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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Jazz

Joe McPhee

The Willisau Concert

Joe Mcphee The Willisau Concert
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Corbett Vs. Dempsey present a reissue of Joe McPhee's The Willisau Concert, originally released on Hat Hut Records in 1976. Asked earlier this year which of his out-of-print records he'd like to see available again, multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee's response was immediate: The Willisau Concert! Recorded at the Swiss festival that gave it its name in 1975, it appeared a year later as "Hat Hut B", the second of the new label's great letter series. It came packaged gorgeously in a double-gatefold with artist Klaus Baumgärtner's stunning pen-and-ink work on the inside and out, and a little hand-colored Swiss flag on the interior of each copy. Returning to the music, it's easy to hear why McPhee holds it so dear. He's in absolute top form on tenor and soprano saxophones, ranging from the relaxed and confident Afro-conscious feel of Nation Time (CVSD 011CD) to areas of more diffuse and textural investigation. John Snyder's analog synthesizer is brilliant and hyperbolic, a surprisingly hand-in-glove match for McPhee, not dissimilar to their collaboration on the CjR release Pieces Of Light (1974). South African drummer Makaya Ntshoko is the surprise element, a guest whose sensitivity and warmth are everywhere evident, even when he kicks the energy up a notch. Along with McPhee originals, this reissue includes a never-released bonus, their take on the classic "God Bless the Child", a total heartbreaker. The CD has been designed as a facsimile cover of the LP, respecting the beautiful and original graphic work on this classic record. Never before available in any digital form, remastered from the original tapes, The Willisau Concert is restored to its place as one of McPhee's masterpieces. Recorded live at Willisau Jazz Festival, Switzerland, October 11, 1975. Personnel: Joe McPhee - soprano and tenor saxophone; John Snyder - analog synthesizer; Makaya Ntshoko - drums.

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