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Moon Flight

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Album Review

The Survival label was started by Rashied Ali on a shoestring budget in the mid-70s. These discs were rare when they were first issued, so it is to the credit of Knit Classics for reissuing them and allowing a second chance to hear them. On Moon Flight drummer Rashied Ali assembles a group of musicians who didn't have to struggle to keep up with the polyrhythms he inflicted. Joined by James Vass on alto sax, Marvin Blackman on tenor, Charles Eubanks on piano, and Benny Wilson on bass, this ensemble rages through Ali's "Blood on the Cross," Blackman's "Moon Flight," Vass's "A Light," and fellow drummer Zahir Batin's "Face of Forgotten Thought," while veering into a free jazz landscape while oddly juggling jagged hard bop roots. Acting as a balance to this intensity are tributes to John Coltrane in the form of two beautiful compositions — Mal Waldron's "Soul Eyes" and Coltrane's "Naima," which Ali had played live with Coltrane, as documented on the Village Vanguard Again sessions on Impulse.


Born: 01 July 1935 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The task of following Elvin Jones as drummer with John Coltrane must have been one of the most daunting situations ever entered into by a jazz musician. In the mid-'60s, most jazz listeners would have assumed that Jones was the only drummer alive who possessed the requisite imagination, intensity, and powerful sense of swing necessary to drive Coltrane's passions. As it turned out, even Jones had limitations, and since Coltrane was all about transcending limitations, it seems proper that he would...
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