Saturday, May 16, 2015

CLIFFORD THORNTON – Ketchaoua (Actuel – 23 / LP-1969)




Label: BYG Records – 529.323
Series: Actuel – 23
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1969
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded – August 18, 1969 in Paris, France
Composed By, Arranged By – Clifford Thornton
Coordinator [Coordination] – Jacques Bisceglia
Engineer – Claude Jauvert
Executive-Producer – Claude Delcloo
Photography By – Jacques Bisceglia
Producer – Jean Georgakarakos, Jean-Luc Young

A1 - Ketchaoua ...................................................................... 12:22
         alto saxophone – Arthur Jones
         bass – Beb Guerin
         congas, gong, percussion – Earl Freeman
         cornet, congas – Clifford Thornton
         drums – Sunny Murray
         piano, bells – Dave Burrell
         soprano saxophone – Archie Shepp
         trombone – Grachan Moncur III

A2 - Pan African Festival ....................................................... 7:50
         alto saxophone – Arthur Jones
         bass – Beb Guerin, Earl Freeman
         cornet, congas – Clifford Thornton
         drums – Sunny Murray
         piano – Dave Burrell
         soprano saxophone – Archie Shepp
         trombone – Grachan Moncur III

B1 - Brotherhood .................................................................. 10:43
         alto saxophone – Arthur Jones
         bass – Beb Guerin, Earl Freeman
         cornet – Clifford Thornton
         drums – Claude Delcloo

B2 - Speak With Your Echo (And Call This Dialogue) ........... 9:05
         bass – Beb Guerin, Earl Freeman
         cornet – Clifford Thornton

23rd volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. This album was recorded in Paris on August 18, 1969 by Clifford Thornton (cornet and conga drums) with Grachan Moncur III (trombone), Archie Shepp (soprano saxophone), Arthur Jones (alto saxophone), Dave Burrell (piano), Sunny Murray (drums), Beb Guerin (bass), Earl Freeman (bass) and Claude Delcloo (drums).
"Clifford Thornton was a player and a composer whose obscurity was offset by the high esteem in which he was held by his fellow musicians... like Shepp, Thornton was actively involved in advancing the ideology of the black  movement... and all of his recordings are intense and important about those matters that were close to his heart -- liberation, communication and unity."
_ Byron Coley




Clifford Thornton's only Actuel date as a leader is, like many of the others in this BYG series, an all-star blowing session highly indicative of the times. For some, it will be difficult to tell whether taking credit for composing these pieces is a lost cause. This is some very free music and, save for a handful of scored passages, almost wholly improvised. A number of the scene's top players make appearances here in different groups.
Otherwise, "Brotherhood," a piece for quintet, is performed by Thornton, Jones, Guerin, Freeman, and this time, drummer Claude Delcloo, while on "Speak With Your Echo" only the two bassists (Guerin and Freeman) accompany Thornton's cornet. This piece in particular is especially enjoyable and reminiscent perhaps of Arthur Jones' fantastic ballad, "Brother B," from his own Actuel LP, Scorpio. At times the ensemble pieces sound like a Pan-African Morton Feldman, and at others, hazy, psychedelic post bop. Fans of brooding and contemplative improvised music will find a great deal to enjoy here. In fact, many would argue that this is the best LP under Thornton's leadership...

1969's Ketchaoua leaps through many styles in a way that reminds me of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and also Archie Shepp in this era—Shepp appears on half of the album.  Side A contains two long tracks that feature large ensembles and a lot of simple, interweaving percussion.  Both tracks gradually evolve into brief periods of recognizable jazz styles before floating back into more abstract terrain.  The opening title track might be the least prominent appearance from drummer Sunny Murray, who blends into the massed percussion.  The two tracks on side B are opposite extremes, though both feature smaller groups.  "Brotherhood" draws from New York energy jazz, with Claude Delcloo's percussion prominent in the mix.  "Speak with Your Echo" ends the album with its sparsest arrangement, featuring only Thornton and two bassists.  The recording quality varies, with the large groups sounding better than "Brotherhood", where the explosive percussion reverberates awkwardly in a boxy room. Who cares, it still sounds great.

Yes, definitely raw, awesome, volatile and atmospheric. Brilliant!



If you find it, buy this album!

22 comments:

  1. CLIFFORD THORNTON – Ketchaoua (LP-1969)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?3rywtig5qy

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  2. Vitko:
    Magnificent!

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  3. Thank you, Vitko. I have the LP and I wanted to rip my copy. Appreciate your work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, you can feel free to make your rip for Inconstant Sol, I have nothing against. Regards.

      Delete
    2. I should have been more clear - I THANK you for your rip.
      Why should I do a rip of my LP - your's is quiet fine.
      I would prefer to point the visitors to your blog for this rip f.e.
      It males more sense for me to rip an otherwise not posted LP.
      Cheers

      Delete
  4. many thanks; I've wanted this one for a long time.

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  5. Excellent, excellent -- THANK YOU, Vitko !!!

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  6. wow! mind blowing stuff. thanks very much for sharing,

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  7. A fantastic album. Where did you find the three last photos? They're new to me. The Paris summer of 1969 that the Byg Actuel series documented was certainly one of the most fertile creative periods of the 20th century. Thx for this great post!

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  8. These three photos and a bunch of other great photos can be found at the six-page Magnum Photos dedicated to PanAfrican Festival 1969.

    http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult_VPage&VBID=2K1HZOUGVRSU3#/SearchResult&VBID=2K1HZOUGVRSU3&PN=1

    Enjoy!

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  9. This album is SO GOOD. Thank you, Vitko !!!!

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  10. Big thanks, as always Vitko.....got a few albums by Thornton, but I've never seen this one...can't wait to play it!

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  11. A big thank you for the opportunity to listen Arthur Jones. He was criminally under-recorded. By the way, I noticed that a large number of jazz fans have a soft spot for the neglected musicians. Is it moral or sentimental feature?

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    Replies
    1. Simply, a cry for good music, and she (that music), as a rule, is forgotten somewhere on the other side.

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  12. Fantastic Vitko! I specially like the last track

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  13. Thanks Vitko for the marvellous upgrade!

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  14. Thanks, Vitko. Glad it is still up.

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