From the press release on their website:
“Alabê presents the traditional percussion of the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblé in a jazz context. The compositions are dialogues between the percussion of the Ketu nation and the saxophone, like the Rum (the drum that leads the ceremony) converses with the Orisha (a spirit embodied by a person in trance).
Brazilian music has its roots in the African rhythms which were played in places of worship of the Candomblé. Around the world, African musical heritage has spread giving birth to Blues, Jazz, Rumba, Salsa and Samba.
The riches of African percussion are immense. This knowledge is transmitted from master to apprentice in ritual spaces and ceremonies. Each sacred drummer, called an Ogan, possesses a piece of that knowledge. In this oral tradition, where there is no formal study, it is rare for outsiders to encounter archives of these musical treasures. Many famous Brazilian percussionists are inspired by this tradition, but it is very rare to encounter it in its original form outside of the Candomblé.
Bringing this traditional knowledge in a contemporary setting and making it accessible to a larger public is a way to contribute to the preservation and the valorisation of this intangible culture.
The group was founded by Antoine Olivier, a French percussionist living in Rio de Janeiro who performs as an Ogan in the Candomblé, and Brazilian saxophonist Glaucus Linx (Isaac Hayes, Salif Keita, Elza Soares, Carlinhos Brown…). The band also features the Grand Master of the Candomblé drums : Dofono de Omolu and percussionists Tiago Magalhães e Gabriel Guenther.
The sacred rhythms of the Candomblé offer their power and complexity in a modern context: this is Alabê Ketujazz. Four percussionists and a saxophonist explore new musical landscapes with original compositions and classics by the likes of Baden Powell.”