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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What time is it!?, 4 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Nation Time: 1970 (Audio CD)
"What time is it? screams Joe McPhee at the start of track one. "Nation Time!" comes the answer. Again and again and then we're off - off into a maelstrom of funk, rock and free jazz.

This is probably one of the most thrilling and most satisfying albums i own, a perfect storm of deep but elastic grooves and scorching sax. You can feel the energy of the time (1970) in every bar - the pride, the defiance.

"Nation Time" and "Scorpio Dance" were recorded at a gig while "Shakey Jake" (the masterpiece of the album) is, i understand, a studio recording. It also has extra instrumentation, in particular some wonderful electric guitar.

Musicians:

Joe McPhee: tenor saxophone and trumpet

with

Ernest Bostic: percussion
Tyrone Crabb: bass and trumpet
Otis Greene: alto saxophone
Dave Jones: electric guitar
Mike Kull: piano
Herbie Lehman: organ
Bruce Thomspon: percussion

Can't recommend this album enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What time is it?, 3 May 2010
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This review is from: Nation Time: 1970 (Audio CD)
Joe McPhee is a sadly under-exposed free-jazz saxophonist.

Nation Time is a superb album and certainly, I believe, an extremely accessible one. Whilst the term "free jazz" may be off-putting, or scary, to some (though I'd imagine if you've gotten this far that you aren't averse to jazz) this album is as good an in to that world as any.

The title track is actually a pretty beefy slab of 60s/70s funk (I hesitate to say jazz-funk as that conjures up hideous images of Level 42-style slap bass - this is nothing like that). The bass and percussion on this track groove along nicely whilst McPhee, on tenor sax wails along (I wouldn't bother, though, if you don't like free-jazz sax).

Scorpio's Dance is in a similar vein (I believe that both tracks have the same instrumentation and players?)

Shakey Jake is even more into funk territory, possibly wouldn't feel out of place alongside James Brown's 60s funk. It certainly, with the mix of sax and grooves, is reminiscent of earlier Coltrane - though with more of a groove, coming as it did in the early 70s.

Recommended for free jazz fans, Coltrane fans and anyone who likes 60s funk and wants to try something new.
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Nation Time: 1970
Nation Time: 1970 by Joe McPhee (Audio CD - 2000)
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