Featuring Collin Walcott – Sitar, Tabla; Jack DeJohnette – Drums; Dave Holland – Upright Bass; John Abercrombie – Guitars
featuring Chick Corea, Anthony Braxton, Bennie Maupin, Andrew Cyrille, etc…
Style: Modern Creative, Avant-Garde Jazz
Vibe: Mysterious, Suspenseful, Nature, Abstract, Surreal, Kinetic, Visceral, Earthy, Swirling, Pastoral (Side A)
Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Sparse, Acoustic, Atonal, Experimental Vocals, Extended Techniques, Dissonant, Percussive, Homemade Instrument
Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz
Vibe: Abstract, Communal, Exploratory, Rootsy
Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Poly-Free Improvisation, Dynamic
Released in 1979 on ECM Records Recorded June, 1978 Format: LP
Released in 1978 on ECM Records Recorded August, 1977 Format: LP
Released in 2018 on ECM Records Recorded July 2017 Format: LP
Released in 1978 on ECM Records Recorded December 1977 Format: LP
Released in 1974 on ECM Records Format: LP
While more cerebral than emotive, this live set is a frenzied demonstration of what four virtuosic musicians sound like when they give in to the intuitive whims of collective improvisation. Even when playing a composition, this quartet will stretch and mutate the melody into every possible pattern without ever playing it directly. The group interplay is often bombastic and can be overwhelming, but thankfully they vary the dynamics through mellower sections, as well as solo and duo pieces.
The German upright bassist and composer is joined by a jazz quartet, cello ensemble, and choir for a colorfully complex album of atmospheric improvisation, progressive structures, and sweeping orchestral arrangements, with occasional segments of groovy fusion or synthesizer spaciness, all draped in the warm, reverbed production ECM albums are known for.
Spacious, Raga-inflected improvisations from Collin Walcott, Don Cherry, and Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos. Walcott has studied sitar directly under Ravi Shankar, and tabla under Alla Rakha, while trumpeter and flutist Don Cherry, after playing regularly with Ornette Coleman, has proceeded to travel around the world to study various musical traditions. Their wide influences come together organically to create meditative and exploratory music. A melodic and atmospheric fusion of airy flutes, watery sitar, hypnotic hammered dulcimer arpeggiations, driving webs of percussion, and bassy throat singing.
I highly recommend this album to fans of the innovative and exploratory period of jazz fusion of the early 70’s, where electric instrumentation, funk rhythms, experimental production techniques, and spacey synthesizers met the improvisation, freedom, and uplifting soul of the spiritual jazz of the 60’s. Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi trilogy, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Weather Report’s first LP are good touchstones, but this album truly offers something unique.
Album Information: Released in 1978 on ECM Records Recorded November 1977 at Talent Studio, Oslo Engineered by Jan Erik Kongshaug Cover by Don Leavitt Produced by Manfred Eicher Format: LP, promo copy Recommended Track: B1 – Ghost Dance
While living in London I had an apartment with a small garden. During he summer around 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, just as the day began, Birds would gather here one by one and sing together, each declaring its freedom in song. It is my wish to share the same spirit with other musicians and communicate it to the people. -Dave Holland
The past, present, and future of jazz converge on this progressive new release from the legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette, who’s played on everything from Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew to albums with Keith Jarrett, Alice Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, and numerous other masters since the late 60?s. Joining him are two descendants of the classic John Coltrane Quartet, Ravi Coltrane on tenor and soprano sax and Matthew Garrison (son of Jimmy Garrison) on electric bass and electronics. Rather than dwell in the shadows of their fathers, these two have already developed their own powerful and unique voices which are welcome additions to the jazz lineage.