Julian ArgÃ?elles - Partita

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Basho SRCD17-2    ***
Julian Argüelles (ts, ss, b cl, fl), Michael Formanek (b) and Tom Rainey (d). Rec. 5-6 June 2005

Julian ArgÃ?elles - PartitaArgüelles’ last two albums, Escapade and As Above So Below both on Provocateur, garnered good reviews but not the sales they deserved. Hopefully, Partita will do more than remind the public of his talents. Recalling here the musical freedom Rollins, Ornette and Coltrane found in the chordless trio, Argüelles is well-matched by Formanek and Rainey, one of North America’s finest rhythm pairings. Argüelles has a pretty unique sound – more Warne Marsh than Trane or Shorter – and we should cherish that uniqueness. On ‘Tide, Bottom Drawer Pages’ and the baroque-like ‘Tempus’ he overdubs his various horns to chamber-like effect, while the last eight tracks, at less than two minutes each, are really just vignettes.

Perhaps these are best heard as a suite or, individually, as brief fragmentary movements from something larger. The album really falls into two halves. Seven long(er) pieces precede eight little miniatures. From his magisterial tenor sound on the opening ‘Evan’s Freedom Pass’, through the fine and powerful ‘Peace For D’ and longish ‘Which Way Out’ to ‘Tempus’’ solo, closing comments, this is one to cherish.

Duncan Heining