Berlin Movement From Future Years

Charles Gayle

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Berlin Movement From Future Years Review

by Thom Jurek

This trio date featuring Gayle on tenor and bass clarinet, bassist Vattel Cherry, and the amazing Michael Wimberly was recorded during a free concert in August of 1993. Interestingly enough, it is the only Gayle record that does not have spiritual overtones in the titles. Instead, it is a single piece comprised of three movements. The only structure that can be detected from these "movements" is the instrument that solos to lead it off: on the first it is Gayle, the second Cherry, and Wimberly in the third.

This is an "energy" date for Gayle. He was still playing from a place of fire and brimstone at this point, rooting through the innards of his horns for sonic possibilities he hadn't experienced yet. The dynamics of the date show his first real exploration of space, using silence to break up the fury with which his trio performed. There are few long, loping lines that are so prevalent on his later records. Here it is the free approach, to move outside so far as to try to get beyond the realm of sound itself. There is plenty of technique as all three players are masterful as soloists and ensemble players. But that's not what this date was about at all. Instead, it explored the melding of three fragmented energies walking through the fiery well of leader Gayle's inspiration and experience as a street musician, a homeless person, a spiritual visionary, and an uncompromising free jazz player. Together they come to a spontaneous holistic realization of the harmonic and modal possibilities a trio could attain. In places they faltered, when playing became more important than hearing, or seeking new directions for this group improvisation to go. But it's a quibble really, based on hindsight.

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