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Rich Halley: Terra Incognita

Read "Terra Incognita" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

On paper this is a very promising match-up: uninhibited tenor saxophonist Rich Halley backed by the relentless force of pianist Matthew Shipp and his current trio. For the most part, the resulting session delivers on its promise although at times Halley's playing is shoved so far to the front of the mix it drowns out everything else. This is especially true on the first track, “The Opening." Halley's long, steely lines are so overpowering that only the surface agitation of ...

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Rich Halley, Satoko Fuji, Ramon Lopez & More

Read "Rich Halley, Satoko Fuji, Ramon Lopez & More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Those artists who have been able to sustain long careers and consistently move the music forward must be celebrated, and this episode recognizes two such examples who have new recordings out at the moment: Be Known: Ancient/Future/Music from Chicago's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, the group put together in 1976 by percussionist Kahil El'Zabar, and Terra Incognita from tenor saxophonist Rich Halley who decided to head to New York to hook up with musicians there. There's much to like in both albums. ...

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Rich Halley: Terra Incognita

Read "Terra Incognita" reviewed by Troy Dostert

In a musical career that stretches back to the 1980s, tenor saxophonist Rich Halley has stoutly maintained his independent path in creating jazz that is inspired by the freedom of the '60s avant-garde but which also draws liberally from the language of bop. You can hear both Albert Ayler and Sonny Rollins in his playing. But it's not just his distinctive voice on his instrument that stands out; it's also the effort he's devoted to maintaining a steady cadre of ...

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Rich Halley with Matthew Shipp, Michael Bisio and Newman Taylor Baker: Terra Incognita

Read "Terra Incognita" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Rich Halley's leader debut Multnomah Rhythms (Avocet, 1983) featured a large ensemble, a formation that the saxophonist favored for the better part of two decades. When he pared back personnel, he was equally committed to his quartet, recording six albums with trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist Clyde Reed and son, Carson Halley on drums. The Outlier (Pine Eagle, 2016) expanded the quartet to a quintet with the addition of Vinny Golia on baritone sax and bass clarinet. The saxophonist downsized further, ...

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Rich Halley: Terra Incognita

Read "Terra Incognita" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Saxophonist Rich Halley usually sticks with his steady crowd. Indeed, when tallying Halley's collaborative compadres over the past couple of decades, his list of “recorded with" players comes down to a handful of names: drummer Carson Halley, trombonist Michael Vlatkovich and bassist Clyde Reed. Add cornetist Bobby Bradford on a couple of outings. The same for reedman Vinny Golia. And then there was the collaborator from the earliest days, drummer Dave Storrs, in the beginning of the new millennium.

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Rich Halley 3: The Literature

Read "The Literature" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Before now saxophonist Rich Halley has chosen only to play original music on all his recordings as a leader. Now, on his twenty-first disc, he changes up and goes back to what he calls “the literature," the music and musicians that influenced his career path. Most of what he covers here is by iconic jazz figures like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman but he also reveals a few surprise influences. The music is played by a ...

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Rich Halley 3: The Literature

Read "The Literature" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Tenor saxophonist Rich Halley decided, according to the liner notes, to make his twenty-first recording an all-covers collection. The title of the recording, he writes, comes from his thought that if “literature" connotes a body of work in classical music, then why not in jazz as well--and so he's collected a dozen of the songs that shaped his musical horizons. It's a pretty broad set of compositions, too, not just expected contributors Miles, Mingus and Monk, but Ornette ...


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