By RAUL D'GAMA ROSE, Published: January 31, 2011
The tears are heard from the beginning, on "Nunna Daul Sunyi" (the trails where we wept). The dry-eyed weeping of the dramatis personae is offset by the viscosity of the stream that emerges from Coursil's horn. His unique deconstruction of the language of the trumpet and subsequent recreation lies somewhere in between that jungle growling rap of Bubber Miley and Rex Stewart, and Coursil's own Creole vocalizations, through uniquely pursed embouchure and ululating with tongue and cheeks. Both seem inextricably locked in with mind body and soul. This gives his work behind the horn a vivid and unheard of quality. His rhythmic attack is magnificent and primordial, and he is in fine company with the likes of alto saxophonist Mark Whitecage, keyboardist Jeff Baillard and pianist Bobby Few, especially on his airy meandering in "The Removal Act II," the concluding part of the two-part suite that aurally paints the haunting uprooting of a people and their dissipation as a tribe in exile. And then there is "Gorée" and "The Middle Passage," that bring the liturgy of this great lamentation to a merciless end.
Trails of Tears is the work of a musician with a magical, burnished horn, who stands head and shoulders above most trumpeters practicing their craft today.
Track Listing: Nunna Daal Sunyi; Tagaloo, Georgia; Tahlequah, Oklahoma; The Removal Act I; The Removal Act II; Gorée; The Middle Passage.
Personnel: Jacques Coursil: trumpet; Jeff Baillard: keyboards, Fender Rhodes (1-3, 6, 7); Alex Bernard: double bass (1-3, 6, 7); José Zébina: drums (1-4, 6, 7); Mark Whitecage: alto saxophone (4); Perry Robinson: clarinet (4); Bobby Few: piano (4, 5); Alan Silva: double-bass (4); Sunny Murray: drums (4).
Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde www.sunnysiderecords.com/artist.php?id=313&Coursil&Jacques