I’ve Got Your Number


February 1994

Thomas Chapin Insomnia

Thomas Chapin may have established himself as a fire-breathing “downtown” improviser on alto sax and flute, but he first logged years in the more traditional company of Lionel Hampton and Chico Hamilton. I’ve Got Your Number puts Chapin on the inside looking out.  You’d expect him to cover Ornette Coleman, not Cy Coleman.  Cy’s title track joins compositions from Artie Shaw and Bud Powell and Latin-influenced tunes in this strong, diverse set.  Playing in a (relatively) conventional style reinforces Chapin’s strongest influences, notably Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Jackie McLean. Eric Dolphy informs Chapin’s approach to flute, especially on a lovely reading of Powell’s “Time Waits.”  Two originals, “Drinkin’” and “Rhino!” allow for Chapin’s most energetic, personalized alto work.

Insomnia focuses on Chapin’s impressive skills as a composer and arranger with his Trio Plus Brass, recorded live at New York’s Knitting Factory.  Chapin’s inventive arrangements for octet emphasize low brasses and, on “Coup d’Etat,” march rhythms.  Henry Threadgill’s recent bands exert a clear influence, with Marcus Rojas and Curtis Fowlkes from Very Very Circus joining Chapin.  “Pantheon” and “Equatoria” set Chapin’s flute over intensifying grooves.  “Golgotham” is the rousing highlight of the set, a driving, 18-minute stomp featuring wailing alto and a chorus of vocalizing horns.

- Jon Andrews

All albums previously released on Knitting Factory Records are now the sole property of and available through Akasha, Inc.