We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best experience. Most of these are essential and already present.
We do require your explicit consent to save your cart and browsing history between visits. Read about cookies we use here.
Your cart and preferences will not be saved if you leave the site.
Out of stock

Roscoe Mitchell, Sandy Ewen, Damon Smith, Weasel Walter

A Railroad Spike Forms The Voice

Label: Balance Point Acoustics

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

Out of stock

*2023 stock* "Don’t follow.” That’s the admonition saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell (b. 1940) was known to give his students at Oakland’s Mills College in one-on-one sessions. In musical communication and creation, not following or directly responding to others is central to Mitchell’s philosophy and approach. As he said to me in a recent conversation, “I just let things develop with my intent, with my work, and I’ve never been a person that went around looking for people to play with. I mostly just work on my music and let things unfold, being that I’m a true believer in that you set your own environment and then you let it unwind on its own. I think the main thing is to concentrate on your music and the various ways that you develop it.”

This is a recording that is monumental in scope, singular but also parsable. There are sections that hark back to the disjunctive spars of early Art Ensemble of Chicago recordings – at 26 minutes in, Smith walks alongside laconic, acrid alto saxophone tendrils, their movements punctuated by kit jabs and gradual guitar creep. Unhurriedness is not something one expects with Smith and Walter, and it’s not deference either. Their ears put the proceedings into a state of mindful creation and allow any ensuing fireworks a sense of necessity and logic. As Mitchell untethers long soprano lines and puckered subtones, a froth of allover patter and meaty scribble emerges underneath and around him, but one can parse the latticework of activity into numerous converging (or parallel) threads and components. A tug-of-war between low bass gurgle, crinkling guitar strings, and high-pitched, hoarse sopranino cries acts as both one and three organisms in gloriously present interaction, nodding at one another but tending a greater fire. Not only do Ewen, Smith, and Walter not follow or ping-pong off of Mitchell, but they don’t do this with one another, either. A Railroad Spike Forms the Voice is a sprawling essay on communication and connection, its title apt: these four creative minds have set forth on a unified steely path, punctuated by decisive beauty and realness. We’re lucky to be able to participate from our vantage point." - Clifford Allen 

Cat. number: bpaltd13013
Year: 2021

Recorded Live at Duende in Oakland, Ca. April 11, 2014 published by Art Ensemble of Chicago Publishing Co. (ASCAP)/Sedition Dog Music (BMI) Thanks to Rocco Somazzi, Paul Canales and Stacia Sperry for the use of Matthew Sperry' Double Bass 

More by Roscoe Mitchell, Sandy Ewen, Damon Smith, Weasel Walter