Global Unity

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
There is a tightrope in jazz fusion, strung between the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s jazz-rock synthesis and contemporary jazz. Few can play across the span without either falling into nostalgia or opting out in favor of elevator music. But on Global Unity soprano saxist Sam Newsome not only strolls elegantly along the high wire; he also adds some fresh moves. Amid the exotic percussion sounds of gourd, caxixi, bells, and violin his saxophone flutters, soars, and pecks on “An Afrasian Occasion.” Guitarist Marvin Sewell and vocalist Elisabeth Kontamonou set a folk mood on “When You See the Light” before Newsome, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, and bassist Ugonna Okegwo come in ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
There is a tightrope in jazz fusion, strung between the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s jazz-rock synthesis and contemporary jazz. Few can play across the span without either falling into nostalgia or opting out in favor of elevator music. But on Global Unity soprano saxist Sam Newsome not only strolls elegantly along the high wire; he also adds some fresh moves. Amid the exotic percussion sounds of gourd, caxixi, bells, and violin his saxophone flutters, soars, and pecks on “An Afrasian Occasion.” Guitarist Marvin Sewell and vocalist Elisabeth Kontamonou set a folk mood on “When You See the Light” before Newsome, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, and bassist Ugonna Okegwo come in to spin it into the spiritual sphere. “A Night in Indonesia” also has this sublime feel, but the meditation arises from Adam Cruz’s steel drum, Matt Balitsaris’ mandola, and other assorted percussion instruments, making for a rootsy base. “Dance of the Deli Lama” (Newsome also has a way with words, at least in song titles) features a scorching soprano solo arising from chilly layers of vocals, electric instruments, and percussion. “The Wedding March of a Playboy,” which is actually beautifully funereal, and “The Sucker’s Game” are the closest Newsome comes to the straight-ahead arena, and even here he and his crew break out of the bag. There are no strings of solos tied loosely together; rather, Newsome composes for an ensemble effect, layering instruments and using percussion for glue. Global Unity is the kind of CD that Don Cherry, whose own forays into ethnic fusion certainly inspired Newsome, might have made were he alive today.
All Music Guide - David R. Adler
Sam Newsome moved to the indie label Palmetto for the second installment of his Global Unity project. Utilizing a larger cast of musicians and a wider variety of instruments, he vacillates between the edgy sound of his previous record and something a good deal more soft and palatable. Marvin Sewell's acoustic guitar strumming on "When You See the Light," "The Sucker's Game," and "When You Hide From Me" results in an almost poppy feel; pianist Jean-Michel Pilc's three appearances have a similar effect. On the flip side, "Dance of the Deli Lama" and "Into-Nation of Islam," in bracing 10/8 and 11/8 meters respectively, recall the stripped-down aesthetic of the first Global Unity album. Newsome may be going through a transitional stage here, as he tries to infuse his percussive concept with new layers of melodic content. "The Wedding March of a Playboy," a superior example of songcraft, suggests that he's on to something.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2001
  • Label: PALMETTO RECORDS
  • UPC: 753957207427
  • Catalog Number: 2074

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sam Newsome Primary Artist, Soprano Saxophone
Matt Balitsaris 12-string Guitar, Mandola
Jeff Berman Cymbals, Chekere, Vibes, Shaker, Taos Drum
Melainie Baker Bass
Adam Cruz Conga, Caxixi, Steel Pan
Satoshi Takeishi Japanese Percussion
Jean-Michel Pilc Piano
Elisabeth Kontomanou Vocals
Ugonna Okegwo Bass
Kahlil Kwame Bell Bongos, Kalimba
Gilad Dumbek, Percussion, Triangle, Berimbau, gourd, finger cymbals, Riqq, Morrocan Bongos
Technical Credits
Matt Balitsaris Producer, Engineer
A.T. Michael MacDonald Mastering
Jal Keli Art Direction
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