Love & War
Give thanks and praise to the Most High. . . From the sweet madness of Philadelphia and New York, having sojourned in Europe, South America, and India, Ezekiel has created an anthemic album for hardcore seekers in the rough new millennium. Larry McDonald on percussion, Brian Jackson on keyboards and flute, and Ed Brady on lead guitar-veterans of Gil Scott Heron's band-plus drummer Ronald Murphy, bassist Gaku Takanashi, and guitarist Dave Hahn comprise a sharp band that plays the new sounds of experience. Soul singer Denise De La Cruz, Nyabinghi percussionist Eddie-I Zebulon, Brazilian percussionist Dende, and dancehall keyboardist Ricky T. share guest credits with foundational Jamaican drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace (star of Rockers), guitar screamer Flash, and bass wizards Rob Gordon and Victor Rice. Two wicked horn sections-including saxophonist Zé Luis Oliveira-send the message home. Reggae, funk, and salsa are the tasty mix served here. It's been a long journey for Ezekiel: As a member of the seminal Philly punk band McRad in the 1980s, he toured and recorded extensively before concentrating on songwriting. His career was interrupted soon after the birth of his son Yoel, who was diagnosed with leukemia. That experience, and Yoel's full recovery-plus life in post-9/11 America-form the backdrop to Love and War. This album is dedicated to Yoel and to all children with life-threatening illnesses.