Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Andrew Cyrille group featuring David Murray and Oliver Lake
Joe Pierre | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ode to the Living Tree is a fine album led by Andrew Cyrille on a studio date recorded in Senegal in 1994 on the Evidence Label. The highlight here is the line-up -- Cyrille gathers together David Murray (tenor, bass clarinet), Oliver Lake (alto sax), Adegoke Steve Colson (electric piano), Fred Hopkins (bass), and Mor Thiam (African drums on tracks 1 & 8) together for an enthusiastic quintet + 1 date. Cyrille is better known as a sideman (for example, as Cecil Taylor's drummer in the 60's) and doesn't really have a regular band himself, so this is more like an all-star group, though the members have their roots in prior partnerships (Cyrille and Hopkins as Murray's sometimes sidemen, Murray and Lake in the World Saxophone Quartet). I picked this up hoping to find a David Murray date that features him playing both tenor and bass clarinet in an adventurous (rather than balladic) mood, and this more than fits the bill. The addition of Oliver Lake makes it all the more worthwhile.
The numbers are as follows:
1. Coast to Coast 5:45
2. A Love Supreme: Acknowledgement and Resolution 19:43
3. Mr. P.C. 4:14
4. Ode to the Living Tree 8:52
5. Dakar Darkness 5:38
6. So That Life Can Endure... P.S. With Love 9:49
7. Midnight Samba 9:53
8. Water, Water, Water 3:11
Tracks 1 and 8 are drum duets that serve as bookends, but the real fire is in Murray's playing on the Coltrane tunes (2 and 3) and the title track (4), in which he really lets loose. The version of "A Love Supreme" features some explorative playing by Murray on both tenor and bass clarinet, while "Mr. P.C." is more of a straightforward Coltrane tribute. The title track starts with a repetitive stating of a theme, but then progresses to some near-free soloing. Tracks 5 and 6 are more subdued, with "So That Life Can Endure..." a nice extended slow ballad. "Midnight Samba" is a Colson piece that spotlights Oliver Lake's spirited soloing in the final group number. The interplay is great, though the electric (rather than acoustic) piano sometimes sounds a little out of place.
The album is Cyrille's tribute to Africa, having been recorded during his (and most of the other band member's) first journey to the continent. In the liner notes, he states that this resulted in an emotional outpouring captured in the music."