July 06, 2012
Avant-Garde, Structured Improvisation, Free Jazz

Album Review

No, this isn't a long-lost ESP session despite the label. It's a tape from Rashied Ali's club made in 1974 celebrating both a visit by Frank Wright from his base in Paris, and a dedication to the memory of Albert Ayler. Backing Wright was James Blood Ulmer on guitar, Benny Wilson on bass, and Rashied Ali on drums and they were assembled just for the occasion. It's a blowing session for sure, with everyone getting plenty of solo space, but it's not an all-out firestorm. There's a theme that they return to throughout and Wright comes from a jump blues background and even his outside playing is informed by that. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this recording is hearing how advanced Ulmer's harmolodic playing is at this stage, well before he recorded with Ornette Coleman. He even takes a very unorthodox wah-wah solo at one point. It's certainly a long way from his work with Big John Patton for Blue Note just a few years prior. This is a great, historic session captured in surprisingly excellent sound that we're lucky to have.
Sean Westergaard, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4
  5. Part 5
  6. Part 6