Ornette Coleman had such an impact on my life as a saxophonist and composer. When he died last month I revisited his recordings, my memories of hearing him perform live and my experiences playing his music (mostly during ECFA’s ‘repertory’ phase–thanks Carl Smith!). That’s when I realized I’d never tried an Ornette tune on banjo.
This is a version of “Lonely Woman” from The Shape of Jazz to Come for clawhammer banjo. I chose this tune, in part, because Charlie Haden’s iconic pedal-point bass line suggested the drone string on a banjo. I bought this album as a freshman in college and remember listening to it again and again until the sheer mystery and befuddlement and out-of-tuneness of the songs gave way to familiarity, love and (hopefully) some understanding of how and why they work.
A year late, I’ve run across this review (in french) of ECFA’s Der Wald. Most accurate statement from the no-doubt innacurate BabelFish translation: “the essential obstinacy of Carl Smith.” Obstinate is a compliment here, of course.
ECFA has released their brand-new CD, Der Wald (2007, Pull The String Records).
The lineup for the CD is Carl Smith, tenor saxophone; Holland Hopson, soprano saxophone; and Jason Friederich, drums; with Alex Coke, soprano saxophone on one track. This release features more new music by tenor saxophonist Carl Smith including “Ergeben” and “Schygullaplatz,” both highlights of the recording. Steve Lacy’s tune “The Retreat” is also featured. A few trio improvisations and one solo tenor sax improvisation round out the disc. A nicely varied set of music, much of it with a chamber music feel, and a step up in audio quality from previous ECFA releases. You can get more info and order the CD here.