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McPhee, Joe / Paal Nilssen Love: Song for the Big Chief (PNL)

Named for Sunny Murray's 1969 album "Big Chief", the long-runing collaborations of tenor saxophonist & pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love pay tribute to the late drummer Sunny Murray in this concert recording at London's Cafe Oto for a dynamic dialog of free jazz, with two nuanced free improv pieces including a "Fantasy for Lester [Bowie]".
 

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UPC: 7041880997526

Label: PNL
Catalog ID: PNL-046
Squidco Product Code: 28295

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Norway
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Cafe Oto, in London, England on December 9th, 2017, by Shaun Crook.


Personnel:

Joe McPhee-tenor saxophone, pocket trumpet

Paal Nilssen-Love-drums, percussion.

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Artist Biographies:

"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)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Paal Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal's later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast - and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.

The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.

Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work: "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going". His solo album "Sticks and stones" was put out in 2001 on SOFA Rec.

Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what's happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression.

All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet."

-Paal Nilssen-Love Website (http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/biography.php)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Song for the Big Chief (Old Man River) 23:07

2. Knox 13:43

3. A Fantasy for Lester 07:50
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The duo of Paal Nilssen-Love and Joe McPhee has been an on-going adventure in sound for the last 15 years. The two started playing together when McPhee joined The Thing on tour in 2002, and that was the start of numerous collaboration and constellations over the years. Out of those projects the two started performing as a duo, exploring ideas and the kind of immediate dialogue only the duo format allows. The previous release by the duo was the Candy 7xCD box-set in 2015, which documented their developement from 2007 to 2014.

Such a massive document perhaps signaled that it was a last statement, and there has not been any releases from the duo since then, but lack of releases does not equal lack of activity - and with Song for the Big Chief they finally return.

Song for the Big Chief has a special back story to it: On December 9th 2017 the duo was scheduled to play Cafe Oto in London. They day before the concert news came that legendary drummer Sunny Murray had passed away. Murray's importance in the world of music can not be overrated, and for both McPhee and Nilssen-Love Murray had been a huge influence and inspiration, and in the introduction to the concert McPhee made the announcement that tonight's performance would be in honour to the memory of one the great giants of free music. True to Murray's spirit this didn't meaning playing a night of cover tunes, but creating new sounds and pushing the music into the future. Music fans will recognize the title and visual references on the cover to Sunny Murray's classic 1969 album Big Chief"-PNL

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Saxophone & Drummer / Percussionist Duos
Joe McPhee
Paal Nilssen-Love
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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