365

Andrew Cyrille with Greg Osby: Low Blue Flame

By

Sign in to view read count
"Every once in a while, the saxophonist and drummer just have to be alone. So said the venerable tenorist Benny Golson in concert a few years ago, a coy grin creeping over his face, before launching himself into the stratosphere against his drummer of the evening. "Against, because that's often the form the sax/drums duet takes—a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, raucously unrestrained and joyfully unapologetic, cacophonous battle to the finish line. On Low Blue Flame however, drummer Andrew Cyrille and saxophonist Greg Osby are after something else: melodic improvisation within a tight compositional framework, with intensity coming not from highflying pyrotechnics but synchronized, concentrated searching. Recorded in New York in early 2005 and released on the invaluable Finnish label TUM, the disc is about sparks, not fireworks—though these two masters, who first played in duo at New York's late, lamented Tonic in early 2004, work off each other so well the sparks often come by the shower-full.

Rarely does Osby resort to the honks and squeals one would expect from this type of encounter, instead using his trademark lacerating tone to plumb the depths of each number—seven by Cyrille and five by Osby, plus Thelonious Monk's rarely performed "Work —to its harmonic limits. And he's in particularly fine form on soprano, twirling and spinning his way through Cyrille's odd-metered, 13/4, "The Music in Us, while never once losing sight of his partner.

Yet the album is dominated by Cyrille, even though he lays out completely for a couple of tracks. Long one of jazz's premier percussionists, Cyrille has been working the duo format for years now, recording with artists including saxophonists Jimmy Lyons, Anthony Braxton and Peter Brötzmann, pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Peter Kowald and drummers Kenny Clarke and Michael Carvin. Approaching seventy, he's probably more qualified for a tandem disc like this than just about any other skins-man on the planet. Whether shading with an abrupt flurry, coloring with a handclap or propelling with a generous bar of sudden silence, Cyrille's resources are seemingly limitless, his instincts uncanny and his choices startlingly right. He is, in short, magnificent and anyone interested in the varietal possibilities of the drums would do well to check out this disc. In fact, "Roscoe, the album's closer, might be mandatory listening for all budding jazz drummers; an improvised solo Cyrille piece dedicated to saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, it's an abject lesson in the expressive power of quiet space and cunning restraint.

Track Listing: Equalatogram; Work; With You in Mind; Cyrille in Motion; No. 11; Noodle; Striation; With You in Mind; Low Blue Flame; Pop Pop; Concepticus; The Music in Us; Roscoe.

Personnel: Andrew Cyrille: drums; Greg Osby: alto and soprano saxophones.

Title: Low Blue Flame | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: TUM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Radio
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Lebroba

Lebroba

ECM Records
2018

buy
Proximity

Proximity

Sunnyside Records
2016

buy
Route de Freres

Route de Freres

TUM Records
2012

buy
Duology

Duology

Soul Note
2012

buy
Route de Freres

Route de Freres

TUM Records
2011

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Aug20Tue
Andrew Cyrille Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
$35
Aug20Tue
Andrew Cyrille Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
$35
Aug21Wed
Andrew Cyrille Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
$35
Aug21Wed
Andrew Cyrille Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
$35
Aug22Thu
Andrew Cyrille Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
$35
Aug22Thu
Andrew Cyrille Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
$35
Aug23Fri
Andrew Cyrille Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
$35

Related Articles

Read Getz At The Gate Album Reviews
Getz At The Gate
By Chris May
June 19, 2019
Read Keep Talkin' Album Reviews
Keep Talkin'
By Dan McClenaghan
June 19, 2019
Read Night Owl Album Reviews
Night Owl
By Dan Bilawsky
June 19, 2019
Read Let's Play Album Reviews
Let's Play
By Don Phipps
June 19, 2019
Read Hidden Corners Album Reviews
Hidden Corners
By Dan McClenaghan
June 18, 2019
Read Special Album Reviews
Special
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 18, 2019
Read Land Of Real Men Album Reviews
Land Of Real Men
By Friedrich Kunzmann
June 18, 2019