Search - Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath :: Chris Mcgregor's Brotherhood of Breath (Reis)

Chris Mcgregor's Brotherhood of Breath (Reis)
Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath
Chris Mcgregor's Brotherhood of Breath (Reis)
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

Arguably one of the most influential albums to emerge from the London jazz scene of the early 1970s.


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All Artists: Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath
Title: Chris Mcgregor's Brotherhood of Breath (Reis)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Fledg'ling UK
Original Release Date: 1/1/1971
Re-Release Date: 3/5/2007
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Jazz Fusion
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1


Album Description
Arguably one of the most influential albums to emerge from the London jazz scene of the early 1970s.

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CD Reviews

Joyful Noises
Mark Carlin | Oxford, England | 03/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the absolute key documents of British jazz (or indeed post-Ornette jazz of any nationality), this is the 1970 Joe Boyd-produced debut album by the big band formed by the exiled South African pianist and composer Chris McGregor. Basically an extension of his working band the Blue Notes (from whose ranks appear trumpeter Mongezi Feza, altoist Dudu Pukwana, tenorman Ronnie Beer and drummer Louis Moholo, with fellow SA expatriate Harry Miller on bass) utilising the finest cutting-edge British players of the time. The sax section is completed by the "SOS" team, i.e. John Surman, Mike Osborne and Alan Skidmore; from the Keith Tippett Group come cornettist Marc Charig and trombonist Nick Evans; and the line-up is completed by trombonist Malcolm Griffiths (from the Mike Westbrook band, as were Miller, Surman and Osborne) and the great West Indian trumpeter Harry Beckett. The opening track, "Mra," is five minutes of insistent riffing and rhythm (used in fact for many years as the theme tune of BBC Radio 3's "Jazz Record Requests") and cries out to be sampled. Wonderful interplay between the different sections, slightly reminscent of Tadd Dameron. The next track "Davashe's Dream" is a bittersweet ballad feature for the simultaneously caressing and slashing alto sax of Pukwana, combining lyricism and pain in a haunting way (there's also a great, slightly sardonic trumpet solo from Feza). More riffing in "The Bride" with Surman's Coltranesque soprano rising above the ensemble and knitting impeccably with the unbeatable Miller/Moholo rhythm team. "Andromeda" is a terrific, light-hearted avant-Basie swing romp with some outrageous playing from Feza and Evans (Wynton Marsalis would hate it!). The centrepiece of the album, however, is the extended 20-minute workout "Night Poem," an intricately-constructed ambient dreamland with riffs drifting in and out of focus; Indian flutes and African xylophone interacting with the free playing (Beckett, Griffiths and Osborne - on clarinet - being the most discernible). To finish with, the that's-all-folks 200 mph one-minute sign-off of "Union Special." If you dig this you should also seek out "Live At Willisau" recorded in 1973 and reissued on the independent Ogun label on CD in Europe in 1994 (and still, to my knowledge, available). Evan Parker and Radu Malfatti also appear on the latter and drive the music into even more abstract (and sometimes prototype punk-jazz) territory."
C. Daniels | Berkeley, CA United States | 07/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can't imagine anybody not loving this music at first listen. Comparisons to Mingus are very apt, as this music not only slashes, bubbles, sings and rumbles: it also also possesses an elegance that comes right out of Ellington. Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza play magnificently, McGregor was a wonderful composer/arranger/pianist and the band includes extremely accomplished soloists, many of whom are content to play a purely supportive role. This is one of the most beautiful - and most important - big-band jazz albums, period. Get it before it becomes ridiculously expensive again!"
C. Daniels | 10/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This great album by a legendary band has long been unobtainable, vinyl copies change hands at high prices. The music is similar to some of Mingus' work, but with the township jive feel replacing the funky gospel of Mingus. The soloists are 1st rate, Dudu Puckwana and Mongezi Feza stand out. This is passionate music played from the heart by an extraordinary band at its peak. Bravo Chris Mcgregor!"