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Griot: This Is Important!

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Jewel Case
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It is only natural that Jeremy Pelt's voracious curiosity would lead him to investigate the West African Griot tradition where stories, reminiscences and accomplishments from times past are handed down as oral histories. Researchers such as Art Taylor, William Russell and Alan Lomax have preserved interviews with older jazzmen but for his Griot odyssey, Pelt turns to his own peer group to record their thoughts on creating jazz, playing jazz and experiencing the life of a jazz musician of colour in our own time.

Each brief interview is followed by a composition by Pelt which perfectly captures the sentiments and emotions of its spoken-word prelude. To help him bring his vision to life, Pelt has assembled a hand-picked group of colleagues, featuring vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Vicente Archer, harpist Brandee Younger and others.

The tunes themselves run the gamut from the remarkable mixing of the sacred and the secular in "Carry Christ Wherever You Are," to the Monk-like gallumphing opening unison in "Don't Dog the Source," and the urgent, "Underdog." As Pelt himself says, "I want people to understand that this is for everybody," that the project was undertaken to perhaps help them "understand that whatever they might be going through, their perspectives might run parallel to those of people who are generations apart from them. Maybe, to a certain extent, these younger people will find themselves in these stories."

Personnel: Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Chien Chien Lu (vibraphone), Victor Gould (piano, nord keyboard), Vicente Archer (bass; Allan Mednard (drums), Ismel Wignall (percussion), Brandee Younger (harp)


  1. Name
  2. Griot - Intro
  3. Words By Paul West
  4. Carry Christ Wherever You Are
  5. Words By Larry Willis
  6. Underdog
  7. Words By Jd Allen
  8. Don't Dog The Source
  9. Words By Bertha Hope
  10. A Seat At The Table
  11. Words By Harold Mabern
  12. Solidarity
  13. Words By René Marie
  14. A Beautiful (F*cking) Lie
  15. In Spite Of...
  16. Words By Ambrose Akinmusire
  17. Relevance
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