Tuesday, March 22, 2016

JULIUS HEMPHILL – 'Coon Bid'ness (LP-1975)




Label: Arista ‎– AL 1012, Freedom ‎– AL 1012
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1975
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Side A - Recorded on January 29,1975 at C.I. Studios, New York City.
Side B - Recorded in February 1972 at Archway Studios, St. Louis, Missouri.
Art Direction – Bob Heimall
Artwork [Cover Art] – Bill Hoffman
Engineer – Elvin Campbell (tracks: A1 to A4), Oliver Sain (track: B)
Liner Notes – Michael Cuscuna
Liner Notes [Poem On Sleeve] – Julius Hemphill, Wilma Moses
Photography By – Ron Warwell
Producer – Julius Hemphill (track: B), Michael Cuscuna (tracks: A1 to A4)

A1 - Reflections .......................................................................... 2:30
A2 - Lyric .................................................................................... 7:24
A3 - Skin 1 ................................................................................ 10:07
A4 - Skin 2 .................................................................................. 2:28

Julius Hemphill  /  alto saxophone
'Black' Arthur Blythe  /  alto saxophone
Hamiet Bluiett  /  baritone saxophone
Abdul Wadud  /  cello
Barry Altschul  /  drums, percussion
Daniel Ben Zebulan  /  congas

B  -  The Hard Blues .................................................................. 20:07

Julius Hemphill  /  alto saxophone
Hamiet Bluiett  /  baritone saxophone
Baikida E. J. Carroll  /  trumpet
Abdul Wadud  /  cello
Philip Wilson  /  drums, percussion

This historic LP includes a 20-minute performance with altoist Julius Hemphill, trumpeter Baikida Carroll, baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, cellist Abdul Wadud and drummer Philip Wilson ("The Hard Blues") taken from the same session that resulted in Dogon A.D. In addition, there are four briefer tracks that feature Hemphill, Bluiett, Wadud, altoist Arthur Blythe, drummer Barry Altschul and the congas of Daniel Zebulon. The music throughout is quite avant-garde but differs from the high-energy jams of the 1960s due to its emphasis on building improvisations as a logical outgrowth from advanced compositions. It's well worth several listens.


Julius Hemphill is a composer and an improviser: a composer in the tradition of Ellington, Mingus, and Ra, and an improviser with deep roots in the blues.
Side one of ‘Coon Bid’Ness (four tracks) works as a single composition. The opening piece, “Reflections,” begins with a slow lament, the three horns and cello creating dark, rich harmonies and utilizing a subtle vibrato to underline the music’s pathos. “Lyric” continues in this vein; then the space begins to open up. Hemphill, it seems, likes to work with several layers of sound, to slowly take them apart – to the point of near dissolution – then to put them back together again (though not necessarily the same as they were before). This is what happens during “Lyric” and also during “Skin 1.” The latter piece especially works its way into some very free space. Then “Skin 2” offers alternate choices as to the side’s resolution; yet there is no real resolution, only lingering afterthoughts. (Review: Henry Kuntz, 1975)

In ancient times, when the preferred form of recorded musical conveyance was a grooved vinyl disc called the "LP," there was a thing called the "side-length track" a single piece of music that took up an entire side of a 2-sided disc. "The Hard Blues" is one of those: 20 minutes of raw, grooving, R&B-drenched free jazz (with a small dose of bebop) that makes up Side Two of saxophonist Julius Hemphill's classic album 'Coon Bid'ness (the acerbic title is the African-American Hemphill's deliberate co-optation of a racial slur). Free jazz was ideal for the side-length track; the better for the improvisers to stretch out ... which is, after all, what free jazz musicians are wont to do. The musicians on "The Hard Blues" pack every possible ounce of content into their allotted 20 minutes, imbuing leader Julius Hemphill's avant-soul composition with enough energy to light up Motown on Devil's Night. Other free jazz guys worked from an R&B perspective, both before and after, but few adopted as gritty an approach as Hemphill and Co. take here. Especially notable are the hyper-agile cellist Abdul Wadud, whose trebly bassline twangs and grooves simultaneously, and Hemphill himself, who puts his experience in Ike Turner's band to good use. Trumpeter Baikida Carroll is terrific as well; his almost Dolphy-esque flights are a revelation. This is rare and raw stuff of a kind seldom heard, then or now. (Review: Chris Kelsey)



In the U.S., it seems, the Seventies have been more a period of consolidation rather than of innovation (as if the advances of the last decade had to be justified before being built upon). In the process, however, some highly original and beautiful music has been made, bringing together various (and sometimes diverse) stylistic elements. Hard to say exactly where this music will lead, but much of it will easily survive the moment of its own creation and is well worth appreciating. Julius Hemphill’s album offers music of this sort, and it’s recommended.


Excellent stuff, comes highly recommended for anyone interested in avant-garde jazz.



If you find it, buy this album!

7 comments:

  1. JULIUS HEMPHILL – 'Coon Bid'ness (LP-1975)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork

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

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks a lot for the 'Bidness Vitko, a true avant-garde classic. I appreciate it greatly that you've filled my request!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi velobrewer,
      second album who you asked "Dogon A.D." is recently again in the market so that it can not put such a post, so I suggest, if you want to have my vinyl rip from 1972 with complete cover, leave your e-mail address on:
      differentper@gmail.com
      and I'll, when I finish the album, for a few days send you a link. OK?
      Cheers.

      Delete
  3. whoa, I foolishly sold this album decades ago. Will be great to hear again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Vitko, great post as usually.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Vitko for another great free jazz LP.

    ReplyDelete