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  • Archives
     

    Bankhead, Harrison Quartet – “Velvet Blue” – [Engine Studios]

    Not enough releases led by venerated bassist supreme Harrison
    Bankhead. He of the deep-dish, Chicago upright. Along for the
    ride, killer Mars Williams not only armed with his saxes but
    kalimba (c’mon you KNOW any jazz track with “Ancestors” in the
    title is going right for that sweet spot that spawned psych/jazz
    and your eldest child!). Avreeayl Ra is onboard too, he who rode
    the Arkestra with Sun starting back in 1984. 67 years and no
    slow down, starting in the fast lane on the “Bridge” ya’ll! Best
    believe “Rhythm of the Earth” is going to give the drummer more
    than some. Those two pieces cover a lot of territory. That is
    the foremost striking aspect of these songs, how they shift over
    time, including instrument evolution. Aiding that, Ed Wilkerson
    serves as the quartet’s utility player. His ramshackle harmonica
    shines to start “After Hours,” a wonderfully weird exploring
    number at the outset, that moves into a mellow piano-anchored
    (Bankhead I assume) contemplative zone. Wilkerson scores with
    the digeridoo (guess which track!) “Right On It” is strong
    enough for a Luttenbacher, Williams and Wilkerson are flying
    fast. Great sounds abound, captured like a live set by label
    leader Steven Walcott. Mixing moments of tasty earth jazz and
    more cosmopolitan cooking too. The last track stirs a
    primordial soup, and Bankhead plays on off into a fade, more
    to devour later surely.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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