Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

102

Bobby Bradford / John Carter Quintet: Comin' On

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
In a music industry that is for-profit by definition, the relative ignorance of history and the importance of musicians who made it historic borders on the criminally insane. How else could the complete disregard for contributions of Herbie Nichols by the industry be explained? Add to that a slew of greats who continue to be ignored by all but the cognoscenti. Musicians such as Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Billy Bang, Andrew Cyrille and Ed Blackwell, to name just a few—some living and others, regrettably no longer alive. For at least three of these names—Bradford, Carter and Cyrille—things ought to change, not least, because of the rerelease of Comin' On, a classic live set from 1988, when the three musicians were joined by keyboardist Don Preston and one-time John Coltrane alum, bassist Richard Davis, who also played on Eric Dolphy's legendary Out to Lunch.

This album, from Werner X. Uelinger's marvelous Basel-based contemporary music label, Hat Hut, renews interest in the revolutionary recordings made by Bradford and Carter almost forty years ago, because this concert from the Catalina, in Hollywood brought the two soul mates together after over a decade.

Few musicians—let alone trumpeters/cornetists—have consistently embraced the mandate for innovation like Bradford. An astute student of musical and cultural history, Bradford—like Ornette Coleman, coming from the hard-driving Texas blues scene—developed a highly expressive and uniquely vocal style of playing, celebrated in the burnished glow of his singularly evocative phrases and lines. Although Bradford's musical topography is dramatically different from Louis Armstrong, he nevertheless incorporated Pops' epic griot-like style into his own lyrical style, also brought the Coleman-evangelized Harmolodic musical idiom into his own musical language. Like few of his peers, he experimented not only with blurring the line between harmony and melody, but also in the bringing of an ecstatic kind of counterpoint to the epic architecture of his compositions.

Fellow Texan Carter was no less influential a musician, not only in the revolutionary sixties but in the decades since. After switching from alto saxophone to clarinet, Carter fine-tuned its woody sound and became another celebrated griot, developing his actively narrative style from a gravy of the blues. His playing with Bradford contains some of the finest dialogues in contemporary music.

Comin' On highlights the mature end of the Bradford-Carter relationship. Pitting his bronzed timbres against the woody ones of Carter's clarinet, Bradford drives the title track's edgy contrapuntal discourses, Cyrille, Preston and Davis creating a not-so-background swagger that elevates the song beautifully. The elegiac lyricism of "Ode to the Flower Maiden" is sublime. "Encounter" and "Room 408" sound exceedingly hip, even today. But it is the classic jam, "Sunday Afternoon Jazz Society Blues," which contains some of the most historic music on the album. With wild, preaching and brilliant vocalizing of their respective instruments Bradford and Carter make this a truly monumental date.

Track Listing: Comin' On; Ode to the Flower Maiden; Encounter; Sunday Afternoon Jazz Society Blues; Room 408.

Personnel: Bobby Bradford; cornet; John Carter: clarinet; Don Preston: piano, synthesizer; Richard Davis: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums.

Title: Comin' On | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Cross-Platform Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Cross-Platform Interchange
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Small Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Small Pieces
by James Nadal
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Mist. Moss. Home." CD/LP/Track Review Mist. Moss. Home.
by Jim Olin
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Running After The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Running After The Sun
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2017

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!