The music of Rhapsody
in Black has a distinctive character: it speaks of gentleness, humility,
artfulness and dignified cultural embrace.
Sax and flute player, Baba Andrew Lamb wastes no time in manifesting the aforementioned qualities in the opening page of the liner notes. The
title of the album addresses a celebration of Black Heritage.
The first percussion sounds heard are unavoidably spare and
soft, but “initiate” (cf. the title of the first track,“Initiation”) a series
of beautifully executed discrete strokes on the bass strings by Lamb's decade long collaborator Tom Abbs. The
atmosphere built is environmental, say of the jungle, bearing some kind of tribal
significance, haunting yells as testimony. Lambs’ clarinet induces an unique sound aura of calling forth spiritual
power that pervades the entire album.
The bass creates strong arco and pizzicato voices within the
group throughout the recording and seems just as prominent instrumentally as
the reeds are. Abbs also sput…