segunda-feira, 22 de abril de 2019

Alan Shorter - Tes Esat 1970

Unfortunately, Alan Shorter didn't get the chance to lead very many sessions. The limited commercial potential of his music -- coupled with a rather unhealthy lifestyle -- limited him to only a couple of titles under his own name and a dozen or so as a sideman. Like perhaps Eric Dolphy or Albert Ayler, though, the dates upon which he only played a supporting role still heavily bear his stylistic stamp. On this, the last of his leader dates, Shorter's compositions employ relatively vague stutter-step heads and then quickly dive right into free improvisation without looking back. What follows is free jazz along the lines of many BYG or ESP releases from the same era. On the album's opener, "Disposition (In Two Parts)," tenor saxophonist Gary Windo in particular lets loose what has to be one of the most "out" solos in recorded music history, hitting tones in the upper register seldom heard on the tenor (or any sax for that matter). Under the pressure of such an extreme embouchure, one gets the feeling that his reed could simply give up and snap across the room at any moment, and that kind of unbridled intensity just might be what makes this record as enjoyable as it is for those with an open ear for the avant-garde. Countering these wilder passages are a number of more personal sections as well, which help break up the lunacy heard especially on side one. Bassist Johnny Dyani, for example, spends much of the second side in conversation with drummer Rene Augustus, and even takes a lengthy piano solo during "Disposition." Both horns sit out for much of this side, providing only sporadic ensemble backing and, consequently, a bit more room for the listener to breathe. While it's not exactly "in like a lion and out like a lamb," the pacing of this record perhaps resembles that of Dave Burrell's Echo, in that once you've endured the storm on side one, the flip is a breeze. AMG.

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