Saturday, May 9, 2015

WILDFLOWERS 5 – The New York Loft Jazz Sessions (Douglas / LP5-1977)

Label: Douglas – NBLP 7049
Series: Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions – 5
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded May 14 thru May 23, 1976 at Studio Rivbea, 24 Bond Street, New York.
Engineer [Assistant] – Les Kahn
Engineer [Chief] – Ron Saint Germain
Engineer [Remote Assistant] – Matt Murray
Executive-producer – Harley I. Lewin
Liner Notes – Ross Firestone
Mastered By – Ray Janos
Photography By – Peter Harron
Producer – Alan Douglas, Michael Cuscuna, Sam Rivers

A - Sunny Murray & The Untouchable Factor – Something's Cookin' ......... 17:00
       Alto Saxophone, Flute – Byard Lancaster
       Bass – Fred Hopkins
       Drums – Sunny Murray
       Tenor Saxophone – David Murray
       Vibraphone – Khan Jamal

B - Roscoe Mitchell – Chant ........................................................................ 25:19
       Alto Saxophone – Roscoe Mitchell
       Drums – Don Moye
       Percussion, Drums, Saw – Jerome Cooper

...Probably most representative document of loft jazz era was this five vinyl set "Wildflowers", recorded during May 1976 at Rivbea Studio and released on tiny Douglas Records in 1977. Decades after this release received almost cult status. Each of five albums contains collection of compositions recorded by different artists...

And in the end always comes delicacy, long mantra Roscoe Mitchell's "Chant" (an exercise in marathon circular breathing that walks the line between exhilarating and fantastic)—but at the same time houses a couple of the collection's most outstanding selections. 
The other highlight of the fifth vinyl, is the return of Sunny Murray and the Untouchable Factor for the 17-minute "Something's Cookin'". Beginning as a fragile web supported by Murray's cymbal whispers, the mood expands through the otherworldly plateaus spun by Jamal's vibes and a kinetic tenor/alto dialogue between Murray and Lancaster—only to finish on the spiritual edge where Hopkins' bowed levitations meet Lancaster's primordial flute... oh yes...

No self-respecting listener of free jazz should go without hearing these sessions, as they document a period in the music's history that, until now, has been severely neglected.

But, and this is very important:
The psychedelic colors of the record cover jumped out to me immediately. I loved the album art - a collage of jazz greats fronting a backdrop of New York City. It was so different...


If you find it, buy this album!


  1. WILDFLOWERS 5 – The New York Loft Jazz Sessions (LP5-1977)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork


    1. May 9th - all 5 flowers - best birthday present this year.
      I only just found your blog - thank you for all of your efforts.

    2. Well, Steven, happy birthday and welcome.

  2. Great stuff out of Studio Rivbea! Many memories of this collective set and the place. Kind of set the tone for all the current day Vision Fests. Thanks Vitko.

  3. Thank you so much. I had 1 and 3, and that just had me salivating for the whole set.

  4. thanks very much for this series of fascinating exploratory music! best wishes,

  5. A few skips on the B side, in the seventh minute. Thought it was some super forward-thinking tape editing for a second! hehe

    1. Minor damage, of course, it has here and there, it could not be avoided, these LPs are, you should understand, old forty years. I think I pulled a maximum sound quality.

  6. A thousand thanks for the work ripping these rare lps. I've wanted to hear them for years. Your blog is a treasure chest.

  7. Hi Vitko, I hope this comment finds you well. I have download many albums from your fine blog, and am planning on downloading many more.
    I suspect that my knowledge of this music is far surpassed by the majority of your commentators but wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for letting me hear this and the other wonderful music that you have shared.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Thank you Nick G. I'm glad you found something interesting for yourself on this site. There will still be good music. Cheers!