Ronnie Boykins

The Will Come, Is Now

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Ronnie Boykins is best known for his work as bassist with Sun Ra (between 1958 and 1966), but the odd meters and horn arrangements in this 1975 septet session for ESP (the last release on the mythic free jazz label before it dipped out of sight a year later) recall Mingus more than they do Boykins' former employer. The opening title track features some solid soloing from James Vass (on soprano), but the recording throughout is oddly mixed (well, pristine sound quality never was a priority for ESP) and several horn solos sound alarmingly far away. More upsettingly, some of the heads and bridges are rather scrappily executed and/or edited (notably "Demon's Dance"), and the accompaniment behind Boykins' extended bowed feature "Starlight at the Wonder Inn" sounds somewhat lackluster. Ra's influence is more evident, as its title might suggest, on the final "The Third I," where ensemble members double up on percussion for an energetic polyrhythmic romp. Lively and entertaining it may be, but Heliocentric Worlds it definitely is not.

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