Hilary Noble – Noble Savage

Noble Savage
Hilary Noble
(Whaling City Sound – 2002)
by Ray Redmond

After years playing percussion and saxophone with artists like Bobby Sanabria, Entrain, Bo Diddley, Charles Neville, Lettuce, Clifford Thornton, Eric Krasno and Bob Moses, Hilary Noble has produced his own recording. Influenced heavily by Latin jazz, this CD sways heavily back into the standard ahead jazz arena. Tracks like Ile-olorun and Jelly Roll are very straight ahead, whereas most of the others demonstrate what he can do as a jazz saxophonist, Afro-Latin percussionist, and composer. “I hear more harmonic freedom, more collective improvisation, more timbres on the saxophone, more formal openness,” says Noble. He wants to fuse Afro-Cuban rhythmic elements with the avant garde freedom of post-Coltrane jazz, something he calls “Latin free jazz.”

Although he greatly admires and acknowledges the influence of those who have been pushing the music in this direction (e.g. Fort Apache Band, David Sanchez, Papo Vasquez), he feels that there is room for his own contribution, and the proof is in the music.