AUM Fidelity




CD $13

1 .Exosphere .26.22 (MP3 Excerpt)

2 .Thermosphere
.25.22 (MP3 Excerpt)

3 .Troposphere .12.04 (MP3 Excerpt)

4 .Mesosphere .8.39 (MP3 Excerpt)

All compositions by Joe Morris, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver ;
published by RITI pub (ASCAP)


Joe Morris: guitar
William Parker
: bass
Gerald Cleaver
: drums

Produced by Steven Joerg & Joe Morris
Recorded by Jimmy Katz live at The Stone, NYC on June 17, 2011
Mixed with and mastered by Petr Cancura

Cover photo by Joe Morris / design by Anne Marcotty


"These gentlemen are playing at the highest level. Everyone “solos” but they do so with so much empathy, that the proceedings never come close to veering off the tracks. They establish a rhythmic pattern together, search for an elusive melody together, resolve all open-ended ideas together and move onto the next idea together, all while maintaining an overall vibe that stays with them from start to finish. Moreover, each is playing with the level of confidence only the best can display while playing the long form, never running out of things to express. .. Improvised music is far from being a spent force within jazz, and it never will be as long as the virtuosos are playing it. Altitude is a strong case in point."
–S. Victor Aaron, Something Else!

"With a terrific sense of space and a deft articulation that’s highlighted by his unvarnished, reverb-less clean tone, Morris’s phrasing and the intensities of his attack rarely fail to get my blood circulating along with him. .. These players exude such organic flow and effervescent energy without indulging in excess — taking care at each moment to craft statements of complex polyphony that pour out with such rapidity — that it’s hard to take it all in. .. Altitude is another slice of state of the art improvising from these players, and yet more documentation of Morris’s mastery."
–Jason Bivins, Dusted

"The two collectively improvised sets are all about forward motion, all three players enjoying a constant propulsion."
–Shaun Brady, JazzTimes

"These collective improvisations summon a beautiful and otherworldly energy. Unusual, thrilling sounds abound."
–Stewart Smith, The List

"The collective improvisation borders on mind reading at times as wave upon wave of musical ideas flow forth from the trio. .. The music has great heart and intellect and the balance between the two gives the music much of its passionate motion. Cooperation is the key to this very successful recording, with three distinctive voices joining as one to create powerful and thrilling sounds."
–Tim Niland, Music and More

* 4 1/2 Stars *
"It was hot [in the club] that night.  But more so, the music was sizzling. Totally recommended."
–Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz

"Piece-by-piece the trio builds their three way dialogue, forgoing the classic model of building tension followed by release. They maintain a constant exchange throughout. The liner notes remark that the player's clothes were soaked through from the effort. Such is the experience of this exhaustingly pleasurable recording."
–Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

"Altitude is intellectual energy music."
–Glen Hall, Exclaim!

Altitude is one of two live recordings to be released in July 2012 as part of the celebration of AUM Fidelity’s 15th anniversary. It documents the first-ever performance by esteemed veteran improvisers Joe Morris, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver as a trio during label founder Steven Joerg’s two-week run curating The Stone in New York during June 2011.

Collectively, Morris, Parker and Cleaver have appeared on hundreds of recordings, including a variety of prominent releases on AUM Fidelity, but this is their first time working together as a trio.

“It was hot in The Stone on this night,” recalls Morris in the liner notes. “William, Gerald and I soaked through our clothes playing this music, but we didn’t let the heat stop us or even slow us down. We played the long form—soloing, complementing and juxtaposing parts in the most open context that exists in music. There was a great sense of cooperative engagement at play and we let that inform the content. The ideas poured out. Each of us responded to the others with a sincere attempt to honor every sound and every rhythm, and we enjoyed ourselves.”

Joe Morris and William Parker were two of the first three artists to record for AUM Fidelity during its inaugural year in 1997 (the other being David S. Ware). They’ve each gone on to record many other releases on the label, both as leaders and sidemen, including collaborations on Ware’s Shakti and Parker’s live orchestral recording, Double Sunrise Over Neptune, which also featured Gerald Cleaver. Parker and Cleaver have since recorded together in Parker’s Organ Quartet and on two AUM Fidelity releases with the collective trio Farmers By Nature.

In the liner notes for Altitude, Morris calls his musical compatriots “two great, tremendous people, and great, tremendous musicians.” He adds, “Both are always searching for new experiences. They have not settled in on a musical comfort zone; they do not live in the past. When they are on the bandstand they are in the moment in every sense—always sharing, always igniting new ideas, always seeking something beyond description. They are natural and consistent innovators.”

Joe Morris, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver are among the most gifted instrumentalists & improvisers in the world today. Altitude documents their first communion together as a trio & they gripped it by creating timeless music rife with invention fully in the moment.

Again from Joe Morris' liner notes:
“The long form lets you tell a story, it lets you follow the nodal path in your thought process, it lets you play in layers, it lets you dive into the wave of energy and stay there. And it offers a sense of ritual that describes the present.”

This album BURNS from the eternal flame. The first two tracks are the entirety of the first set that night; the next two tracks are excerpts from the second set. The MP3 excerpts posted above are brief glimpses into the sun that night.

AUM Fidelity