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Kidd Jordan / Alvin Fielder /Peter Kowald: Trio and Duo in New Orleans

Glenn Astarita By

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Eminent avant-garde saxophonist Edward "KIdd" Jordan doesn't venture outside the New Orleans area that often, but like- minded artists will occasionally make the trip to the Big Easy to unite in the studio or for a live date. Such is the case here on this 2-disc set, capturing Jordan in trio and duo settings with late, bass great Peter Kowald and a forefather of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, drummer Alvin Fielder.

The trio performance was recorded in 2002 at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center. Fielder's liaison with Jordan came about in 1975 via several improvisational ensembles, as disc-two highlights a duet performance with the drummer, culled from a 2005 session in a New Orleans studio. No doubt, the musicians craft an open playing field of various cadences, hues and trajectories, spanning a multitude of evolving discourses.

On the trio date, the musicians enact capacious thematic elaborations amid other passages where all hell breaks loose. For instance on "Trio I," Jordan's compressed, orbital phrasings are mimicked by Kowald's buzzing arco-notes. During several pieces, the saxophonist's burly, soul-searching notes help rocket the band into parts unknown. As the modestly titled pieces, "Bass solo" and "Drums solo" offer the instrumentalists extended workout space and are presented in sequential order. They close it out with "Trio VI (Concluding)," where Jordan pushes, prods and Fielder dances around the core motif, projecting a blunt, no nonsense driving force. They reach for the stars, amped by Jordan's full-bodied tone, spiced with a sense of longing.

The duet outing is assembled with intense and at times, aggressive interactions, consisting of free-bop excursions and the saxophonist's plaintive cries. The musicians also delve into a bit of extended call and response workouts, and on "Duo Flight," Jordan imparts a few bars of bluesy abandon, enveloped with a razors-edge. Yet he has a conversation with himself on "E. Fashole-Luke," largely exercised by alternating between lower and upper-registers. Frankly speaking, the players are at the top of their game here.

Track Listing: CD 1 – Trio I; Trio II; Trio III (High Altitude); Drums solo; Bass solo; Trio IV; Trio V; Trio VI. CD 2 – Liftoff; Duo Flight; E. Fashole- Luke; Tempest NOLA, 2005; Nameless Sound Duo.

Personnel: CD 1 – Edward “Kidd” Jordan: tenor saxophone; Peter Kowald: bass; Alvin Fielder: drums, percussion. CD 2 – Edward “Kidd” Jordan: tenor saxophone; Alvin Fielder: drums.

Title: Trio and Duo in New Orleans | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

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