Audio CD | Import
When the New York Art Quartet launched in 1965, the collective approach to improvisation in free jazz was still subordinate to whoever might be leading a session. Ornette Coleman's collective performances were his, just as "Ascension" was John Coltrane's show. But John Tchicai, Roswell Rudd, Milford Graves, and Reggie Workman (initially the bass chair was Lewis Worrell's) created something wholly new: a bustling, freewheeling, boisterous mix that saw all members as equal participants. And they dug even deeper into the music when poet Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka) came onboard. Here they are again, 35 years after their 1965 debut, celebrating a reunion that might well outlast their original recordings. Tchicai sounds as full of yearning as ever, Rudd and Graves as jam-packed with ideas that exceed all bounds, and Workman able (as ever) to follow the tide wherever it flows. They begin with Graves's polyrhythmic drumming and chanting then head into blustery playing that supports an increased role for Baraka and gets good drama from the poet's exhortations. The music is glorious, if you love skyward jubilation. Everyone in the band seems to love atmospherics and exultations equally. --Andrew Bartlett
Top Customer Reviews
To be honest, I find this hard to believe. I listened to this album driving home from a night class yesterday evening. I was blown away. Indispensable when you're stranded on an urban island. As for Baraka, it's somewhat fashionable to criticize his poetry as dated, as, in retro.spect, sophmoric. I strongly disagree. His voice was important then, and not a damn thing has changed to make it irrelevant. A beautiful, moving album. Grab it while you can hungry souls.
Please save your hard earned money and stay away from this!