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!

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 Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
Read Stinger CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
Read Binary CD/LP/Track Review Binary
Read Piano Song CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
Read "Dogs" CD/LP/Track Review Dogs
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
Read "Upset The Status Quo" CD/LP/Track Review Upset The Status Quo
Read "Joyride" CD/LP/Track Review Joyride
Read "Rhythmic Movement" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythmic Movement

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!