Sunday, November 09, 2014
The five compositions performed on Richard's Tune, (including two takes of Big Alice), illustrate what Stuart Boomer describe in his liner notes as “a lyric historicism, a capacity to invoke the past in the light of the absolute present and presence, drawing at will on the history of jazz and its still potent roots in blues and gospel.” This aspect is evident on the title selection which ranges from the post-Monk piano tradition (some evokes Randy Weston to these ears) and includes a brief dense, percussive segment that mixes with the general lyricism of much of his playing on this. His playing here also illustrates his precise touch.
The longest selection is a dedication to Malcolm X Suite (Sweet) Malcolm (Part : Memories and Gunshots), a number that, with elegance, lyricism and passion, mixes Pullen's gospel and soul roots with percussive free passages for a musical tour de force. It is followed by Big Alice, a bouncy number with a rhythm and blues underpinning. Boomer notes that this was rare sideman original that Mingus would perform with his group and here it is a joyous performance with its almost New Orleans feel . Song Played Backwards is played in reverse of the note sequence that Pullen composed. It is densest and most percussive performance on this rerelease.
Don Pullen passed away in April, 1975 at the age of only 53. Delmark is to be thanked for making Richard’s Song readily available again as it is a buoyant, passionate display of Don Pullen’s piano mastery and marvelous compositions.
I received my review copy from Delmark.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
There is jaunty adaptation of an old William Moore recording, One Way Man, followed by a similarly buoyant rendition of Pick Poor Robin Clean. That was originally waxed by Virginia songster Luke Jordan. Gross adds a mandolin solo and Countryman taking a bass break here. After the call to the dance floor of Virtual Booty Blues, the Delta Swingers perform Charles River Delta Blues, a lovely rendition of William Brown’s Mississippi Blues. This William Brown (solely recorded by Alan Lomax) is a different individual than the Willie Brown of Future Blues who is best known for an association with Son House and Robert Johnson.
|Erin Harpe & Jim Countryman performing at the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation|
I received my review copy from VizzTone. Here are they performing a lovely rendition of Charles River Delta Blues from that same performance. After that is a duet performance of that song by Erin and Jim Countryman at an Archie Edwards Blue Heritage Foundation concert.