A distinctive solo album from legendary New York saxophonist and pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee, playing two extended solo improvisations, one dedicated to the late trumpeter Don Cherry, and one to innovative saxophonist Ornette Coleman.
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF278
Squidco Product Code: 17900
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded at Cankarjev Dom for the 53rd Ljubljana Jazz Festival on June 29th, 2012 by Luis Delgado.
Joe McPhee-pocket trumpet, alto 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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1. Episode One: for Don Cherry 20:44
2. Episode Two: for Ornette Coleman 21:03
sample the album:
"Joe McPhee is a musician of many solo albums (this is the number eight), but each one gives a different view of his art Š either because of the instrumental choices, being the tenor saxophone the most frequent recording option, or because he has something new to add. In this case we can hear him playing the pocket trumpet, nowadays maybe his first tool to improvise, and a secondary reed among several, the alto sax. ThereÕs a reason for this combination: "Sonic Elements" is a tribute to trumpeter extraordinaire Don Cherry, focusing on his period with the iconic alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman. The imitation stops there. A master in his own right, McPhee doesnÕt want to copy them, but to celebrate their music keeping a distance. Even so, three factors of that magical collaboration are retained after 50 years: the song format, the use of the blowing instruments as extended voices, and the blues feeling. ThatÕs right: you can listen to this CD as a homage to early free jazz, but this is really the document of a live performance (in Ljubljana, dating from 2012) committed to the mother-language of African-American music: the blues. And what a fabulous blues record this is!"-Clean Feed
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NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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