Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

186

Bobby Bradford/Francis Wong/William Roper: Purple Gums

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
The San Francisco-based Asian Improv label continues to release remarkable sessions with Purple Gums, a wind trio with Bobby Bradford, William Roper, and Francis Wong. The resulting disc shows a band deeply attuned to each other's whims, and skillful in extending musical conversations.

"Baleen and Porpoises" begins with Roper's low notes on tuba. Bradford enters with a cornet fanfare, then Wong, and the two of them chase each other like pups. Roper's round smooth tone and fluency makes him an equal in these group improvisations. Wong introduces "Patois" with short bursts of notes, soon to be joined by Bradford playing patterns that Wong harmonizes and imitates, with Roper adding percussion. When Roper plays a short figure on tuba, they continue to play their close listening game.

The first of Roper's spoken pieces, the title track, tells an unsavory story of guy "in the mood," but the otherwise attractive women he meets have advanced gingivitis: purple gums. Bradford backs the funny monologue bluesily, and all three improvise between Roper's recitations. "A Boy Like You," again has Wong and Bradford in uncanny co-creation with Roper providing percussion, then tuba.

"Bugle Boys" starts out in a blues funk phase that recalls the World Saxophone Quartet. Wong plays a blues tenor while Bradford and Roper improvise short bursts. Bradford plays some reveille variations with Roper, then Wong and Bradford get back to their soul riff. "You a Square" features Roper trying to give a friend a clue. Wong on flute works with Bradford, and when Roper joins, they play funny little pizzicato variations. "Falling Water" shows the musicians at their most empathetic, gracefully branching out and maintaining common ground.

"Li'l Sister" has Roper reciting gospel cliches while Wong and Bradford dig into some gospel variations. Bradford intones a more earthy sentiment and the gospel becomes the blues. The serious "Procession of the Pall" closes the set with a last look at group improvisation well shaped, crafted and coherent.

Visit Asian Improv on the web at www.asianimprov.com .

This review first appeared in All About Jazz: Los Angeles .

Track Listing: Baleen & Porpoises, Patois/ Purple Gums, A Boy Like You, Bugle Boys, You a Square, Falling Water, Li'l Sister, Procession of the Pall

Personnel: Bobby Bradford- cornet, voice; Francis Wong- tenor saxophone, flute; William Roper- tuba, voice, percussion

Title: Purple Gums | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Asian Improv Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Profiles
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live At The Blue Whale

Live At The Blue Whale

NoBusiness Records
2019

buy
Live At The Blue Whale

Live At The Blue Whale

NoBusiness Records
2018

buy
Live At The Magic Triangle

Live At The Magic...

NoBusiness Records
2017

buy
Live At The Open Gate

Live At The Open Gate

NoBusiness Records
2016

buy
No U Turn: Live In Pasadena, 1975

No U Turn: Live In...

Dark Tree Records
2015

buy
 

Dragon

Tzadik
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You Album Reviews
Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You
By Dan McClenaghan
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019