173

Joe McPhee / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Blue Chicago Blues

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Joe McPhee / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Blue Chicago Blues Multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee has long favored intimate performing situations that highlight the subtle nuances of timbre, volume and dynamics, confirmed by an extensive discography comprising solo, duo and trio recordings. His duet with Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (Atomic, Scorch Trio, The Thing) on Blue Chicago Blues is a prime example of the sort of spare setting McPhee has championed since the mid-1970s. A veteran of numerous tours with The Thing, McPhee has developed an empathetic rapport with Haker Flaten, making this austere date an interesting companion piece to Tomorrow Came Today (Smalltown Supersound, 2009), McPhee's similarly vibrant duet with the trio's drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.

Dedicated to the late great Chicago tenor Fred Anderson, this stripped-down session offers a deconstructed view of the blues at their most emotionally raw and honest, ranging from resigned despair to indignant rage. McPhee and Haker Flaten elicit a plethora of moods on their journey, from the subtly hypnotic opener "Truth In The Abstract Blues" to the calamitous onslaught of "The Shape Of Blues To Come." The former tune caresses an infectious five note motif into a slow-burn climax, while the later progressively intensifies into a nervy torrent of piercing harmonics and multiphonic cries.

McPhee's simultaneously sung and keyed vocalizations on the somber "Requiem For An Empty Heart" exude a pathos that transcends instrumental technique—evincing the blues at its most primal. Embracing a diverse array of approaches, "I Love You Too Little Baby" and "Cerulean Mood Swing" revel in bristling exchanges, while the contemplative finale, "Legend Of The Three Blind Moose," invokes the spiritual tranquility of late-period John Coltrane with serene, mantra-like refrains.

Though willfully abstract in comparison to conventional interpretations, McPhee and Haker Flaten's commitment to the blues is palpable. Blue Chicago Blues is grounded in the same core principles that bequeathed I-IV-V chord progressions and flatted notes, celebrating an enduring tradition in its endless capacity for emotional expression.

Visit Joe McPhee and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on the web.


Track Listing: Truth In The Abstract Blues; Cerulean Mood Swing; Requiem For An Empty Heart; I Love You Too Little Baby; The Shape Of Blues To Come; Legend Of The Three Blind Moose.

Personnel: Joe McPhee: saxophone; Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: bass.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Not Two Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "A Room of One's Own" CD/LP/Track Review A Room of One's Own
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "One for Marian" CD/LP/Track Review One for Marian
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 13, 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!