Album Review

McGregor, Chris Septet – “Up to Earth ” – [Fledg’ling Records]

ArtCrimes   12/17/2008   CD, Jazz

Joe Boyd produced three Chris McGregor projects for Witchseason Productions, each one using a larger group, culminating in the “Brotherhood of Breath” big band. But this session, the middle of the three, was never released, as Polydor had dropped Boyd’s production deal and Boyd’s new client, Island Records, didn’t want to promote a jazz release, so it took nearly 40 years for this session to reach the marketplace. Thanks to McGregor’s widow Maxine, Joe Boyd, and David Suff at Fledg’ling, McGregor’s early studio work is now fully in print and with royalties going to the right places (the Akarma vinyl release of “Brotherhood of Breath” is more or less a bootleg). McGregor’s first British session was performed with the black South Africans he had worked with for years in the Blue Notes, but “Up to Earth” added white English players as well, notably Jon Surman on sax and (on half of the tracks) Danny Thompson on acoustic bass. This expanded palette doesn’t change the basic strategy McGregor employed: fairly tight ensemble work to open each piece, and then breaking out to free playing over a groove, highlighting soloists (often several at once). McGregor’s piano work suggests Monk, and the overall sound is jubilant and spirited… not surprising with the South African players drawing on not only jazz but their own African influences. (crimes)

you heard it 16 times on kfjc! most recently:
Mike Fowler says

Those interested in this CD may well wish to look at the following web site
Thanks Mike


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