Thursday, November 24, 2016

GARRETT LIST – Your Own Self (LP-1972 / Opus One – number 15)

Label: Opus One – number 15
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1972
Style: Contemporary, Experimental, Minimal
Label based in Maine run by composer Max Schubel
Works from 1971
Artwork [Cover Art] – Ursula Belden / ?
There are two colour variations of the cover: Green and Orange
Engineer [Recording] – Mike Wolfe
Executive Director – Max Schubel
Composed By – Garrett List
Matrix / Runout (A): OPUS ONE 15AR
Matrix / Runout (B): OPUS ONE 15B

A - Your Own Self ...................................................................... 18:34
B - Your Own Self ...................................................................... 16:37

          Joan LaBarbara
          Jay Clayton
          Jerry Kaplan
Jon Gibson ––– Saxophone
Mark Gould ––– Trumpet
Lou Ranger ––– Trumpet
David Jolley ––– French Horn
Garrett List ––– Trombone
Roy Pennington ––– Vibraphone
Barry Jekowski ––– Vibraphone
Rick Cutler ––– Piano
Frederic Rzewski ––– Piano
Gregory Reeves ––– Percussion
Gordon Gottliebs ––– Percussion
Mike Williams ––– bass

This piece is a beautiful example of a minimalist/jazz crossover which is exceptionally unique. It inhabits a somewhat similar world to Fred Rzewski's "Coming Together" and "Attica", but is much more indebted to jazz, with a heavily improvised middle section...

Garrett List ––– Trombone

The piece begins with an organ drone, and some quiet singing and reciting of phrases from the text. Gradually more instruments are introduced, primarily horns playing long tones. After a couple of minutes the bass comes in, and starts playing sparse notes, which over several minutes become more frequent until it's playing a full-fledged jazzy bass-line. The horns follow a similar build-up from long tones to faster playing.

The build up in this piece is perfect. It's so slow and fluid, you barely notice anything is happening, until you compare two points in the piece. At 11:00ish on side A there's a sudden break, and a fast, hihat-based drum beat comes in, the first major change in the piece. This section has a beautiful texture with fast piano scales, sparse bass notes, long horn tones, fast vibes, and vocalists singing and reciting the text.

Side A fades out, and Side B begins where A left off, jumping quickly into a long section of freeish jazz, with a propulsive rhythm section laying the base. This goes on for about 9 minutes, and then the piece goes back into a section resembling the first part, with long tones and quiet speaking voices.
There's Fred Rzewski on piano, Jon Gibson on sax, and vocalist Joan LaBarbara (who is an excellent composer as well, and appears on the classic 70s recording of Philip Glass' "Music in Twelve Parts").

Excellently pressed. Great dynamics and sound. Stunningly beautiful piece to be listened to at high volume. Wonderful!

Your Own Self, sought and received, mister ..... correct silence.

If you find it, buy this album!