Jeff Albert’s Instigation Quartet | The Tree On The Mound | RogueArt Jazz

The art of throwing spinning-tops It’s on. It’s overflowing with energy.The music tosses the spinning-top of reality, since playing is spinning around what is, where hides what is not, what once was, and what one day will be. To play is to drill. And to improvise is to recover and develop “the faculty and the ability to ceaselessly birth sensations.” (Novalis) To improvise is to make the world flow, or to let oneself go as it flows. Sounds visit us and their levels rise within us like the waters of a flooding river – closeness of the Nile and the Mississippi. (Edward “Kidd” Jordan is the instigator of River Niger, a composition sometimes played by this quartet, which is at Jeff Albert’s instigation). When he is playing, Jeff Albert, proud heir of the tailgaters, has all the dykes and seawalls at his disposition. When he is playing, “Kidd” Jordan accumulates cataracts and deltas. There are at least two types of accumulation: the methodical accumulation of the merchant economy, the one which compiles and compacts, which amasses objects, signs, bits and pieces, which amasses time-frames also, in order to confirm them in their conformity and isolation. There is the poetic accumulation: it is spasmodic, disparate, thought-provoking -while it gathers, it squanders; while is uses, it rejuvenates. Lucid silt. — Alexandre Pierrepont (Translation: Romain Tesler) Continue reading

Didier Petit | Alexandre Pierrepont | Passages – A Road Record – Woodstock – New York – Chicago – Los Angeles | RougeArt Jazz

Lawrence Butch Morris developed the concept of “conduction” to account for a mode of Instant Composition based on the creative freedom of the players stimulated by the gestures of a central conductor. AP/DP, with this cd, invent the practice of musical transduction. Just like the French language is not “translated” but transducted into Kamau Daáood’s unique prosody, DP’s cello does not “translate” the playing of a thumb piano, an oud or a kora: all of these instruments, all of their phrasings electrify his playing from the inside, they are transducted into the cello. Similarly, DP’s vocal cords do not “translate” what his fingers perform on the strings: both are electrified by a common current, alternating and direct. The astonishing fluidity of this complex meshwork of influences qualifies AP/DP as “Super-transductors”: through this cd, one hears not only a whole family of giant cello players (Abdul Wadud, Robert Een, Tom Cora, Ernst Reijseger, Peggy Lee, Hank Roberts), but also a long history of lyrical surrealism (from Lautréamont to Henri Michaux), and the widest range of traditions in ethnomusicology (from Africa to the Middle East, through classical Europe and Amerindian singing)… …Be prepared to be transducted, transformed and elated. — Yves Citton, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

Hamid Drake | Kent Kessler | Ken Vandermark | DKV Trio | Past Present | Not Two Records

You can wonder whether seven albums are really worth it, and what it offers more than their existing catalogue. The answer is simple, it’s as good as the “Live At Wells & Chicago” album, their best album in my opinon, with similar drive and raw lyricism, and with a great sound quality, much better than “Baraka”, “Live” and “Trigonometry”. So, get your copy while they are available! — Stef Continue reading

Hamid Drake & Bindu | Bindu | RogueArt Jazz

Who could have imagined that Hamid Drake would wait such a long time before giving life to his first band – as a leader that is? As one of the most important drummers in Afro-American music’s History, Drake is the guide to many musicians the world over while his rich, thorough, eclectic and fully controlled playing is used as the backbone to many orchestras. For ages, his numerous duets gave us a clear view of his music skills but this first recording as the leader of Bindu allows Hamid Drake the necessary space to fully display at last his own brilliant and original expression. No matter how unusual the orchestra is (four reeds and a drum), we really are confronted here with a great band. Who else than Hamid Drake would have dared to pick such strong personalities as Ernest Dawkins and Greg Ward from Chicago, Daniel Carter and Sabir Mateen from New York, with no other goal and challenge than a meeting of pioneers willing to break new grounds? And what more beautiful introduction to this musical structure could be made than this duet with Nicole Mitchell and her refined, sparkling playing? It won’t be difficult, in these circumstances, to forgive Hamid Drake for having taken his time so long before leading such a group. Hamid Drake, we thank you for honoring us with that perfect Rogue Art opening. Continue reading

Steve Swell’s Fire Into Music | Swimming In A Galaxy Of Goodwill And Sorrow | RogueArt Jazz

This is an album to be cherished because it reaches back and incorporates styles from swing to post-modern free jazz; and because the playing of Steve Swell and the members of his quartet are as near-perfect as you are likely to find; and because the melodies capture the imagination with a complex beauty that hooks into the inner being of soulfulness. It encompasses a unity of elements that comes as close as possible to the transcendental poignancy to which great art often aspires. As a trombonist, Steve Swell is about as good as it gets, and few can match his original fusion of technique and emotion, with obvious influences as diverse as Jack Teagarden, Grachan Moncur, III, and Roswell Rudd… …Swell’s extended performance here is one of the most impressive on disk by a trombonist in any era. Swell is on to something, though, and so are his colleagues, because unsung alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc is unassailable and on top of his game, his original, searing sound fused to an architectural structure reminiscent of Georges Braque; and percussionist Hamid Drake and bassist William Parker constitute the ultimate rhythmic pair, New Trier seizes Bed-Stuy with nary a missed beat. It does mean a thing, Duke, and it swings and it doesn’t, and Agnon might say it laughs when it speaks and it speaks when it laughs – but the point ain’t about theorizing, anyhow, but enjoyment here and there, and there and here. — Steven Loewy, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

William Parker Double Quartet | Alphaville Suite | RogueArt Jazz

I first saw Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville on American television in the early 1970’s. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Alphaville wasn’t just another science fiction spy thriller; it was really a wake up call to modern society to be vigilant… …It has always been my dream write to a piece of music inspired by this great film. The plan was to have a double quartet, one quartet made up of strings (Julia Kent, and Shiau-Shu Yu cello, Jessica Pavone viola, and Mazz Swift violin). The other quartet is the regular working band of Rob Brown, alto sax, Lewis Barnes, trumpet and Hamid Drake, drums. I read the films screenplay and bought the DVD of the film to refresh my memory. Then I began to write the music, ending up with 15 compositions each one capturing a different aspect of the movie. The concept was to create an alternative soundtrack that could possibly be used in the film. While at the same time have a life of it’s own as concert music. Due to time restraints we only could record about half the music. Eight musicians blending as one while at the same time not giving up their individuality. — William Parker, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

Hamid Drake & Bindu | Blissful | RogueArt Jazz

…The music improvised by Drake, Abrams, Alexander, Morris, Parker and Parker is getting close. The music improvised by the second incarnation of Bindu is also a trance music: so is its rhythm of growth, the crossroad. The music can only grow, propagate waves, navigate through forms. Dance upon the laying body of cinder-covered structures. Everything is good to it, nothing dictates its behavior. The music improvises what it needs, summons the worlds it needs, within the flow of inter-play, Kâlî’s way of playing. Our rebirth; our voodoo. Everything darkens; everything brightens. The music gives out names, one by one. Love. Life. Love. Her. Even Heaven. Around the names and the bodies dismembered by Kâlî, the alphabet is not only divided up into vowels and consonants, but in masculine and feminine letters, lit up. Agni’s seventh tongue…– Alexandre Pierrepont, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading