Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WILLIAM Smiley WINTERS – Smiley Etc. (2LP-1969)





Label: Arhoolie Records – 8004/5
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1969
Style: Free Jazz, Post Bop, Modal
Recorded at Sierra Sound Studios in Berkeley, Calif. on March 19, 1969.
D2 - Smiley's Mini Drum Suite / recorded at the Newman Center in Berkeley, Calif.
Engineer – Bob DeSousa
Liner Notes – Wahlee Williams
Photography By – Patti Prout
Producer – Chris Strachwitz, Smiley Winters

A1 - Two Trains ............................................................................................. 9:22
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         tenor saxophone – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         bass – Chris Amberger
         congas – Mike O'Barra
         drums – James Zitro
         (written-by – Bert Wilson)
A2 - Love Is Enlightenment .......................................................................... 9:12
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         soprano saxophone – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         bass – Chris Amberger, Jerry Sealand
         drums – James Zitro
         (written-by – Bert Wilson)
B  -  Smiley Etc. ........................................................................................... 16:10
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         tenor saxophone, bass clarinet – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         bass – Chris Amberger, Harley White
         violin – Mike White
         bongos [bongo drums] – Michael O'Barra
         congas [congo drums] – James Zitro
         drums – Eddie Marshall, Paul Smith
         mbira [thumb piano], flute, voice, bass, horns – Rafael Garrett
         (written-by – W. Winters)
C1 - Frank's Blues ......................................................................................... 7:20
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         piano – Frank Jackson
         bass – Chris Amberger
         (written-by – F. Jackson)
C2 - Some Blue Shoes .................................................................................. 6:45
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         tenor saxophone – Bert Wilson
         trumpet – Barbara Donald
         piano – Frank Jackson
         bass – Harley White
         (written-by – Bert Wilson
D1 - Just Steppin' ........................................................................................... 6:38
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winters
         piano – Mike O'Barra
         claves – Harley White
         bass – Chris Amberger
         bongos [bongo drums] – James Zitro
         (written-by – M. O'Barra)
D2 - Smiley's Mini Drum Suite ........................................................................ 6:22
         drums – William 'Smiley' Winter
         (Recorded By – Chris Strachwitz / Written-By – W. Winters)

“If William 'Smiley' Winters had been based in New York instead of Oakland, he no doubt would have been widely recognized as a major jazz drum stylist. He did all manner of gigs, from backing strippers and accompanying cocktail lounge pianists to shuffling the blues in juke joints, but jazz was the primary arena for his art, particularly jam sessions. He participated in them almost as if they were religious rituals, sometimes for pay, more often simply for the fulfillment spontaneous creation affords the soul.”
_ (from notes by Lee Hildebrand)

William 'Smiley' Winters
Barbara Donald
Bert Wilson

On this two-record set, each LP provides a different side of the versatile Smiley Winters. The first three cuts -- the entirety of LP one -- are all free jazz barnburners with explosive playing by all. Fans of jazz releases on the ESP or BYG labels should know what to expect here: lots of free blowing with some very intense moments. Among other things, four extra drummers and Donald Rafael Garrett's yelping vocals on the title track make the first LP an exhausting but highly rewarding experience. Particularly impressive are multi-reedman Bert Wilson (on soprano sax, tenor sax, and bass clarinet) and trumpeter Barbara Donald. On these numbers, Wilson slashes and soars to Ayler-esque heights and Donald just flat-out rips. These tracks either employ no discernible predetermined structure or ones similar to, say, Sunny Murray's Sunshine on BYG (i.e., quick runs of three or so notes apiece that don't waste any time dissolving into free improvisation).
The second LP changes gears with an alarming halt. Its opener, "Frank's Blues," is a piano blues for trio that wouldn't sound out of place on an early Freddie Redd session. Otherwise, expect another, decidedly more post-bop Wilson and Donald workout as well as the Latin-tinged "Just Steppin'." The bass and drum duet "Smiley's Mini Drum Suite" closes out the set. In a perfect world, Bert Wilson and Barbara Donald would be stars of the late-'60s free jazz era, but they aren't, so the opportunity to hear them on this fine record (as well as on Sonny Simmons' Music From the Spheres) is one that fans of spirited free improvisation shouldn't miss. Highly recommended.



If you find it, buy this album!

16 comments:

  1. WILLIAM Smiley WINTERS – Smiley Etc. (2LP-1969)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Cover

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?qityqaqg9i

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excuse me, when you download the file, you can find misspelled: Williams 'Smiley' Winters. Please correct this at: William 'Smiley' Winters.
    Well ... who works makes mistakes :)
    Regards.

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  3. For me, Bert Wilson and Barbara Donald ARE stars of the late-'60s free jazz era!!!! I imagine seeing them in person would have been inspirational , even life changing. Thank you for the post and for reminding me of this beautiful music

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  4. I've never heard of Smiley Winters before.. Looking forward to this.. Many thanks Vitko!

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  5. Wow, thank you, I have been looking for this since quite a long time! It is interesting, that the label who put it out is Arhoolie, which usually were more into Blues records. Apart from that, I found out, that there is another Smiley Winters record, called the Smiley Winters Memorial Quartet (from 1971) which is also hard to find.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's LP (FMO 005), it really is very, very difficult to find.
      Otherwise, in 1971, a short-lived quartet was formed in Northern California. Trumpeter Warren Gale (featured here on flugelhorn and a little bit of flute) and bassist Gary Todd were both members of Stan Kenton's Orchestra at the time. They teamed with the late, great drummer Smiley Winters and the legendary Bert Wilson (on tenor, soprano and bass clarinet).

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    2. Yes, there is little information about the Memorial Quartet on the net, which is kind of strange, because it was out on cd.

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  6. Wow, thanks! Barbara donald is woefully underrated, always a pleasure to hear more of her.

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  7. Arhoolie was mainly a folk/country/blues label, but they must have had a fan of the west coast free jazz scene as evidenced by this release and the others mentioned here. Hope the Memorial Quartet and the others show up someday. Smiley, etc was re-released on CD several years ago, but it's long gone now too.

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  8. There is another great "Arhoolie" album, session a few months before "Smiley Etc.", recorded at Sierra Sound Studios, Berkeley, October 31, 1968.

    Now Creative Arts Jazz Ensemble - Now (Arhoolie Records - 8002)

    David Wilson - vibes
    Robin Young - piano
    Rahim Roach - alto sax
    Dale Reamer - tenor sax
    Bert Wilson, Mike Breen - tenor and soprano sax
    Patrick O'Hara - trombone
    Peter Montalbano - trumpet
    Carol Wilson - vocals
    Chris Amberger - bass
    Smiley Winters - drums

    Inconstant Sol blog:
    http://inconstantsol.blogspot.ba/2015/03/now-creative-arts-jazz-ensemble-now.html

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  9. Hey this is cool - THANKS!

    Chris Amberger lives here in the San Francisco Bay Area and still plays. In fact you can usually catch him with Dave Bendigkeit on Mondays at the Seven Mile House in Brisbane.

    And, as far as I know, James Zitro lives in somewhere in Santa Cruz. I think he is still playing and I'm pretty sure he works for the county of Santa Cruz as a drug counselor.

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  10. a great album, thanks - more Bert Wilson please!! Anyone got the CDR's with Sonny Simmons - http://www.discogs.com/label/412339-Dr-Wheelz-Archives

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  11. Many Thanks! Legendary drummer. Huge Bert Wilson fan as well.

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  12. first listen...and a wonderful turn-on...thank you...

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