Two Is One (180g LP)


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Format: LP
Label: Pure Pleasure
Year: 2021

Media Condition: New
Sleeve/Cover Condition: New

TRACKS:

A1. Bitchin
A2. Hopscotch
A3. In a Funky Way

B1. Two Is One
B2. In His Presence Searching

Originally released in 1974.

PERSONNEL:

Charles Rouse - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
George Davis, Paul Metzke - guitar
Calo Scott - cello
Martin Rivera, Stanley Clarke - bass
David Lee - drums
Azzedin Weston - congas 
Airto Moreira - percussion 

With Two Is One, revered sax man and DC native Charles (better known as Charlie) Rouse departs from his big band and bop roots and long tenure as a sideman to legendary composer/pianist Thelonius Monk. Released on Strata East, the artist-run label where creativity and pushing boundaries were at the forefront, it's an LP of funky, soulful spiritual jazz with a small combo that notably lacks a pianist. A statement of independence, perhaps, but more likely a tribute of sorts to Monk and their one-of-a-kind connection.

1974 saw a whole slew of artists stretching the boundaries of what jazz music could be, combining elements from the past two decades into electric jazz adventures. The piano-less group that Rouse put together is a funky one, with lots of rhythmic playing behind either the searching solos of Rouse on the tenor or some inventive electric guitar work, or what sounds like an electrified cello, an unusual instrument for modern jazz to be sure, but one that manages to fit in just fine here.

The first side of the album is all slow-burning soul-jazz. The second side is where the group gets more inventive, particularly on the title track where they mix some post-bop madness with the soul-jazz sound.

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