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Trails of Tears

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In the 1960s, French trumpeter and composer Jacques Coursil was part of New York’s free-jazz scene, appearing on Sunny Murray’s first album and Frank Wright’s Your Prayer; soon he went on to record under his own name. 2011’s Trails of Tears, which is a musical meditation on Native American displacement and African slavery in America, finds Coursil leading Cadences Libres, a quartet that includes keyboardist Jeff Baillard, bassist Alex Bernard, and drummer José Zébina. “The Removal, Pt. 1” features another band, Free Jazz Art, made up of drummer Sunny Murray, bassist Alan Silva, clarinetist Perry Robinson, pianist Bobby Few, and alto saxophonist Mark Whitecage. Coursil displays a distinctive style, and he makes effective use of long tones and stuttered notes. Cadences Libres create a low-key and often impressionistic backdrop for his unusual trumpet solos. Free Jazz Art, by contrast, performs more heady music that breathes fire at times. Bobby Few dazzles as a member of the sextet, as well as on “The Removal, Pt 2,” a moody piece for trio.


Born: 1939 in Paris, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The ranks thin when it comes to certain instruments in genres of jazz. With the avant-garde and free jazz of the '60s and beyond, there were some trumpet players of great distinction and some enjoyable middling players, but on the whole it would hardly have been considered a crowded room compared to the number of saxophonists on hand. Jacques Coursil was technically one of the finest brass players to create avant-garde jazz in the '60s and '70s, including two brilliant albums as a leader that were...
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Trails of Tears, Jacques Coursil
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jan 25, 2011

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