Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
151

Charlie Haden/Liberation Music Orchestra: Not in Our Name

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count Views
Charlie Haden/Liberation Music Orchestra: Not in Our Name You can feel protest in the alto saxophone wails that Miguel Zenon delivers on "This is Not America." You can feel unity in the traditional melody of "Amazing Grace," as Charlie Haden "spreads the word" as bass soloist with Carla Bley comping on piano. You can feel the anticipation rising as a solitary trumpeter interprets "Goin' Home" in the manner of a bugler comforting an extended family and guiding them through unanticipated funeral ceremonies.

You can feel the hurt and sorrow that Haden adds on "Throughout," as his bass leads this twelve-piece ensemble through its paces. He's got a statement to make with Not in Our Name. As Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra has done since its inception in 1968, it interprets thought-provoking music with a deep layer of improvisation tied to particular themes that belie distinct impressions.

Haden wants to make it clear to his audience that we've always got room for opposing voices. It's the nature of democracy. To do so through music without lyrics takes a special approach, though. The orchestra's program paints a picture of sadness, mood-driven decisions, regret over lives lost, and a yearning to make things right. It's not a call to action. Rather, the music inspires us with a desire to have our politics managed carefully with much forethought and debate from all sides.

A seventeen-minute medley that includes "America the Beautiful" serves as the album's centerpiece. The band and soloists create a musical collage that reminds us where our hearts lie. The beauty of this patriotic song stirs emotions, furthered by the inclusion of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," with overtones that predict a need for unity and stronger political leadership. Joe Daley's soulful tuba solo reminds us that our voices are essential in any kind of civilized governmental affair. As he builds his feature to a rant, we begin to feel that our voices do make a difference.

To drive the message home, Haden inserts Ornette Coleman's "Skies of America" into the medley with passions flying and horns crying through dissonant struggles and agitated confusion. As the ensemble returns to the medley's theme with each instrumental voice following its own path, you get the idea that a solution is sorely needed. Fortunately, Haden, Bley, and the Liberation Music Orchestra find an answer in the closing chorus. They bow out solemnly with harmonic purity and leave us to the business of organizing our political affairs.


Track Listing: Not in Our Name; This is Not America; Blue Anthem; America the Beautiful (Medley); Amazing Grace; Goin' Home; Throughout; Adagio.

Personnel: Charlie Haden: bass; Carla Bley: piano, conductor, arranger; Chris Cheek, Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Miguel Zenon: alto saxophone; Seneca Black, Michael Rodriguez: trumpet; Curtis Fowlkes: trombone; Ahnee Sharon Freeman: French horn; Joe Daley: tuba; Steve Cardenas: guitar; Matt Wilson: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Last Dance
Last Dance
ECM Records
2014
buy
Charlie Haden - Jim Hall
Charlie Haden - Jim...
Impulse!
2014
buy
Come Sunday
Come Sunday
EmArcy
2012
buy
Sophisticated Ladies
Sophisticated Ladies
EmArcy
2010
buy
Jasmine
Jasmine
ECM Records
2010
buy
Rambling Boy
Rambling Boy
Decca Music Group
2008
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Charles Mingus Charles Mingus
bass, acoustic
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
sax, tenor
Brad Mehldau Brad Mehldau
piano
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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