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The Incredible Honk

by Roswell Rudd

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1. Feeling Good
2. Dame la Mano
3. Berlin, Alexanderplatz
4. C'était Dans la Nuit
5. Arirang
6. Waltzin' with My Baby
7. Blue Flower Blue
8. Alone with the Moon
9. Kerhonkson: The Muse-ical
10. BRO
11. Ngoni Vortex
12. Airborne
13. Danny Boy

CD Quality - 16 bit / 44.1 khz

Legendary trombonist Roswell Rudd has reached yet another milestone in his celebrated and remarkably varied career, his 75th birthday. Through the years, Rudd has shown an affinity for music and musicians from all over the world along with a love for collaboration. His new Sunnyside recording, The Incredible Honk, is a collection of some of his recent adventures proving that Rudd continues to surprise and astound listeners.

Rudd has always had an open mind and big ears. While studying at Yale University, he was a member of a successful trad-jazz ensemble. Rudd soon moved to New York City where he became involved in the progressive sounds of the jazz avant-garde, playing with luminaries Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, and Steve Lacy. As an academic, Rudd taught ethnomusicology at both Bard College and the University of Maine and assisted Alan Lomax with a number of projects.

Rudd’s wide musical scope has been well documented, especially in the last decade. He has recorded with musicians from Mali (MALIcool, Sunnyside), Mongolia (Blue Mongol, Sunnyside), and Latin masters of Puerto Rico via New York (El Espiritu Jibaro, Sunnyside) just to name a few. The Incredible Honk showcases Rudd’s talent alongside a number of ensembles, including Cajun legends Michael Doucet & Beausoleil, Malian griots, and his own quartet.

The CD begins with a supple arrangement of the classic Nina Simone song “Feeling Good” by Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis that sets the eccentric tone of the proceedings. “Dame La Mano” is a moving duo performance with guitarist/vocalist David Oquendo of the Cuban folkloric group, Raíces Habaneras. Michael Doucet and Beausoleil provide a dancing Cajun waltz on “C’etait Dans La Nuit” with lovely violin and trombone solos along with a lovely vocal feature for Emily Haines. The remarkable sheng player and vocalist Wu Tong (best known as a member of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) provides liltingly beautiful and unique performances on “Blue Flower Blue” and the Irish traditional song “Danny Boy.”

Rudd has developed strong relationships with a group of musicians that have appeared regularly with him over the last few years. “Berlin, Alexanderplatz” has the trombonist playing movingly alongside his regular bassist Ken Filiano and pianist Lafayette Harris, Jr. The trio adds the brilliant vocalist Sunny Kim for the somber “Arirang,” the lovely “Alone with the Moon,” and the spirited, Broadway inspired “Kehonkson: The Muse-ical.”

The Malian connection reappears on three tracks of the record. Rudd met ngoni master Bassekou Kouyate while in Mali during 2004. They had an immediate rapport and it was obvious they had to play together. The recording of “BRO” (their nickname for each other), “Ngoni Vortex,” and “Airborne” was made while Bassekou was on tour with his ensemble in the States and was able to meet Rudd in Upstate New York. These tracks are fantastic examples of creative minds making music that is both spontaneous and inspired.

What better way to celebrate one of the most generous and spirited musicians in generations than a beautiful collection of heart felt music? Here’s to Roswell Rudd and another 75 years of The Incredible Honk.


released June 14, 2011


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