A Darker Shade Of Blue
Here’s another Free Jazz master – the AEC’s Joseph Jarman leading a quartet made up of Geri Allen, Fred Hopkins (from Air) and (fellow AEC member) Famoudou Don Moye.
by Brian Olewnick
Jarman, most widely known as an essential member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, recorded numerous projects under his own name, including this relatively mainstream effort for the small Four Star label, featuring an early recorded appearance by the fine pianist Geri Allen. With the late, great bassist Fred Hopkins on hand, several of the pieces take on an Air-ish quality, especially the dreamy “Love Song for a Rainy Monday” with Jarman on bass flute, which is very reminiscent of some of Henry Threadgill’s beautiful dirges. Two standards are included, Sidney Bechet’s charmingly raffish “Petite Fleur” and Charlie Parker’s “Blues for Alice,” both performed in a straightforward and heartfelt manner. The closing composition is overtly shakuhachi-influenced (presumably also reflecting Jarman’s Buddhist beliefs), with the leader’s finely intoned flute wafting over Allen’s synthesizer produced koto sounds and Hopkins’ deep pluckings. Not necessarily a major effort and certainly not of the revolutionary aspect of his own Song For, Inheritance is still a solid, thoughtful album, and one deserving of a listen by fans of Jarman and the Art Ensemble.
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