21 September 2006
CHARLES ROUSE - TWO IS ONE
The album "Two is One" was recorded in 1974 for Strata East and was Charlie Rouse's first date as both producer and leader.He pulled an interesting mix of players together for this date-Airto-Percussion,Azzedin Weston-Congas,Calo Scott-Cello,David Lee-Drums,Stanley Clarke-Bass, Paul Mitzki and George Davis on Guitars.
"Bitchin'" opens the lp on a cool funky groove which flows along and then gets blown out of the window by the savage break beat battery of "Hopscotch".Joe Chambers wrote it-had to be a drummer,didn't it-and David Lee's funky drum patterns combine with Stan the Mans rumbling bottom end bass lock down to produce a monstrous proto-broken beat tour de force.This is followed by"In a Funky Way"which does exactly what it says in the title.
"Two is One"is divided into two parts-one is two?- and is an incredible sucession of different rhythms.In the first part Rouse plays in 3/4 and is accompanied by Clarke's bass which plays in 9/8 while the drums go 3/4.In the second part he improvises in 4/4 backed by cello while the rhythm section hits it at 7/8.The album wraps up with the fragmented yet building "In his Presence Searching"which leaves Rouse(on bass clarinet as well as tenor) free to improvise without the same harmonic safety net he was used to with Monk.
This was re-issued by Charly in the 90s but seems to have disappeared again-there was also a vinyl re-issue floating around a few years ago which surfaces from time to time-seek and you will find!