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Album Review

Jarman, most widely known as an essential member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, recorded numerous projects under his own name, including this relatively mainstream effort for the small Four Star label, featuring an early recorded appearance by the fine pianist Geri Allen. With the late, great bassist Fred Hopkins on hand, several of the pieces take on an Air-ish quality, especially the dreamy "Love Song for a Rainy Monday" with Jarman on bass flute, which is very reminiscent of some of Henry Threadgill's beautiful dirges. Two standards are included, Sidney Bechet's charmingly raffish "Petite Fleur" and Charlie Parker's "Blues for Alice," both performed in a straightforward and heartfelt manner. The closing composition is overtly shakuhachi-influenced (presumably also reflecting Jarman's Buddhist beliefs), with the leader's finely intoned flute wafting over Allen's synthesizer produced koto sounds and Hopkins' deep pluckings. Not necessarily a major effort and certainly not of the revolutionary aspect of his own Song For, Inheritance is still a solid, thoughtful album, and one deserving of a listen by fans of Jarman and the Art Ensemble.


Born: 14 September 1937 in Pine Bluff, AR

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Jarman was not so accomplished a saxophonist as his reed-playing partner in the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Roscoe Mitchell. But Jarman's sense of color was fine, his blunt-edged improvisations projected an emotionally immediacy of their own, and his interest in poetry and theatre informed the band's live performances. While attending high school in Chicago in the early '50s, Jarman took up the drums under the tutelage of the famous music teacher Walter Dyett. He switched to saxophone and clarinet while...
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