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Inspired by Anthony Braxton’s solo alto saxophone performance on the 1971 release, For Alto, Joe McPhee set his sights on a similar project which was recorded at a Swiss farmhouse on September 1st and 2nd, 1976 and was subsequently released on LP for Hat Hut records. Considered a mini-classic, “hatOLOGY” records has now reissued this sparkling gem on CD which includes a previously unreleased track titled, Fallen Angels culled from a 1977 Paris, France performance.
Here, McPhee’s performances parallel that, of a coveted museum piece or perhaps a finely crafted novel. On “Knox”, McPhee provides us with an aural tour of the tenor sax or perhaps offers his personal take on the history of jazz where tenor sax giants such as Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster melded keen thematic invention, the blues and swing into this truly dynamic art-form. Throughout, we can freely recognize McPhee’s total commitment to the matters at hand as he seemingly rediscovers his own roots while blazing forth with stimulating concepts, unimaginable themes, ebullience and blithe spirit. The saxophonist elevates the proceedings to the next level on “Good-Bye Tom” where he trickles machine-like sounds and literally manhandles every conceivable register while vividly demonstrating the broad role of the tenor sax within the evolutionary process or metamorphic state of modern jazz. With “Fallen Angels”, McPhee transposes every unorthodox sound and well-paced note into a comprehensive dissertation that can only originate from the soul as Tenor & Fallen Angels is a brilliant portraiture of a musician who is sharing his sentiments, visualizations and artistic spirit for the entire world to hear! - Essential * * * * *
Joe McPhee; Tenor Sax
Visit the “hatOLOGY” website at: www.hathut.com and also check out the All About Jazz March 2000 interview with Joe McPhee along with archived reviews spanning previous issues of All About Jazz.com.