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Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble

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  • Dave Purcell
    As I mentioned earlier in the week, I caught Ernest Dawkins New Horizons Ensemble at a house concert on Saturday. Holy f*cking cow. Best jazz show I ve ever
    Message 1 of 5 , May 1 6:34 AM
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      As I mentioned earlier in the week, I caught Ernest Dawkins' New
      Horizons Ensemble at a house concert on Saturday.

      Holy f*cking cow. Best jazz show I've ever seen. One of the best shows
      I've seen, period.

      Despite driving 13+ hours from Boston to Cincinnati -- they got in about
      five minutes before showtime -- they played two long sets with
      incredible intensity and energy. As Carl predicted, they swung hard and
      blew free often, but not to the point of atonality -- comparable perhaps
      to mid-60s Coltrane but never into harder Ornette Coleman turf.

      The quartet was Dawkins on alto, tenor, and percussion, Steve Berry on
      trombone, Darius Savage on bass, and Isiah Spencer on drums. It's the
      same lineup from Dawkins' last release, "Mean Ameen," minus trumpeter
      Maurice Brown. All four are serious heavyweights, but Spencer almost
      stole the show -- his drumming is explosive but melodic, and he played
      with a huge grin on his face almost the entire night while following
      Dawkins thru some (occasionally) serious improv.

      The venue is incredible too -- it's an apartment in Cincinnati's
      university district (Paul -- it's on Calhoun by Myra's and Mole's
      Records) where this hardcore jazz fan hosts shows about once a month.
      The acoustics are amazing and the vibe is perfect -- dim lighting and
      the walls are covered with a lifelong collection of posters, postcards,
      news clippings, etc. Miles & Coltrane share the walls Michael Jordan and
      Dr. J. It's BYOB, home cooked food is provided. Just an unbelievable
      night of music & community.

      Definitely catch Dawkins' group if he's near you. And check out
      www.loftsociety.com if you're up for a roadtrip. The next show is the
      Andrew Lamb trio on May 20.

      Cheers,
      dp
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