One of the major voices in the highly political Asian improvisation movement of the 1980s and '90s, baritonist Fred Ho on this memorable CD performs everything from modernized swing and Charles Mingus-influenced ensembles to short solo baritone pieces and selections that mix together Western and Eastern instruments. He utilizes two ensembles: the 11-piece Journey Beyond the West Orchestra (which includes such instruments as the sona, erbu, and san shuen along with more conventional jazz horns and rhythm, plus occasionally the somewhat jarring Chinese soprano vocals of Cindy Zuoxin Wang) and the five-piece Afro-Asian Music Ensemble.
It’s not every day that you run into a musician who joins a protean range of talents—as a composer, saxophonist, writer and bandleader–-with a commitment to Marxist ideology….For twenty years now Fred Ho and his Afro Asian Music Ensemble have been defending the turf where the personal and the political slam into the maelstrom of new jazz…a fiercely imaginative baritone saxophonist and composer.
Juillet 1974 : Jacques Brel largue les amarres de son voilier pour un voyage qui va le mener jusqu'à l'« île au trésor » dont il rêvait depuis l'enfance. Bientôt seul à bord avec sa compagne Maddly, il traverse le Pacifique et jette l'ancre aux Marquises, dans la baie d'Hiva Oa. Ce devait être une simple escale, mais après un sérieux coup de semonce à l'amorce du voyage, ce sera sa dernière demeure, à côté de Paul Gauguin. …
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. An unusual little record – a set that's a bit "fake" in its pedigree, but which still comes across with some wonderfully vivid results! Fred Kaz is a Chicago pianist, but he works here on a set of original compositions based on his readings on Near Eastern cultures – dubbed by Fred as "Turkish experiments" in the liner notes – and a compelling blend of Eastern modes and modern jazz piano – maybe not as all-out as later experiments of the type on MPS/Saba, but still pretty darn great!