Giuseppi Logan - The Giuseppi Logan Quartet (1965), 8/10

Giuseppi Logan’s experiment in sound displays his talents as a multi-instrumentalist and as a composer, honing his unfortunate struggles into these unsettling and tortured forty-eight minutes of madness, all of this before he vanished from the music scene roughly a decade later. The record itself covers a lot of ground in terms of melody, instrumentation, space, dynamic energy, and mystery. There is an unmistakable blending of African and Eastern sounds that gives much of the experience a deeply spiritual feeling, exemplified with a track like “Dance of Satan” that lives up to its name. It is surprising to learn that these musicians had never performed together prior to this session, as their interplay sounds more like a deep conversation than one between strangers. The sound is entirely uncompromising both in terms of sonics and structure, or lack thereof at times. Yet there are melodies throughout that give the album a charming memorability despite its affinity for dark jazz. Where the record truly excels is in its assembly of uncommon textures, tension, and its bebop influences. Logan dismantles these influences and re-contextualizes their sound while stripping them of all structure, creating an entirely new brand of somber introspection in jazz. The record comes out swinging with “Tabla Suite” and the enrapturing “Dance of Satan” before transforming into the literally titled “Dialogue” where Pullen’s piano truly shines along with Graves’ kit work. Logan then takes the reigns again for the introduction of “Taneous” before trading with all band members just as before. Giuseppi Logan’s first entry as a bandleader, backed by the fruitful ESP label, is remarkable and unmistakably brilliant. The alternating dance of unbridled freedom and controlled affection make the record truly one of a kind, all furthered by a very intentional approach to emotive composition. You can hear Logan in these passages reaching out through his horns and crying with passion. Certainly his best work, although his follow up More deserves attention as well. The product of a brilliant but tortured mind and one of the greatest explorations of the intersection of bebop and free jazz.