Ameen Saleem, surely one of the most promising bass players in the world, knows the simple but elusive rules that make up a groove album, and this debut as a bandleader stands out between the crowded ranks of modern jazz. Innovators, conservatives, revolutionaries—all of them are sometimes connected by the one thing that Saleem boldly cites in the title of his album. You might know the Roy Hargrove Quintet, and if you do, you might have noticed the rhythm section, chances are that you have appreciated the great work done by Saleem at the bass.
What a jumble. Nearly a decade and a half of groove morphology compressed into an EP, and overlaid with new components to show, at once, how rhythmically pioneering Davis was-as if this needed reiteration-in a Sly Stone/James Brown sense, and how much influence he still exerts in rap and R&B. An old soul informing our new soul music. But wouldn’t you know: This brief set mostly works, if you can orient yourself to what’s essentially a tour-de-force of amalgamation, a testament to the recording studio and what can be done with old session tapes as much as that original music itself.