Free As You Wanna
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A record that definitely lives up to its title – as it's a lot freer and more spiritual than later work from drummer Bubbha Thomas and his Lightmen group!
This set perfectly captures the unique vibe that the ensemble brought to the Houston scene at the start of the 70s – really the same sort of new jazz freedom explored by artists like Horace Tapscott in LA, or the AACM in Chicago – performed by a generation of musicians who might have been more straight ahead a few years before – but who really take off here in the new energy of the post-Coltrane years!
Most numbers are still pretty rhythmic, and have a unified core – but some of the performances are even more outside than you'd know from later Lightmen records – showing a strong avant jazz pedigree for the members of the group. The lineup here features a very young Ronnie Laws on alto, soprano sax, and flute – sounding quite different than his jazz fusion work of the late 70s – and in addition to Thomas on drums, other players include Doug Harris on tenor, Carl Adams on trumpet, Kenny Abair on guitar, and Joe Singleton on trombone