Chuck Nessa

Roscoe Mitchell tribute to Fred Anderson

50 posts in this topic

Agree with all of the above. I'm only one track in. Sound is breathtakingly good with a full sound from all instruments . Great separation between the quartet allows for close listening. Photos by Lauren Deutsch are excellent. Looking forward to some more extended listening when I get back from work

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Arrived. Will listen as soon as I'm alone in the house. Want the volume level to be realistic.

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I had another listen this morning, at full volume. This is extremely powerful, very well-recorded music. I can almost imagine what it felt like to be there!

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It's interesting to me how varied Roscoe's recent output is. This release is utterly different from recent sessions on Rogue Art, ECM, Widehive. No doubt  those with greater knowledge of his extensive discography will know better, but he seems to be in some sort of purple period. Discs of widely varying style, all of the highest quality with a range of personnel. This release is quite muscular and all the more refreshing for that. Less usual for an artist at this stage in his/her career to keep mixing it up.

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Finally was able to listen at a fitting volume level. Great clarity/intensity of sound, sensitive mixing, bringing out (with no sense of dial twisting) some details in, say, Tomeka Reid's playing that weren't always easy to catch at Constellation. When I hear Roscoe these days, while there's an apparent air of abandon and extremity -- for want of better terms -- I also keep noticing the contradictory (though it's not really contradictory)  diamond-like precision of detail, even at times a kind of calmness, or if not that, utter certainty. One possible example comes after "Ladies in Love" and  the immediately preceding "Hey Fred," which at the very end of Roscoe's solo there seems to have required just about everything physically and otherwise that he can imaginably give, with "Ladies in Love" right in its footsteps and almost as demanding. And then to come up with the encore piece, the compact, swing-in-a-jewel-box feel of "Cermak Road" -- to have executed and conceived this after all that had come before. 

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Very INTENSE music, though not at all imprecise or chaotic. I'll have to live with this recording for a longer time. One listen won't come close to doing it. Roscoe Mitchell, at 74, is a keeper of the flame.

Wonderful photos by Lauren Deutsch and very fine, lucid liner notes by John Litweiler. And Carla Nessa has outdone herself with the design of the booklet. It unfolds beautifully, just as the music does. It's obvious that she gave a great deal of care and attention to it. 

 

Edited by paul secor

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Finally back from Vision Fest - return flight delayed 4 times and finally cancelled. Limited wifi in NYC and it is nice to see the positive reactions to the new disc. Thanks to all.

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This fool and his money have soon parted for a copy of this cd.

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This fool and his money have soon parted for a copy of this cd.

no foolin', you won't regret it...

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Needed to clear some "pending completion" archival mental musical space in order to come at this one as how I would consider personally correct, finally got there today.

Damn, this is some of the most rigorously joyfully detailed sciencerapture music I've heard in some time, especially collectively. There's no "going there", hell, they START there and never come down. Don't look down, don't look back, don't go there, BE THERE. And if you have a REALLY good one, hope that somebody gets the tapes to Chuck Nessa.

This is the kind of music I can die happily knowing that it's been made and that I've heard it. And even better, live happily knowing the same things. And best of all, move ahead in live knowing that it's real, it's all real, so, no excuses.

Tell no lies and you'll not need to believe any.

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Dusty Groove comments on Celebrating Fred Anderson: One of the boldest performances we've heard from Roscoe Mitchell in years – a beautiful live set performed in dedication to the late Fred Anderson – at Chicago's Constellation performance space, a music club that's picked up the torch from Anderson's legendary Velvet Lounge! The sound of the set is wonderful – beautifully recorded, with so much tone and texture, you'd hardly think the setting was a concert – and Mitchell builds his reed passages wonderfully in a quartet that also includes Tomeka Reid on cello, Junius Paul on bass, and Vincent Davis on drums – all players who seem to hit Mitchell's very AACM-centric style of performance for the evening. Tracks are mostly long, and echo some of Anderson's freewheeling spirit on tenor – and Roscoe plays alto, soprano, and sopranino – on tracks that include "Hey Fred", "Velvet Lounge", "Song For Fred Anderson", "Bernice", and "Cermak Road".  © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc.

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I'm telling you man, this is one of those rare, rare records where everything is thee from the first listen, and repeated listenings are not to hear new things, but more like to confirm that everything you heard the first time really was actually there. and it always is.

That much detail of that much high-level thought delivered with that much clarity...that's, like, the pinnacle of all kinds of things. This is no ordinary top-shelf record, this is one of "those" records, at least for me, and there ain't all that many of them to be honest, not in any time, of any music...or that much of it  in anything in life, really. .

 

 

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Image of RM and Chicago music writer Peter Margasak after the concert Sunday night.

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Thanks for sharing! Coincidentally, finally ordered my copy of the CD last night.

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Mr Mitchell looks so dapper. The CD is an intense and rewarding listen

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Bob Rusch writes a column in Cadence called Papatamus covering issues he wants to highlight. He sent me an advance copy today and it includes:

ROSCOE MITCHELL [ss/as/sopranino] is brilliant on CELEBRATING FRED ANDERSON [Nessa Records ncd-37] and we can all be glad that Nessa Records was there to capture him with his quartet [Tomeka Reid-cello, Junius Paul-b, Vincent Davis-drm] on 3/27/15 at Chicago’s Constellation. The occasion was the annual celebration on Fred Anderson’s birthdate and this program [69:25] comprises 2 Anderson originals; the aching beautiful, “Bernice” and “Ladies in love”. There are also 4 Mitchell compositions on the date. There is some ferocious playing from all members of the group, emotive and straight ahead free jazz that exhibits the kind of energy and drive not often heard from Mitchell of late. There are times here when it sounds like the group is going to drive themselves into the ground but at what seems like the last moment one of the four pulls up and turns it over to another. This is one terrific date.

 

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fwiw, I finally worked up the resolve to put it on the shelves today. Everytime I saw it lying around over by the player, it went in, and every time it was over, I would chide myself to put it up, c'mon clutter,  & backlog both building up, lean forward, etc. but no, not until today, and even at that, I make no promises that it won't come back out sooner than later. Gotta get through this EuroMusiPorn Sonny Rollins Village gate thing first (bought it used b/c the tracklist and my legitimately obtained illegitimate copies of the music show that it has a few other things...we'll see).

But for real, man, this thing should be nominated for a Grammy. Life is not fair and Grammys don't mean shit, but let's pretend that it is and that they do, ok? All concerned have had a very real "autumnal" triumph of the most visceral variety, frankly kicking damn near everbody's ass that's in the "game" now. Attention MUST be paid, dammit. Hello reality, wake the fuck up. NOW.

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A Grammy nomination would be good. Also, as someone who was at the concert, the recording captured all of its impact and clarified (without any sense of dial twisting) some details that I didn't quite catch at Constellation.

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Courtesy New York City Jazz Record:

Celebrating Fred Anderson
Roscoe Mitchell Quartet (Nessa)
by Clifford Allen

In a place like Chicago, which has churned out many
significant players over the last century even as it has
played second fiddle to New York, underground
scrappiness is a near-requirement. While some
musicians left for better climes, others hunkered down.
One such example is tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson
(1929-2010), an early AACM member. Anderson’s
music is extremely ‘hard’, which shows up in his
metallic, brittle tone but is also a testament to his
focused determination.
Celebrating Fred Anderson is the latest disc from
saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, a fellow AACM alumnus,
helming a quartet with cellist Tomeka Reid, bassist
Junius Paul and drummer Vincent Davis on a suite of
six pieces, two of which are based on Anderson lines.
Mitchell’s music may appear to be a methodical
extension of Coltrane’s scalar improvisations and
while playing different instruments (Mitchell generally
sticks to alto, soprano and sopranino) and with the
elder Anderson drawing from the bebop of Gene
Ammons and Charlie Parker, their similarities are
more than apparent. That’s not to say that Mitchell
isn’t extraordinarily melodic—hearing his clambering
sopranino on Anderson’s “Ladies in Love” brings out a
quirky delicacy while bass and cello intertwine in a
duet of somber, rugged twirls. When Mitchell reenters
it is with skirling harmonics, often in extremely high
registers that swoop down to the instrument’s lower,
bent reaches while Davis maintains a taut staccato.
One feels the force of air and musculature as the
saxophonist winnows these cycles into incredibly close
values, yet they are explored through a somewhat
laconic rhythm that grants the tune airy, easy measure.
“The Velvet Lounge” is a striking elegy featuring
Reid both unaccompanied and in duet with Davis,
whose concentrated circular patterns are given solo
prominence before Mitchell’s alto bursts out of the
gate. “Hey Fred” is a blistering uptempo number, time
represented skeletally as a platform for velocity and
Mitchell takes full advantage as he switches to soprano,
elongating phrases into angular patterns he then
shortens and recombines, goaded by diving cello
glissandi in breathtaking waves until the quartet
becomes a mass of pure, coruscating sound. The title is
absolutely true and then some.

 
 
 

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Great record, Chuck. Thanks for all your efforts...

Thought I'd relate a bite from my last conversation with Fred in 2010, a few months before he split. A friend and I had dropped into the (new) Velvet and I think Cory Wilkes was playing (could be wrong about that). Fred was at the door and we were chatting. There was some kind of scuffle outside at a nearby take-out place. After coming back inside, I asked Fred what he'd been listening to lately. He answered, "Do you know that record of Sonny Rollins playing Bird?" 

(Said I did.)

His face lit up into a wide smile: "Man, that is really something," he said, "I'm studying and learning from it..."

An 80-year old musical genius (IMO) and he was still studying, still learning. I miss him.

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Scott Yanow reviews the recording in the October issue of the Los Angeles Jazz Scene:

Roscoe Mitchell Quartet
Celebrating Fred Anderson
(Nessa)

      
Like Cecil Taylor and the late Ornette Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, who is now 75, has refused to mellow musically with age. Back
in 1966 his album Sound helped define Chicago avant-garde jazz. As a key member of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago for more than
30 years, Mitchell not only played alto-sax but all types of reed instruments and miscellaneous percussion devices. He helped the
influential band explore what they called “ancient to the future.”
      
Celebrating Fred Anderson finds Mitchell last March at a concert paying tribute to the late saxophonist, who he had known since
the early 1960s. With strong inspiration offered by cellist Tomeka Reid, bassist Junius Paul and drummer Vincent Davis,
Mitchell (on alto, soprano and sopranino saxophones) engages in free improvisations that are often very high-energy, even the
stirring ballads. Four of the pieces are originals while the other two are adaptations of Anderson compositions. Mitchell’s intense
and passionate improvisations have the inventiveness of a 30-year old. The other musicians never let up with bassist Paul in
particular engaging and pushing the saxophonist.
      
Celebrating Fred Anderson is a powerful set of go-for-broke playing that is available from www.nessarecords.com.


 

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Finally picked this up. Fantastic stuff!

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