papsrus Posted June 28, 2011 Report Share Posted June 28, 2011 Now Available: Blues and the Empirical Truth; a three CD set; Allen Lowe with Matthew Shipp, Roswell Rudd, Marc Ribot, and Lewis Porter; featuring Ray Suhy $15 shipped in the USA $23 to Europe. (paypal: email@example.com) "Allen Lowe is jazz's ultimate outsider musician" - Francis Davis "Blues and the Empirical Truth" a review by Ken Shimamoto …as a saxophonist, the leader’s playing is exploratory, but with an awareness of tradition, as though he breathed in the entire history of blues and jazz (which I suppose, in a way, he has) and is now blowing it out through the bell of his horn. Lowe burns with incandescent fire on up-tempo numbers, cries the blues a la Ornette on “(Bull Connor Sees) Darkies on the Delta,” flexes his muscles to show off his range and fluidity on “No More Blues (the Sins of the Mother),” and even comes across like one of those freedom-drunk, fire-breathing ‘60s guys on “Pete Brown’s Blues,” “In a Harlem Ashram,” and “One Trane Running.” Lowe’s tunes almost always come with a back story, with titular or musical allusions to jazz and Civil Rights pioneers, Richard Hell, Richard Strauss, the Carter Family, minstrel shows, the Regular Old Baptists – he avers that he listens to nothing but gospel music – Salvation Army bands, an obscure post-Beat poet, and the Velvet Underground, to say nothing of the album’s Oliver Nelson-inspired title. Blues and the Empirical Truth only includes a couple of vocal features. On the slow shuffle “Carnovsky’s Blues/The Whores’ Dance,” the terrifying slavery-days narrative “Cold Bed Blues,” and the ominously relentless “Blood on the Mirror,” engineer Todd Hutchisen intones Lowe’s lyrics like Colonel Bruce Hampton singing from the bottom of the ocean… There’s much to be amazed by in this cornucopia of sounds. I know I’ll still be digesting this by summer, which makes Blues and the Empirical Truth an early candidate for my record of the year. And again, hearing this outpouring gives me hope. If creativity this robust can survive and thrive in the Maine woods, who knows what other pockets of thrilling, individuated compositional and improvisational excellence are lurking out there in the backwater burgs of America? (Or, if a masterpiece drops in the woods, does anybody hear? Visit http://www.allenlowe.com/ for the answers to this and many other questions.) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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