Faruq Z Bey with Northwoods Improvisers —
19 Moons ... CD Entropy Stereo, 2001. Used ...
A live recording that features Bey on tenor and alto – playing with a quartet that includes vibes, bass, drum, and "bone guitar" – plus some guest contra alto clarinet work by Len Bukowski! Tracks are longish and a bit in the spiritual avant mode – and titles include "Moors", "Ayler", "After Death", "Fountain", and "19 Moons". CD
Two albums in one package – both of them featuring excellent work from groundbreaking British reedman Bob Downes! Mixed Bag is nothing like you might expect from its title – because while the set does feature a variety of different sessions from Downes, it's also got a very unified feel – thanks partly to the range of sounds and ideas that Bob expresses in each new tune! The set's easily some of the most compelling work we've ever heard from Downes on record – and features 70s and 80s recordings on a variety of different flutes and woodwinds – some solo, some in the company of other contemporaries, like Ray Russell on guitar and Harry Miller on bass. Most tunes are very open, and quite spiritual in their approach – and titles include "Shriek Out", "Lola", "Jamaican Jump Up", "Borneo Breeze", "Eruption", "The Devil", and "Seashore". CD 2 features a wonderful tribute to departed reedman Faruq Z Bey – written and recorded shortly after Bey's passing in 2012, and featuring Downes playing tenor and a bit of bass flute – on these beautifully poetic solo passages! The piece is relatively short – but it's a great bonus to this package. CD
Really lovely work from avant jazzman Leroy Jenkins – music that's got all the fire and spirit of the AACM in the 70s, and none of the staid modes you might expect from the "chamber jazz" in the title! Jenkins' vision here is really wonderful, and highly tuneful at times – a lot like some of the best music that Billy Bang was putting out during the same period – a great balance of jazz violin modes with some of the more lyrical styles in the avant spectrum! Other players include Spencer Barefield on guitars, Tani Tabbal on percussion, Anthony Holland on alto and soprano sax, and Faruq Z Bey on tenor – and some of the players also vocalize a bit at times, too. Titles include "No Banks River", "Collegno", "A Girl Named Rainbow", "Butter", "Grab The Fab", "For Players Only", and "Through The Ages Jehovah". CD
(Front cover of digipack has a small tear in the corner.)