Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Living By Lanterns: New Myth/Old Science

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
First premiered live at the 2011 Chicago Jazz Festival, the material presented on the studio recording New Myth/Old Science was originally commissioned by Experimental Sound Studio. As one of the Windy City's most prominent scene leaders, drummer Mike Reed was given unprecedented access to audition over 700 hours of tape from Sun Ra's El Saturn Audio Archive. Reed subsequently chose a rehearsal tape labeled "NY 1961" for his Loose Assembly quintet to work from. The reel documents Ra, tenor saxophonist John Gilmore and bassist Ronnie Boykins running through a series of rough sketches. Loose Assembly vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz transposed these skeletal themes into full-bodied arrangements for the quintet, which grew into an all-star nonet over the course of the project.

The remaining lineup of Loose Assembly (alto saxophonist Greg Ward, cellist Tomeka Reid and bassist Joshua Abrams) was joined by the New York-based working trio of cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, as well as another New Yorker, German-born tenor saxophone wunderkind Ingrid Laubrock. This impressive summit meeting between Chicago and New York's finest young improvisers transcends mere repertory however; Reed and Adasiewicz's decision to avoid slavish homage provided them the rare opportunity to create brand new music from another artist's unfinished material.

Other than a few brief introductory verses of his extraterrestrial poetry, the proceedings never directly reference Sun Ra's mystical oeuvre. Although Adasiewicz's reverberating mallet work and Bynum's vocalized exhortations on the rhapsodic "Think Tank" find stylistic accord with Ra's expressive aesthetic, Halvorson's metallic opening salvo is unlike anything in the legendary bandleader's discography—though it embodies an equally experimental spirit. The same could be said for Reid's lissome arco on the exotica tinged travelogue "Shadow Boxers Delight," while the brisk scuffle between Ward's sinuous alto and Laubrock's bristling tenor on the frenetic swinger "2000 West Erie" draws obvious inspiration from the same deep well of jazz history favored by Herman "Sonny" Blount.

The final half of the record ebbs and flows like an extended suite; the angular bop motifs of "Forget B" highlight Adasiewicz and Laubrock's unfettered verve, segueing into the incandescent pointillism of "Grow Lights," which is dominated by Abrams' lyrical bass. The dramatic finale "Old Science" pits Halvorson's spidery fretwork against Reid's serrated double-stops before culminating in a climactic excursion from Ward's trenchant alto that illuminates the potential of future endeavors—subtly inspired by past accomplishments.

Track Listing: New Myth; Think Tank; 2000 West Erie; Shadow Boxers Delight; Forget B; Grow Lights; Old Science.

Personnel: Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet; Ingrid Laubrock: tenor saxophone; Tomeka Reid: cello; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone; Joshua Abrams: bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums; Mike Reed: drums, electronics; Nick Butcher: electronics (1, 4).

Title: New Myth/Old Science | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Cuneiform 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.

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019