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Rich Halley: Boomslang


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Rich Halley: Boomslang
Jazz has, to some extent, always been about making connections and pointing out interrelations. Ever since Buddy Bolden blew his cornet in New Orleans around the start of the twentieth century, listeners have been playing connect the dots, linking Bolden's innovations to King Oliver and Oliver's to Louis Armstrong, likewise Buck Clayton to Dizzy Gillespie and Kirk Knuffke, and so on. Jazz has both an oral and aural tradition that contextualizes innovation within the traditions but maybe more importantly allows for its evolution through mutations. Okay, maybe during a global pandemic 'mutation' isn't an acceptable term. Let's go with transmogrification.

Boomslang by the quartet of Rich Halley, Dan Clucas, Clyde Reed, and Carson Halley summons both thoughts of tradition and transmogrification. The saxophonist Rich Halley was heard last on two improvised recordings with Matthew Shipp's trio, both on Pine Eagle Records The Shape Of Things (2020) and Terra Incognita (2019). With Boomslang he returns to his long-standing trio plus the addition of Dan Clucas' cornet. Those familiar with Halley's music will recognize his brawny tone here and also this quartet's connections to the music of John Carter and Bobby Bradford which was naturally linked to that of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. Like early Coleman, there is a bridge here between bebop and the avant-garde. In Halley's world everything is required to swing, and credit must be given to (son) Carson's drumming and Reed's bass. The pair keep the engine running (hot) as the elder Halley and Clucas' dialogue "Corroboration," weave intricate lines "The Drop Off" and "Dispholidus," and always work as an agreeable and responsive tandem. While this is the Rich Halley 3's first recording with Clucas, the music gives the impression the four have been making music together for many years.

Track Listing

Corroboration; Northern Plains; The Drop Off; Situational; Dispholidus; The Lean; Intermittent; The Converse; Quintuplify.


Rich Halley: saxophone, tenor.

Additional Instrumentation

Dan Clucas: cornet; Clyde Reed: bass; Carson Halley: drums.

Album information

Title: Boomslang | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Pine Eagle Records

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