Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Chico wrote all the originals and arranged it for the septet. The music is an excellent documentation of what was going on in Chicago during the avant garde period. The tunes and performances make challenging and rewarding... more »
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Chico wrote all the originals and arranged it for the septet. The music is an excellent documentation of what was going on in Chicago during the avant garde period. The tunes and performances make challenging and rewarding listening. It is now thirty three years since this important, pioneering recording was made and it a testament to its value that the music has matured so well and to this day remains vital, challenging and fresh. Chico Freeman - tenor & soprano saxophone, flute, pan pipe and percussion, Henry Threadgill - alto & baritone saxophone, flute, Muhal Richard Abrams - piano, Cecil McBee - bass & cello, Steve McCall - percussion, Ben Montgomery - drums & percussion, Douglas Ewart - bass & bamboo flute, percussion.
Chico, Henry, Muhal, and Cecil in the morning light.
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 02/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chico Freeman has had a prolific career as an extremely versatile tenor stylist who has mastered many different styles of tenor playing.
The release of a CD version of this, Freeman's second outing as a leader, reminds us that he had that versatility and maturity as a player from the get go. The recording took place on September, 1978.
But then this CD provides an early glimpse of the abilities of quite a few master musicians. The line-up is quite amazing. Besides Freeman on tenor and soprano sax, Henry Threadgill plays alto, baritone saxes and flute. Douglas Ewart contributes various flutes and percussion. Muhal Richard Abrams is the pianist. Cecil McBee is the bassist. The music is grounded by both Steve McCall and Ben Montgomery on drums. Chicago always amazes me not just with the sheer number of musicians working there but the culture of collaboration that appears (to this outsider)to be woven in to the music scene. I wonder how much of that is due to the AACM?
In any case, this CD starts off strong with Like the Kind of Peace It Is.
This tune reminds me a little like something mid-60s Jackie McLean would put out on his Blue Notes. Threadgill tears it up on alto and Freeman follows on the soprano. The In Between is a tenor feature for Freeman. He is supported by McBee's constant urging bass and the drums. All of the compositions are by Freeman. Conversations brings back the full group. Threadgill is on baritone for this outing with Freeman sticking to tenor.
Abrams gets in a very nice straight ahead solo. For the most part all the musicians play pretty straight ahead postbop.
Morning Prayer is the only sort of clunker for me. This piece serves to really date the music for my ears. I suppose it is supposed to be meditative or perhaps a spiritual piece. So perhaps it is my dogged record of failure and obtuseness in the spiritual realms that keeps me from getting this piece. For the first minute you barely hear anything, a few bells, a gong, some hand percussion, some flute. And that is the way it goes for twelve plus minutes. Play it for yourself- you may get more from it than I do.
Fortunately, we end with two versions of Pepe's Samba- the original release and a much longer outtake. These are perhaps the stongest performances on the CD. It starts off with McBee's great bass. There is a fairly quick statement of the melody than Freeman takes off while being pushed and urged by Abrams and McBee.
He is followed by McBee (doG, I wish I had seen him live-what a player!).
I like having the two versions of this piece. The outtake is almost twice as long as the released version. Freeman really stretches out on the longer take and the drummers get some space.
For those of us who were listening to this kind of music back in the sixties and seventies when it was being created, the release of this CD is like getting a little piece of personal history back. For those of you who came to this music later, this CD is a chance to hear these great musicians/composers toward the beginning of their careers. For all of us, it is a chance to listen to some great music."