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...

257

Julius Hemphill: One Atmosphere

By

Sign in to view read count
The late Julius Hemphill is pictured on the front of One Atmosphere nattily dressed and looking like someone you might meet at the crossroads, but he's holding sheet music. It's this combination of blues roots and classical formalism that was his stock and trade, both qualities represented to wonderful effect on this CD of rarely heard compositions.

The title track, composed in 1992, is the most overtly classical. Ursula Oppens' piano mimics the sharp, vibrato-free Pacifica String Quartet as they repeat successive ostinato phrases. Recorded live in concert, a slight echo on the piano reinforces the piece's overall ethereal feel. On "Savannah Suite" (1978), Hemphill disciple Marty Ehrlich leads a trio of flute, cello, and drums that's bluesier than a Mississippi fife-and-drum corps. Pheeroan AkLaff opens on conga drums imagining the sounds of the Serengeti, before joining in duet with cellist Erik Friedlander, who snaps his strings with ferocity.

"Water Music for Woodwinds" (1976), a suite in four parts lasting more than 30 minutes, puts Hemphill's compositional talent and simultaneous dedication to the rhythms and spirit of the music of the church on full display. Performed by a septet of dedicated followers including Ehrlich, Oliver Lake, Tim Berne, and J.D. Parran, the opening section features Lake's personality-rich soprano saxophone supported by Berne on baritone.

Throughout the work you can hear echoes of Hemphill's former musical outlet, the World Saxophone Quartet, which proved that a horn section could handle its own rhythmic workload. With seven musicians however, each doubling and some tripling, the possibilities are fuller, richer, and more varied. Ehrlich makes the final statement, playing his alto with great feeling and a palpable respect for his mentor. Tzadik and producer Ehrlich have performed a service documenting and making this music of Julius Hemphill available. All that's missing is the great man himself.

Track Listing: 1. One Atmosphere 9:01 2. Savannah Suite (Hemphill) - 8:20 3. Water Music for Woodwinds: Mr. Neptune (Hemphill) - 9:13 4. Water Music for Woodwinds: Miss Catherine (Hemphill) - 7:31 5. Water Music for Woodwinds: King's Pawn (Hemphill) - 7:40 6. Water Music for Woodwinds: Backwater (Hemphill) - 9:17

Personnel: Tim Berne -Alto and Baritone Sax; Marty Ehrlich -Flute, Alto and Soprano Sax; Julius Hemphill -Composer; Oliver Lake -Flute, Alto and Soprano Sax; J.D. Parran -Clarinet, Flute, Baritone Sax; Ursula Oppens -Piano; Pheeroan akLaff -Percussion, Drums; Robert DeBellis -Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Sax; Erik Friedlander -Cello; Sam Furnace -Flute, Alto and Soprano Sax; Aaron Stewart -Flute, Tenor Sax; Sigurbjorn Bernhardsson -Violin; Brandon Vamos -Cello; Simin Ganatra -Violin; Masumi Per Rostad -Viola; Pacifica String Quartet.

Title: One Atmosphere | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Tzadik

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Julius Hemphill / Peter Kowald: Live at Kassiopeia

Julius Hemphill /...

NoBusiness Records
2012

buy
Dogon A.D.

Dogon A.D.

International Phonograph Inc.
2011

buy
 

Live at Kassiopeia

GR2 Classics
2011

buy
The Hard Blues

The Hard Blues

Clean Feed Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Live at U of T" CD/LP/Track Review Live at U of T
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Hudson" CD/LP/Track Review Hudson
by Doug Collette
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Reimagined" CD/LP/Track Review Reimagined
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "The Urmuz Epigrams" CD/LP/Track Review The Urmuz Epigrams
by Don Phipps
Published: April 9, 2018
Read "No Answer" CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Quartet Plus, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Quartet Plus, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 21, 2017