Item 601080




Faruq Z. Bey w/ Northwoods Improvisers-
Primal Waters.

Vinyl or CD

A recent recording from the legendary Faruq Z Bey – working here with the highly creative Northwoods Improvisers! Bey's tenor and alto are very much at the front of the recording, but the album also really draws a lot from the other players in the group – the vibes of Mike Gilmore, bass of Mike Johnston, drums and log drum of Nick Ashton, and additional reeds of Mike Carey and Skeeter CR Shelton – who all work with Faruq in ways that almost seem more structured than before – really held together with a great sense of composition on the longer tunes, while still stretching out with some freedom on the solos. (Limited edition.) © 1996-2012, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

Vinyl copies at Dusty Groove in Chicago


We will have CD Copies for sale via this email address for 12 dollars post paid and also available through the Entropy Stereo web site February 28th.

Available on the Entropy Stereo label.

or write: (contact mike johnston)

LP (Item 601080) Sagittarius (Italy), 2011 — Condition: New Copy







Faruq Z. Bey and Northwoods Improvisers.

Emerging Field CD

The interesting thing is that this music sounds like it was made in 70s, reminiscent of some Art Ensemble work, or Human Arts Ensemble, or
Sonny Simmons, but less wild, more controlled and accessible, but indeed grand and epic. A really strong and recommended album. ****1/2 stars
stef @ freejazz blog

Available on the Entropy Stereo label.






Dennis Gonzalez w/Faruq Z. Bey and Northwoods Improvisers.

Hymn for Tomasz Stanko CD

Silkheart and Clean Feed recording artist Dennis Gonzalez teams up with Faruq Z. Bey and Northwoods for this nice blend of the artists playing styles. This is Bey's third release on the Italian vinyl Qbico label.

"In short, a great album, in my opinion of the same expansive and broad-sweeping level as his Nile River Suite or "Dance Of The Soothsayer's Tongue". The overall sound is very coherent, all tracks are of the same high quality, melodic, lyrical and creative. I love it! ***** stars." Stef, Free Jazz Blog 2009

ESR 017







Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers

Journey into the Valley DVD+CD

"Once a member of Detroit legends Griot Galaxy, Bey's take on jazz is informed by the spectral divinations of Sun Ra, and pieces like "Moors" and "sherrif Sam (Sound By Law)" remind you of prime era Arkestra, floating between beautifully extended melody heads and stretches of languid free blowing, all underpinned by a steady, rolling rhythm section." Jon Dale; Signal To Noise Fall 2008

"If this were merely an audio CD, it would garner excellent reviews. But this set with DVD and CD and all of the extra features becomes something well worth checking out. The Northwoods Improvisers and Entropy Stereo are to be credited for doing this right." Robert Iannapollo; Cadence OCT/NOV/DEC 2008.

"Mostly, though, the band is incredibly tight and fleshes out arrangements like the stately Tunisian whirl of "In the Valley" with uncommon poise. This schooled reverence is likely wholly in response to the history and weight sprung forth from players like Bey and Shelton, who are far from household names in contemporary improvisation, but whose groundwork the Northwoods Improvisers will doubtless expand upon for years to come." by; Clifford Allen All About Jazz 2009

Selected Honorable mention for album of the year. All About Jazz 2008

Faruq Z. Bey w/Northwoods Improvisers.
"The music exists in a space cleared long ago by Coltrane's tireless modal
searching and Sun Ra's insinuating pulse, yet it still appears fresh and
purposeful - a music pleasingly at ease with it's own history".
Julian Cowley ; The Wire Feb. 2007.


"Pristine earth soul jazz".
Thurston Hunger; kfjc on-line reviews 2007












Faruq Z. Bey w/Northwoods Improvisers.

"Gorgeous, earthy, unhurried Mother Africa jazz here, deep and dark,
mysterious yet reassuring. Sax master Bey leads a superb group of
like-minded story-tellers.... ".

KFJC on line reviews '05; Max Level

"The Tenor Sax of Bey first, and then Skeeter Shelton, pull you into two worlds:
youíre still on that deep and dangerous African lake, but at the same time, you are now viewing the streets of Detroit from the backseat of a slow-moving Buick. Itís late summer and the windows are rolled down. The tires hiss and the streetlights flash across your face." excerpt on "Rwanda" from; Marc Beaudin Blog ; 2008












Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers featuring Mike Carey and Skeeter Shelton

"This outing, the third and best so far for Entropy by Griot Galaxy former head honcho Faruq Z. Bey is as solid, sincere and satisfying a dose of new jazz as anything dished up the past two years by other better known labels".
Dan Warburton; Paris Transatlantic Magazine 1/05

"....this is a very good cd and this version of the Northwoods Improvisers- with Bey leading and Carey and Shelton added- is a powerful band".
Paul Olson; All About Jazz 2/05

"Well recorded, this is an inspired set of Freebop sure to please those devotees of post war era classic Free Jazz. With a triple threat saxophone line-up, there are moments of late-Coltrane inspired frenzy that would not sound out of place
in a mid-1960's Impulse! recording".
Troy Collins; Cadence 4/05

"The record itself (as any Northwoods Improvisers record) has this driving rhythm
to it, this sense of direction that is just so catchy and infectious".
Tom Sekowski, Gaz-Eta 2005

Entropy ESR 015

Faruq Z. Bey w/Northwoods Improvisers
quintet featuring Mike Carey.

"Bey resides as a forceful presence throughout, evidenced by his soul searching choruses, wrapped around robust tenor sax tone. At times memories of latter-day Coltrane come to mind".****
Glen Astaria; All Music Guide

"Ashrai Pattern is one of the best examples of similar minds sharing their wealth
of knowledge and applying it in practice".
Tom Sekowski, Gaz-Eta 2005

"the music is rich and varied and hugely enjoyable".
Penguin Guide to Jazz 7th edition

"Bey and Northwoods Improvisers produce stirring music of challenging proportions".
Fran Rubolino; Cadence 9/03

Entropy ESR 013

Faruq Z. Bey w/ Northwoods Improvisers ,
live concert recording featuring Len Bukowski
on three tracks.

"spiritually oriented dignity is the order of the day....Now, after a protracted silence caused by a serious accident among other problems, he's reemerged with this fine cd". Ken Waxman; Jazz Weekly 02
"Like the passionate leader Charles Mingus, Faruq Z. Bey folds consonant timbral blends together while unifying his compositions with mezmerizing
Jim Santella; Cadence 5/02

"....Faruq Z.Bey is an artist who seems not to have been recorded since Griot Galaxy's ground breaking 1986 release Opus Krampus. That's too long off the scene and this fine cd is proof of what we've been missing".
John Chacona; Signal To Noise summer 02
Entropy ESR 011

Northwoods trio featuring Mike Gilmore
on marimba, on all tracks.

"....a satisfying document, logically progressing
and imbued with creative spirit, never succumbing to cliche".
Steven Loewy; Cadence 10/01
Entropy ESR 010

Mike Gilmore solo recording. Performing improvisations and a couple of original works
on the Turkish string instrument the saz.
(limited edition)
Soaring Hawk
Zenta Codex 001

Eastern influenced music recordings featuring Mike Gilmore on string instruments including acoustic guitar and cheng. some of the cuts are performed with founding Northwoods member percussionist John Plough. Limited edition with handmade covers.-------
Star Garden
"Michigan's Northwoods Improvisers have, for over a decade, provided the underground with some of the most satisfying, confounding, and totally inventive music on the scene, though they are seldom acknowledged for it.... This may be the finest offering yet from a band that has yet to disappoint".
Thom Janek; All Music Guide
Entropy 008

Northwoods trio joined by
Ben Bracken on several tracks.
Lightning Darkness

"Clearly the most outerworldly and diverse Northwoods album released, Lightning Darkness is a journey into Middle Eastern music and free
harmonic abstractions".
Jason Hundey; All music Guide

"The highlight here is a cover of Sun Ra's "God Is More Than Love Could Ever Be". Clocking in at almost ten minutes, its quiet intensity builds around Mike Gilmore's shimmering vibe work and the spare percussion laid down by Nick Ashton. At top volume, the song envelopes you in beautiful melodies and
sends your spirit astral traveling".
Brainwashed '99 "

A sense of nature prevades, hidden creatures, elemental brewings".
Coda '99

"The intellectual aspects of these compositions do not mar or circumvent the entertainment factor as Northwoods offer the best of both worlds".
**** All Music Guide '99
Entropy 005

The Northwoods trios second studio release
on the Arc label.

"The Improvisers weave together sounds both ancient and modern in a highly idiosyncratic personal iconography that is universally acceptable by those interested in primitive musics and wildly sophisticated in a modern sense for those interested in the improvisational and harmonic process as it relates to jazz".
Thom Jurek; All Music Guide

"The approach is complex and certainly original, but there's an immediate appeal. Mike Gilmore's soloing on vibes is outstanding.....a beautiful album".
Andy Hamilton; The Wire

"the nonstandard instrumentation of the trio provides for some intriguing colorations....
the music is full of honesty and heart-felt playing".
Michael Rosenstein; Cadence 5/97
"Spinning more closely captures the Northwoods live sound, heading into wilder territory than their first disc with more and livelier drum solos and covers of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane".
Matt Camp; Etch '98
Arc 009

Northwoods first release on
Trevor Watts Arc label.
Fog and Fire
"The Northwoods Improvisers first release has a clearly evident originality and the group has created an original sound coming out of several streams of musical influence".
Philipe Renaud; Impro Jazz 3/95
"Fog and Fire is a good set of strong substantial music".
Robert Iannapollo; Cadence 1/95

"......Northwoods Improvisers refers just often enough to indigenous sounds
to show how improvisation is a traditional communication".
Randal Mcllroy; Coda Sept./Oct. 95
Arc CD 07

Hymm Book of The Anciency
Poetry by: Faruq Z. Bey 2001-2005
Entropy/Codex 002