Outhouse: Ruhabi

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Brierly,Smith
LABELS: Loop Records
WORKS: Works for jazz ensemble and Sabar drums
PERFORMER: Robin Fincker, Mark Hanslip, Johnny Brierley, (sax), Johnny Brierley (bass), Dave Smith (drums), plus percussion


In 2007 Outhouse visited the Gambia to work with a group of Sabar drummers. (Sabar drums are central to Gambian social occasions.) The results were aired on Radio 3 and at last year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and it was shortly after the concert there that this CD was recorded. 

The encounter between a jazz quartet and five drummers works extremely well, and why shouldn’t it, as some of jazz’s deepest roots are in West Africa. Dazzling beats from the African percussionists, reinforced with powerful work by Brierly and Smith, mesh with the two tenors to create exhilarating tapestries of rhythm and texture.


It’s said that a Sabar drum can be heard 9 miles away, echoing the jazz legend that Buddy Bolden’s cornet could be heard 14 miles across Lake Pontchartrain. So, I guess, could the thunderous bass-response on this disc. Barry Witherden