134

Oluyemi Thomas: Before the Beginning

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Recorded live at the 2002 High Zero Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, Before the Beginning documents Oluyemi Thomas in action. Under recorded and wildly original, Thomas prowls a boundless unknown through whichever horn he blows. The program presents Thomas as the constant playing with a changing configuration of partners. The CD divides the near-continuous performance into six movements.

Opening with airy atmospherics, 'Humbled & Grateful' quickly finds Thomas' rich and reedy bass clarinet exchanging ideas with Baker's piano. Thomas boldly stands the middle ground between the relatively rigid tonality of the piano and Hayleck's toneless sonic spices conveyed through amplified wire and hydrophones. From shrill multiphonics to deep primal tones, Thomas gracefully sweeps through the instrument''s range. Switching to the ARP 2600 synthesizer, Baker joins the others in pure intonation, and Thomas moves to cymbals and percussion. With Thomas possibly on a stritch, 'Interior of the Moment' finds him buoyed on swelling tone waves. Baker's synthesizer envelopes the group, and Thomas again turns to hand percussion. Smaller bursts and blurps from the ARP creates chilly electro space until Thomas grounds it with wooden flute.

A raw wavering bass clarinet roams with Espvall-Santoleri's steady cello on 'Detachment.' Baker scatters piano spikes and Thomas goes multiphonic. With Thomas still on bass clarinet and Espvall-Santoleri bowing, 'Dancing Butterflies' playfully unfolds as a duet with both players evoking the winged insect's erratic flight pattern. 'Oneness' features Espvall-Santoleri's high harmonics with Thomas contributing soprano fanfares. Thomas soars through impossible octave jumps and runs.

Recordings from this Oakland-based artist come few and far between, which makes this captured performance an invigorating listen for fans of free improv.


Track Listing: Humbled & Grateful; Interior of the Moment; Maiden?s Flight; Detachment; Dancing Butterflies; Oneness.

Personnel: Oluyemi Thomas, reeds, hand percussion; Jim Baker, piano, ARP 2600 Synthesizer; Andy Hayleck, hydrophones, amplified gong/wire; Helena Espvall-Santoleri, cello.

Year Released: 2004 | 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 "Punch" CD/LP/Track Review Punch
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Canto América" CD/LP/Track Review Canto América
by James Nadal
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Accortet" CD/LP/Track Review Accortet
by John Sharpe
Published: May 25, 2016
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 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!