Bob Ackerman

And Now I Can See Crows Mating in the Mist

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There are several reasons to celebrate the release of this recording, which is part of the Historical Series from the prolific Cadence Jazz Records label. First, it features (and is dedicated to) the drummer Denis Charles, who is a considerable asset, his timekeeping skills, fluent lines, and abstract rhythmic thrusts a considerable plus. Also, provocative trumpeter Herb Robertson performs as a special guest. While not a regular member of the trio of vocalist Pam Purvis, saxophonist Bob Ackerman, and bassist Wilber Morris, Robertson is a formidable presence (as he often is), and his elastic sounds prove why he is in so much demand as a sideman. Even with all this talent, Purvis and Ackerman are the primary voices, the latter blowing a collection of 14 different reeds, all negotiated with authority, with the bass sax holding the bottom and the various flutes marking the other end of the range. When this was recorded in 1994, Purvis was relatively new to the concept of free improvisation, and her passionate scatting adds a unique flavor. The group sound is actually surprisingly tame (almost sounding composed, though the tunes appear largely improvised), and there is a serene, joyful, and highly expressive quality throughout. Purvis and Ackerman are precisely in sync, the results of much practicing together as a trio with the legendary Wilber Morris, who contributes in a mostly supportive, though valuable, role. Overall, this is an impressive effort that should reward the patient listener.

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