All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Henry Threadgill: Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Now into its twelfth consecutive year, Zooid can finally lay claim as Henry Threadgill's longest running ensemble, having superseded the tenures of the venerable composer's most celebrated lineups, including Air, Sextett and Very Very Circus. Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp is the idiosyncratic chamber group's fourth release for Pi Recordings, which was founded in 2001 to simultaneously release a pair of albums by the esteemed AACM multi-instrumentalist: Everybody's Mouth's a Book, by the electric Make a Move quintet; and Zooid's debut, Up Popped the Two Lips. This Brings Us To, Volume I and II were subsequently issued in 2009 and 2010, after an eight year recording hiatus by the acoustic unit.

As testament to Threadgill's leadership capabilities, Zooid has enjoyed fairly consistent personnel since its inception. Acoustic guitarist Liberty Ellman, trombonist/tubaist Jose Davila and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee are all original members, with only acoustic bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi not part of the very first incarnation. The most notable difference between this record and the previous two is the addition of cellist Christopher Hoffman, whose inclusion restores Zooid to the sextet configuration documented on its first outing.

For the uninitiated, Zooid is named after "a cell capable of independent motion within a living organism." Threadgill has adapted this concept into a systematic series of rules to govern collective improvisation. Each musician is assigned a separate range of intervals, which facilitates melodic, harmonic and rhythmic independence from the core group, while contributing to the music's overall communal structure. The cumulative effect is a contrapuntal latticework of polyphonic harmonies, kaleidoscopic textures and modulating cross-rhythms.

Sequenced in a series of dramatic arcs, the session vacillates between myriad moods, veering from the simmering fervor of "A Day Off," to the subdued pointillism of "Put On Keep / Frontispiece, Spp." Functioning as a unified cooperative, the individual members' contributions coalesce into a shimmering mosaic, their prismatic statements ebbing and flowing from foreground to background. Some of the most expansive variations come from Hoffman, whose multihued fretwork ranges from sinewy funk on "Tomorrow Sunny" to understated lyricism on "See the Blackbird Now," which also includes dulcet trombone work from Davila and Threadgill's haunting bass flute. The leader's acerbic alto leads the brief avant-blues tone poem "So Pleased, No Clue," his trenchant testimonials setting the stage for the roiling "Ambient Pressure Thereby," which presents the band at its most vivacious, hemmed by strikingly melodic extrapolations from Threadgill and Ellman.

Bolstered by the unswerving dedication of his longstanding sidemen, Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp continues the ongoing documentation of Threadgill's Zooid, a consistently fascinating endeavor from one of the most compelling composers of our time.

Track Listing: A Day Off; Tomorrow Sunny; So Pleased, No Clue; See the Blackbird Now; Ambient Pressure Thereby; Put On Keep/Frontispiece, Spp.

Personnel: Jose Davila: tombone, tuba; Liberty Ellman: guitar; Christopher Hoffman: cello; Elliot Humberto Kavee: drums; Stomu Takeishi; bass; Henry Threadgill: flute, bass flute, alto saxophone.

Title: Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Pi Recordings


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Live Recitation" CD/LP/Track Review Live Recitation
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Ts'iibil Chaaltun" CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Points of View" CD/LP/Track Review Points of View
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Nigerian Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Waller" CD/LP/Track Review Waller
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017