Reviews that mention Joseph Bowie

September 8, 2017

Joseph Bowie-Oliver Lake

Live at ‘A Space’ 1976
Sackville SK 2010

By Ken Waxman

Featuring a masterful series of duets by alto saxophonist/flutist Oliver Lake and trombonist Joseph Bowie, this five-track reissue captures two accomplished improvisers at their most adventurous and celebrates an epoch when Toronto’s reputation as a major haven for experimental music was being established.

Although the two would go on to make more accessible sessions with jazz-funk bands like Jump Up and Defunkt, the surprise in hindsight is how accessible some of these sounds actually are. While there are enough extended techniques involving wailing split tones, tongue slaps and percussion plus deep-in-the-throat snorts and guffaws from both horn players, sonic unity is paramount. A track like “Orange Butterflies”, for instance, may set up opposing flute peeps and brass snorts as if they’re going to recall the unpleasant meeting of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, but these untrammeled tremors eventually cease, replaced by tones that bond the two in lockstep unity. Another strategy, summarily demonstrated on “After Assistance” is how one horn produces a solid continuum upon which the other is free to improvise, with the two subsequently switching roles with the coordinated skill of paired ballroom dancers. Bowie’s prestidigitations are most aptly demonstrated on “A Space Rontoto” when slide motions are used to taper his usual gutbucket action into a mere sound thread as if strained through a sieve. Meanwhile Lake’s wobbling, lowing and fluttering multiphonic variations on “Zaki” don’t preclude him cycling back to its theme in tandem with Bowie as the finale. MORE

February 1, 2015

Frank Lowe Quartet

Out Loud
Triple Point Records TPR 209

Don Pullen

Richard’s Tune

Delmark/Sackville CD2-3008

Derek Bailey/Joëlle Léandre/George Lewis/Evan Parker

Dunois 1982

Fou Records FR-CD 06

Steve Lacy

Cycles (1976-80)

Emanem 5205

Ted Daniel’s Energy Module

Energy Module

NoBusiness Records NBCD 72/73

Something In The Air: Revolutionary Records Redux

By Ken Waxman

About 40 years on, so-called Free Jazz and Free Music from the late sixties, seventies and early eighties, doesn’t sound so revolutionary any more. The idea of improvising without chord structures or fixed rhythm has gradually seeped into most players’ consciousness, with the genre(s) now accepted as particular methods for improvisation along with Bop, Dixieland and Fusion. Historical perspective also means that many sessions originally recorded during that period are now being released. Some are reissues, usually with additional music added; others are newly unearthed tapes being issued for the first time. The best discs offer up formerly experimental sounds whose outstanding musicianship is more of a lure than nostalgia. MORE

July 4, 2013

Festival Report:

JazzWeksttatt Peitz
By Ken Waxman

More than 40 years after East Germany’s so-called free jazz paradise regularly attracted Woodstock-sized crowds to this town, about 20 kilometres from the Polish border – and three years after it was revived after a 29-year government-nudged hiatus – JazzWeksttatt Peitz is still working to define its identity

Celebrated in its earlier days as perhaps the one place young East Germans could camp in the open air and experience Western-styled peace and love vibes, albeit with a jazz rather than a rock soundtrack, the festival celebrated its 50th program June 7-9, inviting 21 acts to perform in four different venues, with “open air” now an enclosed tent with rows of chairs. MORE

November 25, 2011

Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures

Both/And
Meta Records META 013

After spending nearly four decades investigating the rhythmic and sonic inter-relations among sounds from different cultures, New York percussionist Adam Rudolph has moved past creating so-called World music. His aim, mostly realized with this CD and in live performances by his ensembles, is something more profound: individual music, which doesn’t distort the foundation sounds on which it’s based.

This may appear easier to do than it is. Most so-called World music presented to Westerners is an electrified variant, closely allied to Rock and Pop, with only the vocals left in native languages. Thankfully avoiding vocals, the Chicago-born drummer, composer and arranger instead studs his pieces with ethnic sounds which organically relate to one another. On top of this, brief solos with Jazz and improvised music backing are interleaved among other musical layers. Refining his vision, Rudolph adapts the idiosyncratic rhythms and time-signatures of South Asian, Middle-Eastern and African musics in this suite. Yet such is the unity of his vision – not to mention his arranging skills – that nowhere on Both/And does it appear as if any intonation or beat is shoehorned into another. MORE

November 8, 2007

Kahil El’Zabar’s Infinity Orchestra

Transmigration
Delmark DE 576

Groove is the one word you associate with most of the endeavors of Kahil El’Zabar. Yet while the Chicago-based percussionist has had past experience playing R&B and African music, his rhythmic mobilization is overt, but never simplistic. That’s because as a long-time member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), he has also absorbed the concepts of such cerebral thinkers as pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. Taken in their entirety therefore, the sounds of El’Zabar’s many bands meld elements of both impulses. What results is a POMO variation that unites the sacred and the secular, a concept which has long characterized Black Vernacular Music. MORE

November 8, 2007

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

Hot ‘N’ Heavy: Live at the Ascension Loft
Delmark DE 574

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Groove is the one word you associate with most of the endeavors of Kahil El’Zabar. Yet while the Chicago-based percussionist has had past experience playing R&B and African music, his rhythmic mobilization is overt, but never simplistic. That’s because as a long-time member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), he has also absorbed the concepts of such cerebral thinkers as pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. Taken in their entirety therefore, the sounds of El’Zabar’s many bands meld elements of both impulses. What results is a POMO variation that unites the sacred and the secular, a concept which has long characterized Black Vernacular Music. MORE

October 6, 2003

OLIVER LAKE BIG BAND

Cloth
Passin’ Thru 41217

Thirty years ago when alto saxophonist Oliver Lake was one of the young firebrands involved with the Black Artists Group (BAG), St. Louis’ version of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians who knew that by 2003 he’d turn into … Count Basie?

Well, not really, though the comparison is meant as a compliment. It’s just that Lake, who over the years has involved himself in so many different groups from the still-thriving World Saxophone Quartet, to the R&B-influenced Jump Up group, has now put together a regulation-sized big band that swings with the unfettered grace of any of Basie’s aggregations. MORE

February 8, 2002

BOBBY PREVITE & BUMP

Just Add Water
Palmetto PM 2081

For years the definition of the so-called “downtown New York” drummer, Bobby Previte has never stopped moving for long. He has mixed it up with everyone from saxophonist John Zorn to guitarist Elliott Sharp, helmed a variety of bands with ever more bizarre names, scored indie films, appeared as an actor in a Robert Altman movie, given percussion workshops, and written music for the Moscow Circus.

Organized as a combo to tour Europe playing the music of his remarkable debut LP in 1987, the dynamism of this Bump band encouraged him to write new tunes and this CD is the happy result. Built around a rhythm section of veteran electric bass player Steve Swallow, pianist and old friend Wayne Horvitz and Previte, the group has space age tailgate specialist trombonist Ray Anderson, Marty Ehrlich, unexpectedly on tenor saxophone, as its front line. Bump’s blowers are expanded by Defunkt trombonist Joseph Bowie on this disc. MORE