Man'ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing)


"Darius Jones is an extraordinarily gifted young alto saxophonist and composer; Man'ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) is his remarkable debut as a leader. Jones joined the New York music community in 2005, after living and studying in Richmond, VA. In his short time here, he has amazed and inspired musicians and audiences from widely divergent backgrounds with his meticulously honed musical gifts. Soul-power is at his foundation; forward looking expression always at the fore. Some bands Jones currently works with are the Cooper-Moore Trio, Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys, William Hooker's Bliss (East), and Trevor Dunn's Proof Readers. Jones also has a band with Travis LaPlante, Andrew Smiley, and Jason Nazary called Little Women; their first record Teeth came out in 2008, and they stunned the audience at the 2009 Saalfelden Jazz Festival. Man'ish Boy is a deeply personal work that found Jones meditating on his life growing up in the south: not an easy life, but one suffused with familial love, hard work and self-assurance. His experiences in church, particularly hearing gospel choirs - the ecstatic combination of powerful individual voices coming together to create something greater - were a deep inspiration for this project. An abiding respect for elders and the breadth of life experience they bring led Jones to ask elder master musicians Cooper-Moore (piano, diddley-bo) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums) to be part of this project. Jones first met Moses at a performance while still in Virginia, and they have had a close relationship ever since. Jones joined forces with Cooper-Moore, a fellow Virginian and church-goer as a youth, after moving to NYC. C-M was asked specifically to also play diddley-bo on this project: a one-wire stringed instrument with roots in the deep south via Africa, only heard in a jazz context via Cooper-Moore; with it, he fully brings the organic funk. This striking album work features ballads of deeply affecting tenderness, an intense polyrhythmic excursion that literally does chase the ghost in holiness fashion, a series of open-ended pieces that further display the remarkable improvisational gifts of the three musicians."