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  • Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath
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Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath Import


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Audio CD, Import, January 11, 1999
$44.99 $33.99

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Repertoire
  • ASIN: B000025R01
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,668 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mrea
2. Davashes Dream
3. The Bride
4. Andromeda
5. Night Poem
6. Union Special

Editorial Reviews

An album that fuses the influence of African music, jazz-rock, and free improvisation, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath shares affinities with the '70s music of Don Cherry and Miles Davis. Somewhat of a legendary album amongst collectors of British jazz and fusion, the LP was originally released in the '70s and in early 2002 finally became reissued by the Italian label Akarma. Enlisted on the session were the talents of a group of extraordinary musicians from the free jazz, progressive rock, and improvisation scenes. Chris McGregor led the group on piano and African xylophone with Malcolm Griffiths and Nick Evans on trombones, Mongezi Feza on pocket trumpet and Indian flute, Mark Charig on cornet, Harry Beckett on trumpet, and Dudu Pukwana on alto saxophone. Ronnie Beer's tenor saxophone is outstanding, and pitched up against Alan Skidmore's tenor and soprano saxophone, completing a massive horn section, are two bigger names: '70s U.K. jazzman Mike Osborne on alto saxophone and clarinet and John Surman on baritone and soprano saxophone. Brotherhood of Breath created one of the defining recordings of ethno-jazz with this album; with an expansive use of African-inspired melodies, they trace textures which culminate in an ecstatic peak on "Night Poem," the album's 20-minute standout track. Not to forget, the album is driven by the organic pulse of the rhythm section -- bassist Harry Miller and drummer Louis Moholo, no less -- who will be names familiar to fans of British free jazz. This album comes highly recommended to fans of Don Cherry, Afro-beat sounds, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. ~ Skip Jansen, All Music Guide

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark Carlin on March 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
One of the absolute key documents of British jazz (or indeed post-Ornette jazz of any nationality), this is the 1970 Joe Boyd-produced debut album by the big band formed by the exiled South African pianist and composer Chris McGregor. Basically an extension of his working band the Blue Notes (from whose ranks appear trumpeter Mongezi Feza, altoist Dudu Pukwana, tenorman Ronnie Beer and drummer Louis Moholo, with fellow SA expatriate Harry Miller on bass) utilising the finest cutting-edge British players of the time. The sax section is completed by the "SOS" team, i.e. John Surman, Mike Osborne and Alan Skidmore; from the Keith Tippett Group come cornettist Marc Charig and trombonist Nick Evans; and the line-up is completed by trombonist Malcolm Griffiths (from the Mike Westbrook band, as were Miller, Surman and Osborne) and the great West Indian trumpeter Harry Beckett. The opening track, "Mra," is five minutes of insistent riffing and rhythm (used in fact for many years as the theme tune of BBC Radio 3's "Jazz Record Requests") and cries out to be sampled. Wonderful interplay between the different sections, slightly reminscent of Tadd Dameron. The next track "Davashe's Dream" is a bittersweet ballad feature for the simultaneously caressing and slashing alto sax of Pukwana, combining lyricism and pain in a haunting way (there's also a great, slightly sardonic trumpet solo from Feza). More riffing in "The Bride" with Surman's Coltranesque soprano rising above the ensemble and knitting impeccably with the unbeatable Miller/Moholo rhythm team. "Andromeda" is a terrific, light-hearted avant-Basie swing romp with some outrageous playing from Feza and Evans (Wynton Marsalis would hate it!).Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Daniels on July 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I can't imagine anybody not loving this music at first listen. Comparisons to Mingus are very apt, as this music not only slashes, bubbles, sings and rumbles: it also also possesses an elegance that comes right out of Ellington. Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza play magnificently, McGregor was a wonderful composer/arranger/pianist and the band includes extremely accomplished soloists, many of whom are content to play a purely supportive role. This is one of the most beautiful - and most important - big-band jazz albums, period. Get it before it becomes ridiculously expensive again!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This great album by a legendary band has long been unobtainable, vinyl copies change hands at high prices. The music is similar to some of Mingus' work, but with the township jive feel replacing the funky gospel of Mingus. The soloists are 1st rate, Dudu Puckwana and Mongezi Feza stand out. This is passionate music played from the heart by an extraordinary band at its peak. Bravo Chris Mcgregor!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
...and some of this is not excellent. But enough of it is excellent. So I won't be trading this back. I'll be enjoying it. Most of it.
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