Seattle's Origin label has pretty much kept its releases within the realm of modern mainstream jazz, now dips its toe into the free jazz/avant-garde pool with Language. Featuring Daniel Carter on alto, Rueben Radding on bass and Gregg Keplinger on a set of very busy drums, the trio works through more than 50 minutes of music not designed for the timid listener. Made up of all original compositions, the set kicks off with a passionate "Speak Glow" with Carter's urgent alto delving into all corners of extemporizing, creating music on the spot activity. His efforts are underpinned by the even more urgent drums of Keplinger which act as a very hot prod. If there is a mollifying influence, it's Radding's bass. In stark contrast, on "Never 3 Saturday" , Carter's alto is introspective and melodic with Radding once more providing a persuasive bass line, especially when he is bowing, over which Carter can express his ideas on the sax. This is quiet time on this album, and this track, more than any, stays in contact with the listener. "Roadrunner" falls somewhere in between the latter two numbers with Carter showing amazing digital dexterity on alto as he and Keplinger engage in a furious exchange.
Carter has deep roots in the free jazz community. He has played with Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor and others of like musical disposition. He can also be heard on Silkheart's Other Dimensions in Music with William Parker, Roy Campbell and Rashd Bakr. Very heavy company. His playing companions have similar pedigrees. Usually at this point the reviewer states that this CD is something that requires several sittings before it's fully appreciated. In my view that's nonsense. You will conclude very quickly at first hearing whether this free jazz is your cup of tea or not. If it is, this CD is a must. See the rest of the Origin catalogue at www.origin-records.com.
Personnel: Daniel Carter - Alto Saxophone; Rueben Radding - Bass; Gregg Keplinger - Drums