The Squid's Ear Magazine


Moondoc, Jemeel Quartet: The Astral Revelations (RogueArt)

Saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc takes his masterful NY quartet of pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist Hilliard Green, and drummer Newman Taylor Baker to perform live at Bimhuis in Amsterdam in 2016, capturing four remarkable improvisations of Moondoc compositions including an extended rendering of "Cosmic Nickelodeon", the band balancing lyricism with intensely creative playing.
 

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Personnel:



Jemeel Moondoc-alto saxophone

Matthew Shipp-piano

Hilliard Greene-double bass

Newman Taylor Baker-drums


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UPC: 3760131270815

Label: RogueArt
Catalog ID: ROG-0081
Squidco Product Code: 25819

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: France
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded live at Bimhuis, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on February 5th, 2016, by Jurre Wieman.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Jemeel Moondoc and his bandmates are masters of the terrifying art of communicating how they feel, an art which, of course, takes both great intelligence and great discipline... A fire burns in Jemeel Moondoc's music and once it was ignited it keeps spreading; it's the flame you can also feel in the playing of Matthew Shipp, Hilliard Greene, and Newman Taylor Baker. This quartet's music is never easy, but it's always truthful."-Ed Hazel, liner notes


Artist Biographies

"Jemeel Moondoc (August 5, 1946 – August 29, 2021) was a jazz saxophonist who played alto saxophone. He was a proponent of a highly improvisational style.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and studied clarinet and piano before settling on saxophone at sixteen. He became interested in jazz largely due to Cecil Taylor and at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he was a student of Taylor's. After that he moved to New York City, where he founded "Ensemble Muntu" with William Parker, Roy Campbell, Jr., and Rashid Bakr. The group also had its own Muntu record label, but eventually faced financial difficulties. In 1984, he formed the Jus Grew Orchestra, which secured a residency at the Neither/Nor club in the Lower East Side. He worked with Parker again in 1998's album, New World Pygmies.

He died in August 2021, at the age of 75 from the effects of sickle cell anemia."



From the biography entry of JemeelMoondoc.com, the website currently inactive:

"It was Cecil Taylor who brought the young JEMEEL MOONDOC into modern jazz, and Jemeel has remained a devoted disciple ever since. Moondoc studied with Cecil Taylor and played in his Black Music Ensemble at Antioch College in 1970 - 1971, becoming a featured soloist. Moondoc's own early groups, the Ensemble Muntu, which included Arthur Williams, Mark Hennen, Roy Campbell Jr. William Parker, Rashid Bakr, et al, was very much in the Taylor mold, but Moondoc remained open to other influences as well; the recent release of a three-CD box set, The Muntu Recordings, (NoBusiness Records NBCD 7-8-9) chronicles the first recordings and performances of Jemeel Moondoc and Muntu during the New York loft jazz scene. (see http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD27/PoD27Muntu.html)

In the 1980's Moondoc made three recordings for Soul Note Records including Judy's Bounce with Ed Blackwell and Fred Hopkins. This recording in particular gave Moondoc recognition as an innovative improviser and composer; his playing style sits somewhere between Ornette's country wail and Jimmy Lyons street corner preaching. In 1983 Moondoc formed the Jus Grew Orchestra, a group of improvisers that included Roy Campbell Jr. Bern Nix, Zane Massey, Steve Swell, Codaryl Moffett, Nathan Breedlove, John Voigt and others. Moondoc composed extensively, understanding, as did Mingus and Ellington, that t he strength and power of composition lies with the individual and unique talents of the orchestra members, he also use a technique called 'conduction' which is an improvisational technique were the conductor can guide the entire group through unwritten passages. At one point for about a year and a half during 1983 and 1984 Jemeel Moondoc and Jus Grew Orchestra performed every Thursday night at the Neither-Nor bookstore on East 5th Street. The Orchestra also did stints at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and First on First, with intermittent performances at the Fez. The Jus Grew Orchestra made two live CD performances - Spirit House [Eremite, 2000], recorded at UMASS at its Magic Triangle Jazz Series, and Live at the Vision Festival [Ayler, 2002].

Between 1985 and 1996 Jemeel Moondoc could not secure a recording date. "There was a lack of interest in recording so-called free jazz at the time", recalls Moondoc. "I remember thinking that the whole music scene was going downhill, I was still playing, I just didn't record, it didn't really bother me because I knew I was going to get the opportunity to record again".

In 1995 Moondoc began a recording relationship with the now renowned Eremite Records label (eremite.com/eremite); between 1996 and 2002 he recorded several records on Eremite. The most acclaimed is Revolt of the Negro Lawn Jockeys 2001. This recording "shows a musician capable of drawing together the post-bop linage that includes Jackie McClean and Charles Mingus, and the free-jazz energy music tradition of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor into one grand swinging synthesis", writes Ed Hazell in the liner notes. "Any quintet lineup featuring alto sax, vibes, bass and drums inevitably invites comparison with Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch. Hard act to follow, but Jemeel Moondoc can hold his head up high. Those who take perverse pleasure in announcing the death of jazz in all its forms, should be strapped to a table and forced to listen to this 47-minute set until their ears bleed". - Dan Warburton, Paiisiantransatlantic.com . Jemeel Moondoc's "unorthodoxies are deeply rooted in the knowledge of and a profound feeling for his craft. His heavily vocalized sound on alto combines the sharp edge of Jackie McLean and a gentleness of tone reminiscent of Joe Henderson. He manipulates timbre as expressively as Albert Ayler. The vivid animation and emotionalism of his playing again recall Ayler , along with another of Black Musuc's great exponents, the South African musician Dudu Pukwana". But "Moondoc's rhythmic concept, delivery, and sense of space are completely unique; his phrases slip and wobble prankishly, forming impossible oblique shapes, while somehow holding to a melodic line". "Moondoc gives everything he does an old-world, future-world, other-word plurality. He is one of the most singular players in music, and one of the most eloquent and communicative storytellers", explains Michael Ehlers of Eremite Records.

Moondoc is currently associated with the newly formed Relative Pitch Records, his newly released CD, Two 2012, is an intriguing duo dialogue between Connie Crothers and Moondoc, "the program finds the two players engaging in an off-the-cuff improvisations - the takeaway from this intimate series of duets is that Crothers and Moondoc are kindred souls - not the sort who traffic in cheap musical melodrama - the emotional reach in their interactions is real." (Derek Taylor - Dusted Magazine). Moondoc's newest release The Zookeeper's House 2014, has started to gain some critical acclaim. "Alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc has been keeping the faith in a post-free-jazz mindset for many years, working with bassist William Parker and others on the adventuresome avant-jazz fringes. He continues his progression with The Zookeeper's House, The new five-track set, with different groupings and musical angles, captures a distinctly live vibrancy and in-the-moment vulnerability in the studio. On the opening track, Moondoc is joined by sensitive foil Matthew Shipp on piano, bassist Hilliard Green and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, laying out the rumbling ruminations for Moondoc's six note, Albert Ayler-esque theme, played with brittle fervor by the saxophonist. Structure yields to abandon, and Moondoc's toothy, sharp-toned burst, angular fragments and sense of space alight, with empathetic help from his allies. On "Little Blue Elvira," a kind of ambling, slap-happy horn trio-with trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr. (who died a few months after this session, and to whom the album is dedicated) and trombonist Steve Swell joining the leader in unison-conjures up a Mingus vibe. Loose essences of Coltrane (or the Coltranes) are worked into the album's fabric with Alice Coltrane's "Ptah The El Daoud," another chord-less setting with Swell and Campbell, and the aptly named "One For Monk & Trane." "For The Love Of Cindy," with only drums, bass and the saxophonist's poetically embracing space, ends the album on an airy note, with a bittersweet ambiance vaguely redolent of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," but less lonely. With The Zookeeper's House; Moondoc returns-and-continues-a bit deeper and wiser". Josef Woodard-Downbeat Magizine October 2014"

-Wikipedia (https://www.jemeelmoondoc.com/biohttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jemeel_Moondocgraphy)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Matthew Shipp was born December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware. He started piano at 5 years old with the regular piano lessons most kids have experienced. He fell in love with jazz at 12 years old. After moving to New York in 1984 he quickly became one of the leading lights in the New York jazz scene. He was a sideman in the David S. Ware quartet and also for Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory before making the decision to concentrate on his own music.

Mr Shipp has reached the holy grail of jazz in that he possesses a unique style on his instrument that is all of his own- and he's one of the few in jazz that can say so. Mr. Shipp has recorded a lot of albums with many labels but his 2 most enduring relationships have been with two labels. In the 1990s he recorded a number of chamber jazz cds with Hatology, a group of cds that charted a new course for jazz that, to this day, the jazz world has not realized. In the 2000s Mr Shipp has been curator and director of the label Thirsty Ear's "Blue Series" and has also recorded for them. In this collection of recordings he has generated a whole body of work that is visionary, far reaching and many faceted."

-Matthew Shipp Website (http://www.matthewshipp.com/bio.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Hilliard Greene has been studying music for more than 30 years and has been playing professionally over twenty. His emphasis is in classical, jazz, rock, blues, R&B, Tango as well as the music of other continents and US regions, and solo performances.

Greene studied at the University of Northern Iowa and at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been teaching private students and classes for over 25 years. He is currently a faculty member at the Bass Collective in New York City. He continues to teach privately and to do workshops and master classes in upright and electric bass for both children and adults.

He performs widely in the New York City area: recitals, nightclubs, concert halls (including Carnegie Hall), recording studios, radio and television. Also performs in major cities throughout the United States, Canada, Europe east and west, Asia, the West Indies, and South America.Greene performed and recorded with Jimmy Scott for 20+ years, serving as his Musical Director from 1995 to 2013. Greene was also Cecil Taylor's Concert Master for his group "Phtongos". He was in residence at Minton's a.k.a. legendary Minton's Playhouse as the house bassist.

Greene works / worked with Rashied Ali, Barry Altschul, Lucian Ban, Billy Bang, Kenny Barron, David Berger, Karl Berger, Cindy Blackman, T.K. Blue, Dougie Bowen, Joanne Brackeen, Oscar Brown Jr., Uri Caine, Roy Campbell, Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Skin, Daniel Carter, Carla Cook, Akua Dixon, Dave Douglas, John Esposito, Bobby Few, Erik Friedlander, Camille Gainer, Eddie Gale, Charles Gayle, Eddie Gladden, Electric Symphony, Alex Harding, George Haslam, Jon Hendricks, John Hicks, Jason Kao Hwang, The Inkspots, Yoron Israel, Vijay Iyer, Klaus Kugel, Leroy Jenkins, Howard Johnson, Frank Lacy, Gloria Lynne, Michael Marcus, Sabir Mateen, Jason Moran, Bern Nix, Greg Osby, Jimmy Ponder, Don Pullen, Lenore Raphael, Matana Roberts, Perry Robinson, Josh Roseman, Vanessa Rubin, Nipsy Russell, Warren Smith, Steve Swell, Grady Tate, Jacky Terrasson, Gebhard Ullman, Marlene VerPlanck, Village Vanguard Orchestra, Petras Vysniauskas, Jack Walrath, Bobby Watson, Mars Williams...

Hilliard Greene has recently formed The In&Out Band, a trio using jazz standards as a vehicle for free improvisation. Also, he is co-leader of the classical crossover ensemble ZigZag Quartet. He produced three CD's with his own ensemble The Jazz Expressions, a solo bass CD entitled "Alone", and co-produced self-titled ZigZag Quartet CD."

-Hilliard Greene Website (http://hilliardgreene.com/about/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Newman Taylor Baker is a drummer best known for Singin' Drums, his exploration of the washboard, and his work with musicians Henry Threadgill, Billy Bang, Henry Grimes, Leroy Jenkins, and Diedre Murray and choreographers Mickey Davidson and Joanne Tucker

Mr.Baker currently performs in the ensembles of Makoto Kuriya, Jemeel Moondoc, Sylwester Ostrowski, Henrique Prince, Cheryl Pyle and Matthew Shipp, among others.

Singin' Drums, his solo drumset project, has also featured collaborations with fellow drummers Horacee Arnold, Steve Berrios, Susie Ibarra. In 2012, Mr. Baker collaborated with his niece, mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker, along with pianist Richard Lewis, on Singin' Drums: Voice and Drum which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.Baker released his premiere solo drum recording, Drum Suite Life, on Innova label in 2013.

For the past five years, Newman T. Baker has been developing creative music for the washboard. He currently performs as a duo with guitarist Marvin Sewell and has recently launched Washboard XT to explore new musical territory in the quartet and quintet setting. Baker has been performing with the Ebony Hillbillies since 2010.

Mr. Baker currently offers clinics and master classes in collaboration with saxophonist Sylwester Ostrowki to music conservatories throughout Poland. With Mickey D and Friends and the Avodah Dance Company, hebrings dance/music residencies and workshops to schools, communities and correctional facilities throughout the U.S.

Newman Taylor Baker has served as peer review panelist for such organizations as American Composer Forum and Chamber Music America."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/newmantaylorbaker)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Cosmic Nickelodeon 17:07

2. Blues For Katie 14:44

3. Here Now, Gone Now 14:17

4. Ornette Gone Bye 7:16

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Top Sellers for 2018 by Customer Sales
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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RogueArt.


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