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Jemeel Moondoc Trio - Live at Glenn Miller Café

Steven Loewy, All Music Guide

These two long tracks were taken from separate sets performed in concert at the famed Glenn Miller Café in Stockholm, Sweden. The quality of sound is remarkably good for a live recording, but more importantly, the quality of music stays on a consistently high plane for the full hour of recording time. Thirty minute pieces performed in free-style by sax, bass, and drums may be intimidating or appear limiting, but in the hands of Jemeel Moondoc, Hamid Drake, and William Parker, the time flies by.

Moondoc is an underrated heavyweight of the saxophone: The elder statesman drinks from the well of Ornette Coleman, but Moondoc plies his own sound, with a sighing lyricism that lures the listener into his den. He paces himself well, with finely developed solos, interspersed with sections in which he trades bars with his colleagues.
The generous portion of prime Parker and Drake adds considerably and is one of the reasons for the high rating. In a sense, the recording might be viewed as a "typical" night on the road for the trio, in the same way that Duke Ellington's Orchestra was sometimes captured in concert in a "typical" night on the road.

Moondoc has such complete command of his instrument and such an emotionally charged tone that he commands respect with nearly every phrase. For those who have not yet been introduced to any of these three performers, this is a good place to start.