96

Assif Tsahar/Cooper-Moore: America

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
Assif Tsahar/Cooper-Moore: America 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.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Hopscotch Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Hungarian Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Hungarian Noir
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "D-Stringz" CD/LP/Track Review D-Stringz
by James Nadal
Published: February 25, 2016
Read "Rotterdam 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Rotterdam 1969
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!