Thursday, May 18, 2017

JEROME COOPER – The Unpredictability Of Predictability /solo album (LP-1979)




Label: About Time Records – AT-1002
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Avant-garde, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Soundscape in New York City, July 6, 1979.
Album Design by – Therese Bolton
Cover and Liner Photographs by – Doug Fidoten
Engineer by – Larry Shengold
Produced by – Jerome Cooper in association with Verna Gillis
All music composed by Jerome Cooper
Matrix / Runout (A-side): AT-1002-A [DC] FW/NY (EDP in ellipse)
Matrix / Runout (B-side): AT-1002-B-1 (EDP in ellipse) [DC] FW/NY

Original US pressing. Solo album of a drummer of the LOFT team.

Tracklist:
A  -   The Unpredictability Of Predictability:
    1 - Movement A, B  (flute, whistle, chiramia, bass drum, sock cymbal) .................... 9:59
    2 - Movement C      (drum set / mallet) ..................................................................... 4:29
    3 - Movement C1    (floor tom-tom, bass drum, sock cymbal, voice) ........................ 6:40
B  -   Bert The Cat      (balaphone, chiramia, bass drum, sock cymbal) ...................... 20:37

"This is not just an album for drummers... anyone into music can dig it this music. Classical music people can dig it because it's structured, people into rock because of the beat, people into jazz because of the improvisation aspect, and those into ethnic music because of the instruments involved." -- Jerome Cooper


A great solo performance from Jerome Cooper – not just drums and percussion, but work on flute, balaphone, and other instruments too! Cooper really brings all of his most thoughtful elements into play here – working slowly, and covering space with ideas that really take some time to stretch out and find themselves – then confidently move forward to open up new chapters in the performance – a bit like some of the best early moments of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, but presented here as a solo act! Side one features "The Unpredictability Of Predictability", in four movements – and side two features "Bert The Cat".



Not many jazz drummers present entire albums of themselves in solo format, but when they do, chances are they're going to haul out everything including the kitchen sink to dazzle the listener with their range and dexterity. Not Jerome Cooper. This superb musician, known primarily for his masterful and invaluable contributions to the fine trio Revolutionary Ensemble, treats his solo performances as free-standing compositions scored for only certain instruments from which he extracts huge volumes of sounds and rhythms. For example, "Bert the Cat" is written for balaphone (an African ancestor of the marimba), chiramia (a double-reed instrument that sounds liked a more softly-timbred shenai), bass drum, and sock cymbal. Using only these four elements, Cooper constructs a rich, propulsive theme so inherently fascinating that one soon forgets one is listening to only a solo percussionist. Cooper has no interest in wowing the listener by playing fast or loud, but simply desires to develop lovely rhythms and melodic patterns and allow them to flower. A fine recording and wonderful antidote for those who claim to be bored by drum solos.

(_Review by Brian Olewnick)



If you find it, buy this album!

LEROY JENKINS – Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival Of America (LP-1979)




Label: Tomato – TOM-8001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Experimental
Recorded and mixed August / September 1978.
Design – Milton Glaser
Cover Photography By – Steve Salmieri
Engineer – James Mason
Liner Notes – Robert Palmer
Producer – Marty Cann
All compositions by Leroy Jenkins
Matrix / Runout (Runout Area Side A): TOM-8001-1 #4 34601
Matrix / Runout (Runout Area Side B): TOM-8001-2 #4 34601

Tracklist:
A  -  Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival Of America .......................................... 21:09
        I.  Blast Off Day (Love - Tolerance - Understanding)
        II.  Discovery (Knowledge - Doubt - Sensitivity)       
        III.  Euphoria (Beauty) 
        IV.  1984           
        V.  Self-Realization      
        VI.  Return Trip
B1 - Dancing On A Melody ..................................................................................... 4:37
B2 - The Clowns ..................................................................................................... 3:18
B3 - Kick Back Stomp ............................................................................................. 6:23
B4 - Through The Ages Jehovah ............................................................................ 3:05

Personnel:
Leroy Jenkins – violin
Richard Teitelbaum – synthesizer [modular Moog, micro Moog] (side A)
Anthony Davis – piano, electric piano
George Lewis – trombone, electronics
Andrew Cyrille – drums, percussion

Great Tomato label... What other imprint could boast a roster that included Doc Watson, John Cage, Townes Van Zandt, Harry Partch, Philip Glass and Sam Rivers? And of course Leroy Jenkins with his release from 1978, Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival of America. That this almost 40 years old artifact sounds as fresh as it does testifies to the vision of its creators.


The all star band includes Andrew Cyrille on drums, a young Anthony Davis on piano, George Lewis on trombone, and Richard Teitelbaum on Modular Moog/Micro Moog Systems. Teitelbaum, who would go on to further distinguish himself as a composer and performer, had played with George Lewis and Anthony Braxton. His unique programming on the Moog protects the session from quaint-sounding 38-year old electronics. The album features a long track with a wide spectrum of mood and well-integrated electronics from Lewis and Teitelbaum; the latter sits out on the last four cuts, which are all acoustic. Jenkins and company work wonders on the collective improvs, gracefully weaving and circling each other. But do not expect to get a jazz album here.




Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival of America represented Leroy Jenkins' first venture into a field where contemporary classical and jazz were beginning to merge, a more modern Third Stream. His quintet on the title suite includes Musica Elettronica Viva veteran Richard Teitelbaum on synthesizer, and also gives us one of trombonist George Lewis' first recorded forays into electronics. The piece uses extensive improvised passages, but both the written material and the rhythms employed are relatively distant from a jazz feel, though with Jenkins a strong blues affinity is never far beneath the surface. Much of it actually prefigures pianist Anthony Davis' work with his Episteme ensemble of a few years later, and one wonders if his experience with Jenkins was critical to his future development. The four subsequent tracks are acoustic, without Teitelbaum and with Lewis confined to trombone. They range through a similarly semi-classical landscape with a bit of jazzy emphasis on pieces like "Kick Back Stomp." But the true highlight of the session is the final song, "Through the Ages Jehovah," an utterly gorgeous melody that's reiterated by the violin and trombone over sumptuous accompaniment by Davis and Cyrille. It's one of those melodies that could go on forever; its brevity is its only fault. Space Minds... is a fine album, one of Jenkins' best outside of the Revolutionary Ensemble, and an excellent introduction to his world.

(_Review by Brian Olewnick)



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

GEORGE ADAMS / ARCHIE SHEPP / HEINZ SAUER – Frankfurt Workshop '78: Tenor Saxes (Circle Records / LP-1978)




Label: Circle Records – RK 24978/31
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Germany / Released: 1978
Style: Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded 24/9/1978 at the 16th German Jazz Festival in Frankfurt by Hessischer Rundfunk.
Photography – Heinz Sauer / Juliane Werner
Design and Other Photography – Rudolf  Kreis
Producer – Fritz Rau / Horst Lippmann
Executive Producer – Rudolf  Kreis
Executive Manager – Peter Zünkler
Artist Releations – Gabi Kleinschmidt
Matrix / Runout (A): F 669 294 A - I
Matrix / Runout (B): F 669 294 B - I

Tracklist:
A  -  Free For Three ................................................................................. 22:30
B1 - For Art´s Art Now ............................................................................. 14:50
B2 - In A Sentimental Mood ...................................................................... 5:20
B3 - Free Interlude .................................................................................... 1:30

Line-up/Musicians:
Archie Shepp – tenor & soprano sax
George Adams – tenor sax
Heinz Sauer – tenor sax
Rainer Brüninghaus – piano
Palle Danielsson – bass
Alex Riel – drums, percussion

Recorded 24/9/1978 at the 16th German Jazz Festival in Frankfurt by Hessischer Rundfunk.






Original German pressing. Artists: George Adams / Archie Shepp / Heinz Sauer featuring Rainer Brüninghaus, Palle Danielsson and Alex Riel. Recorded In 1978 At The 16th German Jazz Festival In Frankfurt. Rare.



If you find it, buy this album!

SAM RIVERS – Waves (Tomato Records – TOM-8002 / LP-1979)




Label: Tomato – TOM-8002
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Big Apple Studio in New York City on August 8, 1978.
Design – Milton Glaser
Photography By – Steve Salmieri
Engineer – Elvin Campbell, James Jordan
Produced by Rivbea Music Company
Liner Notes – Robert Palmer
All compositions by Sam Rivers
Matrix / Runout (Side A Label): TOM 8002-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B Label): TOM 8002-B

A1 - Shockwave .............................................................................. 14:58
A2 - Torch ......................................................................................... 7:05
B1 - Pulse ....................................................................................... 10:33
B2 - Flux ........................................................................................... 6:10
B3 - Surge ........................................................................................ 5:18

Personnel:
Sam Rivers – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, piano
Dave Holland   bass, cello
Joe Daley – tuba, baritone horn
Thurman Barker – drums, percussion

Waves is an album by American jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers featuring performances recorded in 1978 and released on the Tomato label.

An explosive late '70s set with underrated composer, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger Sam Rivers leading a strong quartet. While bassist and cellist Dave Holland and percussionist Thurman Barker merged to form a strong, challenging rhythm section, Rivers and Joe Daley, playing tuba and baritone horn, worked together to create instrumental dialogues in sequence. Their array of contrasting voicings, with Rivers on tenor and soprano sax and flute, makes for compelling listening.
(_ Review by Ron Wynn)




Here's a LP that I love very much. Tomato Records (TOM-8002) as one of the great documents of 70s creative jazz. Sam Rivers is one of the all-time greats on tenor sax, and a mean soprano, flute, and piano player, as well. Anyone who's caught his trio live in recent years can attest to the fact that his talents are undiminished, even at the age of 80. This particular album was recorded in 1978, and prominently features bassist Dave Holland, one of Rivers' most sympathetic collaborators of the decade. Holland is the anchor here, with Thurman Barker's spare, understated, and masterfully economical drumming going from rapid hi-hat timekeeping to volcanic surges of Varese-like pile-ups. The bass player has an almost unreal sense of time, and his rapid, wandering lines are consistently articulated with impeccable clarity. Also holding the bottom end down is Joe Daley's tuba. He handles What one would assume to be an unweildly instrument for fast-paced improvisation with a deftness that allows him to flow easily amongst the quicksilver play of the other musicians. Daley also plays baritone horn on the opening cut "Shockwave", his lines and Holland's interlocking in a fluid tussle. The piece opens with Rivers on the piano, playing with a robust, but beautiful force that prefigures the style Matthew Shipp would take to the next level some years later. After the aforementioned duet between Holland and Daley, Barker gradually asserts his presence, while Rivers enters on tenor. His angular, clean lines evolve into impassioned shrieks, while the rapid free-bop pace never lets up. "Torch" is a similarly speedy number, with Rivers on flute. After the rhythmic, acoustic quasi-fusion of "Pulse", where Holland's playing most recalls his work with Miles Davis, "Flux" features the bassist's cello playing in a duet with Rivers' piano. The piece recalls twelve-tone classical in its more restrained moments, before building up into a dramatic cloud of sound accented by Barker's bells. Rivers' rich tenor returns on the closing "surge", as does Daley's tuba. Holland stretches out on arco bass while Barker lays low for much of the track, adding manic snare shapes at unpredictable peaks. Overall, this album met with my high expectations.



If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, May 1, 2017

NEIGHBOURS (with Fred Anderson and Bill Brimfield) – Accents (MRC / LP-1978)




Label: Musicians Record Co. – 1C 066-32 854
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Germany / Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded February 1977 at Rüssl Tonstudio Hamburg, Germany.
Cover Design – Bruno Lefeldt
Rec. Engineer – Gero von Gerlach
Mix – Gero von Gerlach / Wolfgang Kunert
Printed – by 4P Nicolaus, Köln, Germany
(MRC / EMI Electrola, 1978)
Production – Musicians Record Co.
Label Code: LC 5527
Matrix / Runout (Side A, etched): 1C•066-32 854-A-0 PF
Matrix / Runout (Side B, etched): 1C•066-32 854-B-0 PF

A -  a) The Little Fox Run ........................................................................................ 8:00
           Composed By – Fred Anderson
       b) Adam´s Rib .................................................................................................. 9:25
           Composed By – Bill Brimfield
       c) Our Theme ................................................................................................... 0:35
           Composed By – Fred Anderson
B1 - Knautschlack / A Skelett .................................................................................. 4:15
        Composed By – John Preininger
B2 - Snales Pace .................................................................................................... 3:40
        Composed By – Dieter Glawischnig, Karl Berger
B3 - The Worm In Eve´s Apple / Twillight .............................................................. 12:55
        Composed By – Ewald Oberleitner, Fred Anderson

Dieter Glawischnig – piano
Ewald Oberleitner – bass
Joe Preininger – drums, percussion
+
Fred Anderson – tenor saxophone
Bill Brimfield – trumpet

Rare 1977 Original. Grey and white label with "MRC" in bold black and white letters. Rrecorded in Hamburg, Germany in 1977. Very inspirational, free jazz set by the superb Austrian trio Neighbours plus Fred Anderson on tenor sax and Bill Brimfield on trumpet.



In the sixties and seventies Fred Anderson played with musicians such as Bill Brimfield, Archie Shepp, Jack DeJohnette, Joseph Jarman and Muhal Richard Abrams, and other members of the AACM's. Europe was first visited in 1977 in the company of his longtime colleague, trumpeter Bill Brimfield. Chicago boys were the guests of the Austrian trio Neighbours (Ewald Oberleitner - bass, Joe Preininger - drums), led by pianist Dieter Glawischnig. In Hamburg they recorded the LP entitled Accents. In November 1978, Neighbours and Fred Anderson also performed in Ex Yugoslavia in the Amphitheater II, "Maribor Grammar School" (Slovenia) and RTV Zagreb (Croatia) live LP recorded Neighbours + Fred Anderson. Fred is at this time in Europe also played with his quartet (B. Brimfield - trumpet, Steven Palmore - bass, Hamid Drake - drums) and recorded the album Another Place and Live in Verona.   (by V. S.)



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

CECIL TAYLOR – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 / Vol. 3 (3LPs-1972)



Cecil Taylor – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 1

Label: Shandar – SR 10011 / 83 507
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 29 July 1969 at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Photography By – Horace, Philippe Gras
Engineer [Sound] – Claude Jauvert
Producer [Conception] – Georges Perdriaud
Sleeve Notes [Inside] – Daniel Caux
Matrix / Runout (Side A): 10011 A [83507A]
Matrix / Runout (Side B): 10011 B [83507B]

A - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 21:25          
B - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 19:55

Cecil Taylor – piano
Jimmy Lyons – alto saxophone
Sam Rivers – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Andrew Cyrille – drums, percussion

Nuits De La Fondation Maeght is a live album by Cecil Taylor recorded in St. Paul de Vence, Nice, on July 29, 1969. The album was originally released as Nuits de la Fondation Maeght on the French Shandar label, 3LPs-1971 as a box set.
In 1972 the French label Shandar also announced 3 albums individually packaged, Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 and Vol. 3. Each has a gatefold cover with same photo but different tint. Black labels with disc logo.


This was a truly magical night for the Taylor unit. The interplay between Lyons and Rivers is impeccable, exploring intervallic reaches of tonal ambience and equanimity. The lack of a bassist in this case is a plus, not a minus, as Taylor gets to indulge his rhythmic impulse to the extreme in order to let the two sax players go into arpeggio overdrive in tandem. The polytonality of Rivers is especially important here as he doesn't so much collide with Lyons, who instinctively knew, in 1969, how Taylor articulated his language, he "extends" him linguistically. Rivers brittle tone on tenor and his shrill soprano engage the steady polyrhythmic attack of Lyons whose ostinato are the cues Taylor takes for his own when moving the piano into solo position. And the two horns find the striated expanses of sonic terrain Taylor prepares them for. And Cyrille knows just how to escalate; the result is no less spectacular than John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders on Live in Seattle -- the only real difference is, it's Taylor who does the yelling and shouting when the music gets to the outer limits and can't express what he needs it to. The great Paris concert in its entirety is a Taylor masterpiece.
(Review by Thom Jurek)



Cecil Taylor – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 2

Label: Shandar – 83 508
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 29 July 1969 at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Photography By – Horace, Philippe Gras
Engineer [Sound] – Claude Jauvert
Producer [Conception] – Georges Perdriaud
Sleeve Notes [Inside] – Daniel Caux
Matrix / Runout (Side A): NPO SR 83508A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): NPO SR 83508B

A - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 18:20          
B - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 16:22


Nuits De La Fondation Maeght, trilogy recordings (for me) is his best work from a particularly enigmatic period. Taylor was playing sprawling immeasurably intense reckless refulgence & asymmetrical avant wizardry with the insane Andrew Cyrille, for me indubitably one of the most fantastic & original drummers ever. Out of the many things that could be said, I would emphasise that Taylor & his unit redefined the elongated-outburst & prolonged-peaking coming with ceaseless surging’s of unparalleled clamour & volatility. Frequently without intervals, extenuation or cessation they would dance an immensely detailed & dynamic squall within the singularity of remorseless & unforgiving outermost, fully-cyclic, hell-for-leather frenzy. A heteronomous hurricane & blitzing blizzard of ebullient fulmination Cyrille was able to maintain physically these momentous requirements but also inflect with a cycle of extensive improvisational embellishment & continually capricious contrasting...



Cecil Taylor – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 3

Label: Shandar – 83 509
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 29 July 1969 at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Photography By– Horace, Philippe Gras
Engineer [Sound] – Claude Jauvert
Producer [Conception] – Georges Perdriaud
Sleeve Notes [Inside] – Daniel Caux
Matrix / Runout (Side A): NPO SR 83509A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): NPO SR 83509B

A - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 13:00          
B - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 20:00


...Taylor’s closest adjutant saxophonist Jimmy Lyon’s would also duck in & out with sax screel & hysteria. These Olympic stints of decadent comminute went way beyond the threshold, agreeable limitation or somatic restriction that pretty much everybody else was on, with an unapologetic & frankly extremist activity/ideology of severe surplus pandemonium & improvident forceful action whilst exercising immense technical credibility. Many a marvel of withering extravagance was being exercised by other legends during this great era, but this lot did it, to my knowledge, longer & harder without intermission including mostly for each individual musician (consecutive group participation), never slacking & all exploding into one sustained shock-wave of terrific turbulence. these recordings though, do offer the secondary function of a more Avant-Garde slower & emotionally alternate medium occasionally with vocal extracts from Taylor. They are stunning diverse & intricate but also often bizarre. This is another phenomenon of Cecil Taylor & much of his music, lyrics & imagery. It’s dark, I would say at times even quite minatory. Much of the furore from the depths of Free Jazz’s sonic battle field encompassed anger, madness & intensity are as a commodity, but Taylor as with Sunny Murray often depicts & conjures stuff that I would not feel at error calling nasty, dark, or threatening in a direct & mostly unequivocal manner...



...Yes, for me, tones of hazard, tragedy & outright tenebrous madness etc are very apparent (hell, it could be just my misinterpretation, but I feel these elements skulk within his work amongst other sentiments & energies of a far more positive distinction). This is another specialist feature of Taylor & contributes even more to his significant idiosyncrasy. Anyway, as for this mind-blowingly marvellous 3LP set released by Shandar, there is another foreign element/irregularity that kicked shit completely into hyper-space. On these recordings they threw fucking Sam Rivers into the mix! Can you imagine? As if things were not preposterous enough, the absolute madman Rivers was air-dropped into the vortex with his tenor & soprano cannons. The results are just ridiculous & why these recordings are amongst the most precious & heavily rotated in my stash. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, no further foray frenzy was created with Rivers after this tour. Thank the goddess that someone was recording & captured this brain scattering murrain so expertly & issued it in this cult vinyl trilogy...

Enjoy!


If you find them, buy these albums!

Monday, April 10, 2017

HAROLD VICK – Don't Look Back (Strata-East – SES-7431 / LP-1974)




Label: Strata-East – SES-7431
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Modal, Hard Bop
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Generation Sound Studio, New York City.
Album Design, Art Supervision – Creative Hands, Inc.
Photography – Jim Dunn
Engineer [Recording] – Eddie Korvin
Mastered By – David Crawford
Mixed By – Tony May
Produced – Harold Vick / Blue Rock Studio, New York City
Matrix / Runout (Side A etched): SES-7431-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B etched): SES-7431-B

A1 - Don't Look Back ...................................................................................... 6:04
A2 - Melody for Bu .......................................................................................... 7:22
A3 - Senor Zamora ......................................................................................... 5:40
B1 - Stop and Cop .......................................................................................... 6:38
B2 - Lucille ...................................................................................................... 9:20
B3 - Prayer ..................................................................................................... 1:05

All compositions by Harold Vick

Personnel:
Harold Vick – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Virgil Jones – trumpet, flugelhorn (tracks A1-A3)
Kiane Zawadi – euphonium (tracks A1-A3)
Joe Bonner – electric piano, piano, percussion, tuba
George Davis – guitar, flute (tracks A1-B1)
Sam Jones – bass (tracks A1-B2)
Billy Hart – drums, percussion (tracks A1-B2)
Jimmy Hopps – percussion (track B1)

"Don't Look Back" is an album led by American saxophonist Harold Vick recorded in 1974 and released on the Strata-East label.


This is one of my favourite Strata-East albums and a complete joy to listen to. There's something unique about Harold Vick's saxaphone sound that made me want to look deeper into his career.
"Don't Look Back" was recorded and released in the wake of Harold Vick's recovery from a heart attack, which may partially explain the passion with which he approaches his playing throughout.



One of the best-ever Strata East sessions! The album's a masterfully conceived session by reed player Harold Vick – best known to the world as the funky tenorist from albums by John Patton and Jack McDuff in the 60s, but emerging here as an incredibly sensitive soul jazz player, capable of turning out some incredibly sophisticated and emotional compositions. Vick produced and wrote all the material on the album, and other players include Joe Bonner, Virgil Jones, and Sam Jones. The record's darn tough to find, and is a treasure all the way through. Titles include "Don't Look Back", "Melody For Bu", "Stop & Cop", "Senor Zamora"  and "Lucille".  (Dusty Groove, Inc.)



If you find it, buy this album!