474

Unsung Recordings by Billy Bang

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Rainbow Gladiator
1981
Soul Note

Expansive and warm, this is one of Billy Bang's best recordings. Tyler had a rough, appealing tone, and he was able to match the passionate lyricism of Bang's own playing. Morris is an uncommonly strong bassist; Rosewoman plays with authority; Dennis Charles is deservedly legendary. The title track runs fourteen minutes and is the brilliant, good-humored jewel of the disc, recalling in mood the sunny Pharoah Sanders releases on Theresa around the same time.

Personnel: Billy Bang (violin); Charles Tyler (alto and baritone saxophones); Michele Rosewoman (piano); Wilber Morris (bass); Dennis Charles (drums). June 10-11, 1981.


Valve No. 10
1988
Soul Note

Somewhat darker-edged than Rainbow Gladiator , this is an intensely-felt, sharply-played recording. Without a piano, Bang and Frank Lowe have freedom to range wide, and they do. Highlights are many, including an aching cover of Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament" and Bang's spoken-word poetic tribute to Trane, "September 23rd." Lowe is masterful, adding fire that is never overstated; he manages to remain within bounds that might be considered conventionally melodic while venturing far and wide harmonically.

Personnel: Billy Bang (violin); Frank Lowe (tenor sax); Sirone (bass); Dennis Charles (drums). March 8-9, 1988.


A Tribute to Stuff Smith
1992
Soul Note

Although the choice of material here is made up entirely of tunes Stuff Smith played, and thus contains nothing less than fifty years old, Bang and Sun Ra (in a rare sideman appearance) make them new in the best tradition of jazz. "Satin Doll," "A Foggy Day in London Town" and the rest show how well Bang's style adapts to all forms of the music — and they ably illustrate the roots both of his activity and of Sun Ra's.

Personnel: Billy Bang (violin); Sun Ra (piano, synthesizer); John Ore (bass); Andrew Cyrille (drums). September 20-22, 1992.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Two Sides of John Wetton Multiple Reviews Two Sides of John Wetton
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 20, 2017
Read The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August Rosenbaum Multiple Reviews The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 13, 2017
Read A Sense of Place Multiple Reviews A Sense of Place
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2017
Read David Murray Octets on Black Saint Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017
Read New and Notable Releases Multiple Reviews New and Notable Releases
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment" Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space" Multiple Reviews Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And Rutherford" Multiple Reviews Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And...
by John Eyles
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues" Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.