Reviews – COOPER-MOORE ..The Cedar Box Recordings...(AUM051/50 Miles of Elbow Room #4-CD)

Reviews of this music as originally released by 50 Miles of Elbow Room in the 5x7" cedar box set:

“Cooper-Moore is an astounding musican, who has recorded far less than he ought to have over the years, and who gets consigned to a few small dustbins when he's consigned at all. He is best known for his piano work with William Parker, and to a lesser extent, with David Ware and Susie Ibarra. But he is probably most interesting as a solo performer, improvising and playing on the instruments he builds from the junk he finds around New York City. The box set “Cooper-Moore” (50 Miles of Elbow Room 5x7”) is packed in a nice cedar box, and has ten examples of him performing on various instruments - diddley bo, horizontal hoe-handle harp, ashimba, twanger, piano, mouth-bow, three-stringed fretless banjo, and so on. It is amazing stuff - really superb, powerful music rising from a variety of unknown traditions, culminating in a fantastic aerial tongue-wrestle that brings together a blinding array of free-cosmo-primitive ideologies and strategies. The set is pressed up in an edition of 300 as the fourth issue of Adam Lore's 50 Miles of Elbow Room fanzine. It comes with a 16 page booklet with art, photos, and an extensive interview, and it represents a new highpoint of something.”
–Byron Coley / The Wire

“Many Other Music customers will be familiar with Adam Lore’s journal 50 Miles of Elbow Room. For those who aren’t, it is simply one of the loveliest and most informative music journals out there, with respectful and in depth interviews and articles on everyone from Otha Turner and the Rev. Charlie Jackson to William Parker. But he's really outdone himself on this latest installment, a five 7-inch box set devoted to instrument builder and noted jazz pianist Cooper-Moore. Limited to 300 copies and housed in a cedar box, there is also an engrossing interview with Cooper-Moore where he recounts a good deal of his history and working methods. Cooper-Moore came up during the loft scene era here in New York (in the early-‘70 he set up an artists live/work space on Canal Street where David S. Ware also lived). Most of the recordings he's done since then have featured his piano playing, so it is very welcome indeed to have so many of his homemade and unconventional instruments documented in one package. He clearly has an affinity for earlier African forms and instruments, through his utilization of adapted banjos and by constructing his own xylophone-esque “Ashimba.” There are also stunning pieces for hand held harp, diddley-bo, mouth-bow, and bamboo fife amongst others. A New York artist through and through, Cooper-Moore has recorded some of these songs outdoors on city bridges, with one session even taking place atop the Ward’s Island garbage dump. It is clear in these performances that Cooper-Moore’s musicality is one that is fully intent on capturing the listeners sense of wonder. The man is clearly a treasure, and this package goes a long way toward securing his important place in today's musical landscape.”
–Michael Klausman / Other Music

Another extensive review is found at Michael J. Kramer’s blog, Culture Rover


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