Rich Halley 5: The Outlier

Jerome Wilson By

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Veteran Oregon saxophonist Rich Halley has assembled here a CD that combines the volcanic force of the 60's avant-garde with a modern fealty to rhythm.

On these ten tracks Halley and fellow Pacific Coast veterans, saxophonist Vinny Golia and trombonist Michael Vlatkovich storm and rumble wildly while bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Carson Halley contain all their fire within recognizable musical boundaries. "Recipe For Improvisers" and "Reciprocity" have rhythmic grooves based in swing and R&B while "Green Needles" contains the spaciousness of a dub reggae beat. "Rising From The Plains" has the clomping "jungle drums" sound of 20s' Duke Ellington underlying virtuoso solos from the three front line players and "The Nuthatches" is a particularly sexy mix of martial drums, rubbery bass and sensuous horn moaning.

The group often sounds bigger than a mere quintet with Halley, Golia and Vlatkovich playing mostly long and hard throughout. Halley is jolly and garrulous, Golia's baritone is humorously ponderous and Vlatkovich's trombone brays like Roswell Rudd. Together they project the force of some of Carla Bley's large groups, particularly in the funereal massed sound of "Recipe."

The Outlier is a fun roller-coaster ride of loud, crazy music that spotlights the excellence of some of the West Coast's lesser heralded musicians.

Track Listing: Recipe for Improvisers; Urban Crunch; Around the Fringes; Green Needles; Du Fu’s Stew; Long Blue Road; Rising From the Plains; The Way Through; Reciprocity; The Nuthatches.

Personnel: Rich Halley: tenor saxophone; Vinny Golia: baritine saxophone, bass clarinet; Michael Vlatkovich: trombone; Clyde Reed: bass; Carson Halley: drums.

Title: The Outlier | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Pine Eagle Records

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