Allaboutjazz.com Review of He Who Lives In Many Places by John Barron
Noted composer of film music, orchestral conductor and bassist extraordinaire Terry Plumeri made his debut as a jazz artist in 1971 with the now landmark release He Who Lives in Many Places. Newly re-mastered and re-issued, the ground breaking session from the fusion-era features an all-star cast consisting of pianist Herbie Hancock, guitarist John Abercrombie, drummer Michael Smith and percussionist Eric Gravatt.
The disc's five tracks, all composed by Plumeri, are open-ended in nature, allowing for spontaneous group invention. Beneath Smith's propulsive cymbal groove, "Underwater" plays out like a conversation in slow motion between Plumeri, Hancock and Abercrombie. The bassist's stark themes are carefully revealed between stretches of improvised punch. The title track is a striking, brief duet for bass and piano. Plumeri's singing upper register lines are supported by Hancock's imaginative, classically-influenced approach.
Abercrombie's distorted guitar plays the lead role on the odd-metered funk vamp "Timeworn," held together by Plumeri's simple, yet hauntingly repetitive bass line. Venturing full throttle into the realm of free-form, "Dayspring America" is an exciting adventure full of spontaneous twists and turns. Gravatt's percussion tinkering, Hancock's aggressiveness on the Fender Rhodes and Plumeri's front-and-center bowing creates a plethora of unexpected sound textures.
The disc closer, "Bees" begins with Plumeri's angular, stretched-out theme, eerily emulating the unsettling buzz of an angry swarm of yellow jackets. Eventually the groove settles into a driving swing tempo, setting the stage for inspired solos by Hancock and Abercrombie.
The passing decades have done little to tarnish the unabashed, coherence exhibited in this music. He Who Lives In Many Places is nothing short of magnificent. The sounds are still fresh, uncontrived and motivated by communal desires.