Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Jayne Cortez - Everywhere Drums

Continuing on with the National Poetry Month theme:

It's hard to say where to file this album. Cortez is a poet, but her backing band, the Firespitters, is a jazz outfit and Cortez certainly interacts with them. Yet, she is not a jazz vocalist. Rather she recites her poetry with the band playing. Her recitation is forceful and can be hypnotic and mesmerizing. She's a challenging artist who does not compromise her work. She has at least 10 books of poetry published - much of it self published.

Jayne Cortez was born in Arizona, but spent most of her life growing up in Southern California. In 1954 she married Ornette Coleman. A couple of years later they had a son, who also grew up to be a jazz musician (drummer). He plays in his mother's band. Coleman and Cortez divorced in 1964. She moved to New York, pursuing her art (she paints as well) and her muse. It's taken her around the world many times since then, providing Cortez with a unique perspective on people and politics.

One of the delights of fulfilling these requests is that they force me to go back and listen to some of these albums again. It's been ages since I spent time listening to the forceful attack of "Adupe", the funk of "What's Happening", or the trance inducing "Everywhere Drums". These are fine compositions and I enjoy them whenever I listen to them. YMMV.

Playing with Cortez: Denardo Coleman (drums), Al Mac Dowell (bass), Charles Moffet, Jr. (tenor sax), Bern Nix (guitar), Abraham Kobena Adzenyah (percussions), Edward Blackwell (drums), Bill Cole (Korean Hojok), and Frank Lowe (tenor sax). This album was released on Cortez's own label/publishing house, Bola Press.


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