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Joe Chambers Announces New Album ‘Dance Kobina,’ Shares Title Track

‘Dance Kobina’ is set to arrive on February 3 via Blue Note.

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Joe Chambers, ‘Dance Kobina’ - Photo: Courtesy of Blue Note Records
Joe Chambers, ‘Dance Kobina’ - Photo: Courtesy of Blue Note Records

Drummer, percussionist, vibraphonist, composer, and Blue Note legend Joe Chambers returns with the February 3 release of Dance Kobina, his third Blue Note album as a leader and one that explores the deep musical connection between Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, Argentinian, and African music.

The follow-up to his 2021 album Samba de Maracatu was co-produced by pianist Andrés Vial and recorded in both New York and Montreal. The album presents compelling Chambers originals including “Gazelle Suite,” “Ruth,” and “Caravanserai,” as well as interpretations of pieces by Vial, Kurt Weill, Joe Henderson, and Karl Ratzer.

Joe Chambers - Dance Kobina

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The album’s vibrant title track composed by Vial is available to stream or download now. Originally lacking a title, Chambers suggested “Dance Kobina” as the name for the piece because of its uplifting, dancing quality, and as a nod to the presence of Congolese percussionist Elli Miller Maboungou at the session. In Lingala, a Bantu language spoken in the Congo, ‘kobina’ means ‘to dance.’ The performance features Chambers on drums, Maboungou on Ngoma drums, Vial on piano, Caoilainn Power on alto saxophone, Michael Davidson on vibraphone, and Ira Coleman on bass.

In the mid-to-late 1960s, Chambers played drums for numerous Blue Note luminaries appearing on some of the decade’s most progressive albums including Bobby Hutcherson’s Components and Happenings, Wayne Shorter’s Adam’s Apple, Freddie Hubbard’s Breaking Point, Joe Henderson’s Mode for Joe, Sam Rivers’ Contours, Andrew Hill’s Andrew!!!, Donald Byrd’s Fancy Free, and many more.

The label’s owners – Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff – offered Chambers a chance to record his own album for the imprint during that fertile period, but he was riding so high on recording and touring with so many jazz greats that he declined the opportunity. Chambers eventually did release his own Blue Note debut Mirrors in 1998 featuring trumpeter Eddie Henderson, saxophonist Vincent Herring, pianist Mulgrew Miller, and bassist Ira Coleman.

Pre-order Dance Kobina.

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