Press enter after choosing selection

The Arista Freedom Series

The Arista Freedom Series image
Parent Issue
OCR Text

Cecil Taylor: Live at the Cafe Monmartre Ted Curson: Tears For Dolphy Hampton Hawes: Live at the Monmartre Andrew HUI: Live at Montreaux (Solo Piano) Marión Brown: Duets witli Leo Smith and Elliotl Schwartz New York Mary : New York Mary What glorious bounty doth the lord provide in springtime! I don't mean flowers and grasshoppers and other commonplace occurrences of nature, but Ted Curson, Hampton Hawes, Cecil Taylor, et al. Praise be to The Man for these artists and tor Arista Records who make their acquisition possible. These six releases are part of' the AristaFreedom line, a series which includes the aforementioned artists as well as Albert Ayler, Kotand Hanna, Archie Shepp, Mal Waldron, Stanley Cowell and others. Söme of the albums are re-releases of hard-to-find dates and others are recently recorded tor Arista. All in all, it is a valuable cross-section of modern music that has usually suffered from underexposure. Cecil Taylor's offering, Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come, recorded live at the Cafe Monmartre in Copenhagen in 1962, is l'ull to the brim with the complexity and sometimes stirring genius of his music. If Taylor's music is forbidding and inaccessible to inany, it is not because he is concocting arbitrary and senseless forms. He says of' his own music in the notes: "There is no music without order-if that music comes trom a man's innards. But that order is not necessarily related to any single criterion of what order should be as imposed from the outside." In other words, the order is Cecü Taylor himself-perhaps gnarled, boisterous or angry, but always true to form. Whether that form results in a music that is communicative and expressive, or one that is too dense and angular to bear, is another question. Nevertheless, this Monmartre date is well worth hearing. Jimmy Lyons is on alto, Sonny Murray is the drummer, and something interesting is always happening. Some of it is sheer, unadulterated outness-rhythmically relentless, hard-edged and furious. Other moments bear great unity and perceptible development, like "What's New." "D Trad, That's What" is a healthy mixture of the two trends and features some very inspired playing. One just can't get around Taylor's talent. Ted Curson's Tears For Dolphy is simply a beautiful 1 album 1 from begin ning to end. Recordedin 1964, this record displays his talent to play inside or out-and always thoughtfully. Ted's career has found him alongside Charlie Mingus, CecU Taylor, Max Roach ana many otiiers. íneivungus N association in 1960 brought him and Eric Dolphy together-most fully for all coneerned. Curson's trumpct is set in a bright and lyrical terrain on "Kassim," a composition with a Dolphylike opening subject over a Latin rhythm laid down ably by drummer Dick Berk. It's i'ollowed by a sassy blues that Ted takes off on iately with double-stopped and eight-dimensional ideas-fat and graspable, almost edible. His music is so joyfully spoken one cannot help but be subdued by it. "Tears for Dolphy" was recorded just months after Eric's untimely and shocking death. It is a direct and heartfelt lament over a great genius and friend. BUI Barron's tenor saxophone solo conveys the wit and personality that Dolphy coaxed from his reeds, while Ted counters with slow and melancholy cries on the trumpet. It is a hauntingly beautiful memorial and great music as well. Ted Curson writes and plays with feelingand technique-undeniable elements of genius. Hampton llawes is a pianist whose recognition is long overdue by the f cord buying public. Live at the Monmartre, recorded in 1971, isa great ampie oí lus original and engaging stylc. After JFK's executive clemency sprung him trom the can wncre in i exas, Hawes nas Deen flying uphill at increasing speeds. Widely accepted in Europe already, it is hoped this album will find him the audicncc at home that he deserves. His trio is made up of drummer Michael Carvin, a Motown veteran of the late sixtier and Henry l-'ranklin. a talented bassist to be found on any number of L.A.-based jazz recordings. Hawes and Carvin eneage in an extended rhythmic odyssey on "The Camel." Franklin's bass figure remains steady beneath as Hawes feeds his energetic ideas unstoppably. "Little Miss Laurie" shows the lyrical gii'ts that Hawes possesses. It is a light-hearted samba -hat Hawes plays confidently and with unending joy. Thére isn't anything but joy throughout this album, actually. Andrew Hill is also a pianist of great talent and complexity. Live at Montreaux is a solo piano performance rèoorded masterfully in the summer of 1975. Andrew put in long years with Blue Note, recording prolifically with the likes of Joe Henderson, Richard Davis and Roy Haynes. This performance is full of est and shows Hill well-schooled in the various pianistics of modern black music. Monk's presence is undoubtable, both rhythmically and harmonically. Further debts include those to Bud Powell and Lennie Tristano. All this combined in an individual who also possesses great talent to créate spontaneously. The tunes are hard to dissect. They are all so protean that they defy easy definition. There is an entire spectrum of engaging and delightful music here that cannot be denied. Marión Brown Duets with Leo Smith and I lliott Schwartz is an album only sparingly scored, mostly improvised, Marión Brown is certainly a talented altoist, but the setting provided here does nnt use him to his fullest. The rhvthmic dynamics of these improvisations are those of the modern dassical composers Stockhausen, Boulez and Cage. Like their music, this album lacks the terseness and development of older forms. Consequently, the listener must relinqiiish liis attachments to the past and instead "bathe oneself in sound," as Cage expressed it. One must reside in the immediacy and everchangingness of the music. The sides with composer-pianist Schwartz are deeper in texture and vanety than those with trumpeter Smith. Brown's playing can be humorous and circus-like or dark and agonized as well. Schwartz provides a rich rhythmic background, giving birth to moments of great interest. Despite my reservations, this music is seriously and inspirationally conceived. It is ■ surely something people would be interested in if they were given the chance to hear it occasionally. New York Mary is, Lord forgive them, just another jazz-rock routine. It's got no business next to James Brown or Herbie Hancock. The arrangements are in the "funk-junk" bag-dilapidated and twice-used when they shouldn't have ever been thought up in the first place. These , brothersjust ain't my sack of herrlp.