The Best Jazz Albums Of 2017
STEREOGUM: The Best Jazz Albums Of 2017
BY PHIL FREEMAN
15. Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers Of Sound Orchestra – Not Two (New Amsterdam)
"Amir ElSaffar is an Iraqi-American trumpeter and composer whose work blends jazz and Middle Eastern music in fascinating, non-clichéd ways. On this double disc, he’s leading a 17-piece orchestra that includes musicians from wildly varied backgrounds including classical, jazz, and traditional Middle Eastern music. The tracks are composed in order to take each player’s style and approach into account and allow them to contribute to the broader whole. It’s similar to the way Duke Ellington didn’t just write a trumpet part or a saxophone part; he wrote a trumpet part for Bubber Miley or a saxophone part for Johnny Hodges. It’s an epic, two-hour suite that incorporates melodies and rhythms from across the planet into something that is undeniably jazz."
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