Homage to Charles Parker cover

Homage to Charles Parker

Released

Trombonist/composer/academic George Lewis roves outside of easy taxonomy. He’s an avant-garde player in alignment with Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the rest of the AACM universe, but he’s also an electronics explorer, putting him in company with Alvin Lucier, Laurie Anderson, Richard Teitelbaum, and the Lovely Music roster. This singular 1979 effort hovers between the two worlds, while also revealing Lewis to be a visionary minimalist. The two side-long pieces go deep. “Blues” is more rooted in the jazz tradition, with Teitelbaum’s Polymoog slurring notes like Lewis’s trombone and acting as accent between the other trio elements (see also his collaboration with Braxton). But the title track is an unsung pinnacle of jazz minimalism, the clearest antecedent to Floating Points’ collaboration with Pharoah Sanders, Promises. Teitelbaum’s electronic washes are augmented by Lewis’s tenor trombone and Anthony Davis’s elegant piano, everything moving so slowly and steadily as to suggest a landscape slowly illuminated by the rising sun.

Andy Beta

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