Friday, February 22, 2019

Arthur Blythe - 1979 - Metamorphosis

Arthur Blythe

01. Duet For Two 17:51
02. Metamorphosis 8:00
03. Shadows 7:40

Alto Saxophone – Arthur Blythe
Cello – Abdul Wadud
Drums – Steve Reid
Percussion – Muhamad Abdullah
Trumpet – Ahmed Abdullah
Tuba – Bob Stewart

Recorded in concert at The Brook, 40 W. 17 Street, New York City, February 26, 1977

Altoist Arthur Blythe's first two recordings as a leader, The Grip and Metamorphosis, were recorded at the same concert; all of the two LP's contents are on this single CD. Blythe was already quite distinctive and an impressive improviser at this early stage, a year before he signed with Columbia. His sextet (which consists of trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah, cellist Abdul Wadud, tuba player Bob Stewart, drummer Steve Reid and percussionist Muhamad Abdullah) performs seven of Blythe's challenging originals and "Spirits in the Field" while the 18-minute "Duet for Two" is a free collaboration by the leader and Wadud.

There is no real thing to say about this, a great free jazz concert album, everyone plays great, especially Blythe, who sometimes plays melodic themes, but usually makes a completely free game. Not once is he singing with a cello accompaniment in a purely and beautiful way, which evokes Coltrane in particular. 
The room and cello give an interesting color to the whole, although I would prefer to be a little more dominant.



  2. really looking forward to checking out these first two Blythe records. thanks so much!