AMN Reviews: Bobby Naughton, Jerome Harris, Cleve Pozar – About Time [OTIC Records]

About Time is the latest in a welcome series of archival releases from vibraphonist Bobby Naughton. Naughton was a significant actor in the improvised music world centered on New Haven specifically and the Northeast US more generally during the 1970s and 1980s; with this and other releases on his OTIC label he’s been making available some of the creative music from that time and place.

About Time was recorded live on 8 June 1978 in Worcester, MA at the New England Repertory Theater with a group that included, in addition to Naughton on vibes, Jerome Harris on electric bass guitar and Cleve Pozar on percussion and marimba. Of the five compositions on the collection three are Naughton originals, the other two being Carla Bley’s Doctor and the standard But Beautiful. The suite-like title track opens the album with an electric bass-powered accelerando; Duality follows it with an elegant mallet percussion duet for Naughton and Pozar, the latter on marimba. The energetic Doctor features a solo for Harris—an interesting instance of electric bass in a style not ordinarily heard at that time. (The same year this set was recorded, Harris began playing electric bass with Sonny Rollins, an association that lasted into the late 1980s.) The freest of the five pieces, F3 highlights the group’s quick-reaction interplay as well as the intricacy of Naughton’s composed line. The album ends on a quietly rhapsodic note with Naughton’s solo performance of But Beautiful.

Daniel Barbiero

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