Saturday, August 17, 2019

LOL COXHILL – Digswell Duets (Random Radar Records ‎– RRR 005 / LP-1979)




Label: Random Radar Records ‎– RRR 005
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Side A was recorded (11. 5. 78) at Digswell House in Welwyn Garden City, Herts.
Side B was recorded (26. 5. 78) at the Oxford Museum of Modern Art.
Artwork – Lol Coxhill
Artwork [Back Cover Graphics] – Mary Staples
Producer – Lol Coxhill
Matrix / Runout (Runout A, etched): RRR 005 A Pete Helffrich ALT 4-2-80
Matrix / Runout (Runout B, etched): RRR 005 B Pete Helffrich ALT 4-2-80

side 1:
A  -  11/5/78  (Coxhill–Emmerson) ........................................................................... 19:24

side 2:
B  -  26/5/78  (Coxhill–Weston) ................................................................................ 20:00

Personnel:
Lol Coxhill – soprano saxophone
Simon Emmerson – electronics [the digswell tapes system]
Veryan Weston – piano

Saxophonist Coxhill is an extremely versatile player who has played in settings ranging from punk rock to abstract free improvisation. His sense of melody and time are particularly distinctive, drawing more heavily from the jazz tradition than many of his fellow British free improvisers. This recording marks an unusual pairing of duet partners: Simon Emmerson, an electronic artist whose palette largely consists of Coxhill's playing thrown back at him in real-time; and Veryan Weston, a light-fingered pianist whose attention to melody and pulse closely reflect Coxhill's own.
These are live analog recordings from 1978, and the sound quality lags far behind what you'd find in today's recording studio. The shortcomings are definitely audible but do not substantially interfere with the music.


On the first side of this LP's Coxhill masterful works patiently, pursuing held tones and well-articulated intervals which provide his partner fuel for the fire. The rich reverb drenching the whole interaction competes with delay for the listener's attention, but the most exciting moments are when Emmerson distorts the saxophonist's tone into sharp metallic shards or multichromatic hunks of sound. You can hear Coxhill striding forward on the left channel, while Emmerson gradually builds up tension on the right and eventually chases him around the field. It's early stuff, so we're talking basic tools here... none of the computerized gadgetry that dominates interactive improvisation today. But it's done in real time, and the spirit of improvisation pervades both artists' work.



The second half of the LP's consists of mostly short embroidered pieces featuring Coxhill and pianist Veryan Weston. The call-and-response motif pops its head up here and there, as the two players feel each other out in the moment in order to determine where they're headed. For the most part, they pursue sparse, melodic improvisation. The melody may fragment or implode, but most of the time one or the other of these two players is holding up a flag in the wind. Coxhill mostly sticks to clean tones, though he demonstrates a mastery of swooshing legato runs that blur the distinctions between their endpoints. (And he's not at all opposed to sighing, whistling, or crying in the night.) Weston is a fantastic repairer, because he understands the importance of space. While he's not averse to simple lines, he often works in clusters of clusters: simple repeated or modulated pinches of the keys. At times he borrows from atonality, but when you listen closely you can usually find that local tonal centers agree heartily with the saxophonist. And Weston's pulse has an undeniable logic, though it might not hit the ground every two beats.

(Review By Staff / AAJ)



If you find it, buy this album!

THE STEVE MILLER TRIO meets LOL COXHILL – Miller's Tale (2LP-1986)




Label: Matchless Recordings ‎– MR 09
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP / Country: UK / Released: 1986
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded at concert at the Bull and Gate, Kentish Town, London on 11 Nov. 1985.
Sleeve design (front reproduced above) by Herm
Published By – Matchless Recordings
Lacquer Cut At – Nimbus Records
Pressed By – Nimbus Records
Copyright – Eddie Prévost
Engineer [Recording] – David Lord / Ray Beckett
Engineer [Live Mix] – Phil Mouldycliff
Matrix / Runout (Side A, etched): MR 09 – A
Matrix / Runout (Side B, etched): MR 09 – B

side 1:
A - Nigh-and-Sly ........................................................................................................ 22:18

side 2:
B - Nether Eye ........................................................................................................... 24:34

side 3:
C - A Largeish Quart ................................................................................................. 25:04

side 4:
D - Nowell's Flood ..................................................................................................... 20:21

Personnel:
Steve Miller – piano
Tony Moore – double bass
Eddie Prévost – drums, percussion
Lol Coxhill – soprano saxophone

Original, enchanting music from the "Matchless" storage with selfless courtesy of Eddie Prévost.




Recorded at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town in 1985 and released the following year. 
Steve Miller Trio was Steve Miller on piano, Tony Moore on bass and Eddie Prévost on drums
– here joined by Lol Coxhill on soprano saxophone.
This concert was financially assisted by the Musicians' Union.




Beautiful set, free and slightly liberating, but then again there's that whole sequence of cultured proper behaviour that seems to permeate most aspects of British Isles jazz approach whether it be trad or avant.               E n j o y  ! ! !



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

VLADIMIR ESTRAGON (Alfred 23 Harth) – Three Quarks For Muster Mark (LP-1989 / Tiptoe ‎– TIP-807 803)




Label: Tiptoe ‎– TIP-807 803
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Germany / Released: 1989
Style: Experimental, Free Jazz
Recorded By Thomas Stern at Woodhouse Studios, 1988, Dortmund, Germany.
Illustration – Alfred 23 Harth
Mastered By – Walter Brüssow
Producer [Uncredited] – Alfred Harth
Executive-Producer – Gerd Filtgen
Recorded By, Mixed By – Thomas Stern
Parent Label: Enja Records Matthias Winckelmann GmbH
Matrix / Runout (Side A): 807 803 – A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): 807 803 – B

side 1:
A1/A2 - The Warten > Lucky ...................................................................................... 6:22
A3/A4 - Remark > Das letzte Band ............................................................................ 3:42
      A5 - Nichts zu machen ......................................................................................... 0:56
      A6 - Das Lethargische .......................................................................................... 3:28
      A7 - Wiegenlied .................................................................................................... 2:27

side 2:
B1 - Streetscenes ..................................................................................................... 12:33
        a)   Seine Freunde  ................................................ 1:45
        b)   Seine Register ................................................. 0:51
        c)   Seine Angst ..................................................... 3:42
        d)   Ich libbe Leben ................................................ 2:20
        e)   Seine Korrespondenten ................................... 0:39
        f)   Der verbleibende Haufen .................................. 3:14
B2 - March der Three Quarks .................................................................................... 2:40
B3 - Die Nachtigall ..................................................................................................... 0:29
B4 - Pozzo ................................................................................................................. 5:33

Personnel:
Alfred 23 Harth – clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, reeds
Ulrike Haage – keyboards, sampler, sequenced by [sequenzerprogramme], grand piano
Phil Minton – trumpet, vocals
F.M. Einheit – electronics, drums, percussion [metall, steine, schrank]

Impressive project with only one amazing album in their discography. The name of the band is derived from the two characters Vladimir and Estragon from Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting for Godot". Title of the album is a quotation from "Finnegans Wake" by James Joyce. This gem was released in 1989.




Album Three Quarks For Muster Mark (went completely unnoticed) is unsung treasure trove of good ideas, lively irony and astonishing artistry. Consisting of Alfred Harth (tenor sax and clarinets), Phil Minton (voice and trumpet), F.M. Einheit (metals and electronics) and the excellent Ulrike Haage (keyboards, sequencer programming and samples), Vladimir Estragon were a paradise of lusty electronic arrangements whose preset-derived poetry was poisoned by oblique complexities and sudden animations entering the picture when less expected; there are also some charming repetitions of parts of the song, but always in a different environment, and this is only a fraction of the whole. Minton's typical parades of vocal characters depict a series of alternative abnormalities, as he accompanies absurd harmonic sequences with nonchalant schizophreny, often meshing his garbled glottology with the less consonant fruits from the rest of the group. And what about Harth's immediately recognizable, charming-but-challenging lines? Be it in a profound duo with Haage's piano (like in the initial "The warten") or leading a double-edge thematic exposition together with Minton's fiery trumpet, his playing remains connected with something that words can't give justice to, and that I can only define as "lyrically corporeal". Given Einheit's slightly more obscure role - but his duet with Minton in "Der verbleibende Haufen" is great - a special mention goes to Ulrike Haage, who composed the large part of the material with Harth; her programming sapience is a strong point of the LP's, constituting an entertaining springboard for all members to unveil their more disguised influences; she also plays a mean piano and writes in styles that respectfully nod to Lars Hollmer and Lindsay Cooper, with an additional touch of tangential sweetness...

(Review By Massimo Ricci)



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

WIENER ART ORCHESTER – Tango From Obango (Art Rec. – 1002 / LP-1980)




Label: Art Records – 1002
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Austria / Released: 1980
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded on the 22/23 Nov. 1979 at the Schmettersound Studio Bisamberg/Vienna.
Design [Cover] – Herbert Pirchner, Roland Wernbacher
Photography By – Elisabeth Fleischmann, Herbert Pirchner
Recorded By – Herbert Kopecky
Mixed By – Josef Braitenthaller
Producer – Hans Heinrich C. Stoller, Mathias Rüegg
Distributed By – Extraplatte
Printed By – HofmannDruck
Matrix / Runout (Side A): X 273 - AR 1002-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): X 274 - AR 1002-B
Rights Society: Austro Mechana

side 1:
A1 - Tango From Obango ........................................................................................ 13:27
A2 - Polish Contrasts ................................................................................................. 9:31
A3 - Voila Di Here ...................................................................................................... 1:25

side 2:
B1 - The World Of BeBand & BigBop ...................................................................... 12:40
B2 - Panta Rhei ......................................................................................................... 5:55
B3 - Charly's Trauma ................................................................................................. 0:37

Personnel:
Mathias Rüegg - arranger, conductor
Lauren Newton - voice
Karl Fian - trumpet
Herbert Joos − flugelhorn, baritone horn
Christian Radovan − trombone
Wolfgang Puschnig − alto saxophone, flute
Harry Sokal - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
Roman Schwaller − tenor saxophone
Uli Scherer − piano
Harry Pepl – guitar
Werner Pirchner − marimba, vibraphone
Jürgen Wuchner − bass
Fritz Ozmec − drums
Wolfgang Reisinger – percussion



The Vienna Art Orchestra is a 14-member jazz orchestra that features the avant-garde arrangements and compositions of its leader, pianist Mathias Rüegg. This LP is a 1980 debut, an important document in the post-modern jazz movement...




The opening, title track is a joyous, folkish tango that's been cartoonishly toyed with, featuring three solo sections. The marimba section is also ornamented with vocalese from Lauren Newton, followed by an extremely playful horn lead that sounds like a toy instrument. The solo offering from violinist Rudi Berger has an electronically effected fusion sound. A tight, alto sax solo by Wolfgang Puschnig ties everything together neatly with a lengthy, unaccompanied performance. This leads right into a mellow, tenor sax and marimba introduction to "Polish Contrasts." The lead here is eventually taken by a bright, cosmic soprano sax (Harry Solkal)... For a short piano piece, background singing and clapping recorded on the tour bus serve as a backdrop. Newton brings back her playful scatting, in clear imitation of a squawking free-jazz sax solo for an a cappella intro to "The World of Be-Band & Big Bop." After about three minutes, the instrumentalists slowly materialize behind her until the mad marimba possesses her. After a full six minutes of amazing scatting, the song itself is introduced and six more minutes of cross-genre pollination follow.





... Musical puns and variations on serious themes abound from the orchestra pit, but unlike Rüegg's Euro counterparts like Franz Koglmann and Stan Tracey, this man has a sense of where colorization and parody end and a new musical language is created. In this sense he resembles both Frank Zappa and Willem Breuker, but uses tradition differently -- not as a guidepost but as a landmark on the way to someplace else (and Rüegg knows exactly where he's going, judging by his charts). The man's imagination is the limit because his band can do virtually anything he dares to dream up...
Truly, Tango From Obango is an amazing debut from a band that offers more than it could possibly receive.

(Reviews by Tom Schulte and Thom Jurek)



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, July 5, 2019

PETER BRÖTZMANN / HAN BENNINK – Atsugi Concert (Gua Bungue / LP-1980)




Label: Gua Bungue ‎– GBLP-3388.01
Format: Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Stereo / Country: Japan / Released: 1980
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded Live At Rodo Center, April 8th 1980 in Atsugi, Japan.
Graphics – Shin-Ichi Okumura, Susumu Ogawa
Photography By [Photographs] – Kazuhiro Nagase
Engineer – Fumiko Fujii, George
Producer – Peter Brötzmann, Shin-Ichi Okumura
Composed By – Bennink, Brötzmann
Many Thanks To: Toshinori, Kondo, Morgue, A.J.C, Far-Out, M.Yamazaki, Y. Osanai, Y. Nakamura
Limited Edition of 300 copies. Silver gatefold cover. Comes with accompanying booklet.
Matrix / Runout (Runout A, etched): S1–GBLP-3388.01 / A
Matrix / Runout (Runout B, etched): S2–GBLP-3388.01 / B

side 1:
A1 - No. 1 ............................................................................................................... 10:21
A2 - No. 2 ................................................................................................................. 6:46
A3 - No. 3 ................................................................................................................ 5:28

side2:
B1 - No. 4 ............................................................................................................... 14:20
B2 - No. 5 ................................................................................................................. 5:21

Personnel:
Peter Brötzmann – tenor / baritone saxophone, Eb clarinet [E-flat], piano
Han Bennink – drums, C-melody saxophone, C-clarinet, trombone, piano,
                         bamboo xylophone, schwirrholz, shell, stones, alt-violin



One of the holy grails in the Peter Brötzmann/Han Bennink discography ... this is "Atsugi Concert", released only in Japan in a limited edition of only 300 copies.




Stunning copy of this major Brotzmann rarity, released only as a limited edition LP in Japan in 1980. Documenting a stunning duo set from Brötz and Bennink, Bennink spends as much time playing reeds and small instruments as he does behind the kit, making for a particularly raucous recording. Packaged in stunning style with a fold-out industrial-silver gatefold with a pocket that holds a booklet full of great snaps from the performances.




This is such a package! One of the most beautifully designed LP´s ever in the free jazz/ improvised music-  business. Silver fold out sleeve…with a fantastic photobook attached!
And music is of course absolutely pulverizing. The vinyl came out in 1980, so Brötzmann & Bennink had already been playing together for a good 20 years +….
Bennink is all over the place with using and misusing various  windinstruments and beating the crap out of his percussive arsenal…
Brötzmann is standing on steady feets and blowing his guts out… as well as hammering the piano (!) in the greatest way…
Few records has a greater feel. And this baby never shows up these days… This record only came out in Japan back in the day and the music has never showed up anywhere else…  one of the hardest to find it in the extensive Brötzmann discography!

Atsugi concert is essential! A masterpiece!



If you find it, buy this album!

JIŘÍ STIVÍN / PIERRE FAVRE – Výlety = Excursions (Supraphon / 2PL-1981)




Label: Supraphon / Gramofonový Klub ‎– 1115 3381-82
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Club Edition / Country: Czechoslovakia / Released: 1981
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Theatre of Music - Reduta hall and Domovina Studio Prague, in November 1979.  Mixed in the Mozarteum Studio in October 1980.
Booklet Editor – Miloslava Kulhavá
Design [Cover Design] – Aleš Krejča
Painting [Cover Painting] – Zdenka Krejčová
Arranged By, Edited By – Jiří Stivín
Engineer – Karel Hodr
Producer, Recording Supervisor – Tony Matzner
Executive-Producer – Sláva Kunst
Gatefold cover, Czech and English liner notes.
Matrix / Runout (A Runout): E 5317/A D N
Matrix / Runout (B Runout): E 5318/A B N 9
Matrix / Runout (C Runout): E 5319/B B V 3
Matrix / Runout (D Runout): E 5320/A C N 5

side 1:
Tajemný Výlet I = Mysterious Excursion I ................................................................... 22:40
     A1 - Proměna První = Metamorphosis One ................................ 6:05
     A2 - Skalní Koně = Cliff Horses .................................................. 2:51
     A3 - Starý Pramen = Ancient Wellspring .................................... 0:52
     A4 - Zvuk Rosy = Sound Of Dew ................................................ 2:48
     A5 - Kamínek = Pebble ............................................................... 0:41
     A6 - Kořeny = Roots ................................................................... 2:09
     A7 - Sladké Dřívko = Sweet Stick ............................................... 2:32
     A8 - Znamení = Sign ................................................................... 0:29
     A9 - Barvy Temnot = Colours Of Darkness ................................. 2:33

side 2:
Tajemný Výlet II = Mysterious Excursion II ................................................................. 24:00
     B1 - Myší Pohádka = The Mouse Tale ....................................... 0:46
     B2 - Tanec Pod Zvonem = Dance Under The Bell ..................... 4:32
     B3 - Noční Lety = Nightly Flights ................................................ 4:31
     B4 - Bludička = Will-O'-The-Wisp ............................................... 1:16
     B5 - Hadi A Štíři = Snakes And Scopions ................................... 4:11
     B6 - Dech A Jeho Stíny = The Breath And Its Shadows ............ 4:34
     B7 - Proměna Druhá = Metamorphosis Two .............................. 3:40

side 3:
Výlet Za Světlem = Excursion In Search Of Light ....................................................... 22:14
     C1 - Jeskyně = The Cave .......................................................... 7:10
     C2 - Závoj Hmoty = Veil Of Matter ............................................. 3:57
     C3 - Vyjasnění = Enlightment .................................................. 10:30

side 4:
Výlet Mezi Lidi = Excursion Among People ................................................................ 21:38
     D1 - Lidově = In Folk Style ........................................................ 4:08
     D2 - Povídal, Že Jim Hrál = So What, Said He And Played ...... 6:30
     D3 - Dosti Radosti = The Joys Are Over ................................... 5:26
     D4 - Skořápky Vodních Dutin = Water Cavity Shells ................. 3:50
     D5 - Proměna Třetí = Metamorphosis Three ............................ 1:02

Personnel:
Jiří Stivín – flute, alto flute, recorder, crumhorn, bassoon [renaissance], flute [transverse folk
                   pipe, fuyara], ocarina, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, recorder [bressan baroque]
Pierre Favre – drums, gong, tom tom, tom tom [water], bells, crotales, percussion [beans]
Pavel Kühn – vocals, voice



The sixth Pierre Favre' studio album, on which is significantly contributed the famous Czech jazz instrumentalist and composer Jiří Stivín, released in 1981.
Music By – Jiří Stivín, Pierre Favre




Jiří Stivín is one of the most famous jazz soloists of the seventies. His music is usually largely improvised free jazz. He played with Jazz Q Praha from their foundation in 1964 and also on their album with Blue Effect in 1970. In between his own albums he has played in countless formations at jazz festivals. The two first listed albums are typical free jazz offerings of the times, comparable to the earliest albums released on ECM and MPS by Jan Garbarek, Volker Kriegel, Wolfgang Dauner and others (his sources of inspiration were the sixties works of Coltrane and Coleman).




Tandem (1976) was recorded with only Rudolf Dašek as co-musician and is more accessible. Stivín obviously favoured such duo collaborations - as he recorded Zvěrokruh with Gabriel Jonás in 1976 and this jewel Výlety = Excursions  with Pierre Favre in 1979.

A great album. Enjoy !!!



If you find it, buy this album!