186

Bobby Bradford/Francis Wong/William Roper: Purple Gums

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Bobby Bradford/Francis Wong/William Roper: Purple Gums 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

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Asian Improv Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Upbeat And Sweet" CD/LP/Track Review Upbeat And Sweet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "Mask Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Mask Dance
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Love Wins Again" CD/LP/Track Review Love Wins Again
by James Nadal
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.