A Haitian Odyssey
Drummer Andrew Cyrille is best known for his work with avant-garde jazz pianist Cecil Taylor during the ‘60s and early ‘70s, although old time aficionados may remember his earlier work with luminaries such as Coleman Hawkins, Roland Kirk, and Mary Lou Williams. For the past five decades Cyrille has been one of the most important drummers in improvisational music. On his latest disc as a leader, he returns to the land of his ancestry for inspiration. The centerpiece of of the album is Cyrille’s title suite, which comprises three compositions inspired by the experiences he had as a child, visiting his parents’ native country for the first time when he was only seven years old. Cyrille’s joined by American musicians such as Hamiet Bluiett on baritone sax and Lisle Atkinson on double bass, as well as Haitian artists Frisner Augustin on percussion and Alix Pascal on acoustic guitar. Together they discover sonic textures in joyous ways, thanks to Cyrille’s bouncing beats that provide a solid foundation for exploratory ventures. This provides sophisticated party music, but not of the cocktail kind. It’s more of the rhythm of the streets with the car horns and highway noises mixed with the laughter and curses of the participants whom enjoy each other’s company.