Reviews that mention Henry P. Warner

February 7, 2013

Henry P. Warner/Earl Freeman/Philip Spigner

Freestyle Band
NoBusiness NBCD 41

By Ken Waxman

Notes from under the underground, this CD gathers all the tracks by a trio of improvisers whose five tracks of chamber-skronk never received the attention they should have in 1984, when free jazz was supposed to have given way to fusion and the Neo-Cons. Now the Freestyle Band’s LP has been reissued with nearly 22 additional minutes of music.

Despite the quality of the session one can understand the reason for the group’s obscurity. For a start, the best-known player was bass guitarist Earl “Googles” Freeman (1939-1984), sideman with Noah Howard, Sunny Murray and Archie Shepp, who would die within the year. Philip Spigner creates his beats with nothing but hand drums, at a time when mammoth percussion kits were the norm; while the only horn was that of clarinetist Henry P. Warner, who worked with William Parker and Billy Bang, but soon afterwards traded New York’s Lower East Side for Mt. Vernon, N.Y.’s local scene. MORE