Joseph Jarman

As If It Were the Seasons

by Phillip Buchan

20 May 2007

 

Recorded during the summer of 1968 and reissued now with no additions, As If It Were the Seasons isn’t as celebrated among critics as the other albums on which Chicago free-jazz legend Joseph Jarman played during the early phase of his career. And with good reason: a nebulous a stretch of random reed blurts and tittering percussive jangles comprise the disc’s first nine minutes. This opening track, a two-part suite entitled “As If It Were the Seasons and Song to Make the Sun Come Up”, eventually builds to a roiling onslaught, with Jarman’s saxophone and Thurman Barker’s drums blaring harshly and rapidly. Thrilling stuff, but too little, too late. “Song for Christopher”, the album’s other track, is more consistently engaging, thanks mostly to the broad range of instruments present. Three saxophones, flute, oboe, trumpet, and trombone blur into one terrifying mass during the piece’s most gratifying moments.

As If It Were the Seasons

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