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October 1997

Andrew Cyrille Quintet
Ode To The Living Tree
Evidence Music

A vital and very much underrated percussionist and bandleader, Cyrille, of Caribbean descent, always brings a sense of the Motherland to his music, whether exploring free landscapes, or structured outings like most on this date. Apropos this was recorded in Dakar, Senegal during an African sojourn. The band is a robust assemblage of David Murray on tenor sax and bass clarinet, Oliver Lake on alto sax, keyboardist Adegoke Steve Colson, bassist Fred Hopkins and guest Senegalese percussionist Mor Thiam on two tracks.

There is a feeling of Trane meets Sun Ra at the corner of Murray & Lake on this date as the spirits of those two grand masters are in the air. The session invocation is a Cyrille percussion duet with Thiam, and the two close with the benediction "Water, Water, Water." In between the Trane roars down the tracks courtesy of the "Acknowledgment" and "Resolution" sections of "A Love Supreme," and swinging business is dealt with on J.C.'s "Mr. P.C." The title track invokes the spirit of Ra, made all the more resonant by Colson's eerie use of electric keyboard.

Originally published in October 1997
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