Spiritual Jazz

The current revival of spiritual jazz will get a spotlight as well.
Matthew Halsall
Chief Atunde Adjuah

Flute and harp, so typical of the spiritual jazz made in the 1970s by, for example, Alice Coltrane, return in the music of British trumpeter Matthew Halsall.

Jazz lovers mainly know New Orleanian trumpeter Chief Atunde Adjuah under his former name Christian Scott, but nowadays he both sings and plays intense, profoundly spiritual music on his own kind of kora, related to the harp.

Kahil El’Zabar
André 3000

Chicago-based percussionist Kahil El'Zabar, who has played with Don Cherry and Archie Shepp, among others, has been making music deeply rooted in spiritual jazz for decades and is now coming to Rotterdam with his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, formed half a century ago especially for this style. In March, they released the album Open Me, A Higher Consciousness Of Sound And Spirit that features mesmerizing combinations of traditional and innovative jazz structures.

Perhaps the most surprising representative of the current spiritual jazz revival is also eagerly awaited: André 3000. Of course, we know him mainly as a rapper from the renowned hip hop duo OutKast, but last year he made his debut solo album New Blue Sun on which for the first time he does not rap or play hip hop beats but plays the flute for an hour and a half. He spent years studying the instrument, which pays off in beautiful, deeply spiritual sounds, ably guided by producer Carlos Niño.