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Album Review

New York Art Quartet – “35TH Reunion ” – [Diw]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   CD, Jazz

Most people are going to hear this, and rightfully
marvel at and be mesmerized by the chants, rants
and powerful presence of Amiri Baraka. A whirlwind
of words, a stream-of-consciousness scream of
conscience. Big themes of art’s place in society,
notions of a creator, Black awareness. But he’s
just the *extra* added to this legendary quartet.
35 years times 4…it’s just not going to fit
here. But it did somehow all fit into June 14,1999.
These are masters at work, play, worship, creation!
Graves percussion rolls, splashes, slithers,
rattles…it’s so alive!!! Tchicai’s sax strong
sour and sweet linking Rudd’s muted tbone wooing
you bluesily. Workman’s rubbery bass looks around
corners, somehow always knows what’s coming. Lot’s
of ESP, extra sonic-sensory perception between all.
So much more than four, this is a force.

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