Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - John Sharpe
Incendiary similes have always proven popular as descriptors of free jazz. Indeed, "Fire Music," has been used as a label for the whole genre. New Orleans-based saxophonist Kidd Jordan's 2006 outing, the superb Palm of Soul (AUM Fidelity), essayed a meditative calm, music which couldn't be more different from the accurately named 50-minute studio session On Fire. While bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Warren Smith would be eminently suited to a contemplative, even melodically inclined date, here they too pursue more rough-hewn ends.
As customary for Jordan, each cut is spontaneously created, relying on the participants' quick wits and instincts honed over 55 plus years of activity in not only avant jazz, but also, as in the case of Jordan, stints backing R&B royalty like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Jordan's signature falsetto wail - an uncompromising but deeply felt sound - permeates each track although the resultant blowing is more than one- dimensional. He spikes his unbridled expression with insistent riffs or reflective codas, around which his colleagues rally and create emphatic conclusions. On "We Are All Indebted To Each Other," the combination of both approaches, with a beautiful luminous tone, makes for a strikingly affecting conclusion. ... read more...
All About Jazz - Hrayr Attarian
Tenor saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan is one those rare musicians who is able to imbue the freest, most advanced improvisations with extreme lyricism and build complex harmonies out of dissonant notes. On Fire showcases his sublime musicianship to the fullest.
On "Officer, that Big Knife Cuts My Sax Reeds," Jordan's breaths fire on an emotionally cathartic and furious solo, replete with honks and shrieks that grow more quietly contemplative yet also more elaborate as the piece progresses. On the "We Are All Indebted To Each Other" his plaintive tone is emotionally uplifting with hints of melancholy not unlike a spiritual. His insistent "The Evil Eye" resembles a Native American chant, opening with drummer Warren Smith's sonorous roar and featuring Harrison Bankhead's earthy, alternating arco and pizzicato bass. Smith's polyphonic percussion casts a hypnotic spell with a ceremonial aura and is punctuated by Jordan's chirps and tweets that are like the mating calls of a mighty and mythical bird. ... read more...
Personnel: Kidd Jordan (saxophone); Harrison Bankhead (cello); Warren Smith (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Steven Walcott.
Recording information: Three Egg Studios, Brooklyn, NY (06/11/2011).