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An organic and rich album of broadly influenced creative jazz from NY cornetist Stephen Haynes, in a quintet extending his trio Parrhesia with guitarist Joe Morris and percussionist Warren Smith, adding bassist William Parker and tuba player Ben Stapp.

Haynes, Stephen Quintet (feat Joe Morris / William Parker / Warren Smith)

Haynes, Stephen Quintet (feat Joe Morris / William Parker / Warren Smith): Pomegranate (New Atlantis)

Label: New Atlantis    
Released in: USA    

"A new offering from cornetist Stephen Haynes. This quintet is an extension of Haynes' lauded trio, Parrhesia, with guitarist Joe Morris and percussionist Warren Smith augmented by bassist William Parker and tubaist Ben Stapp. Pomegranate was conceived as a posthumous dedication to the monumental spirit and influence of trumpeter Bill Dixon, Haynes' longtime (40 years) mentor and collaborator. Bill Dixon left specific instructions with regards to tributes... "If you want to pay tribute to me, you should (be) do (ing) your own work. If you have really paid attention to me, then you will understand that."

From Dixon, Haynes learned much, beginning with how to play the trumpet based upon Dixon's unique technique; unquestionably a moving target, across the years. Haynes had his last lesson with Dixon in 2010, three weeks before his passing. Dixon was a model organizer in the music, and Haynes has picked up and carried Dixon's commitment to redefining artists' working conditions through an emphasis on community and local work.

Pomegranate is fundamentally refreshing listening, deeply imbued with the free-ranging, iconoclastic spirit inherent to Haynes' work - a sensibility/aesthetic central to Dixon's oeuvre. The sound of the ensemble is devoid of the typical trappings of style and genre and defies easy categorization. A bracing, percolating rhythmic foundation shifts like tectonic plates, transmuting, in constant motion; gradually, climactically rumbling into periods of wonderfully rollicking intensity. Haynes' partnership with Joe Morris - musically, and as co-curators of the long-running Improvisations concert series in Hartford, CT where Haynes lives and works - is a steady, grounding singularity throughout the music. The two knit and unfold a rich, endlessly transmuting lexicon, each somehow furthering the expressive orbit of the other in equal measure.

Bill Dixon loved the low end, and he would have dug this instrumentation. It is worth noting that a key part of making the music work - the orchestration, a la Ellington - is in the selection of players. Who is playing the instrument is, perhaps, more important than the instrument itself. This is a stellar ensemble, and the results are alternately propulsive and contemplative, angular and lyrical. The unit finds its footing from the outset, realizing a dynamic, bracing new aesthetic in Free Music."-New Atlantis

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
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Product Information:

UPC: 616892225744

Label: New Atlantis
Catalog ID: NA-CD-015
Squidco Product Code: 20150

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded: March 15 & 16, 2013 Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT Studio & Live (#3 & #4)


Stephen Haynes-cornets

Joe Morris-guitar

Ben Stapp-tuba

William Parker-contra bass violin, sintir, bass shakuhachi

Warren Smith-drums, percussion, marimba

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Track Listing:

1. Sillage 6:11

2. Mangui Fii Reek (I Am Still Here) 9:40

3. Pomegranate 10:17

4. Becoming 17:17

5. Crepuscular 7:16

6. Odysseus (Lashed to the Mast) 9:12