Monday, July 11, 2016

LA MONTE YOUNG and THE FOREVER BAD BLUES BAND – Just Stompin' (Live At The Kitchen) - 2CD/Gramavision-1993

Label: Gramavision – R2 79487
Format: 2×CD, Album, Gallery edition / Country: US / Released: 1993
Style: Experimental, Avantgarde, Blues, Minimal
Cover, Typography [Calligraphy], Design – Marian Zazeela
Lighting Director – Marian Zazeela
Liner Notes – La Monte Young, Robert Palmer
Product Manager [Design] – Marika Blossfeldt
Mastered By – Chris Muth
Photography By, Cover – Jim Conti
Recorded By, Mixed By – Bob Bielecki
Matrix / Runout (Disc 1): 3 R2 79487-2.1 SRC#01 M1S1
Matrix / Runout (Disc 2): 3 R2 79487-2.2 SRC#01 M1S1

American premiere performance series, The Kitchen, New York, January 14, 1993.

01 CD-1 - Young's Dorian Blues In G (Part 1) ................................ 61:54
02 CD-2 - Young's Dorian Blues In G (Part 2) ................................ 60:23

Composed By – La Monte Young

LA MONTE YOUNG – Korg Synthesizer in just Intonation
JAN CATLER – Just Intonation and Fretless Guitar
BRAD CATLER – Just Intonation and Fretless Bass

"Just Stompin' " was released as a two-CD set from Gramavision Records. It consists of just one piece--"Young's Dorian Blues in G"--recorded live at the January premiere of the piece at the Kitchen in New York.
An album of instrumental, roadhouse blues may seem something of a departure for Young, a revered original, the seminal influence on both minimalism and the Fluxus movement and creator of a highly personal body of work. It makes, however, a clear, relatively compact and accessible expression of his obsessions with extended durations and just intonation, the acoustically pure tuning based on the natural harmonic series. It is also music with a long gestation period, going back to his student days in Los Angeles.

Young has played alto saxophone since he was 7, with his father as his first teacher. He went to John Marshall High School here, studied with William Green and then went on to Los Angeles City College, where everybody told him he should play in the dance band. The first-saxophone chair there was already tied up, but he auditioned and beat out Eric Dolphy for the second-chair position.
He and Dolphy became friends, and both played clarinet in the orchestra, where Dolphy was first chair. Other jazz musicians Young performed with in clubs and sessions at that time included Billy Higgins, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and Don Friedman.

At the same time, he was studying with Schoenberg disciple Leonard Stein at Los Angeles City College and became extremely inspired by Webern. From the terse, pared-down creations of Webern to Young's own long-spanned music seems quite a reach, but he finds a credible evolution there, where his early music became "like Webern in augmentation."
Augmented indeed. He usually takes five to six hours to perform his solo piano piece "The Well-Tuned Piano," and he confined "Young's Blues" to two hours only because that was the length of the DAT tape available then.

"I think, in addition to my unique piano style, the just intonation and the Dorian mode, ("Young's Blues") is different because it is a very long, complex, evolved form--really very compositional in structure, not just song forms," the composer says. "I'm totally disinterested in short song forms. I'm interested in evolved structures in extended time formats."
"There is no doubt a short work can be profound and very strong," he says, "but a long work has the potential in the end to be much, much more."

Young learned the importance of silence from both Webern and the contrast between the clarity of the rural sonic environment he knew as a child in Idaho and the noise of the big city he discovered when his family moved to Los Angeles. It figures in his idea of "eternal music," but not so much anymore in actual performances.

"I have these enormous silences between performances," Young says ruefully, "so when I get a chance to play, I seem to want to fill it up with sound."

Young is willing to play pieces such as "The Well-Tuned Piano" only under very special and expensive circumstances. He insists on three months on location, one month exploring the acoustical environment and tuning, followed by two months giving weekly performances. With his Theater of Eternal Music Big Band, he had 23 rehearsals before the first concert.

"This is the way I really want to perform, but very few people can afford to present it," Young concedes. "The blues band is a way I can perform without compromising my principals and still fit into the one-night format.

"This blues setting, with these young musicians, is a way I can show off my compositional skills and improvising, in a way that's more affordable for more concert presenters." (The Forever Bad Blues Band consists of Jon Catler on fretless and just-intonation electric guitars, Brad Catler on similar basses and Jonathan Kane on drums, with Young himself playing a synthesizer in just intonation.)

(By John Henken, special to the LA Times, 1993)

"I consider much of my music... to be blues-based," claims La Monte Young, the acknowledged father of minimalism. This might not seem so bizarre considering his early collaborations with jazz musicians and the undoubted minimal qualities of blues pioneers like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. Like many of his works, Young has been developing the piece here, "Young's Dorian Blues in G," since its inception in 1960, including his work with his Theatre of Eternal Music ensemble with John Cale and Tony Conrad. Here the piece is presented as a two-hour live performance which he did at the Kitchen in New York in 1993 with a guitar/bass/drums line-up headed by Young's synthesizer in his "just intonation" tuning. Beginning with an elegiac opening, the piece soon evolves into a rollicking, driving, gradually-evolving epic featuring Jon Catler's searing guitar runs and Young's keyboard mimicking a barrelhouse piano -- because the two of them trade solo spots so effectively, this never gets tedious or drawn-out. With its extensive liner notes, Just Stompin' serves an excellent introduction to the work of one of the most important composers of the 20th century, especially for anyone interested in Young's work but frightened off by the scope of the 5-LP The Well-Tuned Piano.
(Review by Jason Gross)

If you find it, buy this album!


  1. LA MONTE YOUNG and THE FOREVER BAD BLUES BAND – Just Stompin' (Live At The Kitchen) (2CD-1993)
    CD Rip/FLAC+Cover

    CD-1 - Young's Dorian Blues In G (Part 1)

    CD-2 - Young's Dorian Blues In G (Part 2)

    1. Vitko, the links for this have expired. Is there any possbility that you could re-up the music? It would be deeply appreciated. Regardless, thanks for all of the wonderful music you have shared.

  2. Hi I believe your blog is one of the best regarding jazz music. I have downloaded some incredible records here, but coming a cross a La Monte Young record is not something that happens so easily. It is a true wonderful surprise and I wanted to thank you millions Vitko!!!

  3. wonderful, wonderful recording. I'm still getting over the brilliance of the Black Album the other day!

  4. It's a goldmine all the rare music you post here. Your collection must be incredible. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Vitko, thanks for your truly extraordinary work, archiving and making available these unique musical rarities, which would otherwise be lost to the world.

    I wonder if I could impose upon you to upload this LaMonte Young album one last time, as 1Fichier indicates that the links have expired because of "lack of activity." If not, I am certainly grateful for the music you have already, and continue to, provide.

    Wishing you all good things; thanks again for this labor of love.

    1. I am today, quite accidentally, found these two your comments in the spam post. How did they get there, I really do not know. Soon I'll make new links. Cheers.

    2. Thank you very much; that's very kind!

  6. Thanks for a great site, sadly the Links are dead again... :( Any chance of a re-upload? Thank You.

  7. Hi Vitko! Just like Will, I subscribe to a new re-up if it's not too demanding of you. Once again, thousands thks for your tasty choices, your fabulous rips & your so generous labour of love.