BENNIE MAUPIN — The Bennie Maupin Ensemble : Penumbra

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BENNIE MAUPIN - The Bennie Maupin Ensemble : Penumbra cover
4.52 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2006

Tracklist

1. Neophilia 2006 4:36
2. Walter Bishop Jr. 6:37
3. Level Three 3:18
4. Blinkers 1:24
5. Penumbra 7:06
6. Mirror Image 1:17
7. Message To Prez 6:07
8. Tapping Things 5:40
9. Vapors 4:45
10. One For Eric Dolphy 2:38
11. See The Positive 2:53
12. Trope On A Rope 3:51
13. The 12th Day 2:58
14. Equal Justice 7:15

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Darek "Oles" Oleszkiewicz
Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Flute, Piano – Bennie Maupin
Drums – Michael Stephans
Percussion – Daryl Munyungo Jackson

About this release

Cryptogramophone – CG 129 (US)

Recorded June 16, 17 2003, at No Sound Studios, Pasadena, CA. Except for "Equal Justice" - recorded December 11, 2006, at Crypto Studios, Los Angeles, CA
[The printed recording date for "Equal Justice" is wrong. The Cryptogramophone website states December 11, 2005.]

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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BENNIE MAUPIN THE BENNIE MAUPIN ENSEMBLE : PENUMBRA reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
Multi-reedist Bennie Maupin made his name playing on Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew", and later being a member of Herbie Hancock's funky Headhunters. His moment of real glory is still "The Jewel in the Lotus"(1974) - Maupin's debut as a leader and one of the very best jazz fusion albums ever recorded. In 1977 he released "Slow Traffic To The Right" - strong fusion album, recorded in a key of its predecessor, another year later - less successful, "Moonscapes". Than Maupin stayed in silence for twenty years, returning for " Driving While Black..."(1998), and for the upcoming quarter of the century he released only four more albums. But Bennie was still more active as a collaborator on other artists releases.

Having a cult status among fans of early fusion, Maupin's extremely rare more current albums didn't attract a lot of attention, and in the case of "Penumbra", it's a real shame. Released on the avant-garde jazz label, Cryptogramophone, and recorded in California, this album contains an excellent incarnation of Maupin's music, in a new key and with a new band. Maupin predominantly plays bass clarinet and tenor sax here, the band contains excellent Polish bassist Darek Oles, LA-based veteran drummer Michael Stephans and percussionist Munyungo Jackson.

The album's music is mostly midtempo, very percussive and groovy, quite minimalist and almost chamber. All but one of the songs are Maupin originals ("Penumbra" is credited to all quartet members). Maupin's solos lead each song, sometimes lyrical, soulful, or in other cases - more meditative. It sounds very much as a seasoned veteran telling his life story from the distance of years, with maturity, but without sentimentality or melancholy. Very often Maupin's solos sound as monologues. Surprisingly enough, Bennie's playing is free, "Penumbra" is his freest album for sure. Rhythm section is very supportive, intuitive end intelligent adding lots of modern textures to this intimate music.

Along with "The Jewel in the Lotus", "Penumbra" is one of the very best Maupin albums, a real secret jam.

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