Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

12

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake: A Night In November - Live in New Orleans

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake: A Night In November - Live in New Orleans Hard to believe, but A Night In November—Live in New Orleans is the first drums / saxophone duet recording by legendary New Orleans free jazz saxophonist and educator Kidd Jordan. He's accompanied by a true kindred spirit, Hamid Drake. Though both have made names for themselves in the rarefied world of free improvisation, neither are shy about their roots in more traditional forms of jazz, blues, soul, and R&B. Jordan, now almost 80 years old, is a remarkable figure whose music has only been properly documented since the late 1990s. In an interview with Ted Panken, published in Cadence Magazine back in 2003, Jordan states... "the aesthetic from the Blues is a part of the thing that I want to have in my playing. I don't care how out it gets." As an educator, Jordan touched the lives of many important and highly visible contemporary jazz artists, including Branford Marsalis, Donald Harrison, and co-founder of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charles Joseph.

Also a Louisiana native, Drake is a couple of generations younger than Jordan and came up playing blues, funk, reggae, and African music in Chicago. Best known in the latter half of the 20th Century for longstanding and artistically fruitful collaborations with Fred Anderson, Foday Musa Suso, Don Cherry, William Parker, and Peter Brötzmann, Drake entered the 21st Century as one of the preeminent percussionists in both the jazz and improvised music worlds. Previously members of Fred Anderson's quartet, Drake and Jordan have been collaborating recently in trio format with bassist Joshua Abrams, and in trombonist Jeff Albert's quartet. It seems only natural that the two perform and record as a duo.

Though not conceived as a tribute recording, the towering figure of Fred Anderson-Drake's mentor and Jordan's running buddy- casts benevolent shadow over these proceedings. Known for his marathon improvisations and endless melodic / harmonic inventiveness, Anderson's duo and trio work (usually with Drake behind the kit) sets the tone for the proceedings on A Night In November—Live in New Orleans. The duo's free associative music runs the gamut from gutbucket funk to tender balladry to abstract sound investigations reminiscent of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The set starts out with Jordan on alto saxophone, and instrument he originally studied with the intent of becoming a classical saxophonist. Here, Jordan is at his most edgy and abstract, firing off salvos of multiphonics, high- register squeals, and jagged 32nd note runs that reveal his grounding in the music of Charlie Parker, Eric Dolphy, and Ornette Coleman. There's even a little quote from Ornette's "Blues Connotation" at about the halfway point of "Set One: Tenor and Drums." Drake's unhurried, sure-handed accompaniment is conversational but never overwhelming. Though he plays drum kit throughout, Drake's extensive experience with various hand drums is quite evident.

There are two brief solo interludes, one for each player, that form a bridge between the three duets that comprise the album. With Jordan on tenor, Drake plays a bit more aggressively. He dives right into his characteristic multi-rhythmic bag, alternating swing- feel improv with passages of backbeat funk and melodic / coloristic lines on the cymbals, toms and snare that shadow Jordan's long, twisting saxophone phrases. Recorded live in the studio before an invited audience, A Night In November—Live in New Orleans exudes a warmth that makes one wonder how free improvisation became such an esoteric pursuit in the first place.


Track Listing: Set One: Alto and drums; Drums; Tenor and Drums; Tenor – Wade in the Water; Set Two: Tenor and Drums.

Personnel: Kidd Jordan: alto and tenor saxophones; Hamid Drake: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Valid Records | Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Pensamiento" CD/LP/Track Review Pensamiento
by James Nadal
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Make Magic Happen" CD/LP/Track Review Make Magic Happen
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2016
Read "Rotterdam 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Rotterdam 1969
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Isang" CD/LP/Track Review Isang
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "The Unity Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Unity Sessions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Sunday Bolero" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Bolero
by James Nadal
Published: June 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!