Gary Windo

His Master's Bones

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AllMusic Review by Jim Powers

Saxophonist Gary Windo was a musician's musician, a name usually heard in conjunction with artists with whom he'd worked, such as former Soft Machine members Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper, Carla Bley, and NRBQ. This posthumous collection of unreleased material from 1971-1985, in addition to featuring a stellar cast of progressive music's who's who, also showcases the many facets of Windo's work. Any of the tracks, from the soulful "Watch Out for Bones" to the out-there "You Ain't Gonna Know Me, 'Cause You Think You Know Me," or from the intimate duet with Bley "Baby Fatele" to the ballad "Letting Go," tell the listener that this was a man who lived for and loved many styles of music. Gary's playing runs the gamut from free jazz through funk and soul through hard rock and fusion styles, often within the same solo like his cohorts NRBQ, sadly absent on this collection. One constant running through His Master's Bones is the vigor and joy Windo imparts to the music. The other constant is the nearly unavoidable list of heavyweight supporters; in addition to the aforementioned Wyatt, Hopper, and Bley, Steve Hillage, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Julie Driscoll-Tippett, bassist Steve Swallow, South African trumpeter Mongezi Feza, and soprano sax madman Lol Coxhill are but a few. But these guests are more than just marquee value; from the seventies through the present, they comprised a segment of the progressive music community, all supporting each other's recordings and live performances. One can hear that community in the music, then realize that it was the lifeblood of journeyman sax player Gary Windo.

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