199

Paul Hemmings Trio with John Tchicai: Letter From America

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Hemmings Trio with John Tchicai: Letter From America The Paul Hemmings Trio with saxophonist John Tchicai mixes some styles around on Letter From American, and still comes up with a cohesive set of sounds.

"Under a New Mexico Sky" opens the disc with a sludgy rhythm behind John Tchicai's raw, loud saxophone. It sounds like Led Zeppelin, circa 1969, especially when guitarist Hemmings roars in like an amplified band saw.

Tchicai is normally tagged as an avant-garde guy who played on an early avant blast—John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse!, 1965). But here he sounds accessible, if brash and in-your-face.

"Venice Beach Boardwalk" has a surf music, island vibe, Tchicai's fiery saxophone burning in front of the laidback rhythm. "The Battle of New York City" has a rumble in the alley atmosphere, with Tchicai and Hemmings trading roundhouse blows. "A Conversation in Central Park" features chirping bird sounds, reminiscent of Maria Schneider's "Cerulean Skies" on Sky Blue (ArtistShare, 2007).

"Code Red" is a highlight, with Tchicai's horn sounding haunted as it blows around Hemmings' noodling guitar, inserted samples and loops twittering. It's a bleak, foreboding, insistent sound. The effects, here and elsewhere on the CD are deftly done, enhancing the atmosphere.

The rock-informed Letter From America possesses some ragged edges and a visceral feel with some free jazz shadings, making it an excellent from-the-gut outing.


Track Listing: Under a New Mexico Sky; Radio Free America; Venice Beach Boardwalk; The Battle of New York City; A Conversation in Central Park; Lady Dynamite; The Pollack Galaxy; Ous Ous; Code (R)ed; Under a New Mexico Sky (reprise).

Personnel: John Tchicai: tenor saxophone; Adam Issadore: drum kit and percussion; Gaku Takanashi: electric and upright basses; Paul Hemmings: electric guitar, effects, loops, samples.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Leading Tone Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Imagine Nation" CD/LP/Track Review Imagine Nation
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Kirkastus" CD/LP/Track Review Kirkastus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "The Third Decade" CD/LP/Track Review The Third Decade
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 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!