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April 26, 2012

"Streets" - Charles Gayle Trio

Northern Spy continues to release boundless music with the recent drop of Streets by The Charles Gayles Trio. Consisting of himself on tenor, Michael TA Thompson on drums, and Larry Roland on double bass, this session is spiritual as it is heavy hitting.  A blast of supersonic sounds for one full hour, out of the gate it is one of the best jazz releases yet for 2012. 

The title alone draws attention to Gayle's own history from his homeless days. "Streets" is also an alter ego Gayle portrays which exhibits him in clown ensemble. 
photo by Geert Vandepoele

Like much of Gayle's music, Streets pays homage to religion and God. For example, the track "Glory & Jesus." A tune that has a ton of augmented and contrasting rhythm, Gayle solos here for nearly six minutes. For the title cut, we hear Gayle create notes that appear longer, and a little bit more slurred. Perhaps this is "Streets" creating a dialogue with us.  I don't know... Is that a cheesy thought?

Streets is a seriously good listen.  With much replay value, ultimately listeners can expect a complete improvised performance from play head to finish.  This album looks back as much as it looks forward, and Streets is clear evidence that Charles Gayle is still a prime player on the scene.   It's refreshing to hear an album that sounds like it could fit perfectly into the Avant-Garde of the 1960s, while still sounding unique and original today.