The Black Saint & Soul Note box series is a way to acquire some amazing and long out of print music at a bargain place. I presented in the past on the blog the boxes with music by Julius Hemphill and David Murray Octet. The Andrew Cyrille box have been in my tracklist almost non-stop for over a month, along with the Miles Davis volume 3 of the bootleg series I wrote about in the previous post. The 7cds in the package can be divided further accordingly to the personnel:
Andrew Cyrille and Maono Quartet
Metamusician's Stomp (1978; Black Saint)
Special People (1981; Soul Note)
Andrew Cyrille - drums, percussion, foot; Ted Daniel - trumpet, flugelhorn, woof flute, foot; Nick DiGeronimo - bass, foot; David S. Ware - tenor saxohone, flute, foot
As soon as "Metamusician's Stomp" starts with its earthy, african groove and joyful chords it's clear why all the musicians are credited with playing "foot" along their respective instruments. You just can't stay still when the melody is dancing around you. Daniel's trumpet thrills are shining but so is the hefty tenor sound by Ware, the round and swift bass played with swag by Di Geronimo and Cyrille's incessant pulse on drums.
Both cds are immense pleasure and joy to listen to and constitute possibly the most accessible recordings David S. Ware ever made (check the lyrical and slowly moving "My Ship" or charming "A Girl Named Rainbow"), his robust, energetic tone and dynamic outbursts seem to be the perfect fit for this quartet whose music is clearly inspired by the african roots of jazz music. Both albums are filled with strong themes, muscular yet graceful playing, sunny sounds, joyful swing and happy thoughts.
still with Ted Daniel
The Navigator (1983; Soul Note)
Andrew Cyrille - percussion; Ted Daniel - trumpet; flugelhorn; Sonelius Smith - piano; Nick DiGeronimo - bass
No David S. Ware on this one, instead we have Sonelius Smith on the piano. The set is an advanced post-bop jazz, with a deeply resonating blues vibe and and late night jam feeling. Smith's piano playing is elegant, impressionistic and very versatile for which the title track is a great example - lyrical at the beginning, sharp and poignant at the end, with a cutting trumpet solo on the top. Daniel fronts the band with panache and poise and the music is stirring nicely, with plenty of going on to keep your interest. A great set of mainstream jazz that should be appreciated on the both sides of the "free or not" barricade. A ballad "So that life can endure...ps. with Love" with romantic piano intro and warm and sweet flugelhorn tune is a charm.
given the length of the text I decided to divide it into two parts, check the next post for the complete overview.