Reviews that mention Joe Morris

June 6, 2016

Carlberg/Morris/Niggenkemper/Gray

Cosmopolitan Greetings
Red Piano RPR 4699-4419-2

The Who

Zoo

Auricle Aur 14+15

Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus

The Distance

ECM 2484

Eric Platz

Life After Life

Allos Documents 012

Florian Hoefner

Luminosity

Origin Records 82706

Something In The Air: Those Who Teach Can Also Play

By Ken Waxman

As shibboleths go, the hoary “those who can do, those who can’t teach,” must rank at the very top of the list. Besides libelling the majority of educators who devote themselves to the task of imparting knowledge to students, it negates the activities of those who teach and do. Here are some musicians who maintain a full-time teaching carer along with consistent gigging. MORE

February 11, 2016

Joe McPhee

Ticonderoga
Clean Feed 345 CD

Ran Blake

Ghost Tones

A side 0001

Bennani/Greene/Silva/Henderson

Free Form Improvisatio Ensemble 2013

Improvising Beings ib 40

Lvio Minafra/Louis Moholo-Moholo

Born Free

Nicipic Records Inc 2013

Irène Schweizer/Han Bennink

Welcome Back

Intakt 254

Something In The Air: Advanced Jazz’s Fountain of Youth

By Ken Waxman

One common shibboleth of mid-20th century creative music was that “jazz was a young man’s art”. Putting aside the sexism implicit in the statement, the idea denied jazz musicians the sort of late career acclaim that notated music masters like Pablo Casals and Vladimir Horowitz enjoyed. Times have more than changed. Expanded from the Baby Boomer cliché that “50 is the new 30”, and its upwards affiliations, career longevity is now taken for granted in all serious music. These CDs recorded by improvised musicians in their seventies attest to that. MORE

July 21, 2015

Wadada Leo Smith/Jamie Saft/Joe Morris/Balàzs Pàndi

Red Hill
Rare Noise RNR 044

Wadada Leo Smith & Eco d’Alberi

June 6th 2013

Novara Jazz Series 001

Resilient is one word that can easily be applied to trumpet-composer Wadada Leo Smith, 73. About a half century after he was one of the original Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) thinkers who helped redefine improvised music, he’s still as busy as ever with new projects and recordings. Not only that, but like any forward-thinking experimenter, he’s unafraid to try out new concepts with new casts of characters. Both these sessions for instance find him working with ensembles – one American, one Italian – consisting of players at least three decades younger than him. With no incompatibility sensed, each interaction focuses on a unique aspect of Smith’s variant of creative music. MORE

August 11, 2014

Artist Feature

Jim Hobbs
By Ken Waxman

Boston-based alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs has no problem with having his improvising and compositions celebrated – or fully celebrated – during four nights at Douglas Street Music Collective (DSMC) August 20-23, but he maintains his music is still evolving. “I’ve always believed that the music is supposed to progress and that’s the musician’s responsibility,” says Hobbs, 47. “Music shouldn't be confined to a museum re-enactment.” Known as a member of the trio or quartet called the Fully Celebrated Orchestra (FCO), Hobbs, is one musician who has always followed his own path, although chance and coincidence have also played a part. MORE

April 28, 2014

Joe Morris/Agustí Fernández/Nate Wooley

From the Discrete to the Particular
Relative Pitch RPR 008

Fernández/Manouach/Sans

Wry

Clamshell Records CR 13

After establishing himself as almost without question Spain’s most accomplished improvising pianist, Barcelona-based Agustí Fernández maintains an international career as well as a local one. These premium-quality trio discs, featuring completely divergent instrumentation, recorded about nine months apart demonstrate his interactive facility.

With the unique formation of two chordal instruments and one brass, From the Discrete to the Particular captures a New Haven gig matching the pianist with guitarist Joe Morris, with whom he has played frequently and newer collaborator trumpeter Nate Wooley. Brittle and somewhat disconcerting, the contrapuntal scrapes, buzzes and plucks easily inhabit the abstract Free Music sphere. Recorded the next year in Saint Pere de Vilaajor in Catalonia, Wry is a more ferocious program, reuniting Fernández, with drummer Ivo Sans, who with the pianist is one of the 11 members of the Free Art Ensemble, and adding Greek soprano saxophonist Ilan Manouach. Classic Free Jazz trios such as pianist Cecil Taylor’s with saxist Jimmy Lyons and drummer Sunny Murray are suggested here, except that Manouach’s tone is thinner, subtler and more wide-ranging than Lyons’; while Sans is more involved and less overbearing then Murray. MORE

December 3, 2013

Artist Feature:

Ivo Perelman
By Ken Waxman

“When [Brazilian director] Gustavo Galvão first asked me to do the soundtrack for his film I thought he was crazy,” confesses tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, 52. “I said I don’t do that kind of thing and play to cues. I only play my music the way I do.” Yet Galvão, who had made a special trip to New York precisely to get the São Paulo-born saxophonist to create music for his film finally agreed to let Perelman do it his own way with musician of his own choice. Before heading into the studio with violist Matt Maneri and pianist Matthew Ship, Perelman explained the film concept to them, knowing that different moods would emerge as they recorded their improvisations. Titled after the fact, and sequenced into eight tracks, the improvisations now make up the music for the director’s first international feature A Violent Dose of Anything. (Uma Dose Violenta de Qualquer Coisa in Portuguese). Not only is the music preserved on a CD of the same title, but it recently won an award as best original soundtrack at a prestigious Brazilian film festival. Would he do other movie projects? “Introduce me to more people like Gustavo then I’ll do more film music,” jokes Perelman. MORE

November 8, 2013

Label Spotlight:

Relative Pitch Records
By Ken Waxman

We both feel that every release has been a success,” says Kevin Reilly, co-owner with Mike Panico, of the New York area-based Relative Pitch (RP) record label. “I want to stay away from categorizing our releases according to the parameters of late industrial capitalist consumerism.”

Economic methodology aside, in the less than five years since it was founded, Relative Pitch has already put out 14 well-regarded CDs, featuring younger advanced players such as guitarist Mary Halvorson and trumpeter Nate Wooley, plus veteran free musicians including bassist Joëlle Léandre and saxophonist Urs Leimgruber. MORE

April 16, 2013

Tony Bevan/Joe Morris/Tony Buck/Dominic Lash

Tony-Joe Bucklash
Foghorn FOGCD 016

NoReduce

Jaywalkin’

nWog Records NWOG 005

Pumped up past the expected, despite the common saxophone-guitar-bass-drums configuration are these CDs. Although each features an American playing with a European unit, the path to quality is achieved by different routes.

In one case perhaps visiting Boston guitarist Joe Morris could be the spark plug for the extended go-for-broke improvising on Tony-Joe Bucklash, since the three other British players have singly and together frequently recorded outstanding work in the past. Besides Morris, known for his association with the likes of bassist William Parker and saxophonist Joe Maneri, Oxford-based reedist Tony Bevan is not only one of the (few) masters of the bass saxophone, but equally proficient on tenor and soprano. Berlin-based Aussie drummer Tony Buck is a long-time member of the Necks; while bassist Dominic Lash is busy in both New York and London. Rather than Morris being the only special guest, this CD also marks the first recorded meeting by Bevan with both bassist and drummer. MORE

January 11, 2013

Artist Feature

Agustí Fernández
By Ken Waxman

A complete pianist in every sense of the word who blends exquisite technique with innovative inspiration, Agustí Fernández is arguably Spain’s most accomplished contemporary improviser. This month he’s playing four nights in different configurations at the Stone, a rare series of American dates. “I like all kind of combinations, from duo to big ensembles because each one presents different challenges for a player,” he explains. “Listening, language, instruments, techniques, sound, volume, interplay, etc. will be different in every setting.” MORE

January 6, 2013

Joe Morris Quartet

Graffiti in Two Parts
Rogueart ROG-0039

By Ken Waxman

Paradoxically, the overriding fascination of this 1985 Cambridge, Mass. session is with its least-known player. Unlike Joe Morris, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris and Malcolm Goldstein, who have well-charted careers in improvised music, this is only the second record featuring Lowell Davidson (1941-1990). More crucially, Davidson plays percussion and aluminum acoustic bass here, unlike his eponymous 1965 debut as a pianist on ESP-Disk with drummer Milford Graves and bassist Gary Peacock. MORE

May 21, 2012

Ivo Perelman/Joe Morris/Gerald Cleaver

Family Ties
Leo Records CD LR 630

The Ames Room

Bird Dies

Clean Feed: CF 231 CD

Free Jazz has no geography or language as these two CDs of outstanding trio improvisation prove. Seemingly any musician(s) from anywhere can organize an exceptional session just as long as the spirit is there. But that’s the key caveat. For unless the performance includes an indefinable helping of inspiration and cooperation, the results is endless blowing.

The younger group of players who make up the Ames Group understand this and, perhaps pointedly don’t make free expression their only methods of expression. Paris-based alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet for instance, is not only is involved with electro-acoustic compositions and pieces for organ but he’s one-fifth of Hubbub, France’s most recognizable reductionist band. Confirming the geographic separation, The Ames Room’s other members are Australians who have expatriated to different parts of Europe. Nantes, France-based Will Guthrie, is a percussionist who moves between Rock, Electronica and experimental solo expression; Berlin resident, bassist Clayton Thomas is as likely be found as part of an experimental duo as a big band playing complex arrangements. MORE

January 10, 2012

Ivo Perelman Quartet

The Hour of the Star
Leo Records CD LR 605

Eastern Boundary Quartet

Icicles

Konnex KCD 5258

Carlo De Rosa’s Cross-Fade

Brain Dance

Cuneiform Rune 317

Of all the formations that have characterized improvisation at least since the Bop era, the most common has been that of one reed player along with piano, bass and drums. Just because it’s unexceptional doesn’t mean every session has to be identical however, especially if the meeting ground is original compositions. As these quartet discs demonstrate, plenty of variations are available, even if the form prods participants towards a mainstream orientation. MORE

January 5, 2012

SFE

Positions and Descriptions
Clean Feed CF 230 CD

By Ken Waxman

For the past 20-odd years as “Butch” Morris has demonstrated conduction: structuring free improvisation using a specific series of hand gestures, many improvising ensembles have been created in his its wake. Whether groups use or not signals developed by Morris to rearrange and sculpt notated and non-notated music, conduction is part of their inventory. As these releases demonstrate however, it depends on individual musicians’ skills for a performance to be fully satisfying. MORE

October 15, 2011

Flow Trio

Set Theory – Live at the Stone
Ayler AYLCD 107

Willi Kellers/Thomas Borgmann/Akira Ando

Boom Box Jazz

Jazzwerkstatt JW 106

Reports of Free Jazz`s death have been greatly exaggerated. Despite the derision, rejection and outright venom that has been directed at it since that musical expression came to the fore in the early 1960s, committed improvisers continue to discover nuances for self-expression unhampered by themes, bar lines or so-called proper instrumental techniques

Consider these discs by the all-American Flow Trio of saxophonist Louie Belogonis, bassist Joe Morris and drummer Charles Downs plus the German/Japanese threesome of saxophonist Thomas Borgmann, bassist Akira Ando and percussionist Willi Kellers. Like the best players in every idiom, each ensemble tackles the challenge of Free Jazz with novel variations on the now venerable sounds. MORE

October 5, 2011

Taylor Ho Bynum/Joe Morris/Sara Schoenbeck

Next
Porter Records PRCD-4058

Bill Dixon

Envoi

Victo cd 120

Pink Saliva

Pink Saliva

& Records &11

Starlicker

Double Demon

Delmark DE 2011

Something In The Air: Trumpeter Bill Dixon’s Lingering Influence

By Ken Waxman

Praised and reviled in equal measure during his 40-year career, Vermont-based trumpeter Bill Dixon was finally recognized as one of improvised music’s most original stylists and theorists before his death at 84 in June 2010. Fittingly his final concert took place a mere three weeks previously at Quebec’s Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, where a hand-picked octet played this composition under his direction. Luckily the performance has been released as Envoi Victo Records Victo cd 120. Not only do the two sections illuminate Dixon’s particular mixture of formalism and freedom, but with a horn section of four playing cornet, bugle and flugelhorn, Envoi also demonstrates Dixon’s influence on a younger generation of brass players. MORE

July 7, 2011

Joe Morris/Agustí Fernández

Ambrosia
Riti CD11

Agustí Fernández & Joan Saura

Vents

psi 11.01

Evans/Fernández/Gustafsson

Kopros Lithos

Multikulti Project MP 1013

Augustí Fernández/Barry Guy/Ramón López

Morning Glory

Maya Records MCD 1001

By Ken Waxman

Over the past 15 years Catalan pianist Augustí Fernández has become the most celebrated pianist – if not complete improviser – from his part of the world. In many ways he’s the successor to pianist Tete Montoliu (1933-1997). But while Montoliu was a bopper, Fernández doesn’t limit himself to one style, as this quatrtet of memorable discs makes evident. MORE

January 8, 2011

Joe Morris

Camera
ESP-Disk 4063

Joe Morris/Luther Gray

Creatures

NotTwo MW 840-2

By Ken Waxman

Confidently inventive on these CDs, Boston-based guitarist Joe Morris demonstrates that he’s lost none of his facility or individuality despite a decade also working as a bassist. Overall, it’s hard to choose between these two releases, recorded approximately one year apart in different Massachusetts studios.

While Creatures, a duo with Washington-based drummer Luther Gray, is a high-class examination of how many notable improvisations can be produced by only two musicians, it also suffers from its virtues. There are only so many ways to voice four strings and a drum kit. Camera on the other hand adds the additional textures – one is tempted to say perspective and contrast – that are filmically available with the addition of Cambridge-based cellist Junko Fujiwara Simons and Stockholm-resident Katt Hernandez on violin. Intentionally or not, the line-up conjures up memories of similarly constituted ensembles from The Revolutionary Ensemble to the String Trio of New York. MORE

January 8, 2011

Joe Morris/Luther Gray

Creatures
NotTwo MW 840-2

Joe Morris

Camera

ESP-Disk 4063

By Ken Waxman

Confidently inventive on these CDs, Boston-based guitarist Joe Morris demonstrates that he’s lost none of his facility or individuality despite a decade also working as a bassist. Overall, it’s hard to choose between these two releases, recorded approximately one year apart in different Massachusetts studios.

While Creatures, a duo with Washington-based drummer Luther Gray, is a high-class examination of how many notable improvisations can be produced by only two musicians, it also suffers from its virtues. There are only so many ways to voice four strings and a drum kit. Camera on the other hand adds the additional textures – one is tempted to say perspective and contrast – that are filmically available with the addition of Cambridge-based cellist Junko Fujiwara Simons and Stockholm-resident Katt Hernandez on violin. Intentionally or not, the line-up conjures up memories of similarly constituted ensembles from The Revolutionary Ensemble to the String Trio of New York. MORE

October 17, 2010

Marshall Allen/Matthew Shipp/Joe Morris

Night Logic
Rogueart Rog-0028

More like a cozy song-swap around the campfire by a trio of equals than an intergenerational showdown or torch passing, Night Logic still offers 10 real-time improvisations between of representative of today’s advanced music and a musician who has trawled the sonic spaceways for many decades.

Pianist Matthew Shipp, 49, epitomizes the contemporary multi-directional explorer, at home playing in advanced Free Music situations with bassist Mike Bisio and saxophonist David S. Ware, to cite two, as he is involved in synthesizers and programming with Chris Flam or the Anti-pop Consortium. Joining him here is multi-instrumentalist Marshall Allen, 86, who has been part of Sun Ra’s Arkestra since 1956 and led the large improvisational ensemble since Ra’s death 16 years ago. Backing both with stops and strokes that are usually more felt than heard is bassist Joe Morris, 54, equally renown for his guitar playing. MORE

December 27, 2009

Dennis González

A Matter of Blood
Furthermore Recordings 003

Dennis González Connecticut Quartet

Songs of Early Autumn

No Business Records NBCD 6

One of those unifying figures who maintains an enthusiasm for pure improvised music and encourages others, trumpeter Dennis González has been following this path towards experimentation almost single-handedly for over 30 years in his hometown of Dallas.

An artists and educator with a home studio, over time he has established links with similarly inclined players in New Orleans, California and in Europe. Recently in fact his gigs in the Eastern United States have become more frequent. These notable CDs, for instance – featuring two different sets of playing partners – are the results of the trumpeter’s recent eastward treks. MORE

December 27, 2009

Dennis González Connecticut Quartet

Songs of Early Autumn
No Business Records NBCD 6

Dennis González

A Matter of Blood

Furthermore Recordings 003

One of those unifying figures who maintains an enthusiasm for pure improvised music and encourages others, trumpeter Dennis González has been following this path towards experimentation almost single-handedly for over 30 years in his hometown of Dallas.

An artists and educator with a home studio, over time he has established links with similarly inclined players in New Orleans, California and in Europe. Recently in fact his gigs in the Eastern United States have become more frequent. These notable CDs, for instance – featuring two different sets of playing partners – are the results of the trumpeter’s recent eastward treks. MORE

November 7, 2009

Old Dog

By Any Other Name
Porter Records PRCD-4027

Flow Trio

Rejuvenation

ESP-Disk 4052

John Coltrane dominated the concepts of nearly every young tenor saxophonist between the late 1950s and early 1980s – and his work is still one yardstick against which reedists are measured today. His influence was – and is – so all-pervasive, that even those saxophonists who forged their own identity often referred consciously or subconsciously to Trane’s work.

Oddly enough though the majority of reedists fastened onto Coltrane’s Hard Bop or Modal periods, with very few willing to deal with the timbral and textural achievements the sax man advanced just before his untimely death in 1967. Fearless and individualistic, New York-based Louie Belogenis on the other hand, is someone who has faced that challenge head on. MORE

November 7, 2009

Flow Trio

Rejuvenation
ESP-Disk 4052

Old Dog

By Any Other Name

Porter Records PRCD-4027

John Coltrane dominated the concepts of nearly every young tenor saxophonist between the late 1950s and early 1980s – and his work is still one yardstick against which reedists are measured today. His influence was – and is – so all-pervasive, that even those saxophonists who forged their own identity often referred consciously or subconsciously to Trane’s work.

Oddly enough though the majority of reedists fastened onto Coltrane’s Hard Bop or Modal periods, with very few willing to deal with the timbral and textural achievements the sax man advanced just before his untimely death in 1967. Fearless and individualistic, New York-based Louie Belogenis on the other hand, is someone who has faced that challenge head on. MORE

March 23, 2009

Steve Lantner Trio

What You Can Throw
hatOLOGY 641

Reconfiguring the classic jazz piano trio, Boston-based pianist Steve Lantner tosses many of its conventions into the air but catches enough of them with both hands to create a fully satisfying CD.

Superlative when the tracks are kinetic and contrapuntal, the trio’s sole miscue is dawdling over Ornette Coleman’s “Broken Shadows”, scaling it back so that it resembles a late-night ballad. Other tracks make up for this with a focused time sense and rhythmic clarity. Drummer Luther Gray outputs power while sensitively advancing the tunes with syncopated pumps, pops and wire-brush grazing. Bassist Joe Morris vamps strongly when he’s not intricately strumming – no surprise for someone who also gigs as a guitarist. MORE

November 20, 2008

Daniel Levin Quartet

Blurry
hatOLOGY 653

Drummer-less chamber-improv without compromise, this CD is more lucid than Blurry. Cellist Daniel Levin, trumpeter Nate Wooley, vibraphonist Matt Moran and bassist Joe Morris clearly and resourcefully demonstrate how extended techniques can be interlaced with shaded pointillism to create a satisfying group effort.

Throughout the cellist’s multi-toned arches and spiccato interjects plus the trumpeter’s smeary growls and plunger excavations are as germane for the evolution of the eight tracks as the bassist’s stolid thumps and the vibist’s shimmering key bounces. Encompassing smooth transitions from one instrument’s contributions to another’s, these mostly Levin-composed lines, feature uncommon exchanges involving say a splintered chromatic aside from Wooley, supported by fundamental connective plucks from Morris. Frequently polyphonic, the tunes are melded and molded using note clusters that move them through quasi-romanticism, stark improvisation and luminescent vibrations. MORE

January 15, 2008

Matthew Shipp Trio

Piano Vortex
Thirsty Ear THI 57180

Undeniably confirming that he can easily make an unhyphenated jazz album, Matthew Shipp puts aside the studio processing and remixing he’s used on sessions with electronica duo Spring Heel Jack or DJ Spooky for a standard jazz piano trio with notable results.

Filled out by the pianist’s long-time associates – drummer Whit Dickey and bassist Joe Morris – the New York-based combo runs through eight Shipp compositions, lodged so firmly in the tradition that the CD could be slotted alongside 1950s’Red Garland LPs with Paul Chambers and Art Taylor. Shipp quotes “Giant Steps” in the middle of one number and his unaccompanied track could be an offbeat variant on “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. No Taylor, Dickey snaps his cymbals and finesses the beat, leaving the heavy lifting to the others. Morris sticks mostly to low pitches, thumping or pumping behind Shipp’s bouncy runs and flashing cadenzas, rarely unveiling squat arco runs. MORE

October 17, 2006

Daniel Levin Quartet

Some Trees
Hatology 632

Near flawless chamber jazz, cellist Daniel Levin’s quartet inhabits eight unforced improvisations without ever turning effete or enervated.

Inspired soloing from all concerned – especially the leader, and trumpeter Nate Wooley – provides some of the session’s impetus, while the remainder comes from the powerful rhythmic thrust of Joe Morris’ bass and Matt Moran’s vibes. Morris – a dual threat, best-known as a guitarist – provides the ostinato underpinning for many tunes; while Moran, a member of the Claudia Quintet, sounds quivering key vibrations as often as accompanying wallops, especially when playing in unison with Morris. MORE

December 12, 2005

STEVE LANTNER TRIO

Blue Yonder
Skycap CAP 018

BRIAN WILLSON/YUKO FUJIYAMA/DOMINIC DUVAL
Things Heard Unheard
Deep Listening DL 31-2005

Breathing life into the standard piano trio, these innovative CDs approach the familiar piano-bass-percussion grouping from different perspectives.

Veteran Brooklyn-based drummer Brian Willson, on his first CD as a leader, builds the trio’s 10 improvisations from bottom up, while Boston-based pianist Steve Lantner’s five tracks work outwards from the keyboard. MORE

February 9, 2004

WALLY SHOUP

Fusillades & Lamentations
Leo LR 364

STONE HOUSE
Likewise
RITI CD008

Distinctive differences between East and West Coast improvisers vanished around the time 40 years ago when Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins helped make the sax/bass/drums trio a common configuration among jazzers.

Today when an improv trio can consist of any three instrumentalists from just about anywhere, threesomes like the two featured on these CDs mainly announce a commitment to unfettered jazz-based experimentation. Coming from a similar source, the differences aren’t geographical but creative, and this time out, surprisingly, the West has the edge. MORE

December 29, 2003

YVES ROBERT

In Touch
ECM 1787

DANIEL LEVIN QUARTET
Don’t Go It Alone
RITI CD009

Brass, percussion and cello are the points of symmetry between these sets of modern, improvised chamber music. Atmospheric IN TOUCH, helmed by veteran French trombonist Yves Robert, features his longtime associate cellist Vincent Courtois as well as drummer Cyril Atef. DON’T GO IT ALONE is an appropriate title for the debut release by young American cellist Daniel Levin, whose brass input comes from cornetist Dave Ballou. Vibraphonist Mat Moran adds subtle percussion, and the session is anchored by Joe Morris, who proves that his convincing guitar techniques can be transmitted to double bass playing. MORE

May 19, 2003

WHIT DICKEY/TRIO AHXOLOXHA

Prophet Moon
RITI CD 006

TONE DIALING
Elektrodoki
No Label No #

Putting together an improvising trio featuring saxophone and drums with guitar as the only chordal instrument creates a combination rife with potential hazards. Luckily Trio Anxoloxha includes Joe Morris, an inventive artisan, whose skills encompass knowledge of bass and banjo techniques, while Tone Dialing extends its musical menu with electronic attachments.

Ahxoloxha is a palindrome invented by its leader, drummer Whit Dickey to describe how the group works together, balanced on all sides. Dickey, whose experience encompasses the bands of pianist Matthew Shipp and tenor saxophonist David S. Ware; and alto saxophonist Rob Brown, who has also played extensively with Shipp and bassist William Parker, come to the drummer’s project from the core of New York’s so-called ecstatic jazz movement. Connecticut-based, Morris may not live near Ground Zero, but much of his playing history is with similar experimenters there and in Boston. MORE

April 14, 2003

GARY LUCAS/JOZEF VAN WISSEM

Diplopia
BVHaast 0103

WILLIAM PARKER/JOE MORRIS/HAMID DRAKE Eloping With The Sun
RITI CD 007

String-driven, these CDs work with the idea of adapting traditional plucked instruments to new roles, new sounds and unusual additions. Thus, on one disc, the country bluesman’s favorite National steel guitar and the Renaissance minstrel’s lute are mixed with electronics and percussion for futuristic versions of 16th century airs. On the other, three free jazzers use instruments rescued from the stringband and world music ghettos to create some highly rhythmic improvised sounds. MORE

December 16, 2002

JOE MORRIS

Age Of Everything
Riti CD 004

Joe Morris has a unique challenge. As one of the few guitarists who has

achieved a post-Coltrane approach to the six-string he must ensure that the dense flow of swirling motion he produces doesn’t overpower the tunes and/or his sidemen.

Luckily, on this CD, his first in a long time on his own newly reactivated label, he seems to have brokered a compromise between technique and emotion. Not unrelated to this achievement is that the masterful guitarist has two accomplished players at his side here and as his working group. Additionally, this CD showcases some of his most fluid, elegantly inventive -- and non frightening for mainstreamers -- playing. If anything, his cleanly articulated approach appears to be a modern variation of the sort of licks Barney Kessel or Tal Farlow produced in abundance. MORE