140

Sonny Simmons: Live - In Paris

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Sonny Simmons: Live - In Paris The story of the resurrection of saxophonist Sonny Simmons has been told and retold many times. Needless to say, his comeback recording Ancient Ritual in 1994 rekindled interest in his brand of Coltrane meets Ornette and Ayler music. Since then, he has recorded for the specialty jazz label CIMP and a nifty outward session The Cosmosamatics with James Carter, Michael Marcus, and William Parker

In 2000, Arhoolie music re-issued a long out-of-print live 1969 album Manhattan Egos to fill in a curious gap in the Simmons story.

This time Arhoolie found Mr. Simmons in Paris, live in a recent concert. Audiophiles beware; the recording has a rough bootleg feel with the audience talking through some solos and the overall feel of a Dean Benedetti recording.

Roughness issues aside, Simmons comes across with plenty of vigor here. He seems to be taking a retrospective glance at jazz and his career. He opts for bebop classics by Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Coltrane’s most requested cover song “My Favorite Things.”

The urgency of his playing dates back to his ESP session in the 1960s and work with Eric Dolphy. Indeed Dolphy’s spirit and that of Ornette Coleman is embodied in the great man’s horn. He opens up his playing and the breadth of his solos on his own compositions. With the assistance of the remarkable bassist Jacques Avenel, best known for his work with Steve Lacy, and drummer George Brown (Gene Ammons, Archie Shepp) Simmons tears into the music on the aptly entitled “Ghost From The Golden Era.”

The unintentional bootleg sound actually focuses the listener on the music. You strive to ignore the loud couple in the next booth and dedicate yourself to Simmons. Seems they ignore genius in France just as rudely as they do stateside.


Track Listing: Disc One: Cosmic Ship; Purple Kiss; My Favorite Things; Ancient Egypt; New Bird Blues; Reverent Church; Hot House; Disc Two: Lady L; Salt Peanuts; Ghost From The Golden Era; Voodoo Hoodoo Funk; ‘Round Midnight; Hip Hop Le Funk.

Personnel: Sonny Simmons – Alto Saxophone, English Horn; Jacques Avenel – Bass; George Brown – Drums

Title: Live - In Paris | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Arhoolie Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Lost Signals" CD/LP/Track Review Lost Signals
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Kingdom" CD/LP/Track Review Kingdom
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 20, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.