Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More Sonny Rollins with pipes

"First Moves," Jazz Door, is another place to hear Sonny Rollins and jazz bagpiper Rufus Harley working together. Better yet, I believe Mr. Rollins was in an exploratory mood for this European concert in 1974 and, as you would expect, that yields some interesting music. The sound on what I think is probably a bootleg recording is adequate, a lot better than most impromptu concert recordings.

Harley checks in with his bagpipes on "Alfie's Theme" and while I don't think it's quite as effective as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" on the Milestone disk "The Cutting Edge" it works. If you get "Alfie's Theme" and "Alfie's Theme Differently" on the Impulse CD of the movie score by Mr. Rollins, this is "Alfie's Theme" really differently. Harley also plays some soprano sax (he was a saxophonist before picking up the pipes), as does Mr. Rollins, who waxes avant-garde on "Look for the Silver Lining." The generally rockish electric guitar playing from Yoshiaki Masuo is consistently good. Gene Perla on electric bass and David Lee round out a fusion-oriented ensemble well.

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