An early gem from the great Clifford Thornton – maybe his best-known album over the years, thanks to its placement on the post-68 series of French free jazz releases on the BYG/Actuel
label – but a set that's got a much more New York vibe overall, and stands as a key precursor to so many loft jazz recordings of the 70s! The style is very open and organic – not nearly as bombastic as some of the other Actuel
sets of the period – with an earthy energy that really allows the players to come together naturally, collaboratively, and not combatively. The lineup of players shifts from track to track – again echoing some loftish modes – and the lineup includes Thornton on cornet and percussion, with Grachan Moncur on trombone, Archie Shepp on soprano sax, Arthur Jones on alto, Beb Guerin and Earl Freeman on bass, Sunny Murray on drums, and Dave Burrell on piano. Titles include "Pan African Festival", "Brotherhood", and "Ketchaoua" – plus "Speak With Your Echo", a cool track that has Clifford's cornet playing in a spare setting with only 2 basses!
(Original pressing. Vinyl has a small press flaw that clicks a bit on "Speak With Your Echo". Cover has about an inch of fraying on the opening.)