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Buddy Bolden's Rag - 100 Years of Jazz (Featuring Lester Bowie)

Lester Bowie & Malachi Thompson

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Album Review

Malachi Thompson is impressive not only because of his talents as a composer and a soloist, but also because of his versatility. The Chicago trumpeter has no problem playing Blue Note-flavored hard bop/post-bop, but he's equally comfortable in avant-garde situations. Though Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard are strong influences on Thompson, he has also learned a lot from Lester Bowie. In fact, Bowie is a featured guest on Buddy Bolden's Rag. This superb CD finds Thompson celebrating the contributions of New Orleans cornetist Buddy Bolden, one of jazz's pioneers and a major influence on such greats as King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. It has been argued that Bolden single-handedly "invented" jazz in the 1890s, and while it's a stretch to say that he invented jazz all by himself, he most certainly played a crucial role in its development. (Jelly Roll Morton, by the way, claimed to have "invented" jazz — again, no one should take credit for single-handedly inventing it). On Buddy Bolden's Rag, Thompson and his band Africa Brass salute Bolden in an unconventional way; instead of playing traditional New Orleans jazz, they provide inside/outside post-bop that acknowledges Crescent City brass bands as well as avant-garde and AACM jazz. Thompson looks back on jazz's early history but does so without being the least bit dogmatic about it, and the result is a very enriching and unpredictable CD.

Biography

Born: 11 October 1941 in Frederick, MD

Genre: Jazz

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

From the 1970s until his death in 1999, Lester Bowie was the preeminent trumpeter of the jazz avant-garde — one of the few trumpet players of his generation to adopt the techniques of free jazz successfully and completely. Indeed, Bowie was the most successful in translating the expressive demands of the music — so well suited to the tonally pliant saxophone — to the more difficult-to-manipulate brass instrument. Like a saxophonist such as David Murray or Eric Dolphy, Bowie invested...
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Buddy Bolden's Rag - 100 Years of Jazz (Featuring Lester Bowie), Lester Bowie
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