Gatekeepers Blues – Dawan Muhammad




Dawan assembled some of Silicon Valley’s finest jazz musicians along with a few special guest artists from out of the area. Encouraged by engineer Lee Ray, Dawan decided to produce the last memorial recording session at Open Path Studios, a state-of-the art facility located in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, California.

Dawan starts this ceremonial compilation of tracks with his ‘Gatekeepers Blues,’ a contemporary approach to blues form with a haunting melody and pseudo-funky feeling. James Leary’s ‘L’ear ‘features improvisations on a gospel theme that grooves through many moods and swings into

‘Darshan’s Love,’ composed by Clifford Adams. ‘Place On High’ a piano/flute duet composed by Elmer Gibson in recognition and respect of religious scriptures, provides a nice segue into Dawan’s ‘Timbuktu,’ a salute to the place of higher knowledge and spiritual awareness, once known as a great learning center in the desert of 12th century West
Africa. Elmer composes music for any occasion and his ‘The Way We
Used To Feel’ is an appropriate reflection for this final Open Path recording session. The rarely recorded, yet beautiful ‘Quiet Now’ by Denny Zeitlin is from a 2005 session engineered by Scott Sorkin an showcases the up and coming talents of Richard Sears (piano) and Ryan York (Bass) who at that time were high school seniors, participating in
LifeForcejazz workshops. Elmer’s ‘That’s Cool’ is a soundscape depicting the jovial personality of Billy Higgins and leads into a rendition of John Coltrane’s ‘Dahomey Dance,’ which maintains the spiritual aura and direction conveyed throughout this CD. Dawan closes out with ‘Let’s Do This,’ an original written with flugelhorn master Art Farmer in mind
. Well, this is a brief outline of the journey, now all you have to do is keep your ears open and enjoy the trip!