Drawing together improvisers from the American South - 60's AACM drummer Alvin Fielder hails from Jackson, Mississippi with trombonist Dave Dove and saxophonist Jason Jackson and bassist Damon Smith from Houston - for six dynamic and captivating improvisations.
Fielder / Dove / Jackson / Smith
Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Released in: USA
"From-To-From presents a one-of-a-kind meeting of generations and geography. On the face of things, it might seem like a Southern free music super-group and that would be enough to whet the appetite - septuagenarian drummer Alvin Fielder hails from Jackson, Mississippi and trombonist Dave Dove, saxophonist Jason Jackson and bassist Damon Smith from Houston, a recognized hotbed of art and creative music in a state whose political and cultural struggles are by now all too familiar. Fielder (b. 1935) is an institution in and of himself; a student and historian of modern jazz drumming, he was a member of the AACM in Chicago in the late 1960s before returning to his home state in 1969. Since that time he's co-led the Improvisational Arts Quartet (with saxophonist Kidd Jordan, trumpeter Clyde Kerr, Jr. and bassist London Branch), the Creative Collective (with Jordan, pianist/saxophonist Joel Futterman and bassist William Parker), and worked extensively with Dallas trumpeter Dennis González, Memphis pianist Chris Parker, saxophonists Ike Levin, Andrew Lamb and Mats Gustafsson, and many others.
Max Roach, Kenny Clarke, Ed Blackwell, Billy Higgins, Sunny Murray and Beaver Harris all factor into Fielder's approach - markedly different, one might assume, from his rhythm section partner Damon Smith. Smith (b. 1972) came up on the West Coast before relocating to Houston in 2010; he studied with Lisle Ellis as well as Bertram Turetzky and Peter Kowald. A student of contemporary classical repertoire and European free improvisation, Smith might seem like the antithesis of modern jazz rhythm, but it is the broad-mindedness of both players and the tension between divergent approaches that creates a pulsing sense of swing underneath the horns. Adding Dave Dove on trombone and Jason Jackson on saxophones might bring to mind such lofty 1960s units as the New York Art Quartet or the Archie Shepp-Roswell Rudd Quartet - the latter group Fielder saw at Chicago's Plugged Nickel in 1966, and their drummer Beaver Harris was a crucial influence on allowing him to open up his concept.
Dove has certainly done his fair share of listening to Rudd and European brass exponents, but it is in education and community that Dove's mark is felt in Houston as director of Nameless Sound, which not only presents concerts of improvised music, but also workshops to young Houstonians of varying means. It's a treat to hear him play in such a loose, swinging and free context as this quartet; his compadre Jason Jackson is a young firebrand (alto, tenor and baritone) who came up in the Nameless Sound Youth Ensemble and now works as part of Norwegian bassist-composer Ingebrigt Håker Flaten's group The Young Mothers. Across these six pieces, which range from employing bells and little instruments to raging fracases, one gets a distinctness within this ensemble - clearly drawn from ancestral bebop and free streams, their tempestuousness and feeling are utterly contemporary."-Balance Point Acoustics
• Show Bio for Alvin Fielder
"Alvin Leroy Fielder, Jr. Born: November 23, 1935, Meridian, Mississippi. Drums, Percussion, Composer. Father, Alvin Fielder Sr., studied coronet. Mother played piano and violin; grandmother played piano; mother's brother played clarinet. Brother, William, is Director of Jazz Studies, trumpeter, and trumpet instructor at Rutgers University.
At 13, Alvin Fielder began musical studies by joining Harris Senior High Band in Meridian, Mississippi, under leadership of Carlia "Duke" Otis. Alvin continued studies with Ed Blackwell while in New Orleans studying pharmacy at Xavier U. in 1952-53. After transferring to Texas Southern U. in Houston, TX, he continued course of study with Herb Brockstein as well as private lessons with George "Dude" Brown, Gene Ammons, drummer from Washington, DC, and Clarence Johnston, James Moody's drummer, from Boston, MA, whenever they came through Houston working. Alvin also had informal lessons with Jual Curtis and G.T. Hogan.
From 1954-56, Alvin worked with the "Pluma" Davis sextet, which included Don Wilkerson, Richard "Dicky Boy" Lillie, John Browning, Carl Lott, Cr., and many other Houston jazz luminaries. He backed such artists as Lowell Fulsom, Amos Milburn and other R&B artists with extended engagements in Houston. Alvin also made several studio dates for Duke records. He was also active on Houston jazz scene with Jimmy Harrison Quintet, John Browning quintet, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson sextet.
From 1959 to 1968, Alvin was active in Chicago with: Sun Ra Arkestra 1960-61, Muhal Richard Abrams 1962-63, Roscoe Mitchell 1963-66, Eddie Harris and Kalaparusha 1965, co-op trio with Fred Anderson and Lester Lashley 1967-69. In between, he worked with John Stubblefield, Jack DeJohnette, "Scotty" Holt, Joseph Jarman, and other Chicago jazz musicians. Alvin is a charter member of AACM with Muhal Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson, Malachi Favors, Jodie Christian, Steve McCall, Phil Cohran, Thurman Barker, Ajaramu, Charles Clark, Christopher Gaddy, Freddy Berry, etc.
While in NY in 1962, Alvin played and rehearsed with Ernie Farrow, Bernard McKinney, Ray McKinney, Wilbur Ware, Vincent Pitts, Pat Patrick, George Scott and musicians associated with this era.
Alvin moved back to Mississippi in late 1968 to take over family pharmacy due to father's illness. With John Reese and Black Arts Music Society, Alvin was active in obtaining grants from NEA and Mississippi Arts Commission to bring musicians such as Roscoe Mitchell, John Stubblefield, Malachi Favors, Muhal Richard Abrams, Clifford Jordan and others to Mississippi.
Alvin worked extensively in early 1970s with Joe Jennings, alto saxophonist now in Atlanta, and Edward "Kidd" Jordan, multi-saxophonist from New Orleans, with whom he co-leads the Improvisational Arts quintet. One of the most important new music groups in the South, IAQ has included at various times Clyde Kerr, trumpet; Alvin Thomas, tenor saxophone; London Branch, Elton Herron, basses; Darryl Levine, piano; Kent Jordan, flute. Also worked with Dennis Gonzalez, trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist from Dallas, another leader on the new music scene in Dallas and TX.
Alvin also had a founding role in the nationally-acclaimed Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Jazz Camp in New Orleans, LA. Alvin has been involved with this growing program since it began in 1995.
Recordings include Sound (1967) with Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, No Compromise (1983) with IAQ, The New New Orleans Music (1985) with New Music Jazz for Rounder, and Liquid Magic, Bannar, Namesake (all 1987) and Debenge-Debenge (1988) for Silkheart, (2006) Live at The Blue Monk, and (2004) Resolving Doors, The Joel Futterman, Alvin Fielder, Ike Levin Trio.
Appearances include Lincoln Center, Chicago; NO Jazz & Heritage Festival; Jazz Marathon '82 Festival, Holland; Moers Intl. New Jazz Festival, Germany 1982; Jazz Danes LA Drones Festival, France 1984; Northsea Jazz Festival, Netherlands 1984; Heinekin Jazz Festival, Netherlands 1988; Atlanta and Texas jazz festivals 1989; Festival Intl. de Louisiane 1991."-Alvin Fielder Website (http://www.alvinfielder.com/)
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• Show Bio for Damon Smith
"Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon's explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson's Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra's Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and five great years in Houston, Texas working regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn, Damon will move to the Boston area in the fall of 2016. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians."-Balance Point Acoustic Website (https://www.balancepointacoustics.com/damon-smith/)
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Shipping Weight: 4.00 units
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Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPA015
Squidco Product Code: 18156
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded on February 28th, 2013 at (h)Humid Recorder by Ryan Edwards.
Alvin Fielder-drums, percussion
Jason Jackson-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Damon Smith-double bass
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1. Ut. Dict. 10:21
2. From-to-From 20:49
3. Which Way Is Out? 12:57
4. B,B,B's X 6/8 8:55
5. Goodtime Ffa 3:12
6. Q. D. 6:46