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På skive


«Borrowed From Children»
577 RECORDS, 5843

American veteran sax player Paul Flaherty believes that the «essence of freely improvised music is a release to something greater… It may be an ‘asking’ for something to take over». And he continues and advises how to get involved in this kind of powerful-spiritual, free-improvised experience: «trust is the key, and belief is the path. Trust where it goes and believe that what’s happening is right. Following, listening, and becoming totally engaged. When it works it’s a mystical sensation, as unplanned music winds, explodes, and recedes into peace and chaos in good unpredictable time. The experience that something else has taken over, and the player has become the listener, is what feels magical».

Flaherty’s new «Borrowed From Children» borrows a Native American phrase that refers not to inherit the land from our ancestors, but rather to borrow it from our children. This album relies on the trust solidified by long and lasting interactions of four musicians. Flaherty and drummer Randall Colbourne have been playing together since 1988, for 32 years now, and since the nineties kept collaboration with trumpeter James Chumley Hunt, and adding guitarist Mike Roberson to their common work in 2012. The quartet album was recorded live in concert on November 30th, 2019 at Willimantic Records, Willimantic, CT, apparently, when all the four musicians got together on stage for the very first time as a quartet.

Flaherty says that the original inspiration for «Borrowed From Children» came from «the music of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor, soon to be followed by Albert Ayler, the late period of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann and evolution of musicians from these paths, carrying the music on to this day». There are some Brötzmann-like wild, brutal cries on the opening piece «Crude Gray Sky», but then the original voice of Flaherty soon surfaces and the quartet develops its, free-associative, free-form, free-improvised, inclusive interplay that draws from all and any musical genres including jazz, rock, blues, classical, noise, and marching bands. In this and other extended improvisation, Flaherty suggests a tone and a mood but the quartet allows the collective, energetic interplay to find its own inner, organic rational, pulse, and breath of the piece. The following «Dark Leaves Linger» and «Brazen Eyes» search for a more vulnerable, bluesy avenues, but «An Old Man Gone» returns to the powerful, fiery mode. The bonus piece (available in the digital version) cements this set with an emotional ballad.

Eyal Hareuveni

Paul Flaherty (as, ts), Randall Colbourne (dr), James Chumley Hunt (tp, conch shells); Mike Roberson (g)

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