Revolutionary Ensemble: The Psyche (2004)
After work with Archie Shepp and Alan Silva, and as a member of the woefully short-lived Creative Construction Company, Jenkins hooked up with bassist Sirone (né Norris Jones, who had been with Pharoah Sanders, Marion Brown, Gato Barbieri and others) and younger drummer Jerome Cooper (fresh from Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s group). They formed the Revolutionary Ensemble and began working on “chamber jazz.” What this entails usually is an emphasis on string instruments (a reaction to the screeching saxophones that overpowered everything in their midst) and jazz-cum-classical compositional forms.
Sadly, for such an influential group, their five albums were released on five different labels, all out of print until now. Originally self-released, The Psyche was the third and thus far most accessible with three long pieces, one by each participant, featuring Jenkins’ cerebral tone, Sirone’s rich arco and Cooper’s percussion and surprisingly understated piano.
Though two of the three compositions are lengthy (accounting for 39 of the 47 minutes), you can focus on the subtle interactions between Jenkins and Sirone rather than struggling through the usual soup of a horn-based avant-garde session.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: Invasion (Cooper) 26:15; Hu-man (Jones) 8:04; Collegno (Jenkins) 13:00.
Personnel: Jerome Cooper - drums piano; Leroy Jenkins - violin, viola; Norris Sirone Jones - bass.
Record Label: Mutable Music
Style: Modern Jazz