Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

164

Sabir Mateen: Prophecies Come To Pass

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
On Prophecies Come To Pass, saxophonist Sabir Mateen's Shapes, Textures, and Sound Ensemble delivers a rousing program of classic free jazz that rarely relents in its intensity. Recorded live in Brooklyn, this album captures the group at its rapturous best. Dedicated to late trumpeter Raphe Malik, the ensemble pushes its post-Ayler dynamics to the heavens.

Multi-instrumentalist Mateen coaxes an array of sounds from his many horns; his alto is light and buoyant, with an assertive edge; his raucous tenor stylings are delivered with a robust tone; the fluid tendrils from his alto clarinet end in keening cries; his flute is somber and delicate. Both trumpet player Matt Lavelle and trombonist Steve Swell generate brassy fanfares and blustery exhortations in line with Mateen's delivery. Swell has a brash timbre, with a tendency towards growling and gutbucket avant gardism. Lavelle's trumpet is brassy and strident, leaving a scorched path in its wake.

Bassist Matthew Heyner and drummer Michael T. A. Thompson are a rough-and-tumble pair, with just enough of an edge to keep the horn players alert and on their toes. Heyner meshes well with Thompson's nervous percussive energy, driving the rhythm section into a flurry of activity.

From the onset of "Sekasso Blues," the front line swoops in with a swaggering gospel-tinged blues that grows increasingly fertile. "Everyone's Got Something To Say" features blistering collective free improvisation and "Children Of The Creator" ends the session with an Ayleresque climax. The title track recalls a more dynamic variation on John Coltrane's "Ascension" theme, sounding epic in its sweep and diverse range of emotions.

Even during the most intense passages, the quintet knows when to leave space. There are numerous periods of frenzied group improvisation, yet the most blisteringly intense moments tend to be balanced out by brief interludes of relative calm and space. Mateen includes a pair of lower intensity numbers. The abstract blues of "Sentimentally" and "The Beauty Within," a poignant set piece for Mateen's delicate flute work and Heyner's bowed bass, provide sonic respite.

The live recording is rough and a bit ragged at times, but that lends itself well to this sort of impromptu document. While nothing in this program veers far from free jazz traditionalism, this is music of conviction and soul. Prophecies Come To Pass is a invigorating example of today's finest free jazz musicians keeping the flame alive.


Track Listing: Sekasso Blues; The Beauty Within; Everyone's Got Something To Say; Prophecies Come To Pass; Sentimentally; Children Of The Creator.

Personnel: Sabir Mateen: tenor and alto saxophones, flute, Bb and alto clarinets; Matt Lavelle: trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet; Steve Swell: trombone; Matthew Heyner: bass; Michael T.A. Thompson: drums, percussion.

Title: Prophecies Come to Pass | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: 577 Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Recent Developments" CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Mal Sirine" CD/LP/Track Review Mal Sirine
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Mother Tongue" CD/LP/Track Review Mother Tongue
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Amour Cruel" CD/LP/Track Review Amour Cruel
by Peter Jurew
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!