WBGO/TAKE FIVE:
New Music From Aaron Parks, Amir ElSaffar, Adam Rogers, Barbara Morrison and Raul Midón

Take Five: New Music From Aaron Parks, Amir ElSaffar, Adam Rogers, Barbara Morrison and Raul Midón

BY NATE CHINEN

Maqam, the system of melodic modes and pitch hierarchies in traditional Arabic music, has been a pliable tool for the Iraqi-American trumpeter, vocalist and santur player Amir ElSaffar. With his Rivers of Sound Orchestra — a 17-piece ensemble that includes jazz musicians like vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, guitarist Miles Okazaki and drummer Nasheet Waits — ElSaffar puts maqam in dialogue with cutting-edge improvisational practice.

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