241

Alex Coke/Tina Marsh/Steve Feld: It's Possible

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Alex Coke/Tina Marsh/Steve Feld: It's Possible With the passing of Tina Marsh this past June (2009), the Creative Opportunity Orchestra or CO2 for short, lost its earthly voice and artistic visionary. While her CO2 is grand in scope, it most recently spawned this intimate meeting of her extraordinary voice, tenor saxophonist/flutist Alex Coke and Steven Feld who plays ashiwa, an African bass rhythm box.

Marsh is in superb form here and her voice thrills, especially in the higher registers, as it dovetails beautifully with Coke's rounded tones on both tenor and flute. Feld's main gig is as an ethnomusicologist and, in addition to providing an infectiously rhythmic bottom to this session; he brought his field recordings of African frogs and assorted other sounds for inspiration. Not necessarily present in the final mix, they are used for joint and independent improvisation, as on the aptly titled "Frogs" and "Drips," the latter the initial piece in a four-part suite dedicated to obvious muse, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy.

The title cut features Marsh using her voice instrumentally—her opening salvo effortlessly and elegantly transforms in timbre from violin to flute to humanity. She beautifully adapts Spanish poet Antonio Machado's words through her exquisite phrasing to serve as the lyrics for this positive opener.

There is a decided African sensibility here that goes beyond rhythm as the group blurs the line between 'nature' and 'natural.' Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" mournfully cries,Charles Mingus' "Eclipse" is viewed through the ancient bamboo and reed chordal prism of the kaen (a traditional Lao instrument) while the spirituality of Sammy Fain's "Deep River" is exponentially expanded. "Peace Prayer" is performed to the tolling of the World Peace Bell, one of the largest free-swinging bells in the world, closing this album with an ethereal sense of both loss and hope.


Track Listing: It's Possible; Frogs; Lonely Woman; Steve Lacy Suite: Drips, Rips, IPS bug on a stick), P.S.; Eclipse; Around the Block; Deep River; Highway; Double Quarter; Secret Love; Sirens; Peace Prayer.

Personnel: Alex Coke: flute, bass flute, piccolo, tenor saxophone, kaen, toys; Tina Marsh: voice, toys; Steve Feld: ashiwa bass box, toys.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: VoxLox | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Münster Bern" CD/LP/Track Review Münster Bern
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Timeless Again" CD/LP/Track Review Timeless Again
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Euro Swing Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Euro Swing Vol. 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Blue Monday" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Monday
by James Nadal
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "While We’re Still Young" CD/LP/Track Review While We’re Still Young
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 24, 2016
Read "Bye" CD/LP/Track Review Bye
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 30, 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!