Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Henry Threadgill Zooid - Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp

Composer and musician Henry Threadgill has been getting some much deserved recognition over the past year with the release of two large retrospective boxed sets of his earlier material and the reconvening of his band Zooid to record a new album on Pi Recods where this mercurial composer/musician has hound a supportive home. Zooid features Threadgill on flutes and alto saxophone, Liberty Ellman on acoustic guitar, Jose Davila on trombone and tuba, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums, and Christopher Hoffman on cello. This is an album of knotty compositions and exciting improvisations, and one thing that really impressed me was the intricate nature of the interplay between the musicians and the improvisations. The broad range of colors offered by the music and the complexity of the compositions offer an endless supply of possibilities and the interesting makeup of musicians and instruments keep the album consistently compelling. The lengthy performance “Ambient Pressure Thereby” really bore this conception out with the music moving in waves, never doing the expected, but allowing the musicians to fully create within the moment and bring Threadgill’s vision to fruition. The leader shifts back and forth between flutes and saxophones, developing a signature sound on each instrument. The use of acoustic guitar and acoustic bass along with cello and tuba create a really fascinating sound unlike anything that is being made in jazz today. This was an exciting and original album from one of the neglected masters of the music. Threadgill has long been an iconoclastic trail-setter and this is another example of his unique conception of modern music. Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp -

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