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 Title:               Blue Chicago Blues

 By:                  Joe McPhee / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten

 Released in:   2010

 Format:          CD

 Catalog No:    MW 841-2

 EAN:               5901549185072

 Price:             12 EUR

Blue Chicago Blues by Joe McPhee & Ingebrigt Haker Flaten album cover


1. Truth In The Abstract Blues [06:23]

2. Cerulean Mood Swing [06:36]

3. Requiem For An Empty Heart [08:29]

4. I Love You Too Little Baby [04:04]

5. The Shape Of Blues To Come [09:25]

6. Legend Of The Three Blind Moose [07:03]



Joe McPhee - sax

Ingebrigt Haker Flaten - bass


at Vivians Palace in Chicago on December 3rd, 2007
Mixed and mastered on June 19th, 2010
Poem on rear cover dated Chicago, December 2007


What the critics say:

Dedicated to the memory of Chicago sax legend Fred Anderson. This was recorded at Vivian's Palace in Chicago in December of 2007 and it features Joe McPhee on tenor sax & Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on contrabass. This is extreme music, and extremely beautiful - like condensing a lifetime of experiences both good & bad into just a few selective notes of sounds. This is a monumental duo that shouldn't be taken for granted and one of this year's brightest moments. 


(Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery)




In Blue Chicago Blues, recorded in 2007, the duo of tenor player Joe McPhee and bassist Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten balances out very well, in ethnicity, instrumentation, musical personality, and tonal character. McPhee is relaxed with the openness of his horn and Håker-Flaten, attentively diligent at emphasizing the tautness of his bass strings. “Requiem for An Empty Heart” sounds the blues-iest of all of the six tracks. But McPhee’s poetry on the back cover of the record jacket settles any question of how blues are anyway: “For this here ain’t nothin’ but the blues, nasty, low down, trifflin’ and sweet…” Dedicated to the late Chicago tenorman, Fred Anderson, the recording refers to blues-makers Oliver Nelson and Ornette Coleman and simple imaginations of the downtrodden or the mercurial female kind.


Håker-Flaten is one-third of The Thing, the trio with Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and Swedish reedman Mats Gustafsson. McPhee has performed with them many times from their inception in 2000. Norwegian Håker-Flaten is a small, compact, energetic, perpetual motion machine. His technique is generally born of precision and expedition, yet, his slow-tempo pizzicato presents itself with a guitar-like resonance. The bassist also sings out-loud when the feeling calls for it.


McPhee’s treatment of the tenor passes through a wide range: from a two-note ostinato phrase to seemingly un-sequential arpeggios, to whining, cat-like squeals to melodies that are to die for. He does not refrain from splitting tones and he molds pure, tender ones which he dabbles with and then leaves behind in sourness. He is not wont to vocalize through the reed to extend the expressivity of the notes he presses through or sharpens or flats. McPhee is a master of telling a story with the musical line. These stories burn as hot as the blue flame pictured on the disc’s cover.


(Lyn Horton, Jazz Times)

DKV & Joe McPhee

The Fire Each Time

Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, Chris Corsano

This Is Our Language

Ken Vandermark

Unexpected Alchemy

Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee

The Damage Is Done

Joe McPhee, Mikołaj Trzaska


Joe McPhee, John Edwards, Klaus Kugel

Journey To Parazzar

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