top of page


Público·48 miembros

Stanley Cowell Trio - Illusion Suite (1972)

The Legacy of Illusion Suite: How Stanley Cowell Trio Changed the Jazz Scene in 1972

Illusion Suite is an album by American pianist and composer Stanley Cowell, recorded in 1972 and released on the ECM label. The album features Cowell on piano, Stanley Clarke on bass and Jimmy Hopps on drums. The album is considered a masterpiece of jazz fusion, blending modal, contemporary and avant-garde jazz elements with African and Asian influences. In this article, we will explore the background, content and impact of Illusion Suite, and why it is still relevant and influential today.

Stanley Cowell Trio - Illusion Suite (1972)

Download File:

The Background of Illusion Suite

Stanley Cowell was born in 1941 in Toledo, Ohio. He started playing piano at the age of four and was influenced by classical music, gospel music and jazz. He studied music at Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, where he met trumpeter Charles Moore, who introduced him to African music and culture. He also studied with pianist Herbie Hancock and saxophonist Bobby Hutcherson, who encouraged him to experiment with different styles and techniques.

In 1966, Cowell moved to New York and became a sought-after sideman for many jazz legends, such as Max Roach, Miles Davis, Art Pepper, Sonny Rollins and Stan Getz. He also formed his own group, Music Inc., with Moore, Hopps and bassist Cecil McBee. The group recorded several albums for Strata-East Records, a label founded by Cowell and Moore to promote independent and creative jazz music.

In 1972, Cowell was invited by German producer Manfred Eicher to record an album for ECM Records, a label that was known for its high-quality sound engineering and artistic vision. Cowell decided to form a trio with Clarke and Hopps, two young and talented musicians who shared his adventurous spirit. Clarke was a virtuoso bassist who had played with Chick Corea's Return to Forever and Joe Henderson's Sextet. Hopps was a versatile drummer who had played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef and Pharoah Sanders.

The trio recorded Illusion Suite on November 29, 1972 at Sound Ideas Studio in New York. The album consisted of six original compositions by Cowell, each one showcasing his diverse musical influences and expressive piano playing. The album was released in 1973 and received critical acclaim from jazz critics and fans alike.

The Content of Illusion Suite

Illusion Suite is a remarkable album that combines various elements of jazz fusion in a coherent and original way. The album showcases Cowell's mastery of piano technique, harmonic language, rhythmic complexity and melodic invention. The album also showcases Clarke's and Hopps' superb skills as accompanists and soloists.

The album opens with "Maimoun", a modal piece that features a hypnotic piano riff over a pulsating bass line and a polyrhythmic drum pattern. The piece is inspired by African music and culture, as the title refers to an Islamic name meaning "blessed". The piece builds up to a climactic piano solo that displays Cowell's virtuosity and creativity.

The second track is "Ibn Mukhtarr Mustapha", a tribute to Cowell's friend and mentor Charles Moore. The piece is based on a pentatonic scale that gives it an Asian flavor. The piece features a lyrical piano melody that contrasts with a funky bass line and a syncopated drum groove. The piece also features a bass solo by Clarke that showcases his agility and tone.

The third track is "Cal Massey", a homage to the late jazz composer and activist Cal Massey. The piece is a ballad that features a beautiful piano melody that evokes Massey's soulful and spiritual music. The piece also features a sensitive bass solo by Clarke that complements the piano melody.

The fourth track is "Miss Viki", a dedication to Cowell's wife Victoria Spivey. The piece is a lively swing tune that features a catchy piano theme that alternates with improvised sections. The piece also features a drum solo by Hopps that demonstrates his swing feel and dynamic control.

The fifth track is "Emil Danenberg", a tribute to Cowell's former teacher at Oberlin College. The piece is an avant-garde composition that features dissonant chords, free improvisation and unconventional sounds. The piece challenges the listener's expectations and showcases the trio's adventurous spirit.

The sixth and final track is "Astral Spiritual", a cosmic piece that features an ethereal piano melody over a drone-like bass line and a shimmering drum cymbal. The piece is inspired by astral projection, a phenomenon where the consciousness leaves the physical body and travels to other dimensions. The piece creates a mystical atmosphere that closes the album on a transcendent note. d282676c82

  • Acerca de

    ¡Bienvenido al grupo! Puedes conectarte con otros miembros, ...

    bottom of page