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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 5: The Outlier

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The Outlier feels like the third part of a triptych which started with Creating Structure, followed by Eleven. The former recording demonstrated how structure can be created during improvisation, while the latter how more- or-less composed music with structure can be the foundational basis for improvisation. The record at hand mixes the two concepts thoroughly, so much so that, with help from the liner, one would be hard pressed to tell which tracks are composed and which are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 5: The Outlier

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Veteran Oregon saxophonist Rich Halley has assembled here a CD that combines the volcanic force of the 60's avant-garde with a modern fealty to rhythm. On these ten tracks Halley and fellow Pacific Coast veterans, saxophonist Vinny Golia and trombonist Michael Vlatkovich storm and rumble wildly while bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Carson Halley contain all their fire within recognizable musical boundaries. “Recipe For Improvisers" and “Reciprocity" have rhythmic grooves based in swing and R&B while “Green Needles" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 5: The Outlier

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After a string of impressive quartet recordings, saxophonist Rich Halley adds multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia to the lineup for The Outlier. The band is the Rich Halley 5, not the Rich Halley 4 + 1. There is an important distinction here. This session gives the impression of a functioning quintet, not just a guest appearance. Halley's recordings of late have focused on his quartet with trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist Clyde Reed, and drummer Carson Halley. They released six stellar ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 4: Eleven

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Following up on his wonderful previous release, Creating Structure, the Rich Halley quartet (Halley on tenor, trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Carson Halley) strikes again with Eleven, tearing through eleven Halley compositions. The organizing factor of the previous album was how structure can arise and be perceived in music that is spontaneously improvised by skilled musicians with fast reflexes who know each other. Eleven turns this on its head in that while there is compositional ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 4: Eleven

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Rich Halley and Michael Vlatkovich have been on a real hot streak as of late. Halley, who also runs the Pine Eagle record label, continues to maintain a number a groups. Besides the quartet featured on Eleven, he has a new quartet with the excellent LA-based trumpeter Dan Clucas, and continues to work with the legendary Bobby Bradford. Halley also leads the Outside Music Ensemble, a large group which performs creative music exclusively in outdoor settings. Vlatkovich, also a member ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 4: Eleven

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Saxophonist Rich Halley exploded out of a five year recording hiatus in 2010 with Live at Penofin Jazz Festival, a growling, high energy, in-front-of-the-crowd mad man rant that featured trumpeter Bobby Bradford in the front line of a wild and often raucous chordless quartet. Five years off or not, there was a history there--a bunch of fiery quartet and trio sets on Louie Records. Coming off the break, Halley formed his own label, Pine Eagle Records. He has taken Bob ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 4: Eleven

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Saxophonist Rich Halley again leads his empathetic quartet through eleven new compositions on this thoroughly engaging session. It's the sixth album by the group (Halley on tenor saxophone, trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Carson Halley) and they display a remarkable chemistry throughout. Halley provides very distinctive compositions as starting points--he gives a brief overview of the structure of each of them in his liner notes--then gives the band freedom to move. As he describes the working method, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 4: Creating Structure

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While hiding in the great Northwest (specifically Portland, Oregon), saxophonist Rich Halley has built an impressive body of work of composition and performance in many different settings. Creating Structure is the latest from his quartet, the Rich Halley 4 whose previously releases are The Wisdom Of Rocks, Crossing The Passes, Back From Beyond and Requiem for a Pit Viper. However, this release is the first by the group to be made up completely improvised (i.e. “free") material. The ...


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