Saxophonist Sabir Mateen is one of those musicians who have been playing free jazz since the seventies, playing with all the icons of the genre such as Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Daniel Carter, Steve Swell and Frode Gjerstad, to name just a few. With the latter two he recorded a new album on Not Two, and a solo album on RogueArt. He is a frequent player in the free jazz mini big bands, like the Little Huey Orchestra, Gjerstad's Circulasione Totale, and Earth People.
Sabir Mateen & Frode Gjerstad - Sound Gathering (Not Two, 2010) ***
Sabir Mateen - URDLA XXX (RogueArt, 2010) ****
Recorded live on October 11, 2008 at URDLA in Vileurbanne, France, Mateen brings this wonderful solo album. To my knowledge this is his first, but I may be wrong. After listening to "Sound Gathering", this album is absolutely refreshing : it is sober, calm, yet captivating. He begins with some African (?) chants, entering from the dark depths of the stage, approaching the mikes, an incantation that sets the scene for two alto clarinet pieces. "Music is Sound" is a hard to understand poem, accompanied by rattling bells, but the key message is "life is music, music is life, everything is music, music is nothing but sound", a call to action for the alto saxophone, urgent, full of distress and squeezed notes. "One For The Road" is a bluesy piece, in contrast to the previous "Sekasso Blues". "More Than A Hammer" is quite melodic and rhythmic, and increasingly so the last piece "Blessing To You". A nice and welcome solo album, showing a different side of the musician, but one of equal value.
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Watch nice clip with Sabir Mateen