Farouq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers | Journey into the Valley

Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers | Journey into the Valley | Entropy Stereo Recordings

Faruq Z. Bey – tenor, alto saxophone, poetry | Mike Carey – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute | Skeeter Shelton – tenor, soprano saxophone | Mike Gilmore – vibes, marimba | Mike Johnston – bass, gongs | Nick Ashton – drums

Executive producer: Mike Khoury. Recording, mixing & mastering: Tim O’Brien. Photography: Jay Shurtliff. Design: Mark Rudolph. All music is acoustic.

A film by: Timothy O’Brien and Andrew Bare. Original DVD (not included in the MP3 download version!) contains: 1 hour feature live music performance3 bonus songs 3 interviews 3 poetry pieces slide show (plus more) bonus CD of 5 tracks taken from the dvd (same sound mixes).

Tracklist original Journey Into The Valley DVD: 1. Family Folk Song Moors 2. In Memoriam 3. Auzar 4. In the Valley 5. Gemini 6. Mystery of Love | Bonus Songs: 1. Fosters/Blue Monk 2. Sherrif Sam (Sound by Law) watch 3. Zychron | Poetry Selections: by Farouq Z. Bey 1. Curl Of The Butterfly’s Tongue 2. Drempt Sequence 3. Now’s The Time

NOTE: The download contains only the music files, not the film!.

Tracklist Journey Into The Valley Bonus CD: 1. Family Folk Song Moors 2. Zychron 3. Fosters/Blue Monk 4. Sherrif Sam (Sound by Law) 5. Mystery Of Love

“Once a member of Detroit legends Griot Galaxy, Bey’s take on jazz is informed by the spectral divinations of Sun Ra, and pieces like “Moors” and “Sherrif Sam (Sound By Law)” remind you of prime era Arkestra, floating between beautifully extended melody heads and stretches of languid free blowing, all underpinned by a steady, rolling rhythm section.” — Jon Dale, Signal To Noise Fall 2008

“If this were merely an audio CD, it would garner excellent reviews. But this set with DVD and CD and all of the extra features becomes something well worth checking out. The Northwoods Improvisers and Entropy Stereo are to be credited for doing this right.” — Robert Iannapollo, Cadence OCT/NOV/DEC 2008

“Mostly, though, the band is incredibly tight and fleshes out arrangements like the stately Tunisian whirl of “In the Valley” with uncommon poise. This schooled reverence is likely wholly in response to the history and weight sprung forth from players like Bey and Shelton, who are far from household names in contemporary improvisation, but whose groundwork the Northwoods Improvisers will doubtless expand upon for years to come.”– Clifford Allen, All About Jazz 2009

Selected Honorable mention for album of the year.

All About Jazz 2008


DVD/CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

€ 30.00
Quantity

MP3 version (87.04MB zip download)

€ 9.00
Quantity

NOTE: The download contains only the music files, not the film!.

One thought on “Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers | Journey into the Valley | Entropy Stereo Recordings

  1. Though in the jazz world, Detroit and southern Michigan often get the most credit for producing Hahd bop talents like Kenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan and the brothers Jones, there has long been a slow-burning fire of free improvisation and creative music tapping into the Motor City’s pulse. Reedmen Faruq Z. Bey and Skeeter Shelton, both onetime co-leaders of the Griot Galaxy, are longtime members of the region’s new music community. A somewhat younger set (but not by much) are the Northwoods Improvisers, who have been collaborating with the saxophonists since earlier in the decade. The Northwoods Improvisers have been active since 1976, though their initial steps were a brand of unclassifiable homegrown electro-acoustic improvisation. Since that time, their approach has become keyed into a well-groomed hybrid of modal jazz, freedom and non-Western musics that fit perfectly with the approach—somewhat tangential to the AACM—that collaborators Bey and Shelton have long instilled in their playing.

    Journey into the Valley (a set that also includes a DVD of the live recording session) is one of two recent Bey-Shelton-Northwoods Improvisers discs and their sixth collaboration. Reedman Mike Carey introduces “Family Folk Song” on concert flute in a spare cascade of metal, wood and air before vibes, bass and drums produce the meaty slink of “Moors.” The three tenors—Bey, Shelton and Carey—weave together into an earthy bounce in thematic homage to Archie Shepp’s “Wherever June Bugs Go.” Bassist Mike Johnston and drummer Nick Ashton sally forth a downbeat as Mike Gilmore’s vibes provide sleek counterpoint, an interpenetration of deft, nearly urbane minimalism and musty energy from somewhere more rural. A Griot Galaxy staple, “Zychron,” replaces the R&B honk of “Moors” with delicately-spread long tones that mirror electronics, before Bey’s alto is off at a curling run, buoyed by an incredibly up-tempo rhythm section romp of dust and glass. There’s a delicate play here between adroit, detailed technique and a coarseness befitting an earlier age, gritty tenor playing soft as a handkerchief and likewise creased, gentle swing. “Blue Monk” takes this to a coy extreme as the saxophonists inhabit a disheveled Sun Ra-like space apposite precision timing.

    Mostly, though, the band is incredibly tight and fleshes out arrangements like the stately Tunisian whirl of “In the Valley” with uncommon poise. This schooled reverence is likely wholly in response to the history and weight sprung forth from players like Bey and Shelton, who are far from household names in contemporary improvisation, but whose groundwork the Northwoods Improvisers will doubtless expand upon for years to come.

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