340

Mongezi Feza: Free Jam

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Mongezi Feza: Free Jam When South African trumpeter Mongezi Feza passed away in 1975 at age thirty, a mere eleven years after leaving the oppressive regime of his native country, jazz lost a musician who bridged the gap between Freddie Hubbard and Don Cherry.

"Mongs," as he was affectionately called, was not an avant-garde player or a trad player—rather he was pure energy, directed in a tight beam at whatever group of musicians he was working with: the members of the Blue Notes, the Brotherhood of Breath, his trio with Johnny Dyani and Okay Temiz, or with the Bernt Rosengren Quartet on this new archival release by Ayler Records.

Feza was brash and unpredictable; he brought a new sensibility to European trumpet playing that had many fine exponents, but few that could match his verve. Like other members of the Blue Notes, Feza participated in a range of products and, as Free Jam amply demonstrates, usually dominated them. Ayler Records, which releases live recordings from figures like Albert Ayler and Peter Brötzmann, has the chance to play with history a bit on the release. Feza was a guest performer with Rosengren's quartet (the saxophononist being the other well-known participant) and probably brought along Temiz with whom he had been working during that year (1972). What was a trio of Stockholm performances in November and December is packaged as a Feza album, the song titles presumably made up and Feza vaulted into the role of leader. Not that he would have minded-his playing throughout the double disc is confident and bears the full weight of his experiences.

Free Jam is least successful when it rambles; whether Feza would have liked to have this performance released is unanswerable. Its triumphs, usually at the end of these rambles, are when the band locks into joyous grooves reminiscent of the best ensemble work of the Brotherhood of Breath. Such moments come during the aptly titled "Themes of the Day" (I or II). The tight flow of Rosengren's saxophones against Feza exclamations, propelled along by a band that probably never heard such sounds in their life (to borrow a phrase), makes this a valuable document. Being a jazz trumpeter seems to be dangerous work but at least Mongs made the most of his time on this planet, and sincere thanks to Ayler for giving today's listeners a chance to hear him.

Visit Ayler on the web.


Track Listing: Disc One: 1. Theme Of The Day I 2. Group Notes I 3. Group Notes II
Disc Two: 4. Theme Of The Day II 5. Moong's Research I 6. Group Notes III 7. Moong's Research II 8. Moong's Research III 9. Moong's Research IV 10. Group Notes IV

Personnel: Mongezi Feza: trumpet; Bernt Rosengren: alto sax, tenor sax, flute, piano; Tommy Koverhult: tenor sax, flute, euphonium; Torbj

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Ayler Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read "Beguiled" CD/LP/Track Review Beguiled
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Supreme" CD/LP/Track Review Supreme
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!