Paul Flaherty: Aria Nativa
Aria Nativa is more than Paul Flaherty’s third solo saxophone album; it merges rhapsodic avant garde music, patriotic dream verse, and mortality into a frighteningly pure work of audio, visual and literary sledge. Recorded during a pair of 2007 performances, its four pieces capture lifeblood in stunning detail from foot stomps to gut hollers and crowd roars as Flaherty’s free power blues dips into the well of wretchedness and raises with fists of mirth. It’s the sorta record that splays naked the artist for all: equal parts wise ass and universal vision. From his early 1970s woodshedding through a dozen plus albums each with drum buddies Randall Colburne and Chris Corsano, and collaborators Bill Nace, Wally Shoup and Sunburned Man of the Hand, Flaherty remains a total wildcat — on and off the alto/tenor horns. For this LP his massive tonal craft is equally matched by Ken Hill’s gorgeous cover shot of a snow blown grave and “No More America” — Ken DelPonte’s epic poem that spans nearly five decades and fills the back jacket, framing the atmosphere the music was recorded under. Each 500 copies contain a download coupon for MP3 version of the album that includes a bonus track of “No More America” read by the author.
Paul Flaherty & Randall Colbourne: Bridge Out!
Don't call it a comeback. Bridge Out!, the first release in almost a decade by the outlaw duo of saxophonist Paul Flaherty and percussionist Randall Colbourne, is better thought of as a renewal, a reawakening of a collaboration which has lain dormant for too long. Joining forces in the late 1980s, these two New Englanders released over a dozen uncompromising albums of avant garde jazz on their own and other labels that have since vanished into legend. Since then, Flaherty has expanded across the world stage in improv, out-rock and noise (with Chris Corsano, Thurston Moore, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Wally Shoup, etc.) while Colbourne pursued private study. Together again, they’ve created eight instant compositions of coiling sax lines and polyrhythmic patterns that commemorates the past celebrates the new. Includes liner notes by Nick Cain.
Paul Flaherty: Whirl of Nothingness
Saxophonist Paul Flaherty is New England's purveyor of the ecstatic jazz pulse. Even before his 1978 debut Flaherty remained unshakable in the pursuit of soul healing and demon dashing through freedom music. Whirl of Nothingness, Flaherty's second solo album, is eight pieces of alto and soprano saxophone steeped in the theme of loss channeled through blasting improvisations that showcase his fabulous wailing and inferno of sound to stark bluesy melodies. Even without drum buddies Chris Corsano or Randall Colbourne, Flaherty’s horn shudders and roars in gargantuan ways. In the slim cannon of solo horn records (alongside Anthony Braxton, Coleman Hawkins, Peter Brötzmann, Arthur Doyle), Whirl of Nothingness stands triumphantly strong and wholly distinct as a shifting sphere of sound poetry and spiritual tongue.
Paul Flaherty / Chris Corsano: The Beloved Music
The Beloved Music is the most thoroughly realized blueprint for a post-hardcore take on improvised jazz to date from the duo of legendarily long-serving New England saxophonist Paul Flaherty and young firebrand drummer Chris Corsano. Forsaking the call and response modes of countless improvising ensembles, the duo deal more in a simultaneity of sound, an elemental non-stop gush of ideas, rhythms and epiglottal forms that at points feels like a small-group response to the orchestral conceptions of the Peter Brötzmann and John Coltrane big-bands as much as epochal duo deals like the Rashied Ali/Frank Lowe and Muhammad Ali/Frank Wright sides. Between studio collaborations and tours with Wolf Eyes, Nels Cline, Six Organs of Admittance, and Cold Bleak Heat (their quartet with Greg Kelley and No Neck Blues Band's Matt Heyner), Flaherty and Corsano have coalesced and elated serious jazzbos alongside noise fans and freak-folk followers. Liner notes by The Wire's David Keenan.