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No Bills

Artist: Charles Gayle
Charles Gayle - No Bills CD
Label: Long Arms
Regular Price: $21.95
On Sale For: $10.98 
Year: 2003
Format: CD


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 In 1990 I came to New York for the first time and it was there that I had a photograph taken of me with a 'Polaroid' together with a saxophonist playing on the street. Who, as it later seemed to me, could very well have been Charles Gale. Alas, it was not possible to verify this, since the only photograph available was stolen out of my bag, along with two boxes with cassettes by a fraudulent staff worker at Sheremetievo Airport, during the time the luggage was transported from the plane. Six months later I was going to New York once again, and prior to my departure I met Nick Dmitriev together with Vladimir Rezitsky. Lucky fellow! - they both said in one accord, You will get to hear Charles Gale - during these six months the word spread that Gale presents himself as a new incarnation of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler in one. With the sole difference that this street avant-gardist of the 1980's started obtaining his recognition when he was close to the age of fifty, while Coltrane died at the age of forty-one, and Ayler - when he was even younger, i.e. at the age of thirty-four… This time I had not been able to see or hear Gale. But it was said that he continued to appear regularly on the street, playing his saxophone, notwithstanding that the critics have already started speaking of his album Touchin' On Trane (FMP) as of the leading new jazz event of the decade. Which almost single-handedly revived the jazz freedom of the 60's at that time, when experienced followers of the Coltrane tradition were playing samba-rumbas and retro-mainstream for a lengthy period of time. ---- Nick Dmitriev was persistently saying of how he wanted to 'bring over' Gale as far back as five years prior to the close of the previous century, although, to tell the truth, there was no really appropriate venue to bring him besides Rezitsky's festival in Arkhangelsk. After having listened to the recording of the concert of the American saxophonist at the Dom Center, I understood why. Gale and Nick were very similar in the most crucial aspects - the creative and the human. Both were supporters of free art with 'no bills' - without deletions, without noisy advertisement, without packs of banknotes, without legal casuistry (all of this, strange as it may seem, fits into the concept of 'bill'). Gale, obeying only his own inner feeling of freedom of choice, moves from the piano to the tenor saxophone, from the angular passages of Thelonious Monk to boogie-woogie; he starts by using one jazz standard and finishes off with another - just like before on the streets of New York's Down-town. Similarly to this Nick had built his 'Dom Center'. Somehow I feel that if Nick would have outlived Charles Gale, then the soul of the African-American musician would have reincarnated into Nick. But in reality it turned out to be that the 63-year-old Gale, a tall and youthfully supple figure, in this recording turns out to look more and more like Nick Dmitriev. Who will no longer be any older than forty-eight years old. Dmitry Ukhov

Charles Gayle (piano, tenor sax)
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