Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Noah Young, Freaks: No Fear of Contagion

I reviewed the out-of-print Unicorn Dream LP by Noah Young last November 4 on my Gapplegate Music Blog (http://gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com/2013/11/noah-young-unicorn-dream.html). I did it because I believe it should be reissued, because it's a terrific album, and because Noah is my friend and he needs in his illness to know he is much appreciated.

Today another, a combination of four excellent cuts from Noah's then trio--Noah on 5 string acoustic bass, Lanny Aplanalp on soprano, tenor and flute, and Fred Stofflet on drums--and the spoken prose-poetry of Noah.

It's an unusual combination of spoken word and free jazz. Freaks: No Fear of Contagion (New Alliance CD117) I think this is also out of print, but, again, it should not be.

The trio cuts--enough for one side of an LP, are fabulous. Noah is a real dynamo on bass and his partners are kicking it nicely. These compositions, as those on Unicorn Dream, show another side of Maestro Young.

The prose poems show Noah in a contrasting zone. They apply a sense of real compassion with a razor-thin analytical series of insights. The musician in him carries forward in his poems to Ayler and David Izenzon. He otherwise covers in a series of word-art vignettes those who one way or another have to fight to live--those afflicted with AIDS, dysfuntional families, the nightmare of addiction, those facing their demise (as are we all, sooner or later) countered by the will to heal, to feel what it's like in other's shoes and to try and help.

It all fits together to give you a creatively committed portrayal of the man, Noah Young. I posted this today because if I am not mistaken it marks the birthday of his late, beloved wife, lost to Noah and his family some years passed. Let this post mark a tribute to her courage. And Noah has been ill for some time, no longer can play, but fights on valiantly. This is music and word-wielding that should not go into the great dark night of unavailable obscurities. If you are into some very hip free jazz and an excellent bassist, you'll stay for the evocative wordage, of people in sorrow and searching for some happiness, of staying the course. Check the net and you'll no doubt find a copy for sale somewhere or other. And somebody who can--put this and Unicorn Dream out again! On this eve of 2014 may we find the will to continue, to heal, to thrive. Noah would like that, for us all.

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