A stunner from Nicole Mitchell
– a flautist who's been pretty much redefining the jazz flute throughout her early career – here delivering a genre-defiant masterwork with her Black Earth Strings
group! The String includes Chicago Sinfonetta Chamber Orchestra vet Renee Baker on violin & viola, diverse Chicago scene players Tomeka Reid on cello and Josh Abrams on bass, and Shirazette Tinnin on drums and percussion – and the group does in wonderful job of moving the boundless spirit of Mitchell
's Black Earth
Ensemble recordings in a stripped down, acoustic, but unencumbered setting. From the dynamic improvisation to spiritually resonant compositions, it's incredible stuff – working in elements of African rhythmic influences, moving melodies, both graceful and muscular interplay, with soulful and funky jazz of decades past and the future to come. 16 tracks in all: "Crossroads", "No Mater What", "Ice", "Windance", "Renegades", "By My Own Grace", "What If", "Symbology" (#s 1, 2A & 2), "Wade", "Waterdance", "Mama Found Out", "Waris Dirie", "Aaya's Rainbow" and more.