New York Art Quartet Old Stuff

Amidst the sound and fury of the '60s jazz revolution, the New York Art Quartet's music was a passionate cry for freedom, musical and social, though strangely calm and rational, albeit in a parallel, rather than conforming, way. This CD shows co-leaders/composers altoist John Tchicai and trombonist Roswell Rudd performing live in Denmark with a different rhythm section (Louis Moholo on drums and Finn von Eyben on bass) ― quite a change from the original firebrand duo of Milford Graves and Lewis Worrell. Yet from the first tune, "Rosmosis," it's clear that the same guiding vision is present and the liveliness of interplay is every bit as effervescent. And the new guys are playing their asses off. Tchicai's "Sweet Smells" is simultaneously direct and oblique, a perfect setting for his alto's dry, haunting sound. Rudd's "Old Stuff" is a delicious blend of knowing, bluesy horn riffage and blurry, rapid-fire abstractions. If you dug the NYAQ's ESP-Disk release of yore, which set the gold standard for free jazz at its genesis, then you'll definitely want to grab Old Stuff; it's a treasure! (Cuneiform)