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. She spent a few years in the southwest for Arizona Public Media.

amanda.leclaire@wdet.org Follow @amandalee_lec

LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer with CultureShift, where she produces in-depth content that spotlights creatives and individuals using their platform to examine, cultivate, shape and shift culture.

Latoya.cross@wdet.org Follow @ToizStory

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