on 4 June 2014
This seems to be a compilation of two relatively little known CD's, one featuring four long tracks by the quartet and the second three tracks by the New York Contemporary Five and what is effectively a suite by the Bill Dixon Septet. All the music is quite rare and well worth listening to.
The quartet consisting of Dixon, Shepp, Don Moore on bass, and Paul Cohen on drums play on 'Trio', 'Quartet' and 'Somewhere'. On 'Peace' bass and drums are replaced by Reggie Workman and Howard McRae. Shepp plays in his usual mixture at the time of Ben Webster and the avant garde. Dixon, to these ears at least, is a bit more of a surprise package, having a mellow sound, melodic and to some extent cool. Both work together well and produce a sound that, although vigorous, is not quite the assault on the ears the avant garde could be at the time.
The three New York Contemporary Five tracks have Ted Curson (replaced by Don Cherry on one track), John Tchicai, Shepp, Ronnie Boykins and Sonny Murray. All three horns play extremely well and are well supported by bass and drums. This rhythm section consists of two of the masters of this particular style and is far more successful than the band's normal one of Don Moore and J.C.Moses.
The Bill Dixon septet take up the rest of the disc. 'Winter Song' is a much more formally organised piece, but with a long central section including solos by Dixon, George Barrow on tenor, Ken McIntyre on alto and Howard Johnson on baritone. The band sound is pleasing and the solos well organised.
Contrary to one of the other reviews, recording quality is perfectly acceptable.
Some little known music, but very enjoyable.