Steve Dalachinsky | Matthew Shipp | Lorna Lentini | Logos and Language: A Post-Jazz Metaphorical Dialog | RogueArt Jazz

Steve Dalachinsky, poet, and Lorna Lentini, photographer, both know Matthew Shipp, musician, since he arrived in New York in the late 80’s. “Logos and Language: a Post-Jazz Metaphorical Dialogue” is made up of dialogues between Steve and Matthew, Steve’s poems (written while listening to Matthew Shipp), Matthew’s writings and Lorna’s photographs. Shipp’s music as seen from the inside by three major artists. It definitely creates a unique book that on its own, is not just a book about Shipp but as Shipp himself would agree, a book that encompasses the entire Cosmos. Continue reading

Roscoe Mitchell & David Wessel | Contact | RogueArt Jazz

David Wessel, despite whatever label on can attach to his music is very familiar with the musical object commonly called jazz (never mind the name we give to this music which is both one and multiple, pushing the limits of its frontiers, the importance being that it exists, whatever the label). He has also played with George Lewis, Steve Lacy to name but a few; several times during later meetings, David told me of his admiration for the drummer Oliver Johnson, found dead in tragic circumstances one morning in March 2002 in the Halles square in the heart of Paris… Roscoe Mitchell Mitchell, from the Art Ensemble of Chicago to his performances with Thomas Buckner, to his Note Factory and numerous other groups, is not a stranger to adventure as long as it serves the cause of music… This duo is an evidence in itself. When we know that their first musical encounter dates from the 80’s (as witness a first concert in 1986 at IRCAM), we can only be surprised that their musi has not been diffused more widely… Roscoe Mitchell and David Wessel are of those, each in his own right, who push musical expression to its furthest limits. No cold rigour her, no search of form for form’s sake; music, complex, refined, is warmly offered to the audience. — Michel Dorbon, excerpt from the liner notes 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

Rob Brown | Steve Swell | Joe Morris | Luther Gray | Rob Brown Quartet | Radiant Pools | RogueArt Jazz

Rob Brown has a sound of his own one that you instantly identify, and it’s a wonder why his unique way of playing alto saxophone still hasn’t found the recognition it deserves. With “Radiant Pools”, not only does he confirm what a great musician he is, but he also shows how he can give life and soul to an orchestra… and what orchestra! Quite noteworthy is the way Rob Brown’s alto sax (hear his high notes) and flute, and Steve Swell’s trombone complement and enrich each other; respond to one another while Swell shows as much talent as a soloist than composer. The rhythm – and sometimes improvising – section is brilliantly composed of Joe Morris (who also wrote a wonderful piece) on the bass, although he gained a top-ranking reputation as a guitar player, and Luther Gray whose perfect knowledge of dynamics is a clear clue of how great a drummer he his. “Radiant Pools” also proves that written and free form improvised music can make a happy combination for the recipe of a consistent musical piece… as long as the service is first-rate! Continue reading

Roscoe Mitchell | Corey Wilkes | Craig Taborn | Jaribu Shahid | Tani Tabbal | Roscoe Mitchell Quintet | Turn | RogueArt Jazz

It’s been many years since the multi-facetted art of Roscoe Mitchell overwhelm us whether with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, or his Note Factory, or his solo performances or so many projects with so many giants. However, we know that Roscoe Mitchell still has much to say. Incredible as it may seems, this here quintet generously offers yet another dimension of his music. The first striking thing in “Turn” is how Mitchell perfectly controls such an elaborate speech while, rich as may be the written parts, they never hamper the freedom to ad lib. And that’s why each new listening at “Turn”, each of Turn’s turns (and there are many), bring new emotions and wonderful surprises. Roscoe Mitchell unquestionably is the architect of this refined musical building called “Turn”; however, without such great musicians as Corey Wilkes, Craig Taborn, Jaribu Shahid and Tani Tabal, the other members of the quintet, we wouldn’t have entered it so easily. For all these reasons, we dare say “Turn” is a masterpiece. And we do mean masterpiece! Continue reading

Roscoe Mitchell | Vincent Davis | Harrison Bankhead | Roscoe Mitchell Trio | No Side Effects | RogueArt Jazz

Higher and higher! Each time we think Roscoe Mitchell has reached the top, he comes back with another groundbreaking recording and this new opus is no exception to the rule. Thanks to three perfectly balanced and complementary musicians, Roscoe Mitchell finds all necessary space to spread his genius. Bringing all necessary understanding and vigour to his music, Harrison Bankhead on bass and Vincent Davis on drums take this recording to the top. Like he gets us used to, Roscoe Mitchell has improvisation and composition intimately cohabit with perfect control. They don’t come up against each other but complement one another with spontaneity, sophistication, smoothness, conviction and flickness. « No Side Effects » is the best possible evidence Roscoe Mitchell still has a lot to say and will keep on surprising us. Continue reading

Vincent Davis | Malachi Favors | Hanah Jon Taylor | Maghostut Trio | Live At Last | RogueArt Jazz

Notwithstanding a fruitful career the great, late bass player Malachi Favors was quite a discreet musician even though no one has forgotten his role as the central mainstay of the Art Ensemble of Chicago until his death in January 2004. Apart from this, he only made one splendid solo album but no group recording as a leader was heard until this Maghostut Trio. Consequently, the present beautiful, original, intense and cohesive record is also a rare musical moment to enjoy. A few months before his death, Malachi Favors gave birth to this trio featuring the powerful lyricism of Hanah Jon Taylor and the precise ear of Vincent Davis; both of them complementary of Malachi Favors’ unique and too rarely heard playing. Listening to this record, we realize how any musician willing to be original has to perfectly know the pastime masters. And that’s why, through freedom, freshness and power of speech, we are confronted here with centuries of History. Live at Last Single CD Malachi Favors Maghostut: double bass Hanah Jon Taylor: soprano & tenor saxophones, flute and keyboards Vincent Davis: drums Recorded live in October 2003 at Madison University (Wi, USA) and the Velvet Lounge in Chicago (Il, USA) Continue reading