Tuesday, June 21, 2016

THE GRAHAM COLLIER SEPTET – Deep Dark Blue Centre (LP-1967-SML 1005)




Label: Deram – SML 1005
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo / Country: UK / Released: 1967
Style: Post Bop, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Jackson Studios, January 15, 18 and 24, 1967.
Design [Sleeve Design] – Gillian Jackson Designs
Liner Notes – Charles Fox
Producer – John Jackson, Malcolm Jackson
This is the original THE GRAHAM COLLIER SEPTET - Deep Dark Blue Centre 1967 STEREO release, 1st PRESS
Also in mono (Cat# DML 1005)

A1 - Blue Walls .................................................................................... 4:32
A2 - El Miklos ...................................................................................... 6:48
A3 - Hirayoshi Suite ............................................................................. 5:55
A4 - Crumblin Cookie .......................................................................... 5:21
B1 - Conversations .............................................................................. 6:42
B2 - Deep Dark Blue Centre .............................................................. 13:23

Graham Collier – bass, arranged
Dave Aaron – alto saxophone, flute
Karl Jenkins – baritone saxophone, oboe
Philip Lee – guitar
Kenny Wheeler – trumpet, flugelhorn (tracks: A2, B1, B2)
Harry Beckett – trumpet, flugelhorn (tracks: A1, A3, A4)
Michael Gibbs – trombone
John Marshall – drums, percussion

Graham Collier’s 1967 debut album with Kenny Wheeler, Harold Beckett, Philip Lee, Mike Gibbs, Karl Jenkins and John Marshall (the latter two members of Soft Machine).




A fine bassist and one of the most important British jazz composers and arrangers, Graham Collier boasts a discography the envy of many of his contemporaries. This critically acclaimed album features a young Kenny Wheeler, and Harry Beckett, with others from the vibrant British scene of the late 1960s. Collier's influences have been tied to Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, and even Miles Davis, and this unlikely combination is clearly evident in his concepts: There are contrapuntal lines, complex rhythms tempered by a gentleness and glazed by simultaneous improvisations. The substantial nature of the music amply rewards the adventurous listener. The strong personalities of the soloists ensure individuality, while the juxtaposition of the flute, guitar, and trumpet lend a light air to some of the tracks. Collier's wonderfully diverse compositions are waiting to be discovered by a new generation, as his timeless, carefully crafted structures are charmingly alluring...
(Review by Steve Loewy)


"Collier's Septet plays Collier's music which is brilliantly constructed in the Gil Evans manner. Could any recommendation be higher? Collier has a great ear for melody, for new ways of jazz counterpoint, for interesting instrumentation. Five stars".
(Derek Jewell, The Sunday Times)



If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, June 20, 2016

WARNE MARSH – Ne Plus Ultra (LP-1970-REV-12)




Label: Revelation Records – REV-12
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1970
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded in Herrick Chapel Lounge, Occidental College, Los Angeles, 1969.
Photography By [Cover Photo], Design – J.W. Hardy
Liner Notes – John William Hardy
Engineer – J.W. Hardy, Pete Welding

A1 - You Stepped Out Of A Dream ................................................... 9:00
A2 - Lennie's Pennies ....................................................................... 4:10
A3 - 317 East 32nd Street ................................................................. 8:12
B1 - Subconscious-Lee ..................................................................... 7:10
B2 - Touch And Go .......................................................................... 15:58

Warne Marsh – tenor saxophone
Gary Foster – alto saxophone
Dave Parlato – bass
John Tirabasso – drums, percussion


Recording date: 25 October 1969, except (A1) which was recorded 14 September 1969.
This is the first Warne Marsh's recording as a leader since 1960. He teamed up with complementary altoist Gary Foster (who was most influenced by Marsh's former musical partner Lee Konitz), bassist Dave Parlato and drummer John Tirabasso.



As a protégé of Lennie Tristano in the late 1940s and early 1950s, tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh learned lessons that shaped his playing until his death in 1987. He has inspired a cult following among musicians, particularly saxophonists seeking an alternative to the John Coltrane approach, and Ne Plus Ultra fully justifies his status as a legend of the cool school.
Recorded in 1969 with a thoroughly rehearsed ensemble, the date finds Marsh exploring conventional forms with precision and depth. Having famously teamed with Lee Konitz for Tristano's sides on Capitol, Marsh enlists alto saxophonist Gary Foster for Ne Plus Ultra; comparisons to Konitz are inevitable, but the less influential Foster is still a force to be reckoned with. His polished tone and fluid lines are so compatible with Marsh's own that one begins to suspect some form of telepathic communication is at work.
The title of the Konitz composition featured here, "Subconscious-Lee," is particularly appropriate: calling to mind the anarchic dialogue of a Eugene Ionesco play, the saxophonists speak over one another, prompted only on a subconscious level by each other's phrases. To close the album, the two players trace the lineage of their advanced contrapuntal jazz...
Neither the absence of a chordal instrument nor the dominant character of the two horns can squelch the superb efforts of the rhythm section. Each of Dave Parlato's unaccompanied bass improvisations is a treat, and John Tirabasso's drumming is thoughtful and precise. Solos are brief and densely packed, lending an air of round-table discussion to the album. The group's dynamic range is somewhat limited, excepting "Touch and Go," a free piece containing the LP's most melodic and direct playing.
Ne Plus Ultra is a no-brainer for Marsh converts; others may find its abstract qualities difficult to penetrate, but an engaged listener can look forward to a wealth of no-nonsense musical invention.
(By Brad Glanden, AAJ)



If you find it, buy this album!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

DEREK BAILEY / HAN BENNINK - Derek Bailey / Han Bennink (LP-1972-Incus–9)




Label: Incus Records – 9
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo / Country: UK / Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Selections from live performances at Verity's Place, June 16-17, 1972.
Cover drawing, Artwork – Mal Dean
Composed By – Bailey, Bennink
Engineer – Bob Woolford
Matrix / Runout (Side A Runout stamped): INCUS 9 A-3△6
Matrix / Runout (Side B Runout stamped): INCUS 9 B-3△6

A1 - Call That a Balance ........................................................................... 2:07
A2 - Misty .................................................................................................. 7:18
A3 - The Title ............................................................................................ 2:17
A4 - Who Is That ....................................................................................... 4:02
A5 - The Girl with the Concrete Tongue ................................................... 4:35
B1 - Din Din Teo ........................................................................................ 9:31
B2 - On a Clear Day .................................................................................. 4:07
B3 - Barb ................................................................................................... 1:36
B4 - Shake Your Arse White Man ............................................................. 1:32
B5 - Whiling ............................................................................................... 2:19
B6 - When Day Is Done and Shadows Fall I Think of You ....................... 4:10

DEREK BAILEY – guitar
HAN BENNINK – drums, percussion

Derek Bailey & Han Bennink (subtitled Selections from Live Performances at Verity's Place) is a live album by guitarist Derek Bailey and percussionist Han Bennink which was recorded 1972 and released on the Incus label.




This selection of live duet performances from 1972 is a wonder to listen to almost forty-four years after the original performances. The guitar's greatest improviser bantering musically with the Netherlands' greatest drummer is, no doubt, a point of interest for those interested in the extremes of Western music. Before Bailey had recorded the infamous and now legendary Incus Taps disc, he had perfected his view of the atonal world (at least up until that time), undoing it with spiritual guidance from the ghost of Webern at his side. These two live dates reflect that direction, having been recorded less than a year before. Given that Bailey is investigating his undoing of the ritual tonal space, Bennink's woolly percussions are the perfect foil: Who better to stretch the perceptions of guitar music to its limit and beyond than a man for whom the drums are the only instrument in any band? Thus, the chase is on, moving from one dynamic range to the next in search of the perfect tonal space where things completely fall apart, only to be picked up in rather grotesquely fascinating order. This music asks no questions; it only shouts obscenities while laughing hysterically because it knows exactly what it's not doing. Great album.
(Review by Thom Jurek)



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, June 3, 2016

JOHN SURMAN TRIO – Life In Altena (LP-1970- JG 018)




Label: JG-Records – JG 018
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Germany / Released: 1970
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded live January 10, 1970, Altena, Germany
Photos – Jörg Rahmede (side 2), K. Klüter (side 1)
Engineer – Karlheinz Klüter
The author notes the album has been released with three different covers on two different labels.
Issued with three different sleeve designs: the first and second (plain red with a sticker) were limited editions with red labels printed in black; the third sleeve was red with white printing (black labels printed in silver).

A – side 1 ......................................................................................... 25:00
       a1 - Billie The Kid (Martin)
       a2 - Tallness (Surman)
       a3 - Dee Tune (Surman)
B – side 2 ......................................................................................... 18:30
       b1 - In Between (Surman)
       b2 - Spikenard (Phillips)

John Surman – baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet
Barre Phillips – bass
Stu Martin – drums, percussion







Ultra rare free jazz album from 1970 with John Surman, Barre Phillips and Stu Martin released on small private German label. This is the 2nd edition with blood red cover, labels are red. Exclusively issued for Germany / Limited Edition.



If you find it, buy this album!

JAN HUYDTS TRIO – Brown Taste (LP-1970-JG 010)




Label: JG-Records – JG 010
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Germany & Released: 1970
Style: Experimental Jazz, Avant-garde
Recorded in June 1970.
Producer – Jan Huydts Trio
Engineer – Karlheinz Klüter
Manufactured By – JG-Records

A1 – Protuberans ......................................................................... 2:50
A2 - Brown Taste I ...................................................................... 15:00
A3 – Protuberans ......................................................................... 2:50
B1 - 3 x 4 ..................................................................................... 3:20
B2 - Brown Taste II ...................................................................... 4:45
B3 - Struggle For Life .................................................................. 2:00
B4 - Brown Taste III ..................................................................... 7:30
B5 - 3 x 4 II .................................................................................. 2:00

Jan Huydts – electric piano [hohner pianett], piano, harp [handharp], vocals, bass
Leo de Ruiter – drums, tabla, instruments [azuri, garden tube], harp [handharp], shawm                                       [Chines shawm]
Alfred Haurand – double bass, violin, flute [woodflute], instruments [garden tube], rattle, 
                            percussion

Avantgarde/experimental jazz from 1970. Released on the tiny JG label. Very, very rare recording.




German jazz label established in 1969 by a collection of jazz friends involved in the "Aktion jazz69" festival. The initials JG stand for "Jazz Grooves". The label was owned and run by one Karlheinz Klüter during the 1970s.
Amongst its early releases were documents of the Internationales New Jazz Meeting Auf Burg Altena festivals, and later the famous Balver Höhle concerts.
Ulrich Balss, producer with JG-Records in their later years, went on to establish the related JA&RO records and then Jaro.



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, May 27, 2016

CHICK COREA – Circling In (2LP-1975)




Label: Blue Note – BN-LA472-H2
Series: The Blue Note Re-Issue Series –
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1975
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Art Direction, Design – Bob Cato
Engineer – Tony May
Liner Notes – Stanley Crouch
Producer [Original Sessions] – Sonny Lester
Reissue Produced For Release By – Michael Cuscuna
Supervised By [Project Director Blue Note Re-issue Series] – Charlie Lourie
Matrix / Runout (Side 1 runouts): BN-LA472-1- UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 2 runouts): BN-LA472-2 UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 3 runouts): BN-LA472-3- UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 4 runouts): BN-LA472-4-X UA

Tracklist:
A1 - Bossa .......................................................................................... 4:45
A2 - Gemini ........................................................................................ 4:17
A3 - My One And Only Love .............................................................. 3:33
A4 - Fragments ................................................................................... 4:01
A5 - Windows ..................................................................................... 3:08
B1 - Samba Yanta .............................................................................. 2:40
B2 - I Don't Know ............................................................................... 2:39
B3 - Pannonica ................................................................................... 2:58
B4 - Blues Connotation ...................................................................... 7:17
B5 - Duet For Bass And Piano No.1 .................................................. 3:28
B6 - Duet For Bass And Piano No.2 .................................................. 1:40
C1 - Starp ........................................................................................... 5:20
C2 - 73º-A.Kelvin ................................................................................ 9:09
C3 - Ballad .......................................................................................... 6:41
D1 - Danse For Clarinet And Piano No.1 ........................................... 2:14
D2 - Danse For Clarinet And Piano No.2 ........................................... 2:32
D3 - Chimes Part 1 ........................................................................... 10:20
D4 - Chimes Part 2 ............................................................................. 6:40

Written-By – A. Braxton (tracks: C2 to D4), C. Corea (tracks: A1, A2, A4 to B2, B5, B6, C3 to D4), D. Holland (tracks: B5 to C1, C3, D3, D4)

Tracks A1 to B3 recorded in New York in May, 1968.
Track B4 recorded in New York on April 7, 1970.
Tracks B5, B6, D1 to D4 recorded in New York on Oct 13, 1970.
Tracks C1 to C3 recorded in New York on Oct. 19, 1970.

Personnel:
Chick Corea – piano (all tracks); celeste, vibes, percussion (tracks: B5, B6, D1 to D4)
Miroslav Vitous – bass (tracks: A1 to B3)
Dave Holland – bass (tracks: B4 to D4); cello, guitar (tracks: B5 to D4)
Anthony Braxton – clarinet, alto saxophone (tracks: B5 to D4);
                                contrabass clarinet (tracks: B5, B6, D1 to D4); flute (tracks: C1 to C3)
Roy Haynes – drums, percussion (tracks: A1 to B3)
Barry Altschul – drums, percussion (tracks: B4, C1 to C3)

Notes:
This version has 'Chick Corea' written in bright yellow on the front cover, as opposed to the green writing on Chick Corea - Circling In. Label variation with white "b".

Circling In is a double LP by jazz pianist Chick Corea featuring performances recorded between 1968 and 1970, including the first recordings by the group Circle, which was first released on the Blue Note label in 1975.  It contains trio performances by Corea with Miroslav Vitous, and Roy Haynes recorded in March 1968, and performances by permutations of the band Circle recorded in April and October 1970 some of which were later released as Early Circle.


This out-of-print double LP, all of the contents, gives one a clear picture into the evolution of pianist Chick Corea during the 1968-70 period. The first eight tracks, trio music with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Roy Haynes from 1968, finds Corea stretching the boundaries of straightahead jazz, taking advanced solos that hint at the avant-garde and displaying his early distinctive style. Much of the rest of this two-fer features the rather radical group Circle with Corea joined by the masterful reed player Anthony Braxton, bassist Dave Holland and, on some tracks, drummer Barry Altschul for some very advanced group improvising. Music strictly for those with open ears.
(Review by Scott Yanow)


“Circling In” is one of those thrown together albums made up of different recording sessions, and because of that it doesn’t get a lot of attention, which is a real shame because this is actually one of the better Chick Corea LPs out there. Chick has stated that sometime in the early 70s he decided to change his approach to the piano in an attempt to ‘communicate’ better with the audience. Fortunately, all of the recordings on “Circling In” come from that time before his conscious change and feature the young fiery Chick Corea who combined elements of Monk, Cecil Taylor, Eddie Palmieri and Bill Evans into one of the most notable piano styles of the late 60s. Certainly Corea continued to be a great player for the rest of his career, but his early playing will always be his best.




Side one opens this double LP set with recordings recorded in New York in May, 1968 with Roy Haynes on drums and Mirsolav Vitous on bass.  Generally these tunes are of the modern post bop variety that move in and out of free sections. The material ranges from an imaginative reading of “My One and Only Love”, to the more fragmented and dissonant “Gemini”. Side two continues with the same trio until we hit “Blues Connotation”, a fierce outside hard bop number with Dave Holland on bass and Barry Altschul on drums. The rest of side two, as well as sides three and four are filled with recordings by Corea’s short lived avant-garde group, Circle recorded in New York on October, 13. and 19. 1970.

In keeping with the spirit of this album being an overlooked gem, the group Circle is one of the more under appreciated ensembles to ever play improvised music. The music they present on this album ranges from blistering free jazz assaults, to carefully constructed pieces that recall leading 60s concert hall composers such as Berio, Boulez and Stockhausen. Having the multi-talented Anthony Braxton on board doesn’t hurt as he and Corea both are able to easily move from the bar-room world of jazz to the highest of academia without any loss of integrity. Every track by Circle has its own unique flavor and vision, and often their performance carries a sense of de-constructive humor as well.

This was one of the first jazz albums I ever bought and still gladly listen, I love this Blue Note series, has a special charm. Chick was just a different pianist at this time, and after he decided to change his approach, I eventually lost interest in his playing. Because “Circling In” is a mixed bag, it does not command a high price. I would imagine some might prefer the post bop styled cuts with Roy Haynes, while others might prefer the more avant-garde Circle, but really, every track on here is excellent.

Enjoy!


If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

DAVID HOLLAND / DEREK BAILEY – Improvisations For Cello And Guitar (LP-ECM-1971)




Label: ECM Records ‎– ECM 1013 ST
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Germany / Released: 1971
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at the Little Theater Club, London, January 1971.
Cover Design by – Dave Holland
Layout – B & B Wojirsch
Liner Notes [Poem] – E. E. Cummings
Music published by ECM-Verlag
Matrix / Runout (Side A Runout): ST-ECM 1013-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B Runout): ST-ECM 1013-B

A  -  Improvised Piece III ........................................................... 20:04
B1 - Improvised Piece IV ............................................................. 8:16
B2 - Improvised Piece V ............................................................ 10:08

All compositions by Dave Holland and Derek Bailey

David Holland — cello
Derek Bailey — guitar

Improvisations for Cello and Guitar is an album by cellist David Holland and guitarist Derek Bailey recorded in 1971 and released on the ECM label.

''One’s not half two. Its two are halves of one… All lose, whole find.''
(by–E. E. Cummings)





If you’ve ever picked up a guitar and played those short strings between the end of the neck and the pegs and wondered if one could make viable music with that kind of sound, then look no further, for that is precisely the pinpoint aesthetic captured on this rare recording. These improvisations are miniscule and entomological, whispering with the nocturnal regularity of a cricket. Holland and Bailey shift from pops and plucks to more sustained tones at the drop of a hat, but always with an ear keenly tuned to the other player. The two take full advantage of extended techniques to create a wide palette of sounds. These are delicate pieces, but no less full of verve and character for their utter precision. Sometimes the music is incredibly expansive. Other times it seems to implode, by turns galactic and subterranean. Because both musicians are so skillful at what they do, one can truly appreciate the spontaneous dynamics of their playing, the ways in which they react and prompt each other into action. They are never afraid to take separate paths, for they always seem to rejoin, and in doing so they add seemingly endless variety as the energy flows and ebbs. It’s always fascinating to hear Dave Holland’s earlier work, and this meeting with Bailey is certainly an archival treat.

Todd S. Jenkins called the album "a dark resonant masterwork".



If you find it, buy this album!