Slap on your big ol' '70s headphones and get ready for a ride. Cozying up with Eddie Harris's "Silver Cycles," Head Jazz takes your ears (and whatever may be between them) on a hairpinned tour of contemporary jazz. A combination of a Magritte painting and Fellini film, Head Jazz leads listeners down path after crooked path in a never predictable but always fascinating and oddly rewarding series of twists and turns, many of which are contained within the songs themselves.
Yusef Lateef's closing double-shot gives two divergent examples of this surprising sequencing. "In a Little Spanish Town" combines The City Service Quartet on old tyme vocal harmonies with Lateef's burnished horn and "This Old Building" crashes a techno chopper into a gospel house party. The ever-eclectic Joe Zawinul's "The Soul of a Village, Part 2" combines aviary samples with a zydecoed hoedown hora that requires Jimmy Scott's definition of silky "Day by Day" to recover. From David "Fathead" Newman's choral-introduced "You Can't Always Get What You Want" to Hubert Laws' Traffic-y "Equinox," Head Jazz ranges from low sparks to hi heeled numbers. This is not an album just for listening. It is an album to be absorbed and explored.
1. Silver Cycles - Eddie Harris
2. You Can't Always Get What You Want - David "Fathead" Newman
3. Let's Gather - Les McCann
4. Equinox - Hubert Laws
5. The Soul Of A Village Part 2 - Joe Zawinul
6. Day By Day - Jimmy Scott
7. Island Cry - Rahsaan Roland Kirk
8. Ramblin' - Ornette Coleman
9. The Catbird Seat - The Mitchell-Ruff Trio
10. Lorelei's Lament - Hank Crawford
11. The Lovers - Les McCann
12. This Old Building - Yusef Lateef
13. In A Little Spanish Town - Yusef Lateef