Jemeel Moondoc

New World Pygmies

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Bring together one of the under-recorded, unsung masters of alto saxophone, Jemeel Moondoc, with the astonishing bass playing of William Parker, and what do you have? It should not come as a surprise to anyone that this live set from the 1998 Fire in the Valley Festival is not only some of the best Moondoc material on disc, but also a fine example of some of the best free saxophone playing in recent years. Parker is a strong addition to any group, but he is mostly in a supporting role here, while Moondoc spurts forth line after line of creative inspiration. There is an acerbic quality to the saxophonist's sound, reminiscent of Ornette Colemen's tone from the early 1960s. Moondoc is a sort of odd, underrated elder statesman of free music, occupying a role not dissimilar to that of Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson. There is much to savor on this one, and a lot from which younger musicians can learn.

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