Review: Afro Horn MX - Afro Horn MX
Afro Horn MX
|Artist:||Afro Horn MX|
|Album:||Afro Horn MX|
|Date of Release:||2012/04|
|Cat. No.:||AACE 12-0001CD|
|Country of Release:||US|
|Sub-Genre/s:||Contemporary, Afro-Latin, Modern|
|Time:||2 CD Set 108:45 (43:35 & 65:10)|
|Date of Review:||2012/06/20|
Afro Horn MX
Long time Sun Ra Arkestra drummer during the 1970s Francisco Mora Catlett's latest project, the eponymous Afro Horn MX double CD, was released in April on AACE. One thing needs to be said straight away. While I basically love the double (card) gatefold, this is so tight that it is virtually impossible to remove the CDs without at the very least imprinting them with big fat finger prints - not good for the long term health of CDs - if not inflicting more serious damage.
Co-produced by Catlett with piano wizzard Aruán Ortiz, the drummer assembled a formidable line-up for Afro Horn MX, consisting of John JD Allen and Vincent Bowens on tenor, Alex Harding on baritone, Aruán Ortiz on piano, with Rashaan Carter filling the bass post and Roman Díaz furnishing additional percussion and voice.
The ensemble playing is nothing short of amazing, and there is a lot of stunning soloing going on in the one-and-three-quarter hours of this double album. The music attempts to blend ancient and modern, as well as Latin with the ancestral African. The most easily accessible it is not, and familiarity with the Arkestra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago is a definite help in trying to get into this music. If you can do that, congratulations, you have just discovered one of the most fascinating modern jazz albums of the year.
If there is one problem I have with Afro Horn MX, it is that the album as a whole and some of the pieces are just a tad overly long and just maybe bordering on the self-indulgent. But try and forget this, and ignore the poetry and Henry Dumas quote from Will The Circle Be Unbroken? and Afro Horn MX starts to cast its own magic spell.
It is difficult to speak of consistency in this context, but Afro Horn MX is certainly more than compelling if you can manage to get into it. Although perhaps not the kind of album you would want to start over again when it finishes, it definitely bears repeated playing and indeed grows on you. One for the dedicated modern jazz enthusiast committed to Afro-Latin, rather than for a more general jazz audience perhaps.
Credits:John JD Allen - tenor sax
Vincent Bowens- tenor sax
Alex Harding - baritone sax
Aruán Ortiz - piano & Rhodes
Rashaan Carter - bass
Roman Díaz - percussion & voice
Francisco Mora Catlett - drums
Afro Horn MX can be purchased from:
and other online sources
All rights reserved.