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McPhee, Joe

Route 84 Quarantine Blues (Black Cross Solo Sessions 2)

McPhee, Joe: Route 84 Quarantine Blues (Black Cross Solo Sessions 2) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

One of Corbett vs. Dempsey's Black Cross Solo Sessions, Joe McPhees approaches his album recorded during pandemic lockdown in his home through tenor sax, voice, water, objects and field recordings, the center of the album a cycle of compositions by Charles Mingus, alongside works by Carla Bley and influences by Joni Mitchell, and a virtual symphony of saxes on the title track.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Joe McPhee-tenor saxophone, voice, water, objects, field recordings


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Includes extensive track-by-track liner notes and a poem by McPhee, with artwork and design by Christopher Wool.

Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsD CD081
Squidco Product Code: 31239

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at the artist's home, in Poughkeepsie, New york, on September 19th to October 1st, 2020.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Joe McPhee's response to the challenge of making a new CD of solo music during COVID was to go at it head on, to address the present in its starkest aspects, to reach for comfort in the music of great composers, and to speak directly to the virus in no uncertain terms. The result is unlike any other of McPhee's many records, a variety show of improvisations, favorite compositions, field recording, multi-tracking, incantation and recitation.

After searching for the right studio-like setting with an ideal sound, but hampered by the restrictions of quarantine, he abandoned such hope and dug out a clothes closet in his Poughkeepsie house, where he could approach the task with an unconventional intimacy. In the dead of night, McPhee played luscious versions of compositions by Carla Bley and Charles Mingus, extrapolating on their melodies, even singing a Joni Mitchell lyric to Mingus's "Goodbye Porkpie Hat."

Elsewhere he plays harrowing tenor saxophone improvisations, a plaintive tone entering his melancholic melodic sensibility. On the title track, McPhee layers a dozen aching blues lines atop a field recording of the namesake highway, and in another piece he discovers an entire drum choir in the noise of dripping water on a tin plate in his sink, something he dedicates to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose death was announced moments before he noticed the environmental sound.

On one of several very short, intense tracks, McPhee literally attempts to reverse the virus by intoning a spell-like chant: "Out, damned bug/Out, damned bug!" "-Corbett Vs. Dempsy


Includes extensive track-by-track liner notes and a poem by McPhee, with artwork and design by Christopher Wool.


This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

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)
4/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. A Reflection On Ida Lupino 6:26

2. A Self Portrait in Three Colors 13:14

3. Route 84 Quarantine Blues 6:53

4. Cuernavaca '79 2:23

5. Goodbye Porky Pig Hat 6:59

6. Be Gone Damn Bug 1:24

7. Forget Paris 1:25

8. Do You Still Love Me? 1:22

9. Improvision For The End Of COVID 1:01

10. Im-Pro-Vi-Sation 3:01

11. Tzedek, Tzedek (For RBG) 5:49

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electroacoustic Composition
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Field Recordings
Objects and Home-made Instruments
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Joe McPhee
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

Search for other titles on the label:
Corbett vs. Dempsey.


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