120

Malik, McPhee, Robinson: Sympathy

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Malik, McPhee, Robinson: Sympathy Trumpeter Raphe Malik, who spent much of the '70s and '80s playing with free pianist Cecil Taylor's band, has been described as "an exuberant and rough-hewn player"; and the Taylor lineage would suggest a propensity toward the free-flying approach. But on Sympathy the sound can best be described as introspective or searching, and even—to these ears, which have delved deeply into free jazz—melodic and accessible.

The set is a trio effort, with Donald Robinson on the drums and the incomparable Joe McPhee on soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet. Without a bass in the mix, space becomes a major factor.

All the tunes are Malik-penned, though long intervals of solo improvisation reign. Anything I've come across this past year or two in which Joe McPhee is involved—his Visitation (Boxholder, 2003), violist Mat Maneri's Sustain (Thirsty Ear, 2002), or Trio X's Journey (CIMP, 2003)—can be challenging, and ultimately fullfilling. Sympathy proves itself more more approachable than those, but it is still a set that demands full attention. The initial listen leaves an impression of relative simplicity—two horns trading sinuous lines in front of a lose-limbed percussionist—but it proves itself unsuited to the "background music" category. Driving around in the car or cooking dinner with the CD on just leaves one with a nagging feeling of missing out on the fullness of the experience. The darkened room with the listener alone with the sounds reaps the full reward.

I called this sound introspective and searching. Stir in an ineffable mood of spirtuality to the mix, like going to church.

This recording is available from Jazz Loft .


Track Listing: Tewtament, Resolving a Quote, Velcoity, Space March, Hypersonic, Motivic, untitled dialogue, Call and Response, Escape Route

Personnel: Raphe Malik--b-flat trumpet and c trumpet; Joe McPhee--soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet; Donald Robinson--drums

Title: Sympathy | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Boxholder Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Colosseum Live" CD/LP/Track Review Colosseum Live
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Another Time: The Hilversum Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.