A Darker Shade Of Blue
First, the “BY”:
One of the more mysterious figures on the always mysterious label ESP-Disk, Giuseppi Logan was a Philadelphia-born reedman who made only two recordings as a leader and less than a dozen more as a sideman before disappearing entirely. One of the most uncompromisingly “out” free jazz records of its time, this 1964 session features Logan on tenor and alto sax, Pakistani oboe, clarinet, flute, and even bass, backed with a piano-bass-drums trio featuring drummer Milford Graves, the leading free jazz drummer of the New York scene. Graves doubles on tabla, adding the then-unique Indian percussion sound to the chaotic opener, “Tabla Suite.” The other four tracks are slightly more restrained than that wild start, but while pianist Don Pullen and bassist Eddie Gomez occasionally slip into recognizable chord patterns and time signatures (particularly on the almost conventional opening section of the 15-minute “Bleeker Partita”), the completely free playing of Logan and Graves keeps the set firmly in free jazz territory. Detractors have long said that Logan went into free jazz because his technique was poor but, while his tone is occasionally a little weak, his solos never sound random in the manner of an undertrained player. The Giuseppi Logan Quartet is definitely only for the free jazz faithful, but it’s a solid, often fascinating set. “
And the “FOR”:
“Revibing Giuseppi Logan” is a wonderful opportunity to compare improvised music for it’s compositional quality as opposed to its, well, improvisational qualities.Often we assess the quality of a composition by how the creator develops it over the creator’s career or by how other musicians interpret the composition on their own recordings or during the their own live performances. What we have with this recording is the opportunity to listen to several compositions of Logan’s “revibed” by Geordie McDonald and his Toronto-based ensemble – pieces that originally released on the same album! The horn is supplied by one of my absolute favourite improvising musicians – Glen Hall.
Simply put, this recording can proudly stand beside its inspiration. Listen to it. Many times.
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