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Dolphy's Hat

Artist: David Haney

Date of Release: 21/04/2014

Catalogue no: SLAMCD549

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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PRIMITIVE ARKESTRA, DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC BY DAVID HANEY

The CD presents a collection of recordings by ‘Primitive Arkestra’ from 2008 and 2013 in quartet to 12 piece, all directed by pianist/conductor David Haney.

David write:
“This live CD is a collection of improvised works for large ensemble. The musical groups vary on most selections, offering a snapshot in time of the life of Primitive Arkestra. Julian Priester, Roy Campbell, Steve Swell, Adam Lane, Frank Clayton are but a few of the amazing artists included. A few of the pieces were conducted by me, others I directed from the piano. The themes are simple and secondary to the forms. In setting up the pieces there were no rehearsals, and the instructions were intentionally kept to a minimum. This album is dedicated to the many members who contributed so much. Special thanks in memory of the late Roy Campbell. The Arkestra was blessed with his presence and performances at the I-Beam in Brooklyn, NY for the 2013 Cadence Fest. Thanks Roy!”

The collective personnel is: David Haney piano, conductor, Julian Priester trombone, Steve Swell trombone, Marc Smason trombone, shofar, digerydoo, Frank Clayton bass, Oleg Ruvinov tuba, Nadya Kadrevis drums, Rosalyn DeRoos clarinet, Doug Haning contra alto clarinet, Michael Wimberly drums, Matt Cercily mandolin, Dan Blunck tenor sax, flute, Roy, Campbell flute, trumpet, Juan Pablo Carletti drums, Adam Lane bass, Blaise Siwula sax, David Bindman sax, Avram Ferver sax, David Arner piano, Liam Sillery Trumpet, Bob Reina Piano Chris Jones Bass, Mark Flynn Drums, Jack DeSalvo cello, Matt Lavelle trumpet, Nora McCarthy voice, John Murchison bass, Stan Nishimura trombone, Diana Wayburn flute, Frankie Wilson tenor sax, Constance Cooper piano.

 

Reviews

 

17/07/2018 Chris Searle

LED by pianist David Haney, 31 top US jazz musicians took part in five sessions from 2008 to 2013 to create this powerful album invoking the memory of the epochal alto saxophonist Eric Dolphy (1928-1964).

Primitive Arkestra is an amalgam of luminous and seasoned musicians with much younger players and taking part in these sessions in New York and Seattle was the late and outstanding trumpeter Roy Campbell, also playing flute, arch-bassist Adam Lane and two trombonists of startling innovative power and experience — slide man Steve Swell and the veteran Julian Priester, a duo partner of Haney.
Dolphy's Hat, primarily ensemble pieces, has less emphasis on solo work and opener Rutless Opening has bassist Frank Clayton anchoring the rhythm with Oleg Ruvinov's tuba and the palavering instrumental of Priester's trombone, Rosalyn De Roos's airy clarinet, Dan Blunck's guttural tenor and Haney's piano make potent play in Leopard's Boulevard.
The free-flowing L.T. Ruckus has Campbell playing a chirruping flute and the 15 minutes of the title track are earthed by tuba and bass in subterranean beat unison which stops suddenly for Haney and Priester to exchange their notes and narratives.
Mark Smason's didgeridoo creates an entirely new jazz timbre beneath De Roos's clarinet before Ruvinov's tuba and Matt Sircely's mandolin create another surprising colloquy, invoking Dolphy's spirit with a profoundly fresh soundscape.
Conflagration introduces pianist David Arner's burning keys chiming out of the ensemble, grounded by Lane's delving bass. Another bassman, Frank Clayton, pulsates alongside a sextet including Juan Pablo Carletti's rustling drums, Doug Haning's flute-like contra alto clarinet and Haney's free piano sonics on the blazing Kicking the Tin Pan Alley.
Two basses, two pianos, six horns and Nora McCarthy's wordless voice build the atmospherics of Desolate Row, the graphic narrative of New York in 2013, with all players making it a grimly urban sound portrait. In the quartet Sir Drips a Lot, those drips fall from Blunck's tenor while Mark Smason's slides and Haning's contra alto clarinet have their enigmatic exchanges.
Remember Uncle Two Brains is prefaced by Sircely's mandolin and accompanied by Clayton's worrisome bass and Ruvinov's tuba before De Roos's clarinet enters and the two trombones of Smason and Priester make their forays over Nadya Kaarevis's rumbling drums.
What kind of missive was the Nina Rota Letter to Fellini? The Brooklyn musical posties begin to tell us through the effervescent saxophones of Blaise Siwula and Avram Fefer, Michael Wimberley's fierce drumming and Lane's bowed bass.
Then, unpredictably, the marvellous Campbell comes steaming out of the ensemble above Wimberley's crashing drums and Lane's pugnacious pulse for a burning trumpet chorus, one of the last he was to record in his home city of New York. As Swell's gruff notes lead out the denouement with all horns in excitation, you can only wish you were there.
The last track Freedom Thirty Five, another from Seattle, has the two trombones of Priester and Smason together again, with the acidic tones of De Roos's clarinet flying out above them and over the rhythmic propulsion which defines an album of rhythm, freedom and collectivity, where no single sound dominates and where all who play are equal.
Chris Searle 17/07/2018 https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/arkestra-doffs-hat-dolphy-magisterial-live-sessions

 

01/02/2014 Rotcod Zzaj

David Haney Trio – DAY FOR NIGHT AT JACKSTRAW: There are actually two recordings here featuring some great jazz/improv piano work from David & a host of players. Pieces like “Blues Eventually” and “Elephant of Surprise” feature Marc Smason on trombone, shofar; Doug Haning doing contra alto clarinet, Dan Blunck playing tenor sax and flute, Frank Clayton on bass, Juan Pablo Carletti doing drums… the music is on the outer edge of the comfort zone for “normal” jazz listeners… of course, none who read this magazine fall in that category, I suspect, so you’ll fall in love with it right away! The other three tracks were recorded in (about) 2000, and featured Julian Priester doing trombone, Buell Neidlinger on bass in concert with David’s keyboards. My personal favorite on this one was the lively & rambunctious (yet subtle) “Khartoum“… a great adventure for dedicated jazz listeners everywhere. I give David & crew(s) a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. Get more information at the SLAM Productions label site for this CD. Rotcod Zzaj http://rotcodzzaj.com/?page_id=5603

 

01/08/2013 Brian Morton

I was first aware of Canadian pianist Haney working with Priester on a strange Cadence disc called Caramel Topped Terrier, which took some getting used to. They played duo on the subsequent For Sale: Five Million Cash and then in 2006 on a remarkable evocation of Ota Benga of the Batwa, an African man who in the early years of the 20th century was displayed in the Bronx Zoo as proof of our evolutionary descent from the primates.
There is not quite the same darkness about the trio pieces with Neidlinger but Priester’s mournful tone and subdued approach – he’d recently had a liver transplant – give the session a thoughtful and melancholic pitch. The middle piece Lightening (sic) Tooth and Thunder Foot, is wholly improvised, a fascinating blend of deep song on brass, low throbs from Neidlinger and staccato piano interventions. It’s a fascinating dialogue, moderated from the keyboard, constantly shifting. The two composed pieces work the same way. Like everything of Haney’s it repays careful and patient attention.
The later date was also a near disaster. This time there was no drum kit for the planned radio performance and someone had to dash off and find one. Carletti, who I believe is Argentinian, doesn’t swing like a North American player. He blends marching accents, accelerating rolls, free spots and cleverly timed gaps, the perfect accompaniment to Haney’s intriguing conception. The other players are well chosen. Smason is a good stand-in for Priester, Blunck wails and the low clarinet sound fills in the picture just right. The three pieces are organised round tightly coded piani parts that draw on elements of modern composition but still manage to retain something of the mood of a late-night, down-home jam. That’s an extraordinary combination to pull off, but Haney has to be considered some kind of vernacular avant-gardist or high-brow populist. Pick your musical paradox. He has it covered.
Brian Morton Jazz Journal, August 2013

 

01/06/2013 Jack Kenny

"The CD presents two Sessions recorded eight years apart in the same studio – Jackstraw Studios, Seattle, USA – by two different groups, both led by pianist David Haney.
The first three tracks record a trio comprising Haney and two immensely influential musicians: Julian Priester and Buell Neidlinger. On the remaining three tracks, recorded 8 years later in 2008, Haney leads a sextet of early members of the Primitive Art Ensemble.
Priester’s curriculum vitae is astounding in its variety: from Bo Diddley to Sonny Stitt; from Roach to Blakey; from Sun Ra to Hampton. He even worked on Coltrane’s Africa Brass. His six months with Ellington meant that he worked on the New Orleans Suite playing the duet with Booty Wood on Second Line. Neidlinger was first noticed with Cecil Taylor. Subsequently he has worked with Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Gunther Schuller, Jimmy Giuffre, John Cage, Igor Stravinsky, Frank Zappa, and even Tony Bennett.
Priester dominates the first three tracks. His inventiveness is spellbinding. He stretches out and alternates between the assertive and reflective. All the time he is himself playing in the tightly controlled way that has characterised his career.
David Haney’s piano accompanies more than solos when he plays on the first three tracks. Neidlinger seems to have been recessed in the mix meaning that his tone and timbre does not come over as well as the other two. Strangely Frank Clayton’s bass is much more assertive than Neidlinger was on the earlier tracks. ‘Elephant of Surprises’ has a good shape enabling Marc Smason to build the atmosphere together with drummer Carletti.
Tentative piano from Haney opens ‘Blues Eventually’. Dan Blunck sounding a little like a latter-day Hank Mobley joins the leader and then duets with Smason who is not afraid to explore the deeper notes of the trombone.
The opening rapid pace of the ‘Possession of Foxes’ extends everyone’s technique.
I suppose this is two short albums. The second one gives space to younger musicians to show what they can do. The first three tracks reassure us that Priester in his seventies is energetic, questing and inventive.

Reviewed by Jack Kenny June 2013 http://jazzviewscdreviews.weebly.com/

 

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