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The trio of Joe McPhee, Lisle Ellis and Paul Plimley in this important '95 reissue, playing music from and for Max Roach in a drum-less trio, a remarkable album!

McPhee, Joe / Lisle, Ellis / Plimley, Paul
Sweet Freedom - Now What?

McPhee, Joe / Lisle, Ellis / Plimley, Paul: Sweet Freedom - Now What? (Hatology)
Label: Hatology    
Released in: Switzerland    

"In 1994, Joe McPhee entered a studio in Zurich, Switzerland and recorded this thoughtful yet chance-taking response to Max Roach's ambitious Freedom Now Suite of 1960. McPhee, who is joined by Lisle Ellis on double bass and Paul Plimley on acoustic piano, could have easily turned Sweet Freedom, Now What? into yet another predictable, cliché-ridden jazz tribute album, but that doesn't happen. McPhee (who is a talented trumpeter but sticks to the tenor sax, soprano sax, and alto clarinet this time) doesn't treat Roach's compositions like museum pieces; instead, he embraces them on his own terms and brings many of his own ideas to the table. In fact, only about half of the songs were actually written or co-written by Roach; original compositions by McPhee, Ellis, and Plimley play a major role in the CD's creative success. Some listeners might be surprised to hear "Garvey's Ghost," "Driva' Man," "Self Portrait," and other Roach pieces played without drums -- after all, Roach was among the most famous drummers to come out of the bebop revolution of the 1940s. But then, the element of surprise is exactly what McPhee is going for on this rewarding, AACM-influenced inside/outside date."-Alex Henderson, All Music

"A Timeless Protest, Updated" 14 years have passed since the recording of Sweet Freedom - Now What? Today the world is a very different and infinitely more dangerous place. The Berlin Wall has fallen only to have new ones rise up in Israel and along the US southern border with Mexico (to name a few). Physical walls separating people (for what ever reasons deemed legitimate) pale before psychological walls caused by economics, politics and wars spanning generations. Civil and human rights fall prey to expediency, caught up in a meat grinder of opinion, while the revolution is being televised in full, bloody and horrific color daily...hourly. Ends justify means with manifesto, bravado and claims of responsibility. The words from Janis Joplin's song: "Me and my Bobby McGee"... Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, give pause for reflection. Still, at the end of the day "TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION", and the question is...NOW WHAT? -Joe McPhee, August 2007

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Price: $16.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 752156060222

Label: Hatology
Catalog ID: 602
Squidco Product Code: 10250

Format: CD
Condition: Sale (New)
Released: 2008
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded by Peter Pfister at Radio Studio DRS Zurich on July 27 and 28, 1994.


Joe McPhee-tenor, soprano saxophones, alto clarinet

Lisle Ellis-double bass

Paul Plimley-piano

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Track Listing:

1. Mendacity (Slow) 4:35

2. Driva' Man 4:21

3. Roost 2 4:27

4. Self Portrait/Lift Every Voice And Sing 9:50

5. Singing With A Sword In My Hand 1:23

6. Roost 1 2:25

7. Garvey's Ghost 12:45

8. Approaching The Smoke That Thunders 4:53

9. Triptych: /Prolepsis 7:54

10. Mendacity (Fast) 6:02

11. A Head Of The Heartbeat 3:38

12. The Persistence Of Rosewood 9:39

13. Roost (Coda) 0:40

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