2 August 2006


I expect you're familiar with Michael White from John Handy's Quintet & The Fourth Way, both a-list ensembles. Pneuma's side-long title track's more on the cosmic/out side, starts out like an Art Ensemble record with small percussion, some nice inside-the-piano stuff from Ed Kelly, going on thru a series of encounters within the group (rhythm section's Ray Drummond, Kenneth Nash on percussion - strictly by hand). This whole side has more of an AACM feeling than a Miles kinda thing, but it is just *so* good. On the other side, "Ebony Plaza" is more inside, just over nine minutes of modal groove, Kelly doing his best McCoy Tyner impression in the background (he gets to do it in the foreground on "The Blessing Song"), and White blazing away on top. The kozmigroov charter-centric stuff is the last two cuts "Journey of the Black Star" adds a vocal quartet (Faye Kelly, Leola Sharp, D. Jean Skinner, Joyce Walker) contributing the profound sentiment "EE-yah" over & over & over again ... in "The Blessing Song" they actually get some lyrics before they sink into ooh-aah ... both cuts are midtempo infectious grooves (ok, I've started playing this one now, it just feels so Just-After-Sunset-Summer-Night I could die) - "Journey" is a bit more *pushed*, "Blessing" just sways into the sunset - both would be prime sweet-soul dancing cuts if it weren't for that lunatic scraping away like he wants to be (post-Miles pre-ALS) Coltrane on top (but that's what makes it *good*). This side is a great argument for the live drummer ... Nash patters around all over the place *tonally*, but damn if he isn't on that One ... always a groove, never the same.

Review from Kosmigroove


magnum said...

Jouney of the Black Star..... Tune..... nice Impulse selection hope all is well shel.

aldus said...

I hope you have more by Michael White.

With gratitude

bacoso said...

Sheldon-all ok how about you ? will ring you in the week.How about a mid week sports special sometime ?Got some nice stuff from japan and italy for you as well .