“Like his fantastic 1977 trio date for Black Saint, Raw Materials And Residuals, the live trio disc cuts Hemphill room to blow. Bonadio is forceful, with just the right jagged funkiness, and Wadud doubles down low and upfront with his usual excellence. On ‘Testament No. 5’, for instance, they set an elegant stage for Hemphill’s darting, arching lines with a cello glissando and malleted toms. Here again, there are some familiar Hemphill tunes, like the 20-year-old ‘Dogon AD,’ but they’re treated to brilliant new readings.
The blues are Hemphill’s lone-star lucky charm. Both as a composer and as a soloist, he’s got a remarkable way of taking a seemingly innocent blues line and extracting its raw out-ness with the mere twist of a note or two.”
–John Corbett in downbeat
“Hemphill is ever the composer. He takes advantage of the trio’s open terrain to explore. But no matter how spirited or advanturous, his blowing away has a sense of form. He flips and twists the compositions at hand — all his — probing their essences… Well worth listening for… Recommended.”
–David Dupont in Cadence
“…demonstrates anew why [Hemphill] is one of contemporary jazz’s most esteemed saxophonist/composers. He eases his alto through the most sinuous complexities yet can still deliver a gut-bucket blues shout… Wadud…is a superbly emphatic partner.”
–Graham Lock in Gramophone
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