This recording from the earlier years of Cafe Oto documents the impossible pairing of four contemporary giants. It's the reason the venue opened in the first place, for miraculous one-off groupings like this. "The magic of the first minutes -- an alto solo by Joe McPhee of true purity -- soft-spoken, masterful and accomplished -- brought back to mind the blissful Coleman/Haden duet last year at the Royal Festival Hall. 'Ornette gave me freedom to move in a certain way,' said McPhee. He searched hesitantly and carefully for his words, all the more surprising from such an articulate musical (or, as he might say 'muse-ical') practitioner and campaigner. Coleman's 80th birthday coincided with McPhee's stint at Cafe Oto. McPhee and his co-musicians delivered an intense performance which was both creative and restrained. With Evan Parker's tenor in tow -- a collaboration going back to the late '70s -- and Lol Coxhill, sitting with head bowed intently, a soprano master -- it could have gone anywhere, yet they worked off each other, often in the higher registers, building up almost bird-call like interactions and trills. Earlier, Chris Corsano's drumming presented a dense bedrock for McPhee to play against, and his solo spell was a crisp exercise in sonic curiosity. McPhee picked up his soprano mid-way through the second set, heightening the lyricism of the three saxophones. Then, being a devotee of Don Cherry, he switched to pocket trumpet, allowing him to interject, and punctuate the concentrated sound layers built up by the quartet, and lead the music out through a different door." --Geoff Winston, London Jazz News. Recorded March 10th 2010, this is also a document of the only time Lol Coxhill and Joe McPhee shared the stage. The recording is a little rough, but hey, so was your birth! Mini gatefold sleeve; edition of 500.
Cat. number: ROKU0021