McPhee / Saft / Morris / Downs
Joe McPhee  tenor and soprano saxofones / Jamie Saft  piano / Joe Morris  double bass / Charles Downs  drums

Available on Amazon and iTunes


Buy digital Album

This quartet was born from a conversation between Joe Morris and Jamie Saft about their mutual fascination with John Coltrane’s “Live at the Village Vanguard Again” album. From there they decided to develop a project under the influence of the music played by Coltrane with his wife Alice Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, Rashied Ali and a pair of guests, Pharoah Sanders and Emanuel Rahim. Right away they established that Morris would use a double bass, instead of his usual guitar, and that Saft would focus completely on acoustic piano, putting aside any electric and electronic keyboards. And they immediately named the two other contributors to the enterprise: reedist Joe McPhee – who in fact attended the recording of Coltrane’s “Vanguard Again” album, sitting in the front row – and drummer Charles Downs. These choices were obvious: McPhee and Downs are true living legends of free jazz. Morris had a well established musical relationship with McPhee and all loved Downs’ contributions, when he was known as Rashid Bakr, to the music of Cecil Taylor, Jemeel  Moondoc, William Parker and Roy Campbell. Then they figured out the name of the quartet: TICONDEROGA. The Mohawk word means “junction of two waterways”. Which waterways? Easy to guess: the original “new thing” fronted by Coltrane with Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman and what is now understood as structured improvised music. The final product hits you like a punch. A good, reviving, punch…

All music by McPhee (JoMac Music, ASCAP), Saft (Pain Management (ASCAP), Morris (Riti Publishing (ASCAP) and Downs

Recorded December 27th, 2014 at Potterville International Sound, NY / Recorded and mixed by Jamie Saft at Potterville International Sound, NY / Mastered by Vin Cin at Electric Plant Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Produced by Joe Morris and Jamie Saft / Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul / Design by Travassos

Piano tuned & prepared by Steve Greenstein RPT

More music that may interest you

Sweet Bonanza Balloon Crazy Time Aviator Mega Moolah Fire Joker Aviator