Billy Bang: Da Bang!

Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 00:00


Da Bang !

Billy Bang

TUM Records


Fans of the violin in jazz have precious little to choose from, particularly at the modern end of the spectrum, so this final album from the late Billy Bang will prick a few ears. Musically and politically radical, Bang didn’t always enjoy the sort of profile that his playing deserved, but in the last decade of his life he made several important albums. Da Bang, recorded in 2011 in Helsinki for progressive Finnish label TUM, is the last. With veteran trombonist Dick Griffin and a fine New York rhythm section, Bang – who knew he was dying of cancer – delivers a last testament shot through with emotion, referencing the key influences on his music, including Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. The album finishes with a rousing version of Sonny Rollins’s
St Thomas.