Frequency

photo by Jim Newberry

Frequency is a collective that celebrates the legacy of the AACM.  Frequency is a quartet showcasing the improvisational talents of four longtime members of Chicago’s storied underground jazz scene:  reedist Edward Wilkerson Jr., flutist Nicole Mitchell, bassist Harrison Bankhead and percussionist Arveeayl Ra.

"On Frequency, saxophonist Edward Wilkerson, bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Avreeayl Ra, all fellow AACM members and frequent collaborators, join Mitchell. The quartet is cohesive and inspired throughout the album's nine tracks, especially on "Take Refuge and "The Tortoise , the set's two burners, and Ra's epic "Satya . By far the longest cut of the album - an episodic 18 minutes - "Satya begins with Ra's light, sparkling cymbal behind languorous contrapuntal lines from the horns. Ra dictates the speed and density of the improvisation, conducting from the drum throne with gradually more insistent cymbal patterns and deep accents, cajoling Wilkerson and Mitchell to ever higher improvisational heights. From the roaring group climax eight minutes in, the bottom falls out for Ra's kalimba and a section reminiscent of Coltrane's "Dear Lord . The group is at its most inspired of the set here, soloing sparsely but powerfully over the bass obligato and Ra's chanting vocal."--Matthew Miller, allaboutjazz