Monday, December 8, 2014
The Soprano Supreme + Trio Delight + Lee K Sells Out
The use of overdubs brought to mind the "solo" work of Julius Hemphill, in particular his self-released 1977 masterpiece, "Blue Boye", reissued on CD in 1999 on Tim Berne's Screwgun label. The music is totally different - for one, the earlier recording spreads 8 tracks over 2 LPs and CDs (no cut shorter than 8:24) while Mr. Newsome's program runs around 54 minutes (no cut longer than 4:16 and 8 under 1:51). The saxophonist delves into the rich wellspring of the music from the African continent with tracks such as the pair of hypnotic dances "The Obama Song: The Man From Kenya" and "The Snake Charmer of Tangier" (hear below), the funky "Good Golly Miss Mali", and the birdsongs of "Sounds of Somalia" (played in the higher registers of the instrument and sounding like an orchestra of flutes.) He pays tribute to the Falasha community of Ethiopia on "Ethopian Jews" and creates swirling rhythmical lines on "African Nomads." The playfulness of "When The Drum Speaks" and "Nightfall on the Owani Desert" sets the stage for the final track for the dancing sounds of "Highlife", a delightful romp over the "clicking" rhythms.
There are more "experimental" pieces, such as the striking "Dark Continent Dialogues" and the 4-part "Microtonal Nubian Horn" spread around the second half of the program. And, as one listens to these pieces, the sound of fellow soprano master Evan Parker might come to mind, especially the more hypnotic of melody lines such as the one the latter musician recorded on his 2006 Tzadik CD, "Time Lapse."
But, like Julius Hemphill before him and his contemporary Evan Parker, Sam Newsome continues to carve his own pathways through the world of music. Much of the music on "The Straight Horn of Africa: The Path to Liberation" is exhilarating, making one return to this adventure time and again. For more information about the man and his music, go to sopranosaxtalk.blogspot.com. Also, check out this excellent interview with Mr. Newsome from the Wing Walker Music podcast: www.wingwalkermusic.com/2014/12/36-sam-newsome/.
Live gig of the week:
here) and a powerful Criss Cross recording with his septet The New Cuban Express. The Trio plays all sorts of music, from blues to Latin to Cuban to "straight-ahead piano trio music."
The Side Door opens at 7:30 p.m. and the first set starts at 8:30. For more information, go to thesidedoorjazz.com or call 860-434-0886.
firehouse12.com. Can't hurt trying.