The Amazing Bone

Julian Priester and Marine Intrustion
ECM : 1977

JP, trombone; Ron Stallings, tenor sax; Ray Obiedo, guitar; Curtis Clark, piano; Heshima Mark Williams, bass; Augusta Lee Collins, drums.

In the alternate universe we inhabit when tired or otherwise deranged, there is a trombone hall of fame, presided over by Grachan Moncur III, George Lewis… and Julian Priester. (Albert Mangelsdorff mans the European branch; Roswell Rudd is awaiting his vote.) Priester has an utterly singular pedigree, playing on a number of far-flung classics. He jumped from Sun Ra (Angels and Demons at Play) to Coltrane sessions (Africa/Brass) to Max Roach’s We Insist! to Herbie’s Mwandishi bands of the early 1970s. More recently he appeared on SUNN O)))’s remarkably lovely drone-metal Monoliths & Dimensions, confirming his lifelong commitment to creative music.

Polarization is the album following Priester’s kozmigroov classic Love, Love (1974), recently reissued by ECM. Ditching the Mwandishi band and beginning to move away from their visionary electro sound, Polarization finds Priester in an expansive mood. The track above is a suite that originally ran as side one on the LP. The 20-minute cut begins with a double-tracked Priester in a duet with himself, moving next to beautiful, stately, and memorable theme of “Rhythm Magnet,” joined by the full band. “Wind Dolphin” plays with this theme in a spare and open fashion, closing with rousing contributions from all together.

For more — and more recent — Priester, see here at the Internet Archive for a streaming cut of a 1999 date with Sam Rivers. And coming up next month, more vital contributions from Priester on Mike Reed’s forthcoming People, Places, and Things project, Stories and Negotiations. What’re you waiting for? Go get ‘boned!

Discussion13 Comments Category Julian Priester Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 Responses to The Amazing Bone

  1. check your tracks link. i got nothing that will play .mpe files

  2. Archer – if you’re keen you could copy the link, change the suffix to mp3 and it’ll work. This is stunning music, glad to hear it again – the first part is very reminiscent of the live Mwandishi band.

  3. oh, i didn’t imagine that it was done intentionally.
    i always preview your links inline using a javascript bookmarklet. one would have to download first to correct to mp3

  4. ^^ Whoops, thanks, and fixed.
    ^ Ingenious, thanks, and agreed.

  5. I saw the Mwandishi band live, and bought most of the associated records (including Love, Love, which is one of my favorites of the group). But I somehow missed this one. Thanks for posting this; maybe someday it will be reissued so I can hear the whole thing.

  6. am i right in hearing an echo of mingus in here? can’t remember exactly but it sounds like one of the ‘religious’ ones…

  7. my only emendation to this otherwise most excellent post: Roswell Rudd is the President of this imaginary trombone hall of fame, not awaiting his vote.

  8. Fair ’nuff. The charter is being emended now.

  9. I was recently digging through vinyl I haven’t looked at since high school and noticed that Priester played on Maynard Ferguson’s “Conquistador” release.

    This recording makes me happy to be getting my trombone chops back together…also makes me wish that ECM was more aggressive about making their catalog available — great stuff like this that you can’t obtain legally…

  10. You were one hip high school kid.

  11. We need to investigate more solo Rudd for sure. Any albums you particularly recommend?

  12. Not that you asked me, but if you don’t have the Rudd/Lacy/Charles/Grimes “School Days” or the Lacy/Rudd “Early and Late” on Cuneiform, those kill pretty good. And there’s his self titled record on America records with Tchicai and Louis Moholo that has 3 originals of Rudd’s that make a good case for Rudd’s inclusion in whatever body of elected trombone officials we’re imagining.

  13. hey Nick –

    Suggestions are welcome from all!

    I agree that “School Days” and “Early/Late” are great though somehow I always slot them in my mind as Lacy joints. I need to re-catalog.

    That America record has slipped past me entirely and I’m off to track it down forthwith. Thanks!

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