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Cecil McBee – Mutima (Speakers Corner)

Condition: Brand New
Ships from: Melbourne


Cecil McBee, Cecil McBee Jr. (b); Dee Dee Bridgewater (voc); George Adams (ts, ss); Tex Allen (tp, flh); Allen Braufman (as); Art Webb (fl); Onaje Allen Gums (p); Jimmy Hopps (dr, perc); Michael Carvin (perc); et al.

The LP "Mutima" by bassist Cecil McBee for the label Strata East is an important document, which introduces him via his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a short stay in the mid 60s in Detroit as leader of the international jazz scene in New York City. McBee, a pure musician, has a breathtaking technique, diverse harmonic ideas and a tireless swing, but especially as a composer he stands out from other musicians in the mid 70s.

"Life Waves" is a breathtaking piece of composed and improvised music, with a short brass fanfare that introduces McBees chordal 'scratching' and a hard bop drive. The cheeky lines of trumpeter Tex Allen, fiery tenor saxophonist George Adams and thought-provoking alto saxophonist Allen Braufman dig themselves into powerful but contrasting solos, while drummer Jimmy Hopps accelerates. The other flagship piece, "Mutima", has an ascending longer melody that keeps drifting towards samba, which is attractive, engaging and much more introspective than many other attempts in this direction.

The legendary but underrated flutist Art Webb, supported by the wah-wah electric bass of Cecil McBee, Jr., shines with the floating free "A Feeling" and the atypical, but completely contemporary "Tulsa Black", harbinger of the music that Sonny Fortune was to make shortly afterwards.

The two-minute "Voice Of The Seventh Angel" shows the discrepancy of a complex arrangement alongside the beautiful vocals of the young Dee Dee Bridgewater, while McBee performs solo in the endurance runner "From Within", mixed with two basses in one stereo channel each, overlaid with calm, long tuned arcs and static pizzicato in captivating sounds that merge into a screeching reminiscent of the saxophone playing of band members.

In retrospect, McBees' great career allegedly began long before this recording, having worked with Charles Lloyd, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Yusef Lateef, Charles Tolliver and countless others. "Mutima" (translated as "invisible forces") undoubtedly consolidated its size and brilliance as an important actor.

Release details

Label: Strata-East
Format: LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Units: 1
Country: UK
Released: 2019
Genre: Jazz


A1 From Within
A2 Voice Of The 7Th Angel
A3 Life Waves
B1 Mutima
B2 A Feeling
B3 Tulsa Black