Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

4

Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: Live At "A Space" 1975

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
The Canadian label Sackville released a series of exceptional albums throughout its forty plus year existence. A fair number of these document free-jazz concerts by American luminaries that took place in its hometown of Toronto. When the company folded, Chicago based Delmark purchased its Avant-Garde catalogue and has released expanded versions of these records on CD.

One such gem is reedman Roscoe Mitchell's Live At 'A Space' 1975 now augmented with 20 minutes of previously unissued material. Mitchell, known for his association with the groundbreaking quartet, Art Ensemble Of Chicago and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) leads an inspired quartet in front of an appreciative audience.

An improviser par excellence Mitchell is, and has always been, a contemplative and sophisticated instrumentalist. The most melodic track, "Dastura" features his haunting saxophone blowing wistfully over Detroit guitarist A. Spencer Barefield's classically influenced, single notes and strums. The deft utilization of silent pauses during this intense and intimate spontaneous duet brings a sense of mystical poetry to the dialogue.

Barefield's otherworldly sound swells reverberate on "Troona," a tension filled piece with an expectant ambience. Mitchell's melancholic honks, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams' chiming keys and trombonist George Lewis' sputtering horn join in to create a dramatic and intriguingly atonal symphony of sorts.

This is Lewis' debut recording and he is already a mature and inventive player. His unaccompanied, ten-minute long extemporization on "Olobo" has him expressively exploring the entire range of his instrument, not only musically but also stylistically. Abrams' demonstrates his trademark progressive angularity on a passionate and unfettered cascade of piano lines on "Prelude to Naima." This is followed by saxophonist John Coltrane's classic "Naima" that Lewis and Mitchell play in unison, like a somber dirge.

Listening to this exquisite disc is, without a doubt, demanding but it is also a rewarding and thrilling aural and intellectual ride. The superb sound remastering enhances the experience of rediscovering this historic session.

Track Listing: Prelude to Naima; Naima; Tnoona; Music for Trombone & B Flat Soprano; Cards; Olobo; Dastura; Nonaah.

Personnel: Roscoe Mitchell: saxophones; Muhal Richard Abrams: piano; George Lewis: trombone; Spencer Barefield: guitar.

Title: Live At "A Space" 1975 | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Sackville

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Roll On" CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Live with a Boom" CD/LP/Track Review Live with a Boom
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Blueberry Ash" CD/LP/Track Review Blueberry Ash
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Northern Adventures" CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by John Kelman
Published: November 28, 2017