Mark Helias - Desert Blue (1989) [Modern Creative / Avant-Garde]; FLAC (image+.cue)

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Mark Helias - Desert Blue (1989) [Modern Creative / Avant-Garde]; FLAC (image+.cue)

Unread postby Mike1985 » 29 Jun 2017, 10:33

Artist: Mark Helias
Album: Desert Blue
Genre: Modern Creative / Avant-Garde
Label: Enja
Released: 1989
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)
  1. Police Story Blues
  2. Skin
  3. Fourth World
  4. Albert
  5. Desert Blue
  6. Pitchfield Blues
  7. Parousia
  8. Rumination
  9. Morphologarhythm


  • Mark Helias: double bass, Steinberger bass guitar
  • Pheeroan AkLaff: drums
  • Ray Anderson: trombone
  • Anthony Davis: piano, synthesizer
  • Marty Ehrlich: alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet
  • Jerome Harris: guitar
  • Herb Robertson: trumpet, cornet

Helias’ latest marks a decisive shift for the bassist. Moving from more overtly avant conceptual concerns he here pulls in the reins a bit and seems to pay tribute to Mingus. The themes and arrangements (the Slickaphonic funk of “Skin” and the closer notwithstanding have a palpable “beneath the underdog” flavor. Blues, swing, and edge of classicism and a measured dose of freedom are the primary ingredients, though the bassist opts for a slightly less raucous ambiance overall. Ehrlich and Robertson set each other off nicely given the former’s subtly impassioned yet controlled lyricism and the latter’s brilliant quilt of backward glancing forward pushing (Louis Armstrong to Bill Dixon) mannerisms. The aforementioned funk cuts have their pleasures as well. Anderson takes a buzzing bellowing solo on “Skin” while the closer provides compositional interest through Helias’ knowing use of intersecting neo-minimalist lines.
Review by Milo Fine

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