Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Henry Threadgill - This Brings Us To, Volume 2 (Pi Recordings, 2010)

Coming one year after the highly regarded first volume of this collection, saxophonist, flautist and musical conceptualist Henry Threadgill returns with his band Zooid for another fascinating album of progressive jazz. Along with Threadgill on alto saxophone and flute, Zooid consists of Liberty Ellman on acoustic guitar, Jose Davila on trombone and tuba, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums The band's music is knotty and complicated at times, but flows very well with a unique vision. The bass and drums develop an ever shifting and evolving beat, and Ellman's guitar playing is a driving force in the music, sometimes soloing, sometimes providing musical color, it is a key component in this bands work. It's fun to hear the level of intricacy that the group is able to build up on tracks like "Absolutely Sweet William" where the music develops organically in a natural manner that is never forced. Threadgill is a generous leader offering a lot of space for his bandmates, but he is quite unmistakable in terms of his flute and alto saxophone playing. His swirling flute and tart saxophone are the heart and soul of the recording. This is an excellent follow up to one of the finest album of 2009. Kudos to Pi Recordings for allowing to one of America's most unique musicians to make an excellent album. Anyone interested in progressive jazz will find a lot of music to enjoy here, the music is first rate and the band is to notch. This Brings Us To Volume 2 - amazon.com

Send comments to Tim.