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Air Song
Air featuring Henry Threadgill
Air Song
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1

The Air trio functioned with all three members contributing musically on an equal footing. Although in theory there was no leader, Henry Threadgill comes across as the dominant voice. The advanced interplay however, allied...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Air featuring Henry Threadgill
Title: Air Song
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Why Not
Original Release Date: 1/1/2009
Re-Release Date: 2/17/2009
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Styles: Electronica, Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 708857940325


Product Description
The Air trio functioned with all three members contributing musically on an equal footing. Although in theory there was no leader, Henry Threadgill comes across as the dominant voice. The advanced interplay however, allied with supreme musicianship and unfailingly creative solos, make the ebb and flow achieved on this record supremely satisfying. Of the four extended pieces presented here, the most intriguing is surely the wonderfully titled Great Body of the Riddle, or Where Were The Dodge Boys When My Clay Started to Slide? Titles aside, this set from 1975 is an impressive document from a revolutionary period in the evolution of jazz music. Henry Threadgill - tenor, baritone & alto saxophones, flute, Fred Hopkins - bass and Steve McCall - percussion.

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CD Reviews

Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 02/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"One disc,remixed,approximately 49 minutes in length. The sound, recorded in the mid-seventies,is definitely analog. The new release is a bit cleaner,with more space between the instruments. In saying this, don't think this is some horrible sounding disc-definitely not.

To anyone with an appreciation for this area of jazz the three players who make up this trio are well known. Fred Hopkins-bass,Henry Threadgill-various saxes and flute,and Steve McCall-percussion. Of the three Threadgill is perhaps the most well known,both on his own projects and in collaboration with other musicians. He was also a member of the AACM new music collective. This is one of two albums I hoped would someday be re-released,along with another by this same trio,AIR RAID,which is now very expensive. Hopefully the folks at Candid/Whynot Records will release it along with anything else they have from these three exceptional players. This album is comprised of four longish tracks,each with it's own approach and feel. While staying in the "free" area of jazz,this is not something that will bite the head off the new listener. While Threadgill's horns take center stage (each track has Threadgill playing a different lead instrument), the bass and drums are an integral part of this music. This is "trio" music on a very high plain.

While the horn is free to roam,the rhythm section is holding everything together-and the combination is very satisfying. Each player in the rhythm section gets a chance to step out front for a solo(example-track two has a drum and bass solo)but these compositions,all by Threadgill,are written for the group. The tracks have a feeling of "humaness" that much of what goes for "free" music at the time and even today,many groups lack. This music still sounds exciting today-perhaps not as exciting when it was first recorded-but it still packs a smooth punch. Threadgill is capable of playing very softly and open,and then will turn around and play a flurry of notes very fast when the need arises. His flute playing (track four)is very subtle,something along the lines of Sam Rivers' duets with Dave Holland. The bowed and plucked bass from Hopkins on this track is very nice. As I said,the rhythm section is integral for this music to work.

It's obvious that the three share a rapport much needed in a jazz group(especially playing this style of music) for the music to succeed. On this album they have definitely done that. The notes are very short and to the point. With a re-release of this magnitude,I hoped they would have been a little more in-depth. However,that's a minor quibble-I'm just glad this is out there for other people to hear.

Some Awesome music
Alessandro Oggioni | Felliniland, Italy | 04/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"AIR is a "free jazz" trio where Henry Threadgill's awesome talent as a player and composer blossosmed first. Here, nearly four years before their RCA "Air Lore" (a record I consider their masterpiece) I found surprisingly nearly 50 minutes of wonderful shiny music that as the aforementioned session did fuses the past, almost preistoric moods of jazz music (Tango, New Orleans, Shuffle, Swing etc.) with its more avant-gardish contemporary expressions. Three masters at work. Threadgill, still to become the all-too-little-known music Master he is today, at 31 was already near tne top of his skills, one of the great original sounding sax players, here on three horns and flutes. Keep your eyes wide open."
Unfortunately obscure, great album
M. Neustadt | Baltimore, MD United States | 01/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I listened to Henry Threadgill, both with Air and other ensembles, live a great deal in the 1970s. This has always been my favorite record from this band and one of my favorite products from the Chicago avant garde scene. It features fairly straight ahead, soulful blowing, absent the more challenging free forms that you'd hear from someone like Anthony Braxton or Roscoe Mitchell from the same period. All three musicians play huge. Fred Hopkins on bass gets a great deal of space to stretch out. His playing is masterful. Steve McCall was a powerful, propulsive drummer who was taken from us too soon. But he was one of the very finest drummers associated with the Chicago scene. Here you get a great example of his playing at his best. The title track, "Air Song" is a lyrical ballad with Henry Threadgill playing beautifully on flute. You will not regret picking up this CD. It's some of the most beautiful and engaging avant garde playing you'll hear."