Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Universal Indians with Joe McPhee, Skullduggery

The teaming of avant titan Joe McPhee with the trio Universal Indians was an inspired idea that bears excellent fruit in the live 2014 Antwerp recording Skullduggery (Clean Feed 328). It is music with some of that classic "new thing" exuberance. It is music that Albert Ayler would have loved to be a part of!

McPhee is on saxes and pocket trumpet, John Dikeman on saxes. The two form an imposing front line with some beautifully in-your-face avant testifying. Jon Rune Strom on acoustic bass has a huge presence in the music both in the solo realm and in the ensemble. Totlef Ostvong's drumming is chargingly extroverted and always interesting.

The vehicles are collective compositions with some thematic guideposts now and again that may well be spontaneous but all the better for all that.

Both McPhee and Dikeman are in fine solo form and work in tandem together particularly well. It is great to hear Joe stretch out in flat-out free context. Truly this is a kinetic four-way blow out, infectiously forward moving and ecstatically satisfying for those who move on the free-way of uninhibited expression.

A fabulously out set! Need I say more?

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