Ornette Coleman's legacy is alive and well and living in France.
Los Angles guitarist Eric Schultz, jazz schooled in jam sessions at the renown Maiden Voyage Club (home of several notable live recordings of Art Pepper late in his career) left for Paris in 1985 for a six month sabbatical to "delve into a new musical and cultural scene". That brief intended stay stretched into the past 15 years, formally making Schultz an expatriate. He has spent his time wisely. During the last number of years, Schultz cultivated several fruitful relationships, all of which manifest beautifully on this recording. Here, we find the guitarists leading a saxophone/trombone fronted
The Space and Time Ensemble is aptly named. Stemming from the iconoclastic tradition of Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman, the Ensemble produces characteristically open and spacious music, both in harmony and time. This is best illustrated in the disc opener, "I Remember Albert", which is a particularly rambunctious avant-guard exercise highlighting David Casimir's trombone vision, as well as, Schultz's sinewy plec-tantrums. "R.U. Dry" is ill-behaved, beginning with a primal scream followed by an almost straight Hard Bop introduction, that then transforms into an avant-guard rave before the trombone quotes classical, jazz and popular sources. "Who Do U Think U. R." is a sideways Be Bop. "Champigny" is a sweet ballad, while "Plain 2 C" is what jazz would sound like if one transplanted one half of Monk's brain and one half of Andrew Lloyd Webber's brain into Jimmy Page and then gave him a trombone. In short, irreverently beautiful and chaotic is a sacred sort of way.
Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman were equal figures in Be Bop and Hard Bop respectively. They both heard their respective genre's loud and clear, but wanted to push the envelope sideways. The heritage of these two musical enigmas is captured fully by Eric Schultz and the Space and Time Ensemble.
Personnel: Eric Schultz: Guitar; Jean Michel Couchet: Alto and Soprano Saxophones; Daniel Casimir: Trombone; Alan Jones: Drums; Paul Imm: Double Bass.