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Louie Belogenis: The Other Shore

Mark Corroto By

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The working group known as Exuberance, formed in 1999, has released its first studio recording in The Other Shore. Dedicated to the late Wilber Morris, the disc is a reflective and joyful affair.

The quartet is made up of saxophonist Louie Belogenis (Prima Materia), trumpeter Roy Campbell, Jr. (Other Dimensions In Music, Pyramid Trio, Peter Brötzmann Tentet), bassist Hill Greene (Jimmy Scott, Cecil Taylor), and drummer Michael Wimberly (Charles Gayle). Roy Campbell's recent recordings for Delmark and Thirsty Ear, in addition to sessions with William Parker's various groups, have showcased his varying tastes. Louie Belogenis' most recent release was a quartet session with Tony Malaby entitled Twice Told Tales (DIW, 2003). With multiple projects simultaneously running at once, these four musicians halted their crowded schedules to concentrate on this effort.

The session opens and closes on a somber note with "Offering," an invocation for two horns plus bells, and the final "Elegy For Wilber Morris," a sober contemplative tale. Belogenis has a fitting post-Trane/post-Ayler tone that replaces rawness with precision. These tracks are much more than blowing vehicles for the band. Most are paced-layered compositions with patience. Wimberly has shown he can beat a frenetic pace with Charles Gayle, and here he channels his talents into a fourth voice instead of just a rhythm machine. His conga and hand drumming are accommodating and sympathetic. It is not that these four don't blow "out jazz" here. It's just that they do so with such control.

"Walking To Loisaida" starts off as a bop tune, only to morph into intense patterns and stop/start fragments. Both Belogenis and Campbell reach for upper registers on "Terpsichore." Campbell's sound is unique in that he may be the only modern trumpeter truly comfortable with both in and out jazz. The music culminates (before the "Elegy") with the burning title track. The funk-led sound gives the band a chance to release their reservations, blowing faster and louder.

Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Offering; Afro Eurasian Sketches; Fulcrum; Walking In Loisaida; Terpsichore; The Other Shore; Exuberance; Elegy For Wilber Morris.

Personnel: Louie Belogenis - Tenor Saxophone; Roy Campbell, Jr. - Trumpet; Hill Greene - Bass; Michael Wimberly - Drums, Percussion, Bells.

Title: The Other Shore | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Boxholder Records

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