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Jazz Articles


Jemeel Moondoc/Hilliard Greene: Cosmic Nickelodeon

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Saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc and bassist Hilliard Greene have quite a bit to talk about in their encounter Cosmic Nickelodeon. Their shared forays into free jazz, Moondoc first with Cecil Taylor, then as a leader collaborating with William Parker and Roy Campbell, and Greene with Charles Gayle give context to this session. Moreover, the pair come together here for a set of unhurried and deliberate exchanges.Moondoc previously released Two (Relative Pitch, 2012) a duo with pianist Connie Crothers) and ...


Jemeel Moondoc: Muntu Recordings

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Jemeel Moondoc Muntu Recordings NoBusiness Records 2010

Lithuanian based NoBusiness records has put together a wonderful retrospective on under celebrated saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc and his pioneering ensemble Muntu, sumptuously packaged in a three-audio disc plus booklet box set. It's a bulletin from another era, the late 1970s, a fertile period in free jazz history which has been sparsely documented. The set goes some way to redressing that imbalance, with the 114 page ...


Jemeel Moondoc and Denis Charles: We Don't

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The duo recording is one of the most open windows available into the nature of improvisation; its give and take or “discussive" aspects are often made very clear by two players involved in musical conversation. And nowhere are melody and rhythm so tightly balanced as they often are in a saxophone-and-drums duo. Coltrane’s last and finest flights were with Rashied Ali on Interstellar Space ; Ali and tenorist Frank Lowe met a few years later to record the blistering classic ...


Jemeel Moondoc Vtet: Revolt of the Negro Lawn Jockeys

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Maybe I am wrong about this, but it seems to me that in recent years an increasingly large number of horn players -including the likes of Nick Bisesi, Rob Blakeslee, and Joe McPhee- have begun to make music similar to that found on the early recordings of Ornette Coleman. Given that over the past 40 or so years Coleman's advances in the realm freedom have been far more influential than his aesthetic conceptions, this is a welcome development and far ...


Jemeel Moondoc Trio: Triplet

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Instilled with a steadfast commitment to cultivating an original presence and voice Jemeel Moondoc has weathered inclement circumstances that would have crippled others with less resolve. From his often-garish garb, to his singular sound on his horn he seems an artist secure in his place within the free jazz cosmology. Sadly, like so many of his peers, Moondoc’s resilient confidence hasn’t translated into a steady string of recording opportunities. This trend shifted when Eremite took notice and began bolstering Moondoc’s ...


Jemeel Moondoc/ William Parker: New World Pygmies

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Over the years Jemeel Moondoc has suffered from the myopic vision of certain critics who have referred to his saxophone technique with such misplaced adjectives as “primitive” and “odd ball.” Other shortsighted souls have focused their squinted gaze on his flamboyant fashion sense and summarily assumed that his music must be clownish or comedic in nature. There is definitely a raw edge and a healthy humor to Moondoc’s sound, but these are only facets of a far more expansive whole. ...


Jemeel Moondoc Trio: Fire In The Valley

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The primacy of live performance coupled with the reality that there just aren’t that many labels willing to front the bread for creative improvised music has led to a dearth of entries in Jemeel Moondoc’s discography. Studio dates for the saxophonist are a rarity and it’s for this reason that his pairing with Eremite makes so much sense and has proven so fruitful. Eremite’s most common medium is live performance and a large portion of the label’s catalog features music ...

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