Henry Threadgill: composition; Jason Moran: piano; David Virelles: piano; Roman Filiu: alto saxophone; Curtis MacDonald: alto saxophone; Christopher Hoffman: cello; Jose Davila: tuba; Craig Weinrib: drums.
The veteran and Pulitzer-awarded saxophonist, composer, and bandleader, Henry Threadgill keeps on creating art with a unique voice. This time around, surrounded by a brand new band, he has abdicated to play in order to better sculpt the compositions of this record, a tribute to his late fellow composer, conductor, and longtime friend, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris.
The addition of two pianists instead of guitar, as well as two altoists, gives a different dimension to Threadgill’s layouts.
“Part One” is a 19-minute piece that pretty much follows the leader’s free-form philosophy. After the heartening piano intro, the reeds proceed to a dynamic assault, and the tune leads us to both individual and collective improvisations over the compact and extravagant textures driven by the bass-less rhythm section.
“Part Two” falls in the scope of chamber music, echoing with a devout interaction between cello and tuba. Also, Weinrib doesn’t disappoint when called for a drum solo.
The tones and attitude conveyed in “Part Three” are similar to “Part One”, yet here we have the expansions and contractions of Moran and Virelles’ interplay, which infuse extra colors on an already colorful canvas. The wandering solos from the pair of saxophonists and the mellow tones drawn by Hoffman’s cello are something worthy to indulge in.
After a four-minute piano intro wrapped in dreamlike tones, “Part Four” becomes increasingly dramatic as it moves forward, carrying mournful intonations that seem wanting to say the last goodbye to Morris.
Different sound, same conception, another Threadgill’s respectful signature.
01 – Part One ► 03 – Part Three ► 04 – Part Four