Search - Muhal Richard Abrams, Marty Ehrlich :: Open Air Meeting

Open Air Meeting
Muhal Richard Abrams, Marty Ehrlich
Open Air Meeting
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Muhal Richard Abrams, Marty Ehrlich
Title: Open Air Meeting
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: New World Records
Original Release Date: 2/21/1997
Re-Release Date: 2/18/1997
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 093228051220

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CD Reviews

One of the Best Primers For Anyone Uninitiated To the Avante
Sambson | North Carolina | 03/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Muhal Richard Abrams is the founder of the AACM and one of the avante-garde's shining pianist and composers. This disc is a performance of duets with frequent collaborator Marty Ehrlich on alto sax and clarinet. Abrams' marvelous voice combines many elements of others into a synthesis completely his own. Though there are sections reminiscent of Monk, Cecil Taylor, etc; forced to name only one ghost I'd have to say Sun Ra's early work bleeds through due to Abram's uplifting and even mirthful moments, which are sometimes sorely lacking in free jazz. "Marching With Honor" comes with chaos, eventually turning into the title's alluded martial theme just in time for a wonderful transition to "Dark Sestina". This piece floats into balladry with a beautiful piano solo reminiscent of McCoy Tyner, ending on an extended note that transitions to "Crossbeams"; an exercise in rhythmic layerings. "Price Of The Ticket" is surely the shining moment of this disc, beginning in a very third stream place (synthesis of classical and jazz) and becoming more like a subtley flavored Coltrane & Tyner duet. "Bright Canto" is somewhere near Cecil Taylor (ie; veering from beautifully ballad-esque moments to spaz attacks), but with less information overload, less dissonant line length and more melodic devices in the "avante-garde moments" (a silly phrase, but we know the implication). "Blues To You" is exactly what you might imagine, establishing an almost Ray Charles feel that briefly falls into minor key territory. All of these are done live outdoors in a single take (hence the title) with city park flavored applause appearing only briefly at the junctures of several tracks. Marty Ehrlich's work shines through as an astute accompaniest whose alto stays rooted in an immediate and viseral sound yet, without much harsh edge. He graciously gives more unaccompanied solo time to Abrams even on his own compositional contributions. Excluding the initial track (which I personally find essential as a setup to contrast the rest) I think this might be one of the best sets to use as a primer for anyone uninitiated to the avante-garde. By the time one has gotten to "Canto" it feels completely appropriate to flail, chop, skronk (hello Pharoah) and deconstruct, which is then capped by the blues. A superb outing that will leave you feeling you know these guys as friends!"