Henry Threadgill: Song Out Of My Trees


Song Out Of My Trees


Henry Threadgill (alto sax)


Song Out Of My Trees (Black Saint 120154)

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Henry Threadgill (alto sax),

Amina Claudine Myers (organ), Ed Cherry (guitar), Reggie Nicholson (drums)


Composed by Henry Threadgill


Recorded: New York, August 17-19, 1993


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

While Amina Claudine Myers has been a respected organist for decades (as a member of the AACM and Lester Bowie’s New York Organ Ensemble), she has also been a star on the piano (with Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra). Frequently Myers gravitates back to piano, possibly to showcase her outstanding vocals. “Song Out Of My Trees”, although not a recent recording, was chosen to highlight her organ style within the avant-garde context, far removed from bop organists like Jimmy Smith, and closer to the searching style of late-period Larry Young.

Henry Threadgill’s animated alto sax and the searing guitar of Ed Cherry are supported by Myers on a skittering melody line. The Leslie is swirling fast from the introduction, and Myers holds sustained chords in the upper register for a stinging effect, while her relaxed walking bass provides a counter-balance. She plays a solo that leads off with sparse, bluesy statements, and she lets this sentiment settle before taking on heavier, harmonically rich ideas employing rapid-fire keyboard slaps. Her solo mixes in some choice gospel inflections, before Threadgill contributes a bright-toned, vocal-driven alto solo.

Reviewer: David Tenenholtz

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