Saturday, October 24, 2015

WALTER ZUBER ARMSTRONG / STEVE LACY – Duet - Alter Ego (LP-1979) and Call Notes (LP-1980)




Label: World Artists – LP WA 1004
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Canada / Released: 1979
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded live at the BIM-house, October 13, 1979, Amsterdam, Holland.
Produced by – Walter Zuber Armstrong Production
Photography by  – Tom Strappers
Cover Design – Sheila Miller
Engineer – Sjaak Willemse
Composed By – Walter Zuber Armstrong

A - Alter Ego ............................................................................. 25:53
B - Alter Ego ............................................................................. 23:37

Walter Zuber Armstrong – contrabass, bass clarinet
Steve Lacy – soprano saxophone

Recorded in 1979 in Holland, this intriguing duet album between multi-reedist Walter Zuber Armstrong and soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy is endearing and charming for its radical approach to the intimacy of what focused instrumentalists can attain when approaching the same goal from different directions and learning from the other's process on the way. There are two takes of the title track, clocking in with an average time of 24 minutes.




Here Armstrong plays bass clarinet to Lacy's soprano. What becomes startling immediately is how both men look to establish from their corners melodic invention and a lyrical sensibility for their tonal explorations. Tonal journeying is a big part of what these two long compositions are all about, meeting in the middle of extremes and dovetailing one another with a timbral elegance that offers the listener the gentler side of each instrument without either player backing off of his exploratory nature. There is little drama that plays out here in an hour, but there doesn't need to be, because what is happening here is of the aural reception variety, deep listening music made by two masters of both hearing and speaking. What is left unsaid here is almost as important as what is, and the poetry of that knowing, that will to silence and economy, is what shapes this recording and gives it its considerable depth and dimension.
_ Review by Thom Jurek

Walter Zuber Armstrong / Steve Lacy - Call Notes, recorded also in the Bimhuis, on October 13, 1979, Amsterdam, Holland, is a continuation of the first album.

WALTER ZUBER ARMSTRONG / STEVE LACY – Call Notes (LP-1980)




Label: World Artists – WA 1005
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1980
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at the BIM-house, October 13, 1979, Amsterdam, Holland.
Produced by – Sheila Miller, Walter Zuber Armstrong
Photography by  – Tom Strappers
Cover Design – Sheila Miller
Engineer – Sjaak Willemse
Composed By – Walter Zuber Armstrong

        Call Notes
A1 - Cut 1 ................................................................................... 12:18
A2 - Cut 2 ..................................................................................... 3:14

Walter Zuber Armstrong – flute, Bolivian wooden flute
Steve Lacy – soprano saxophone

        Lost Lagoon
B1 - Cut 1 ................................................................................... 13:52
B2 - Cut 2 ..................................................................................... 1:26

Walter Zuber Armstrong – bass clarinet, soprano flute

A West Coast reed player with a haunting tone and an armload of self-published albums, Walter Zuber Armstrong was highly influenced by free jazz legends Eric Dolphy and Anthony Braxton. Like them, he was drawn to the idea of multi-instrumental textural dexterity. Zuber Armstrong chose the bass clarinet and flute to cover opposite extremes, a pair of instruments Eric Dolphy had used as an exotic sideline to his alto sax.



Then Zuber Armstrong pretty much set aside the entire jazz content of Dolphy's music to concentrate on more spaced-out ideas. From Braxton he adopted the idea of solo reed performances, although unlike his model he was not particularly into shrieking displays of intensity. Zuber Armstrong was based out of the sleepy border town of Bellingham, WA, for most of his career, meaning that one of his main performing possibilities was nearby Vancouver, British Columbia. The bustling jazz scene in this city led to collaborations with Canadian performers such as pianist Paul Plimley and drummer Greg Simpson. Zuber Armstrong cannot be said to have toured excessively during his career, yet he did leave behind collaborations with multi-instrumentalist Milo Fine taped in Minnesota as well as duos with Steve Lacy recorded in Amsterdam. The latter session is considered by many free jazz fans to be Zuber Armstrong's finest recordings.

Despite snippy comments made by some players and critics about his technique, Zuber Armstrong was a classically trained musician who studied at the New York College of Music, the Julliard School, and Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. He largely supported himself by teaching contemporary music at Western University in Bellingham and Fairhaven College in the town of the same name. He performed two of his final concerts in the late '90s at Bellingham events in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month. His recordings with Lacy were done in 1979, and were released on two different albums. In the early '80s, he performed at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, teaming up for part of the show with the reclusive and fussy improviser Milo Fine. The earliest of Zuber Armstrong's releases on his own World Artists label dates from 1973 (Alpha And Omega, WA 1001).
_written by Eugene Chadbourne



If you find them, buy these albums!

11 comments:

  1. WALTER ZUBER ARMSTRONG / STEVE LACY – Duet - Alter Ego (LP-1979)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Cover

    Mediafire:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/6wnb88w4xkeuful

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    WALTER ZUBER ARMSTRONG / STEVE LACY – Call Notes (LP-1980)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Cover

    Mediafire:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/iibh3mvddz5bl53

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Vitko,

      Could please re up any play from Yosuke Yamashita. Thanks - Adriano F.

      Delete
    2. Dear Adriano, I am right now check all the links through which you can get the music of Mr. Yosuke Yamashita. It turned out that all links working properly except for one album, Frozen Days. So, attack on healthy links, and I'll do these days this one.

      Delete
  2. If this blog were a country, I'd give away all my possessions and move there...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bravo!! Thank you very much, Vikto!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much!

    Any other Walter Zuber Armstrong stuff would be much appreciated, too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Everyone knows about Steve Lacy. But Walter Zuber Armstrong is alsolutly new to me. Never heard anything of him. Maybe this will be a nice discovery. Been curious what to expect. Thank you Vitko for widen my musical horizont.

    Uwe

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the upgrade, Vitko!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mesmerizing! Thanks again Vitko for this couple!

    ReplyDelete