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Charles Gayle: Shout!

Rex  Butters By

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Charles Gayle's discography has grown steadily since his reemergence in the '80s. Spiritually motivated like so many of his '60s free jazz peers, Gayle presents a program of Gospel-influenced tunes, new takes on standards, and bracing trio improvisations that continually churn sparks. More lyrical and less strident than he sounds on older recordings, Gayle maintains a gift for unpredictability and deep listening.

Joined by drummer Gerald Cleaver and legendary bassist and longtime collaborator Sirone, Gayle plays a fountain of music. The trio format gives these free rollers space and roaming rights on their self-created terrain. With improvisers of this caliber, the "no one solos/everyone solos rubric peals loudly. Each performance embodies continuous creation.

Opening with a rubberized and melted "I Remember You, Gayle's yawning lion tenor lines stretch over Sirone's pointed clusters and Cleaver's ticklish brushes. Cleaver splits into two excited percussionists on "Glory Dance. Sirone finds time and Gayle can't say enough, happily driving the tenor with speed and lingering vibrato. They take slippery liberties with the old chestnut "What's New, glimpsing it from a parallel universe as Gayle infuses the piece with an original sense of melancholy.

Shout of Love opens with a burst of Sonny Rollins shorthand. Each musician pushes hard, gracefully forging bright dynamic interaction. The album's standout, Unto Jesus Christ, finds Gayle blowing torchy wide vibrato blues, sounding high on the tenor, like a low soprano. Cleaver illuminates the saxophone's passion and longing with tinsel cymbal shine, while Sirone darts around the bass, ending at peace. Vernon Jordan's "I Can't Get Started gets treated to Gaylean deconstruction on solo piano, the saxophonist exploding with two-handed ideas that set a course through American popular song, a breathtaking knuckle-bending joyride that veers through ragtime to future music.

A medium tempo "Independence Blues explores issues of self-determination, while "Healing Souls lets the energy flow, the trio boiling in unison.

A burning set by three of the best still breathing, Shout incites an avalanche of improvisational gold.


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

Title: Shout! | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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