Sunday, November 09, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: Filled with Anima

Muhal Richard Abrams/George Lewis/Roscoe Mitchell: Streaming. 2005. Pi Recordings: PI22.

Muhal Richard Abrams: piano, bell, bamboo flute, taxi horn, percussion
George Lewis: trombone, laptop
Roscoe Mitchell: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, percussion

Three giants of the creative improvised music community doing their thing in collective collaboration. While I struggle to warm up to George Lewis' Voyager - and his electronic works in general - I find his contributions on laptop on Streaming to be incredible. Even when the electronics are not subtle or interwoven with the other players in this trio. The responsiveness of Abrams and Mitchell to these other-worldly soundscapes is fantastic. Each of these individuals is an inspiration in their own right. Taken together like this is pure indulgence for the friendly experiencer.

Ornette Coleman: Beauty is a Rare Thing: The Complete Atlantic Recordings [disc 3]. 1960 (re-released in 1993). Rhino/Atlantic: R2 71410.

Ornette Coleman: alto saxophone
Don Cherry: pocket trumpet
Charlie Haden: bass
Ed Blackwell: drums

This music was controversial in its day? It sounds so alive. The passage of time may have dulled the reasons to object to the ways of "free jazz," but the vitality of these sessions is still audible. The previously unreleased (prior to this box set) "Revolving Doors" would be a standout composition on most releases. Here it reinforces the sound and character exploding forth from Ornette Coleman at this 1960 session. And Don Cherry. What an innovator on trumpet. This box set documents an incredible chapter in jazz development.

Thomas Chapin Trio: Anima. (Disc 2 from Thomas Chapin: Alive box set). 1991/1999. Knitting Factory Records: 35828 0282 2.

Thomas Chapin: alto saxophone, flute, alto flute, voice changer, laff box
Mario Pavone: bass
Steve Johns: dums
with guest -
Michael Sarin: drums

The Thomas Chapin Trio sound runs sharp angles around funky corners, starts and stops, melodic logic and a tight rhythm section to back it all up. Which is a summary of the Knitting Factory sound back when that venue mattered to jazz. Chapin was on the bleeding edge of that sound in its days. A sound that still anchors many of my own sensibilities.

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