265

Ronnie Boykins: The Will Come, Is Now

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Ronnie Boykins: The Will Come, Is Now Ronnie Boykins is probably best known for being a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra. During that time, the Arkestra made some of its best recordings and Boykins was an integral part of the equation. He integrated his relationship with Sun Ra to gear the forward movement of the music. In his individual contributions on the bass he gave the instrument an underlying voice in developing the thematic concept through his choice of notes, the use of arco and his chord patterns.

Boykins' ability saw him called up by Marion Brown, Bill Barron, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Steve Lacy in a long list of collaborations. Challenging music was not his only forté, he moved from free invention into the mainstream with Mary Lou Williams and played the blues with Muddy Waters. Boykins went on to lead the Free Jazz Society and then went into the Melodic Art-Tet. In spite of all his accomplishments, Boykins was modest. When Bernard Stollman asked him to record for ESP in 1964, Boykins said that he was not ready. Eleven years later in 1975, he was.

Boykins' music is the confluence of several streams. He places as much emphasis on composition as he does on improvisation, with the title track profiling the two. Boykins sets up the groove for the Middle Eastern melody, the antithesis for horns which blow asymmetrical lines. It's a constantly shifting vortex, with Joe Ferguson indulging in the melody before the other horns come in to dissect it. The final shift comes from Boykins, whose bow arcs both melody and dissonance while the percussion dances niftily below.

"Demon's Dance" is a wild swinging tune with a generous dollop of New Orleans rhythm, quite mainstream and a delicious romp. Boykins gift for melody is apparent on all the tracks. "The Third I" loosens that grip for an open invitation to percussion and congas. The insistent rhythm is scarped by the bassist, whose arching lines cut deep into the pith. The flute flutters in but the resolution is completed by Boykins, who bares the melody and then wraps it up with the rest of his band.

Boykins made just one record as leader, but it marks his place as an adventurous bassist and a composer with a gift for style and genre.


Track Listing: The Will Come, Is Now; Starlight at the Wonder Inn; Demon's Dance; Dawn is Evening, Afternoon; Tipping on Heels; The Third I.

Personnel: Ronnie Boykins: bass and sousaphone; Joe Ferguson: soprano and tenor saxophones, flute; Monty Walters: alto and soprano saxophones; James Vass: alto and soprano saxophones, flute; Daoud Haroom: trombone; Art Lewis: percussion; George Avaloz: congas.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ESP Disk | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sun Ra Sun Ra
keyboard
Joe McPhee Joe McPhee
reeds
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
Byard Lancaster Byard Lancaster
saxophone
Daniel Carter Daniel Carter
sax, alto
Jimmy Lyons Jimmy Lyons
sax, alto
Frank Lowe Frank Lowe
sax, tenor
Noah Howard Noah Howard
sax, alto
John Gilmore John Gilmore
saxophone
Marshall Allen Marshall Allen
sax, alto
Peter Kowald Peter Kowald
bass, acoustic

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Honey For The Biscuit" CD/LP/Track Review Honey For The Biscuit
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "A Missing Shade of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A Missing Shade of Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!