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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Cosmosamatics: Jazz-Maalika

Read "The Cosmosamatics: Jazz-Maalika" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Since their founding in 2002, the Cosmosamatics have been one of the most exciting groups in jazz. Spearheaded by twin souls Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus, the band has thus far released nine recordings and one live DVD. Part of the Cosmosamatics' strength lies in their openness to new sounds and players, and over the years they have incorporated a movable feast of musicians, including bassist William Parker, drummer Andrew Cyrille, and saxophonist James Carter. On their new release, Jazz-Maalika, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

The Cosmosamatics: Free Within The Law

Read "Free Within The Law" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Sonny Simmons (alto sax, English horn) and Michael Marcus (tenor sax, Bb clarinet) are the twin sentinels of the powerhouse quartet, The Cosmosamatics, whose dynamic is enhanced by Art Lewis (drums) and Peter Herbert (bass). The familiarity between Simmons and Marcus helps drive the music as they fathom and develop ideas on the go. Lewis pumps the rhythm for the front line, but he has long been one to divine the recourse and path of a tune.

Simmons ...

ALBUM REVIEW

The Cosmosamatics: Free Within The Law

Read "Free Within The Law" reviewed by Nic Jones

This group has fortunately been documented quite a few times on record, and consequently this disc offers insight into an ongoing affair. The front line of woodwind multi-instrumentalists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus has now not only established the kind of rapport Simmons used to have with Prince Lasha forty odd years ago, but also moved beyond it, which is just as it should be.

This is abundantly obvious from the off. The opening title track finds the two men ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cosmosamatics: Magnitudes

Read "Magnitudes" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

What started as a song title on a trio session for CIMP nearly ten years ago (Transcendence, 1996) has blossomed into one of the most consistent and fruitful partnerships in jazz. The Cosmosamatics (primarily alto elder statesman Sonny Simmons and multireedist Michael Marcus) dabble in bop, post bop, and free jazz, with tightly written and arranged heads and abrupt tempo shifts and twists in between.The band has had various members since its inception, but Jay Rosen has been ...

ALBUM REVIEW

The Cosmosamatics: Reeds & Birds

Read "Reeds & Birds" reviewed by Germein Linares

Reeds & Birds is an excellent tribute to the adventurous spirit of Charlie Parker. The album soars with a technical facility that is, like Bird's, furious and musical, yet effortless and cool. Playing some of Parker's more obscure compositions like “Cheryl," “Drifting on a Reed," and “Bird Feathers," the group of Michael Marcus, Sonny Simmons, and drummers Clifford Barbaro and Jay Rosen (on “Avant-Garde Destruct") also contributes originals like the quick shock of “Intoxicating Galaxies," the bop pops of “49th ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Cosmosamatics: Reeds & Birds / Three

Read "Cosmosamatics: Reeds & Birds / Three" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

In the last couple of years Sonny Simmons has gone from hard-to-find to all-over-the-place. Burning Spirits was reissued by Fantasy, his early ESP and Arhoolie albums are available on iTunes, and he's managed to sustain steady output from the Cosmosamatics, the working group he co-leads with Michael Marcus. Simmons is a link in the saxophone chain that originates with Charlie Parker, extends to Ornette and Eric Dolphy, and now joins Marcus to that tradition of excellence. On Reeds & Birds ...


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