Reviews that mention Jackson Krall

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra
Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur

AUM Fidelity AUM 046

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. MORE

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
AUM Fidelity AUM 046

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra

Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. MORE

August 29, 2005

WALLY SHOUP TRIO

Blue Purge
Leo Records CD LR 412

IVO PERELMAN TRIO
Black on White
Clean Feed CF024CD

Exercises in aural color fields, both these trio CDs are helmed by committed improv saxophonists who are also involved in visual art. As well as advancing free music with anyone he can, Seattle-based alto saxophonist Wally Shoup merges the sophisticated with the primitive in his Outsider Art paintings. He created the hard-edged semi-abstract on his CD booklet cover. Meanwhile, Brazilian-born, Brooklyn-based tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman has been praised more in art circles for his abstract paintings over the past couple of years than he has been for his abrasive free sounds in the so-called jazz world. MORE

May 16, 2005

RAS MOSHE MUSIC NOW UNIT

Live Spirits No. 1
Utech Records UR-002

RAS MOSHE MUSIC NOW UNIT
Live Spirits No. 2
Utech Records UR-003

New York has above ground jazz musicians (c.f. Wynton Marsalis), sort of underground jazzers (c.f. Charles Gayle) and really far underground free jazz players, some of whom are showcased on these two live discs.

Most prominent is Brooklyn-born alto and tenor saxophonist Ras Moshe, who may be undersung, but has it together enough to constantly organize gigs for his Music Now Unit. As evidenced by the locations here, Moshe finds different spaces in which to play, even if he has to go as far away as Syracuse, N.Y. MORE

January 10, 2005

B.E.E.K. (BRÖTZMANN/ELLIS/ENEIDI/KRALL)

Live at the Spruce Street Forum
Botticelli 1015

Marco Eneidi is a brave musician.

When it comes to improvising, the diminutive, Bay area alto saxophonist will match his skills against anyone’s. Which is why LIVE AT THE SPRUCE STREET FORUM is such an explosive document. The five longish tracks feature Eneidi facing off with a reedman universally acknowledged since the 1960s as one of the most ferocious on his instruments: German saxist and clarinetist Peter Brötzmann.

Aided and abetted by Vancouver-born, California-based bassist Lisle Ellis and New York drummer Jackson Krall and recorded in San Diego, the CD is a caterwauling yawp of a session. It proves how in the right circumstances it only takes four committed improvisers to make enough characteristic sounds to create their own version of John Coltrane’s ASCENSION, which featured 11 musicians or Brötzmann’s MACHINE GUN which featured eight. MORE

August 4, 2003

CECIL TAYLOR ENSEMBLE

The Light of Corona
FMP CD 120

Keeping your attention fixated on the centre ring on this three-ring circus performance by a Cecil Taylor nonet is only a little more difficult than usual.

That’s because while the piano-as-ferocious-lion taming act of pianist Taylor is as riveting as always, distractions abound. There are acrobatic leaps and bounds on show from the horn section and a definite clown act arising from one member of the rhythm section.

The overriding impression you’re left with following this 1986 performance from Berlin however, is how Taylor’s seeming omnipotent power can bend any group of musicians to his will. Also, as with nearly every Taylor production over the past 40 years, the organization and output of the music on the CD are more singular than what you’d find in any other airing by a nine-piece band. MORE

December 9, 2002

DOM MINASI

Goin’ Out Again
CDM 1002

PAOLO BIRRO
Live at Sienna Jazz
Splasc (H) CDH524.2

Now that so-called modern jazz has a history of more than half a century and the music has had to put up with the indignity of the neo-con revival movement for at least a decade, facing an all-standards program isn’t the most enviable of tasks.

While new versions of old favorites may provide a basis to compare younger player with established masters, hearing those tunes restated yet another time just goes one step further in codifying jazz as another snore-inducing so-called classical music where interpretation fidelity is more important than improvisation. However creating a new dish out of old chestnuts can still be palatable. And that’s why guitarist Dom Minasi’s CD is that much more memorable than the session by pianist Paolo Birro. MORE