Reviews that mention Alvin Fielder

December 24, 2019


Garden Party
Mahakala Music MAHA19-01

While The South will Rise Again may be a rallying cry for those following the lost Confederate cause, it could as logically be applied to this session. It’s an instance of fundamental Free Jazz by a group of mature improvisers, five-sixth of whom hail from the South, an area not known for consistent Jazz innovations since Louis Armstrong left for Chicago in the early 1920s. The exemplary CD also comes with a bitter-sweet resolution as well though, since it was the final date recorded by drummer Alvin Fielder, who died at 83 in January 2019. MORE

September 6, 2018


Masters of Improvisation
Valid Records VR-1016

Agustí Fernández & Johannes Nästesjö

Like Listening with your Fingertips

Konvoj Records KOR 013

William Parker

Lake of Light –Compositions for AquaSonics

Gotta Let It Out GLIO 19 CD

James Brandon Lewis/Chad Taylor

Radiant Imprints

Off CD 038

Satoko Fujii

This Is It!

Libra 203-049

Something In The Air: The Established Maturity of The Guelph Jazz Festival

May 2, 2018

Joe McPhee, Damon Smith, Alvin Fielder

Six Situations
NotTwo MW 954-2


Imaginary Numbers

Clean Feed CF 455 CD

Banal as it may appear to repeat it, but Joe McPhee continues to produce triumphant performances, even in his late seventies and almost a half century after releasing his first LP. Sophisticated in many sub genres, these high-quality trio performances pivot from the admiration the Poughkeepsie. N.Y.-based multi instrumentalist maintains for John Coltrane. Recorded with different bass and drum teams and consisting of original improvisations, the programs articulate Trane’s legacy more clearly than any number of discs recapitulating Trane tributes. MORE

June 9, 2017

Alvin Fielder & Damon Smith

Song for Chico
Balance Point Acoustics BPA-6

Just as a desk and a swivel chair together don’t necessarily make an office then the coupling of a double bass and drums doesn’t automatically become a rhythm section. This negation of presumptions is never more obvious then when listening to five improvisations that make up Song for Chico. For while bassist Damon Smith and drummer Alvin Fielder have spent much time in conventional rhythm sections, working with a wide range of musicians that include guitarist Henry Kaiser and Sandy Ewen and saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Kidd Jordan, this disc contains all that’s necessary for a clearly defined performance. A short story doesn’t have to be at novel lengths to be meaningful after all. MORE

September 11, 2014

Kidd Jordan/Alvin Fielder/Peter Kowald

Trio and Duo in New Orleans
NoBusiness Records NBCD 64/65

Pete Robbins


Hate Laugh Music 003 pet

Jean Derome et Lé Quan Ninh


Tour de Bras TDB 9004cd

Fred Van Hove/Damon Smith/Peter Jacquemyn

Burns Longer

Balance Point Acoustics BPA2

Sun Ra Arkestra

Live in Ulm 1992

Golden Years of Jazz GY 30/31

Something In The Air: Guelph Jazz Festival Reaches A New Maturity

By Ken Waxman

Moving into a comfortable adulthood, the annual Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), September 3 to 7, hasn’t abandoned its presentation of new artists. However it has reached the state where musicians who have been there in the past are returning, but mostly in new contexts. Case in point in 2014, the 100th anniversary of bandleader Sun Ra’s arrival on this planet – he returned to the cosmos in 1993 – where the Sun Ra Arkestra, now under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, gives two performances on September 6. The first is an afternoon parade; the second couples the band with dancers from the Colman Lemieux Company for Hymn to the Universe, a multi-media presentation at the River Run Centre (RRC). MORE

April 23, 2014

Alvin Fielder/David Dove/Jason Jackson/Damon Smith

Balance Point Acoustics BPA 015

Old Free Jazzmen never die, they just keep playing. That adage could be applied to many Free Jazz pioneers, whose longevity seems top belie the intensity of their performances – or has music trumped exercise and medications as health aids? – and it certainly works for drummer Alvin Fielder. Fielder, 78, who pulls his full weight here, partners with three musicians about half his age.

Jackson, Mississippi-based Fielder, who recently recovered from a serious illness, has been part of the exploratory Jazz firmament since his affiliations with the nascent Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the mid-1960s. He has continued sound explorations into this century with associates such as Dallas trumpeter Dennis González and New Orleans tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan. Of the Houston-based players here, Smith, whose nimble rhythms set the pace for the six improvisations, has over the years played with musicians as different as free-form violinist Philipp Wachsmann and punk-jazz drum smasher Weasel Walter. Trombonist David Dove and Jason Jackson, who plays alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, keep the experimental music flame stoked in Texas. MORE

January 13, 2014

Joel Futterman/Alvin Fielder

JDF Music JDF 9

Uri Caine/Han Bennink

Sonic Boom

816 Records 816-1201

Leaving enough space for instantaneous advances, reflections and deflections, two sets of experienced players use only one piano and one drum kit each to show how superior in-the-moment improvisations can result from vastly differing methodologies.

A busman’s holiday of sorts – and aptly described by its title – Sonic Boom, recorded in Amsterdam, matches visiting American pianist Uri Caine (b. 1956) and hometown hero, drummer Han Bennink (b. 1942). While the nine mid-length tracks may surprise those who only know Caine’s more grandiose orchestral projects, where he slyly reclaims the music of so-called classical music icons, Caine has always been an exceptional Jazz keyboardist, well-versed in contemporary tropes and even funk. Similarly while Bennink’s reputation was made in European Free Music with the ICP orchestra, saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and the like, his grounding is in modern Jazz, and he always brings a touch of studied swing to his solos, that reference Big Sid Catlett and Kenny Clarke as much as anyone more modern. MORE

November 3, 2003


Old Time Revival
Entropy Stereo Records ESR 014

In Chicago
Asian Improv Records AIR 0063

Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) exemplar, and its southern roots, underlines the creativity of the combos on both these discs.

Although only three of the nine players involved are AACM members -- the late trumpeter Ameen Muhammad, bassist Malachi Favors and drummer Alvin Fielder -- the cooperative archetype that the Chicago association feels must be mixed with creative improvised music is on show each time. MORE