Thursday, June 19, 2014


Label: Goody – GY 30001, Goody – GY 30.001
Goody Series Vol. 1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Unofficial Release
Country: France - Released: 1969
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded on July 22, 1967 at Sound City Studios in New York City.
(Track 2 - ''Babe's Dilemma'', bonus track, is not on the original release)
Engineer – Orville O'Brien
Liner Notes – Archie Shepp
Photography By – Philippe Gras
Producer [Serie Directed By] – Claude Delcloo, Jean Luc Young

For those who don't know better, the free jazz movement is considered a sharp break with the past heritage of the music. That really wasn't the case. As Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp hearkened back to field hollers and very basic folk forms, musicians like Clifford Thornton went in the opposite direction, building on the music of the sophisticates and expanding the possibilities for jazz. Listening to music with this much space in it, it might be hard for some listeners to hear the Mingus. But it's there. And because that's there, Ellington is here in heaping handfuls as well. Sure this stuff is rough in spots. But the myriad of tones this man uses to express himself keeps things interesting and alive — the bright clarion of cornet and trumpet, the somber, thoughtful vibes, and a rhythm section that embraces two bass players to keep things rooted. The leader plays valve trombone, an enormously flexible instrument that allows him to meld with a variety of moods and produce music at once heartachingly simple and brain-twistingly complex.
For those with open ears — and minds.

Trombonist/trumpeter Clifford Thornton, is a natural extension of the music of Ornette Coleman.
Recorded one day after John Coltrane’s funeral, this session features Trane sideman Jimmy Garrison on two tracks and Joe McPhee (playing trumpet) on three. Thornton, who rehearsed across the hall from Ornette’s trio, certainly was listening. His piano-less quintet and extended New Art Ensemble pursue Coleman’s breakthroughs in melody and rhythm with different instrumentation. They certainly prove that free principals can be applied to the vibes, as Karl Berger does here and on later recordings with Don Cherry. Alto saxophonist Sonny King (we should find out more about this guy) tears through songs bridging bebop and freedom principles.
Thornton’s valve trombone is the payday here. He floats lines, setting moods or barking replies to the cornet. Thornton’s trombone later recorded with Sunny Murray, Sun Ra and Archie Shepp. The liner notes point out he was denied a visa to enter France because they suspected him of belonging to the Black Panthers. His revolutionary music and self-produced LP’s received little attention in the mainstream press, as he had no access to distribute his music, and in the late 1960s and 1970s, American record companies were withdrawing their support of creative music. The Cecil Taylors, Anthony Braxtons and Joe McPhees of this world either became exiles or recorded for small foreign labels. Clifford Thornton moved to Europe and died in relative obscurity in the mid-80s. This document of significant music calls for further exploration of the ever-neglected free jazz past.

Published: November 1, 2001 (AAJ)

Originally issued on Third World Records in 1969 as Third World LP 9636.

If you find it, buy this album!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. New link:

      CLIFFORD THORNTON NEW ART ENSEMBLE – Freedom & Unity (Goody LP-1969)
      Vinyl Rip - FLAC+Cover

  2. thank you kindly

  3. Thanks for this listen Vitko . . . Thornton's work is amazing!

  4. Great! That's a rare find. Thanks, Vitko!

  5. Hi Vitko, can't access either of these firedrive links still, can you add a link, thanks

  6. Hi Vitko, links seem to be down. Would love to have this one!

  7. Thanks Vitko! I didn´t know Thornton. What a nice surprise!

  8. Replies
    1. Please, I will not post anonymous comments any more. It is not difficult to put a few letters of identification below the text.