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In 1996, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Joe McPhee's first solo release, McPhee recorded this remarkable album of solo reeds, pocket cornet, and electronics, using overdubbing to create gripping music including an homage to Miles Davis and unique versions of standards.

McPhee, Joe
As Serious As Your Life [reissue]

McPhee, Joe: As Serious As Your Life [reissue] (Hatology)

Label: Hatology    
Released in: Switzerland    

"For me, 1996 was an important transitional year in which I decided to pursue what I called Project Dream Keeper. The goal, to begin realizing projects which had been shelved for years. One such project was to produce a solo recording in celebration of the 20th anniversary of my first solo release Tenor. With Tenor began a very important solo period which until now has never been documented on CD. Previous LP releases have long been out of print and difficult to find. I sincerely hope this is a new beginning. I wanted to return to the roots of my solo performances."-Joe McPhee

"Taking its title from the classic jazz book by Valerie Wilmer, As Serious as Your Life is a solo recording wherein multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee deeply explores various facets and territories in the music. He begins with a sad, heartfelt tribute on pocket cornet to the late Miles Davis and includes homages to musicians from Sun Ra to Coltrane to Conlon Nancarrow. McPhee freely uses overdubbing, either accompanying himself on various wind instruments or, as on the fascinating version of Gershwin's "The Man I Love," with percolating electronics reminiscent of South African mbira music. His blues-drenched tenor playing on this piece takes it to realms undreamt of by its creator. This foundation in the blues is one of the things separating McPhee from many contemporaries plumbing the freer areas of jazz, and it serves him very well. Few of his peers could pull off the devastating rendition of Coltrane's "After the Rain" that McPhee, on soprano, does here. As Serious as Your Life offers a fairly wide picture of the range of his talents and creative genius, and is arguably the finest of his solo recordings. Highly recommended."-Brian Olewnick, All Music

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Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Recordings featuring brass instruments - trumpets, trombones, tubas, other horns
Solo Artist Recordings
Hat Art
Electronic Forms
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Get additional information at All Music

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Price: $16.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:


Label: Hatology
Catalog ID: 704
Squidco Product Code: 19726

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Mixtery Studio in Trumbull, Connecticut, on May 22nd, 1996 by Matt Szwed.


Joe McPhee-reeds, pocket cornet, piano, electronics

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Track Listing:

1. The Death Of Miles Davis 6:29

2. A Wish In One Hand 6:42

3. Ain't Nothin' But The Blues 5:30

4. As Serious As Your Life 1 9:11

5. Haiku Study 1 4:43

6. Conlon In The Land Of Ra 5:10

7. The Man I Love 6:47

8. Tok 2:27

9. As Serious As Your Life 2 3:21

10. After The Rain 5:26

11. Party Lights 1:03