Horace Tapscott
The Dark Tree

[hat hut, www.hathut.com]

We can bemoan the under-documented career of the late pianist Horace Tapscott for days, but what good is there in that? Through small batches of sparsely produced records, his work vanished well beneath the radar of jazz community at large. Through his uncompromising style, he accomplished more in his 65 year-old life than most other musicians. This record [now in its third pressing] shows us Tapscott at the height of his prowess. His quartet here is made up of clarinettist John Carter, bassist Cecil McBee and percussionist Andrew Cyrille. Tapscott's expansive style is heard everywhere. Many of the pieces are quite lengthy [in some instances crossing the fifteen minute mark], which gives all players ample room to improvise. The leader allows his pieces space to breathe. His technique on the ivories is heavy-handed one minute [as it is on "The Dark Tree" with its heavy pulsing rhythmic core] but it can also be quite jovial [check out "Bavarian Mist"]. He exudes a synergy with the keys on the piano. He strikes them with a sense of purpose, heavy sense of drama, but at the same time a sense of light-heartedness that is evident throughout this recording. The repetitive patterns are a thing to behold and admire. Cecil McBee takes centre stage on "Lino's Pad". With his finger snapping on the strings, he works up a sweat, while Andrew Cyrille's light brush strokes make for perfect accompaniment. Cyrille is heard once again in the spotlight on "Nyja's Theme", where his sticks work up a tribal rhythmic of a beast that is then carried through by Tapscott. John Carter's piercing clarinet work makes an ideal counter-point to Tapscott's ivory strikes. On "Sandy and Niles" he continually pushes the leader into defensive mode as the two duel out against one another in quite a striking fashion. Every single pore of the record is filled to the brim with artistry of four master musicians who understood the meaning of improvisation, who cherished each other's musical gifts and who never stepped on each other's toes. Here's a glass of cheer to "The Dark Tree" - a timeless record that should be on any serious music collector's shelf.

Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ The Magic Carpathians - Acousmatic Psychogeography
+ Robert Schroeder - New Frequency
+ Namlook XXV - Pearl III
+ Krzysztof Stanisławski - End Of All Things
+ Lonelady - Nerve Up
+ Bomb The Bass - Back To Light
+ Gonjasufi - A Sufi And A Killer
+ Autechre - Oversteps
+ Galactic - Ya- Ka- May
+ Serena Maneesh - No. 2 Abyss In B Minor
+ Hoarfrost & Inner Vision Laboratory - Decline
+ Yarek & Friends - Spirits Of The Dust
+ Radio Massacre International - Time & Motion
+ Przemysław Rudź - Summa Technologiae
+ Vampire Weekend - Contra
+ Namlook XXIV - Pearl II
+ Efterklang - Magic Chairs
+ Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise
+ Gil Scott- Heron - I'm New Here
+ Cold Cave - Love Comes Close
+ Four Tet - There is Love in You
+ Current 93 - Baalstorm, Sing Omega

- - - - - - - - -

+ Katharina Weber - Woven Time - Piano Solo / Jorge Ben - Jorge Ben / The Holly Martins - no. no. yes. no. / Automelodi - Fait ses courses / Noetinger / Doneda / eRikm - Dos D'anes / Opsvik & Jennings - A Dream I Used to Remember / Francesco Giannico - Folkanization / Boutaiba Sghir / Bellemou & Benfissa / Groupe El Azhar / Cheb Zergui - 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground / Hear - 5 Pieces / Various Artists - Marvellous Boy - Calypso from West Africa / Barbara Morgenstern - bm / Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Kim Myhr - Stems and Cages / Christy & Emily - No Rest / Darling - Darling / Pjusk - Sval / Club 8 - The People's Record / Rozenhall - Rozenhall / V/A - Rauschgold - Alec Empire Plays Staubgold / V/A - Bob Blank - The Blank Generation - Blank Tapes NYC 1975-1985 / Yann Novak / Jamie Drouin - +Room-Room / Applehead - I Love CQ / Magik Markers - Balf Quarry / Ken Vandermark / Max Nagl / Clayton Thomas / Wolfgang Reisinger - C.O.D.E. / Eddy Meets Yannah - Fiction Jar / Pink Turtle - Pop in Swing / Stefan Keune / Hans Schneider / Achim Kramer - No Comment / Tim Buckley - Live at the Folklore Center, NYC - March 6, 1967 / Facet - Conscious Mental Field Recordings / Various Artists - Quit Having Fun - Boring Machines Compilation # 1 / Shinkei / Luigi Turra - Yu / Mudboy - Mort Aux Vaches / Various Artists - Jahtarian Dubbers Vol. 2 / Moon & Moon - VII Acts of an Iron King / Gilles Aubry - Berlin Backyards / Velvet Elevator - At the Movies / Various Artists - Vienna Scientists V - The 10th Anniversary / Lean Left - The Ex Guitars meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo - Volume 1 / Ian Hawgood - The Great Allure / Francisco Lopez - Amarok / Origami Arktika - Trollebotn / Roscoe Mitchell - The Solo Concert / The Holmes Brothers - Feed My Soul
>> Horace Tapscott - The Dark Tree
+ Various Artists - Spectra - Guitar in the 21st Century
+ Brotzmann / Nilssen-Love - Wood Cuts / Sven-Ake Johansson / Peter Brotzmann / Alexander von Schlippenbach - Up and Down the Lion - revised
+ Shiggajon - Fire sange i gul og rod / Alberorovesciato - Tigers on acid in the hell of the brushwoods
+ Gesellschaft zur Emanzipation des Samples - Circulations
+ Talibam! - Boogie in the Breeze Blocks
+ My Cat is an Alien & Enore Zaffiri - Through the magnifying glass of tomorrow
+ Robert Henke - Atom / Document
+ Allison Miller - Boom Tic Boom
+ Michael Renkel / Burkhard Beins - Activity Center - Lohn & Brot
+ Martin Baumgartner - Martin Baumgartner's Spielhuus
+ Rothkamm - ALT - 1989-2009
+ Tomasz Stanko Quintet - Dark Eyes
+ A Handful of Dust - Now Gods, Stand Up for Bastards & The Philosophick Mercury
+ Charles Rumback - Two Kinds of Art Thieves
+ Xu Fengxia / Lucas Niggli - Black Lotos
+ V/A - Strike 100
+ Strotter Inst. - Minenhund
+ David Sylvian - Manafon
+ Anthony Braxton - Seven Compositions (Trio) 1989
+ Carol Robinson - Billows