Thursday, April 23, 2015

PGP RTB – Sastanak U Studiju (Meeting In Studio) - I / II / III (3LPs-1960/1961)



PGP RTB - Sastanak U Studiju (Meeting In Studio) - LP-1960
Jerome Richardson / Boško Petrović And Others

Label: PGP RTB – LP 401
Format: Vinyl, 10 inch, Album / Country: Yugoslavia
Released: 1960
Style: Hard Bop, Improvisation
Recorded in RTB Studio VI, Belgrade, 16 June 1960, Yugoslavia
Reviewer – Svetolik Jakovljević
Responsible Editor – Stanko Terzić

A1 - Dve Pesme (Two Songs) ................................ 6:37
        (By – Julius Watkins)
A2 - Zašto U Bluzu (Way In Blues) ........................ 6:22
        (By – Jerome Richardson)
B1 - Nežna Flauta (Minor Flute) ............................. 7:39
        (By – Jerome Richardson)
B2 - Noć U Tunisu (Night In Tunisia) ...................... 5:40
        (By – Dizzy Gillespie)

Jerome Richardson – tenor sax, flute
Julius Watkins – french horn
Boško Petrović – vibraphone
Davor Kajfeš – piano
George "Buddy" Catlett – bass
Joe Harris – drums, percussio



PGP RTB - II Sastanak U Studiju (II Meeting In Studio) - LP-1961
Jack Dieval And His Quartet with E. Sadjil & P. Ivanović

Label: PGP RTB – LP 406
Format: Vinyl, 10 inch, LP, Album / Country: Yugoslavia
Released: 1961
Style: Hard Bop, Improvisation
Recorded in RTB Studio VI, Belgrade, 1961, 4-5 March, Yugoslavia
Reviewer – Svetolik Jakovljević
Responsible Editor – Stanko Terzić

Jack Dieval And His Quartet with Eduard Sadjil and Predrag Ivanović
A1- Novčići S Neba (Coins From Heaven) .................................. 6:42
        tenor saxophone – Sadjil / trumpet – Predrag Ivanović
        (written-by – Johnston, Burke)
A2 - Mesečina U Vermontu (Moonlight In Vermont) .................. 2:53
         trumpet [solo] – Predrag Ivanović
A3 - Gloria .................................................................................... 2:45
         tenor saxophone [Solo] – Eduard Sadjil
         (written-By – René Miselvia)

Jack Dieval And His Quartet In Belgrade
B1 - Tema Br. 4 ............................................................................ 5:06
         (by – Aleksandar Nećak)
B2 - Moj Rodni Kraj (My Birthplace) .......................................... 5:24
         (written-by – Ivo Robić)
B3 - Srećan Put (Have A Nice Trip) ............................................. 4:08
         (written-By – Milan Kotlić)

Jack Dieval – piano
François Jeanneau – tenor sax
Bernard Vitet – flugelhorn
Jackues Hess – bass
Art Taylor – drums
Predrag Ivanović – trumpet
Eduard Sadjil – tenor sax



PGP RTB - III Sastanak U Studiju (III Meeting In Studio) - LP-1961
Trio Borislav Roković with His Guests

Label: PGP RTB – LP 408
Format: Vinyl, 10 inch, LP, Album / Country: Yugoslavia
Released: 1961
Style: Hard Bop, Improvisation
Recorded in RTB Studio VI, Belgrade, 1961, 14 & 15 June, Yugoslavia
Reviewer – Svetolik Jakovljević
Responsible Editor – Stanko Terzić

Trio Borislav Roković with Milan Stojanović and Vojislav Djonović
A1 - Ružan San (Bad Dream) .................................................................................... 5:20
         (written-by – B. Roković)
A2 - Tema Iz Prosjačke Opere (Theme From Beggar's Opera) ................................. 4:45
         (written-by – K. Weil)
A3 - You'd Be So Nice To Come Home (Hoćeš Li Biti Dobar Da Se Vratiš Kući) ..... 5:14
         (written-by – C. Porter)

Trio Borislav Roković
B1 - Bee-Deedle-Dee-Doo ......................................................................................... 4:35
         (written-by – B. Kessel)
B2 - The Midnight Sun Will Never Set (Ponoćno Sunce Nikad Neće Zaći) ............. 3:55
         (written-By – Q. Jones)
B3 - Donna Lee .......................................................................................................... 4:32
         (written-by – Ch. Parker)

Borislav Roković – piano
Joe Sydow – bass
Hans Hoitz – drums, percussion
Milan Stojanović – tenor sax, flute
Vojislav Djonović – guitar


The label (PGP RTB) has used oportunity to invite some foreign musicians during their visit to Belgrade to do a recording jam-session with a local jazz musicians and here are the results. All of them are now established names. Bosko Petrovic at that time was a student but was already leading his trio and Zagreb Jazz Quartet. Davor Kajfes was another member of ZJQ. All foreign guests this time came to Belgrade in 1960 with Quincy Jones band.
The most obscure group in this great 3-volume Meetings In Studio series -- a session that features work by an all-Eastern European jazz ensemble from 1961 -- Borislav Rokovic on piano, Joe Sydow on bass, Hans Hoitz on drums, Milan Stojanivic on tenor and flute, and Vojislav Djonovic on guitar. Tracks are short and tight -- nicely grooving in a laidback way that recalls some of the hipper RCA jazz sessions of the mid 50s.

Enjoy!



If you find it, buy this albums!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

4. INTERNATIONAL ZAGREB JAZZ FAIR 1982, Yugoslavia / Various – Soul Street (Jugoton / 2LP-1983)




Label: Jugoton – LSY-65045/6
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Gatefold / Country: Yugoslavia
Released: 26. October, 1983
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Improvisation
IV International Zagreb Jazz Fair was recorded in Zagreb' GSP Kulušić and in KD Vatroslav Lisinski from October 12.-15. 1982.
Cover – Ivan Ivezić
Cover Lines & Photos – Mladen Mazur
Edited By – Vida Ramušćak
Editor-In-Chief – Dubravko Majnarić
Producer – Mladen Mazur
Recorded By – Mladen Škalec

A1 - Giorgio Gaslini Quintet – Soul Street (G.Gaslini) .................................... 14:15
A2 - Hans Koller Quartet – Soma (H.Koller) ..................................................... 9:05
B1 - Stan Tracey Trio – Sophisticated Lady (D.Ellington) .............................. 11:39
B2 - International Festival All Star – Green Apples (D.Kajfes) ....................... 11:05
C1 - Bacillus Quartet – Soul Street (L.Gardony) .............................................. 7:20
C2 - B.P. Convention & Friends – Song For Zagreb & Night Before Corrida
        (J.Kühn & F.Pauer) .................................................................................. 18:13
D1 - Bennie Wallace Trio – Tune Pangs (B.Wallace) ....................................... 9:08
D2 - Martial Solal Big Band – Valse a 3 Temps (M.Solal) ............................... 13:04



A1.  GIORGIO GASLINI QUINTET:
Giorgio Gaslini - piano; Claudio Allifranchini - alto, soprano sax, flute; Maurizio Caldura - alto, tenor sax; Giancarlo Paven - bass; Paolo Pallehatti - drums

A2.  HANS KOLLER QUARTET:
Hans Koller - soprano, tenor sax; Fritz Pauer - keyboard; Paul Schwartz - keyboards; Uve Schmidt - drums

B1.  STAN TRACEY TRIO:
Stan Tracey - piano; Roy Babington - bass; Clark Tracey - drums

B2.  INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ALL STAR:
Peter Ugrin - trumpet, flhorn; Simeon Sterev - flute; Miroslav Sedak-Bencic - tenor sax; Hans Solomon - tenor sax; George Haslam - bariton sax; Davor Kajfes - piano; Aladar Pege - Bass; Salih Sadikovic - drums

C1.  BACILLUS QUARTET:
Tony Lakatos - sopranino, tenor sax; Laslo Gardony - piano; Pal Vasvari - bass; Gabor Szende - drums

C2.  B.P. CONVENTION & FRIENDS:
Petar Ugrin, Ladislav Fidri - trumpets; Franc Puhar, Zvonko Kosak - trombones; George Haslam - bariton sax; Joakim Kühn - piano; Bosko Petrovic - vibraphone; Neven Franges - el.piano; Damir Dicic - guitar; Mario Marvin - bass; Salih Sadikovic - drums

D1.  BENNIE WALLACE TRIO:
Bennie Wallace - tenor sax; Mike Richmond - bass; Dannie Richmond - drums;

D2.  MARTIAL SOLAL BIG BAND:
Martial Solal - cond, piano; Bernard Marchais, Roger Guerin, Eric LeLan - trumpets; Francois Jeanneau, Pierre Gossez, Jean-Louis Chautemps, Jan-Pierre Debarbat - saxes; Jacques Bolognesi, Jean-Louis Chautempsee Harper - trumpet; Erich Kleinschuster - tromboneMark Sterckar - tuba; Frédéric Sylvestre - guitar; Pierre Blanchard - violin; Hervé Derrien - cello; Césarius Alvim - bass; Umberto Pagnini - drums




In Bled 1960. held the first Yugoslav Jazz Festival, which will later move to Ljubljana. For affirmation of jazz in the seventies (in this region) most significant were the "Zagreb Jazz Fair" and "Belgrade Jazz Festival", and the eighties: "Naissus Jazz Festival" (Niš), "Belgrade Summer Festival", and jazz festivals in Skopje and Novi Sad.

Enjoy this very rare double LP from ex-Yugoslavia:
4. INTERNATIONAL ZAGREB JAZZ FAIR 1982  SOUL STREET (Jugoton LSY-65045/6) 

The list of musicians is impressive.



If you find it, buy this album!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

LARS GULLIN – Lars Gullin (1953-55) / LP released - ?




Label: EmArcy – MG 36012
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: ?
Style: Bop, Contemporary
Recorded in Stockholm on November 6, 1953 (A1, A2, B1, B2) and on January 26, 1955 (A3, A4, B3, B4).
All tunes also available on 45 RPM records EP-1-6121, EP-1-6122 and EP-1-6123.

A1 - Bugs .................................................................. 3:10
        (by – Lars Gullin)
A2 - Jump For Fan .................................................... 3:40
        (by – Lars Gullin)
A3 - Lars Meets Jeff ................................................. 5:20
        (by – Lars Gullin)
A4 - A La Carte ......................................................... 5:25
        (by – Georg Riedel)
B1 - Stock And Bonds ............................................... 4:05
        (by – Georg Riedel)
B2 - I Fall In Love Too Easily .................................... 4:25
        (by – Jule Styne / Sammy Cahn)
B3 - Manchester Fog ................................................. 3:30
        (by – Lars Gullin)
B4 - Soho .................................................................. 5:20
        (by – Lars Gullin)

Personnel:
A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2:
Lars Gullin (bs), Carl-Henrik Norin (ts), Rolf Berg (g), George Riedel (b), Alan Dawson (ds).
Recorded in Stockholm, Sweden on November 6, 1953.

A-3, B-3, B-4:
Lars Gullin (bs), Rolf Berg (g), George Riedel (b), Bo Stoor (ds).
Recorded in Stockholm, Sweden on January 26, 1955.

A-4:
same personnel, date and place, except Lars Gullin (bs, p)

Lars Gullin was one of the most famous baritone saxophonists from Sweden - actually he was elected the new star of the year (1954) by a board of critics, on baritone saxophone in the Down Beat Critics' Poll. Also, before the Critics' Poll, many US Jazz players who toured to North Europe noticed Lars Gullin's artistry - such musicians as Chet Baker, James Moody and Stan Getz played with Lars Gullin.

Like Gerry Mulligan, he doubles on baritone sax and piano (his piano comping at the keyboard can be heard on A-4). But of course his primary instrument is baritone sax. His tone is heart-warming as well as swingy - as Chet Baker recalled Lars in his late days “... Lars played with a lot more fire and a lot more authority in some ways than Gerry did ...”





This LP features two different sessions both recorded in Stockholm, Sweden by Metronome label. Listen to Lars' fruitful improvisations on B-1 - this track itself easily proves he was one of the best baritone players in Sweden.

Cover:
Gullin recorded prolifically, and a selection of covers from Birka-Jazz show modern retro design and furnishing, as well as some  dodgy Viking stereotyping. With so much output I was surprised to never have heard of him until now. May be like British jazz, Swedish jazz was mainly for domestic consumption. Anyway I have done my bit to raise the Swedish flag.

I keep looking with envy at that tiered seated theatre audience, the men all in suit collar and tie, accompanied by wives and girlfriends (possibly both in progressive Sweden).  Amazing. Venue and audience like this simply do not exist any more, another time and place.

Originally issued on a series of EPs in Sweden. Its a little bit crackly, but then it has had to survive the most grueling years for vinyl, the Fifties.

Note:
Source: London Suburban record store, neglected in a shelf, on account of there probably being hardly a soul in the 300,000 population of the borough who would know who Lars Gullin was, and be interested in vinyl. Inexpensive in the light of its VG condition. Heaven only knows how it made its way there.

_By LJC (August 1, 2012)



If you find it, buy this album!

ARCHIE SHEPP / LARS GULLIN QUINTET – The House I Live In (1963-LP-1980)




Label: SteepleChase – SCC 6013
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Denmark / Released: 1980
Style: Free Jazz, Improvisation
Recorded live at Jazz Club Montmartre, Copenhagen, November 21, 1963.
Previously unissued recordings by the Danish radio
Artwork – Per Grunnet
Photography By – Jan Persson
Producer, Mixed By – Nils Wither

A1 - You Stepped Out Of A Dream ............... 19:40
A2 - I Should Care ........................................... 9:00
B1 - The House I Live In .................................. 9:35
B2 - Sweet Georgia Brown ............................ 11:25

Archie Shepp – tenor saxophone
Lars Gullin – baritone saxophone
Tete Montoliu – piano
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen – bass
Alex Riel – drums, percussion

This is a fascinating release. Tenor-saxophonist Archie Shepp would not burst upon the U.S. avant-garde scene until 1964-65 but here he is featured at a Danish concert with the great coolbop baritonist Lars Gullin and a top-notch straightahead rhythm section (pianist Tete Montoliu, bassist Niels Pedersen and drummer Alex Riel). The quintet stretches out on four lengthy standards (including "Sweet Georgia Brown" and a 19-minute rendition of "You Stepped out of a Dream") and it is particularly interesting to hear the reactions of the other musicians to Shepp's rather free flights; at a couple of points Gullin tries to copy him. An important historical release.



Europe has always been fertile ground for Shepp. As he has said himself, the greater intellectualism of European audiences made it much easier for his complex music to find receptive ears. As a result several periods of his career have been spent in Europe and a great many recordings have become available. One of the earliest is this 1963 Danish concert featuring bop baritonist Lars Gullin and bass stalwart Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen.

Saxophonist and playwright Archie Shepp (b. May 24, 1937 in Fort Lauderdale. FL) then 26 years old visited Copenhagen in the fall of 1963 as a member of the famed New York Contemporary Five.

The quintet work through four standards, the opener 'You Stepped Out Of A Dream' being the high point. It's a long piece at nineteen minutes, giving Shepp ample time to improvise in his usual manner. The contrast with the straight-ahead rhythm section is marked, being all the more obvious at those times when Gullin tries (not always successfully) to follow Shepp in his flights.

Though Shepp at that time was the passionate practitioner of Free jazz, this recording in which he shared the bandstand with Sweden’s legendary baritone sax Gullin is something quite different from what one normally expects from Shepp in the 60s. It is Shepp playing straight jazz with audible enjoyment showing off his broad range of expression.



If you find it, buy this album!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

DON RENDELL / IAN CARR QUINTET – Live (LP-1969)




Label: Columbia – SCX 6316
Series: Lansdowne Series –
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: UK / Released: 1969
Style: Post Bop, Improvisation
Recorded: Landsdowne Studios, Holland Park, London, March 18, 1968.
Supervision by – Denis Preston
Sleevenote by – Ian Carr
Album Design by – Gerald Laing
Engineer by – David Heelis

A1 - On Track .............................. 8:21
A2 - Vignette ................................ 4:59
A3 - Pavanne ................................ 9:15
B1 - Nimjam ................................. 3:59
B2 - Voices ................................. 13:36
B3 - You've Said It ....................... 8:40

Don Rendell – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet
Ian Carr – trumpet, flugelhorn
Michael Garrick – piano
Dave Green – bass
Trevor Tomkins – drums, percussion

The Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet still holds a special place in the affections of British Jazz fans.

Back in 1962, Don Rendell had a quintet with Graham Bond on alto.  “Graham phoned up out of the blue and told me he was going to play the organ and sing,” Don told me.  “I wasn’t thinking about having an organ and singing in the quintet, so we just parted.  I had no notice about it.”  That band had not long released an album, Roarin’, on the Jazzland label.  Tony Archer, the group’s bassist, suggested Don check out Ian Carr, newly arrived from Newcastle.  “He was playing at the Flamingo Club with some band,”  Don explains.  “I thought he’s good, so I said to Tony, ‘Yeah, we’ll try and get Ian to come in.’  It just changed over night from Graham Bond to Ian Carr.”
Ian was playing with Harold McNair, the Jamaican reedsman.  He takes up the story,  “I’d come from the MC5 (Mike Carr Five) – a world class band – and Harold didn’t really have any kind of policy and wasn’t very well organised.”  Ian jumped at the chance to join what was then the new Don Rendell Quintet.  Meanwhile, John Mealing had replaced original pianist John Burch, Trevor Tomkins was now the drummer and shortly after Dave Green took Tony Archer’s place.


This band features on the Spotlite Records’ album The Don Rendell 4 & 5 plus the Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet.  The band recorded the sides for American Hank Russell, Howard Keel’s musical director, in ‘64.  Russell and Don were Jehovah’s Witnesses and Don describes it as ‘a friendship thing.”  Russell hoped to secure a release in the States but nothing came of it.  Backed with three tracks from the group’s appearance at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1968, it reveals an already fine mature group but the contrast with the Antibes tracks is enormous.  When Shades of Blue came out in ’64, Colin Purbrook was on piano and the band had moved on artistically.  Where the Russell record draws heavily on the Great American Songbook, Shades of Blue focuses on original compositions.
Dave Green feels the early quintet was ‘very based on the Miles’ thing’.  “We were trying to emulate these great players,” he laughs.  “I was trying to do a Paul Chambers and Trevor was trying to do a Jimmy Cobb.  John was influenced by Wynton Kelly but as time went on the band really matured a lot.”  For Dave, Michael Garrick’s arrival later in ’64 signalled the change.  “We started utilising a lot of Indian type compositions Michael used to write and the whole band became really strong after Michael joined.”  Ian feels there was something uniquely poetic about the group’s music.  “I think that was one of the reasons people liked it so much.  It wasn’t hard-driving like a lot of American Jazz of the time.  We had different kind of focuses than the Americans.  We were into texture and different rhythms.  And Michael Garrick was steeped in Indian Music as well.  We found we could do so many things that we never thought of before.”
Michael Garrick echoed this when we spoke last year.  It was about one’s own roots.  As he said then, “Whether we like it or not we’re English and I wasn’t born in Chicago or New Orleans but in Enfield,” he said.  The recent release of The Rendell/Carr Quintet Live in London (Harkit HRKCD8045) shows how fast they were developing.   Their compositions leapt from the group’s shared identity.  There was no policy decision to feature original material, as Don explained, “It was quite brave in a way because we had so many originals with Michael, Ian and me writing.  Suddenly we’d gone a whole concert without using a standard.  It just happened.”


However, as Trevor Tomkins explains, it soon became a question of principle. “We did a BBC Jazz Club broadcast and wanted to do all original stuff.  There was quite a heated discussion because they said, ‘Can’t you throw in a few American Standards?’  We insisted and I think we were the first band they had do a set of totally original music.  At gigs we’d get requests for original material.”  With Warren Mitchell and Sam Wannamaker amongst their fans, ‘the Five’ attracted ‘a nice class of audience’.  There’s a wonderful group atmosphere that comes across on “Live” and the Harkit recording – it’s Warren Mitchell’s ‘ribald comments’ you can hear on “Live”.  This is a band doing it, as Don says, because they love it.
Dave Green recalls, “We always used to travel and room together.  Somehow we got the gear in Trevor’s Vauxhall and we all piled in.  It was so exciting.  I was absolutely thrilled to be with that band.”  And as Trevor Tomkins points out, it was clearly a group, not two great horn players plus rhythm.  He told me recently, “That was really my schooling.  All of us contributed in lots of different ways.  It was a group effort.  If Ian came in with a new composition it wasn’t, ‘this is how it’s got to be done.’  It would be ideas and experimenting with things and almost letting it grow naturally.”
Perhaps Dusk Fire is their most popular record and backed with Shades of Blue it makes of a hell of a package.  But Phase III/“Live” reveals a developing band.  As Don points out Phase III saw changes in Ian’s writing.  “Ones like Crazy Jane and Les Neiges D’Antan were approaching Free Music, no time with no harmonic structure, (while) I’d always written time and harmonic structure.”  With Garrick stretching the group with his Indian-influenced pieces and Don’s ‘Coltrane out of Lester Young’ approach, the Quintet could go in any of a number of directions and frequently did.
And they worked regularly.  “We played a lot of Poetry & Jazz, mainly through Michael Garrick,” Don remembers.  “The poets were normally the same ones – Vernon Scannell, John Smith, Danny Abse and Jeremy Robson.  There were tours.  The northern tour took in Liverpool, Stoke, Leicester, Coventry and Ian coming from Newcastle fixed us to play there a few times.”  But apart from Antibes and Montreux, they never played in Europe and despite Ian’s best efforts a US trip never materialised.  However, a Poetry & Jazz concert for the BBC with Vernon Scannell (Epithets of War) got them on TV and they also did a BBC2 documentary.  Mike Dibbs, who did Ian’s Miles’ programme for Channel Four, was the producer.  Dave Green tells me, “He filmed us at the Phoenix on Cavendish Square and as I was getting married on March 1st ’68, he tied the wedding into the filming.  Mike had previously written this piece called Wedding Hymn so it ended up with the band playing it in the church filmed by the BBC.  It was extraordinary.”
In 1967, Ian’s wife Margaret had died shortly after giving birth to their daughter by Caesarean.  That’s her on the cover of Shades.  That night he rang Trevor who came over immediately, so Ian wouldn’t be alone.  “Some people think that’s why I put so much of myself into music and, in a way, music was my salvation,” Ian explains.  Perhaps that shows itself most in his contributions to Phase III and “Live” but by ’69, somehow the steam was going out.
Ghanaian percussionist Guy Warren had begun playing gigs with the group at Ian’s behest but, as Dave points out, this ‘didn’t meet with everybody’s approval’.  For Dave, ‘Things started to unravel for no particular reason I can remember.  Ian started getting quite frustrated.  I think he wanted it to go in a slightly different direction and Michael had his own ideas.”  Ian left at a gig in Camberley in ’69.  “Maybe I was just jaded,” he says now.  “I just went home and didn’t communicate with anybody for a few days.  I just felt the band was over.”

Nucleus would follow and Jazz-Rock certainly wouldn’t have sat easily with either Don or Michael.  For Michael, the whole Pop/Rock thing had little to do with the Jazz he loved.  For Don, it was a question of different priorities.  “Ian wanted his own band which was a different kind of music from what we’d been doing.  I didn’t have the Jazz Music commercial ambition that Ian had.  As a believing Christian I just didn’t want to do a month’s tour of the States or that kind of thing.  I’m a family man, I guess.”  With hindsight, Change Is tries to contain too many potentialities at one time.  The very thing that had made the group great – its breadth, its bravery, its quiet bravado – were its inner contradictions that eventually destroyed it.

Looking at the scene then and now, both Don and Trevor express concern at the  ‘chops for chops’ sake’ attitude they see in some young players, though both feel that most young players have now moved on from that.  As Dave Green suggests, “You can’t really compare one particular period with another.  Things that weren’t happening then are happening now and vice versa.”

The Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet
by jazzman

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in Jazz UK in the July/August 2004 issue.


With minor changes, the text is adapted to the needs of this post.
See original:
http://www.jazzinternationale.com/540/



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

STOMU YAMASH'TA – Red Buddha (LP-1971)




Label: London Rec. – GP-1048
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1971
Style: Experimental, Contemporary
Recorded April 11, 12, 14; 1971, Tokyo, Japan.
Liner Notes – Hikaru Hayashi
Originally released by King Record Co. Ltd. in 1971. Tokyo
Composed By, Arranged By – Stomu Yamash'ta

A  -  Red Buddha ................................... 15:27
B  -  As Expanding As ............................ 16:01

percussion – Stomu Yamash'ta

This Japanese percussionist/keyboardist started in the early 70's, but first started working in France for avant-garde theatres, then would move on to the UK, where his real solo career would start. Red Buddha is the first document, and it is probably Stomu's least accessible, but nevertheless a stunning achievement as there is mostly just percussion instruments making the two sides of this album. Both tracks make the duration of their respective vinyl face between 15 and 16 minutes.

While the execution of the music is stunning and very impressive, the compositions are anything but easy; with the tracks often nearing "musique concrete" with all of those tuned percussion instruments. The tracks are not improvisations, the music being clearly written and it was for the Red Buddha theatre in Paris. Difficult to describe this type of music, but it's sometimes dissonant, modern classical, percussive and exclusive of those not paying close attention to it...


Stomu Yamash'ta hit it big with his project GO that included well renowned musicians such as Mike Shrieve, Klaus Schulze, Steve Winwood and Al di Meola.
Well as much as I like the GO project, I am much more enthralled by this early offering of his called 'Red Buddha'. Now many of you out there probably know Yamash'ta as a synthesist, but fact of the matter is that he started out as a percussionist, a damn fine one at that!

Red Buddha is actually the name of a theatre in Paris, to which this album was recorded for. Yamash'ta had been studying the jazz traditions of the west, and they had brought him to Europe where a new explorative mindset seemed to adorn every major city's sparkling undergrowth. Paris, in particular, being one of the hot spots.
The music is all instrumental and all about the beat, the drums. There are no synths, no guitars no nothing besides a boot-full of percussion instruments, some more exotic than others. The end result amounts to something like the expression one finds in the electronic quarters with big spacious slabs of sound coming awfully close to the kind you'll find on an early Klaus Schulze record...only it's all accomplished through rhythms - snaking and twirling.

What really sets Red Buddha apart from other such proto stomp records is the way Yamash'ta seems to have fiddled around with sound treatments. Either by tuning a drum a certain way or simply by placing the mic somewhere groovy. It works though, damn how it works! Everything from soft hand drum splashes to strange modal sounding entities that flicker about like lonely candlesticks sitting on a windy field.

The first time you hear this you'll probably write it off as a late hippie project with some longhaired guy banging away on pots and pans. Please try again is all I can say. Contrary to common sense the music is fully orchestrated. The LP comes with the original sheet music. Sheet music?!?!? Oh yes. All of this rhythmic mayhem started out as a wee brainworm inside the enigmatic mind of Yamash'ta...........then again, when you return to this album you pick up new shadings - new splashes.....and woe and behold something akin to melodies. The 10th time you listen the world opens up and every fibre of your body twitches and bobs to the beat and suddenly it seems as if those elusive melodies you'd been sniffing earlier on now are way upfront, in your face and bizarrely beautiful. A vast tapestry of beats - like a thousand hearts beating in tune from obscure angles and different corners of the world.



Think of Red Buddha as one of those tricky 3D pictures you have to be cross-eyed to see: 'OH A DINOSAUR!!!'. You better believe it, and what a dinosaur! This is without a doubt my favourite Yamash'ta record. It eclipses everything that comes after. Why? Ingenuity, imagination and execution. Red Buddha should be mandatory listening to anyone interested in the early progressive scene, and here I'm talking progressive with a huge P - yet without ever becoming tedious academic music that only speaks to mathematicians and Scottish hermits. This one always manages to refuel my senses. Like a fiery phoenix or Buddha doing the jig - you decide.
_ Review by Guldbamsen

Great progressive/jazz percussion album.



If you find it, buy this album!

MASABUMI KIKUCHI – East Wind (LP-1974)




Label: East Wind - EW-7001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1974
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded July 3, 1974 at Victor Studio, Tokyo
Engineer – Suenori Fukui
Liner Notes – Hisamitsu Noguchi
Mastered By – Stan Ricker
Photography By [Cover] – Hiroshi Satoh
Photography By [Liner] – Toshinari Koinuma, Yukio Ichikawa
Producer – Masaharu Honjoh

A - East Wind ................................. 20:09
B - Green Dance ............................ 23:56

Masabumi Kikuchi – piano
Kohsuke Mine – tenor saxophone
Terumasa Hino – trumpet
Juni Booth – bass
Eric Gravatt – drums, percussion

This is an acoustic, spiritual jazz set from 1974 that features five great players on two side-long pieces!
The players are Masabumi Kikuchi-piano, Terumasa Hino-trumpet, Kohsuke Mine-tenor sax, Juni Booth-double bass and Eric Gravatt-drums. Great music and great sound as well. This is the last 70s album by Masabumi that was an all acoustic work.



Born 1939 in Tokyo, pianist Masabumi Kikuchi played with Lionel Hampton and Sonny Rollins while still a teenager, and made his recording debut in the early 1960s with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Charlie Mariano. In the 1970s he collaborated with Gil Evans and Elvin Jones and led his own groups, in both acoustic and electric modes, variously drawing influence from Miles Davis and Stockhausen, from Duke Ellington and Ligeti and Takemitsu. Kikuchi was amongst a small group of musicians with whom Miles Davis would regularly confer in his post-“Agharta” retirement period, and recorded a still-unissued session with Miles in 1978. Several of Kikuchi’s 1980s recordings were devoted to the synthesizer, but by the 1990s he was again emphasizing acoustic piano, founding the group Tethered Moon with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, a unit whose recorded repertoire often examined a particular composer’s or interpreter’s works: the discography includes tributes to Kurt Weill, Edith Piaf, Jimi Hendrix and Puccini. But as Kikuchi recently explained to film-maker Thomas Haley (in the documentary “Out of Bounds”) those days are gone: “I don’t want to be part of someone else’s history … and I’m more free now, because I started believing in myself.” Accordingly, the first ECM album by the veteran Japanese improviser finds him headed into new territory. “Lately”, he says, “when I sit down at the piano I do not prepare what I will play nor do I think about how to play, and I believe I found the way of putting out something new, and I guess I could call it my own”...



A brilliant set from Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – two long, leaping, loping tracks that almost feel like some of McCoy Tyner's best work! Kikuchi plays acoustic piano, and the group's a quartet with Terumasu Hino on trumpet, Koshuke Mine on tenor, Eric Gravatt on drums, and Juni Booth playing some really wonderful bass. Booth's bass leads the tracks with a soulful quality that you don't always hear on Kikuchi's other work – really giving the record a strongly-rooted vibe, while the musicians are still free to really open up and explore. The album's tracks, "East Wind" and "Green Dance", are both excellent examples of the soulful freedoms allowed in the Japanese scene of the 70s – side-long numbers that are different both from contemporary performances on both the US and European scenes of the period.



If you find it, buy this album!