Monday, October 26, 2009

R.I.P. Norris Jones, a.k.a. Sirone

Just so you found it out through me rather than some dope, let me be (one of the) first to inform you that the noted avant garde jazz bassist Norris Jones, later to be known as Sirone has died age 69. Click the ESP-disk link for a neat obit, but as far as me putting my own two cents in let me just say that the jazz world, if it were still meaningful enough, would be mourning this great loss but of course they won't since their collective heads are still burrowed deep inside Ken Burns' hiney to notice. Sideman for everyone from Cecil Taylor, Noah Howard, Sonny Sharrock, Charles Gayle and Billy Bang amongst many others (his playing with Bang and Gayle on the live CBGB Lounge CD that Silkheart released is incredible and worth the effort to snatch up despite its obscurity), Sirone was probably best known as the bassist/pianist/trombonist/percussionist in the co-operative group the Revolutionary Ensemble along with Leroy Jenkins and Jerome Cooper, a trio who not only released a slew of albums between 1971 and their disbandment around '78 (I count five) but made a wonderful cacophany mixing jazz, classical and Burundi in a way few have since. Highly recommended is the trio's only major label foray, A&M/Horizon's THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC from '75 which not only has them operating under professional production and studio standards, but features some of the group's best moments in a digipack sleeve if you can believe that! Undigitized as far as I know, but I got mine for a dollar, still sealed, at a flea market in 1982 and maybe you can too!

5 comments:

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J.D. King said...

This is a shame.

RIP, Sirone.

weasel walter said...

great bassist. he'll be missed.

Bill said...

Sirone also did great work on some of Marion Brown's best albums...

Robert Cook said...

For a period of about 12 years or so I largely abandoned listening to pop or rock music and plunged into the endless depths of avant garde jazz, "free jazz," whatever you want to call it...my gateway drug being the first Charles Gayle cds on Silkheart. (In the last few years I've moved back to the pop and rock side of things...there are only so many free jazz freakouts one can listen to before you start craving a little less "freedom." Not that I don't still enjoy the best of the music I discovered during my jazz years.)

One hears William Parker heralded as the pre-eminent bassist in the free jazz sphere, and, not being a musician nor able to analyze such things from a technical viewpoint, I can't say how fair such encomia truly are...but for my money, Sirone's playing with Charles Gayle blows away not only Parker but every other bass player I heard anywhere.

R.I.P., Sirone.