Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A New York free jazz must-have (?)
Allan MacInnis | Vancouver | 01/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This disc, the first album of Sonny's as a leader, after he'd worked with Cecil Taylor and recorded a couple of albums with Ayler, features, indeed, Albert Ayler on tenor, Don Cherry on trumpet, Henry Grimes and Louis Worrell on basses, and Leroi Jones reading on one track, "The Lie." It was recorded in 1965, has strong performances, and is unfortunately shortish (about 35 minutes of music). It was only marginally available on LP, as far as I know, and has only been available on CD through the Japanese jazz label DIW. The price Amazon is asking is quite reasonable, considering it IS a Japanese import, and is in fact LOWER than the price I paid for the disc recently in Japan, which someone will have to explain to me. Anyhow, as for a review of the music, I'm not even going to try. If you care about New York free jazz from this time, it's probably something you'll want, and you can form your own opinion of the stuff. Free jazz is kind of hard to "review," too, don'tcha think? One nice bonus -- the English side of the liner notes has, I suspect, undergone a process of Japanization, and features some fairly eccentric prose."
A minor caveat...
Allan MacInnis | Vancouver | 02/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To add a word of warning to the previous review, the track LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) reads on (which, in fact, is "Black Art," NOT "The lie,") contains some rather anti-Semitic imagery; it's in the context of a really angry poem, which pits blacks against "whitey" and the "Jew owners"... I won't go into detail, but it does get rather racist, I thought. I figured this might MATTER to some prospective listeners; I won't be taping it anytime soon for Jewish friends. (Alternately, Public Enemy fans might want to rush out and snag a copy). It's not a hate poem or such, but still a little much."
A decent debut.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 09/20/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A graduate of the Cecil Taylor's band and a member of Albert Ayler's group, "Sonny's Time Now" was Sunny Murray's first shot at a leader. For the session, Murray assembled a quintet, drawn from the bands of Albert Ayler-- himself on drums, Ayler on tenor, Don Cherry (who had left Ayler's band after their tour of Europe) on trumpet, and bassists Henry Grimes and Louis Worrell.
Much to the surprise of anyone hearing the album, it does fall pretty far from the Ayler tree-- Murray for his part maintains a churning, rhythmic feel in the background, with his then trademark singing over the top. Worrell and Grimes weave a web around each other, often pushing into upper registers (check Grimes' arco performance on opener "Virtue" under Cherry's solo) while the horns offer by-and-large frantic solos. When Ayler plays, it feels a bit more like one of his records, but in terms of idiom, this is a bit closer to a pianoless Cecil Taylor, if such a thing is imaginable.
The only real dull spot is "Black Art", featuring an odd poetic recitation from LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, which as has been pointed out, drifts into a mildly anti-Semetic tone and quite frankly, is somewhat irritating (you really have to hear it to understand). Still, the other three tracks on here are decent enough, if short. Murray would do much better (both on his own and in the context of other's music), but this is a decent record."