Stop Time

Featuring: Altschul Barry

Musicians on the recording

Barry Altschul - drums
David Izenson - bass
Perry Robinson - clarinet

Recording track list


1. Untitled I     12:19
2. Untitled II 6:39 
3. Untitled III 14:29
4. Untitled IV     19:45 


NoBusiness Records NBCD 163
Release year - 2023

Credits and release info

  • Recorded October 14, 1978 at 131 Prince St., New York, NY
  • All compositions by Altschul-Izenson-Robinson
  • Original recording produced by Peter Kuhn
  • Re-mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudio
  • Photos: ©Raymond Ross Archives/CTSIMAGES Cover and Booklet
  • Design: Jeff DiPerna
  • Liner Notes: Ed Hazell
  • Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Ed Hazell

Reviews and articles


Ken Waxman - JAZZ WORD

1978 New York live date by three sound architects who never recorded together before or afterwards. Key to the disc is the sympathetic, sophisticated yet strong accents of drummer Barry Altschul (b. 1943), who by that time had perfected the melding of hard bop power with free jazz multiple tempos that he used with everyone from Paul Bley to Anthony Braxton. His associates were David Izenson (1932-1979), famous as a member of Ornette Coleman’s trio and clarinetist Perry Robinson (1938-2018), whose style encompassed elements of folk, Klezmer, abstract and notated music. Robison, who was in groups headed by leaders as diverse as Dave Brubeck and William Parker, unites the four untitled improvisations with melodic trills and flutters, interjected squeaks and circular squeals and miniature reed bites. Izenson’s arco variations are often tinged with melancholy and confidently work up the scale, while his pizzicato work expands with triple stopping pattern. Yet his turns to walking or positioned thumps preserve linear motion along with Altschul’s backbeat. Conventional enough to trade fours with the clarinetist during “Untitled 1”, the drummer turns on percussion razzle dazzle with paradiddles, flashy stokes and fanciful patterning on the last track. But his backbeat aids in connecting the clarinetist’s strained tonguing, clarion twitters and intense flattement away from sharp yelps into responsive swing by the finale. Probably the most telling sequence that confirms the trio’s sound evolution along takes place during the last section of “Untitled 3”. Suddenly Robinson reconfigures tongue stops and slurs become a blues line, accompanied by string strums and drum shuffles. Rhythm blends with reconstitution as reed split tones and doits are interspaced among long-lined flutters and Izenson’s jagged arco swipes that alternate with rhythmic double and triple stopping.

Stuart Broomer - New York City Jazz Record

There are few sounds as heartening as a lost recording by a previously unknown band possessed of collective and individual brilliance. This 45-yearold tape is an exceptional showcase for an underrecognized master, clarinetist Perry Robinson (who passed away just over 5 years ago at age 80). He’s heard here in Stop Time (Live at Prince Street, 1978) in an ideal context with as gifted a drums/bass pairing as one could hope for in Barry Altschul and David Izenzon (whose last name is unfortunately misspelled as “Izenson” on the release), matching and stimulating Robinson, resulting in some of his more extended improvisations on record. The project hardly sounds like a trio at all, often suggesting a much larger band. Altschul sometimes drives as much time as two good drummers might (consider his contemporaneous work with his own trios and Anthony Braxton) while Izenzon, from his first appearance with Ornette Coleman, sounded like Scott LaFaro’s most conscientious successor. Robinson was both a technical master and musical anarchist of the first order, covering klezmer to chaos (this writer first heard him holding his own ground in a Sunny Murray nonet with saxophonists Marion Brown, Bennie Maupin and Charles Tyler). His solos are a dance between virtuosity and squall, his lowest register suggesting the abrasive honk of an alto clarinet while his lines shoot between registers, timbres and moods with hints of the aleatoric, at times suggesting Eric Dolphy had he emphasized soprano rather than bass clarinet. The recently-turned 81-year-old Altschul (the surviving member of this trio), who came across the tape, can’t recall them ever rehearsing tunes, and linernote author and co-producer Ed Hazell wonders if any of the themes are compositions recorded elsewhere, welcoming input from any listener who might spot a composition. I can’t assist, though it sounds at times like individuals are developing touchstones; thus, the relatively brief “Untitled II” is distinctly Izenzon’s lamentation, a keening melody that he develops sufficiently to suggest a string section. Elsewhere, the drummer initiates compound Latin rhythms at various points, connecting or inviting multiple perspectives. Clarinetist Robinson, for his part, caps off the album with a 10-minute passage on the 20-minute “Untitled IV” that travels from Marrakech to New Orleans, seems to reference “Tennessee Waltz” and “Ramblin’”, and eventually connects blues approaches from Johnny Dodds to Ornette Coleman. The cumulative effect of the three musicians is as impressive as some great saxophonists’ minimalist trios, just as virtuosic but more egalitarian too, with Robinson’s thinner, higher, clarinet lines enhancing the almost orchestral breadth of his partners.

Stop Time -

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