahmound Ahmend, Aster Awake, Tewodros Tadesse, Teddy Afro, Judith Hill, and Najee.
On drums is the San Diego-based powerhouse Jake Najor who's deep, rhythmic pocket is sought out by Big Daddy Kane, TV On the Radio, Kelis, Raphael Saadiq, Breakestra, Connie Price and the Keystones, De La Soul, and many more. Adding to the mix, we find Kibrom's wife, the talented multi-instrumentalist, Etsegenet Mekonnen singing on "Circle."