Thursday, May 25, 2017

Charles Tolliver / Music Inc. - 1973 - Live At Slugs Volume II

Charles Tolliver / Music Inc. 
Live At Slugs Volume II

01. Spanning 8:30
02. Wilpan's 10:37
03. Our Second Father (Dedicated To The Memory Of John Coltrane) 13:26

Bass – Cecil McBee
Drums – Jimmy Hopps
Piano – Stanley Cowell
Trumpets – Charles Tolliver

Recorded: May 1, 1970

The second volume of this wonderful concert is my favorite by a hair.  Charles Tolliver's music from the 70s displays the influence that working with Andrew Hill had on him.  Hill's music often has a great groove no matter how odd it gets.  The first and last songs of Volume 1 had longer build-ups.  "Spanning" gets moving more quickly, sounding like a cross of John Coltrane's band from Coltrane Live at Birdland and Yusef Lateef's group from Live at Pep's, especially the more out-there tunes from the Lateef concert.  Jimmy Hopps really, really reminds me of Lateef's drummer, James Black, also comparable to Elvin Jones but so much wackier.  The middle tune from Volume 1 of Live at Slugs' slowed things down.  This disc's center, "Wilpan's", kicks things up a notch with exuberance.  "Our Second Father" is a tribute to John Coltrane which can also be heard on Grand Max.  The Live at Slugs' take is wwwwwwwwwwway more hectic, like they had to go pee.  It's exciting but my opinion is slightly tarnished by the later and more refined version of it.    

Owning both this disc and Live at Slugs', Volume 1 is essential for hardcore Jazz fans.  For similar music from the same period you don't have to look too far.  Another trumpeter named Woody Shaw was making music with a similar energetic and expansive feeling.  Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard is well worth a listen.

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