Sabir Mateen / Matthew Heyner / David Nuss

Sabir Mateen / Matthew Heyner / David Nuss
Light Comes from the Front
Sound at One
$35; see below

Sabir Mateen has been a significant presence on the NYC free jazz scene for almost 25 years now, most notably a member of TEST.  His musical CV includes key recordings and collaborations with Horace Tapscott, Sunny Murray, William Parker, Hamid Drake, and a host of others. On this loose and engaging 1997 session, he hooks up with 2 younger improvisers from the No-Neck Blues Band who were then diving into the free jazz tradition. This LP, the only issued document of their collaboration, combines fervent blowouts and apparently spontaneous songcraft.  Heyner’s bass tone is exceptionally rough-hewn, giving urgent drive to the music. The spirit of Sun Ra’s more ragged Saturn sides is evoked when they hit some malleable grooves and Mateen starts to sing of the omniverse and the pitfalls of interpersonal relationships.  If you can get with this kind of free spirited gusto, it’s a fun ride.  Out of print for many years now, very glad to be able to offer it here.

Most copies of this record were issued with one side of individually rendered artwork by Rita Ackermann coupled with a Xerox paste-on designed by Mateen.  However, none of the unusual variants in stock here follow that template. Fewer, later covers declared the band to be named 188-Three (I believe all 3 men were roommates at this time, at 188-something street) and had a spray-painted front, using a stencil designed by Ackermann.  One of the copies here, presumably the last, has the stencil itself pasted to the cover.  Hear a bit: Light Comes from the Front / Morning Conversation

Cover & price variants:
– Xeroxed paste-ons to front and back (main icon above): SOLD OUT
– 188-Three spray paint cover, with paste-on (shown bottom right): SOLD OUT
– Hand painted cardboard insert covers, each individually done by the band. Test pressings. (shown top left; bottom left has been sold): $35
– 188-Three spray paint cover with stencil affixed to the other side, especially cool artifact (shown top right): SOLD OUT

Sabir Mateen: tenor & alto saxophones, piano, flute, clarinet, voice, percussion
Matthew Heyner: voice, bass, bass guitar, percussion
David Nuss: drums, percussion, voice