All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

96

Assif Tsahar/Cooper-Moore: America

By

Sign in to view read count
I suppose America should be categorized as jazz, since it was made by two musicians who have played jazz in the past. The underrecorded Cooper-Moore usually appears on piano, and Assif Tsahar is best known for his Ayler/late Coltrane-style tenor saxophone workouts—and these men play those instruments here, but this is a recording that defies categorization. You could say America is an old fashioned concept album, and I expect its ambition and totality of conviction will continue to reveal itself over the years with repeated listenings. It’s one of the most profoundly heartfelt and interesting CDs I’ve heard in a long time.

The opening title track on America is anchored by Cooper-Moore’s bracingly deep and resonant homemade diddley-bo, creating an ominous mood suited to the lyrical accusation he sings/raps à la Gil Scott-Heron. Assif Tsahar’s tenor wails in the slightly distant background, expressing the undercurrent of anger and frustration in Cooper-Moore’s words. In a better world, this song would be a hit on MTV2. “Back Porch Chill” lightens the intensity with a simple melody stated by Cooper-Moore’s strummed banjo (sounding like a steel guitar) and Tsahar blowing softly on bass clarinet, and the lovely “Tortoise and the Buzzard,” a composition for guitar and mouth bow. Sounding as if they could have been recorded on the banks of the river Niger in Mali, they demonstrate how much the American musical vocabulary has in common with other sounds of the planet.

“Tuscarora’s Cry” and “No Cracklin No Bread” go even deeper into the jungle, or maybe the swamp, with Cooper-Moore producing birdsong on what might be a wooden flute and slapping drum skins while Tsahar breathes calmly on bass clarinet and tenor. “12th Avenue Messengers” shakes us back to the city, as Tsahar runs up and down his tenor and Cooper-Moore rides a cymbal.

“Lament for Trees” appears twice, once as a tenor-piano duet, again as a piece for tenor and diddley-bo. Both are moving and deeply felt, as Tsahar brilliantly evokes a sense of perseverance and summons the inner strength to carry on. These men have something to say, and they use a universal musical language to say it.


Track Listing: America; Back Porch Chill; Tuscarora

Personnel: Cooper-Moore: piano, diddley-bo, banjo, mouth bow, drum-skins & cymbal; Assif Tsahar: tenor sax, bass clarinet, classical guitar.

Title: America | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Hopscotch Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
Code Re(A)d

Code Re(A)d

Hopscotch Records
2014

buy
Digital Primitives

Digital Primitives

Hopscotch Records
2007

buy
Solitude

Solitude

Hopscotch Records
2006

buy
Lost Brother

Lost Brother

Hopscotch Records
2006

buy
 

Lost Brother

Ayler Records
2005

buy
America

America

Hopscotch Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "The Deep" CD/LP/Track Review The Deep
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "Monk's Cha Cha" CD/LP/Track Review Monk's Cha Cha
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Drama" CD/LP/Track Review Drama
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Originals For the Originals" CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Nahnou Houm" CD/LP/Track Review Nahnou Houm
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 28, 2017