Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Charles Gayle, "Ancient of Days"

A swingin' affair once again from Mr. Charles Gayle, who, along with David S. Ware, is the preeminent avant-garde tenor saxophone player of the era. Shades of mid-60s ESP-Disk/Impulse havoc abound, but actually this is a more lyrical affair than Gayle's previous two Knitting Factory albums, Kingdom Come and Testaments. On earlier CDs, Gayle seemed to keep reaching and reaching, and while his fortitude was inspiring, it seemed at times groundless. On Ancient of Days, Gayle and his collaborators lay a more solid foundation, which at least brings him back to earth once in a while. Joining Gayle on Ancient of Days is a stellar cast of players, including the spirited pianist Hank Johnson, bassist Juini Booth, and longtime Gayle drummer Michael Wimberly, who evokes outright Elvin Jones-style percussion on "New Earth." Ancient Of Days is a masterpiece of consistent, fire-breathing testimonial. --Joe S. Harrington


the le duo said...

this album is wonderful. gayle shrieks like he was homeless for 20 years! oh, wait a sec...maybe i should check wikipedia...ok got it...he was homeless for 20 years! son of a bitch!

jay said...

I love that album--it has a really disturbing blend of melody and abstraction; it really twisted & beautiful. I haven't heard much else by Gayle; it's hard to find his albums in music stores. I really want to pick up a copy of "Repent".

I keep hearing the name David S. Ware as a contemporary of Gayle's--what do you know about him JB?

the le duo said...

never heard of him, but according to "He's learned both the music and the horn up and down, inside and out, from the bottom up. In this respect, he's a true heir to Coltrane, who also based his free work on a comprehensive knowledge of his materials."

what is it with the tenor sax & free jazz? i love it!

ps. i've decided i'm going to make it my lifes goal to get milford graves to come to burlington to perform a solo percussion set. what do you think?

jay said...

I'm with you on the tenor sax--it's quickly becoming my favorite instrument, to the point that I've been browsing around eBay for a cheap student model...

As for Graves, I'd say that's not a bad life goal! I also would love to see Bennink again; I'd buy his plane ticket to get him to play in Burlington.