Chronique par Tim Niland sur Music and More (29 décembre 2017)

This was one of the earlier albums in the lengthy and impressive career of multi-reedist and composer Vinny Golia. On this album he plays a wide range of instruments including flute, alto flute, piccolo flute, baritone saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet and he is accompanied by John Carter on clarinet, Bobby Bradford on cornet and Glenn Ferris on trombone. With the lineup solely composed of reeds and brass, the music can produce a wide range of textures and dynamics that draws from classical and world music as well as jazz. This album was recorded live in May of 1979 in Los Angeles, California. Golia alternates between flute and baritone saxophone on the opening track « #2, » and it is the demonstrative difference between these two instruments that provides the push and pull, the friction that drives the performance. The deep and brawny baritone and the light and nimble flute serve as a framework and an instigation for the other instruments to add their contributions. The collective improvisation is very impressive, the musicians fly in tight formation and then separate to make their own individual statements with the brass punching forward and the flute, clarinet and saxophone swooping and soaring over the course of a lengthy improvisation. You get a sense of the enjoyment of exploring the unexpected corners of music on « Views » the first of three lengthy performances, each around fifteen minutes in length. Golia sticks with the baritone saxophone on this performance and it makes for some very interesting textures with the relatively low toned baritone and trombone providing marked contrast to the cornet and clarinet. Golia has a serious graphic arts background, and he allows the improvisation to develop like a painter, spreading bold swathes of color around the soundscape. Carter and Bradford co-led a famous group and they bring their familiarity and thirst for adventure into this configuration. Moving into the second set of the performance, they take on a massive two-pronged performance, « Chronos, Parts I & II » which demonstrate all of the musicianship that this very impressive band has to offer. Both of these selections are over fifteen minutes in length but the music never seems padded or forced. On part one, Golia juxtaposes the high pitched piccolo flute with the dark and reverberating bass clarinet. Part two sees him moving to alto flute along with bass clarinet, leading the charge through the meat of this recording allowing themes to bubble up and be met with powerful extrapolations by each member of the band. Dedicating the final track « The Victims » to the heroic South African activist Steve Biko, demonstrates a deeply humanist streak from the musicians and their playing. This album as a whole shows great compassion for the musicians, their creations and their audiences. This was a very enjoyable and challenging recording that deserves wide attention.



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