Thursday, April 20, 2017

CECIL TAYLOR – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 / Vol. 3 (3LPs-1972)



Cecil Taylor – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 1

Label: Shandar – SR 10011 / 83 507
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 29 July 1969 at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Photography By – Horace, Philippe Gras
Engineer [Sound] – Claude Jauvert
Producer [Conception] – Georges Perdriaud
Sleeve Notes [Inside] – Daniel Caux
Matrix / Runout (Side A): 10011 A [83507A]
Matrix / Runout (Side B): 10011 B [83507B]

A - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 21:25          
B - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 19:55

Cecil Taylor – piano
Jimmy Lyons – alto saxophone
Sam Rivers – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Andrew Cyrille – drums, percussion

Nuits De La Fondation Maeght is a live album by Cecil Taylor recorded in St. Paul de Vence, Nice, on July 29, 1969. The album was originally released as Nuits de la Fondation Maeght on the French Shandar label, 3LPs-1971 as a box set.
In 1972 the French label Shandar also announced 3 albums individually packaged, Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 and Vol. 3. Each has a gatefold cover with same photo but different tint. Black labels with disc logo.


This was a truly magical night for the Taylor unit. The interplay between Lyons and Rivers is impeccable, exploring intervallic reaches of tonal ambience and equanimity. The lack of a bassist in this case is a plus, not a minus, as Taylor gets to indulge his rhythmic impulse to the extreme in order to let the two sax players go into arpeggio overdrive in tandem. The polytonality of Rivers is especially important here as he doesn't so much collide with Lyons, who instinctively knew, in 1969, how Taylor articulated his language, he "extends" him linguistically. Rivers brittle tone on tenor and his shrill soprano engage the steady polyrhythmic attack of Lyons whose ostinato are the cues Taylor takes for his own when moving the piano into solo position. And the two horns find the striated expanses of sonic terrain Taylor prepares them for. And Cyrille knows just how to escalate; the result is no less spectacular than John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders on Live in Seattle -- the only real difference is, it's Taylor who does the yelling and shouting when the music gets to the outer limits and can't express what he needs it to. The great Paris concert in its entirety is a Taylor masterpiece.
(Review by Thom Jurek)



Cecil Taylor – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 2

Label: Shandar – 83 508
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 29 July 1969 at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Photography By – Horace, Philippe Gras
Engineer [Sound] – Claude Jauvert
Producer [Conception] – Georges Perdriaud
Sleeve Notes [Inside] – Daniel Caux
Matrix / Runout (Side A): NPO SR 83508A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): NPO SR 83508B

A - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 18:20          
B - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 16:22


Nuits De La Fondation Maeght, trilogy recordings (for me) is his best work from a particularly enigmatic period. Taylor was playing sprawling immeasurably intense reckless refulgence & asymmetrical avant wizardry with the insane Andrew Cyrille, for me indubitably one of the most fantastic & original drummers ever. Out of the many things that could be said, I would emphasise that Taylor & his unit redefined the elongated-outburst & prolonged-peaking coming with ceaseless surging’s of unparalleled clamour & volatility. Frequently without intervals, extenuation or cessation they would dance an immensely detailed & dynamic squall within the singularity of remorseless & unforgiving outermost, fully-cyclic, hell-for-leather frenzy. A heteronomous hurricane & blitzing blizzard of ebullient fulmination Cyrille was able to maintain physically these momentous requirements but also inflect with a cycle of extensive improvisational embellishment & continually capricious contrasting...



Cecil Taylor – Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol. 3

Label: Shandar – 83 509
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 29 July 1969 at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Photography By– Horace, Philippe Gras
Engineer [Sound] – Claude Jauvert
Producer [Conception] – Georges Perdriaud
Sleeve Notes [Inside] – Daniel Caux
Matrix / Runout (Side A): NPO SR 83509A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): NPO SR 83509B

A - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 13:00          
B - Second Act Of A ............................................................................... 20:00


...Taylor’s closest adjutant saxophonist Jimmy Lyon’s would also duck in & out with sax screel & hysteria. These Olympic stints of decadent comminute went way beyond the threshold, agreeable limitation or somatic restriction that pretty much everybody else was on, with an unapologetic & frankly extremist activity/ideology of severe surplus pandemonium & improvident forceful action whilst exercising immense technical credibility. Many a marvel of withering extravagance was being exercised by other legends during this great era, but this lot did it, to my knowledge, longer & harder without intermission including mostly for each individual musician (consecutive group participation), never slacking & all exploding into one sustained shock-wave of terrific turbulence. these recordings though, do offer the secondary function of a more Avant-Garde slower & emotionally alternate medium occasionally with vocal extracts from Taylor. They are stunning diverse & intricate but also often bizarre. This is another phenomenon of Cecil Taylor & much of his music, lyrics & imagery. It’s dark, I would say at times even quite minatory. Much of the furore from the depths of Free Jazz’s sonic battle field encompassed anger, madness & intensity are as a commodity, but Taylor as with Sunny Murray often depicts & conjures stuff that I would not feel at error calling nasty, dark, or threatening in a direct & mostly unequivocal manner...



...Yes, for me, tones of hazard, tragedy & outright tenebrous madness etc are very apparent (hell, it could be just my misinterpretation, but I feel these elements skulk within his work amongst other sentiments & energies of a far more positive distinction). This is another specialist feature of Taylor & contributes even more to his significant idiosyncrasy. Anyway, as for this mind-blowingly marvellous 3LP set released by Shandar, there is another foreign element/irregularity that kicked shit completely into hyper-space. On these recordings they threw fucking Sam Rivers into the mix! Can you imagine? As if things were not preposterous enough, the absolute madman Rivers was air-dropped into the vortex with his tenor & soprano cannons. The results are just ridiculous & why these recordings are amongst the most precious & heavily rotated in my stash. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, no further foray frenzy was created with Rivers after this tour. Thank the goddess that someone was recording & captured this brain scattering murrain so expertly & issued it in this cult vinyl trilogy...

Enjoy!


If you find them, buy these albums!

Monday, April 10, 2017

HAROLD VICK – Don't Look Back (Strata-East – SES-7431 / LP-1974)




Label: Strata-East – SES-7431
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Modal, Hard Bop
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Generation Sound Studio, New York City.
Album Design, Art Supervision – Creative Hands, Inc.
Photography – Jim Dunn
Engineer [Recording] – Eddie Korvin
Mastered By – David Crawford
Mixed By – Tony May
Produced – Harold Vick / Blue Rock Studio, New York City
Matrix / Runout (Side A etched): SES-7431-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B etched): SES-7431-B

A1 - Don't Look Back ...................................................................................... 6:04
A2 - Melody for Bu .......................................................................................... 7:22
A3 - Senor Zamora ......................................................................................... 5:40
B1 - Stop and Cop .......................................................................................... 6:38
B2 - Lucille ...................................................................................................... 9:20
B3 - Prayer ..................................................................................................... 1:05

All compositions by Harold Vick

Personnel:
Harold Vick – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Virgil Jones – trumpet, flugelhorn (tracks A1-A3)
Kiane Zawadi – euphonium (tracks A1-A3)
Joe Bonner – electric piano, piano, percussion, tuba
George Davis – guitar, flute (tracks A1-B1)
Sam Jones – bass (tracks A1-B2)
Billy Hart – drums, percussion (tracks A1-B2)
Jimmy Hopps – percussion (track B1)

"Don't Look Back" is an album led by American saxophonist Harold Vick recorded in 1974 and released on the Strata-East label.


This is one of my favourite Strata-East albums and a complete joy to listen to. There's something unique about Harold Vick's saxaphone sound that made me want to look deeper into his career.
"Don't Look Back" was recorded and released in the wake of Harold Vick's recovery from a heart attack, which may partially explain the passion with which he approaches his playing throughout.



One of the best-ever Strata East sessions! The album's a masterfully conceived session by reed player Harold Vick – best known to the world as the funky tenorist from albums by John Patton and Jack McDuff in the 60s, but emerging here as an incredibly sensitive soul jazz player, capable of turning out some incredibly sophisticated and emotional compositions. Vick produced and wrote all the material on the album, and other players include Joe Bonner, Virgil Jones, and Sam Jones. The record's darn tough to find, and is a treasure all the way through. Titles include "Don't Look Back", "Melody For Bu", "Stop & Cop", "Senor Zamora"  and "Lucille".  (Dusty Groove, Inc.)



If you find it, buy this album!

SHAMEK FARRAH – First Impressions (Strata-East – SES-7412 / LP-1974)




Label: Strata-East – SES-7412
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Soul-Jazz, Contemporary, Free Jazz
Recorded and mixed at Sound Ideas Studio, New York City.
Artwork [Graphics] – Jerry Harris
Photography By [Liner Photo] – Richard Hinson
Engineer [Recording] – Geoff Daking, George Klabin
Producer – Shamek Farrah / Janfar Productions
Matrix / Runout (Side A Etched): SES-7412-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B Etched): SES-7412-B

A1 - Meterologicly Tuned ................................................................................... 11:20
A2 - Watch What Happens Now .......................................................................... 5:43

Shamek Farrah – alto saxophone
Norman Person – trumpet
Kasa Mu-Barak – piano
Milton Suggs – bass
Clay Herndon – drums, percussion

B1 - Umoja Suite ................................................................................................. 7:26
B2 - First impressions ....................................................................................... 10:30

Shamek Farrah – alto saxophone
Norman Person – trumpet
Sonelius Smith – piano
Milton Suggs – bass
Ron Warwell – drums
Kenny Harper – percussion
Calvert "Bo" Satter-White – conga

Fantastic piece of free improvised groove jazz. The players are kind of doing there solos together at the same time, but never loose touch to that bassline groove, outstanding, free, but never too free, just really soulful interaction and a mysterious ancient vibe to it.



One of the hardest to find records on Strata East, and one of the best – a darkly-crafted session of pure beauty, one that lives up to all the best promise of the label! The tracks are long, the sound is bold, and the whole thing moves at a pace that none of the bigger jazz labels were matching at the time – the most righteous, most expressive side of jazz in the mid 70s! Alto player Shamek Farrah is at the lead of a unique group that features Norman Person on trumpet, Milton Suggs on bass, and Sonelius Smith on piano – plus lots of additional drums and percussion, especially on side two of the album, which features some really righteous numbers! Titles include the massive bass sample track "First Impressions" – a symphony of dark, descending chord structures – plus "Meterologicly Tuned", "Watch What Happens Now", and "Umoja Suite". Incredible good! 
(Dusty Groove, Inc.)



If you find it, buy this album!

KENO DUKE / CONTEMPORARIES – Sense Of Values (Strata-East / LP-1974)




Label: Strata-East – SES-7416
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Modal, Hard Bop
Recorded, mixed and edited at Minot Studios, White Plains, N.Y.
Graphics – Theodore Plair
Painting [Cover] – Roland Bloch
Photography By – Manos Angelakis
Engineer – Ron Carran
Produced by Ja Co Productions
Matrix / Runout (Side A Etched): SES-7416-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B Etched): SES-7416-B

A1 - Sense Of Values ................................................................................... 4:48
A2 - Mirage ................................................................................................... 9:25
A3 - Tibiron ................................................................................................... 5:50
B1 - Too Late, Fall Back Baby ...................................................................... 7:00
B2 - D.R.T.  ................................................................................................... 8:16
B3 - Bajan-Bajan .......................................................................................... 6:12

Keno Duke – drums, percussion
George Coleman – tenor saxophone
Harold Mabern – piano
Lisle Atkinson – bass
Frank Strozier – flute, alto saxophone


KENO DUKE – Sense of Values (1974) Strata-East-7416.  An amazing modal / spiritual session the great drummer Keno Duke joined by Harold Mabern on piano, George Coleman on tenor sax, Lisle Atkinson on bass and Frank Strozier on alto sax and flute. This is a rare and sought-after release on the great Strata-East Records label.



Sustained rhythmic momentum was never a problem for Keno Duke's jazz quintet, Contemporaries, on this album you will enjoy in selections that were brimming with imagination, color and solo excitement.
Man for man, the group is exceptionally strong. It has two outstanding and contrasting saxophonists—George Coleman, a tenor saxophonist who is a solid, consistent follower of the John Coltrane style, and Frank Strozier, an altoist whose clean, precisely shaped notes and flowing phrases sound like a nineteen‐seventies Jimmy Dorsey. Harold Mabern has long been a pianist with a startling manner of overwhelming the piano in his solos and providing unusually strong background for other soloists, here surely complemented by Lisle Atkinson on bass and Mr. Duke on drums.
When their talents were applied to the fresh, provocative lines and harmonies of such pieces as “Mirage”, “Too Late, Fall Back Baby”, "D.R.T." or "Bajan-Bajan", they produced jazz that sparkled with vitality and gave Mr. Mabern and Mr. Strozier stimulating showcases for their solo talents. These performances maintained so high and distinctive a level. This is a beautiful spiritual jazz.

Review By John S. Wilsonfeb



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

UNITY / BYRON MORRIS – Blow Thru Your Mind (E.P.I. Rec - EPI-02 / LP-1974)




Label: E.P.I. Records – EPI-02
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Free Improvisation, Modal
Recorded on December 30, 1973, at Minot Sound Studios, White Plains, NY.
Cover [Cover Art] – John Blazeski
Photos By – Gerald Wise
Photography By [Photo Consult] – Peter Hurd
Layout – Betty Morris
Mixed By – Byron Morris, Ron Carran
Producer – Byron Morris, Gerald Wise
Matrix / Runout (Side A): EPI-02-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): EPI-02-B

A1 - Kitty Bey ............................................................................................. 12:25
A2 - Ether ..................................................................................................... 6:20
B1 - Reunion .............................................................................................. 11:40
B2 - Transcendental Lullaby ........................................................................ 7:00

Personnel:
Byron Morris – baritone saxophone, alto saxophone
Vince McEwan – trumpet
Mike Kull – piano
Jay Clayton – vocals
Milton Suggs – bass
Abdush Shahid – drums
Tony Waters – percussion, congas, maracas

The music on this LP is excellent. A major departure from the dissonant free jazz that Morris explored on 1969's Unity session, Blow Thru Your Mind contains modal post-bop that is melodic and relatively accessible. This is a very spiritual album; a lot of spirituality goes into the solos of Morris and trumpeter Vincent McEwan, as well as the ethereal vocals of female singer Jay Clayton (who is featured on tracks like "Ether," "Reunion," and "Transcendental Lullaby"). Blow Thru Your Mind is enthusiastically recommended to anyone who is seriously into modal jazz...


Byron Morris and Unity released Blow Through Your Mind originally in the US in 1974. 
The LP was recorded a year earlier at Minot Sound Studios in White Plains, New York. This studio was a favorite with many independent Jazz groups at this time -- for instance, many recordings for the independent Strata East Records, co-owned by Stanley Cowell and Charles Tolliver, were made here. Unity was formed with similar values, aims and objectives of many similar groups at the time, as the name suggests. Uniquely, it managed to match the musical and spiritual searching of John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Ornette Coleman alongside an equally experimental New York art-music dimension that was brought into the group by vocalist Jay Clayton, who has performed with, amongst many others, Steve Reich. With bassist Milton Suggs having played in Sun Ra's Arkestra, and Byron Morris studied with Ornette Coleman and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, it is possible to see the path that makes up 'Kitty Bey', twelve minutes of musical intensity, that sounds like nothing else ever recorded. 
Kitty Bey was originally featured on Universal Sounds Of America on Soul Jazz. Originally released on Unity's own EPI label and distributed by hand, this record has remained an underground classic recording for over 25 years?......




Note:
Blow Thru Your Mind, which first came out on vinyl in 1974, was EPI's second release. In 2002, Blow Thru Your Mind and Morris' next album, Vibrations, Themes and Serenades, were both reissued on CD by Céleste Music (a Japanese label). But those Céleste reissues weren't the first time that Morris' '70s recordings had been heard on CD; in 1994, Morris combined material from Blow Thru Your Mind and Vibrations.
Unfortunately, all of these re-releases have long ago are out-of-print.

Review by Alex Henderson



If you find it, buy this album!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

THE CHARLES LLOYD QUARTET – Love-In (Atlantic – SD 1481 / LP-1967)




Label: Atlantic – SD 1481
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo / Country: US / Released: 1967
Style: Post Bop, Avant-garde Jazz, Modal
Recorded live at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco 1967.
Design [Cover Design] – Stanislaw Zagorski
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Jim Marshall
Liner Notes – George Avakian
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Wally Heider
Producer – George Avakian
Matrix / Runout (Label Matrix Side 1): ST-A-671029 - A
Matrix / Runout (Label Matrix Side 2): ST-A-671030 - B

A1 - Tribal Dance .......................................................................................... 10:03
A2 - Temple Bells ............................................................................................ 2:44
A3 - Is It Really The Same? ........................................................................... 5:45
A4 - Here There And Everywhere .................................................................. 3:40
B1 - Love-In .................................................................................................... 4:44
B2 - Sunday Morning ..................................................................................... 7:55
B3 - Memphis Dues Again / Island Blues ....................................................... 8:57

Personnel:
Charles Lloyd – tenor saxophone, flute
Keith Jarrett – piano
Ron McClure – bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums, percussion

Round five decades after the event, saxophonist Charles Lloyd's Love-In, recorded live at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium in 1967, where his quartet was opening for the Butterfield Blues Band—the first jazz group ever to play that venue, the counterculture's West Coast music hub, endures as much as an archaeological artifact as a musical document. From sleeve designer Stanislaw Zagorski's treatment of Rolling Stone photographer Jim Marshall's cover shot, through the album title and some of the track titles ("Tribal Dance," "Temple Bells"), and the inclusion of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's "Here There and Everywhere," Love-In's semiology reeks of the acid-drenched zeitgeist of the mid 1960s, a time when creative music flourished, and rock fans were prepared to embrace jazz, provided the musicians did not come on like their parents: juicers dressed in sharp suits exuding cynicism.


It is likely that more joints were rolled on Love-In's cover than that of any other jazz LP of the era, with the possible exception of saxophonists John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965) and Pharoah Sanders's Tauhid (Impulse!, 1967). Chet Helms, a key mover and shaker in the West Coast counterculture, spoke for many when he hailed the Lloyd quartet as "the first psychedelic jazz group."

It is to Lloyd's credit that, at least in the early stages of his adoption by the counterculture, he resisted dumbing down his music. The adoption stemmed from Lloyd's espoused attitude to society, his media savvy, his sartorial style and his sheer nerve in playing jazz in the temples of rock culture. He took the quartet into the Fillmore West three years before trumpeter Miles Davis took his into the Fillmore East—as documented on Live at the Fillmore East, March 6 1970: It's About That Time (Columbia)—by which time his pianist, Keith Jarrett, and drummer, Jack DeJohnette, were members of Davis' band (although Jarrett didn't appear at the 1970 gig).

"I play love vibrations," Lloyd told Time Magazine. "Bringing everyone together in a joyous dance."




Love-In was the follow-up to the amazing Dream Weaver, the debut of the Charles Lloyd Quartet. Love-In was recorded after the 1966 summer blowout and showed a temporary personnel change: Cecil McBee had left the group and was replaced by Ron McClure. McClure didn't possess the aggressiveness of McBee, but he more than compensated with his knowledge of the modal techniques used by Coltrane and Coleman in their bands, and possessed an even more intricate lyricism to make up for his more demure physicality. Of the seven selections here, four are by Lloyd, two by pianist Keith Jarrett, and one by Lennon/McCartney ("Here, There and Everywhere"). Certainly the '60s youth movement was making its mark on Lloyd, but he was making his mark on them, too. With young Jarrett in the mix, turning the piano over in search of new harmonic languages with which to engage not only Lloyd as a soloist but the rhythm section as well, things were certainly moving across vast terrains of musical influence and knowledge. Drummer Jack DeJohnette took it all in stride and tried to introduce as many new time signatures into the breaks as he could get away with, allowing the ever-shifting chromatics in Jarrett's playing to be his cue from 7/8 to 9/8 to 12/16 and back to equal fours ("Sunday Morning," "Temple Bells," "Memphis Dues Again"), no matter what the musical style was. And there were plenty, as Lloyd led the excursion from post-bop to modal to blues to Eastern raga to cool and back. On Love-In, everything was jazz for the Charles Lloyd Quartet, and what they made jazz from opened the music up to everybody who heard it. The album is a lasting testament to that cultural ecumenism.

Review by Chris May / Thom Jurek



If you find it, buy this album!

THE CHARLES LLOYD QUARTET – Journey Within (Atl – SD 1493 / LP-1967)




Label: Atlantic – SD 1493
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, Monarch / Country: US / Released: 1967
Style: Post Bop, Avant-garde Jazz, Modal
Recorded live at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco 1967.
Design [Cover Design] – Stanislaw Zagorski
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Edmund Shea
Back liner photo – J. Carrol Parslow
Liner Notes – George Avakian
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Wally Heider
Producer – George Avakian
Matrix / Runout (Label Matrix Side 1): ST-A-671135-MO - A
Matrix / Runout (Label Matrix Side 2): ST-A-671136-MO - B
Note:
Label variation with MO, indicating it was pressed at Monarch Records Pressing Plant.

A1 - Journey Within ..................................................................................... 11:35
A2 - Love No. 3 ............................................................................................. 5:40
B1 - Memphis Green ..................................................................................... 9:15
B2 - Lonesome Child .................................................................................. 10:50
        a) Song
        b) Dance

Personnel:
Charles Lloyd – tenor saxophone, flute
Keith Jarrett – pianosoprano saxophone
Ron McClure – bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums, percussion




Journey Within is a live album by jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd recorded at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco 1967 at the same concert that produced Love-In and performed by the Charles Lloyd Quartet featuring Keith Jarrett, Ron McClure and Jack DeJohnette.

Between 1966 and 1969, Lloyd and band made eight albums for Atlantic Records: Dream Weaver, Forest Flower, The Flowering, In Europe, Love-In, Journey Within, In the Soviet Union, and Soundtrack. Only Dream Weaver was a studio date; all the others were live recordings, mostly featuring music unavailable elsewhere. Almost all of them are currently out of print.



If you find it, buy this album!