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Even in a city known for its vibrant free jazz scene, Chicago's Boykin, Seigfried & Reed have established a strong presence. Individually, their resumes boast tenures with a who's who of AACM all-stars. Reedman David Boykin has garnered high praise on various projects, including a recent release with Active Ingredients. Bassist Dr. Karl EH Seigfried works symphonic orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, besides his jazz gigs, and earned his doctorate with a study of Wilbur Ware. Together, they host the city's only Avant-Garde Jam Session Sundays at the Empty Bottle. Their well oiled empathy takes them through unexpected changes on seven improvised performances whose titles are their times.
A gentle vibratory greeting, "1:55" has bells, bowed bass, and contemplative soprano sax spiraling into "3:10." Reed brush smacks cymbal and drums as Seigfried triggers tension bow tapping strings. Boykin whistles a high tune that grows into "8:09." Seigfried and Reed kick into serious exploratory gear, Boykin floating above the fray. His sustained arpeggios provide a continuity around which the rhythm section swarms like aural ants. Reed keeps a tight, fast rim riff going for Seigfried's solo.
While his soprano seemed ornamental to Seigfried and Reed's excursions, his a capella bass clarinet opens "8:23," soon ushering in a pacing bass line and crisp drumming. Boykin's musings stay mostly low, indulging the rich beauties of the instrument. Boykin roughs up the deep reed on "5:35." The trio rolls the sounds around before bass and drums straighten out for a sprint with Boykin peppering extended high runs with surprise low notes.
Chewy multiphonics and buzzy highs flit around Seigfried's muscular bass to open "7:40." He then takes an extended bass meditation, thoughtfully generating variations. Reed builds a rapid fire on "7:42," giving Boykin rhythmic support for his inspired extended tenor run.
What seems vaguely amphorous in the beginning quickly coalesces into focused drive. Boykin suffers slightly throughout from a weak place in the mix, but makes his point with strength of vision.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.