All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Related Articles

Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read In Real Time CD/LP/Track Review
In Real Time
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Freebird CD/LP/Track Review
Freebird
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read The Dream Thief CD/LP/Track Review
The Dream Thief
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Heuristics CD/LP/Track Review
Heuristics
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read "Ectotrophia" CD/LP/Track Review Ectotrophia
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 5, 2018
Read "Tenderness is Silent" CD/LP/Track Review Tenderness is Silent
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2018
Read "Acknowledgement" CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "War Dance" CD/LP/Track Review War Dance
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 2, 2018
Read "End Game of the Anthropocene" CD/LP/Track Review End Game of the Anthropocene
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 8, 2018
Read "A Tribute to Geri Allen" CD/LP/Track Review A Tribute to Geri Allen
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 1, 2018