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Note to the warm, dear, swing-dancing friend of mine who lamented, "Charlie Parker killed everything I love": you probably won't listen to this alto-sax/two-upright-basses/one-cello session, but I thought of you. I thought of you since you can, shockingly enough, Charleston quite well to large sections of this. To say nothing of the Lindy Hop, natch.

How might one hop to such a set and its horn and cello, for the sake of goodness? The pulse, my dear, the pulse. Not the whole enchilada, but trippy cover art notwithstanding, the "East" tastes more like NYC's asphalt apple than the rarified tantric air of Gyantse. Tyler knew Cleveland, too, and he cut this set within Indianapolis, far from the ESP-Disk's Manhattan citadel.

Thusly, pulse, and some grit, especially in the opening head melodies where Tyler bites down on his tone, smearing his alto sound with the roughness associated with his main axe, the baritone sax. The strings bite back and fight back. Indeed, the other crucial concept here, yang to the yin of said pulse: blending. The horn barks, the strings answer. The quartet dances through riffs, through figures, until you hear more than one horn, further than 12 strings.

And so, through the pulse, the respect to the past. Through the multiplicity and the melding, openness to the future. Through post-bop simplification and expansion, spirituality. The chitlin (itself a transport vessel) circulates effortless through the Tao duality. Now, swing out!

  • Album: Eastern Man Alone (2011)
  • Artist: Charles Tyler
  • Label: ESP-Disk
  • Songs: (1) Cha-Lacy's Out East (2) Man Alone (3) Le-Roi (4) Eastern
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