(Ricky) Ford (ten sax), (Michael) Cochrane (piano) and (Mike) Clark (drums) are all leaders in their own right and this is a record strong on ego and personality. Cochrane is represented as a composer, and he continues to impress. The central section of the record, from Walrath's "Revenge of the Fat People", Mingus's "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love" and "Beer!", pretty much covers the spectrum of Jack's work as composer and performer. His solo on the Mingus tune is delightful, and the ale-inspired tune is one of his most joyous.
Solidarity is the closest of the surviving records to the Muses, a blues-soaked and -- as Jack points out -- very American-sounding recording that could again almost be a Mingus offshoot. (Ralph) Reichert's (ten sax) father owns the Hamburg club (Birdland) where the recording was made; it's an atmospheric place and a strong, smouldering set. The two-part "Hamburg Concerto" and the title-track bespeak anew Walrath's ability to give lone forms the immediacy and the visceral punch of a simple blues, while "Hot Dog For Lunch", "Political Suicide" and "Psychotic Indifference" underline his more capricious and satirical side. Reicher claims joint honours, and his father's production yields up a sound which favours the horns over the rest of the group -- not overwhelmingly so, but with a definite edge. Good stuff. Let's hope that the Muse catalogue and the missing Blue Notes are returned to favour soon.