Saturday, November 30, 2013

CLIFFORD THORNTON QUARTET – The Panther And The Lash (1970) - Re-2004


Label: America Records – 067 869-2
Series: Free America – #13
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Limited Edition
Country: France - Released: 2004
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Live concert at "La Maison de la Radio" (ORTF) Paris on November 7, 1970
Art Direction, Design, Painting – Gilles Guerlet, Jérôme Witz
Liner Notes – Philippe Carles
Photography By [Paintings] – Fredéric Thomas
Producer – Pierre Berjot
Reissue Producer [Prepared For Reissue By] – Bruno Guermonprez
Supervised By [Reissue] – Daniel Richard
Transferred By [Transfers], Mastered By [Mastering] – Alexis Frenkel

The album title, referencing the first truly great anthology of poetry written by an African- American, Langston Hughes's 1926 book of the same name, nails Clifford Thornton's political colors firmly to the mast, and they're black. Described, with some justification, by Philippe Carles, the co-author of the seminal Free Jazz Black Power, as the quintessential free jazz performer, Thornton is in absolutely breathtaking form throughout this live set recorded in Paris on November 7, 1970, on which he plays not only the cornet but also trombone, piano, percussion, and shenai, accompanied by the cream of the crop of the local free music warriors, pianist François Tusques and bassist Beb Guérin, as well as the woefully under- recorded American expat drummer Noel McGhie. It's one of the highlights of the America back catalog and its reissue is cause for celebration. Thornton was able, in an all too brief career (he died in Geneva in relative obscurity in 1989), to sign three truly great free jazz albums under his own name. The Panther and the Lash fills the gap between Freedom & Unity (recorded on the day after Coltrane's funeral in 1967, reissued by Atavistic in 2001) and 1975's Jazz Composers Orchestra outing The Gardens of Harlem (JCOA), and is just as indispensable. _ (AMG)

Enjoy. This is one incredible recording.

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    1. CLIFFORD THORNTON QUARTET - The Panther And The Lash (1970)



  2. Thank you once again for recommending (and sharing!!) such very interesting albums. This Clifford Thornton is the same as in the previous post of Archie Shepp and the Full Moon Ensemble, isn´t he?
    Cheers Daniel, from Spain

  3. Yes, it's the same guy.

    Clifford was born in Philadelphia in 1939, and grew up in the city, attending Temple University. His family appears to have had a musical bent (drummer J.C. Moses is a cousin) and Clifford began piano lessons at 7. After a late 50's stint in the army band, Thornton moved to New York City.

    He studied with trumpeter Donald Byrd in the mid-1950s and worked with various players such as tuba player Ray Draper. He played with numerous avant-garde jazz bands, appearing as a sideman on records by notable artists Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, and Sam Rivers. His first album, 1967's "Freedom & Unity", was recorded the day after John Coltrane's funeral. It included Coltrane associate Jimmy Garrison and also marked the first recorded appearance of Joe McPhee.

    He taught at Wesleyan University in the early 1970s; he brought many younger jazz musicians to perform on campus, giving the academic ethnomusicology world more exposure to current American music. Thought to possess radical political leanings, Thornton was denied entry into France in the 1970's. Thornton spent the last 15 years of his life in Europe; he died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1989.

    As leader:

    1967: Freedom & Unity (Unheard Music Series) with Karl Berger, Jimmy Garrison, John McCortney, Joe McPhee, Don Moore
    1969: Ketchaoua (BYG Actuel) with Dave Burrell, Claude Delcloo, Earl Freeman, Beb Guérin, Arthur Jones, Grachan Moncur III, Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp
    1970: The Panther and the Lash with François Tusques, Beb Guérin, Noel McGhie
    1972: Communications Network (Third World Records) with Jerome Cooper, Jayne Cortez, Nathan Davis, Jerry Gonzalez, Jay Hoggard, L. Shankar, Sirone
    1974: The Gardens of Harlem (JCOA) with Roland Alexander, Carla Bley, Pat Patrick, Marvin Peterson, Dewey Redman, Wadada Leo Smith, Bob Stewart, Carlos Ward

    Jason Guthartz's discography, compiled through 2008, is the most complete on-line listing of Clifford on record:

  4. VITKO . . . AWESOME! Never heard of him until the Shepp post. Once again you play the role of educator in jazz appreciation! Many many thanks!

  5. This is just beautiful Vitko. Glorious, mind-expanding...

  6. thank you Vitko.great job once again!

  7. Links are dead, could you re-upload? Thank you very much!

    1. You've got two links, GameFront works just fine, I checked.

  8. Vitko,
    Thanks for sharing. Gamefront link is now unreacheable. Could you re-upload the file?

  9. Thank you very much Vitko.

  10. Thanks Vitko. Another great Thronton album.

  11. thank you very much, looking for this Thornton albums since decades!