Leroy Jenkins: Themes and Improvisations on the Blues
Here is a reminder that, aside from being free-jazz's go-to violinist, Jenkins was also a fine composer of chamber music. The title track is the standout piece, featuring blues gestures spiked with modernistic touches, all of which the Soldier String Quartet handles with great skill. (They gain a double-bass to become a string quintet on "Off Duty Dryad.") "Panorama I" places Jenkins' violin against a group of brass and reed instruments. And the closer is a more open-ended, wild piece, allowing Jenkins and peers like Henry Threadgill room for improvisation. A killer, key collection.