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Rich Halley: Fire Within


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Rich Halley: Fire Within
The name of free form saxophonist and raconteur Rich Halley may not roll off the tongue or be a secret G7 password, but he sure kicks up a lot of dust. Put him in the same room as piano slaying Matthew Shipp, bassist Michael Bisio, and drummer Newman Taylor Baker and rest assured all hell will break loose. And when all hell breaks loose it sounds hydrogen-charged and animated like Fire Within—a runaround Hail Mary with a post-rock punch and a droll but fearless sense of humor.

A triumph for the collective, Fire Within pursues the unmapped unknown with a pirate's flexible ease and need of forward motion. Listen to the saxophone scream on "Angular Logic" and how Shipp, like some lost Marx Brother, replies to those cries. The indefinable swing defines the whirlwind closer, "Following the Stream." It is old school head playing to the nth degree. Perception vs. confession.

Fire Within is Halley's third brawl with Shipp, Bisio (Joe McPhee) and Baker (Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell) following The Shape of Things (Pine Eagle, 2020) and the unapologetic Terra Incognita (Pine Eagle, 2019)) but it sounds real brand new.

Like a fire next door, there is not a moment of the fifty-five or so minutes of Fire Within unworthy of attention; be it the tone of voice, the cadence of the language, or the tone of each instrument being pummeled or caressed, the chronology of creation forges a galvanizing tale. And those chapters—"Fire Within," "Inferred," "Angular Logic," "Through Still Air," and "Following the Stream"—when told in these four raspy though exalting tongues, is a lesson in civility we all best heed.

Track Listing

Fire Within; Inferred; Angular Logic; Through Still Air; Following The Stream.


Rich Halley
saxophone, tenor
Michael Bisio
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Fire Within | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Pine Eagle Records



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