Born: March 9, 1947 Primary Instrument: Sax, soprano
KALI. Z. FASTEAU - Composer and Multi-Instrumentist: Soprano Saxophone, Nai & Shakuhachi Flutes, Voice, Piano, Synthesizer, Cello, Sanza, Viola, Mizmars, Aquasonic, and Drums.
From a musical family, Kali Z. played piano, cello, flute, voice since early childhood in Paris and New York. She received degrees studying the music of Asia, Africa, 20th Century Europe and Jazz, and then traveled for fourteen years, living in sixteen countries: India (1981-83), Turkey (1976-77), Nepal, Morocco, Senegal, Congo, Italy, Holland, France, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Germany, Greece, Haiti and America, performing in many music festivals and concerts, national radio and TV, film soundtracks, and university programs....
I give this 5 stars. She’s got that microtonal thing happening. This is beautiful! CASSANDRA WILSON, DOWNBEAT
Part of New York's original free-jazz scene, Kali has a fierce dedication to music as pure, forceful, exploratory sound. She blends cultures and tones...it's world music as constant rapture. Ben Ratliff, The NEW YORK TIMES
Fasteau's powerful free improvisations extend the legacy of John Coltrane, with her own distinct exploratory voice and luxurious sound. With ecstatic, but disciplined fervor, clarity of thought and freely flowing imagination, she packs a wealth of expression into a single utterance. Steve Holtje, JAZZIZ
“Fasteau leads the fifteen live recordings on Vivid with agility and grace, with precision and freedom, with driving force and haunting beauty. Moving from soprano sax to drum set to a variety of indigenous reed instruments to mind-bending vocal glossolalia, hers is an ancient-to-future aesthetic, clearly connected to Yusef Lateef, Wayne Shorter and the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s wide-ranging culture blend.” Pete Gershon, Editor: SIGNAL to NOISE
“Multi-instrumentalist improv-goddess Kali Z. Fasteau brings it all full circle. On Vivid, supported by a stellar line-up of William Parker, Joe McPhee, Sabir Mateen, Hamid Drake and Ron McBee, Fasteau freely explores the synthesis of improvisation and worldly sounds…this is truly wonderful music…Highest recommendation!” Jeff Gibson, OTHER MUSIC
“Calling Fasteau a “composer and multi-instrumentalist” is like calling Einstein “a clever little guy.” Fasteau’s sound is infused with the expansiveness of her world travels and moves effortlessly through many different styles. But it is Fasteau herself that makes this CD special. Her utter at-homeness with the music is the artist’s loss of ego, where a musician lets the music take over and play itself. A recording of rare beauty and virtuosity.” Richard Kadrey, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Fasteau has mastered the searing energy language of her male free jazz peers, yet she offers her own unique take. Her soprano sax playing, alongside William Parker, Bobby Few, Noah Howard and Daniel Carter is every bit as robust as her formidable compatriots. A. C. Lee, THE WIRE
“VIVID is a masterpiece in Fasteau’s rich gallery of work. Her multi-instrumental improvisations, balancing intricate pulsating rhythms with deep-rooted melodies, are only a prelude to her astonishing vocals. Kali’s understanding of the relationship between India’s music and spiritual life brings a clarity to her synthesis of Indian microtonality and the evanescent chromatic freedom of avant-garde jazz….William Parker’s sonorous drones interact beautifully with Fasteau’s nai and kaval flutes…and the telepathic exchanges between Fasteau and Joe McPhee are the high points of this recording. The two musicians evoke dramatically shifting moods, developing fierce microtonal intensity in their soprano saxophone dance on ‘Red’, and offering a tender, elegant exchange on ‘Chartreuse.’
A project as clear-spirited as Vivid makes Kali Fasteau look like the avant-garde’s Joan of Arc.” John Swenson, SONICNET.com
Four Aces - A Hands-down Classic! rating from ALTERNATIVE PRESS - A.P. Magazine. Only 4 out of 100 albums reviewed received the Four Aces rating. The writer said, ...a special synthesis of head and heart. This is undoubtably one of the richest and most polished contributions to the free-jazz genre that a listener could ever hope to encounter.
“A human warmth, a spirituality that makes us feel the cosmic embrace of the world.” Stefano Archangeli, MUSICA JAZZ
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