Monday, February 27, 2017

Clifford Thornton - 1971 - The Panther And The Lash

Clifford Thornton 
The Panther And The Lash

01. Huey Is Free 12:25
02. El Fath 13:35
03. Tout Le Pouvoir Au Peuple 4:15
04. Paysage Désolé 4:00
05. Right On ! 3:30
06. Shango / Aba L'Ogun 11:15
07. Mahiya Illa Zalab 4:30

Bass – Beb Guérin
Cornet, Shanai, Trombone, Maracas, Piano – Clifford Thornton
Percussion – Noël McGhie
Piano, Celesta, Balafon, Maracas – François Tusques

Live concert at "La Maison de la Radio" (ORTF) Paris - November 7, 1970.

The album title, referencing the first truly great anthology of poetry written by an African-American, Langston Hughes's 1926 book of the same name, nails Clifford Thornton's political colors firmly to the mast, and they're black. Described, with some justification, by Philippe Carles, the co-author of the seminal Free Jazz Black Power, as the quintessential free jazz performer, Thornton is in absolutely breathtaking form throughout this live set recorded in Paris on November 7, 1970, on which he plays not only the cornet but also trombone, piano, percussion, and shenai, accompanied by the cream of the crop of the local free music warriors, pianist François Tusques and bassist Beb Guérin, as well as the woefully under-recorded American expat drummer Noel McGhie. It's one of the highlights of the America back catalog and its reissue is cause for celebration. Thornton was able, in an all too brief career (he died in Geneva in relative obscurity in 1989), to sign three truly great free jazz albums under his own name. The Panther and the Lash fills the gap between Freedom & Unity (recorded on the day after Coltrane's funeral in 1967, reissued by Atavistic in 2001) and 1975's Jazz Composers Orchestra outing The Gardens of Harlem (JCOA), and is just as indispensable.

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