These outtakes from 1978 conclusively document music as a force with constant appeal. Cooper-Moore is a multi-instrumentalist with many interests and pursuits, the spectrum of his calling seen in the wide range of his music. Improvisation is a key factor in his work, but composition also plays an integral role. Besides, he can grab the ear with his gift for melody.
As is evident from the song titles, each piece is played in different instrumental combinations. One of the points of interest is some early playing by David S. Ware. At this time he had played with Andrew Cyrille and Cecil Taylor and was developing the sound that would catapult him to the top of the avant-garde. His sound is full and forceful but not overbearing, and he demonstrates remarkable control while essaying "Prayer take 8, which is stacked with emotion and power.
Ware works in tandem with Mark Gould on "Ensemble 1 take 2. At first Gould's flugelhorn is buttery and linear while Ware roars and blows strong winds of change, getting him to jump into the fray with harder permutations. It's a free movement delight, with added impetus from Ken Dennard on drums and Cooper-Moore on diddley-bow. Abigail Goldman and Cooper-Moore join voices to sing "In the Beginning, which opens with words from the Gospels and then moves from the spirit of just the two voices to an invocation of Godembodied in the swell of Cooper-Moore's voice, with the other instrumentation adding an underbody to his ominous whirl.
Curiosity may draw you to this recording, but the music will tether your interest.
Personnel: Mark Gould: trumpet; David S. Ware: tenor saxophone; Kenwood Dennard: percussion;
Cooper-Moore: diddley-bow; piano; clay fife; slap pipe; ashimba; twanger, voice; Abigail