Fred Hopkins, Charles Brackeen, Dennis Gonzalez
I first heard Charles Brackeen on Paul Motian's ECM recording, Dance. His horn was free, joyful, inquisitive and wholly distinctive. It stuck with me despite knowing nothing about him. I know little about him even now. This is what I've got.
He's been associated with the free jazz movement in the late sixties. He was married (now divorced) to pianist Joanne Brackeen. He has recorded sporadically (and rarely) since the late sixties. He quit the music business in the early eighties but was coaxed back into recording by Dennis Gonzalez (one of my personal musical heroes) for his Silkheart recordings in the second half of the eighties. This led to three recordings of his own for the Silkheart label - Attainment; Worshippers Come Nigh; and Bannar (all recorded in 1987).
The offering we have before us is his 1968 Strata-East recording Rhythm X. Brackeen is joined by Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell. It's a stunner! The program plays out like this:
1. Rhythm X (8:00)
2. Hour Glass (11:35)
3. Charles' Concept (6:44)
4. C.B. Blues (7:42)