Released on Dave Douglas' influential Greenleaf Music...DD has exemplary antenna! Ascendent ensemble playing. This is a great listen...intrinsically linked to Mingus' 'The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady', listen separately or in conjunction but embrace both. Think of them as call and response, perhaps.
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This album is a creation story. Of standing on the shoulders of ancestors. Of legacy and lineage. Of desegregating dance and music. Of giving complete freedom to artists. Of masterpieces begot from pain.
From Bird and Diz (Mercury Records, 1952). To The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (Impulse! Records, 1963). To Touch My Beloved’s Thought (Greenleaf, 2016). A line of musical inspiration that moves in anything but a straight line. It swirls, breaks, splits, leaps, jumps off and on, stops, turns, floods, flocks, tenses, stomps, rests, circles, yearns, holds and blares. This music dances. This dance musics. This is ngoma – the Kiswahili word that is dance and music and drum, that in East Africa is a night of all three together.
When composer Greg Ward and choreographer Onye Ozuzu were
commissioned to create a night of all three together inspired by The
Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, they chose to reference Mingus’ time
and rhythms, runs and melodies, structures and signatures – to realize
Mingus’ impulse to create ethnic-folk-dance music – and to make
something that held Greg and Onye’s own meanings.
In making Touch My Beloved’s Thought, Greg and Onye talked about
Mingus and the music and all that pain that drove him to create. “I had
the image of thunder cracking sparks through a grey sky,” Onye said,
“Like the sound breaking the tension and letting it rain…finding a way to release the storm pent up in the clouds, letting the pain drain.”
They did. So, listen how. Play this record. And dance.
released July 8, 2016
Greg Ward: alto saxophone, compositions
Tim Haldeman: tenor saxophone
Keefe Jackson: tenor & baritone saxophone
Ben LaMar Gay: cornet
Russ Johnson: trumpet
Norman Palm: trombone
Christopher Davis: bass trombone
Dennis Luxion: piano
Jason Roebke: bass
Marcus Evans: drums
Produced by Greg Ward, Mike Reed, and Roell Smidt
Executive Producer Dave Douglas
Recorded Live at Constellation in Chicago, IL
Mixed and Mastered by Griffin Alan Rodriguez
Artwork and Design by Jonathan Crawford
All Compositions by Greg Ward/Greg Ward 2 Music/ASCAP
Considered one of the most versatile saxophonists of his generation, Greg Ward launches his new group Rogue Parade with the release of his latest album, 'Stomping Off From Greenwood,' featuring a quintet of Chicago's finest creative musicians.
supported by 392 fans who also own “Touch My Beloved's Thought”
Yes,yes,yes! I've been waiting for Dave to do this again...two brilliant runs by DDQ and Keystone were documented on Greenleaf back in the day; they were groundbreaking...recorded and released within 24 hours for each set...they were stellar performances and I play them again and again.
With absolutely no chance of ever being there, this is the closest i'll ever be to 'being there'...so excited I may need to lay down in a darkened room for a while! John Cratchley