Thursday, January 08, 2015

Frank Lowe - Out Loud (Triple Point Records, 2014)

American saxophonist Frank Lowe was a musician that slipped through the cracks somewhat in jazz history, scuffling for recording opportunities and gigs and then dying far too young. Originally from Memphis and deeply influenced by the soul and rhythm and blues sounds of the day, he then moved west to San Francisco studying informally with the great alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons. Chewed up by the meat-grinder of the Vietnam War, Lowe surfaced in New York City in the early 1970’s, recording with drummer Rashied Ali and making his debut as a leader with Black Beings on the ESP label in 1973. The music on this two LP set, recorded in 1974, represents what Lowe intended to be his second album. The music was recorded live at Sam Rivers’ Studio Rivbea loft and at the Survival Studio in the company of Joseph Bowie on trombone, William Parker on bass and Steve Reid on drums. The music is strong free jazz, with everybody blowing hard, sometimes losing their way then coming back together – they really had to trust each other to make music in such an open-minded formation. The music that was recorded at the loft and makes up the second record of this set is emblematic of the music, with two sidelong blowouts of music, one untitled, and one appropriately entitled “Whew!” This is a beautifully packaged set, with two very heavy LP’s in a classy looking strong cardboard sleeve and a lengthy booklet of notes and essays by free-jazz authority Ed Hazell. It is an expensive set of music, but for fans of free jazz and the 1970’s loft scene in particular, it is definitely something to consider. Out Loud - Triple Point Records

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