Peter Margasak // ★ Complete Communion: The Best Of 2020 In Jazz ★ The Quietus (7 décembre 2020)

Complete Communion sticks to new releases in each instalment, so I want to use a little space to look at some notable reissues and archival releases from 2020. The profile of Los Angeles pianist and composer Horace Tapscott has risen in recent years, with a slew of reissues precipitating a much needed critical reassessment. Following a superb debut for Flying Dutchman in 1969, Tapscott didn’t release anything else until nearly a decade later, with the appearance of the Nimbus label, but during this drought he cemented his vision and established himself a major community force.

Ancestral Echoes: The Covina Sessions, 1976 uncovers recordings made in a sub-par studio and deemed un-releasable; four extended pieces cut with his remarkable Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. Two of the pieces were written by ensemble members—evidence of a blossoming of talent within his community — and all of them explode with orchestral richness and rhythmic genius. This stuff could fit into the current spiritual jazz vogue, but there’s so much more at work. Archival discovery of the year.

 

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