438

John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs

By

Sign in to view read count
John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs Justly renowned since the 1960s as one of the most lyrical and imaginative players in the avant-garde, Afro-Danish reedman John Tchicai shows no signs of diminishing creativity, although he recently celebrated his 70th birthday. He has collaborated with Boston-area musicians Charlie Kohlhase and Garrison Fewell in several contexts, but this tour was the first time the three had worked as a trio.

Tchicai plays tenor sax and bass clarinet; Kohlhase tenor, alto and baritone saxophones; Fewell guitar, chopsticks (!) and slide. Both Tchicai and Fewell are credited with percussion, too, though I'll be darned if I can hear any. Recorded live by Michael Ehlers at the Unitarian Meeting House in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 13, 2003—the last night of the tour—this two-CD set documents an intimate and conversational evening of music.

In addition to producing the recording, Fewell's roles in this stripped-down ensemble are myriad. Sometimes he contributes bassy strumming a la another Garrison, Jimmy that is. Sometimes he shadows the reed players with quicksilver single-note lines. Sometimes his rich chording provides almost pianistic accompaniment/interaction. And when he skitters off into the ether on the free segments, look out! Like Kevin O'Neil, his technique is complete and not locked into a particular era, genre or style.

There are three compositions apiece by Tchicai and Kohlhase, two by Fewell, the lengthy and ruminative "Undercurrent" by Mikko Innanen and "Lilanto Del Indio," credited as a "S. American folk tune." My favorites are the jaunty bass clarinet-guitar lope through the intro of Tchicai's "Thriftshopping" and Kohlhase's "Start to Finish," which comes across as a pointillistic abstraction of a Sonny Rollins calypso.

The only caveat to my ears is related to Tchicai's wordless vocals, which mercifully appear on only two selections. They're obviously heartfelt, but probably come off better live than on a recording.


Track Listing: Floating; The Queen of Ra; Thriftshopping; Undercurrent; Ramana Maharashi; On Fait La Taille; X-Ray Vision; Start to Finish; Lilanto Del Indio; Consolation Cake.

Personnel: John Tchicai: senor axophone, bass clarinet, voice, percussion; Charlie Kohlhase: tenor, alto, and baritone saxophones; Garrison Fewell: guitar, chopsticks, slide, percussion.

Title: Good Night Songs | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Boxholder Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Luck Child" CD/LP/Track Review Luck Child
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 28, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.