Album: Billy Bang, Da Bang! (Tum)

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The Independent Culture

Free-jazz violinist Bang, who died in 2011, had a life of operatic intensity: school with Arlo Guthrie, active service in Vietnam, black revolutionary activity, drugs, guns and the avant-garde.

This Helsinki live recording – from just two months before he died – contains tunes by Coleman, Cherry, Rollins and Miles, with trombonist Dick Griffin among the quintet. Bang's cadenza on "Guinea" shows what an impressive soloist he could be.