Halcyon Days

Andrea Centazzo: Percussion & Minimoog Synthesizer
LaDonna Smith: Violin, Viola and Vocals
Davey Williams: Guitars & Banjo

Recorded live in concert in Mirano (Venice), Italy, April 1979

Mixed, edited, designed & produced by Andrea Centazzo


SKU: Ictus 159 Category:


Having been fortunate enough to witness these three masters of improvisation reconvene after nearly thirty years of separation at the 2010 Improvisor Festival, I can say with the utmost confidence that time has not diminished the creative fire that first led them to collaborate so many years ago. Driven by the same passion and intensity for sonic shapeshifting that sparked their first European and American tours together in the late 1970's- and some of the first transcontinental interplay among the free improv community at large- the commitment to their craft has remained unbroken and undeterred. In spite of the fact that time and space had isolated them from each other as they pursued new paths and approaches to their shared art form, the wisdom gained in the intervening years only served to bolster the musical dynamism they had established during those formative days out on the road together as they pushed themselvesand their music- to new extremes.

Listening back now on the recordings made during those halcyon days when free improvisation was still something of a revolutionary idea, the music they made together upon their initial meeting remains as mind-blowing today as it was three decades ago. Capturing a particular moment in time when the call for sonic exploration was as much a philosophical quest as anything else, the fluid abstraction within which they plied their trade continues to be utterly remarkable in its depth and persuasion. The sound of three souls set on discovering the multiple possibilities of NOW, consumed by the need to stretch both their minds and bodies beyond their own technical limitations, it is a testament to the spirit of a different era. Burrowing deep within both themselves and the music, it is a snapshot of human intelligence turning fragments of thought into complete ideas right before your ears.

Back then it was the sound of the future... now it is the moment we call the past.

Lee M. Shook, Jr. November 2011

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