Roswell Rudd - Inside Job

Sacred Song - 7.56
Mysterioso - 7.41
Inside Job - 16.08

Roswell Rudd has long been one of the most adventurous jazz trombonists because he explores the widest possible range of sounds on his instrument in his demanding and occasionally humorous compositions. Born in 1935, Rudd played in a Dixieland band while studying at Yale, though he became best known as one of the early champions of free jazz on his instrument. In the early 1960s he worked with the neglected pianist/composer Herbie Nichols for two years and championed Nichols’ works after the pianist’s premature death. Rudd played with saxophonists Steve Lacy and Archie Shepp, each of whom he would appear on record with decades later in long awaited reunion sessions. He co-founded the groundbreaking New York Art Quartet with saxophonist John Tchichai in 1964. Artists who utilized Rudd on their record dates include Gil Evans, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, Carla Bley, Charlie Haden and Muhal Richard Abrams, among others.

“Inside Job” is a live studio session taped in 1976 in saxophonist Sam Rivers’ Studio Rivbea with trumpeter Enrico Rava, pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Stafford James and drummer Harold White. Rudd’s “Sacred Song” begins with Stafford James’ droning, eerie arco bass with minimal percussion backing by Harold White. The leader’s delayed entrance is chant-like with Rava supplying harmony as Burrell injects spacious chords, with the piece moving further into avant-garde territory as it progresses. Rudd’s “Inside Job” is launched with a humorous exchange between the leader and Rava, with minimal backing by the rhythm section. The piece gradually transforms into a loping blues, with an alchemy of free jazz and bop thrown in for good measure. Rudd’s interest in the music of Thelonious Monk is well documented, but his arrangement of the pianist’s “Mysterioso” takes it far from its normal path as Burrell adds a dissonant attack to back the horn players, with Rudd’s humorous, swinging solo as the song’s centerpiece.

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