2011 was a banner year for alto saxophonist/ composer Darius Jones. The promise of his acclaimed 2009 debut was met and further illuminated by a pair of utterly distinct albums, each of which gave and received a great measure of love: Cosmic Lieder introduced a standing duet project with established jazz master Matthew Shipp (who celebrated his 50th birthday last year, and released the crowning Art of the Improviser), and Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) animated the bodacious titular character via Jones’ bad-ass trio with Adam Lane and Jason Nazary. Now, 2012 reveals the magical third character in the Man’ish Boy epic, and if God is paying attention, shall see the appreciation of Darius Jones swell to a level concordant with his voluminous musical gifts.
Book of Mæ’bul (Another Kind of Sunrise) elevates Darius’ estimable work as composer and bandleader to a new level of creative magnitude. It is his first Quartet release, and once again features a stunning new book of compositions written specifically for the project. Sublime melodies, purposefully juxtaposed meters, love, and beauty map the exquisitely detailed yet fluid movement of the music. Book of Mæ’bul, inspired by Jones’ lifetime just before and right after his 2005 arrival in NYC, is the third part of the first chapter in the Man’ish Boy epic. From this point forward, the inspiration behind/revelation of each new volume and character will be in real time.
“Equally earthy and avant-garde … intellectually stimulating though anything but academic … the appealing unruliness to his music coexists with authority.” —JazzTimes