Master improviser, multi~instrumentalist, composer and bandleader Joe McPhee, who is also a great poet, educator, world citizen, and all~around walking / talking / playing miracle, returns to Philadelphia in the company of Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen ~ Trio X, all told ~ offering a rare concert at Tritone on Thursday, February 14, Valentine's Day, at 6:3O p.m. promptly (note the early hour, perfect for delicious treats after work, as well as romantic preliminaries!). Tritone is at 15O8 South Street at South 15th, Philadelphia, phone (215) 545~O475, and tickets are $12 at the door.
If you'd like to catch up with Joe McPhee, past, present, and future, at JoeMcPhee.com you will find a current bio, complete discography (7O~some recordings ~ and counting!), tour dates, some beautiful photos and Jeff Schlanger paintings of Joe, a couple of his poems, and a selection of press quotes that are really fun to read:
* Yes, "The New York Times": "What was noticeable above all wasn't the facility and speed of his playing, but the quality of sound itself... a brave set... Mr. McPhee is intellectual about his music, but the high point of the set spilled over into surprisingly emotional territory... not unlike what Rahsaan Roland Kirk did with folk songs and Jimi Hendrix with 'The Star-Spangled Banner,'" wrote Ben Ratliff;
* and yes, "Cadence" Magazine: "Probably the best saxophone/ cornet instrumentalist in the history of jazz";
* and yes, "Time Out New York": "Magical expressionism... He still has one of the most beautiful tones on the planet, even when he's reaching for jazz's outer limits";
* and yes, even "Downbeat" (John Ephland): "The rare treat of a three-day festival featuring world-class acts became a reality once again as Edgefest kicked out the jams. All were exceptional in their own right, but somehow rising above all this great music was Trio X, saxist / pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee's band... rhapsodic... perfectly eloquent... subtle yet powerful... incredible lyricism."
But my own favorite is still the one from William Parker ~ master bassist, composer, improviser, bandleader, community organizer, poet, philosopher, visionary ~ who responded this way to a Trio X concert:
* "The music is breathing again please check out the melody, the harmony. Check out the spirits rising and falling. The burning straw. The hot peppermint stick dancing! Check out the heroic smoke from the tenor sax. And get with this now bass beyond basics get into the memories of the unanswered question. This is the music of McPhee, Duval and Rosen. Rosen doing more with less. It is the cosmos. It is the purple blues phrasing the call, blow baby blow, it is the song of the pineapple forest and the steelworkers.... Check it out it is great music it is good! All part of the continuum of the mountain sky. It is the morning language. It sits on rooftops and spreads over the city. What am I saying? I am saying check out the music now! Listen to it, seek it, feel it, buy some CD's that carry the names McPhee, Rosen, Duval... Listen, and listen, and listen some more. Let it fill you. Let it bounce off the walls of your soul."
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Margaret Davis, Editor & Publisher, "Art Attack!," the publication for & about liberation musicians in & around NYC, on the Web at: jazznewyork.org.
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