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(Modern Creative, CIMP) Avram Fefer Quartet (Steve Swell, Wilber Morris, Igal Foni) - Lucille's Gemini Dream - 2001, FLAC (tracks+.cue), lossless

(Modern Creative, CIMP) Avram Fefer Quartet (Steve Swell, Wilber Morris, Igal Foni) - Lucille's Gemini Dream - 2001, FLAC (tracks+.cue), lossless
Avram Fefer Quartet (Steve Swell, Wilber Morris, Igal Foni) - Lucille's Gemini Dream
Жанр: Modern Creative, CIMP
Страна-производитель диска: USA
Год издания: 2001
Издатель (лейбл): CIMP
Номер по каталогу: #237
Страна: USA
Аудиокодек: FLAC (*.flac)
Тип рипа: tracks+.cue
Битрейт аудио: lossless
Продолжительность: 1:10:47
Источник (релизер): собственный
Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи: да
1 Loss (For Flo)
2 Ripple
3 Cycle of Fits
4 Lucille's Gemini Dream
5 Going Nowhere Fast
6 Heavenly Places
7 African Interlude
Лог создания рипа
Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011
EAC extraction logfile from 8. July 2012, 23:42
Avram Fefer Quartet / Lucille's Gemini Dream
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Track 1
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Содержание индексной карты (.CUE)
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Об альбоме
Although Avram Fefer (San Francisco, CA, 1965) has been on the scene since the late 1980s, including an extended stay in France (1990-1995) where he worked with a cross-section of artists from Bobby Few to The Last Poets to Archie Shepp, it wasn't until the Spring of 2000 when I heard a recording of his trio that I remember becoming aware of his work. That recording impressed me to the extent that we issued it on Cadence Jazz Records (#1123). At the same time I suggested that Avram expand the group a bit, by bringing in another strong improvising voice to play off of, and do a CIMP recording. My aim was to keep the tightness of the trio format while giving the music the possibility of a broader reach of exploration. Avram's choice: Steve Swell (Newark, NJ, 1954) a fearless, inventive and gutsy trombonist. Rounding out the quartet are Igal Foni (Tel Aviv, Israel, 1966), the drummer on the earlier trio date, and Wilber Morris (Los Angeles, CA, 1937), a growing ubiquitous presence on today's music scene and a positive asset on many CIMP recordings.
I looked forward to strong chewy music. Other than that, I had no expectations. I began to have some apprehensions as the opening session did not get underway until around 10:30 p.m. after an unusually lengthy sound check which utilized (to the point of irritation) a repeating riff over about 2 hours of getting the recording balance to everyone's satisfaction. However, judging from the first piece, Ripple, it would seem that the extended sound check also served to warm up the group without sapping their mental or physical energies.
Following "Ripple," things flowed unevenly. Someone suggested the group was working out a sugar high, the result of consuming considerable amounts of pie, cookies, and cakes. Ebbs followed peaks and, as we moved into midnight, a consistency and balance between ideas and energy began to coalesce and presented itself on a wide range of moods, from the intense energy of Going Nowhere Fast followed by the soulful ballad improv Lucille's Gemini Dream, notable not just for its musicality but also because it is a particularly evocative and lyrical ballad and, in that, a not-that-common occurrence in free improv.
We finished up the first day's work early in the morning and began recording again around noon the next day. Avram, who had made me a bit apprehensive the night before by being quite adamant about not responding well to early day playing, amazed me with the complexity, energy, and multi-direction of his solo work, extended but also very coherent and cohesive, on this second day. Check out the all-around inspiration on Loss, a piece which Avram prefaced with, "Let's just try it once; see what happens. I don't want to dwell over it." For me it turned out to be an unanticipated gem, the longest piece in the concert. It's time well spent.
They continued to play with little angst while piling up more than a concert's worth of exceptional music. The final piece of this concert is African Interlude, which again reinforces the fact that, besides being an improviser of considerable depth and direction, Avram Fefer is also a composer of some note. His compositions, were they to get enough exposure, could work their way into the book of Jazz standards. Exposure or no exposure, either way this concert does present a standard of excellence.
Robert D. Rusch
"Avram Fefer's debut release, Calling All Spirits, on Cadence Jazz Records is that rare pedigree of disc- one that threw me for a loop upon first listen. Everything (from the playing and arranging to engineering) caught my ears and refused to relinquish them until the disc had run its course. Upon numerous subsequent listens the effect was so inescapable that the album is now an early entry in my Best of 2000 list. Gushing praise of this nature may seem like an inadvisable way to start an objective review, but Fefer's talents entreat such unqualified admiration."
"His sophomore effort pales a little in comparison, but it's still a thoroughly rewarding venture steeped in the vernacular of expertly rendered freebop. Adding Steve Swell's unctuous trombone to the group and trading original trio bassist Eric Revis for veteran string smith Wilber Morris the resulting quartet has a different dynamic, but is no less propulsive in impact. Though he doesn's fit as seamlessly as his predecessor did on Calling All Spirits, Morris still makes a solid go of the tunes, laying down the anchoring ostinatos that flavor Fefer's tunes with resiliency and aplomb. His facile and elastic counterpoint to the leader's soaring tenor on "Loss (For Flo)" is but one of many indications of the wisdom in Fefer's choice. Foni is a veritable Lon Chaney when it comes to shuffle beats; devising what seems like a limitless range of rhythmic guises. The drummer's contributions on the opener range from in the pocket syncopations to barely audible cymbal scrapes and back. In each incarnation they set up an early and instantly convincing harbinger of his mammoth versatility."
"As on the first outing Fefer isn't afraid to stretch out and track lengths allow broad space for group and solo improvisation. Foni again adds a wealth of textural accents and colors brandishing his sticks like a mad painter ready to storm the parameters his canvas. Perhaps most telling, no matter how far the players stray from the thematic groundwork of each piece, underlying elements and a guiding groove still tether them structurally. It's decidedly refreshing to hear a balance of freedom and formula so successfully reconciled. This is perhaps why Fefer's music strikes such a resonating and winsome chord. He weds the best from both the free jazz and postbop camps with alacrity and confidence and in the bargain comes up with a musical jargon that is wholly his own."
Derek Taylor
"Saxophonist Avram Fefer follows up the remarkable Calling All Spirits (Cadence) with the compelling, though quite different Lucille's Gemini Dream (CIMP).Opting for a quartet this time rather than a trio, Fefer keeps drummer Igal Foni on board and adds a second horn, trombonist Steve Swell. Wilber Morris replaces Eric Revis on bass."
"Fefer's tenor sound combines something of the gruffness and playfulness of Sonny Rollins with the searing intensity of John Coltrane. While Calling All Spirits had a freebop vibe somewhat reminiscent of Rollins' East Broadway Rundown,the new quartet release veers far more often into complete freedom. Three of the tracks, however, appear on both discs; they are Fefer's African Interlude, Going Nowhere Fast, and Loss (For Flo). Back-to-back listens of each contrasting version prove fascinating. (It's worth noting, for instance, that Fefer plays alto on both versions of Going Nowhere Fast.) The leader's hypnotic ostinato-swing invention Heavenly Places is another highlight, as is Steve Swell's angular medium swing line Cycle of Fits. Swell lays out on Ripple, a dark and somewhat mellower rubato piece. The title track is collaboratively composed by the quartet."
"While Calling All Spirits is a more effective showcase for Fefer's muscular horn, Lucille's Gemini Dream is also recommended, as it reveals other facets of Fefer's identity as a leader and composer."
David Adler
Seattle-born, Boston-trained, a resident of Paris in the early 1990s and since then a Manhattanite, saxophonist Avram Fefer is one of the new breed of peripatetic musicians.
Proficient on all the saxophones and clarinets as well as flute, he's a straightforward, straightahead player, most comfortable in what should be deemed the post-bop mainstream, if the neo-cons hadn't forced much of jazz forward to the past at the end of last century. Both of his discs, recorded 13 months apart, offer a cross section of soloing from all concerned that's never less than accomplished. But with each reprising three of his compositions, it could be that Fefer's future achievements could rest in composition rather than improvisation.
Each of the tunes -- "African Interlude", "Going Nowhere Fast" and "Loss [for Flo]"-- and some of his other originals here are rollicking, rhythm riffs that lope along at accelerated paces and sound instantly familiar after you've heard them once. In the halcyon days of working groups, it's a good chance that one or all of them would have joined lines by Gigi Gryce, Benny Golson and the like in every freebopper's repertoire. Even today, they should seriously be considered as add-ons by other musicians. Until that happens, we have to rely on Fefer's own interpretations.
Most interesting is "Loss", which is worked on by a trio of Fefer, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Igal Foni on SPIRITS and inflated to nearly twice that length when trombonist Steve Swell and bassist Wilber Morris join the saxophonist and drummer on LUCILLE'S.
Although responsibility for its shape and elaboration rest mostly on the saxophonist's shoulders -- or more accurately his powerful, Sonny Rollins-inflected tenor work -- on the Cadence disc, it's the bass playing of Revis, who has worked with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, that emphasizes its foottapping qualities. Here and elsewhere Foni impresses as well, mixing steady timekeeping with virtuosity on what sounds at times like an anachronistic riveted sizzle cymbal Cast in a free context, without losing its inherent funkiness the "Loss" of starts with offside altissimo variations from Fefer and low pitches from Swell until they mesh. Foni relies more on rim shots here than on the other disc, but throughout the entire CD, poor Morris certainly lacks the presence of Revis. Due to CIMP's no-mixing-no-compression-live-to-two tracks policy, he and most other bassists recorded by the label are usually inaudible, unless you enjoy cranking up the volume for their solos then whipping it south again for louder instruments.
Despite its title, "Going" works up quite a head of steam on the trio session, with the saxophonist in full, speedy Pharoach Sanders mould and the drummer hitting everything within reach. Taken at a slower pace by the quartet, Fefer offers up the same reed-biting dynamics, while Foni plays a variation on Sunny Murray to the saxman's Albert Ayler. Echoing extended, well-modulated passages within his bell, Swell provides the deviations to Fefer's reading of the theme. Here and elsewhere the unison voicings recall the work done by trombonist Roswell Rudd, an avowed Swell influence, as part of the band of saxophonist Archie Shepp, with whom Fefer played in Paris.
A highly rhythmic piece, which appears to centre around pedal point, as do other Fefer lines, "African" was recorded by a popular six-piece acid jazz he was a member of, while the saxist was in Paris. Both American versions have certainly lost the "acid jazz" context -- whatever that means -- with the CIMP recording possessing a slight edge. Foni gets to exercise his miscellaneous percussion at the top, as a Dixieland feel sneaks in, advanced by Fefer's fluid clarinet work buffeted on all sides by Swell's reverberating trombone slurs.
From beginning to end of the CIMP disc, this mixture of trombone and saxophones brings to mind a sound midway between some of bassist Charles Mingus' smaller combos and Chicago's Ethnic Herritage Ensemble as well as the Shepp-Rudd partnership. Ironically "Orange Was The Color Of her Dress Than Blue Silk", the only real Mingus tune, is performed with the trio.
That cover, plus versions of pieces by Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry distinguish the trio session. So does Fefer's noteworthy interlocking sounds on overdubbed bass clarinet and tenor saxophone on "Calling All Spirits, Calling All Poets", where he improvises so cleanly you wonder which track actually came first. Mechanical manipulation of that sort is anathema to CIMP, so the originals -- all by Fefer, except for one by Swell -- are heard pristinely, with the sound at the mercy of the instrument's position and dynamics.
There's lot of like in both these sessions, with the Cadence, with its direct tributes, more of an apprenticeship disc, and CIMP, stuffed with originals, more of an artist's statement. But be fully aware that later label's quirky and opinionated engineering reduces some of its impact.
Maybe for best effect, Fefer should record another session in a non-CIMP studio with Swell. There's probably a notebook full of memorable compositions the reedman could also bring along.
Ken Waxman
Avram Fefer - clarinet, tenor, alto and soprano saxophone
Steve Swell - trombone
Wilber Morris - bass
Igal Foni - drums
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