Rich Halley 4: Back From Beyond (2012)
Back From Beyond finds Halley, again, in fine company, sharing the frontline duties with trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, whose style is also powerful and in-your-face. Bassist Clyde Reeda veteran of Halley's groupspossesses his own unique firepower approach, whether he is laying down a solid groove or setting off sparks with the bow, as he does on the set's longest cut, "Solanum."
The set opens with the hearty stew of "Spuds," featuring Halley's trademark ursine tenor growl interjected with Vlatkovich's elephantine trombone, giving way to a relatively sedate bass/drum duet. Dan Raphael / Rich Halley / Carson Halley, in the drum chair, drives the music forward with rock music intensity as the horn men blow back in, careening with a joyous, don't-mess-with-me abandon.
"Section Three" trudges into existence on a solid groove and two-horn harmonies. The mood is introspective, in a blaring, car-horn sort of way, as Halley and Vlatkovich converse with bold declarative remarks that slip into the wailing end of the spectrum. The just-over-three-minute "Reorbitingfor Sun Ra" finds Halley playing with near-Lester Young smoothness, but with some real guts.
"Basalt" struts in with attitude, Halley and Vlatkovich blowing a sort of "march of the bad asses" intro that disassembles to freer flying and some of the disc's most inspired and fiery horn work.
Since the incendiary Coyotes in the City (Louie Records, 2001), Halley has been serving up a bold and brash brand of free jazz boiling out of the bop tradition. Back From Beyond pushes that sound further on up the road.
Track Listing: Spuds; Section Three; Reorbiting--for Sun Ra; Solanum; Opacity; Continental Drift; Broken Ground; The Mountain's Edge; Basalt; Back From Beyond.
Personnel: Michael Vlatkovich: trombone, percussion, squeak toys; Rich Halley: tenor saxophone, wood flute, percussion; Carson Halley: drums, percussion; Clyde Reed: bass.
Record Label: Pine Eagle Records