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!

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