Friday, July 8, 2011

"Duality": Jazz at the Blue Coffee Cafe

The dude plays a slappaphone. I never heard of the instrument until I heard him play it 7 years ago. It’s a Gamelan percussion instrument. I’m told that Kahlil Kwame Bell is the only jazz musician in the world who plays it. His work is a unique blend of sounds that have left me spellbound and breathless every time I hear him play.

His newest project is a departure from his work with the slappaphone. He returns to his roots in “Duality”. It’s his skill as a percussionist that has landed him gigs on over 80 recording and tours with some of the best in the business. Bell has worked with Roberta Flack, Erika Badu, Sepia, Stefon Harris and two time Grammy Nominated Russell Gunn’s group Ethnomusicology. He plays over 1,000 percussion instruments and does work on both wood and clay flutes.

He is an accomplished composer and arranger. The genres on his recording range from Jazz to Folk, Rock to Hip Hop, Classical to World Music and Spoken Word to Spiritual tunes. In “Duality” Bell teams up with Brandon MCune. McCune, who was chosen as the U.S. Jazz Ambassador to Africa, has worked as a band leader, music director or sideman for Abbey Lincoln, Terrance Blanchard, Nneena Freelon, Betty Carter, Miki Howard, Wynton Marsalis, Terry Dunbar, Larry Ridley, NCCU’s Lenora Zenzalai Helm, Mark Gross, Antonio Hart and Orbet Davis.

“Duality” is magic wrapped in sound. The two stand alone in a collection of songs that take you on a journey around the globe of musical sounds. Each takes you deeper into a hypnotic state destined to pull you away from the chaotic mess that has enraged those searching for more than a drum machine to captivate their attention.

The two will be performing on Saturday, July 9th at the Blue Coffee Café at 202 N. Corcoran St. in downtown Durham. They will be there for a CD release party. The small venue will allow for the audience to touch and feel the sounds. There is a $20 cover charge to get in. It’s well worth it. The Blue Coffee Café will be transformed into a jazz club that night. For those who have been to some of the best clubs in New York City, Bell and McCune are set to take your mind there. The show starts at 8:00 pm. with a free art show from 4-7pm.

What a gift to the city of Durham. Hope to see you there.

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