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|Heiner Stadler||Primary Artist|
|Tyrone Washington||Flute, Tenor Saxophone|
|Dee Dee Bridgewater||Vocals|
|Joe Farrell||Tenor Saxophone|
Posted March 4, 2012
Although “Brains on Fire” sounds like a new zombie film, it’s actually the title of this retrospective collection featuring music by German composer and pianist Heiner Stadler. Recorded at various sessions between 1966 and 1974, this two-disc set features eight extended tracks that synthesize traditional hard bop impulses with avant-garde structure. Like the equally iconoclastic Graham Collier and George Russell, Stadler creates challenging yet accessible compositional frameworks that allow the utmost freedom to the participating players. Meeting Stadler’s challenge are some of the most adventurous jazz musicians of the era: saxophonists Tyrone Washington and Joe Farrell, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, trombonists Garnett Brown and Albert Mangelsdorff, bassist Reggie Workman, and many others. The soloists stretch out considerably, at times pushing against the boundaries of tonality, at other times locking into eccentrically rolling grooves. No matter how out the music gets, though, it’s marked by fierce intelligence and a deeply felt sense of soul, a quality that can easily get lost in such settings. Just when you think the music is going one place, it takes a surprising twist or turn, tribute to the flexibility and imagination of the composer and his collaborative performers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.