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Muhal Richard Abrams: One Line, Two Views

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Muhal Richard Abrams: One Line, Two Views album cover
01
Textures 95
7:11
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02
The Prism 3
9:18
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03
Hydepth
13:35
 
04
Tribute to Julius Hemphill and Don Pullen
4:07
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05
One Line, Two Views
11:56
 
06
11 Over 4
12:02
 
07
Ensemble Song
18:38
 
Album Information
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Total Tracks: 7   Total Length: 76:47

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eMusic Features

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Plug Him In: Comedy, the Electric Saxophone, and Eddie Harris

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

There have been plenty of amusing jazz musicians, from Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller on down, but few as riotously funny as tenor saxophonist Eddie Harris. In 1975 he even put out a comedy record of on-stage chatter, The Reason Why I'm Talking S--t. The opening monologue is a masterpiece of audience alienation, in which he describes what's on the minds of the men and women at that evening's Eddie Harris concert. By the time… more »

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The AACM in Chicago Now: A Few Bold Souls

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

In A Power Stronger Than Itself, George Lewis's book on the AACM we were raving about last month, the original Chicago chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians went through a rough patch after a mid-'70s exodus/brain drain saw many AACM principals moving to New York. They included heavy hitters like Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Lester Bowie and Joseph Jarman, Leroy Jenkins, Chico Freeman and… more »

1

George Lewis & the AACM’s Staying Power

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Finally out, and worth the wait: George Lewis's sprawling book on the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians — the Chicago musicians'cooperative that spawned Lewis, Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Henry Threadgill and many more valued improvisers and composers. Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music is very dense but very readable, filled with fascinating stories, capsule bios and rewarding side trips. Lewis has a gift for explaining abstruse… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Pianist/composer extraordinaire Abrams needs no preface for his singular-minded, forward-thinking music, save that this recording might represent its zenith. Jazz contexts, progressive ideals, improv within deft frameworks — it’s all here. Abrams is accompanied by New Yorkers Mark Feldman (violin), Marty Ehrlich and Patience Higgins (reeds), Tony Cedras (accordion), Anne LeBaron (harp), Eddie Allen (trumpet), Bryan Carrott (vibes), Lindsey Horner (bass), and Reggie Nicholson (drums). The bulk of this program is based on developmental themes. Four of the seven pieces are quite long. The 18 1/2-minute “Ensemble Song” features all group members freely playing percussion and tossing polyphonic snippets of poetry lines under Ehrlich’s elongated alto sax and Cedras’ inquiring accordion. A pure blues piano-trumpet figure concludes this awesome concerto-like piece. The highlight of the recording, “11 over 4,” is a hard bopper, as Abrams’ Mal Waldron-like piano intro lights the fuse on an impressive poly-melody and 12 minutes of Muhal’s best-ever sounds. A similar bop rhythm is used in “Tribute to Julius Hemphill and Don Pullen,” with busy piano and cool accordion representing these fallen jazz princes. The shorter, seven-minute “Textures 95″ is lovely in its construct, with cascading piano and serene violin giving way to accordion and surging saxes. “The Prism 3″ starts with crying horns, boppish lines, and Nicholson’s hyperkinetic drums leading to Allen’s “Tequila”-inflected trumpet solo. The combination of these instruments, and the unique way that Abrams brings them all together, is delightful. This is certainly Abrams’ shining hour — one of many bright moments for a pivotal American icon. – Michael G. Nastos

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