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!