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This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 by Henry Threadgill Zooid

Since the 2001 releases of, "Everybodys Mouth's a Book" and "Up Popped the Two Lips," saxophonist, composer and progressive-jazz icon returns with an excitingly unique approach to composition. However, these attributes or musical proclivities should come as no surprise, given his celebrated past and multifarious concepts and influences. With his longtime soloing foil, guitarist Liberty Ellman, and the intricately generated rhythms by the entire unit, the leader’s modus operandi features serialized solo spots that subconsciously translate into a domino effect.

Threadgill’s odd-metered rhythmic cadences and group unison choruses are built upon gradually ascending underpinnings and staggered metrics. They hustle and bustle but vary the flows, where Threadgill and Ellman solo over the top and subliminally pass the baton via ongoing diversions and shifting parameters. They also generate off-kilter rock pulses that surface as micro-beats sewn together within an expansive, polyrhythmic foray. And Threadgill’s work on flute serves as either an equalizer, or propellant, glowingly contrasted by the guitarist’s lyrically resplendent improvisations.

The musicians’ contrapuntal exchanges in concert with tubaist/trombonist Jose Davilla’s agile lines and pumping bottom-end spawns a deeply organic vibe throughout. Elliot H. Kavee launches a poetic drumming/percussion blitzkrieg on the opening movement of "Sap," followed by the soloists’ navigation thru a dense maze of choruses, led by Threadgill’s buzzing sax parts. Yet it’s not all about cerebral intent during the playful, free-form excursions heard on "Mirror Time The Verb." Indeed, Threadgill’s singular voice and kaleidoscopic song-forms impart a ubiquitous musical architecture.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Henry Threadgill Zooid
  • CD Title: This Brings Us To, Vol. 1
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: PI Recordings
  • Musicians: Henry Threadgill (flute, alto saxophone), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Jose Davila (trombone, tuba), Stomu Takeishi (bass guitar), Elliot H. Kavee (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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