Heard on CultureShift

Local Experimental Jazz Group Griot Galaxy Revisit Debut Album

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Image credit: Courtesy of Third Man Records

The Griot Galaxy brought avant-garde jazz to the Detroit underground scene. Their album “Kins,” is now being reissued.

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Detroit’s Griot Galaxy, an experimental free jazz group that formed in 1972, is one example of the unspoken storytelling that comes with improvisational instrumentation.

In 1982, the Griots, curated by the late spoken word artist and saxophonist Faruq Z Bey, with Jaribu Shahid on bass, Tani Tabbal on drums, Anthony Holland and David McMurray, released their debut studio album, “Kins.” 

Packed with Afro-futuristic rhythm and synced improvisation, ”Kins” floated in Detroit’s underground jazz scene that surfaced in the early ‘80s and illustrated the trust between musicians’ instincts and their instruments. 

The best of that kind of improvisation happens with people who are together for a long period of time,” Jaribu Shahid tells CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire. “It’s more a matter of trust than anything else, where you can count on things staying together while you’re doing something else without people freaking out or words following you.” 

Click on the player above to hear Shahid and Ron DeCorte, Griot Galaxy’s engineer, in conversation with CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire.


Amanda LeClaire, Host, CultureShift

Amanda LeClaire is Host of CultureShift and is a founding producer of both of WDET’s locally-produced daily shows. She’s been involved in radio and the arts in Detroit for over a decade.

amanda.leclaire@wdet.org Follow @amandalee_lec

LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer and writer on CultureShift with a passion for highlighting creatives using their platform to shape, shift and analyze society through an artistic lens.

Latoya.cross@wdet.org Follow @ToizStory

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