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Roscoe Mitchell Trio/Roscoe Mitchell: No Side Effects

Album Notes

A landmark recording as much as a powerful statement, this two-disc set features a trio comprised of leader Roscoe Mitchell on a selection of woodwind instruments that offers a wide range of tonalities with longtime collaborators Harrison Bankhead on bass as well as cello, and Vincent Davis on drums. Mitchell achieves a fine equilibrium between introspection, angularity, and intensity. His stellar and unfettered blowing, which relies on his trademark circular breathing technique, gets its share of the spotlight, usually over a barrage of cymbal crashes and Bankhead's frenetic bowing. When he switches to the flute or the bass saxophone, his delivery becomes aerial or stately, respectively. The performance has a timeless quality since Mitchell only tries to fulfill his artistic mission, makes no concession to trends, and refuses to compromise with his ideas. In this endeavor he is supported by two sidemen who have reached an impressive confidence level. Davis shows restraint when needed and impresses with his sense of placement as well as his pertinent cymbal accents. The great and overlooked Bankhead can be alternatively mournful and muscular, and his sound is no less than magnificent. Mitchell penned all the compositions and whether they are fierce or serene they always come to a full resolution. They are also adroitly sequenced to give the recording a remarkable balance. No Side Effects simply finds Mitchell at the peak of his creative powers. ~ Alain Drouot


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