New York Art Quartet - Revisited

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2023 release

The seeds of the New York Art Quartet (NYAQ) were sown in late 1963 when saxophonist John Tchicai—then a member of New York Contemporary Five (NYCF)—had a one-off gig at a Midtown restaurant. Trombonist Roswell Rudd, who was there on the recommendation of Don Cherry, was impressed by what he saw, so he and Tchicai began playing together. Eventually, after NYCF broke up, they formed NYAQ with bassist Lewis Worrell and drummer Milford Graves.

In November 1964, the quartet recorded their eponymous debut recording for ESP Disk, which comprises the first four tracks of Revisited. One of the pieces was written by Tchicai, the other three by Rudd, although half of one of those was a poem by LeRoi Jones {a.k.a. Amiri Baraka) who recited it himself. The release of the album was delayed because of the Jazz Composers Guild's boycott of record companies; by then Worrell had moved on, to be replaced by Reggie Workman. The new line-up recorded the album Mohawk for Fontana in July 1965; five of that album's seven tracks complete Revisited. Of those five, two were Rudd compositions, one by Tchicai, plus Charlie Parker's "Mohawk" and the pop standard "Everything Happens to Me."

All things considered, NYAQ were as innovative in their way as other ensembles which were better known and more praised by critics. In line with quartets such as Ornette Coleman's, NYAQ had no piano or other harmonic instrument so they were able to roam free. NYAQ's saxophone and trombone combination was at odds with Coleman and other groups' sax and trumpet front line, with Rudd avoiding bop cliches while complementing Tchicai's fluid soling. Bass and drums do not act solely as time-keepers but are dynamic driving forces throughout. NYAQ broke up in February 1966, which seems premature given the quality of the music on their two albums. On this evidence, history will be kind to this quartet.

John Eyles  - Allaboutjazz

Tracks: Short; Sweet / Black Dada Nihilismus; Rosmosis; No. 6 ; Rufus 3rd; Mohawk; Banging on the White House Door; No. 6; Everything Happens to Me.

Personnel: Player Name: Roswell Rudd: trombone; John Tchicai: alto saxophone; Lewis Worrell: double bass (1-4); Milford Graves; percussion; LeRoi Jones: recitation (2); Reggie Workman: double bass (5-9).



SKU 752156114925
Barcode # 752156114925
Brand ezz-thetics / Hat Hut Records

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