A challenging mixture of spoken word, vocal rhythm and cadence, and empathically improvising instruments — jazz poetry. This collaboration between free jazz saxophonist John Tchicai and Pulitzer-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa (and a talented assortment of additional musicians) works extremely well, as Komunyakaa not only features some vivid imagery in his words, but also has great control and delivery, to the point that it often sounds as if his voice is another instrument in the free jam, and the meanings of the words float serenely above all.
This is a recording of a live performance, and if the album managed to catch one-tenth of the creative electricity present at this performance, I’m sorry I missed it. Fortunately, details unfold perpetually on this disc, and the constant discovery almost compensates for not being there. 8th Harmonic Breakdown, 1658 North Milwaukee Ave, Box 300, Chicago, IL 60647