Cooper-Moore/Assif Tsahar CD review [Hopscotch]

Music Reviews
Cooper-Moore/Assif Tsahar CD review [Hopscotch]
Apr 1, 2004, 04:14


Cooper-Moore may be best known for his work as a pianist with William Parker but on this recording with horn player Assif Tsahar he foregoes the eighty eights in favor of banjo, drums and homemade acoustic instruments (the diddley-bo and the mouth bow). The disc kicks off with the title track, a funky protest song with a soulful vocal that becomes increasingly angry as Cooper-Moore calls to attention the negative impact that deceptive actions of (unnamed) American leaders have had on the country. The lyrics “America, we're gonna put you on the homebound train” at first seem combative but the appealing mix of acoustic blues, folk, and jazz influences that comprise the rest of the disc are so American that they seem to be pleading for a return to an America of an earlier time. Tsahar's impact is lessened on the folk ballads where he plays a supporting role on bass clarinet and Cooper-Moore doesn't raise his voice much while drumming beneath Tsahar's heavy blowing on “12th Avenue Messengers.” The music is at its best when both are holding the reins on “Lament for Trees” and “Wounded Knee.” But there isn't a weak track on this, one of the more unique discs to be released by a jazz label in 2003. [Hopscotch]

-Jeffrey L. Ouch

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