Octogenarian Roswell Rudd just released a frighteningly traditional recording with vocalist Heather Masse on the brilliant August Love Song (Red House, 2016). But that is not what he is most known for. Rudd has been a jazz freedom fighter who made his bones in the 1960s, when Rudd collaborated with free jazz functionaries: New York Art Quartet; the Michael Mantler & Carla Bley 1968 Jazz Composer, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri. Foremost in his career has been Rudd's friendship and association with saxophonists Archie Shepp and Steve Lacy, the latter highlighted on the pair's numerous recordings and performances of the music of Thelonious Monk.
Rudd's technical prowess remains fully intact, reflecting his well over 60 years as a performing musician. His trombone effects: growls, slurs, glissandos, and other anthropomorphic sounds blend perfectly with the nearly unhinged chaos loosed by pianist Jamie Saft. Saft is mostly well behaved, a mere shadow of the iconoclasm demonstrated on his electric recordings: I will cite just his work with Slobber Pup (Black Aces (Rare Noise, 2013) and Pole Axe (Rare Noise, 2015), just one of Saft's many projects.
Bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Balazs Pandi round out this wonderful acoustic quartet who easily demonstrate the sonic power and entropy of free jazz from the origin. While this recording does not seem so ground-breaking by today's atomized standards, it nevertheless, points its telescope lens into that universe created by Coleman in the beginning.
Strength & Power; Cobalt Is Divine; The Bedroom; Luminescent; Dunn's Falls; Struttin' For Jah Jah.
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