Reviews that mention Corey Wilkes

August 8, 2009

Evan Parker Transatlantic Art Ensemble

ECM 1873

A rare – and exceptional – foray into partially scored and conducted music for British saxophonist Evan Parker, this eight-part work for a 14-piece ensemble realizes its lofty goals because the composed sections are cleverly counterbalanced by the improvisations.

Boustrophedon – an ancient word describing a method of writing one line from left to right, the subsequent one from right to left and so on – reflects the CD’s parallel methodology as well. While Parker directs a seven-piece group of experienced European improvisers, American saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell does the same with seven, equally proficient, Americans. Much of the boustrophedon movement involves comparable exposure from matched instrumentalists such as the two bassists, two percussionists and two fiddlers. Meanwhile singular soloists like pianist Craig Taborn, cellist Marcio Mattos or flutist Neil Metcalfe cleanly negotiate the fissure between Eurocentric and American-inflected Free Music. Taborn, for instance, adds styled glissandi, tinkling portamento story-telling and formalistic note clusters to “Furrow 2”, but metronomic rhythmic chording to “Furrow 4”. MORE

August 14, 2006


Rogue Art ROG 0003

By Ken Waxman

Forty-plus years on in his recording career, Roscoe Mitchell, arguably the most versatile members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC), continues to surprise.

This CD, featuring the multi-reedman’s most recent working quintet, two of whom – trumpeter Corey Wilkes and bassist Jaribu Shahid – who now fill chairs in the AEC, offers a glimpse at his panoply of talents. With the combo filled out by pianist Craig Taborn and percussionist Tani Tabbal – both of whom recorded as part of Mitchell’s nonet as long ago as 1997 – the five men are able to convey the range and flexibility of a larger band on 14 Mitchell compositions. MORE

November 15, 2005

Guelph Jazz Festival:

Improv On The Move
for CODA

Taking the concept of free-flowing improvisation a step further, one morning at this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), 15 musicians performed simultaneously in four different whitewashed rooms of the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.

The workshop developed this way, according to Ajay Heble, GJF artistic director, because so many musicians wanted to participate. Some – American alto saxophonist Marshall Allan, British pianist Veryan Weston, Québécois guitarist René Lussier and American banjoist Eugene Chadbourne – rooted on a spot and collaborated with whoever came along. Others moved from place to place and up and down the staircase as they played. MORE

September 7, 2005

Ernest Dawkins’ Chicago 12

Misconceptions of a Delusion, Shades of a Charade
Dawk Music Release #04

Designed as a celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the Chicago Seven trial, this nearly 80-minute slice of agitprop avant-garde is as much forward looking as backwards glancing.

Recorded live in Paris in early 2004, the narration voiced by “disco poet” Khari B. recalls the repressed radical anti-war and anti-racist sentiments of the late 1960s, which strike a responsive chord in an audience familiar with similar situations involving the Iraq War. At the same time, composer Ernest Dawkins, who directs but doesn’t play in the 12-piece band, uses this expanded version of his usual quintet to show off some of Chicago’s emerging improvising talents. Considering the AACM, with which all the musicians here are affiliated, was also established in the mid-1960s, the link seems appropriate and apt. MORE

August 22, 2005


Hope, Future and Destiny
Dreamtime Dream 007

Running Out Of Time
Delmark DE 562

Newer voices from Chicago’s ever-evolving Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), flutist/vocalist Nicole Mitchell and violinist Savoir Faire are starting to make names for themselves in the Windy City and elsewhere.

Fourth generation of players who have adopted the progressive concepts of the now 40-year-old AACM, Mitchell and Faire – real name Samuel Williams – have modified certain distinct aspects of the AACM. Neither appears to be much interested in out-and-out sound experiments which characterized the work of early AACMers like Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell. Instead Nicole Mitchell’s 14-piece ensemble adapts wholeheartedly the ritualistic, Africanized performance ethos that is another AACM staple; six of the tunes include vocals or recitations. Meanwhile, not unlike many younger generation AACMers, Faire and his quintet seem unswerving in a commitment to swing and rhythm. Only one of his compositions is even vaguely atonal and four include modified programming by the single-named Anti. MORE

February 10, 2003


Afrika Rising
Dreamtime Records 004

Creativity is still common currency in Chicago as the new CD by flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell proves. Even more ambitious than her debut disc (VISION QUEST also on Dreamtime Records) this CD finds Mitchell, who also teaches flute at Chicago State University, convening an even larger Black Earth Ensemble made up of 19 different musicians on various tracks. The result is an Afrocentric disc that shows off not only her flute, piccolo and vocals, but also the wealth of other Windy City talent, many of whom are also part of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. MORE

September 9, 2002


Song for My Sister
PI Recordings 103

Avant garde jazz fans who remember the 1960s and 1970s have the tendency to come on like moldy figs when they compare the activities of many highly celebrated younger players with the accomplishments of their elders.

Case in point is this CD. For while a few youngsters have been over-praised for merely mastering the intricacies of a particular jazz style -- be it hard bop, modal or even a hip hop take on the New Thing -- reedist Roscoe Mitchell, 62, showcases a lot more.

Mitchell, who plays soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, flute, bass recorder, great bass recorder and percussion on this disc, has also written a set of unmistakably modern tunes that touch on playful R&B, precise swing, Third World anthems, jagged contemporary composition and even Early music. Assisted by eight young and veteran improvisers -- and four more for the “classical” piece -- Mitchell easily slides from one stance and style to another without ever losing his identity or resorting to tonal impersonation. MORE