All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...


Charlie Haden/Liberation Music Orchestra: Not in Our Name

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
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 (from Adagio For Strings).

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

Title: Not In Our Name | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Vintage Christmas Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Vintage Christmas Trio
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Clean" CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Modern Lore" CD/LP/Track Review Modern Lore
by Doug Collette
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Kurrent" CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Any Other Way" CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017