American baritone sax player Dave Sewelson recorded three years ago the album «Music For A Free World» (FMR, 2018) with his quartet that featured such heavyweights as double bass player William Parker, trombonist Steve Swell and drummer Marvin Bugalu Smith. Soon this quartet realized that our planet needs much more powerful music in order to retain some degree of freedom. The quartet convened to record the follow-up album at Park West Studios on December 2018.
The music on «More Music For A Free World» is completely free-improvised but based on a strong affinity with the blues and it swings loosely. All four musicians accumulated deep knowledge about the importance of a supportive community of musicians and the healing power of free music. Sewelson, Swell and Parker have played together already in Parker’s Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. Smith was a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra from 1987 until 1992 and played and toured with Chet Baker and Archie Shepp.
«More Music For A Free World» offer three extended pieces that emphasize the democratic, non-hierarchical spirit of this quartet, elements that are also necessary ingredients of any stable and creative, free sound universe and free world. The first piece «Memories» swings with joyful energy and polyrhythmic pulses and often gravitates to effective, irresistible riffs exchanged by all four musicians, with Swell and Smith at top form and both keep charging this piece with tension, drama and poetic articulations. Smith takes the lead on «Dreams» and his layered rhythmic dynamics with Parker are at the center of this piece but Swell with his imaginative blows excels again. Sweleson leads the quartet into the last, compact «Reflections», comparing this short piece to «a warm soup that just gets better with each ingredient that each musician adds». This piece highlights again the musical imagination and depth of their accumulated experiences in the art of the moment.
We need much more music of this kind to keep our world free.
Dave Sewelson (bs), Steve Swell (tb), William Parker (b), Marvin Bugalu Smith (dr)