Thursday, May 14, 2020

Broken Shadows - Tower Tapes #2 (Jazzclub Ferrara, 2020)

Broken Shadows was originally an Ornette Coleman composition and the name of an album put out by Columbia, issuing previously unreleased material from the sessions that produced the epic Science Fiction LP, all of which later captured in The Complete Science Fiction Sessions. Taking this as their band name is a bold move, but considering that they are some of the best players on the modern jazz scene, the payoff is worth it. Consisting of Tim Berne on alto saxophone, Chris Speed on tenor saxophone, Reid Anderson on bass and Dave King on drums, the band has the firepower and the flexability to follow their muse however they choose. Inspired by the music of Coleman, Dewey Redman and Julius Hemphill the group began playing concerts in Brooklyn and eventually recorded a self titled debut album for the elite vinyl only subscription service which retails for $400. With the Covid-19 nightmare pushing all bands off the road and looking for alternate sources of income, Jazz Club Ferrara dipped into their recorded archives to create The Tower Tapes, sets of live recordings where the proceeds from sales will be equally donated to the musicians involved and to proprietor. The Broken Shadows performance consists of two generous sets recorded on February 1, 2020 clearly demonstrating that this is an important band whose music should be documented for all to hear. The music is adventurous and exciting, stringing themes together and using them as springboards for fascinating passages of collective improvisation makes this group sound like a true successor to the early seventies era Ornette Coleman band. The saxophones work in tandem beautifully as well, with Speed's lighter tenor saxophone tone an excellent foil for Berne's more tart alto as they bob and weave through the thematic sections and improvisations. Anderson and King are two thirds of the mighty Bad Plus and have been playing together for decades, bringing that unique sense of rhythm and structure to this album with Anderson especially featured on several excellent bass solos. This was an very good album and is highly recommended, each one of these musicians is busy with other groups, but hopefully we will hear more from them soon. Broken Shadows - The Tower Tapes #2 Jazzclubferrara Bandcamp

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