Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Label: MPS Records – MPS 15274
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: Germany - Released: 1970
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded March 23rd, 1970 Walldorf Studio, Frankfurt, Germany.
Engineer – Torsten Wintermeier
Producer – Joachim Ernst Berendt
Fotos by Inge Werth, cover and graphic work by Günter Kieser

A1 - Wide Open . . . 3:45
A2 - Never Let It End . . . 9:48
A3 - Certain Beauty . . . 9:14
B1 - The 13th Color . . . 6:54
B2 - Open Mind . . . 4:17
B3 - Roitz And Spring . . . 7:14
B4 – Nachwort . . . 1:50

Albert Mangelsdorff – trombone
Heinz Sauer – saxophone (tenor, alto)
Günter Lenz – bass
Ralf Hübner – drums, percussion

Jazz in Germany – the 60s/70s

The music critic and producer Joachim-Ernst Berendt took an eminent position at this time, influencing German jazz mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. Without him, neither the European Free Jazz, even as individual musicians like Mangelsdorff, Doldinger and others, would have gained the importance that they have for the German jazz today. Berendt was the first and only global player of the jazz critics and producers of the German jazz scene, who introduced jazz from Germany abroad.

The best-known jazz groups in West Germany were the quintets of Albert Mangelsdorff (with Heinz Sauer and Günter Kronberg), Michael Naura (with Wolfgang Schlüter), and the quartet of Klaus Doldinger (with Ingfried Hoffmann.) Innovators were also the Lauth Wolfgang quartet (with Fritz Hartschuh) and the trio of Wolfgang Dauner (with Eberhard Weber and Fred Braceful). Musically there was a deliberate but careful delineation of the American model. With their growing popularity, Doldinger and Mangelsdorff could also perform abroad and publish records. Naura had to retire from active life as a musician because of illness, and later became an editor of the Jazz part of the NDR (Northern German Broadcast). For the GDR, the Manfred Ludwig sextet has to be mentioned,originally for a long time the only band, which turned to the style of modern jazz.

In 1965, the quintet of Gunter Hampel, a moderate Free Jazz maintainer, with musicians such as Manfred Schoof, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Buschi Niebergall and Pierre Courbois, arrived on the German jazz scene and performed many concerts in the "province". Free jazz, without compromises, could be heard from the Manfred Schoof quintet (Voices) and an octet by Peter Brötzmann (Machine Gun). Especially in the smaller towns of western Germany, jazz music clubs disappeared with the advent of the Beat. From the mid-1960s on, in the GDR, the trio of Joachim Kühn (who migrated to the West in 1966), Friedhelm Schönfeld, and Manfred Schulze found their own ways into free jazz.

Label: MPS Records – 21 21746-9, BASF – 21 21746-9
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: Germany - Released: 1973
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded September and December 1972 at Walldorf-Studio, Frankfurt/M.
Design [Cover Design] – Günter Kieser
Liner Notes – Claus Schreiner
Photography By – Ralph-B. Quinke
Producer – MPS Records

A1 - Wobbling Notes And Fluted Crackle . . . 14:18
A2 - Grive Musicienne . . . 5:42
B1 - Birds Of Underground . . . 11:37
B2 - Xenobiosis . . . 11:42

Albert Mangelsdorff – trombone
Heinz Sauer – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Gerd Dudek – tenor/sopran saxophone, flute
Buschi Niebergall – bass
Peter Giger – drums, percussion

The 1970s were marked by the globalization and commercialization of the German jazz world. Jazz was combined with various other music genres. Successful jazz musicians such as Klaus Doldinger, Volker Kriegel and the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble followed this trend in the direction of rock music in West Germany. At the same time, younger musicians like Herbert Joos, Alfred Harth and Theo Jörgensmann garnered public acknowledgment and aroused the attention of the jazz scene with their music. It is noteworthy that the German musicians achieved an acceptance with the local audience on par with American jazz musicians. For example, the Theo Jörgensmann quartet, an avant-garde jazz group, was even in the Best-of Lists of Popular Music in the Music-Yearbook Rock Session. At the same time the German record labels FMP, ECM and ENJA established in the market. Also acoustic-romantic performances by Joachim Kühn and other pianists like Rainer Brüninghaus came into fashion. In Moers and other West German towns, festivals were held that focused on these new developments in jazz.

In the 1970s, scholastic learning of jazz was also achieved in West Germany. The annual summer course at the Akademie Remscheid (Remscheid Academy) was very popular among young jazz musicians. There is hardly a professional jazz musician, born between 1940 and 1960, who did not attend this course as a student or teacher.

After 1970, the mighty government ministries of East Germany gave up their antagonism towards jazz music, giving the "explanation" that jazz had become an integral part of East German culture and politics. But Klaus Lenz and the Modern Soul band found its own way to the Fusion of rock and jazz music. In East Germany in particular, free jazz musicians developed their own gestures and improvised first on apparently East German-specific material in such a way that the idea of an "Eisler Weill Folk-Free jazz" could take hold abroad. The self-assertion was more strongly pronounced in East than in West Germany. Among the better-known artists of this era were Conny Bauer and Ulrich Gumpert (Zentralquartett), as well as Manfred Hering and Günter "Baby" Sommer. This music resonated with a very broad young audience, and was very successful. The jazz journalist Bert Noglik noted in retrospect: "In the course of the seventies in the GDR in the evolution of jazz the Free Jazz (in a broader sense) has crystallized to be the form of the major direction of practice and its majority passes, and exists both in quantitative and qualitative respects. This statement refers to the musicians, the audience and also the organizational structure of the concert and tour management. All of this is even more astonishing when one considers that in the eastern and western neighboring regions, there always flowed a relatively strong mainstream music."...etc

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Friday, July 25, 2014

THE HUMAN ARTS ENSEMBLE – The Human Arts Ensemble Live Vol. II (LP-1978)

Label: Circle Records – RK 23578/12
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: W. Germany - Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded live in "De Groote Luxe", Tilburg, Holland, May 23, 1978
Photography By [Back Cover] – H. L. Lindenmaier
Photography By [Front Cover] – Günter Voss
Recorded By, Design, Photography By – John Lindberg
Producer – Rudolf Kreis

A1 - Sequence . . . 13:20
A2 - Tiburg Centre . . . 6:56
B1 - Ectodorph . . . 7:30
B2 - Ballad . . . 7:45
B3 - Concere Natashiah . . . 9:23

Joseph Bowie – trombone
James Emery – guitar
Charles Bobo Shaw – drums

Very rare vinyl copy of The Human Arts Ensemble Live.

This is the second part of the concert, The Human Arts Ensemble at "De Groote Luxe", Tilburg, Holland, May 23, 1978, setup is now changed and we will enjoy the trombone bravura Joseph Bowie and totally distortions guitar James Emery and, of course, drums Charles Bobo Shaw. The sound is a bit dry, raw, powerful, stripped down to the core and strongly emotional interpretation. Prepare and enjoy it.

The first part of the concert you can search here:

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LARRY YOUNG – Of Love And Peace (Blue Note LP-1966)

Label: Blue Note – BLP 4242
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released:1966
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Hard Bop, Post Bop
Recorded At Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on July 28, 1966.
Design [Cover], Photography By [Cover Photo] – Reid Miles
Liner Notes – A. B. Spellman
Producer – Alfred Lion
Recorded By [Recording By] – Rudy Van Gelder

A1 - Pavanne (Morton Gould) . . . 14:17
A2 - Of Love And Peace (Larry Young) . . . 6:30
B1 - Seven Steps To Heaven (Davis, Feldman) . . . 10:19
B2 - Falaq (Larry Young) . . . 10:03

Larry Young – organ
Eddie Gale – trumpet
James Spaulding – alto sax, flute
Herbert Morgan – tenor sax
Wilson Moorman III – drums
Jerry Thomas – drums

Larry Young: ''Of Love and Peace'' eight scant months after his classic ''Unity'' (Blue Note, '65), organist Larry Young was back in the studio with a larger ensemble and a bolder concept. The title Of Love and Peace may stand in direct contrast to the music within; there may be plenty of love, but on this cacophonous album of barely-controlled chaos, there's precious little peace.
Augmenting the front line of trumpeter Eddie Gale, alto saxophonist/flautist James Spaulding and tenor saxophonist Herbert Morgan, Young opts for a two-drummer approach, with Wilson Moorman III and Jerry Thomas behind their respective kits. Of these players only Spaulding will be well-known to most fans of the period, having appeared on countless albums by artists as diverse as Sam Rivers, Stanley Turrentine and Wayne Shorter. But Gale and Morgan, in particular, are players deserving of more due. Gale is a brash player who, while never recording with him, shared the stage with Coltrane a number of times, mixing a hard bop edge with more avant leanings. Morgan, with the exception of Unity , seems to be Young's tenor man of choice, appearing on all of Young's subsequent Blue Note outings and demonstrating a big tone that was perfectly in keeping with Young's more extroverted and increasingly unpredictable work.

With its duple ï rhythm, "Pavanne" is aptly titled, but it's a dance like none you are likely to hear, with Moorman and Thomas creating a scarcely-contained maelstrom behind the front line, which improvises with reckless abandon over Young's anchoring keyboard work. With Young living up to his reputation as the John Coltrane of his instrument, he provides an open-ended modal backdrop for solos which stretch the boundaries of the harmonic centre. The title track is only marginally more relaxed, with Young creating a simmering layer under which the two drummers create a certain forward motion in an ostensibly free improvisation. Likewise, the closing "Falaq" balances momentum and liberty equally, with Moorman and Thomas creating, interestingly enough, the kind of polyrhythmic independence that Elvin Jones was capable of doing all by himself. Still, Morgan contributes a solo that is reflective of the time and, in no small way, influenced by the outer leanings of Sam Rivers, while Gale is telepathically linked to Young, building screams and wails that are in sharp contrast to Young's richly ascendant chords.

The odd man out on the disc might on first glance seem to be the reading of "Seven Steps to Heaven," but the way the front line plays with the familiar theme, snaking in and out of it with exuberance and a greater sense of adventure, only sets things up for Young's solo, which runs at breakneck speed before Gale enters and matches Young's elusive behaviour note-for-note.

Of Love and Peace may be marginally less of a classic than Unity , if only for its more radical yielding to an almost stream-of-consciousness approach; but it demonstrates how far Young's conception had developed in a few short months and, consequently, is an important document of a rapidly evolving artist.


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LARRY YOUNG – Unity (Blue Note LP-1965)

Label: Blue Note – BLP 4221
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released: 1965
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Hard Bop, Post Bop
Recorded At Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 10, 1965.
Design [Cover] – Reid Miles
Liner Notes – Nat Hentoff
Producer – Alfred Lion
Recorded By [Recording By] – Rudy Van Gelder

A1 - Zoltan (Woody Shaw) . . . 7:37
A2 - Monk's Dream (Thelonious Monk) . . . 5:45
A3 - If (Joe Henderson) . . . 6:42
B1 - The Moontrane (Woody Shaw) . . . 7:18
B2 - Softy As A Morning Sunrise (Hammerstein, Romberg) . . . 6:21
B3 - Beyond All Limits (Woody Shaw) . . . 6:02

Larry Young – organ
Woody Shaw – trumpet
Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone
Elvin Jones – drums


If you happened to be a fan of the jazz organ sound in 1965, you knew exactly what to expect when you stepped into a club – greasy blues, ballads and jazz warhorses played at racecar tempos.
Unity changed that. In one elegant stroke. All by itself.
Embracing modal harmony and the freer, more open structures/language favored by the rising crew of post-bop musicians, Larry Young expanded commonly held notions of what was possible on the instrument; his brisk, restless, masterfully syncopated performances on this album brought the organ into the modern post-bop conversation.
The Newark-born Young started out like just about everyone who aspired to B3 greatness – contending with the towering presence of Jimmy Smith, the trailblazer who defined jazz organ. Young learned the basics, and developed a credible approach within the tradition – his recording debut, in 1960, shows a surprisingly individual take on the “grits and gravy” sound.
Fast forward a few years. By the time of this, his second Blue Note date, Young was determined to push beyond what had been done before, and was well-equipped, from a technique standpoint, to do that. He was conversant in free jazz, as well as the plateauing chord voicings used by John Coltrane’s pianist McCoy Tyner and the polyrhythmic roiling of Coltrane’s drummer, Elvin Jones, who is behind the kit on Unity. Young “got” the new jazz aesthetic, and used both unique chord voicings and basslines handled via footpedals to create his own sound for it. Young choreographed elaborate agitations, all by himself: Starting with a terse rhythmic motif behind a soloist, he’d knead and develop a phrase over an extended period until it sent the group’s efforts into collective frenzy. His secret weapons included perpetually oscillating, color-changing chords, and he used them with painterly precision, shaping dramatic peaks and valleys behind a soloist. Lots of organ demons dropped bombs at key moments; Young’s crisply executed devices arrived with galvanic force, their sophisticated harmonies suggesting thrilling and profoundly new pathways.
From the opening war-dance taunt of “Zoltan,” written by the trumpet player Woody Shaw, it’s clear that Young wants Unity to be more intellectually challenging than the typical Blue Note blowing session.
The melody, handled by Shaw and the tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, is a study in fits and starts. Young’s jabs land across and against the beat, hinting at – but never fully tipping into – anarchy. Henderson seizes this instantly, and within the first measures it’s clear that his notions of agitation align with Young’s; his spiraling lines fit uncannily into the terse offbeats from the organ. This isn’t solo dazzle – it’s a conversation between well-matched modernists.
Young’s own solos – particularly those on “Softly As in A Morning Sunrise” and the electrifying duet with drummer Elvin Jones on “Monk’s Dream” – contrast powerfully with the fast-talking daredevil approach popularized by Smith and emulated by every other organist. Young can do that – there are more than a few breathless extended runs here – but he mostly concentrates on wide intervallic leaps and fitful, unexpected changes in mood. And like all the great post-Coltrane soloists, he’s inclined to shift tactics at will: His choruses on “Monk’s Dream” hit outbreaks of dissonant tumult and sullen areas of introspection and points along the spectrum in between – at each stop, he executes with snapping intent, an audible sense of purpose.
Anyone who ever longed to shake up a set-in-its ways tradition can relate to Young’s attempt to update jazz organ. He started with a powerful idea, blending hard bop, Coltrane harmony and “new thing” rhythm on an instrument uniquely suited to such a mix. But that’s just the concept stage. What makes Unity such a landmark is the way Young involves these incredible players in his quest – they seize his vision, then work together (hence the title) to overhaul the status quo of the jazz organ world. It’s a shame Young died young (at 38, from complications of pneumonia), because as is unmistakable here, this bold musician had a lot of upheaval in him.

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Friday, July 18, 2014


Label: Douglas – DGL 64537
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold; Country: Netherlands - Released: 1971
Style: Jazz-Rock, Acoustic, Fusion
Recorded in New York City, March 1971.
Design [Sleeve Design] – Chris Poisson
Photography By – Hugh Browne
Producer – Mahavishnu John McLaughlin

A1 - Peace One . . . 7:15
A2 - Peace Two . . . 12:18
B1 - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat . . . 3:15
B2 - Something Spiritual . . . 3:35
B3 - Hearts And Flowers . . . 2:05
B4 - Phillip Lane . . . 3:35
B5 - Waltz For Bill Evans . . . 2:00
B6 - Follow Your Heart . . . 3:17
B7 - Song For My Mother . . . 3:30
B8 - Blue In Green . . . 2:37

John McLaughlin - acoustic guitar
Jerry Goodman - violin
Dave Liebman - tenor & soprano sax, flute
Charlie Haden - bass
Billy Cobham - drums
Airto Moreira - percussion
Badal Roy - tablas
Eve McLaughlin (alias Mahalakshmi) - tambura

 Mahavishnu John McLaughlin
Jerry Goodman 

John McLaughlin: My Goal's Beyond Technically, the acoustic guitar playing on 1970's My Goal's Beyond does not approach the skill exhibited on most of John McLaughlin's recordings. Flubbed notes pop up here and there, and although this album is famous for McLaughlin's "solo" renderings of such classic tunes as Mingus' "Good-Bye Pork-Pie Hat," Bill Evans and Miles Davis' "Blue in Green" and his own wonderful composition "Follow Your Heart," Mclaughlin actually pre-recorded the chords and soloed over them.

However, no small amount of flubbing or overdubbing can take away from the fact that this album is a true masterpiece. MGB set standards for acoustic guitar playing which remain today. McLaughlin's soloing and chord playing was a revelation even to those familiar with his electric guitar style. He snapped the steel strings with the confidence of a warrior. His playing was amazingly fast, yet still melodic, and his tune selection was unusually eclectic. He was coming from an entirely new place.

The most impressive performance is the ensemble rendering of McLaughlin's "Peace One." Charlie Haden opens the composition with an infectious bass groove, and the tune features crisp, snapping acoustic guitar and Far Eastern tonal colors. Dave Liebman is especially up front on sax. Other members of the band included future Mahavishnu Orchestra band mates Billy Cobham and Jerry Goodman. Airto and Badal Roy also come along for the joyful ride. Violinist Goodman, in particular, makes some very strong statements.

So popular has this record become over the years that several labels have purchased it from catalog and re-released it. You can't kill this thing with a stick. In addition to the original Douglas 9 production, MGB has also appeared on the Warner-Electra, Ryko and The Knitting Factory labels (the latter being its latest reissue, from 2000).

MGB is considered to be a milestone in the career of John McLaughlin and the history of acoustic jazz guitar. To this day, there are many who claim it is still the greatest of all McLaughlin records. I recommend listening to this record once a month for the rest of your life.

We shouldn't forget that it took guts to record an acoustic guitar album during the times of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. So although over the years the album has sold well through reputation, it totally bombed when it was released. MGB is a primary recording for any McLaughlin fan.

By WALTER KOLOSKY, Published: November 19, 2002 (AAJ)

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JOHN McLAUGHLIN – Devotion (Douglas LP-1970 / Epic, Japan LP-1972)

Label: Douglas – KZ-31568; Epic – ECPN-34
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold; Country: US/Japan - Released: 1970/1972
Style: Jazz-Rock
Recorded at Record Plant Studios, New York City, February 1970.
Photography [Cover & Inside] – Ira Cohen
Photography [Liner Photographs] – Michael Margetts
Producer – Alan Douglas, Stefan Bright

A1 - Devotion . . . 11:25
A2 - Dragon Song . . . 4:13
B1 - Marbles . . . 4:05
B2 - Siren . . . 5:55
B3 - Don't Let The Dragon Eat Your Mother, Brother . . . 5:18
B4 - Purpose Of When . . . 4:45

John McLaughlin – guitar
Buddy Miles – drums, percussion
Billy Rich – bass
Larry Young – organ, electric piano

 John McLaughlin / Larry Young

John McLaughlin: Devotion Originally released in 1970 but re-released regularly since, Devotion is a hard driving, spaced-out, distorted hard-jazz-rock album featuring organist Larry Young, drummer Buddy Miles, and the little known bassist Billy Rich. This album was recorded close to the period when McLaughlin had been jamming with Jimi Hendrix, Young, Miles and Dave Holland. Terrible bootlegs exist of some of their jams, but bad sound quality and McLaughlin's guitar on the fritz make the bootlegs a ripoff.

Devotion was also sort of a ripoff. To this day, McLaughlin is angry about the way former Hendrix producer Alan Douglas mixed this record. Apparently, Douglas spliced bits of music together here and there that were not supposed to be connected. Despite this obvious problem, and the fact Douglas paid McLaughlin only $2,000 to record both Devotion and My Goal’s Beyond , this album is chock full of wonderfully ominous riffs and sounds. Devotion is an overlooked landmark album.

“Marbles" opens up the second side of album and is truly an early fusion masterpiece. The catchy hook is infectious. Years later, McLaughlin would employ the same riff often while with Shakti. You should also check out Santana’s cover version on his hard to find album with Buddy Miles, Live.

McLaughlin focuses more on tension and dynamics than on speed, and Larry Young plays mysterious and otherworldly chords. Miles keeps a constant thud-thud-thud churning throughout and Billy Rich effectively doubles McLaughlin’s themes. No slow ballads. No pretty melodies. This is just pure unadulterated jazz-grunge. Those familiar with the Mahavishnu Orchestra will enjoy picking out the passages that would later become signature tunes. Devotion is awfully messy at times, but you won’t mind cleaning up afterwards.

By WALTER KOLOSKY, Published: November 17, 2002 (AAJ)

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Monday, July 14, 2014


Label: hat ART – hat ART CD 6149
Series: Hat Jazz Series –
Format: CD, Album: Country: Switzerland - Released: 1994
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Digital tracks recording on May 1-3, 1990 at Radio DRS, Zurich.
Design [Graphic Concept] – Ecke Bonk
Engineer – Peter Pfister
Liner Notes – Art Lange
Photography By – Max Kellenberger
Producer – Pia & Werner X. Uehlinger

Lines is a trio that comprises of Swiss saxophonist Urs Leimgruber, Austrian bassist Adelhard Roidinger, & Swiss percussionist Fritz Hauser. On this document the aesthetics of the free approach in an egoless, commutative matter in which is both enthralling & difficult. All 7 pieces are of collective entities of their own.

The disc begins with “Open” an instant composition which presents melodic invention, rhythmic openings & walking bass lines. This piece showcases the entire trio with given solo space: an entire trio discourse, a drum & bass dialogue,  a concise drum solo & reuniting the trio with swirling madness. Everything is indeed “open.”

Shifted is an epic piece which explores “shifting” moods, textures & rhythms. At first, Hauser places emphasis on riding his cymbal with simple quarter notes, sporadic tom fills & light cymbal crescendos. Then he would play with his shaker & small percussion. Roidinger switches from playing Arco (bowing) to pizzicato. Leimgruber as well shifts from playing altissimo, screechy notes, to beautifully lyrical phrases. There is even a brief section of the piece where they play quite harmoniously. The piece would then conclude with a crescendo of Arco bass, altissimo saxophone & subtle percussion.

“Off” is an excellent example of “call and response” improvisation. The trio now focuses on staccato, disjointed playing of quick arpeggios, plucks & rapid percussion.

The aptly titled “Twisted” exemplifies a sort of approach as it appears the musicians are twisting their instruments from the inside out by the endless flow of notes & rhythms.

“Forgotten” is something of a “free ballad” if you wish to consider it. Leimgruber now switches to his tenor. (the only tenor piece on the album) It is a very gentle piece; perhaps the most accessible on the album considering he accentuates his playing in a very lyrical manner, avoiding anything in the high registers. This piece also displays Roidinger’s walking bass at a more coherent volume & Hauser’s brilliant brushwork. It is a busy piece, but never pretentious.

Another aptly titled piece; “Up” demonstrates ascension of notes from the saxophone, the swinging bass line, and the swift eighth note rides on the cymbal.

“Red” opens with light cymbal crescendos and agile brushwork; along with a slow tempi bass & lyrical soprano saxophone. The group maintains a soft, piano dynamic with a slight shift in the volume of the saxophone & the percussion, but concludes with the original given dynamic.

This excellent recording of this trio presents an ideal introduction to the various works of these musicians.

(Teenbeat, Aug 23 2005)

If you find it, buy this album!