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The Current Set

by Mark Helias

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No Passport 07:15
Rebound 06:52
Nuclear One 06:02
Ellipsis 08:33
Lism 05:19


Seven compositions by Mark Helias with an all star band.

"The bassist and composer Mark Helias is a structuralist who likes his compositions tidy. The music he makes isn't small: it pushes and jostles like a river about to jump its banks, but it is identified by its attention to form, a precision and logic that make his pieces sound symmetrical and clean"
Peter Watrous,New York Times

• Jazz Times April 88
Mark Helias’ The Current Set (enja 5041) is an arresting documentation of what some of the more musically intrepid New York-based artists are up to. The program of the bassist-leaders’s compositions is characterized by steady progress to the precipice. Yet controls are invariably applied lest the effort go over the edge. Helias’ collaborators, all from the front rank of young players, are altoists Tim Berne and Greg Osby, trumpet-cornet-flugelhorn player Herb Robertson, trombonist Robin Eubanks, and drummer Victor Lewis. Nana Vasconcelos makes a cameo appearance.
W. Royal Stokes

•Washington Post 9/18/87
On his second outing as a leader, Helias has put together a terrific band for “The Current Set” -- a young spirited ensemble that includes Berne, saxophonist Greg Osby, drummer Victor Lewis and trumpeter Herb Robertson.
What really sets the record apart, though, are the tunes. Beginning with the album’s title track, it’s obvious that Helias has a real knack for making a small band -- in this instance a sextet --sound like a big one. Nothing else on the album is quite as exhilarating as this performance; it features Osby’s soprano saxophone swinging joyfully over a polyphonic blend of horns and Lewis’ crisp, insistent rhythms. But the remaining tunes nevertheless off other pleasures. Among the highlights are “No Passport” a brooding showcase for Helias’ reverberating tone and Robertson’s muted trumpet, and “Rebound” a vigorous workout for Berne.


released September 1, 1987

Alto Saxophone – Tim Berne
Bass – Mark Helias
Drums – Victor Lewis
Percussion, Voice – Nana Vasconcelos*
Soprano Saxophone – Greg Osby
Trombone – Robin Eubanks
Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn – Herb Robertson

Recorded by David Baker March 4th & 5th, 1987
at Sorcerer Sound, NYC
Mixed by Mark Helias and David Baker

All compositions by Mark Helias ©Radio Legs Music BMI


all rights reserved



Mark Helias New York, New York

Mark Helias is a renowned bassist, composer and producer who has performed throughout the world for more than four decades with some of the most important and innovative musicians in Jazz and Improvised Music including Don Cherry, Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Anthony Braxton, Abbey Lincoln, Cecil Taylor, and Uri Caine.
Sixteen albums of his music have been released since 1984.
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