335

Charles Gayle: Shout!

By

Sign in to view read count
Charles Gayle: Shout! Charles Gayle is without question one of the most intriguing figures in modern jazz today. His powerful, free, and onerous style defies easy categorization. His background as a vagabond New York street musician adds mystique, like the Renaissance artists who toiled without financial reward while pushing the envelope of art and music beyond conventional boundaries. He is a devout Christian and concerned citizen whose willingness to speak his mind does not always jive with club owners. He has performed in clown's garb as "Streets, combining pantomime, social commentary, and music in an eclectic blend that reflects his years of homelessness.

Gayle's early years included associations with legendary figures Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders, as well as others from the free jazz movement of the '60s. After years in relative obscurity, performances in the late '80s at the Knitting Factory helped spread the word, leading to a number of key recordings and performances with Cecil Taylor, Rashied Ali, and William Parker. Although Gayle studied piano formally, he is largely self-taught on saxophone. He has stated that he rarely discusses music with bandmates, preferring to trust in their creative abilities.

Shout! places Gayle in the company of bassist Sirone and drummer Gerald Cleaver. Perhaps more melodic than previous efforts, it is nonetheless full of fire, dissonance, and compassion. One simply can not listen to this music without attention; it is far too intense for a casual spin. Gayle's "Unto Jesus Christ, a ballad that uses a simple seven-note pattern to form the melody, is a good place to start. The relaxed tempo allows Gayle to expound upon spiritual beliefs in profound fashion. His vibrato is akin to the inflections of a preacher, as are his use of altered tones, bent notes, and rhythmic phrasing. All are played using the entire range of the saxophone. Sirone and Cleaver do a fine job hinting at structure while keeping things loose and properly dynamic. Listen to Sirone's solo and you will notice Cleaver laying down a subtle pattern of six against four. Nice work!

For the standard "I Can't Get Started, the longest cut on the disc, Gayle switches to solo piano. Listeners will be surprised by the more traditional style. Unlike the five Gayle originals, the tune's recognizable form and chord changes serve as the foundation for exploration. Like with his saxophone playing, Gayle uses the entire range of the piano. His style is highly personal, yet firmly grounded in the playing of past masters like Art Tatum and Bud Powell. Gayle's performance on this cut is a virtual history of jazz piano styling, incorporating linear development, stride techniques, glissandos, mass chords, pedal tones, and chromatic ideas. Repeated listening will help translate the full impact of what is being communicated.

The disc is well-recorded, framing the commanding expression in proper terms. Listeners familiar with Gayle's work will not be disappointed, and novices with an open mind will find a unique voice worthy of investigation.

Read more about Charles Gayle here.


Track Listing: I Remember You; Glory dance; What's New; Shout of Love; Unto Jesus Christ; I Can't Get Started; Independence Blues; Healing Souls.

Personnel: Charles Gayle, piano and saxophone; Sirone, bass; Gerald Cleaver, drums

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Fourmation" CD/LP/Track Review Fourmation
by John Ephland
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Subterranea" CD/LP/Track Review Subterranea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Tiptoe" CD/LP/Track Review Tiptoe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "R Train On The D Line" CD/LP/Track Review R Train On The D Line
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!