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Wednesday, Oct 9 1996
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Phillip Greenlief/Scott Amendola duo
Attempting sax-traps duets in the improv/jazz arena puts reedist Phillip Greenlief and drummer Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter Quartet, T.J. Kirk) up against formidable tag-team partners like Anthony Braxton and Max Roach, Peter Brstzmann and Hamid Drake, and Fred Anderson and Steve McCall. Greenlief's penetrating freestyle (at times redolent of Ornette Coleman's punchy phrasing and John Coltrane's lyrical steamroll) and Amendola's supple octopus swing (no T.J. Kirk "lite jazz" grooves, to be sure) yield impressive results, alternately subtle and explosive. For impetus, the saxophonist turns to words on the page. You may (or may not) recall his epic series of compositions from a few years back based on James Joyce's Ulysses.

Collect My Thoughts, a new duo disc with Amendola, further explores Greenlief's fascination with the interrelationships between musical and written forms. The improvs, he says, are "based on conversations between the musicians [and] each piece strives to achieve a structural and conceptual resemblance to the subject discussed." Heady subject matter involves an "Ode to Sister Diana Ortiz" and homages to William S. Burroughs, Zora Neale Hurston, and Malcolm X. "Gingrich," a particularly successful duet, hurls free-bop invective at our favorite rosy-jowled politico and potboiler author. Cast your vote "free" in '96. (Sam Prestiani)

The Greenlief/Amendola duo plays at a record release party with the Greenlief/Ben Goldberg Sextet Saturday Oct. 12 at Radio Valencia Cafe, 1199 Valencia (at 23rd Street), at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $4; for more info, call: 826-1199.

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Sam Prestianni

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