by Joe McPhee
Released: Oct 1971
Label: Unheard Music Series / Atavistic
While Nation Time can be tagged fusion, its intense blend of jazz, funk and rock differs significantly from what Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock were cooking up in the early 1970s. This music isn't spacey or hypnotic; it's raw hard-bop whose flesh has been torn apart by sharp avant-garde sensibilities. The tag "free funk" is often applied to this record, and it makes a lot of sense. Squealing, screaming and howling, saxophonist Joe McPhee introduces elemental themes that he then pounds into the ground. Meanwhile, pianist Mike Kull and guitar player Dave Jones bash away with ecstatic abandon.