Lifelong Ambitions album cover
Lifelong Ambitions

Muhal Richard Abrams , Leroy Jenkins

Black Saint

Violinist Leroy Jenkins was a key early member of the AACM; he played on Muhal Richard Abrams’ Levels and Degrees of Light, and soon joined alto saxophonist Anthony Braxton’s group with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and percussionist Steve McCall. This album of live duos with Abrams, recorded at New York’s Washington Square Church in 1977, is something of a reunion, as Jenkins had been in NYC for several years. The compositions are all the violinist’s, and though the music may seem free, abandoning traditional ideas of melody and accompaniment, it’s actually quite disciplined and organized — notice that each of the six tracks are almost exactly six and a half minutes long, and they never seem to lose track of each other.

Phil Freeman

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