The Declaration of Musical Independence

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COMPOSERS: Andrew Cyrille Quartet
ALBUM TITLE: Andrew Cyrille Quartet
WORKS: The Declaration of Musical Independence
PERFORMER: Bill Frisell (guitar), Richard Teitelbaum (synthesiser, piano), Ben Street (double bass), Andrew Cyrille (drums)


Andrew Cyrille, here making his ECM debut, has had previous associations with all his quartet’s members. The drummer’s approach has always combined free-flowing imagination with precision and discipline, manifest here as a robust framework that leaves his associates plenty of room. Guitarist Bill Frisell employs one of his trademark styles, his instrument speaking with a Texan drawl, while Street’s underpinning is deft and assured. Teitelbaum has recorded with Cyrille before, but his work is often associated with Chicago’s avant-garde jazz composer Anthony Braxton. His piano work here is sparse yet unpredictable, but it’s his synthesizer patches, ranging from sax sounds to unclassifiable rustlings and bleeps, that make a mark on this abstract-to-melodic ‘post-free’ jazz. The recorded sound is a little sharper than is usual for ECM, which serves the music well.


Roger Thomas