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Everbodys Mouth's A Book

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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  • Audio CD (13 Nov. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pi Recordings
  • ASIN: B00005RTRW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,217 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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BBC Review

In his previous groups, Henry Threadgill has demonstrated a penchant for unusual instrumental combinations � tubas, accordion, harmonium, harpsichord, cellos, etc. � but in this newest version of Make a Move, he opts for a relatively conventional line-up. The rhythm section of Dafnis Prieto on trap drums and bassist Stomu Takeishi is often inspired, with the dazzling twenty-two year old Cuban literally soloing from start to finish on many of the CD's eight tracks, yet still driving the music forward. Bryan Carrott's marimba and vibes contribute further percussive accents, and the intricate multiple meters and contrapuntal figures add up to a rhythmic feast for the listener. When Brandon Ross kicks in on electric guitar, the quartet sometimes sounds like the old Gary Burton group at the top of its game. Ross is a remarkably adaptable guitarist, playing a crisp, precise acoustic on a chamber jazz piece such as "Platinum Inside Straight," and then ramping up on electric during the modal, Coltrane-ish "Where Coconuts Fall," leaning on the distortion pedal as he evokes the spirit of the late Sonny Sharrock.

Even without Threadgill, this quartet would be a great listen, but his compositions and instrumental work take the music to a whole other level. As both composer and musician, Threadgill has a strong connection to Ornette Coleman, but while his music, like Coleman's, is often abstract and angular, with unexpected key changes and multiple melody lines, it also has a stronger intellectual component than Coleman's, and is often substantially written out.

Threadgill's knowledge of the jazz tradition is both encyclopaedic and catholic; he moves gracefully from classically-flavoured chamber jazz and pensive ballads to spiky blues, free jazz and a healthy heap o' funk. As a soloist, he's equally impressive - both economical and authoritative. His flute is lyrical, but also lean and sinewy, while his alto playing is punchy and sometimes ecstatic, in the manner of late Coltrane or even Albert Ayler. Compositionally, Threadgill's vectors are seldom obvious, but when he arrives at his destination, the journey always makes perfect sense. Eat your heart out, Wynton Marsalis, this is the REAL future of jazz. --Bill Tilland

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Threadgill quintet with Brandon Ross on electric guitar! 17 Nov. 2001
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"Everybody's Mouth's a Book" and "Up Popped the Two Lips" are his first releases in nearly 5 years ("Where's Your Cup?" came out in early 1997), and he maintains his high standards with more of the uniquely Threadgillian music he has been making since he formed his first Sextet back in the early 1980s. The sound is top-notch, with mixing by Bill Laswell.

"EMAB," which serves as a superb introduction to Threadgill for those new to his music, features a quintet of sax/flute, vibes, guitar, bass and drums. The instrumentation varies from piece to piece, some electric, others acoustic -- some with sax, others flute. The band carries the same name -- Make a Move -- as the band on 97's "Where's Your Cup?", but the substitution of vibes for accordion results in a quite different (and better!) sound. Brandon Ross on electric guitar provides some of the most exciting moments on this disc, and Dafnis Prieto drives things along in crackling fashion on trap drums. While both of the new records are excellent, this is the stronger of the two, in my opinion. Threadgill's music tends to be lugubrious, and "EMAB" offsets that with faster tempos and electricity, where "UPTL" tends to bog down periodically.

Threadgill has been mining the same distinctive sound for 20 years now, and it is still a rich vein. Threadgill's Air trio of the 70s, which came out of Chicago's AACM, explored the intersection of composition and free improv. The Sextet of the 80s and Very Very Circus of the 90s (with twin guitars and tubas!) both featured complex compositions that emphasized unusual textures, and utilized a dark, minor key harmonic palette, and these records do not mark a stylistic departure. There is improvisation, but it is tightly constrained. Threadgill has never been known primarily as a virtuoso alto soloist, rather his strength is as a composer and arranger. He utilizes rhythmic structures from Jellyroll Morton, sophisticated counterpoint, and subtle harmonic shifts that do not resolve. Threadgill was winning Best Composer awards from Downbeat Magazine back in the early/mid 90s at the time of "Too Much Sugar" (93), and "Carry the Day" (95), and he is certainly a contender again in 2001!

One of the best concerts I ever saw was the Henry Threadgill Sextet, 9/7/81 at the Underground Fest in Chicago, (the "afterfest" of the JazzFest, then in its second year), with Olu Dara on trumpet and Craig Harris on trombone (I still have the program!) I remember the walls of the near-West Side loft honoring Ellington and Mingus for the Sextet's performance, which at that time was a radical reincorporation of the past into the free jazz scene. They blew the roof off with wild collective improvisation -- I drove home the morning of the 8th as the sun was coming up, and have been a devoted fan of Henry Threadgill ever since!

(verified purchase from Cadence)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just this once 8 Mar. 2007
By Boxodreams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I go out of my way not to denigrate artists to make a point about the greater value of another, but I'm going to do it just this once . . .

Two nights ago, I sat up late playing this Henry Threadgill album and it is as mesmerizing, penetrating and gorgeously realized as any collection of music I own. That it careens from the heartbreakingly reflective, pensive and lovely opener, a rumination with flute and vibes, and later digs into some fiery electric guitar that reminds me of the late Ted Dunbar in his brief stint with Tony Williams, just shows the breadth and scope of Threadgill. And it's free to a point but not cacophony. It's a special kind of logic that swings hot and cool. I love this album.

Tonight, I went down to the Kennedy Center for a free show by legends Benny Golson and Curtis Fuller. No one can dispute their credentials, music, contribution, what have you, but, my lord, they were tired, tired, tired. Killer Joe never sounded less killer in all his nightlife. So, I got to thinking, why can't the Kennedy Center -- or just about anybody -- make some room on the stage for Threadgill, who is as great as they come? Why must guys like this, on top of their game, be kept in the margins? Golson and Fuller are great, but somebody, please, bring the music of today to the people. I go to New York to hear jazz, but I don't know why I can't hear Henry Threadgill live. There used to be a club in d.c., where I saw the '80's band The Leaders, and Andrew Cyrille came in once or twice with a group, but where any of the more out there cats are today is a mystery to me. Maybe I need to keep my ear closer to the ground. Anyway, this album is an absolute find.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars keep right on playing through the mirror over the water 26 Jan. 2002
By Dan Keener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
thank the stars henry threadgill is back recording music, after a half-decade hiatus following his getting dropped from columbia jazz. i should also note that these are the first two releases on a new and promising jazz label, pi recordings.
this disc and "up popped the two lips" are about what you'd expect from threadgill -- that is to say, they're quite unlike anything you've ever heard before, from threadgill or anyone else. UPTTL, in particular, with the new all-acoustic "zooid" configuration (reeds, guitar, oud, cello, tuba and drums) presents a delightful new sound. i won't bother trying to describe the music -- i can't think of any other musician on the scene whose art is so slippery to try and capture with words. so i'll just say this: if you know threadgill and enjoy his music, you won't be disappointed by these two new discs. and if you're not so familiar with threadgill's music, take the opportunity to see what you're missing, and help out a brand new label with some great ideas in the process!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff! 6 Nov. 2012
By Yoselovich Boris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For my money it's the best H.Threadgill CD in my collection.A fantastic record with a fantastic sound and great compositions.I would also recommend "Where is my cup?" and "This brings us to: Vol.2".Two more excellent discs from a master musician and composer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp jagged good listen 15 Oct. 2006
By Anthony Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This CD opens up with the acoustic "Platinum Inside Straight". It's a beautiful, calming song, and features Henry Threadgill's flute. The rest of the CD is electric, and more jarring (though the flute returns). "Don't Turn Around" takes advantage of your softened-up ears with a convoluted groove, and a whole-note melody. I'll discuss this one a bit since it's one of the better songs, and shows Make A Move's method. Bryan Carrott comes in with a vibe solo, and Brandon Ross comps a little more loudly towards the end of the solo, since it's hard to "build" a vibe solo over a tricky groove. Threadgill returns with a sax solo, and then Ross plays an overdriven solo. In both cases, the band supports the soloist. The melody makes a brief return, and the song quickly fades out as Takeishi plays a short solo. Some of the remaining songs are as good, but Threadgill's compositions on this CD are a high-wire act. Sometimes they connect very well, sometimes they fall a little flat. The musicionship and group interplay give every song some value.
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