Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Joe McPhee - Nation Time: The Complete Recordings (Corbett v. Dempsey)

What time is it? Nation Time! So begins the clarion call of Joe McPhee’s classic album of the same name. From an album pressed in a very small quantities in an upstate New York town to a four CD boxed set is quite a journey and the music presents McPhee growing in his musical vision over the course of 1969 and 1970. The set consists of a remastered copy of the original album, along with his second LP Black Magic Man (the first album for the influential Hat Hut label) along with a disc of outtakes from the session and a concert recording. There is also a well written booklet with an interview with McPhee along with liner notes from the original LP. The music is quite interesting throughout, McPhee has no problem reaching for the outer regions with blasts of saxophone but he could also navigate calm areas and blow like an rhythm and blues bar-walker if that’s what it took, as seen in the band’s take on James Brown’s “Cold Sweat.” All in all, this was a very well done archival project. Joe McPhee would go on to become a guiding force in modern avant-grade jazz and it is fascinating to hear where it all began. Box Set: Joe McPhee's Nation Time: The Complete Recordings (1969-70)

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