Alípio C Neto Quartet – The Perfume Comes Before the Flower (CF 093)
From three participants to four, established chord-based improvisation to uninhibited free discourses, it’s what we find on (4). My feelings about avant garde Jazz have always been mixed. I love the abandonment but miss the Blues (except for Ornette and other favorites) and sometimes it seems there’s a snobbishness that silently says “We’re too smart to swing.” I don’t get that particularly from Alipio C. Neto and his compadres but I must say it does get a little hairy at times. His name didn’t register but multi-instrumentalist Herb Robertson’s did, along with bass ace Ken Filiano’s. Their monikers have graced the pages of this magazine many times. All five selections are Neto’s. Robertson seems a bit more controlled (but far from sedate) than in other instances and he and Neto make for a compatible frontline with one taking the more active role over the other’s, more static stance. Michael T. A. Thompson reminds this listener of a drummer from back when, Woody Theus (AKA Transcending Sonship) in some of the things he does. The tuba of Ben Stapp is added for the last three tracks, the first of which is a brooding ballad while the other two are more up with touches of Albert Ayler’s martial inclinations faintly heard. Like (1), there is a nice blend of written sections juxtaposed with purely improvised spaces that offset one another impressively. Once again, Ken Filiano proves he is one of the most inventive acoustic bassists on the planet. Although this is not essential, several more dedicated fans of the genre will consider its purchase in that category. Different grins for different chins, to paraphrase Sly Stone.
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