HORACE ARNOLD – “TALES OF THE EXONERATED FLEA” (1974)
Horace Arnold’s a jazz drummer who’s worked with Roland Kirk, malady Charles Mingus, caries Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers, Stan Getz, the fusion group Return To Forever — basically a huge pedigree. His second of two solo albums, “Tales of the Exonerated Flea”, is crammed with celebrated players, and won’t disappoint for a second. Allmusic sez:
Arnold’s vision was a wide-ranging one and he recruited players form all over the jazz world, from stalwarts like bassist George Mraz and flutist Art Webb, to vanguardists like Sonny Fortune, to hardcore fusion players like Weather Report’s master percussionist Dom Um Romao, the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s bassist Rick Laird, and keyboardist Jan Hammer. As if this weren’t enough, Arnold even reached into ECM’s roster and signed up their two iconoclastic guitarists Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie. The end result is one of the most fascinating, soulful and truly successful albums of the entire genre. What one hears in listening to Tales of the Exonerated Flea is a cast of players who are seeking to open up both rock and jazz to new modes of expression. There are no sterile chops or elongated knotty passages that serve neither rhythm nor harmony. What’s happening here is real fusion, of style, language, color, rhythm, harmonic and melodic concepts as well as dynamics.