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.
Mitchell, Roscoe (with Craig Taborn / Kikanju Baku)
Label: Wide Hive
Released in: USA
"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, freejazzblog.com
Related Categories of Interest:
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Wide Hive
Catalog ID: WHR031728
Squidco Product Code: 20274
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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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