Continuing with AACM-related material, this is a solo saxophone record by Roscoe Mitchell, basically composed of solo concert appearances in 1973-74. Nine pieces in all, some of which was known by the time of recording and others to be more fully developed in later Mitchell albums.
The album is bookended by two shortish versions of "Noonah" which was to be given much more extended treatments on the later Mitchell album by the same name. Here a version of the basic theme is stated and which to these ears would not be out of place in a Braxton repertoire with its staccato phrasing and knotty rhythmic tempo. The second piece is the only one not composed by Mitchell, a slower, sedate tune by Malachi Favors and a staple of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. It'll be interesting to go back to the AEoC album of the same name and check the Mitchell solo work-out against the full Ensemble treatment. The two following pieces are austere, almost minimalist, in which Mitchell seems to be working with sound elements in a very tentative, exploring way hinting at a melody yet to be found. "Eeltwo" sees Mitchell in a lyrical mood, slowly running through a somewhat elegiac melody repeating and varying it along the way. "Ooboma" is back to the austerity of "Enlorfe" and "Jibbina". "Ttum" sounds like a companion piece to "Noonah", again with certain characteristic Braxtonish features. Perhaps less of a pleasant listen than the Braxton-Lewis duo with less "playing to the audience" and more focus on introversion and contemplation of pure sound. More than a step removed from "jazz".
05_Eeltwo (Part One)
06_Eeltwo (Part Two)
07_Oobina (Little Big Horn)
All compositions by Roscoe Mitchell except "Tutankhamen" by Malachi Favors
Roscoe Mitchell plays soprano, alto, tenor and bass saxophones, recorded at Kalamazoo, Michigan October 22, 1973 (tracks 5,6), Montreal, Quebec, November 2, 1973 (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8) and Pori International Jazz Festival, Finland, July 12, 1974 (track 9)
Braxton up next ...