Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Louie Belogenis, Tenor Sax Modernist on the Way Up

Louie Belogenis is one of those tenor saxophonists that seems to be appearing more and more frequently on important improvisational sessions. He was/is a key member of Steve Swell's Magic Listening Hour (see review in an earlier posting), he's had an important association with the late Rashied Ali, collaborated with bassist Michael Bisio, Karl Berger et al on Old Dog (see review on my other site www.gapplegate.com/musicalblog.html) and I could certainly go on.

I've yet to review his 2004 recording The Flow (Ayler Download Series), where he leads a dynamic trio, only because I cannot be everywhere at once (unless some kind of Twilight Zone device were to come on the market).

The Belogenis Trio on that day was comprised of Louie's tenor plus the bass of Joe Morris and Charles Downs on drums. They played a full set at the CBGB Gallery in New York and Ayler Records was there to capture the musical event.

This is free improvisation in the tradition of Albert Ayler and his followers. That means that rhythmically there may or may not be a set pulse, but always (and appropriately, given the title) a flow of musical utterances. The group gradually builds momentum, with Belogenis sustaining a long and interesting improvisation utilizing his ability to coax an interconnected palette of instrumental colors from his horn and to weave long, interesting horizontal segments of spontaneous line creation.

We are talking about OUT Jazz, of course. It is a very good showcase for what Belogenis can do with a sympathetic group of players and a conducive live venue. It's a little gem in Ayler Records' rather substantial collection of download only releases.

If you seek an introduction to the Belogenis tenor and where it's been, this is a good start.

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