June 14, 2016

Arthur Jones - Scorpio (1971)


I haven't heard many avant-garde jazz albums from the 70s that are this simple and concise, a quality of early 60s small group free jazz that I love. Arthur Jones is an alto saxophonist and the Ornette Coleman influence is striking. The influence isn't just felt in the saxophone playing, but in the layout and pacing of the whole band as well. Even the track titles are reminiscent of Ornette's 1961 eponymous album with the yellow and blue cover. Scorpio is a middle of the road free jazz album that both lovers of the wilder BYG albums and fans of early Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, and of course Ornette Coleman can enjoy, so I'm surprised it isn't the center of much discussion. I suggest you listen to this on a lazy rainy weekend, Jones' contrasting wails and moody tones will complement the weather well.

Sample

Scorpio