Altitude is one of two live recordings to be released in July 2012 as part of the celebration of AUM Fidelity’s 15th anniversary. It documents the first-ever performance by esteemed veteran improvisers Joe Morris, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver as a trio during label founder Steven Joerg’s two-week run curating The Stone in New York during June 2011.
Collectively, Morris, Parker and Cleaver have appeared on hundreds of recordings, including a variety of prominent releases on AUM Fidelity, but this is their first time working together as a trio.
“It was hot in The Stone on this night,” recalls Morris in the liner notes. “William, Gerald and I soaked through our clothes playing this music, but we didn’t let the heat stop us or even slow us down. We played the long form—soloing, complementing and juxtaposing parts in the most open context that exists in music. There was a great sense of cooperative engagement at play and we let that inform the content. The ideas poured out. Each of us responded to the others with a sincere attempt to honor every sound and every rhythm, and we enjoyed ourselves.”
In the liner notes for Altitude, Morris calls his musical compatriots “two great, tremendous people, and great, tremendous musicians.” He adds, “Both are always searching for new experiences. They have not settled in on a musical comfort zone; they do not live in the past. When they are on the bandstand they are in the moment in every sense—always sharing, always igniting new ideas, always seeking something beyond description. They are natural and consistent innovators.”
Joe Morris, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver are among the most gifted instrumentalists & improvisers in the world today. Altitude documents their first communion together as a trio & they gripped it by creating timeless music rife with invention fully in the moment.
Again from Joe Morris' liner notes:
“The long form lets you tell a story, it lets you follow the nodal path in your thought process, it lets you play in layers, it lets you dive into the wave of energy and stay there. And it offers a sense of ritual that describes the present.”
This album BURNS from the eternal flame. The first two tracks are the entirety of the first set that night; the next two tracks are excerpts from the second set. The MP3 excerpts posted above are brief glimpses into the sun that night.