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Roscoe Mitchell: Discussions

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Who Dat"

Saxophonist, composer, supreme improviser and a seminal artist for modern times, Roscoe Mitchell's (AACM, Art Ensemble of Chicago) illimitable inventiveness shines forth on this outing that encompasses a 20-piece orchestra, bridging experimentalism and counterbalancing song forms with nouveau classical music applications.

The final piece is seemingly derived from a New Orleans slang expression "Who Dat," which is a mind-bending 22-minute opus. Commencing with somber strings and crosscutting percussion patterns, James Fei's synth articulations signal impressions of nature, paralleling the ensemble's openness that segues towards drummer, Jordan Glenn's punchy maneuvers. But the plot unfolds as the strings and horns sections launch terse mini-motifs back and forth. Here, percussionists William Winant and Scott Siler use small implements for colorific treatments and statements amid Glenn's power-packed off-beats that ricochet off the strings and woodwind artists' sinewy phrasings (discussions). Hence, the fractured push-pull rhythmic sensations project a series of scintillating frameworks throughout. Along with cheery movements embedded into the mix, occasional notions of a film score for a modern silent movie came to mind, if there is such a thing.

Personnel: Wilfrido Terrazas: flutes; James Fei: electronics; Stacey Pelinka: flute; Jesse Barrett: oboe; Rachel Condry: clarinet, bass clarinet; Erin Irvine: bassoon; William Harvey: trumpet; Andrew Strain: trombone; Tiffany Bayly: tuba; William Winant: percussion I; Scott Siler: percussion II; Jordan Glenn: drum set; Brett Carso: piano; Roy T. Malan: violin I; Mia Bella D’Augelli: violin II; Cio Tilton: viola; Crystal Pascucci: cello; Richard Wom: double bass; Roscoe Mitchell: sopranino saxophone.

Title: Discussions | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Wide Hive Records


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