In search of her ancestral homeland, jazz chanteuse Dee Dee Bridgewater discovered a strong spiritual connection to Mali, whose traditional music is laced with blues elements similar to those she heard growing up in Memphis. The result of her journey is Red Earth (DDB), her extraordinary new album, a seamless fusion of American jazz and blues with Malian roots, as played by such premier musicians as kora player Toumani Diabaté and singer Oumou Sangaré. Far from mere multicultural dabbling, it's a reconciliation of music evolved from common roots. Bridgewater scats undulating lines that weave and bob through the Malians' vocals, or match and/or respond to wiry guitar or kora figures. She wrote new lyrics that comfortably slip into ancient griot tales, resulting in tunes that float on diaphanous clouds of scintillating percussion while the vocals close the historic circle. And she seals the deal with Mali-infused covers of Wayne Shorter, Nina Simone, and Mongo Santamaria. On a very limited tour, Bridgewater will lead a ten-member band, including seven Malians and her regular trio: pianist Edsel Gomez, drummer Minino Garay, and bassist Ira Coleman. $60 at 7:00 p.m.; $45 at 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 16-17, 2007