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Courage with Robert Creeley: The Way Out is Via The Door
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The Way Out is Via The Door
year: 2002   |   cat#: 482-1011


1. Sincerely Y'alls: Everybody's Child / Does it seem mind's all?
2. I Dreamt I Dwelt...
3. Days the Weather Sits... - mp3 sample
4. Hockets
5. Hullo Bolinas - mp3 sample
6. Bloop in Spirit
7. What's Gone is Gone
8. Have We Told You...? - mp3 sample
9. Where Do You Roam?
10. Uncantation - mp3 sample
11. Despite the Sad Vagaries - mp3 sample
12. Signs of Life
13. Incantation
14. Inchworm

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Courage is drummer Chris Massey, sax / reed player John Mills and bassist Steve Swallow. The Way Out is Via the Door is a beautifully realized recording of intimate, creative jazz conversations, placing all three voices as equals and allowing the lines created to weave together and apart at will, sometimes floating over cushions of sound-wash, and creating spontaneous tension-release statements. This is the classic grouping of saxophone-bass-drums from another angle, perhaps from inside the mirror looking out, augmented by John Mills' wonderful use of the bass clarinet and by drummer Chris Massey's statement that the drums are a melodic instrument as well. And Steve Swallow, one of the featured voices, shows that he is the master of the melodic bass line. The addition of the wonderfully sensitive poet Robert Creeley, here, from a series of live tour performances, only adds to the charm of this recording.

The Way Out is Via the Door was recorded at the Make Believe Ballroom in upstate New York by Tom Mark, who has recorded numerous sessions for ECM, Concord, Watt, Jack DeJohnette, Carla Bley, Alice Coltrane, Max Roach, and many others.

Musicians: John Mills (tenor & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, flute, keyboards), Steve Swallow (bass), Chris Massey (drums), Robert Creeley (voice)

"Robert Creeley is a lyric poet of singular observation."The Wire

"Music and poetry make uneasy bedfellows at the best of times but on this effort, from American "creative jazz" trio Courage, the stylised prose from Beat poet Creeley makes perfect sense... Creeley's cleverly (de)constructed narratives riff on the universal themes of love, loss and happiness, referencing William Blake and Samuel Beckett into the bargain. The result is an album of startling intimacy and one that avoids the po-faced 'Jazz Club' cul-de-sac. (4/5)" — Kieran Wyatt, Seven (UK)

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