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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Arthur Doyle and His New Quiet Screamers - First House (Amish Records, 2016) *****

By Fotis Nikolakopoulos

Live at the Stone, July 11, 2012

This is for Arthur Doyle, a free thinking spirit in a marginalised world.

When I think of Arthur Doyle, one of the several beautiful things that come into my mind, is his sax playing on Babi. And while Milford Graves seems to be the main figure behind this seminal free jazz workout, it's Doyle, with his thoughtful screams, who joins the dots (more then Hugh Glover) and transfroms the interplay between the artists into something magical to remember.

Beginning with that recording, we have listened Doyle express himself in a fierce, angry, both raucous and melodic way, free from all restraints and preoccupied thoughts. His personal journey began from the free jazz blowouts-in several formats and solo adventures-to the more melodic a la Sun Ra cosmic music of his electro-acoustic ensemble when the 00's arrived.

This shift gave his music a different approach and through this he established a more spiritual way for his art. I guess this was his choice for living too. This LP, First House, finds him, for the last time unfortunately before his passing, leading a new band-The New Quiet Screamers-follows the trajectory of his music from the last ten to fifteen years. It is a live recording from the Stone in NYC and marks a strange coincidence for me, because I was in NYC at that time but for some unknown reason to me did not attend the gig.

Considering how much I enjoy when the term free jazz collides with Doyle's sax, I must admit from the beginning that this is really free jazz. His nine-strong band follows him while he makes love with his jagged tenor sax or his gently blowing through a bamboo flute calls (for) us. This is calling, a shamanistic experience and Doyle is the leader of this ritual. You will not experience the synth or piano driven melodies of his electro-acoustic ensemble here. Tribal rhythms and free reeds are most likely to pave the way for you and me, the listeners, to find our way towards Doyle's (and the music's) wisdom.

To tell you the truth, I did not expect that to happen.Sometimes the music in First House is stripped bare, just the essential but different ones each time, while in other moments the whole of the band plays together with strong interplay and collective willfulness. This is hard to explain, a ritual, as I already mentioned, of sorts. Spiritual healing through a free jazz lens. It works like a prism that gathers all light straight to you heart and soul.


Tenor Saxophone, Bamboo Flute, Vocals – Arthur Doyle
Alto Saxophone – Jeff Tobias
Bass Guitar – Nicholas Emmet
Drums – Jason Robira
Electric Guitar – Jim McHugh, Matty McDermott
Percussion – Jessica Stathos
Piano– Robert Peterson
Trumpet – Dylan Angell
Vocals, Percussion – Eri Shoji