Blood Trio | feat. Sabir Mateen, Michael Bisio, Whit Dickey | Understory | Not Two Records

We’ve reviewed albums before with saxophonist and clarinetist Sabir Mateen bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey. Use the “search” engine on the right and lists of albums will appear, with the three artists as leaders in their respective bands, and in bands like Frode Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale, William Parker’s orchestras, the David S Ware bands, or in albums with Joe Morris, Matthew Shipp, Joe McPhee, Daniel Carter … and many more. And now we get all three in a trio, and a real trio, with all three musicians shaping the sound. Is it all improvised? It’s hard to say, because most of the tracks have a clear and identifiable sound or even a theme, that, vague as it may be, creates the focus for the ensuing free development, with an underlying boppish element that is never far away. — Stef Continue reading

Sabir Mateen | The Sabir Mateen Jubilee Ensemble | Not Two Records

greetings my sisters and brothers…
i (we) really hope that you enjoy this debut recording of the jubilee ensemble. this is not a big band but an extension of the sabir mateen quartet (the name at that time, now it is called the sabir mateen ensemble). these compositions were originally composed for a small band but like most of the music i write, it can be played for any size band. this is one dream that has been fulfilled to release a large band recording. I want to thank the creator for allowing me to be alive to do this and my fellow musicians / artists for their never ending hard work and dedication to their art and i want to thank robert o’haire, plus marek winiarski and the staff of nottwo records for giving me the opportunity to record this. peace! — sabir mateen – february 22nd 2011 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

Sabir Mateen | William Parker | Matthew Shipp | Gerald Cleaver | Denis Lavant | Declared Enemy | Salute To 100001 Stars | A Tribute To Jean Genet | RogueArt Jazz

It was by chance, during his short stay in Paris in 2000 that Matthew Shipp came across Rajak Ohanian’s photograph of Jean Genet. He instantly recognized the writer, saying “Our Lady of The Flowers is one of my favourite books.” And that’s how it all started. Four years later, he brought together Sabeer Mateen, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver to express what Genet meant to him. Then, Denis Lavant joined them to add Genet’s words to the project. In his lifetime, Jean Genet had no real connections with Jazz but he did share with past and present Jazz inventors the same source of inspiration: the life of the underdogs. From yesterday’s slavery to today’s prisons and ghettos, Afro-Americans know too what confinement means. Just like Genet’s works are a menace to the Establishment, Jazz always gets out of the clutches of any force in power, despite so many takeover attempts. And it so happens that Jean Genet’s path crosses the ones of Matthew Shipp, Sabir Mateen, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver or Denis Lavant. Therefore, Declared Enemy’s music can eventually meet Genet’s works. A dialog takes place between music and words, fierce or tactful, always respectful, never complacent. The recording took place on a December the 19th. Nobody knew it was Jean Genet’s birthday. There is no such thing as chance. — Michel Dorbon Continue reading

Sabir Mateen | Urdla XXX | RogueArt Jazz

The dramatic act of this performance draws a deambulatory line colouring each phase in the sound of the required instrument; large discursive logic intensity in the atmosphere appropriate to each segment. After his entry “City of Lyon” which sets the happening hic et nunc, the second piece “Art Dance” on alto clarinet is heard as a twirling questioning with changes of mood from anger to melancholy: bal(l)ade autumnal de Dakka Du Boo Yu”, again on the clarinet. “Music is Sound, Sound is Music” thunders suddenly like an urgent manifesto poem. From now on, it’s the alto saxophone that will lead the evening serenade. Is it Lyon which assonance calls for the invocation of Jimmy Lyons? The chant becomes progressively more intimate, less “freenetic” and the evening comes to an end in a melodious serenity. Poetic episode in the luxuriant existence of URDLA, this concert offered as a present to its adepts will remain thanks to RogueArt, a pearl in the treasury of progressive music. — Excerpt from the liner notes, written by Max Schoendorff Continue reading