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Mitchell, Roscoe (with Craig Taborn / Kikanju Baku): Conversations I (Wide Hive)

The trio of AACM legend Roscoe Mitchell on sax and flute, Craig Taborn on piano, organ and synth, and Kikanju Baku on drums & percussion, in the first of two "conversational" albums of advanced and dynamic improv in a forceful and captivating set of group compositions.

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product information:

UPC: 698873031728

Label: Wide Hive
Catalog ID: WHR031728
Squidco Product Code: 20274

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Wide Hive Records Berkeley, California, on September 13th and 14th, 2013 by Gregory Howe and Jimmy Fontana.


Roscoe Mitchell-saxophones, flutes

Craig Taborn-piano, organ, synthesizer

Kikanju Baku-drums, percussion

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track listing:

1. Knock And Roll 8:20

2. Ride The Wind 7:29

3. Distant Radio Transmission 15:06

4. RUB 4:09

5. Who Dat 6:36

6. Spaltter 4:53

7. Cracked Roses 5:59

8. Outpost Nine Calling 8:58

9. Darse 5:48

10. Last Trane For Clover Five 9:07

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"With Conversations I, Roscoe Mitchell releases his second album as a leader on the Wide Hive label. Teamed up with Craig Taborn on piano, organ and synthesizers and Kikanju Baku (who?!?!) on drums and percussions, Roscoe, at the tender age of 73 delivers again. Roscoe has always used space and silence almost as much as he has sound. A feature of his sound since his AEC days I expected much of the same.

With little pre-release info, and no sound samples to give me any clue as to what to expect, I inserted the cd and excitedly pressed play. Track 1. "Knock And Roll". Instantly came the trademark sound of Roscoe. Sparse and dissonance. Slowly building, Taborn and Baku inserting ideas here and there. Engaging and what I expected. Then around the 1 minute mark, Baku starts to really get going. This led to more from Roscoe, while Taborn interjected notes around the percussion and reeds dance. And then all hell breaks loose. An absolutely unexpected and delightful free-for-all in sound. Bells, horns, drums, and piano exploding from my speakers. For the next 6 minutes I was left breathless. I was actually concerned with getting through the entire album because I had not mentally prepared myself for the onslaught. And suddenly at the 8:16 mark it all stops.

Track 2 starts. "Ride The Wind". And we are back to the Roscoe I've grown accustom to. The rest of Conversations I, plays out as expected with a Roscoe led album. For the next 9 tracks the music bobs and weaves, slowly building to a crescendo of noise at track 9, "Darse" only to lovingly slow and end on the final song "Last Trane To Clover Five".

After the initial shock of "Knock And Roll" the album falls into place and becomes a standard, as if anything Roscoe does is standard, addition to his his ever growing discography. In all, Roscoe once again delivers, Craig Taborn displays his connection with Roscoe, as well as his ability to play the perfect supporting role. The unknown here was Kikanju Baku (literally his face is covered in all images), who I had never heard before. After the opening track it was surprising and pleasant to hear Baku play delicately and in-tune with the rest of the trio. Kikanju Baku should be a force within the free jazz world and I'm looking forward to more of his contributions. His addition made this album stand out to my ears."-Josh Campbell,

Artist Biographies:

"Craig Marvin Taborn (/ˈteɪˌbɔːrn/; born February 20, 1970) is an American pianist, organist, keyboardist and composer. He works solo and in bands, mostly playing various forms of jazz. He started playing piano and Moog synthesizer as an adolescent and was influenced at an early stage by a wide range of music, including by the freedom expressed in recordings of free jazz and contemporary classical music.

While at university, Taborn toured and recorded with jazz saxophonist James Carter. Taborn went on to play with numerous other musicians in electronic and acoustic settings, while also building a reputation as a solo pianist. He has a range of styles, and often adapts his playing to the nature of the instrument and the sounds that he can make it produce. His improvising, particularly for solo piano, often adopts a modular approach, in which he begins with small units of melody and rhythm and then develops them into larger forms and structures.

In 2011, Down Beat magazine chose Taborn as winner of the electric keyboard category, as well as rising star in both the piano and organ categories. By May 2016, Taborn had released six albums under his own name and appeared on more than eighty as a sideman."

-Wikipedia (

Other Releases With These Artists:
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