Friday, May 22, 2015

ROSCOE MITCHELL QUARTET – Roscoe Mitchell Quartet in concert at A Space (LP-1975)




Label: Sackville Recordings – 2009
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Canada / Released: 1975
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded in concert at A Space, Toronto on the 4th and 5th of October 1975.
Photography By, Artwork – Bill Smith
Recorded By – Dan Allen
Produced by Onari Productions
Master tapes, Prepared By – Phil Sheridan
Composed By – Roscoe Mitchell (tracks: A1, B1, B2)

A1 - Tnoona ........................................................................... 6:42
A2 - Music For Trombone And B Flat Soprano .................... 14:35
        (Compiled By – George Lewis)
B1 - Cards ............................................................................ 10:00
B2 - Olobo .............................................................................. 9:42

Roscoe Mitchell – soprano B Flat / alto / tenor saxophones
Muhal Richard Abrams – piano
George Lewis – trombone
Spencer Barefield – guitar

The main dictum of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was a self-reliant sense of Afrocentrism, and this notion of do-it-yourself ruggedness may even eclipse the pan-stylistics that are part of the AACM’s diverse aesthetics. Reedman and composer Roscoe Mitchell was one of the early members of the collective, which stemmed from pianist Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band. Mitchell’s 1960s small groups with figures like trumpeter Lester Bowie and bassist Malachi Favors eventually developed into the Art Ensemble of Chicago, with the addition of reedman Joseph Jarman and, later, drummer Famoudou Don Moye.

As a solo performer and bandleader outside of the AEC, Mitchell’s music has often presented itself singularly and somewhat severely – it’s not necessarily monolithic, but carved out in an objective, laid-bare fashion. Whether hard or delicately-latticed, Mitchell’s phrasing is materialist, but in a fashion that is transcendent and direct. That’s especially true in his solo work, but in group music the focus is expanded – one could always tell Mitchell’s pieces immediately apart from other works in the AEC canon, as they are frequently rooted in repetition and didactic clarity.


One particularly interesting ensemble that recorded under Mitchell’s leadership was a 1975 quartet featuring Abrams, trombonist George Lewis and guitarist Spencer Barefield, an otherwise undocumented unit drawing from the first and second waves of the AACM that set the stage for Mitchell’s later work with Detroiters Barefield, drummer Tani Tabbal and bassist Jaribu Shahid. Recorded live at Toronto’s A Space over two nights in October 1975, four tracks from these sessions made it onto an eponymous LP for Sackville Records, run by saxophonist, promoter and journalist Bill Smith.

This recording was the first appearance on record of George Lewis. He’d later record solo for Sackville, and his membership in Braxton’s and Barry Altschul’s groups would cement his status as one of the AACM’s most commanding improvisers and thinkers, and he’s given significant space here. “Music for Trombone and Bb Soprano” has the trombonist front and center for much of its fourteen-minute duration, Lewis’ commanding facility and garrulousness approaching both first-chair symphonic trombone and the expressive detail of someone like Roswell Rudd or Albert Mangelsdorff. As a professor, composer and theorist for whom the academy seems at first blush to have replaced the immediacy of performance, his playing here should serve as a not-so-gentle reminder of Lewis’ creative vibrancy. Mitchell may be slightly back in the mix at times, but his straight horn curls and darts around Lewis’ phrases with curious and shapely specificity, at other times purring and striking up against the trombonist’s blats. Their rapport is developed from equal parts aggressive interplay and comely partnership. “Olobo,” which closes the original LP, is in fact completely given over to Lewis’ unaccompanied playing and concentrates Mitchell-like on repeated cells that explode into paint-peeling shouts, multiphonics and measured density.

“Cards” is a piece that Mitchell has done for both small group and orchestra; each player is given six cards with musical notation that can be arranged by the player in any order and any tempo. Something of a “directed improvisation,” this early iteration of the piece is ruggedly pointillist, slushy brass and terse, acrid alto brays ricocheting off Abrams’ clusters and filigree. Barefield’s contributions include brief, folksy interludes and arcing, reverbed electricity. It’s hard to say who’s responsible for the occasional whirs of a power drill, but they provide Cageian levity to these sharp ten minutes.

Moment's Notice:
http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD44/PoD44MoreMoments5.html


Listening to this exquisite LP is, without a doubt, demanding but it is also a rewarding and thrilling aural and intellectual ride.


50 Years of AACM - Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians



If you find it, buy this album!

7 comments:

  1. ROSCOE MITCHELL QUARTET – Roscoe Mitchell Quartet (LP-1975)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Cover

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?omk5pivhco

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  2. Many thanks, Vitko! Excellent album!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I see you've posted some great Roscoe/AEC recordings. Very much appreciated. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is my tribute to 50 years of AACM, my deep bow for all musicians, and of course, the beautiful music they have given us for enjoying.

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