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Broken Shadows: The Music of Julius Hemphill, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden & Dewey Redman

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Broken Shadows: The Music of Julius Hemphill, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden & Dewey Redman
Reid Anderson, Dave King, Chris Speed and Tim Berne photographed by Eckhart Derschmidt

This is not a Snakeoil recording, but the presence of Tim Berne – together with three other like-minded masters, tenor saxophonist Chris Speed, contrabassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King – means that you will always know that the music you are about to listen to is explosive and memorable. And these musicians do not disappoint. If anything, the surfeit of nuclear energy seems to come as if from an explosion right in the corona of the very sun, which makes interpreting the work of incomparable musicians such as Ornette Coleman, Julius Hemphill, Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden all the more eventful.

Each musician brings debonair virtuosity and an almost insolent effortlessness to the repertoire here. Mr Anderson plays with buoyant and aristocratic grace evocative of Mr Haden who is celebrated on “Song for Ché”. But his fulsome, fat and round notes rumble and growl as the saxophonists explore the three other horn-players being remembered. Mr King’s rippling percussion both anchors and propels the other musicians as they take risks on their individual musical excursions before they return to find the drummer is “always in the pocket” gently nudging them back to the source and the melodic line.

Each of the musicians enunciate this pathbreaking music with fresh ardour, urbanity and lyricism. “Street Woman” sets the pace, and “Dogon A.D.” – with Mr Anderson’s hypnotic, rolling, drunken playng con arco – may be the apogee of this recording.

Track list – 1: Street Woman; 2: Body; 3: Toy Dance; 4: Ecars; 5: Civilisation Day 6: Comme il faut; 7: Dogon A.D.; 8: C.O.D.; 9: Una muy bonita; 10: Song for Ché; 11: Walls-Bridges; 12: Broken Shadows

Personnel – Tim Berne: alto saxophone; Chriss Speed: tenor saxophone; Reid Anderson: contrabass; Dave King: drums.

Released – 2021
Label – Intakt Records [Intakt CD 362]
Runtime – 44:32

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