Saturday, February 6, 2016

EDDIE PRÉVOST BAND – Live Volume 1 (LP-1978)




Label: Matchless Recordings – MR 01
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: UK / Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live of a concert at the Cambridge College of Art and Technoloy on May 19, 1977.
Mastered By – George Peckham
Recorded By – Pete Nesbit
Concert Organized By – Jane and Roger Giddings
Published By – Matching Music Publishing Co. Ltd.

A - The Fireman's Act .............................................................. 18:00
B - Green King ......................................................................... 25:02

Musicians:
Eddie Prévost – drums, percussion
Geoff Hawkins – tenor saxophone
Gerry Gold – trumpet, flugelhorn
Marcio Mattos – double bass

This is the first of a two volume, recordings of a concert at the Cambridge College of Art and Technoloy on May 19, 1977. ["Live - Volume 2" (Matchless Recordings - MR 02)]



Aside from working with the influential avant-garde ensemble AMM, percussionist Eddie Prevost led some highly challenging British free jazz groups in the '70s. These sessions from 1977 showcase a project featuring Geoff Hawkins on saxophone, Gerry Gold on trumpet, and the phenomenal talents of Marcio Mattos on bass. With Prevost's always inventive and high-energy drumming holding it all together, the quartet explores the tradition of free jazz with the astute wit of classical musicians. The excellent recording and sequencing of the pieces make this LP a compelling collection of avant garde jazz...



...Prévost's jazz origins are still quite clearly audible on 'Live', the album which inaugurated his own Matchless label, and one on which he delivers, as a obstretrician might, one of the best recordings of this period of British free jazz.

Gold and Hawkins make a marvellous partnership, ranging from austere fury to jovial reave-ups which occasionally recall the more experimental Mingus's workshop bands. Gold in particular has a clear, emphatic signature, idiosyncratic enough to make one wonder why he hasn't recorded more often.
Prévost is one of the most articulate exponents of the music. He is author of a book called 'No Sound is Innocent' in which he argues the existence of an aesthetic in which music is inseparable from the realm of ideas and soclal exchanges. The quartet might seem conventioanlly distant from what he has done with AMM and other groups, but it dies illuminate how generously he opens himself to situations in which hierarchis collapse. There is no 'front line' here, no 'rhythm section.' It is the equivalent of total football, everyone contributing at every level...



If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, February 1, 2016

MIT – Knoten (LP-1981)




Label: Hat Hut Records – hat Hut EIGHTEEN (1R18)
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US/Switzerland / Released: 1981
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Restaurant "Zur Mägd" in Basel/Switzerland on Saturday June 21, 1980.
Artwork By – Klaus Baumgärtner
Basic Design By – Robine Clignett
Photography – X
Recorded By – Peter Pfister
Mastered By – David Crawford
Mixed By, Edited By – Mit, Peter Pfister, Werner X. Uehlinger
Producer – Pia & Werner X. Uehlinger

A1 - Xopf .............................................................................................. 12:25
A2 - Spross ............................................................................................ 4:45
A3 - Kopftai ............................................................................................ 7:40
B1 - Knoten .......................................................................................... 14:50
B2 - Ydospar .......................................................................................... 8:20

All composition by MIT

Instrumentation:
Felix Bopp  –  piano
Alex Buess  –  alto sax and bass clarinet
Knut Remond  –  percussion and xylophone
Alfred Zimmerlin   cello


Hat Hut Records (1R18) Year: 1981. Original issue, never re-issue. Very very rare gatefold cover edition.




About this album I did not find any data (reviews or interviews), but anyway, enjoy in his uniqueness. Really remarkable LP, a rarity for collectors.



If you find it, buy this album!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

MAL WALDRON TRIO – Tokyo Bound (LP-1970)




Label: Victor ‎– SMJX-10089
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold sleeve / Country: Japan / Released: 1970
Style: Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded in Tokyo, Japan on February 7 & 12, 1970.
Design – Teruo Hanzawa
Photography By – Naoki Mukouda, Takashi Arihara
Manufactured By – Victor Company Of Japan, LTD. – SVIR-10045

A1 - Japanese Island ...................................................................... 10:34
A2 - Rock One for Jimbo San ......................................................... 13:01
B1 - Atomic Energy ........................................................................... 8:50
B2 - Mount Fujiyama ....................................................................... 12:41

All compositions by Mal Waldron

Personnel:
Mal Waldron — piano
Yasuo Arakawa — bass
Takeshi Inomata — drums


Tokyo Bound is a studio album by American jazz pianist Mal Waldron recorded in Tokyo in 1970 and released on the Japanese RCA Victor label.



In early 1970 American pianist, already residing in Europe for some time, on the basis of his released album has been invited to visit Japan (by local Swing Journal company). On his first ever Japanese tour Mal spent two days (February 7 & 12) in studio in Tokyo where recorded some material.

Four songs, recorded by trio with domestic double bassist Yasuo Arakawa and drummer Takeshi Inomata were soon after released as "Tokyo Bound" album. Eight compositions, recorded solo, has been released later same year as "Tokyo Reverie". Both albums didn't attract lot of attention but opened for Mal Japanese scene. He returned for next Japanese tour already next year and very soon became well known and popular pianist on Japanese mainstream scene...

Enjoy!


If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WILLIAM Smiley WINTERS – Smiley Etc. (2LP-1969)





Label: Arhoolie Records – 8004/5
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1969
Style: Free Jazz, Post Bop, Modal
Recorded at Sierra Sound Studios in Berkeley, Calif. on March 19, 1969.
D2 - Smiley's Mini Drum Suite / recorded at the Newman Center in Berkeley, Calif.
Engineer – Bob DeSousa
Liner Notes – Wahlee Williams
Photography By – Patti Prout
Producer – Chris Strachwitz, Smiley Winters

A1 - Two Trains ............................................................................................. 9:22
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         tenor saxophone – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         bass – Chris Amberger
         congas – Mike O'Barra
         drums – James Zitro
         (written-by – Bert Wilson)
A2 - Love Is Enlightenment .......................................................................... 9:12
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         soprano saxophone – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         bass – Chris Amberger, Jerry Sealand
         drums – James Zitro
         (written-by – Bert Wilson)
B  -  Smiley Etc. ........................................................................................... 16:10
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         tenor saxophone, bass clarinet – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         bass – Chris Amberger, Harley White
         violin – Mike White
         bongos [bongo drums] – Michael O'Barra
         congas [congo drums] – James Zitro
         drums – Eddie Marshall, Paul Smith
         mbira [thumb piano], flute, voice, bass, horns – Rafael Garrett
         (written-by – W. Winters)
C1 - Frank's Blues ......................................................................................... 7:20
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         piano – Frank Jackson
         bass – Chris Amberger
         (written-by – F. Jackson)
C2 - Some Blue Shoes .................................................................................. 6:45
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         tenor saxophone – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         piano – Frank Jackson
         bass – Harley White
         (written-by – Bert Wilson
D1 - Just Steppin' ........................................................................................... 6:38
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         piano – Mike O'Barra
         claves – Harley White
         bass – Chris Amberger
         bongos [bongo drums] – James Zitro
         (written-by – M. O'Barra)
D2 - Smiley's Mini Drum Suite ........................................................................ 6:22
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winter
         (Recorded By – Chris Strachwitz / Written-By – W. Winters)

“If William 'Smiley' Winters had been based in New York instead of Oakland, he no doubt would have been widely recognized as a major jazz drum stylist. He did all manner of gigs, from backing strippers and accompanying cocktail lounge pianists to shuffling the blues in juke joints, but jazz was the primary arena for his art, particularly jam sessions. He participated in them almost as if they were religious rituals, sometimes for pay, more often simply for the fulfillment spontaneous creation affords the soul.”
_ (from notes by Lee Hildebrand)

William 'Smiley' Winters
Barbara Donald
Bert Wilson

On this two-record set, each LP provides a different side of the versatile Smiley Winters. The first three cuts -- the entirety of LP one -- are all free jazz barnburners with explosive playing by all. Fans of jazz releases on the ESP or BYG labels should know what to expect here: lots of free blowing with some very intense moments. Among other things, four extra drummers and Donald Rafael Garrett's yelping vocals on the title track make the first LP an exhausting but highly rewarding experience. Particularly impressive are multi-reedman Bert Wilson (on soprano sax, tenor sax, and bass clarinet) and trumpeter Barbara Donald. On these numbers, Wilson slashes and soars to Ayler-esque heights and Donald just flat-out rips. These tracks either employ no discernible predetermined structure or ones similar to, say, Sunny Murray's Sunshine on BYG (i.e., quick runs of three or so notes apiece that don't waste any time dissolving into free improvisation).
The second LP changes gears with an alarming halt. Its opener, "Frank's Blues," is a piano blues for trio that wouldn't sound out of place on an early Freddie Redd session. Otherwise, expect another, decidedly more post-bop Wilson and Donald workout as well as the Latin-tinged "Just Steppin'." The bass and drum duet "Smiley's Mini Drum Suite" closes out the set. In a perfect world, Bert Wilson and Barbara Donald would be stars of the late-'60s free jazz era, but they aren't, so the opportunity to hear them on this fine record (as well as on Sonny Simmons' Music From the Spheres) is one that fans of spirited free improvisation shouldn't miss. Highly recommended.



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

THE CECIL TAYLOR QUARTET – Looking Ahead! (LP-1959)




Label: Contemporary Records – S7562
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo / Country: US / Released: 1959
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Free Jazz
Recorded on 9 June 1958 at Nola's Penthouse Studios, NYC.
Supervission, Liner notes – Nat Hentoff
Engineers – Tommy Nola / Lewis Merritt

A1 - Luyah! The Glorious Step ........................................................... 6:25
A2 - African Violets ............................................................................ 5:12
        (written-by – Griffith, Taylor)
A3 - Of What ....................................................................................... 8:18
B1 - Wallering ..................................................................................... 5:22
B2 - Toll .............................................................................................. 7:38
B3 - Excursion on a Wobbly Rail ........................................................ 9:04

All compositions by Cecil Tayor except as indicated

CECIL TAYLOR – piano
EARL GRIFFITH – vibes
BUELL NEIDLINGER – bass
DENIS CHARLES – drums, percussion

„Looking Ahead!“ is an album by pianist Cecil Taylor recorded for the Contemporary label in June 1958. The album features performances by Taylor with Buell Neidlinger, Denis Charles and Earl Griffith.
Thus, LOOKING AHEAD is a superb showcase, standing alone in the Taylor canon. Produced by acclaimed writer Nat Hentoff (whose exceptional liner notes remind us that critical analysis can be insightful and provocative in responsible hands), the pianist's only album for Contemporary Records more than makes the label live up to its name!


One of Cecil Taylor's earliest recordings, Looking Ahead! does just that while still keeping several toes in the tradition. It's an amazing document of a talent fairly straining at the reins, a meteor about to burst onto the jazz scene and render it forever changed. With Earl Griffith on vibes, Taylor uses an instrumentation he would return to occasionally much later on, one that lends an extra percussive layer to the session, emphasizing the new rhythmic attacks he was experimenting with. Griffith sounds as though he might have been a conceptual step or two behind the other three but, in the context of the time, this may have served to make the music a shade more palatable to contemporary tastes. But the seeds are clearly planted and one can hear direct hints of Taylor's music to come, all the way to 1962 at least (the Nefertiti trio with Sunny Murray). Pieces like "Luyah! The Glorious Step" and "Of What" are so fragmented (in a traditional sense) and so bristlingly alive that one can understand Whitney Baillett's observation of crowds at a Taylor concert fidgeting "as if the ground beneath had suddenly become unbearably hot." The contributions of bassist Buell Neidlinger and drummer Dennis Charles cannot be understated; they breathe with Taylor as one unit and appear to be utterly in sync with his ideas. When the pianist edges into his solo on "Excursion on a Wobbly Rail," it's as though he's meeting the tradition head on, shaking hands and then rocketing off into the future. Looking Ahead! is a vital recording from the nascence of one of the towering geniuses of modern music and belongs in any jazz fan's collection.




In my assessment the best example of Cecil Taylor's early material, "Looking Ahead!" finds Cecil Taylor in transition-- his rhythm section (bassist Buell Neidlinger and drummer Dennis Charles) has developed a more sympathetic ear to what he was trying to accomplish (at this point, something very different from where he'd end up) and vibraharpist Earl Griffith puts forth a fine counterpoint to Taylor's piano.

Musically, this is a unique record in Taylor's catalog, and it sits somewhere closer to the innovations of Ornette Coleman than to his later works-- the rhythm section is in an adventerous bop vein-- both occasionally leave behind their foundations for a more abstract approach, but largely maintenance of swing is essential. Taylor and Griffith are largely focused on intertwining lines-- Taylor in fact plays more single-note runs than I've heard anywhere else in his catalog to foil Griffith well. Earl Griffith is a bit of the ace in the hole for Taylor-- I have no idea where this guy went, but his playing shows an unusual sensitivity for his instrument and a fine understanding of Taylor's music. There is a space, an openness, an arythmic and polytonal approach that allows room for the musicians to work-- check Taylor's solo and the traded figures with Charles on "Excursions on a Wobbly Rail", the album's standout, to get a good feel for this. Taylor's future is laid out, but its definitely a growth rather than the full-on assault his later work would be. Also pointing closer to the future is "Of What", the densest song where, like in Taylor's later work, the quartet seems to operate as one instrument, interwining and voices rising and falling between each other.

The remainder of the pieces are a bit more open, with emphasis on intersecting single-note lines between Taylor and Griffith ("Luyah! The Glorious Step"), a lyrical ballad (composed by Griffith-- "African Violets") that shows a side of Taylor we rarely see and a piece that emphasizes space and openness in opposition to the usual Taylor density ("Wallering").

Taylor would reach greater heights as his idiom came together and his musicians were more sympathetic, but this record is a superb example of his finding his way.    _   Recommended.


Note:
Special treatment of sound processing in the Studio-A of Radio Corona.



If you find it, buy this album!

ARCHIE SHEPP SEXTET – Mariamar (LP-1976)




Label: Horo Records – HZ 01
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Italy / Released: 1976
Style: Free Jazz, Soul-Jazz
Recorded in Rome, Italy on October 16, 1975.
Producer – Aldo Sinesio
Engineer – Raimondo Caruana
Cover Design – Mirella Ruscarino
Photos – Andrea Puccini / Claudio Totoro

A1 - Mariamar ............................................................................ 13:41
A2 - Tres Ideias ........................................................................... 7:36
B1 - The Magic .......................................................................... 10:03
B2 - Shepp's Mood ...................................................................... 8:22

All compositions by Archie Shepp

ARCHIE SHEPP / tenor and soprano sax, piano
CHARLES GREENLEE / trombone
CICCI SANTUCCI / trumpet
IRIO DE PAULA / guitar
ALESSIO URSO / bass
AFONSO VIEIRA / drums, percussion


Mariamar is an album by jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp recorded in Rome, Italy on October 16, 1975 and released on the Horo label. Beautiful only italian LP, deep jazz with a soul feel.




A very nice issue of a 1976 Italian LP of Archie Shepp with local and Brazilian musicians spinning out lush, soulful jazz tunes. Shepp is of course a master of many styles of jazz, and here he focuses on melodic lyrical ballads with a tight, piano-less sextet. Shepp’s playing is soulful and generous, giving plenty of room for solos from his band. Guitarist Irio de Paula’s playing shines throughout, providing some beautiful chord comping that makes me think of Wes Montgomery, especially backing Shepp’s tenor sax on a duo of “Mariamar” and "Shepp's Mood". Frankly, I was surprised at how enjoyable this has been. I assumed it would be worth one listen and then on to sell at End of an Ear records, but this goes into my permanent and ever growing Archie Shepp collection.


Note:
Special treatment of sound processing in the Studio-A of Radio Corona.


Enjoy!


If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

GATO BARBIERI / DOLLAR BRAND – Confluence (LP-1974)




Label: Freedom – FLP 40118
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue / Country: UK / Released: 1974
(UK, laminated cover)
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Fonorama Studios, Milan, 16th March 1968.
Producer – Alan Bates, Mario Nicalaio
Engineer – Livio Civiera
Photography By [Back Cover] – Jean-Pierre Maurer
Photography By [Front Cover] – Ib Skovgaard Peterson
Design [Sleeve] – Hamish Grimes

A1 - The Aloe And The Wild Rose .................................................... 14:22
         Written-By – Brand
A2 - Hamba Khale! ............................................................................. 2:16
         Written-By – Brand
B1 - To Elsa ........................................................................................ 7:20
         Written-By – Barbieri
B2 - Eighty First Street ........................................................................ 8:36
         Written-By – Barbieri

Gato Barbieri – tenor saxophone
Dollar Brand – piano, cello

A real sleeper – and one of the treasures of the Freedom series! The album's a rare meeting between Argentine tenor player Gato Barbieri and South African pianist Dollar Brand – a true global meeting of the jazz minds, and a recording that's stronger than most of the work either player was recording at the time! The format is incredibly spare – just tenor and piano, plus some occasional cello work by Brand – dark and angular, but also filled with small flowers of hope, flowering in the spontaneous presence of these two titans. Tracks are long, with a free flowing quality that's infused with soul and spirit.



On his second release after recording the Umiliani film score for the “Una Bella Grinta” movie,  Dollar Brand teams up with Gato Barbieri to make a pretty hard hitting, but low key recording which really highlights both the sensitivities and ferocity of Gato Barbieri’s playing and introduces yet another side to this enigmatic player.
In many ways, Confluence feels like an exercise in contrasting shades and dynamic with the really legato modal playing of Dollar Brand, who plays the perfect supporting role, while Gato wails and screeches and honks his way through the recordings giving loads of light and shade textures.
There are moments of pure ‘Free’ Jazz but mostly its an Avant Garde Jaz record in the style of early ECM records. There is a softening behind these heavy blows and a lightness that peers out of the dark chaos of the playing.
This is a collaboration in the true sense of the word. Alternating between scintillating, angry blasts of saxophone and moments of pure beauty (Dollar Brand at his best and most atmospheric on both piano and cello), this is both sparse and in-your-face at the same time. Beautifully recorded in Milano in march, 1968 (lots of atmosphere that perfectly matches that dark, mysterious cover art).



Confluence was originally released in Europe and later in the US with a different sleeve design from the one shown above. It was reissued later and renamed Hamba Khale! which translates to ‘Farewell’ (to the dead) literally “go Well” in Xhosa language. Pretty, Frantic, Thoughtful and energetic all at once. A sweet little Jazz record that while it takes work from the listener,  is well worth the time.



If you find it, buy this album!