Tom Cora: It's A Brand New Day - Tom Cora Live At The Knitting Factory
Here, on It’s A Brand New Day – Tom Cora Live at The Knitting Factory Cora’s exuberance and intensity shines forth thanks to Bruce Lee Gallanter, who taped these performances with his Sony DAT recorder. Hence, this new release signifies a compilation of noteworthy performances that span from 1989 through 1996, as several of the cellist’s recordings are either out of print or difficult to obtain. And despite the seemingly rudimentary recording techniques utilized for these live dates, the audio quality is surprisingly good as we hear Cora steering a mutant funk-rock groove on “High Sidewalk” featuring drummer Samm Bennett, and “Curlew’s” alto saxophonist George Cartwright’s emotionally charged choruses. Here, Cora displays ferocity and ingenuity as he pursues steely edged, intersecting lines while also providing the soft undercurrents and sinewy themes via his deeply personalized mode of execution. Clarinetist Don Byron’s raspy yet powerful attack on “Andy’s Fault” paves the way for complex themes, toe-tapping rhythms and Cora’s mind boggling creations. “Saint Dog” features trumpeter Dave Douglas’s stabbing leads in tandem with Cora’s sublime yet at times haunting lines, sharp utilization of tremolo, subtle inflections and soulful, jazz-based motifs as Cora’s then “Curlew” band-mates, bassist Ann Rupel and drummer Pippin Barnett, initiate the pumped up rhythms. “Elisha” is a penetrating eighteen-minute duet with guitarist and master improviser Fred Frith as the duo pursues scathing lines, micro-themes and disparate sounds and ideas. Basically, highlights abound and flourish within the entire scope of these performances.
It’s A Brand New Day revitalizes the musical spirit of a master musician who possessed a unique vision and forthright attitude towards music yet Tom Cora probably did not garner the widespread attention he so deserved. However, we can only hope for more quality product such as this recording and a recent release on the “Tzadik” label to be lifted from the vaults, as Tom Cora’s important and altogether relevant legacy continues to unfold.
* * * * ½ (out of * * * * *)
Tom Cora; Cello, Electronics:On selected tracks- Catherine Jauniaux; Vocals: Mark Dresser; Bass: Hahn Rowe; Violin: Pippin Barnett; Drums: George Cartwright; Alto Sax: Samm Bennett; Drums: Don Byron; Clarinet: Ann Rupel; Bass: Wayne Horvitz; Piano, Electronics: Dave Douglas; Trumpet: Zeena Parkins; Piano: Fred Frith; Guitar:
Track listing: 1) Passing 2) High Sidewalk 3) Andy
Record Label: Knitting Factory
Style: Modern Jazz