Movement Incorporated - "Movement Incorporated"
[Anagram Records, www.anagram-records.com]

Scandinavian countries were always kind to new ideas in jazz. Albert Ayler was warmly welcomed in Denmark and Sweden, where he recorded some of his best work. Likewise, Cecil Taylor recorded what turned out to be one of his most ground breaking records ["Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come"] in Denmark. So why should that part of Europe turn their back on the great Don Cherry? Recorded in July 1967, "Movement Incorporated" features a one-off big band headed by none other than Don Cherry. Not to be outdone, he's heading an all-star cast of the cream of the crop of Scandinavian musicians: Bernt Rosengren on tenor and flute, Maffy Falay on trumpet and flute, Brian Trentham on trombone, alto saxophonist Bengt Nordstrom, bassist Torbjorn Hultkrantz, drummers Leif Wennerstrom and Okay Temiz (on one track) and tenor sax-man Tommy Koverhult (once again, only on one track). Lucky for us, Rita Knox had her trusty Revox 36 running when this super-group played that July night at Stockholm's Sadler Salon of the ABF House. Keith Knox makes a claim in the liner notes that "some of the music was more cohesive and gripping than other parts". This may be, but listening to this music in retrospect almost four decades later, all of it sounds fresh and daring. Much of this is not just free-jazz doodling (as the conservative jazz faction would call it). Rather, a lot of it is a game of call a response - between Cherry on trumpet and Maffy Falay on trumpet or Bernt Rosengren on tenor and alto player Bengt Nordstrom. The weird thing is how each of the four long suites (ranging from 7 1 minutes to half an hour) flow smoothly. Whether Cherry is blowing a hailstorm in the upper registers, or whether the collective is imitating an army marching band, or whether they're updating old Swedish folk songs, there is real cohesion and purpose in all they do. Though the tempos and directions of the collective change quite often, the main goal was met. Nine musicians bonded together on stage in Stockholm that one fateful night and their ideas were set free. The movement was born. Nothing could stop them now!

Tom Sekowski


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