Review

JOE MCPHEE Nation Time (Live at Vassar College)

Live album · 1971 · Classic Fusion
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4.5/5 ·
snobb
Florida-born NY-based reeds player Joe McPhee initially was a trumpet player when (at 32) he switched to saxophone (self taught) and became a member of New York loft scene."Nation Time" is his second album as leader,recorded live in concert at The Urban Center for Black Studies at Vassar College,NYC(two of three album's compositions).

Quite obscure recordings (originally released on tiny CjRecord label)contain excellent and highly original mix of free jazz,r'n'b, jazz-rock and free funk. It's even more impressive that all this material was recorded in 1970,just few months after Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" arrived.

Just three compositions, each differs from two others by stylistic components and arrangements. Probably "Shakey Jake" is most intriguing one - differently from two other songs, it was recorded in studio the next day after concert with larger line-up adding to regular McPhee quintet (Mike Kull(electric piano),Tyrone Crabb(electric and acoustic bass),Bruce Thompson and Ernest Bostic(both - percussion)) an alto saxophonist, an organist, and an electric guitarist.

All album sounds more rock-heavier,r'n'b-groovier and funky-freer than more sophisticated "Bitches Brew". Masterpiece.
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