vrijdag 11 maart 2011

Kip Hanrahan - Desire Develops an Edge ****

Even 27 years later I still have deep memories of the excitement I felt when opening the hard cardboard cover of this double LP. The strange black and white photography was very artful and tasty, with a mysterious touch to it. It was upon reading a 4 1/2 star review in Downbeat that I went to the local record shop, and to my enormous surprise found a copy of Desire Develops and Edge (still a mysterious title to me).
Not only the DB-review aroused my intrest. But it fascinated me how one man whose name was 'Kip' (which means chicken in my language) and who was hardly a musician himself  (he only touches some percussion once in a while)  could convince so many interesting musicans from totally different backgrounds - such as Jamaladeen Tacuma, Arto Lindsay, Ricky Ford, John Scofield, Milton Cardona, Jerry Gonzalez, John Stubblefield and hordes of percussionists  - to create his very imaginative music. Hanrahan acts like a film director here: he assembles a cast of musicians who play different scenes of his scenario following his directions.
And it is Steve Swallow and (especially) Jack Bruce who are the stars on the set. Bruce only plays bass sparingly here (the bass chair is mostly filled by Swallow, brilliant as always), but his singing is awesome. Jacks voice has never sounded warmer than on this recording, and for a man with his recorded output, this really means something.
This record focuses on percussion, changing from South American to African flavours. Some pieces are merely rough sketches, while others are really beautifully wrought songs. The closing track Nancy (with Steve Swallow playing bass and piano) is simple and nice, and still sounds very fresh to my ears. It was a pleasure to hear it again after more than two decades. Desire Develops an Edge was the second in a long series of a (mostly) very captivating string of records by one of the most enigmatic figures on the jazz scene.
I admit some pieces on this record tend to be a bit dull, but I still consider this cd as a piece of art by a strong personality. A most welcome reissue.

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