Gary Thomas

By Any Means Necessary

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The M-Base concept, which never caught on in a big way but did influence the playing of a dozen or so top jazz improvisers, is heard in its prime on this Gary Thomas release. The tenor saxophonist (doubling on flute) meets up with the fiery altoist Greg Osby, keyboardist Geri Allen, keyboardist Tim Murphy, bassist Anthony Cox, drummer Dennis Chambers, percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, and, on some selections, guitarists John Scofield and Mick Goodrick. The music features dense ensembles, simultaneous improvisations, eccentric funk rhythms, and rhythmic but very dissonant horn solos that have a logic of their own. One can think of this noisy date as being an updated extension of Ornette Coleman's Prime Time and is recommended to open-minded listeners who think that nothing new has been played in jazz since the mid-'70s.

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