A much-needed reissue of McPhee's 1979 Hat Hut LP documenting his 1977 concert at Salle Ste Croix des Pelletiers, performing 3 original compositions and Monk's "Round Midnight" with incredible skill and inventiveness.
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Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsDcd007
Squidco Product Code: 17118
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded live in Rouen, France on October 11th, 1977 by Claude Robert.
Joe McPhee-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
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• Show Bio for Joe McPhee
"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.
His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.
In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.
In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."-Joe McPhee Website (http://joemcphee.com/bio.html)
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01. Beanstalk 7:06
02. Motian Studies 7:39
03. Variations of a Blue Line 6:33
04: 'Round Midnight 5:05
sample the album:
"Joe McPhee is here on tenor and soprano saxophone.
The 17 minutes opening and leading composition Beanstalk embodies immediately all the paraphernalia of techniques and styles that McPhee can exhibit. You can hear drops of breath streaming through the tubes or hiding below the keys and the holes of the instruments, gentle hammerings, slap tonguing (was it already called this at that time?) and silent fingering on the buttons. The sound is built through rubbings, squeaks and hits until some sudden coherent and eruptive phrasings emerge and disappear. No emotion is left aside and the player can swiftly switch between a pianissimo and an ostinato. Around the eleventh minute mark are remarkable some Theremin-like pitches introducing his peculiar hoarse, almost painful, bass voice. And again we find percussive trills and droning long whispers. It really seems a duet between two sax players more than a solo.
"Motian [Motion] Studies" moves down from vertiginous high pitches towards melody. In many passages you don’t feel the whole as a solo performance because it is easy to imagine a complete orchestra surrounding the saxophone’s voice.
"Variation on a Blue Line (After a Theme For Knox)" is the bluesy third track that evolves in a violent eruption of fast whistles leading us to "‘Round Midnight" by Thelonious Monk, that Joe McPhee interpreters with all the soul he still has in his lungs."-Paolo Casertano, FreeJazzStef
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