Formerly released on Inner City records in 1979, Richard Sussman's Post Bop masterpiece Free Fall languished for several years before being revived by Jamey Aebersold and Double Time Jazz Records. It is odd that as fine a recording as this is, Sussman recorded only once more for Inner City Records ( Tributaries, 1980).It is a pity, because this maiden voyage smacks of subtle brilliance. Sussman was savvy enough to bring on board a young and healthy Tom Harrell, virile Jerry Bergonzi, and a cerebral Larry Schneider. Sussman, who supplies an intelligent and empathetic piano, penned all of the pieces.
Recordings like this would never have been realized had Miles Davis formed his second great quintet and made his mid- '60s Columbia recordings. This music was a loosening of the belt (as opposed to losing the belt the belt that Coleman and Coltrane advocated). I would define it as liberated form. There remain milestones in the music, but the notes are given that extra degree of freedom to go where they wish. Richard Sussman produced a truly great document, long overdue for re-release.
Track Listing: The Lady Of The Lake; Free Fall; The River; Street Pair; Dance Of The Spheroids; Colors; Tiahuanaco. (Total Time: 47:50).
Personnel: Tom Harrell: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Jerry Bergonzi: Tenor Saxophone; Larry Schneider: Tenor Saxophones And Flutes; Mike Richmond: Bass; Jeff Williams: Drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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