Friday, December 21, 2012

Julius Hemphill - Chile New Yor

Julius Hemphill was a saxophonist and flutist that was very influential of the loft and avant garde scene. Coming out of the same Fort Worth high school that Ornette Coleman did, he moved to New York in the mid-1970’s to participate in the loft scene. He entered into a flurry of activity, recording, teaching and forming the influential and popular World Saxophone Quartet. This album, in collaboration with percussionist Warren Smith, is a fascinating one, consisting of the soundtrack to a “sound installation” in an art gallery which was showing a display of Chilean artwork dealing with the political upheaval in that country. This album consists of seven spontaneous improvisations, three very long and four very short. Everything works quite well, the music is very edgy, as the artwork must have been, but it flows with a lyrical grace. Hemphill drifts between alto and tenor saxophone and flute while Smith plays drums, percussion and vibes. Starting out slowly on “One” the music evokes a vast landscape, before “Two” and “Three,” the remaining long improvisations, develop a more caustic feel, reflecting the political turmoil apparent in the artwork. The final compositions are simple sketches that round out the album that is a unique one where art is used as a starting point for a spontaneous improvisation which is in turn refracted onto artwork and adds another dimension to a multi-faceted presentation. The Complete Remastered Recordings of Julius Hemphill - amazon.com

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