A/V – Head Jazz

Head Jazz
(Label M – 2001)
by Matthew S. Robinson

Slap on your big ol’ 70’s headphones and get ready for a ride. Cozying up with Eddie Harris’ “Silver Cycles,” Head Jazz takes your ears (and whatever may be between thme) on a hairpinned tour of contemporary jazz. A combination of a Magritte painting and Fellini film, Head Jazz leads listenrs down path after crooked in a never predictable but always fascinating and oddly rewarding series of twuists and turns, many of which are contained within the songs themselves. Yusef Lateef’s closing double-shot gives two divergent examples of this surprising sequencing.

“In a Little Spanish Town” combines The City Service Quartet on old tyme vocal harmonies with Lateef’s burnished horn and “This Old Building” crashes a techno chopper into a gospel house party. The ever-eclectic Joe Zawinul’s “The Soul of a Village, Part 2” combines aviary samples with a zydecoed hoedown hora that requires Jimmy Scott’s definition of silky “Day by Day” to recover. From David “Fathead” Newman’s choral-introduced “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” to Hubert Laws Traffic-y “Equinox,” Head Jazz ranges from low sparks to hi heeled numbers. This is not an album to be listened to. It is an album to be absorbed and explored.

c. 2001, M. S. Robinson, ARR