Monday, May 17, 2010

Air's Air Raid reissued

Note to self: read my e-mails once I get them!

Received notification from the JazzLoft on May the 13th that they have Air's second studio album, Air Raid (Why Not, 1976. 2010 reissue by Candid), available for orders (original recording details, courtesy of Lars Backström).

Air Raid is at times edgier and tougher than their first record, Air Song, and perhaps even better. The title track and opening piece of the record, starts off at rip roaing speed, but travels through some mellower patches, only to return to the "action" the title suggests we're in for. It's both a disturbing and almost beautiful contemplative piece of music. Fred Hopkins' powerful bass lines, or should I say "thundering runs", are particularly enthralling. That's not to say that Threadgill and McCall are out of step, by no means; Air Raid proves that this was a gorup whose interplay was second to none. The embodiment of free jazz' democratic principles, as outlined by Ornette Coleman.

Having said that about the album's opener, I thought I'd leave you with teaser of the second track instead. "Midnight Sun" slows things down after the heady run of "Air Raid", and stands as an early proof that Threadgill was developing a knack for a writing a damn good tune. Have a listen:

Note: the embedded track was lifted off a previous reissue of the album, and may not be indicative of the sound quality of the new version.

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