Arthur Jones had one of the warmer and more romantic styles in "energy music," making this, his debut as a leader, a highly enjoyable set. While the late-'60s avant-garde jazz scene is typically associated with heated and furious solo flights, Jones managed to fuse his love of older bop and blues players with the prevalent tendencies of the day. In this way, Jones was as adept at caressing a ballad as he was at shredding apart a fast one. Both of these sides are in evidence -- quite literally -- on this disc. The searing "C.R.M." opens the session with a relentless frenzy of notes; cutting and slashing everything in it's path. It is one of four Jones originals. The evocative and gritty ballad "Sad Eyes" begins the second on a much different note. This piece as well as the opening bars of the album's closer, "Brother B," provide a wonderful example of an avant-garde player digging into his blues roots. Where Archie Shepp incorporated a soulful Ben Webster swagger into the New Thing, Jones applies the style of another elder statesman, particularly that of Johnny Hodges. The result is also reminiscent of Ornette Coleman's mid-'60s trio sessions with David Izenzon and Charles Moffett, only Jones had the tendency to employ more squeaks and growls than did Coleman. Bassist Beb Guerin and drummer Claude Delcloo round out the trio and both are given a good amount of solo/duet time on each side's opener. Scorpio was recorded only a month after the trio supported Jacques Coursil on his first Actuel date, the quartet session, Way Ahead. This is a very warm and firmly rooted free jazz record. Highly recommended. AMG.
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