All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Arthur Williams: Forgiveness Suite

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Forgiveness Suite belatedly constitutes trumpeter Arthur Williams' first leadership date. A mysterious and troubled soul who flew below the radar, even within free jazz circles, Williams surfaced on a handful of albums in the 1970s and 80s before dropping from view not long after. His most notable appearances are documented on saxophonist Frank Lowe's Lowe And Behold (Musicworks, 1977) Jemeel Moondoc's Muntu Recordings (2009), William Parker's Centering: Unreleased Early Recordings 1976-1987 (2012) box set and Peter Kuhn's Livin' Right, reissued as part of No Coming, No Going: The Music Of Peter Kuhn, 1978-79 (NoBusiness Records, 2016). However a glimpse of Williams can be obtained from a 1973 concert with legendary drummer Milford Graves (at 18-minutes in).

In fact this date, issued as a limited edition LP forms a companion piece to Kuhn's reissue, as it was recorded for the same WKCR radio broadcast by the same line up. It's a continuous 30-minute performance spread across the two sides. Even though the ensembles seem hesitant at times, it nonetheless contains some fascinating playing and is well worth hearing as an important addition to a slender discography. Williams boasts a distinctive style, contrasting a legato stream of half valve effects, slurs and growls with shorter repeated phrases derived from his themes, heightened by explosive cries and hollers.

The piece proceeds as a series of unisons interspersed with freer conversational interplay, and it's in the latter that the meat of the session resides. On the first side bassist William Parker's atmospheric arco sawing combines well, initially with trumpeter Toshinori Kondo's muttering, moaning textures, and then later with Kuhn's whinnying bass clarinet. Kuhn even blends horn and voice for a passage of gritty speaking in tongues which represents one of the earliest examples of what has become a more widespread technique. Drummer Denis Charles fuels pungent group polyphony on the second side, before opening into an exuberant drum solo which pits punchy figures against his accented bass drum rumble.

It must have been a treat to hear such dramatic sounds emanating from the radio.

Track Listing: Forgiveness Suite part I; Forgiveness Suite part II.

Personnel: Arthur Williams: trumpet; Toshinori Kondo: trumpet; Peter Kuhn: tenor saxophone; William Parker: bass; Denis Charles: drums.

Title: Forgiveness Suite | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Months, Weeks and Days CD/LP/Track Review
Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Space Is The Place CD/LP/Track Review
Space Is The Place
by James Fleming
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Poetry in Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Poetry in Motion
by Liz Goodwin
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Of Abstract Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Of Abstract Dreams
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 29, 2018
Read "All You Gotta Do" CD/LP/Track Review All You Gotta Do
by Doug Collette
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Straight Ahead From Havana" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Ahead From Havana
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Light Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Light Blue
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 10, 2018
Read "The Hands" CD/LP/Track Review The Hands
by John Eyles
Published: February 12, 2018