Friday, August 13, 2010

"Suisse Air"

Montreux Suisse Air
(Arista/Novus, 1978)

As you may have guessed, this is not the French electronic duo Air, but, rather, an American free jazz trio from the 70's & 80's:

  • Henry Threadgill (alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, hubkaphone)
  • Fred Hopkins (bass)
  • Steve McCall (drums, percussion)

I started listening to Air when I found out Henry Threadgill was a member. The first jazz artist that resonated with me was Threadgill. My college radio show used to follow the last jazz programming of the day (I was a rock DJ). Almost invariably, if I liked something and asked Steve (the DJ) what it was, his answer was Henry Threadgill.

The first Threadgill stuff I got was the albums he did with his combo The Henry Threadgill Sextett, and they were mighty fine. I think Montreux Suisse Air was the first Air album I bought, around twenty years ago. Or possibly not. It was recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 22, 1978. I like it.

4 biased opinions:

Biki Honko said...

Really? Even reading i couldnt get more than about 35 seconds. for some unknown reason i wanted to hurt someone, anyone would do actually.

barbarians 'r' us are back! w00t!

Lightning Baltimore said...

35 seconds? It's 15 bleedin' minutes long, and builds the whole time! Y've barely let it start! Another exclamation point!

gidouille said...

One of my two favorites (with Open Air Suit) of Air's output, although there really isn't a bad album in their catalog. The groove that Hopkins and McCall fall into on this feature for Threadgill's hubkaphone is ingenious, catchy, funky and deep all at once. This album along with Open Air Suit and Air Lore is included in the just released box of all of Threadgill's Novus and Columbia recordings.

Lightning Baltimore said...

Wow! Thanks for the tip, gidouille. I'm pretty sure I have everything that would be in it, but I'll definitely keep an eye out!