World Saxophone Quartet: 25th Anniversary
The music on hand for the improvisatory jubilee is a cross-section of the quartet’s influences and usual repertoire. Anthemic rhythm and blues marks the opening “Suki Suki Now” while chamber-like counterpoint characterizes the aptly fragmentary “Bit’s n’ Pieces.” The old spiritual “Goin’ Home” further delves into the rich organic soil of blues roots and is a feature for Murray’s soulful tenor. With “Stock” the four take on the sound of a full sax section veering off into a myriad of component groupings through tight, but expansive harmonizing.
In true milestone marking fashion Ashley Kahn’s liners reveal some fascinating secrets of the group’s history and dynamics. One that caught my eye- New Orleans saxophone legend was the original catalyst for the group’s inception. To learn all the colorful details readers will have to acquire the disc. With this record the WSQ has proven once again as all of their past documents have that jazz is not a music beholden to any set instrumentation, that the feeling can be conveyed by any combination of voices properly wielded. Their longevity is cause for celebration to be sure. But in true creative fashion and as the closing incantatory “The New Chapter,” which marks the band’s first application of overdubs, suggests aurally these four veteran players would rather turn their gaze to the future, contemplating what further ground they will be breaking in the years to come.
Justin Time on the web: http://www.justin-time.com
Track Listing: Suki Suki Now/ Net Down/ Bit
Personnel: Bluiett- baritone saxophone, contra-alto clarinet; Oliver Lake- alto saxophone; David Murray- tenor saxopohone, bass clarinet; John Purcell- saxello, alto-flute, Tibetan bells. Recorded: May 19-22, 2000, Montreal.
Style: Modern Jazz