Friday, March 4, 2016

ANTHONY DAVIS – Hemispheres (LP-1983)

Label: Gramavision – GR-8303
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1983
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded at Vanguard Studios, New York City in July 1983.
Mixed at Gramavision Studio, New York City in August 1983.
Cover – Francesco Clemente
Photography By [Photo By] – Robert Mapplethorpe
Design [Album Design] – Peter Corriston
Engineer – David Baker
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mixed By – David Baker
Producer – Anthony Davis, Jonathan F. P. Rose

A1 - Mvt I: Esu At The Crossroads ....................................................... 4:52
A2 - Mvt II: Little Richard's New Wave ................................................. 8:31
A3 - Mvt III: Ifa: The Oracle, Esu The Trickster .................................... 4:46
B1 - Mvt IV: A Walk Through The Shadows ....................................... 13:26
B2 - Mvt V: Clonetics ............................................................................ 7:06

Composed By – Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis – piano
Dwight Andrews – flute
J.D. Parran – clarinet
Leo Smith – trumpet
George Lewis – trombone
David Samuels – vibraphone
Shem Guibbory – violin
Eugene Friesen – cello
Rick Rozie – bass
Pheeroan AkLaff – drums, percussion

Written as music to accompany the choreography of Molissa Fenley, Anthony Davis followed the huge artistic (if not commercial) success of his albums Episteme and Variations in Dreamtime with yet another wonderful recording along similar lines. Using many of the same musicians and, in fact, recycling some of the same thematic material (as he was to do often in his career), Davis once again finds enormous richness and power in a territory straddling advanced jazz and contemporary minimalism, here even enjoining the services of Steve Reich's violinist of choice, Shem Guibbory. The compositions combine propulsive, oddly metered rhythms with fascinating and often gorgeous melodies including, especially his bitterly beautiful "A Walk in the Shadows," here given arguably its finest, most intense performance with Guibbory doing gut-wrenching work. The ensemble is incredibly tight and features superb playing by, among others, trumpeter Leo Smith and trombonist George Lewis. The cover painting by Francesco Clemente and the portrait photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe indicate how closely Davis was becoming involved with the New York avant-garde in the early '80s. This would lead to an increased "classicalization" of his work, largely to its detriment, in oncoming years, and Hemispheres would prove to be perhaps his last unqualified success. Very highly recommended.
_ Review by Brian Olewnick

It would be nice to read this:
Commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival
Molissa Fenley and Company/ANTHONY DAVIS and EPISTEME
HEMISPHERES - An evening length dance work with live music


If you find it, buy this album!


  1. ANTHONY DAVIS – Hemispheres (LP-1983)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork


  2. Thanks, and may the force be with You!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you!

    Another amazing Gramavision release. I don't know which one is more significant in the jazz of the eighties: the number of classics in the eighties jazz, or the awfulness when Gramavision fell down on its job for keeping it in print, and then just sat on it. Thank god for the blogosphere: otherwise, the younger generation wouldn't know so much essential jazz in the eighties.

  4. Ditto to what Scraps says . . . thanks for this listen Vitko!

  5. Many thanks! These Gramavision albums are hard to find.

  6. Many thanks Vitko. Haven't heard this one in years. Early eighties were prime AD. Such an amazing album. Can't wait to hear George Lewis ripping it up on Little Richard's New Wave!!

  7. Finally I've found, thanks to you Vitko, a digital copy of this album. I had purchased it in an "album_cassette" format shortly after it was released. It will be interesting to hear again after such a long time.
    Many thanks Vitko.

  8. Thanks Vikko like the rest good to find this rarity

  9. so happy about this month - hope you can do flac of Braxton Qrt at Moers

  10. Out of this world!
    Steve Lacy's words come to mind:"But these things are sort of mysterious, they sort of fall from the sky and you take them up. It's not really a logical step-by-step... it's more like a series of leaps into the unknown."

    Big thanks, Vitko.

  11. looking for
    Archie Shepp - Three for a Quarter One for a Dime - in flac
    Steve Lacy- Condor - in flac
    M'Boom - Collage - in flac
    Max Roach - Nommo - in flac

    can share something back if I have something listed here as wanted

  12. Hello!

    If re-up count as request i would like to ask you for:

    JOËLLE LÉANDRE – At The Le Mans Jazz Festival 2005 (2CD-2006)
    RICK JENSEN TRIO – Live Performances 2003 / 2004 (4CDs Box Set)

    Thank you Vitko.

    1. Sure, I will, but you'll have to wait for some time, I have a lot to do before. I try to respect the order of the request.
      All the best Vojac.

  13. Impossible to find these - Gramavision had a unique take on music - wish someone knew the history of the label and could tell us - always wondered was it the La Monte piano box set that put them out of biz ?

  14. Time is on my side :))
    Thank You Vitko!

    1. Time is on my side, yes it is.
      Time is on my side, yes it is.
      Now you all were saying that you want to be free
      But you'll come runnin' back (I said you would baby),
      You'll come runnin' back (like I told you so many times before),
      You'll come runnin' back to me.

      Time is on my side, yes it is.........etc...etc...

      Yeah you're going to come back baby
      Knockin', knockin' right on my door...

      Beautiful ... good old Rolling Stones :)

  15. Surprising cast of musicians. Thank you very much indeed.

  16. Thanks vitko, this should be a great album, any Anthony Davis I don't have is always more than welcome.

  17. Thanks for responding to the request! Like magic!