All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Rich Halley: Back From Beyond

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Over a half a century after saxophonist Ornette Coleman launched the free jazz movement the genre is going strong thanks to such individualistic practitioners as tenor saxophonist Rich Halley.

Halley's sound has matured and crystallized over the course of dozen or so albums, all critically acclaimed. On his fourteenth release as a leader, Back From Beyond, he showcases his versatility and virtuosity, switching from quiet lyricism on "Opacity" to unbridled fury on "Spuds." Regardless of style, his brassy tenor is not lacking in improvisational vigor, and his intelligent exchanges with his band mates add a delightful spontaneity without devolving into cacophony. Halley brings a strong hard bop sensibility to some of the compositions, like the bluesy and soulful harmonic structure of "Broken Ground," and the leader's acerbic playing.

The achingly beautiful "The Mountain's Ege," on the other hand, features Halley's Native American-inspired wood flute floating up, while son Carson Halley's resonant and rhythmic percussion and Clyde Reed's chanting bass enhance the mood and anchor the melody.

Carson Halley and Reed are not confined to the traditional supporting role but are participants in the creative process. Reed's atonal arco bass solo adds a contemplative dimension to "Solanum," while the drummer's polyphonic work creates a deconstructed marching band sound on "Basalt," while the growls of Michael Vlatkovich's talking trombone add earthiness and humor to an otherwise free-flowing piece.

Short bursts of intense musical conversation characterize "Continental Drift," featuring Vlatkovich's whimsy as he uses squeak toys with perfect comedic timing. Vlatokovich' skills as a superior improviser are heard throughout, but especially in his tight work on "Reorbiting (for Sun Ra)" and his loose and melodic playing over the funky grooves of the title track.

A work that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally satisfying, Back from Beyond may fall slightly short of Halley's 2011 masterpiece, Requiem for a Pit Viper (Pine Eagle), but is, nevertheless, a superior example of innovative music.

Track Listing: Spuds; Section Three; Reorbiting--for Sun Ra; Solanum; Opacity; Continental Drift; Broken Ground; The Mountain's Edge; Basalt; Back From Beyond.

Personnel: Michael Vlatkovich: trombone, percussion, squeak toys; Rich Halley: tenor saxophone, wood flute, percussion; Carson Halley: drums, percussion; Clyde Reed: bass.

Title: Back From Beyond | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Pine Eagle Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Spuds

Spuds

Rich Halley
Back From Beyond

Requiem for a Pit Viper

Requiem for a Pit Viper

Rich Halley
Requiem For A Pit Viper

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Wild

The Wild

Pine Eagle Records
2017

buy
The Outlier

The Outlier

Pine Eagle Records
2016

buy
Eleven

Eleven

Pine Eagle Records
2016

buy
Creating Structure

Creating Structure

Pine Eagle Records
2015

buy
Eleven

Eleven

Pine Eagle Records
2015

buy
The Wisdom of Rocks

The Wisdom of Rocks

Pine Eagle Records
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Arvo Pärt: The Symphonies" CD/LP/Track Review Arvo Pärt: The Symphonies
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 31, 2018
Read "Fullmoon" CD/LP/Track Review Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Leading The British Invasion" CD/LP/Track Review Leading The British Invasion
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 13, 2018