Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Billy Bang - Valve No. 10 (Soul Note, 1988)

I was very excited when the Black Saint/Soul Note catalog became available on eMusic, many of the highly recommended albums in the The Penguin Guide to Jazz are from those wonderful Italian labels. This album features Bang on violin, Frank Lowe on tenor saxophone, Sirone on bass and Dennis Charles on drums. The songs here are infused with the spirit of John Coltrane both explicitly with the lengthy version of Coltrane's own "Lonnie's Lament", and implicitly with the original composition "September 23rd" which features a lengthy spoken word track paying tribute to the master. The remaining instrumental tracks are very well played pithy performances - this was Bang's working band at this period and they were all very familiar with each other and played very well together. The sound of the group is alluring - Bang's swooping and sweeping violin combined with the gritty and bluesy cound of Lowe's tenor, and the elastic and ever shifting bass and drums duo of Sirone and Charles make it easy to understand why this album came so highly recommended.
Valve No. 10 -

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