Wednesday, May 2, 2012
ESP-Disk', 1965; available
5 tracks, 48:10
The enigmatic Logan was long the source of mystery. He recorded two albums for ESP as a leader*, performed a bit as a sideman, and then disappeared for about forty years. He was discovered alive, well, and playing in a park in 2008, even though general opinion was that he had passed away. This album is his first ESP recording, and it's a gem! The other three players are pianist Don Pullen, bassist Eddie Gomez, and legendary free drummer Milford Graves. Logan tackles five instruments: alto and tenor saxes, bass clarinet, flute, and "Pakistani oboe". His playing style comes from a different place than Ayler's et al; there's not much spiritual or folk influence. Most of Logan's lines sound like they came from Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern music. This is especially pronounced on the opening "Tabla Suite", the strangest composition here. Graves performs innovative improvisations on the title instrument, while Gomez and Pullen go along their own respective paths. Logan blows freely and sinuously on what I assume is the oboe, somehow following along with the others while remaining absolutely free of structure. The remaining tracks are much more in traditional free jazz territory; however, they're amazing examples of the genre. "Dance of Satan" and the lengthy "Bleecker Partita" are especially noteworthy for their catchy leads and descents into a sort of controlled improvisation that's uniquely Logan's. Highly recommended to jazz afficianadoes; anything else by Logan is worth a listen too. Logan also provides excellent sideman duties on Patty Waters' COLLEGE TOUR and Roswell Rudd's EVERYWHERE; the latter has an interesting version of "Dance of Satan".
*Actually, he recorded a third unreleased album leading a classical-influenced string-heavy ensemble. One of these days this might be released; it certainly sounds intriguing!