Saturday, September 20, 2014

WILLEM BREUKER KOLLEKTIEF – The European Scene: Donaueschingen Music Festival 1975 and Live In Berlin (LP-1976)

Label: MPS Records – 68.168
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Germany / Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded on 19. October 1975 live at the Donaueschingen Music Festival.
Producer, Recorded By [Recording Director] – Joachim Ernst Berendt
Photography – Wim Riemens

A1 - Ouverture 'La Plagiata' . . . 6:20
A2 – Streaming . . . 5:25
A3 - Luiermuziek . . . 4:48
A4 - Logical . . . 5:59
B1 - PLO-March . . . 5:10
B2 - Trauermusik Aus 'Keetje Tippel' . . . 5:38
B3 - Szenenwechsel-Musik Aus 'La Plagiata' . . . 6:18
B4 - Riette . . . 4:22
B5 - Nietzsche Aan Te Doen . . . 1:15
        (Nichts Dran Zu Ändern / Aus: 'Anthologie')

Willem Breuker: saxophones & clarinets
Bob Driessen: alto saxophone
Maarten van Norden: tenor saxophone
Ronald Snijders: flute
Boy Raaijmakers: trumpet
Willem van Manen: trombone
Bernhard Hunnekink: trombone
Jan Wolff: French horn
Leo Cuypers: piano
Arjen Gorter: double bass
Rob Verdurmen: drums

Photos: Wim Riemens 

Many of the pioneers of "free music" are from the Netherlands. In 1966, pianist Misha Mengelberg founds eg whole avant-garde, the ICP Orchestra with Willem Breuker will be part at the beginning. Eight years later, in 1974, he founded his own ensemble, the "Willem Breuker Kollektief." Dutch clarinetist and an important contribution to the development of European jazz is beginning to stand out from the all-powerful American model. Gradually, the old continent jazzmen discover their own identity.
Two aspects in particular distinguish the Willem Breuker Kollektief of others-seem: a subversive humor rooted in the second component of its policy clear music-ment, namely a true critique of society. Willem Breuker and reconnect all in this with the compositions of Hanns Eisler apparently popular, but careful listening reveals a true complexity. Not to mention "Parade" Erik Satie whose diverse building styles inspired probably the model for the musical concept of Willem Breuker. Pop music and circus music is also obvious references, although shaken by the Kollektief who had eleven members in its infancy, they take almost anarchic accents.

The sharp Kollektief of concerts, with real set in the 70s in particular theatricality is definitely political street theater in vogue at that time and many works that Willem Breuker then composes for film and theater. However, behind the wild arrangements changing at breakneck speed behind the musical satire often tinged with sarcasm styles, pierces through a bitter seriousness Kollektief which denounces social inequities. His trilogy ("Hunger", "Thirst" and "Misery") is a prime example. Willem Breuker and his musicians will meet the white circus clowns, characters sad white makeup enhanced with a tear.
This very serious game with art declined to infinity hide an enigmatic humor, Willem Breuker Kollektief has practiced at the Donaueschingen Music Festival Concert in 1975 published later under the ambitious title "The European Scene "and met-known musicians such Maarten van Norden (saxophone), Boy Raaymakers (trumpet), Willem van Maanen (trombone), Leo Cuypers (piano), Arjen Gorter (bass) and Rob Verdurmen (drums). All have remained loyal for decades to Willem Breuker. During this concert ovation, deliberate mix of satirical entertainment and seriousness, it followed its "PLO March "music to the civil war in Lebanon answer a moving musi-that funeral. Between these contrasts, as a link in some way, Willem Breuker weaves excerpts from the music of burlesque drama "The plagiata" which plays an essential role also in other legendary concert at the Festival Kollektief Total Music Meeting in 1975 Berlin. Prokofiev and Shostakovich at home in the classical record, the works of Willem Breuker leave a furious burst laughing with the emergency fail reason.  _  (Text: Reinhard Kager)

Label: BV Haast Records – BVHAAST 008, FMP – SAJ-06
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Germany / Released: 1976
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live during the "Total Music Meeting" at the Quartier Latin, Berlin, November 5th, 1975.
Composed By – Willem Breuker (tracks: A1 to B3)
Track B4 Composed By – Bob Hilliard
Recorded By, Design [Cover Design] – Jost Gebers

"An album that's essential to a full understanding of Breuker's music."

A1 - Introduction / Oratorium (from 'La Plagiata') . . . 19:35  
A2 - Jan De Wit (from 'La Plagiata') . . . 8:24    
B1 - Jalousie-Song (from 'La Plagiata') . . . 5:56    
B2 - Jail-Music (from 'La Plagiata') . . . 9:57    
B3 - Remeeting (from 'Anthology') . . . 7:25    
B4 - Our Day Will Come . . . 5:14

Ronald Snijders: flute
Boy Raaijmakers: trumpet
Willem van Manen: trombone
Bernhard Hunnekink: trombone
Jan Wolff: French horn
Leo Cuypers: piano
Arjen Gorter: double bass
Rob Verdurmen: drums
Willem Breuker: saxophones & clarinets
Bob Driessen: alto saxophone
Maarten van Norden: tenor saxophone

"It’s excellent, this sort of free association jazz. Much here is extremely humorous and plucky and a bit maniacal – but a tremendous joy."

Recorded about a month after their BASF release The European Scene, Live in Berlin is almost as fine an example of their earliest roots. The basic elements are all here, from the shameless purloining of themes from all conceivable genres (especially those not normally associated with the avant-garde) and their conflation with free jazz soloing to the revitalization of schmaltzy pop standards. There's still a certain roughness to the arrangements and performance, but Breuker's determination to set himself apart from the European free jazz scene as represented by the work of musicians with whom he collaborated early on, like Peter Brötzmann and Evan Parker, is very clear. As they and others moved more and more into abstract and non-idiomatic improvisation, Breuker attempted to balance those ideas with a structure that relied on song forms (especially those of composers like Kurt Weill) and the more classically influenced compositions of musicians like Carla Bley. He also insisted on the injection of large doses of humor, an anathema to most of his contemporaries. The Kollektief's spirited rendition of "Our Day Will Come" shows how successful this approach can be, and the album as a whole makes a good case for Breuker's stance. There is a somewhat muted recording quality here and, of the two earliest examples of this band, one would have to give the nod to the BASF release for musical and audio quality, but both are essential to a full understanding of Breuker's music.


If you find it, buy this albums!

Friday, September 19, 2014

WILLEM BREUKER KOLLEKTIEF – Willem Breuker Kollektief On Tour (1977)

Label: BV Haast Records – BVHAAST 020
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Netherlands / Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Rouen-University, Rouen, France on March 3, 1977.
Concert Production – Gérard Terronès, Michel Jules
Photography By – John Prins
Recorded By – Guy Bunel, Marc Debeauvais

A1 - Husse I . . . 5:00
        (Tenor Saxophone [Solo] – Willem Breuker)
A2 - Antelope Cobbler . . . 11:27
         (Alto Sax [Solo] – Bob Driessen, Tenor Sax [Solo] – Maarten van Norden)
A3 - Brassquartet . . .1:32
A4 - Hullie & Zullie . . . 3:42
B1 - Waaht . . . 3:25
         (Trumpet [Solo] – Boy Raaymakers)
B2 - Potsdamer Stomp . . . 5:40
         (Tenor Sax [Solo] – Maarten van Norden, Trombone [Solo] – Bernard   Hunnekink)
B3 - Husse II . . . 2:33
         (French Horn [Solo] – Jan Wolff)
B4 - Husse III . . . 5:24
          (Trombone [Solo] – Willem van Manen)
B5 - Florida . . . 2:19

Alto Saxophone, Clarinet [E-flat] – Bob Driessen
Bass – Arjen Gorter
Composed By, Arranged By, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet [E-flat] – Willem Breuker
Drums – Rob Verdurmen
French Horn – Jan Wolff
Tenor Saxophone – Maarten van Norden
Trombone – Bernard Hunnekink
Trombone, Producer – Willem van Manen
Trumpet – Boy Raaymakers

Interesting photos of the band standing stiffly with their instruments around. (Photo: John Prins)
Jan Wolff, Rob Verdurmen, Willem van Manen, Maarten van Norden, Willem Breuker, Boy Raaymakers, Arjen Gorter, Lodewijk de Boer, Bernard Hummekink, Rob Driessen, Ronald Snijders.

Photo: Joop Souverijn

A live recording from Rouen, France, On Tour, representation of the Kollektief in the late '70s. Several of Breuker's regular touchstones are covered, including tight, rhythmic crowd-pleasers like "Hullie & Zullie" and "Florida," more expansive, jazzier pieces like "Antelope Cobbler," and bits of hilarity, here a mock country & western called "Potsdamer Stomp." the Kollektief always featured some of the finest soloists around and, among others, altoist Bob Driessen, trumpeter Boy Raaymakers, and trombonist Willem van Manen deliver the goods here.
_ By Brian Olewnick

(A slightly muffled recording quality), It's good, but not clear.

If you find it, buy this album!

NEDERLANDS BLAZERS ENSEMBLE – De Knop (by Willem Breuker) 1977

Label: BVHaast Records – CD 0106
Format: CD, Album / Country: Netherlands / Released: 2006
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Composed By – Willem Breuker

Suite Uit De Knop  (29:35)
Recorded at De Brakke Grond theatre, Amsterdam, 16 June 1977.

01.  Ouverture . . . 4:57
02.  Hier Hieronymus . . . 5:03
03.  Jantje Zag Eens Pruimen Hangen . . . 1:54
04.  Keitz Klacht . . . 6:37
05.  Vliegen . . . 1:47
06.  Tango 1 From Woyzeck . . . 1:21
07.  Tango 2 From Woyzeck . . . 1:07
08.  Verbroedering Uit Kain En Abel . . . 5:11
09.  Epilog . . . 1:33
De Knop - Music From The Play By Harry Mulisch  (34:44)
Recorded at Vara Radio Studio 2, 12 April 1978.

10.  Ouverture . . . 6:18
11.  Telefoon 1 . . . 1:41
12.  Incantatie . . . 1:56
13.  Telefoon 2 [Adella] . . . 2:32
14.  Hier Hieronymus . . . 4:29
15.  Strijkkwartet Uit De Knop . . . 0:48
16.  Keitz Klacht2:46
17.  Tango: Jantje Zag Eens Pruimen Hangen . . . 2:10
18.  Altviool Solo Uit De Knop . . . 0:56
19.  Parabasis . . . 2:56
20.  Vliegen . . . 1:53
21.  Telefoon 3 . . . 2:27
22.  Slaapliedje . . . 3:18
      23.  Epilog . . . 1:08

Nederlands Blazers Ensemble:

Hens Otter – bass drum, tárogató, gong
Kees Olthuis – bassoon, accordion
Joep Terwey – bassoon, violin
Leo van Oostrom – clarinets (E-flat / B-flat), alto saxophone, tenor Saxophone, tárogató
Paul Verhey – flute, piccolo flute
Joop Meyer – f rench horn, percussion
Iman Soeteman – french horn, triangle
Werner Herbers – oboe, double bass
Carlo Ravelli – oboe, english horn, violin
Martin Van Duynhoven – percussion
Henk Van Bergen – trombone [bass], cello
Wim Van Der Vliet – t rumpet, percussion
Ad Klink – trumpet, viola
Donald Blakeslee – tuba

Buy this album!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

THE MIKE WESTBROOK CONCERT BAND – Marching Song Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2LP-1969/2CD-1998)

Label: Deram – 844 853-2
Format: 2 × CD, Compilation / Country: UK / Released: 1998
Originally released in 1969 as two separate LPs: Deram SML 1047 and Deram SML 1048
Style: Big Band, Contemporary Jazz
Recording Dates: 31st March, 1st April, 10th April, 1969.
Engineer – Bill Price
Executive-Producer – Bernard Lee
Leader [Musical Director] – Eddie Harvey, John Surman, Mike Westbrook
Producer – Peter Eden

Amazing jazz masterpiece from 1969, originally released in two parts on Deram and presented here as a double- CD at a single price. Double album featuring Westbrook with Alan Skidmore, David Holdsworth, John Surman and a wild collection of brass-wielding legends. An anti-Vietnam piece that takes a remarkable journey from civilisation to war and its inevitable results. A powerful and evocative piece that features some excellent performances and magnificent solo-ing as the tension mounts...

101. Hooray! . . . 6:24
        trumpet solo: Dave Holdsworth
        alto solo: Mike Osborne
        crowd sounds: Bill Price
102. Landscape . . . 15:25
        flute solo: Bernie Living
        bass duet: Harry Miller, Barre Phillips
        sax duet: John Surman, Mike Osborne
103. Waltz (for Joanna) . . . 5:50
        soprano solo: John Surman
104. Landscape (II) . . . 0:39
105. Other World . . . 8:23
        trombone solo: Paul Rutherford
106. Marching Song . . . 11:30
        tenor saxes: Nisar Ahmad Khan, Alan Skidmore

Composed By – Mike Westbrook

201. Transition . . . 5:12
202. Home . . . 7:35
        trombone solo: Malcolm Griffiths
        bass duet: Harry Miller, Chris Lawrence
203. Rosie . . . 6:36
        trumpet solo: Dave Holdsworth
204. Prelude (Surman) . . . 4:43
        woodwind: Bernie Living, Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore
205. Tension (Surman) . . . 4:33
        saxophone duet: John Surman, Alan Skidmore
        trombone solo: Malcolm Griffiths
206. Introduction . . . 5:58
207. Ballad . . . 2:26
        alto solo: Mike Osborne
208. Conflict . . . 10:44
        tuba solo: George Smith
209. Requiem . . . 0:52
210. Tarnished (Surman) . . . 5:56
        soprano solo: John Surman
        alto solo: Mike Osborne
211. Memorial . . . 2:22
        drums solo: Alan Jackson

Composed By – Mike Westbrook except traks 204, 205, 210 by John Surman

Mike Westbrook – Piano
Dave Holdsworh – Trumpet, Fluegelhorn
Kenny Wheeler – Trumpet, Fluegelhorn
Greg Bowen – Trumpet
Tony Fisher – Trumpet
Henry Lowther – Trumpet
Ronnie Hughes – Trumpet
Malcolm Grifiths – Trombone
Paul Rutherford – Trombone
Mike Gibbs – Trombone
Eddie Harvey – Trombone
Tom Bennellick – French Horn
Martin Fry – Tuba
George Smith – Tuba
John Surman – Baritone, Soprano Saxes
Mike Osborne – Alto Sax, Clarinet
Bernie Living – Alto Sax, Clarinet
Alan Skidmore – Tenor Sax, Flute
Nisar Ahmad Khan – Tenor Sax
John Warren – Alto, Baritone Saxes, Flute
Brian Smith – Tenor Sax
Harry Miller – Bass
Barre Phillips – Bass
Chris Lawrence – Bass
Alan Jackson – Drums
John Marshall – Drums

The first time I had a chance to hear this album before about thirty years.  I was blown away then and nothing has changed in the meantime. If you like free blowing big band jazz give this a listen. You will not be disappointed.

If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, September 8, 2014

FIRST MEETING – Cut The Rope (Libra Records 104-025)

Label: Libra Records – Libra 104-025
Format: CD, Album / Country: Japan / Released: Jan 2010
Style: Free Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded at Pit Inn, Tokyo, June 17, 2009.
Artwork – Ichiji Tamura
Composed By – Natsuki Tamura
Design – Masako Tanaka
Photography By – Miho Watanabe
Recorded By, Mixed By, Mastered By – Naoto Araki

First Meeting is:
Natsuki Tamura – trumpet
Kelly Churko – guitar
Satoko Fujii – piano
Tatsuhisa Yamamoto – drums, percussion

... Cut the Rope sounds unlike any other album Tamura has made. Conventional melody and structure take a back seat to fragmentation, textural and timbral explorations, and rapid-fire juxtapositions that create kaleidoscopic sound collages. Each track on this completely improvised CD is complex, but purposeful. The improvisations sound complete and organic because the careful listening, expert judgment, and musicianship of the band members shapes the music...

Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura creates a vast expanse of sound on Cut the Rope, the first album recorded with his band First Meeting. Nothing is predictable on this wholly improvised album that ranges from aspects of a vision of being marooned on a desolate soundscape to the musicians ultimately finding their way into a melodic river of sound, after at first coming perilously close to losing all sense of direction. But Tamura is an expert guide: he wields his horn like a sonic standard bearer, guiding his improvising crew from opening figure to group improvisation and back to a resolution, despite traversing some of the most varied paths in song.

Tamura bleats, howls and snorts his way through dune-like structures, disturbed only by the drone of guitarist Kelly Churko's incessant scratching and wild ramblings via acoustic feedback and pedals of every kind. In the absence of a bassist to anchor the expedition, drummer Tatsuhisa Yamamoto devises various signature rattling figures on snare drum and tom-toms, allowing only so much chaos to enter the proceedings as to create just a ripple—not enough to detract completely from the organized chaos of the track. Tamura's wife, pianist Satoko Fujii, completes the quartet, providing oblique angles to each piece.

On the title track, Fujii uses a prepared form of the instrument, manipulating strings and pedals to create a shimmering resonance that allows the track to swing tremulously, as the rest of the musicians soar unfettered to improvise and fantasize. On "Headwaters" Fujii plays a fanciful folksy figure almost throughout, anchoring the piece in a bleak, yet peaceful place, so the musicians are forever guided by the myth of tradition. Churko sets fire to "Flashback" with hot slashes, while Tamura seemingly fans the flames of the proceeding elements. Fujii, once again, appears to play an anchoring role harmonically, as Yamamoto's rhythmic invention calls for him to join the improvisation as well. "Kaleidoscope" possesses a swirling structure, with Churko drawing from folk melodies, as Tamura and Fujii reference everything from the diatonic rambling of warrior bugling, and the suggested serialism of Schoenberg, to the shattering figures reminiscent of Stockhausen and Boulez. Tamura brings this exciting set to a close with "Sublimation," but not before stirring the still waters enough to create a generous ripple, into which all the other musicians dive ostensibly on cue.

The is a short, eventful set expertly construed by Tamura, where brilliant sound collages are erected with architectural expertise and a subtle elegance. Fujii, Yamamoto and Churko contribute more than simply color; their ideas are integral to the collisions that ensue, when four improvising musicians meet with heads full of suggestions for a sonic journey full of surprises.

_ By RAUL D'GAMA ROSE, Published: August 27, 2010 (AAJ)


Buy this album!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Label: Crown Records – JAW 2001 - 2
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1975
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation, Contemporary Jazz
Live / Recording-Date : April, 28. 1975
Recorded At – Koseinenkin Kaikan
Mastered At – Crown Record Studio No. 1
Record Company – Crown Record Co., Ltd.

A - Duo (Introduction) . . . 19:45
B - Chiasma . . . 18:16
C - Up-To-Date . . . 19:51
D - Up-To-Date . . . 21:20

AKIRA SAKATA – saxophones

YOSUKE YAMASHITA TRIO – Up-To-Date, 2LP on Crown Records. Very rare vinyl record Japanese Free Jazz, timeless good, a volcano of energy, a masterpiece.
Live - April, 28. 1975. Brutal and feverish Japanese free jazz bomb. The trio is in top form.


If you accidentally missed it, I recommend also:



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

SLAPP HAPPY with HENRY COW – Desperate Straights (LP-1975)

Label: Virgin – V 2024
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress / Country: UK / Released: 1975
CD ReR Megacorp – ReR HCSH1 (UK) (2004)
Style: Avantgarde, Jazz Rock, Prog Rock
Recorded at The Manor & Nova Sound Studios, 1974.
Arranged By, Producer – Henry Cow, Simon Heyworth, Slapp Happy

A1 - Some Questions About Hats . . . (1:49)
A2 - The Owl . . . (2:14)
A3 - A Worm Is at Work . . . (1:52)
A4 - Bad Alchemy . . . (3:06)
A5 - Europa . . . (2:48)
A6 - Desperate Straights . . . (4:14)
A7 - Riding Tigers . . . (1:43)
B1 - Apes in Capes . . . (2:14)
B2 - Strayed . . . (1:53)
B3 - Giants . . . (1:57)
B4 - Excerpt from The Messiah . . . (1:48)
B5 - In the Sickbay . . . (2:08)
B6 - Caucasian Lullaby . . . (8:20)

Line-up / Musicians
- Peter Blegvad / guitar, voice
- Lindsay Cooper / oboe, bassoon
- Chris Cutler / drums
- Fred Frith / guitar, violin, xylophone
- John Greaves / bass guitar, piano
- Anthony Moore / piano
- Tim Hodgkinson / clarinet, organ, piano
- Dagmar Krause / voice, wurlitzer

Guest musicians:
- Mont Campbell / French horn
- Nick Evans / trombone
- Mongezi Fezza / trumpet
- Geoff Leigh / flute
- Pierre Moerlen / percussion

Shortly after recording 'Unrest', Henry Cow entered into a merger with label mates Slapp Happy. Slapp Happy comprised Dagmar, a German vocalist who would later win great acclaim for interpretations of Brecht (and sign my copy of this abum), Peter Blegvad, American born but raised and educated in England, played guitar and wrote most of the lyrics and would later contribute the unique strip cartoon Leviathan to the Independent, and Anthony Moore, English pianist who wrote most of the music and who would later work with the post Waters Pink Floyd. Together they produced a kind of skewed pop awash with literary and artistic references. They had recorded 2 albums with Faust, the second of which was re-recorded with session players for Virgin. 2 albums would come from this merger; Desperate Straights (Slapp Happy with Henry Cow) and In Praise Of Learning (Henry Cow with Slapp Happy).
Desperate Straights was the first of the joint ventures to be recorded, and the union of Henry Cow's avant rock with Slapp Happy's warped pop was both challenging and accessible. The majority of the songs were built around a piano/bass/drums accompaniment, with other instruments adding extra colour where needed. Tim Hodgkinson's clarinet is deployed as an instrumental foil to Dagmar's unique voice to superb effect, particularly on the opening song Some Questions About Hats. Elsewhwere, The Owl features Dagmar accompanied solely by horns and Europa has some superb percussion from Pierre Moerlen - all the arrangements are highly original and well thought out. Peter Blegvad takes the lead vocal on Strayed and does a neat pastiche of Lou Reed's drawl. Excerpt From The Messiah is a snippet of Handel as though played by a 70s glam metal band like Slade. There are 2 instrumentals, the title track which is a short, off kilter foxtrot, and the closing track, a lengthy piano/clarinet piece which features the 2 instruments playing scales very slowly. Caucasian Lullaby isn't bad at all, and would have been a superb addition to one of Eno's Obscure label releases, but it is somewhat out of keeping with the rest of the album.

This release is more representative of Slapp Happy than Henry Cow. All of Slapp Happy's albums are worth checking out - this album was released on CD as a twofer with their first album for Virgin, and is superb value if you can find it. If you've ever wondered what a cabaret band from mars would sound like, this album is definitly for you.

Review by Syzygy,
PROG REVIEWER, February 08, 2005

Buy this album!