The Basement Tapes
Arthur Doyle
2003 CD UK Durtro DURTRO063CD
In triple panel digipak
Track Listing
  1. Noah Black Ark (10:50)
  2. Birthday Song for Edward (4:45)
  3. Milford Graves (7:18)
  4. A Prayer For Peace (5:19)
  5. Homo (6:07)
  6. Street Player (6:35)
Arthur Doyle
Edward Perraud
Dan Warburton
Eric La Casa
Maikôl Seminatore
Sleeve Notes
Arthur Doyle: tenor, saxophone, flute, recorder, voice
Edward Perraud: drums
Dan Warburton: violin

Arthur Doyle was born on the 26th June 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moving to Nashville to study at Tennessee State, he played jazz with ex-Sun Ra band member Walter Miller, and rhythm and blues with David 'Fathead' Newman, Donny Hathaway and Gladys Knight. Touring with Johnny Jones and the King Casuals, he arrived in New York in 1967, where he contacted singer Leon Thomas and legendary drummer Milford Graves.
Discovering the extraordinarily gritty sound produced by singing and blowing into the horn at the same time (Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Dewey Redman happened upon the same technique at the same time), Doyle was soon in demand as a free player, sitting in with Sun Ra's Arkestra at Slug's Saloon on several occasions, and joining saxophonist Noah Howard on the mythic 1969 Black Ark album.
In the early 70s he played with Bill Dixon, Sam Rivers, Andrew Cyrille and Dave Burrell, and recorded Bäbi live with Hugh Glover and Milford Graves in 1976. Sitting in the audience was guitarist Rudolph Grey, and the two exchanged phone numbers when Doyle played The Brook on West 17th St, in the autumn of 1977 (the recording of which was later released as Alabama Feeling). Doyle and Grey played as The Blue Humans on December 10th 1978, at Max's Kansas City on a bill with Mars and DNA. Drummer Beaver Harris was added to the group in early 1979.
1982 found the saxophonist in Paris playing with Alan Silva's Celestrial Communication Orchestra on Desert Mirage, before spending five years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Denied access to a saxophone, he occupied himself writing the Songbook, an extraordinary collection of nearly three hundred songs, the first of which were recorded later that decade in Doyle's upstate NY home on a cassette recorder. Guitarist Thurston Moore became a fan, and Doyle, underground hero par excellence, toured Japan in 1997, where he played with, amongst others, Keiji Haino and Takashi Mizutani. In March 2000, he teamed up with legendary drummer Sunny Murray to record the Fractal album Dawn of a New Vibration and a year later released Plays the African Love Call on Bryn Coley's Ecstatic Yod imprint and recorded The Basement Tapes in Paris on June 12st 2001.

Arthur Doyle is an extraordinary artist. Ecstatic sound revolutionary, unique songwriter and lyricist, he cannot be confined to the free jazz scene with which he is so often associated. The man and his talents are absolutely free, and the spirit of his music burns with a furious intensity. Discovering Doyle's work gave me a perfect surge of joy. Thank you, Arthur. And thank you Dan, Edward and Thierry for making this work possible.

God is Love, David Tibet, 8 I 2003.

Recorded direct to DAT June 1st 2001, Perraud's basement. Editing and pre-mastering by Eric La Casa. Final mastering by Maikôl Seminatore. Front Cover art by Edward Perraud. Photographs by Thierry Trombert and Edward Perraud. Layout: Othila. Main liner notes by Dan Warburton, who also wishes to thank Byron Coley and David Tibet.