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Flaherty, Paul / Randall Colbourne / James Chumley Hunt / Mike Roberson: Borrowed From Children (577 Records)

Describing his music as "freeform", legendary saxophonist Paul Flaherty uses the music of Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, late-period Coltrane, Peter Brötzmann, &c. as the inspiration for this exhilarating live album captured at Willimantic Records, CT with his quartet of Randall Colbourne on drums, James Chumley Hunt on trumpet, and Mike Roberson on electric guitar.

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product information:

Label: 577 Records
Catalog ID: 5843
Squidco Product Code: 29358

Format: CD
Condition: Sale (New)
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Willimantic Records, in Willimantic, Connecticut, on November 30th, 2019, by Gary Higgins.


Paul Flaherty-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone

Randall Colbourne-drums

James Chumley Hunt-trumpet, Conch Shells

Mike Roberson-electric guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Paul Flaherty's total commitment to high-energy free improvisation has kept him deeply buried into the North-East US underground. The alto saxophonist (who later picked up the soprano and tenor sax as well) has been playing privately and self-releasing albums since the late '70s. The increase of interest in free jazz during the 1990s brought him out of his lair, releasing albums on Cadence, Tulpa, Ecstatic Yod, Boxholder, and his own labels (Zaabway, Wet Paint). His highly personal style and brut power can be compared to Peter Brötzmann and Ivo Perelman.

Flaherty was born in Hartford, Connecticut on November 6, 1948. He started to learn the saxophone in school at age 10. He played in school bands for six years and then dropped everything, education and music. His brother's amateur Beatles cover band made him realize that music comes from the heart (passion), not the mind (formal training). At the same time he discovered jazz through the radio and began to improvise over jazz records. He gave his first performance at age 23 and briefly played in John Ciffirelli and Gordon Cohen's bands. But his freeform improv was met with harsh reactions so he retracted to private sessions, looking for the right musicians to play with. In 1978 he cut his first LP In the Midst of Chaos with the group Orange (Barry Greika, Bob Laramie, Glen Peterson). His second album came out for years later and featured two guitarists (Froc Fillipetti and Bill Walach).

The 1980s was not a gentle decade on free improvisers. Besides stints as a street musician, Flaherty kept quiet, supporting himself as a housepainter. But in 1988 he met drummer Randall Colbourne, thanks to a mutual friend. The two hit it off, building a lasting friendship and partnership. Starting in 1989, they released ten albums of frantic improv, as a duet or with musicians like Mike Murray, Richard Downs, Steve Scholz, and Jim Hunt. The first of them, Endangered Species came out on Cadence, which greatly contributed to establish the saxophonist as a player worth keeping an eye on. The late 1990s saw him diversify his entourage. He has cut strong sessions with drummer Chris Corsano (The Hated Music) and trumpeter Greg Kelley (Sannyasi)."

-All Music (

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Randall Colbourne is an American jazz drummer and composer. He is known for the groups Flaherty / Colbourne Duo, Paul Flaherty & Randall Colbourne Quintet, Paul Flaherty/Randall Colbourne Quartet, Paul Flaherty/Randall Colbourne Sextet.

-Discogs (

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James 'Chumly' Hunt is a trumpeter known as a member of the Paul Flaherty & Randall Colbourne Quintet.

-Discogs (

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Mike Roberson is a US guitarist known for his work with free jazz saxophonist Paul Flaherty.

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track listing:

1. Crude Gray Sky 17:23

2. Dark Leaves Linger 16:03

3. Brazen Eyes 14:58

4. An Olde Man Gone 4:53
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The 'freeform music scene' is often a situation where musicians get to improvise together without a lot of prior interactions. But in this case, Paul Flaherty and Randall Colbourne have played together for 32 years. The two artists have collaborated with James Chumley Hunt on and off since the 90s, and with Mike Roberson since 2012.

The live album presented here is the recording of the very first time they got together as a quartet. The music is 'improvised freeform', created without outline or discussion. It draws from all and any musical genres including jazz, rock, blues, classical, noise, marching bands, eastern, and more. Freeform doesn't mean without form, just without a preconceived form. Once the improvisation is finished, the music has taken its form.

Borrowed from Children is a Native American phrase that refers not to inheriting the land from our ancestors, but rather to borrow it from our children. This music has been created in the hope that we will remember this and may this moment of global crisis be a time to meditate on the meaning of this."-577 Records

"The original inspiration for this album comes from the music of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor, soon to be followed by Albert Ayler, the late period of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann and evolution of musicians from these paths, carrying the music on to this day. I began playing freeform in 1972 and have always felt that this is where I belong.

Can you explain free music to those who question its validity? This music has been roundly attacked in the past, and the past is always near. I feel that the essence of freely improvised music is a release to something greater, and hopefully allowing it to transcend the moment. It may be an 'asking' for something to take over. Trust is the key and belief is the path.

Trust where it goes and believe that what's happening is right. Following, listening and becoming totally engaged.

When it works it's a mystical sensation, as unplanned music winds, explodes and recedes into peace and chaos in good unpredictable time. The experience that something else has taken over, and the player has become the listener, is what feels magical. And the belief that musicians can enter these moments together and have the music succeed, makes it seem magical even more so. This can happen in any form of music, but since freeform has no plans or restrictions, it's almost imperative that the players release and get out of the way. Inner artist, or a visitation . . . . that's personal.

I've found over the years that more and more players from different genres have become open to playing this way. Where once the idea had to be explained and musicians had to be coaxed into trying it, the music has survived it's initial critical onslaught and is thriving everywhere. Of course... It's still basically hated music to the general public. But on we go."-Paul Flaherty

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
New in Improvised Music

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