Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grachan Moncur III - "New Africa" (BYG,1969)

It recently occurred to me that I have been neglecting jazz here. It should come as no surprise that my interest lies in the more experimental strains of the genre which generally falls under the categorization of "free jazz". Like many genre signposts it is problematic, limiting and often derided by the branded musicians themselves. We shall leave the discussion of proper nomenclature for another day and instead focus on trombonist Grachan Moncur The Third's "New Africa" record released on the venerated BYG Actuel label in 1969. "New Africa" features other new music stalwarts Dave Burrell on piano, Roscoe Mitchell on alto sax and piccolo, Alan Silva on bass, Andrew Cyrille on drums and the inimitable Archie Shepp(with whom Moncur played extensively) on tenor sax for one cut. Less chaotic than many of the records being produced by the aforementioned players, "New Africa" is a shamelessly pretty exercise in post-Coltrane modal excursion. The title cut,presented in four distinct movements, is as beautiful and spacious a composition you will ever hear with each player turning in fine, if restrained, performances. Side two's appropriately titled "Exploration" shows the group in a more dynamic untethered space using texture atonality and repitition to exhilarating effect."New Africa" is a testament to the breadth of Moncur's compositional skill and the individual player's ability to flourish in any setting. One of the more accessible outings by any of it's individual contributors; this is a great record for trying to get yr girlfriend into some cool shit.

Grachan Moncur III - "New Africa" (BYG,1969)

1. New Africa
2. Space Spy
3. Exploration
4. When



Nick said...

"Jazz" is a contentious enough categorization, let alone "free jazz." And to imagine that something as diaphanous as music could submit to codification... “When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone, in the air. You can never capture it again.” -Eric Dolphy

Grachan Moncur III plays Grachan Moncur music, Dave Burrell plays Dave Burrell music, Anthony Braxton plays Anthony Braxton music, Archie Shepp plays Fire Music (wait..)

The Maestro said, “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind."

But I had to give you shit about something, and where better?

Anonymous said...

hard snare drum was strike me at this record