All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

339

The Cosmosamatics: Free Within The Law

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
This group has fortunately been documented quite a few times on record, and consequently this disc offers insight into an ongoing affair. The front line of woodwind multi-instrumentalists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus has now not only established the kind of rapport Simmons used to have with Prince Lasha forty odd years ago, but also moved beyond it, which is just as it should be.

This is abundantly obvious from the off. The opening title track finds the two men jousting like there's no tomorrow, with lines spinning off into the ether at a high rate. Their efforts are given ample substance by the bass and drums of Peter Herbert and Art Lewis respectively, a duo alert to every rhythmic nuance and capable of imparting enough drive to move mountains.

The sly funk of Simmons's "Afro Funk" proves there's more to this group than all out blowing. The composer's English horn is an instrument he's made his own in this area of the music and its keening edge provides a nice contrast with Marcus's John Carter-influenced Bb clarinet. Again the two men converse over the rhythmic backdrop for a while before Simmons solos and the overall effect is happily that of four men in thrall to the greater idea that the music inevitably is.

The same funk applies to Marcus's "May-Lee-High-Young." Down home in terms of rhythmic contours, Simmons puts in some of his most effective work on this one, showing how much he's absorbed the Ornette Coleman strand and refined it to the point where his is the voice that emerges at the expense of all others. Marcus's tenor sax here is garrulous without being overbearing, not least because he too has long since arrived at the point of personal expression, which is just as it should be.

In such company, Marcus's "Morning Daffodil" has an elegiac air about it, which fulfills the promise of the title. Lewis employs brushes in a manner which brings out the innate beauty of the reeds mens' lines and Marcus shows, in no uncertain terms, how his appreciation of the tradition goes back decades. Again the balance between form preconceived and form spontaneous is finely struck and the results are compelling.


Track Listing: Free Within The Law; Afro Funk; Janet

Personnel: Sonny Simmons: alto sax, English horn; Michael Marcus: tenor sax, Bb clarinet; Peter Herbert: bass; Art Lewis: drums.

Title: Free Within The Law | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Not Two Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
Free Within The Law

Free Within The Law

Not Two Records
2008

buy
Magnitudes

Magnitudes

Black Saint
2005

buy
Reeds & Birds

Reeds & Birds

Not Two Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read No One Is Alone CD/LP/Track Review
No One Is Alone
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Between the Silence CD/LP/Track Review
Between the Silence
by John Kelman
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Flying CD/LP/Track Review
Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Evergreen" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Other Animal" CD/LP/Track Review Other Animal
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 7, 2018
Read "Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik" CD/LP/Track Review Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Those Were the Days" CD/LP/Track Review Those Were the Days
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 9, 2018
Read "Vortex" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 9, 2018
Read "Sorrows & Triumphs" CD/LP/Track Review Sorrows & Triumphs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2018