Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers - Ashirai Pattern
Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers - Azuar ' Live at CMU Park Library Auditorium
Griot Galaxy - Live at the D.I.A.
[Entropy Stereo, www.entropystereo.com]
Poet, musician, Griot Galaxy founder Faruq Z. Bey has been busy putting music down to tape recently. These three releases outline his ferocious style and his beastly drive.
The love affair between Northwoods Improvisers and Faruq Z. Bey has bloomed into a multi disc, on-going marriage. 'Ashirai Pattern' is one of the best examples of similar minds sharing their wealth of knowledge and applying it in practice. Northwood Improvisers have been going strong now for a long while, and their warm, organic style of music pulls the listener in from the start [their ASC CDs ' 'Fog and Fire' and 'Spinning' are excellent and are a must for any serious fan of improvised music]. Though Mike Johnston's acoustic bass groundwork is marvellous ' as the rhythm pounds with warm precision and his solos when they appear are always welcome ' it's Mike Gilmore's vibe work that has always pulled me back into their music.
Steady, intricate and adventurous all at once, the vibes seems to just burst
to life under his command. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was
this excited about a vibe player ' ever. Then we get Faruq's wonderful
spicing on the saxes and flute. Sure he can play fast and ferocious solos,
but it's the robustfully gentle [meaning ' gentle but now wimpy] tenor work
that has my ears standing at attention. Some will say this ensemble has not reinvented jazz. Perhaps not. [Then again, how many groups do you know that are brave enough to cover Sun Ra's 'Shadow World' and at the end of the piece be left holding their heads up high!] Whatever the case may be, their soulful, earthly sound guarantees I will return to this record often.
'All music is acoustic' is a claim on 'Auzar', Northwoods Improvisers'
latest CD. This is a claim they had made on every possible occasion in the
past. Definitively, this is a climate they work best in. Without argument,
their warm style lends itself to a purely acoustic environment the best.
'Gemini' is a ferocious way to start off any record. With its blend of
late-Coltrane styling, Mike Carey and Faruq Z. Bey engage in a vicious duel
that lasts most of the piece. It's interesting to hear how Mike Gilmore
tries to slip in his marimba styling beneath this man-made tornado. Though
the mix gets a little bit rough around the edges, you can still catch most
of his attempts. Like a drowning man, Gilmore's haunting vibes and marimba
work make an excellent effort and in the end survive the weathering storm.
The record itself [as any Northwoods Improvisers record] has this driving
rhythm to it, this sense of direction that is just so catchy and infectious.
What also excites me about this particular release is Nick Ashton's
restrained percussion that seems to always provide the right colouring to
the band's palette. Always resolute, always exciting and most of all,
always musically confrontational, 'Azuar' is another fine example of a band
deserving wider recognition.
Criminally under-recorded, Griot Galaxy's catalogue is not exactly bursting at the seems. Having played and recorded with everyone from Sun Ra, to Abdullah Ibrahim and Roscoe Mitchell, it is high time that there be a proper document of this phenomenal band's live sound. 'Live at the D.I.A.' gives us a complete performance from the band's peak in 1983, and as always, the band delivers the goods. The fiery sound of Faruq Z. Bey's horn is ever present. There are peaks and then there are peaks and when the three horn line-up ' Faruq Z. Bey, Anthony Holland and David McMurray ' go on a tangent, you know it's a mighty high hill they just climbed. Ferocious
blowing from all three makes most of the pieces here real gems. But Griot
Galaxy is more than just a ferocious horn-blowing band. They're actually
heavy on percussion, which along with Tani Tabbal's first-rate percussive
mastery; the band also enlisted the help of Marz Society [Sadiq Bey, Fahali
Igbo and Tani Tabbal]. It's only a shame that their infectious heavy rhythm
stunts are only heard on one piece. Their takes on Sun Ra's 'Spectrum' and
'Shadow World' are intense and memorable. [In fact, I can't think of a
better ensemble to be covering Sun Ra's work.] Simply put, this is some of
the most authentic music for a plastic world.
+ Yunx - In The Heat Of The Night
+ Wolfram - Thinking Dust
+ Wieloryb - Voice Tract Droga głosu
+ The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
+ Tocotronic - Pure Vernunft Darf Niemals Siegen
+ John Tejada & Arian Leviste - Back To Basics
+ Repair - Convenient Arrangements
+ Portable - Version
+ Savas Pascalidis - Hounted House
+ Northern Lite - Temper
+ Monne Automne - Teco
+ Meat Beat Manifesto - At The Center
+ Michael Manning - Public
+ Kosmetyki Mrs Pinki - KMP Vol. 1
+ Korsakow - Ears
+ Kemi & Amox - Poison Ivy
+ Ferenc - Fraximal
+ Echo Depth Finders - The City Of The Dolls
+ Jack Dangers - Loudness Clarifies/Electronic Music From Tapelab
+ Jack Dangers - Forbidden Planet Explored
+ Crossover - Cryptic And Dire Sallow Faced Hoods Blast Off Oblivion
+ Bus - Feelin' Dank
+ Bronnt Industries Kapital - Virtute Et Industria
+ Kevin Blechdom - Eat My Heart Out
+ Joey Beltram - Live At Womb 02
+ Ammon Contact - New Birth
+ Cisco Ferreira AKA The Advent - T.R.I.N.I.T.Y.
+ 15 Minut Projekt - Live In Punkt + Suplement
+ Ot-Vinta - Darma ja najwsia cybuli
+ Bożyczi - Kotyłasia, oj jasna zoria z nieba
+ Slough Feg - Atavism
+ Das Scheit - Superbitch
+ Elwing - War
+ Six Organs of Admittance - The Manifestation
+ Cul De Sac & Damo Suzuki - Abhayamudra
+ Erg - Nefryt vs Malachit
+ Tatsuya Yoshida / Kazuhisa Uchihashi - Hercules Icy Club
+ Faun Fables - Mother Twilight
- - - - - - - - -
+ Jason Ajemian - Who Cares How Long You Sink
+ Various Artists - Melodic Today
+ William Basinski - Melancholia; Water Music; Water Music II
+ Borah Bergman / Lol Coxhill / Paul Hession - Acts of Love
+ Mise En Abyme - Jesquibel; Brad Adkins - Big Red
+ Alvin Curran - Toto Angelica
>> Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers - Ashirai Pattern; Azuar' Live at CMU Park Library Auditorium; Griot Galaxy - Live at the D.I.A.
+ Alex Keller / Meri von Kleinsmid - Searching for the inverse square; Meri von Kleinsmid; Ex Vivo
+ Jacen Solo - Virgo; Michael Manning- Public; Yunx - In the Heat of the Night
+ Rainer Lericolais - Reader's Digest; Musique du film Les Enfants Gates
+ The Magic Carpathians Project - Sonic Suicide - Ethnoise # 1
+ Dufus- Ball of Design; Dub Trio - Exploring the Dangers of
+ Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger
+ Anthony Curtis - Book of the Key
+ Sophie Agnel / Olivier Benoit - Rip-Stop
+ Seht - Application Antarctica Download Form; Michel Banabila - Hilarious Expedition; Normal Music - Acid Takes