176

Rich Halley Quartet: Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Rich Halley Quartet: Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival
Like the very best of them, every time Rich Halley puts his horn in his mouth it's a celebration of the sound of the saxophone. His powerhouse blowing capacity and testosterone-soaked sound hearken to the great Sonny Rollins and the late Dewey Redman. His ensemble approach featuring two horns—cornet and saxophone, supported by bass and drums —comes from the classic Ornette Coleman period. But the music's personality is pure Rich Halley.

Speaking of Coleman, there's a small degree of separation on Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival, with Halley's tenor saxophone lines intertwined with the cornet artistry of Bobby Bradford, who played with Coleman on and off in the fifties, sixties and seventies, and can be heard on the free jazz legend's The Complete Science Fiction Sessions (Columbia Records, 2000), recorded in 1971.

On Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival, a set of all Halley originals, the saxophonist and his quartet open with the title tune from Halley's The Blue Rim (Louie Records, 2003). The music begins with a warped two horn fanfare that rolls into a bop beat on Clyde Reed's walking bass and drummer Carson Halley's initial march beat, then goes wild, leading into Bradford's wandering solo. Rich Halley blows in with a torrid tone, and there you have it: a Rich Halley recording changes from second to second, traveling to unexpected places with sounds that are sometimes sedate, and sometimes wild and wailing. Sounds that seem to make complete structural sense then break apart in the direction of chaos.

"The Street Below" opens on Carson Halley's rumbling rock beat. It almost sounds influenced by hip -hop through Bradford's then Rich Halley's initial soloing. When the saxophonist pushes things in a freer, screaming direction, Reed and Halley keep the rhythm on a straight track, leading into a two horn conversation, polite but intricate, then leading back into the theme.

"Grey Stones/Shards of Sky" is, at fifteen minutes, the longest offering of the set, a tune that shifts from searing saxophone to tight cornet blowing in front of crisp and precise military march rhythms—a searing quarter hour of free jazz.

"The River's Edge is Ice" is more of the same: shifts and turns, a bunch of free blowing, lots of energy and lots of off-kilter tangents. A fitting close to a stimulating set of sounds.

Track Listing

The Blue Rims; Street Below; Grey Stones/Shards of Sky; The River's Edge is Ice

Personnel

Rich Halley: tenor saxophone; Bobby Bradford: cornet; Clyde Reed: bass; Carson Halley: drums.

Album information

Title: Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Pine Eagle Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read The Lockdown Blues
The Lockdown Blues
Professor Cunningham and His Old School
Read Symbiosis
Symbiosis
Jeff Coffin / Derek Brown
Read Garden of Expression
Garden of Expression
Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi
Read Rain Painting
Rain Painting
John Stowell & Dan Dean
Read Beyond
Beyond
Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito)

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.