SPOTLIGHT - Naim Classics: Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls

We continue to delve deep into Naim Records history and look back at the heritage of the label.

For our March playlist, we’ve chosen Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls as our spotlight artist.




Formed in 1995 by Chicago-based jazz drummer Ted Sirota, the band has 4 releases on the Naim Records label. The avant-garde post-bop ensemble quickly became one of Naim's stalwart jazz artists, with three stunning True Stereo recordings from Naim engineer Ken Christianson in five years (between 1996-2001).


Rebel Souls are described having ‘their roots in the rebellious jazz and improvised music of the 1960s but draw on myriad styles, including afro-pop, funk, reggae, ska, and hip-hop to help cultivate an immediately recognisable sound’. The New York Times praised Ted Sirota by explaining how he has put together a band that includes some of the better young musicians in Chicago who can play on both sides of the inside and outside split in jazz aesthetics.

Ted Sirota’s Rebel souls are one of Chicago’s longest running and arguably underground jazz combos. As the titles on the records suggest, there is a strong political element to Sirota’s work. The drummer has been described as an ‘out-spoken figure in the leftist tradition’. Their music is their weapon and they point and shoot at oppressors and reactionaries past and present.



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