205

Glenn Spearman: Blues For Falasha

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The untimely passing of Saxophonist Glenn Spearman in October 1998 was a tragic loss for the Modern Jazz community. Spearman’s refreshing approach to jazz ideology was engaging and significant. Glenn Spearman embraced concepts pioneered by the likes of Albert Ayler and Frank Wright with vigor and poise.

“Blues For Falasha” is perhaps Glenn Spearman’s last recording along with his powerhouse “Double Trio” which features Rova’s Larry Ochs on Tenor and Soprano Saxophones. The perceptive liner notes by Ochs allude to a notion that Spearman was onto something new in his career. “Blues For Falasha” is a passionate and heartfelt rendering of The Falasha Tribe which according to Och’s liner notes – “The Black Jews of Ethiopia who have always consciously lived apart from their neighbors in order to maintain their ethnic purity”. Spearman’s Mother was White and Jewish and it seems that this important aspect of his roots prompted him to explore the cultural “state of being” of this distinct Ethiopian tribe.

Opening with “The Old Book” Spearman recites text that coincides with the tone of the subject matter at hand. “Rituals” takes us to an enigmatic and foreign place. The saxophones of Spearman and Ochs supply subtle dialogue as Chris Brown utilizes the piano pedals which serves as an eerie backdrop suggesting notions of uncertainty or doubt. This apparent mysticism segues into the piece titled “Cold Water and Dirt” which continues with the ambient feel presented thus far. “Cold Water and Dirt” is a quiet, almost solemn piece which develops into a rousing 28-minute extravaganza “Seed Sounds” that typifies the hard blowing manic pace of the Double Trio. Percussionist’s Willie Winant and Donald Robinson rip through startling yet coordinated rhythms. Ochs and Spearman breathe fire while bassist Lisle Ellis and pianist Chris Brown alter the proceedings with an introspective duet featuring Ellis’ skilled arco bass work. Spearman and the Double Trio finalize this project in stirri! ng fashion.

“Blues For Falasha” hits you from many different angles and reverently displays the tranquillity and inner character of Spearman’s music, which up until this point may have signified a new direction for Spearman as Larry Ochs imparts in the liner notes. “Blues For Falasha” mapped new territory for Spearman yet the essence of his intensity and determination prevails. Glenn Spearman will be sorely missed.

Personnel:

Glenn Spearman; Tenor Sax; Recitation: Larry Ochs; Tenor and Soprano Saxes: Chris Brown; Piano, Prepared Piano: Lisle Ellis; Bass: Donald Robinson; Drums, Percussion: Willie Winant; Drums, Percussion, Tympani

| Record Label: Tzadik | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Troy Collins
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "Brückenshlag" CD/LP/Track Review Brückenshlag
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Illegal Crowns" CD/LP/Track Review Illegal Crowns
by John Sharpe
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Very Early" CD/LP/Track Review Very Early
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 23, 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!