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Sonny Simmons, Michael Marcus, Curtis Lundy, Jay Rosen: Cosmosamatics II

Dan McClenaghan By

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You'd think a musical quartet running around calling themselves the Cosmosamatics would be something whimsical—fun, but a throwaway of sorts; but the sounds on Cosmosamatics II are brooding, deep free jazz in the mode of Eric Dolphy or Marty Ehrlich. Serious stuff that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Two reed men are out front—Sonny Simmons on mostly the alto, and some English horn; and Michael Marcus playing tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet and flute. Playing free, interacting, wailing conversations of the reed. What sets this one apart is the solid, almost metronomic rhythm of bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Jay Rosen. On the opener, "Fusionanatomy", they set up a solid, steady heartbeat, the bass and bass drum settling into the lub-dub while Rosen works a fibrillation on the cymbals and snare, anchoring the blowing, setting the stage for freedom for the reedmen.

Cosmosamatics II is definitely not mainstream stuff, but it's about as close to it as Boxholder Records gets. Over the past couple of years the company has put out a series of some of the most adventurous and compelling free jazz (mostly live stuff) sets on disc. This one is a studio recording, but is no less loose and free for the lack of a live setting. It was certainly recorded "live" in the studio, with a great deal of fire. Sonny Simmons has a dark, hard tone on the alto, and Michael Marcus plays a beautifully unfettered bass clarinet on the eleven and a half minute "Echos of Dolphy".

A disc that should be of special interest to fans of Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, or Marty Ehrlich.

Track Listing: Fushionanatomy, Daughter of Isis, Echoes of Eric Dolphy, Queen Bee, Rio Bahia, Cosmic Curtis

Personnel: Sonny Simmon, alto sax, English horn; Michael Marcus, tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet, flute; Curtis Lundy, bass; Jay Rosen, drums, percussion

Title: Cosmosamatics II | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Boxholder Records

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