FMP #23: Every Single One of Us Is a Pearl

We’re proud to offer one of the stone masterpieces of European jazz. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Globe Unity Orchestra convened an astonishing group of Europe’s finest musicians — plus Anthony Braxton! Pearls showcases the band’s many modes, from the epic title track – which generates noir-ish dramatic tension through unusual groupings – to a passionate rendition of Monk’s “Ruby, My Dear.” Essential listening.

A Penguin Guide 4-star record, much lauded in its day and later, it’s one we’ve actually posted songs from in previous years. In 2006 we hit a few of the shorter tunes, noting “Globe Unity was birthed by the radical idealism of the 1960s but the music had morphed into something even more interesting by the mid 1970s. Pearls hopscotches its way across the lines that supposedly separate composition and improv, rigor and play, innovation and tradition.” And a couple of years ago we posted the side-long first track: “Far from the unrelenting barrage the Globe Unity was capable of, ‘Pearl’ is often surprisingly delicate, squeezing out sparks from cells within the larger band. On a cursory listen it’s easy to hear this as a mere exemplar of discrete and knotty Euro jazz, but give it your full attention and the plot thickens.”


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