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All the Magic!

Lester Bowie

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Album Review

Two very different sessions are combined on this two-LP set. Trumpeter Lester Bowie and a quintet also including Ari Brown on tenor and soprano, pianist Art Matthews, bassist Fred Williams, and drummer Phillip Wilson, are often used to accompany the soulful and gospel-oriented vocals of Fontella Bass and David Peaston (in addition to taking colorful solos). The 12-minute "For Louie" and a suite that is dominated by an emotional version of "Everything Must Change" are highlights; also memorable is a brief version of Albert Ayler's "Ghosts." The second album is quite a bit different, a set of unaccompanied trumpet solos by Bowie that are often quite humorous. On "Miles Davis Meets Donald Duck," the meeting does seem to take place; "Thirsty?" is a funny joke, and some of the other pieces (including "Organic Echo," "Dunce Dance" and "Fraudulent Fanfare") are brief but effective wisecracks. All in all, this two-fer shows off both Lester Bowie's playing abilities and his sense of humor.

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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All the Magic!, Lester Bowie
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