|All Artists: Henry Threadgill Sextett|
Title: Rag Bush & All
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 5/1/1992
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 012416305242, 012416305228
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Memories, reviews and reflections on a masterpiece.
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every once in a while, I come across a cultural crime on these pages, some that I myself help to perpetuate. Like many reviewers, I like to review newer stuff. I want people to know about the latest stuff I have heard, artists that are young and relatively new that I hope to encourage others to listen to.
And then I come across a listing for this CD. And there is nothing. No reviews, no editorial comments, no listing of personnel. Nothing in spite of the fact that Rag, Bush and All is arguably the quintessential Henry Threadgill CD. And Mr. Threadgill is arguably as good as a composer as exists in the music formerly known as jazz.
People- I am telling you, this is a masterpiece. Do not let the fact that it is hard to find or expensive when found discourage you. Instead of buying new stuff, we should all be petitioning someone to rerelease this. This should no more be out of print than Monk's Dream, or Mingus Ah Um or Point of Departure or Quartet (Dortmund)1976 or Time Out or Ole.Rag, Bush and All was recorded in December of 1988. The players are Mr. Threadgill on the alto sax and bass flute, Ted Daniel on the trumpet and the flugelhorn, Bill Lowe on bass trombone, Diedre Murray on the cello, Fred Hopkins on the bass and Newman Baker and Reggie Nicholson on drums and percussion.
So many things to praise. I think that the resurgence of interest in octets, septets and mid-size ensembles in the last few years is largely due to the continuous exploration of these formats by Mr. Threadgill. Henry Threadgill reminds us of how seven or eight could sound like a big band, how they could function as an update on the dixieland ensemble improv ethic (one of Mr. Threadgill's great strengths is his love for and knowledge of the entire tradition), and of how they could be split into subgroups to be played off of individuals or another subgroup.
This CD also contains great solos not least by Mr. Threadgill. He is passionate, lyrical, exploratory and possessed by his own logic. Diedre Murray sounds as good as I have ever heard her. Listening to this again reminds me of just how great she is. Everyone else is outstanding as well.
And finally there are Mr. Threadgill's compositions. As mentioned earlier, he knows and loves his history. And he cannot help but display that in what he writes. His melodies are bluesy, accessible and weird. His longer compositions are mercurial in mood with many changes of rhythm and style.
Maybe there is somebody out there who is brave enough to try to list the 50 most important CDs of the last fifty years in jazz. I personally would have to be paid a lot of money to try to wrestle that particular task to completion. But if they did not include this CD they would definitely get an argument from me.
So if you are one of the few who read this review please take my advice. Look for this piece of history and genius. When you find it, buy it. Listen to it and play it for friends. Music like this belongs to our children as well as to us."
Threadgill and his Troops really deliver !
ReverseBembe | UK | 02/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can echo most of what the reviewer writes below, 17 years old and still fresh and urgent ! some of the best things about contemporary jazz in the 1980s, Threadgill Sextett, the 4 pieces here are masterful both compositionally and structurally, shows his gift for extended forms, some of Sextett's most creative, fiery and propulsive performances especially the double drum team and 2 string players Hopkins and Murray on cello, whole rhythm section swing mightly. Individual soloists Ted Daniel, Lacy trombone play with committment on all the cuts, the leaders own alto sax solo on Sweet and Holy Rag is ace, a thematic improvisation both emotionally stirring and constructed with the same logic he uses as a composer. Also love the cut "Devil is on the Loose and Dancing with a Monkey" if only we could all write + play like this, i had the vinyl for a no of years, sound is good but any transfer to CD should be a greater listening exxperience, this disc should be reissued pronto !"
Quintessential performances from a Master
Alessandro Oggioni | Felliniland, Italy | 04/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I humbly try to support the views and words of previous reviewers. Everybody interested in jazz AND in modern up-to-date jazz/world music should listen to this. A real manifesto, a sum of Henry Threadgill's Music. Complex, multi layered yet always cynetic, rhythmic and swinging, and lyrical. Great solos, echoes of tango, of old rag music and post-free jazz; looking toward the future of music."