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Billy Bang Quintet - Rainbow Gladiator (1981)

Billy Bang - to jeden z czołowych (obok Leroy Jenkinsa) wirtuozów awangardowych ("new black music") jazzowych skrzypiec. Debiutował w grupach Sama Riversa i Franka Lowe'a , a jego rozwibrowana, przesycona nutką buntu, niemalże diaboliczna gra stała się charakterystycznym elementem nowojorskiej sceny loftowej. Na początku lat 70-ytch założył zespół Survival Ensemble, by w 1977 r. liderować legendarnemu już dzisiaj String Trio Of New York. Przez wiele sezonów grywał w zespołach Sun Ra, Dona Cherry'ego , Marilyn Crispell i Jamesa "Blood" Ulmera. (erajazzu)

(Billy Bang) William Vincent Walker, 20 September 1947, Mobile, Alabama, USA. Growing up in New York’s South Bronx, learning violin was the last thing Bang wanted to do. ‘It was the most hated instrument for me’, Bang told the LA Times. ‘It’s too European and it’s never been in my blood. The Temptations never played it and James Brown never sang with one.’ Nonetheless, Bang learned to play, but in the early 60s abandoned the violin for percussion, becoming interested in African-Cuban rhythms. Drafted to Vietnam, he had a political awakening and returned to America to throw himself into the anti-war movement. When he began to play music again in 1971 he experimented with saxophones, but returned to the violin. Bang became known as an associate of Sam Rivers and Frank Lowe, his skidding, diabolically transgressive playing an essential component of the celebrated Loft scene. In the early 70s he formed his own group, the Survival Ensemble, and in 1977 co-founded the String Trio Of New York, which wooed audiences with seductive themes that then opened into state-of-the-art string improvisations. Associations with Sun Ra, Don Cherry, Marilyn Crispell and James ‘ Blood’ Ulmer were also productive.

Like other musicians of his generation, Bang resists categorization. Untitled Gift, recorded in 1982, was elegant free jazz; Bangception and Outline No. 12 were austere art music. In 1987, he guested on Kahil El’Zabar’s Another Kind Of Groove, and in 1988 on Bootsy Collins’comeback, What’s Bootsy Doin’? His sextet album, The Fire From Within, launched an exotic frontline of trumpet, guitar and marimba; together with Bang’s microtonal panache and his polyrhythmic vamps, it made a deliriously pretty platform for some amazing playing. Live At Carlos 1 delivered more of the same. On other projects, such as the Jazz Doctorsquartet, the presence of long-term Cecil Taylor associate, Dennis Charles, on drums assured a precise and understated swing. In 1988, Bang toured Europe and recorded Valve No. 10 with a quartet that comprised Charles, Lowe and Sirone. He also began playing in Sun Ra’s Arkestra, and released a warm tribute album to violinist Stuff Smith, whom Bang considers one of the major influences on his work. Billy Bang delivers music with infectious energy and honesty about achievement that is most moving. (oldies)

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