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Showing posts from April, 2019

Sonny Simmons - Staying On The Watch (1966) [Obscure Jazz Safari]

LISTEN A Séance For Eric Dolphy If I rated free jazz records solely on their cover art, Staying On The Watch would be in my top 5. Young avant-saxman Sonny Simmons is firing on all cylinders as he explores everything 'The New Thing' had to offer. Like many of his contemporaries, Simmons' approach to the avant-garde is rooted in tradition. The goofy melodies bookending each track provide a tangible frame of reference for wild maelstroms of improvisation. Opener Metamorphosis ignites with cluttered horn stabs, slingshotting the group toward high-octane sonic deconstruction. Sonny's saxophone screeches attempt a séance with Eric Dolphy while John Hicks rounds things out by beating his piano into submission. Elsewhere, City of David flaunts distinctly Eastern melodies while Interplanetary Travelers pushes a stripped back trio to their limits. The group's playing evolves at breakneck speed, soloist and accompaniment constantly threatening to collid