Reviews that mention James Newton

July 19, 2009

Bobby Bradford Extet

Midnight Pacific Airwaves
Entropy Stereo Records ESR 018

Although Bobby Bradford’s highest profile came during the times he partnered alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman and drummer John Stevens in the 1970s, the cornetist’s most concentrated activity has been in Los Angles, where since the 1960s, he and a few other crusaders have maintained a place for experimental music in Southern California.

The never-previously-issued music here is doubly vital since most of it dates from 1977, during a decade in which Bradford, who turns 75 today, didn’t record commercially. Although Bradford’s usual front-line partner, clarinetist John Carter, is absent, his chair is ably filled by a similar polymath: flutist James Newton, another Angelo, whose influences ranging from New music to Rahsaan Roland Kirk are fully exposed. Local bassist Richard Rehwald is a strong presence, while John Goldsmith, who played with Kirk as well as Sun Ra, is on drums. An additional track, recorded in 2003, matches Bradford with clarinetist Vinny Golia for a reprise of the brass man’s “She”, also played by the quartet. This too is prescient, since the cornetist’s work with Golia in the 1990s provides a link between earlier sound explorers such as him and the multi-reedman and a later generation characterized by bassist Ken Filiano and the Cline brothers. MORE