Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Roscoe Mitchell Trio - No Side Effects (Rogue Art, 2006) ***

Roscoe Mitchell is of course one of the figureheads of free jazz, a long time member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and nowadays productive in smaller settings, duets and trios. On this double CD he is accompanied by Harrison Bankhead (bass, cello) and Vincent Davis (drums) , to bring 24 compositions varying between 2 and 14 minutes. The trio improvizes along structural patterns, and the interplay and technical skills of the three musicians, and then especially Mitchell himself, are excellent. And yet, ...yet ... to me one of the essential ingredients for good music is lacking : soul! The whole album sounds very thought-through, well-conceived, but where is the anguish, the pain, the sadness, the joy, the pleasure of playing music? Once in a while all hell breaks loose, such as in the long "Parched Plains" or "Enfold" or"Shake Up", but otherwise this CD sounds very restrained and composed, and comes in my opinion close to modern classical music, sometimes esthetically beautiful, and creatively interesing. And yet ... Emotions, Roscoe, emotions ...

3 comments:

Henry Kuntz said...

Sorry, Stef. I couldn’t disagree more. “No Side Effects” is in fact masterful, (one) state of the improvisational art. No emotion? Well, no, there’s not the usual hand wringing, let it all hang out type of thing going on. The music is so much deeper than that. Try having another listen. Regards, Henry

stef said...

Henry, I'll listen again. And you're probably right, there is music I couldn't appreciate five years ago, which today I think is among the best there is. So - tastes change.

Kreilly said...

No emotion? It may not be working for you at the moment but to suggest that this masterpiece has no soul is, well, kind of silly. The ear of the behearer, you know?