Joe McPhee / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Blue Chicago Blues (2010)

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Joe McPhee / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Blue Chicago Blues
The pairing of saxophonist Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
b.1939
reeds
and bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten seemed inevitable. Both the US-born McPhee and Norwegian Håker Flaten have worked in the same circle of players for years. The Ken Vandermark
Ken Vandermark
Ken Vandermark
b.1964
saxophone
(Chicago) and Mats Gustafsson
Mats Gustafsson
Mats Gustafsson
b.1964
reeds
(Swedish) connections have made their services valued in varying bands.

This meeting, in Chicago 2007, is a fine bookend to McPhee's duo recording Tomorrow Came Today (Smalltown Superjazz, 2009) with Håker Flaten's longtime collaborator in tThe Thing, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love
Paal Nilssen-Love
Paal Nilssen-Love
b.1974
drums
. Connoisseurs of improvising sax/bass duos know both artists are skilled at such endeavors. McPhee has recorded duos with the bassists Michael Bisio
Michael Bisio
Michael Bisio

bass, acoustic
and Dominic Duval
Dominic Duval
Dominic Duval
b.1945
bass
, while Håker Flaten has improvised with Evan Parker
Evan Parker
Evan Parker
b.1944
sax, tenor
and Hakon Kornstad
Hakon Kornstad
Hakon Kornstad
b.1977
saxophone
.

While both musicians are proficient at energy jazz, they keep things, for the most part, civilized here. Quite comforting—maybe because the goal was collaborative music-making and not wrestling—there is plenty to explore in this 42- minutes of music. The gentle opener, "Truth In The Abstract Blues," finds McPhee repeating a simple pattern that allows the bassist to wander a bit. McPhee has always been a generous player,and here he never overpowers the music. "Cerulean Mood Swing" follows a sort of glum Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
1936 - 1970
sax, tenor
saxophone sortie, with Håker Flaten vocalizing while he walks behind McPhee. The stuttering, pecking horn of McPhee is mimicked by the bass on "I Love You Too Little Baby," but the most expressive piece on the disc is "Legend Of The Three Blind Moose," almost whispered by both players. McPhee blows breath through his horn as music, and the bassist gently rubs his instrument, giving a warm fuzzy feeling.

Track Listing: Truth In The Abstract Blues; Cerulean Mood Swing; Requiem For An Empty Heart; I Love You Too Little Baby; The Shape Of Blues To Come; Legend Of The Three Blind Moose.

Personnel: Joe McPhee: saxophone; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: bass.

Record Label: Not Two Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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