Amazing music from trombonist George Lewis
– five different albums that each show a different side of his talents! First up is Shadowgraph 5 – a great early Black Saint, and a key example of the way the AACM spirit thrived overseas, thanks to the efforts of labels like this! The work is quite serious and experimental – almost compositional in nature, and definitely heading towards the AACM promise of "Great Black Music" – and other players include Roscoe Mitchell on saxes, Leroy Jenkins on violin, Muhal Richard Abrams on piano, Douglas Ewart on bass clarinet and other reeds, and Abdul Wadud on cello. One track even has Lewis
playing the Moog in addition to trombone and tuba! Imaginary Suite is a duet with Douglas Ewart – and features Lewis
both on trombone and electronics – and even his trombone at times is "electronically modified", making it a really cool-sounding instrument. Ewart plays a bit of percussion – plus bass clarinet and flute – and often hits some electronically-sensitive sounds with his reeds, making the album a really compelling interplay between acoustic and electric elements. Homage to Charlie Parker is hardly the bebop outing you might expect from the title, and instead a set of complicated work that's heavily in the AACM tradition! Side one features "Blues" – an investigation of older blues harmonics, but done in a very freeform, experimental way – with tenor trombone from Lewis
, piano from Anthony Davis, bass clarinet from Doug Ewart, and moog from Richard Teitelbaum. Change Of Season is a killer tribute to the music of Herbie Nichols – played by a committed batch of modernists who are clearly inspired by his genius – including Misha Mengelberg on piano, Steve Lacy on soprano sax, and Han Bennink on drums. The set's completed by Dutch Masters – Lewis
' last album for the label, done with a compelling lineup that includes Misha Mengelberg on piano, Steve Lacy on soprano sax, Ernst Reyseger on bass, and Han Bennink on drums – but in a style that's very different than the previous Change Of Season album.