Mama And Daddy album cover
Mama And Daddy

Muhal Richard Abrams

Black Saint

This four-track, 32-minute LP from 1980 is one of Abrams’ most fascinating and instantly rewarding albums. It features a 10-member ensemble that includes Baikida Carroll on trumpet and flugelhorn; Vincent Chancey on French horn; George Lewis on trombone; Wallace McMillan on alto and tenor saxophones, flute, and congas; Bob Stewart on tuba; Leroy Jenkins on violin; Brian Smith on bass; Andrew Cyrille on percussion; and Thurman Barker on drums, percussion, and marimba. With the exception of the closing title track, the compositions aren’t big band pieces, really; they’re more like modern chamber music compositions with plenty of space, odd percussive rattles and scrapes and horns seemingly calling out to each other across vast distances. “Mama and Daddy,” though, is a kind of New Orleans blues piece with deep, pulsing tuba from Stewart, singing violin from Jenkins, and some fierce blowing from Carroll and Lewis in particular.

Phil Freeman

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