The Bill Dixon Orchestra – Voices (1967)

From the album Intents and Purposes by  Bill Dixon, recorded Jan. 17, 1967 in New York City

Since his decisive involvement in 1964’s October Revolution in Jazz and lengthy tenure at Bennington College in Vermont (1968-1995), Dixon has been renowned for his skills as an organizer and an educator rather than his pioneering advancements as an instrumentalist and composer. As a former student of painting as well as music, Dixon’s conceptual organization of sound relies heavily on color, shade and texture, with a keen sensitivity to dynamics—aspects that quickly placed him at the creative forefront of the 1960s New Thing. Originally recorded for RCA when he was 42, Intents And Purposes was Dixon’s third album as a leader, following two efforts for Savoy in 1962 and 1964 that were co-led by tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp.

“Voices” pushes the aesthetic envelope even further, forming a startling alliance between austere classicism and the primal immediacy of ritualized rhythm. Performed by a string-heavy quintet, the lengthy piece features Dixon’s melancholy horn refrains and Lancaster’s otherworldly bass clarinet drifting over haunting string glissandi that eventually trade the sinuous sustain of legato melodies for the polyrhythmic power of tribal drumming. [source]

Bill Dixon – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Catherine Norris – Cello
Jimmy Garrison – Bass
Robert Frank Pozar – Drums
Byard Lancaster – Bass clarinet

 

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