213

Paul Bley Quintet: Barrage

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Bley Quintet: Barrage Pianist Paul Bley recorded two albums for ESP Disk. The first was Barrage in 1964, the second was Closer in 1965. On the first Bley used Marshall Allen (alto sax), Dewey Johnson (trumpet), Eddie Gomez (bass) and Milford Graves (percussion). The latter was a more intimate outing with Steve Swallow (bass) and Barry Altschul (percussion). If there was a common thread besides Bley, it was the use of compositions by Carla Bley. Barrage was devoted completely to her music and Closer featured seven of her tunes out of the ten on the record.

Allen and Johnson came in from the Sun Ra Arkestra but the quintet setting was not a deterrent. They stirred the melting pot with intensity and propulsion, playing off each other and finding their individual firmaments to spark the music.

Bley cuts through the swath on his solo journeys often calling in on Gomez for a dialogue. "Ictus" is a case in point. The quintet unleashes a tumultuous head with Johnson in the forefront, loosening skittering lines and quick shots before Allen roars in. He raises the heat a notch with Graves pushing the bottom line on the drums. Bley is an ocean of calm, reining in the intensity, opening up a radiant avenue of ideas and drawing Gomez into shaping the tune with a more deliberate and ornate approach.

The essence of improvisation within the context of composition is continuously developed by the band. They give structure its due but build complex, and often electrifying edifices around it. If the pulse in forward trust nails attention, so does the slower tempo of the ballad "And Now the Queen." Allen and Johnson introduce the melody awash in warm lines. When Johnson takes off he immerses the trumpet in the melody, leaving Allen to take the first tangent. But it is Bley who leaps into fertile new pastures by advancing the harmonic pith and extending the tangent of the melody.

Time has not diluted its impact and the album comes back to stimulate and cast a positive presence.


Track Listing: Batterie; Ictus; And Now the Queen; Around Again; Walking Woman; Barrage.

Personnel: Marshall Allen: alto sax; Dewey Johnson: trumpet; Paul Bley: piano; Eddie Gomez: bass; Milford Graves: percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ESP Disk | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "More Serious Business" CD/LP/Track Review More Serious Business
by Jeff Winbush
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Colors for the Masters" CD/LP/Track Review Colors for the Masters
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)" CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Twelve Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Twelve Moons
by Phil Barnes
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Reflections Of A Voice" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections Of A Voice
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!