Classics & Reissues
OK, maybe it's a bit early for that "classics"-assessment, but take a look around and you'll see that this 3CD box, which was released earlier this year by the Lithuanian label No Business, has been getting rave reviews. For the most part it's not coming up with material that has never been released before, but most of it was out of print for a long, long time and worthy of a re-release. NoBusiness combines two albums, the studio recording "First Feeding" (1977) and the live recording "The Evening Of The Blue Men" (1979) and adds another CD with bonus live material, recorded in 1975.
The music on that CD was performed by the core of the band, i.e. the trio of Jemeel Moondoc (alto saxophone), William Parker (bass) and Rashid Bakr (drums). The music is keeping up with the pulse of its time, fitting perfectly into the New York loft scene of the mid-seventies. It was an interesting, but terribly neglected time in jazz. While it's hard to find leftovers from that era, there were several great artists around: Sam Rivers, Henry Threadgill, Steve Reid, Moondoc, etc.
The studio album actually was performed by a quintet, as the trio was joined by Arthur Williams (trumpet) and Mark Hennen (piano). As on the first live recording, it's all about stretching out here, with free interplay and lively dynamics. "The Evening Of The Blue Men" is also divided in only two pieces and played by the trio + trumpeter Roy Campbell. It's fiery improv with one foot in the blues, working on the free jazz of the late sixties and a nice addition to the classic material of the "Wildflowers"-box set.
On top of offering three discs, the box set is also lavishly created, with an extra 115-page book, containing three essays, a history of the jazz loft scene, a discography and a lists of Muntu's performances. It makes it not only an essential release in Moondoc's discography, but also a central document for the legacy of the era, which is terribly under-represented to this day.
If you don't believe us: the terrific website Destination:Out also posted material about this set for your listening pleasure. Do check it out!
Available from Instant Jazz HERE