If anybody reading this is planning to attend the Vision Fest in New York this week, may I recommend that you go and check out the Eddie Gale All Star Band, which includes William Parker on bass and Kidd Jordan on tenor among others. The band are to play at the festival venue, The Angel Orensanz Foundtion, on Saturday at 8:30 and it should be a hoot. If you do get to go, please drop me line on how the gig turned out as I would have loved to have been there myself. Visit the Vision Festival website for more information (it's flash site, so I couldn't retrieve any direct links to the schedule).
In case you don't know Eddie Gale or his music, let me give you a short bio. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941, and grew up on gospel and blues. He started out playing trumpet with several prominent hard boppers, before he was drafted in to play on records by Sun Ra, Lester Young, and Cecil Taylor, Most notably the latter's Unit Structures. Gale has recorded sporadically as a leader, but two of those occasions have spawned the records Ghetto Music (Blue Note, 1968) and Black Rhythm Happening (Blue Note, 1969), both of which I admire deeply. The music on these records feels like an extension of Max Roach's experimentation with protest music with vocals in a hard bop setting, but at the same time the music is clearly inspired by the avant-garde and it also has a distinctive funkiness to it. His last recording as a leader was, to my knowledge, Afro Fire from 2004. Finally, I've uploaded a tune from Black... so you can get a taste of his music.
- Eddie Gale: "Song of Will" mp3 (from Black Rhythm Happening, Blue Note/Water, 1969)
Check out Gale's informative website for more, including video clips and sound bites.