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...

375

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

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
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

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019
Read Inner Rhyme Album Reviews
Inner Rhyme
By Hrayr Attarian
February 17, 2019
Read Yuna Album Reviews
Yuna
By Glenn Astarita
February 17, 2019
Read Places Album Reviews
Places
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 17, 2019
Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019