375

Henry Threadgill: Up Popped The Two Lips & Everybody's Mouth's A Book

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Henry Threadgill: Up Popped The Two Lips & Everybody's Mouth's A Book This Chicago, IL born modernist worked his way through the ranks of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), while eventually forming the highly regarded trio Air, back in the early 70's. Nevertheless, saxophonist/composer Henry Threadgill's prominence sharply increased with the advent of his acoustic/electric Very Very Circus and Make A Move bands. Consequently, the artist burst onto the scene with a highly distinctive compositional style, where he seemingly derived inspiration from Sousa style marches, cabaret, rock, and jazz. Several years ago, this writer read an article which cited Threadgill's fascination with architecture: a notion that seemingly serves as a motivating factor for some of his musical applications. So, with his first recordings in five years, Threadgill's latest concurrent releases are divided into two separate performing factions: the acoustic based sextet ZOOID and the 2/5ths electric outfit Make A Move.

Up Popped The Two Lips represents Threadgill's ZOOID aggregation as the saxophonist's hybrid - strings, woodwinds, tuba ensemble, and oud (performed by Tarik Benbrahim) - features some of the paradigms witnessed on several of his 80's and early 90's recordings. Here, tubaist Jose Davila firms down the bottom end via pumping lower register tones and resonant choruses. On the opener, "Tickled Pink," Threadgill's somewhat whimsical and at times probing flute lines ride atop a loping, odd-metered pulse. Acoustic guitarist Liberty Ellman provides a bit of discordant contrast with nimbly plucked notes as the band injects a quasi parade type motif amid linear developments. Otherwise, Threadgill's raspy toned and often vertically inclined alto sax work is prominently exhibited on this effort, while his compositions move about in geometrically opposed sequences. Moreover, the quintet pursues dirge like progressions and densely complex patterns on the piece titled "Did You See That." Besides, it is a joy to delve into the band's multidirectional evolutionary processes.

Threadgill adheres to similar strategies with his Make A Move unit, again featuring drummer Dafnis Prieto along with the leader's long time musical associates, guitarist Brandon Ross, and bassist Stomu Takeishi. Meanwhile, vibraphonist Bryan Carrott consummates the divergent tonal palate with his rapid flurries and multi-layered voicings. The group explores variegated motifs, led by Threadgill's intensive flute and alto sax performances, whereas Takeishi's animated bass lines and Prieto's intricately developed polyrhythms only enhance the outfit's climactic structures. However, the musicians also roam into free jazz territory during "Where Coconuts Fall." With this piece, Prieto and Takeishi sculpt swarming rhythmic patterns against electric guitarist Brandon Ross' blistering attack. Hence a distinct sense of drama prevails as Threadgill remerges with extended single notes, serving as a buttress for Ross' energetic excursions while the band's feverish pace continues on the tumultuous burner "Shake It Off."

Henry Threadgill's importance to modern jazz cannot be denied, as there are few composers who possess such a distinguishable methodology to music in general. The artist along with a select few is inadvertently signaling in a new golden age of jazz-based fundamentals and thought processes, as this unfolding saga continually ascends to loftier heights.


Track Listing: Up Popped The Two Lips - Track listing: 1.Tickled Pink 2.Dark Black 3.Look 4.Around My Goose 5.Calm Down 6.Did You See That 7.Do The Needful

Everybody

Personnel: Henry Threadgill: alto sax and flute

Title: Up Popped The Two Lips & Everybody's Mouth's A Book | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Pi Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Strong Tea" CD/LP/Track Review Strong Tea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by John Sharpe
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "ScratchBop" CD/LP/Track Review ScratchBop
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 28, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.