Density of the Lovestruck Demons

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Canadian pianist Paul Plimley and his bass playing compadre Lisle Ellis have been making records together for over 20 years, even if no one knew about them other than a few handfuls of staunch free jazz fans in the U.S. and Europe. On his last HAT disc, Density of the Lovestruck Demons, Ellis and Plimley made a recording solely of Ornette Coleman's music. It was a creative and ardent exercise in reaching through the artist's music to the place Coleman himself reaches for: the place where tune and composer separate and the improvisation leaves the realm of music entirely to become possessed solely by the world of sound. Here, Plimley, Ellis, and drummer Donald Robinson take ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Canadian pianist Paul Plimley and his bass playing compadre Lisle Ellis have been making records together for over 20 years, even if no one knew about them other than a few handfuls of staunch free jazz fans in the U.S. and Europe. On his last HAT disc, Density of the Lovestruck Demons, Ellis and Plimley made a recording solely of Ornette Coleman's music. It was a creative and ardent exercise in reaching through the artist's music to the place Coleman himself reaches for: the place where tune and composer separate and the improvisation leaves the realm of music entirely to become possessed solely by the world of sound. Here, Plimley, Ellis, and drummer Donald Robinson take that a step further. Plimley's compositions dominate this recording -- and they should, as he is as fine a writer as we have in jazz -- but they are anchored in key places by three Coleman compositions, all of which are (in)famous for the amount of freedom they allow the interpretive players. The set opens with the beginning of a suite -- a thematic, really -- which holds within it several other compositions. The theme is stated briefly and Robinson establishes a slippery rhythm, which Ellis commands in a few bars. Plimley then spontaneously composes over the top, accenting chromatic changes and eighth note rows in tonal variation. This is immediately followed by a reading of Coleman's "W.R.U." The trio dynamic is revealed here for how well it works in Plimley's pianism. Coleman's theme is established firmly if fluidly by all three and carried into a mode change by the rhythm section. Here, Plimley takes off, moving in a circular fashion, further and further away from the tune until he reaches a space where the improvisation transforms itself back into the body of the thematic variation played by the rhythm section at that moment! This also happens with more focused intent on "Trio Tuning," a four-part suite which includes an alternating series of tunes by Plimley and Coleman (actually two different takes of Coleman's "I Heard It Over the Radio" are interspersed with Plimley's minor key extravaganza "The Reception"). Again, it's all thematics. The entire recording is based on these "themes and variational themes" which Plimley and Ellis concoct over solid jazz themes and rhythms. Certainly, this is free jazz, because it could be nothing else. It does swing, and it moves and pushes the boundaries of what jazz might consider itself to be, but it does so with respect for the piano lineage of the music, and with a sense of humor (check out the Vince Guaraldi quotes on "In the Hand of the Land, Eyes to the Sky"). This is one of Plimley's finest moments to date.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/24/2006
  • Label: Music & Arts Program
  • UPC: 017685490620
  • Catalog Number: 4906
  • Sales rank: 247,143

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul Plimley Primary Artist, Piano
Donald Robinson Drums
Lisle Ellis Acoustic Bass
Technical Credits
Don Paul Producer
Richard Cook Liner Notes
Rita J. Chang Graphic Design
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