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James Finn-OPENING THE GATES


Monkeyman
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yep, and it's a great record.

Free jazz in the great tradition of COLTRANE/ AYLER.

We have spoken about OPENING THE GATES in the FUNNY RAT thread.

There's two more JAMES FINN to come this summer. One Session with the same musicians on CIMP (Duval, Dickey) & another trio (with Duval & Warren Smith) on CLEAN FEED.

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  • 11 months later...

Yes--there's also a couple of continuations of the "story" of the bullfighter available from James himself. Different lineup, with no bassist but a doubledrummer rhythmsection.

My favourite of his three releases so far (aside from the two self-released things, which I've only just begun to digest) is the CIMP Faith in a Seed. The sound is quite acceptable (for you CIMPophobes out there :) ) & "A Weathered Spirit Resolute" is simply one of the best free jazz tracks I've heard for a long while. Opening the Gates is fascinating but I don't think Dickey's quite the right drummer for the gig--Warren Smith is the one. What do you think Jim?

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Warren Smith, yeah! Good to see that he's still around and playing well.

Finn definitely has great command of the post-Ayler saxophone technical bag, and plays with conviction and sincerity. I'm particularly impressed with his command of what I call "reed notes" (not sure if there's an actual technical term or not) - the notes produced almost entirely by manipularing the pressure on the reed. some people refer to them as "squeaky notes", but that's not an adequate description in my book. Finn is able to manipulate those notes precisely and lyrically, moreso than any saxophonist that I can think of off the top of my head. It's easy to get those notes, less easy to control them, and even less easy to play them lyrically, never mind as lyrically as Finn does.

What I'm waiting to hear is if he's got it in him, technically or personally, to give his improvisations more harmonic movement. Right now, he tends to stay in one zone harmonically from start to finish, if not always on the same piece, within his "workouts" of a particular idea/cell/motif/whatever. On the two CIMP sides I've heard, it's not a "problem" - the passion and command that he does bring is ample reward in and of itself. But over time, I think he's going to need to open his music up some more, or else run the risk of playing the same thing over and over. Just my opinion/personal preference, and only time will tell. But so far, so good.

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  • 3 years later...

Has anyone heard anything about Finn recently? Recently I listened to the Clean Feed release and I am just wondering whether he has been active at all the past couple of years. His website does not seem to have been updated since approximately 2005.

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