Friday, June 16, 2017

MOTOHARU YOSHIZAWA (吉沢元治) – Inland Fish (Trio Rec-PA-3164 / LP-1974)




Label: Trio Records – PA-3164
Series: Jazz Chaos Of Japan –
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue / Country: Japan / Released: 1974
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded live at Yasuda Seimei Hall, Shinjuku, Tokyo, September 13, 1974.
Artwork [Illustrated By] – Tsuneo Shiga
Design – Yoshio Watanabe
Photography By [Liner Photo] – Yuhzoh Fujimoto
Recorded By, Mixed By – Kunio Arai
Producer – Kazuo Harada, Kuniya Inaoka
Concert Producer – Akira Aida
Matrix / Runout (A Side): PA-3164-A Y1
Matrix / Runout (B Side): PA-3164-B Y2

Tracklist:
A1 - Inland Fish ............................................................................................... 14:47
A2 - Mado – Window ........................................................................................ 5:57
B1 - Fragment 1 ................................................................................................ 3:45
B2 - Correspondance ...................................................................................... 16:31

Motoharu Yoshizawa – bass
Sabu Toyozumi – drums, percussion (B2)


 A solitary bass player who loved mountain top fires. Very rare Japan LP with Japanese liner notes sheet.



Recorded "Motoharu Yoshizawa Bass Solo Recital - Inland Fish" live at Yasuda Seimei Hall, Shinjuku, Tokyo, September 13, 1974.
It is the first work of the bass-solo improvisation trilogy announced in the mid-70's. A breakthrough piece that can enjoy bass solos that are not merely variations. Recording live at Yoshizawa Motoharu's first recital.
A briliant...! I love this album very much.



If you find it, buy this album!

KAORU ABE/MOTOHARU YOSHIZAWA – 北 [NORD] Abe • Yoshizawa Duo '75




Label: ALM-Uranoia – UR-5
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1981
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Iruma Shimin Kaikan, on October 15 (A1, A2) and recording live
at Aoyama Tower Hall from Concert "Mort À Crédit" (B), on October 18, 1975.
Artwork (Cover Design) – Akio Suzuki
Photography By – Tatsuo Nagao
Photography By, Other [Concert Producer] – Aquirax Aida
Liner Notes – Go Murakami, Toshihiko Shimizu
Recorded, Producer – Yukio Kojima

Tracks:
A1 - Duo Improvisation No.1 .................................................................................. 11:20
A2 - Duo Improvisation No.2 .................................................................................. 12:54
B  -  Duo Improvisation No.3 .................................................................................. 29:41

Kaoru Abe – alto saxophone
Motoharu Yoshizawa – bass, cello

Yoshizawa Motoharu wrapping strings and stringed resonance sound warmly flows, enveloping Kaoru Abe. Dialogue starts from there. It's gentle...






Hot air has already been lost from the block, and it was impossible to hear cracked agitations exhaled from the magnet speaker. While listening to their sounds, I remember the air of a time, I remember it a little, a little, somewhat, just a little...  it is certain that Kaoru Abe was watching "something beautiful" behind a scorched earthy sound. I felt strongly that it was not just roaring but something like an admiration for such a world to be built in a dialogue with a heavily light Yoshisawa bass...
The charm of Kaoru Abe is not actually found in the style as Free jazz but rather like the sound of ordinary people in Japan is scattered like a residue... Beautiful recording.



If you find it, buy this album!

MARCELLO MELIS – Angedras (Black Saint – BSR 0073 / LP-1983)




Label: Black Saint – BSR 0073
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Italy / Released: 1983
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Sonic Studios, Roma, August, 1982.
Cover Art – Susanna Contini
Photography – Nina Melis Contini
Engineer – Massimo Rocci
Liner Notes – Alberto Rodriguez
Executive-producer – Giovanni Bonandrini
Producer – Marcello Melis
Composed By, Arranged By – Marcello Melis
Matrix / Runout (A-side runout): BSR 0073-A 11-8-83 I△
Matrix / Runout (B-side runout): BSR 0073-B 11-8-83 I△

Tracklist:
A1 - Angedras 1 (Water) .............................................................................. 7:56
A2 - Angedras 2 (Earth) ............................................................................... 8:59
B1 - Angedras 3 (Air) ................................................................................. 10:03
B2 - Angedras 4 (Fire) ................................................................................. 5:45

Personnel:
Marcello Melis – bass, vocals, effects [radio dial]
Sandro Satta – alto saxophone
Don Pullen – piano
Famoudou Don Moye – drums, percussion

"Angedras" is the mirror image of "Sardegna" (the Italian name for Sardinia).



A beautiful suite of tracks dedicated to the four elements – composed and arranged by Italian bassist Marcello Melis – and performed by him with a quartet that includes Don Moye on percussion, Don Pullen on piano, and Sandro Satta on alto sax. The work's got a quality that really seems to bring out an imaginative side of Moye and Pullen – and focus them with an energy that's different, yet still very much in keeping with their best work of the time. Melis' presence on the album is almost more that of an "enabler" than an equal player, and he's clearly respectful of the others – in a way that really allows the session to unfold with an organic feel. Titles are listed as "Angedras", 1 through 4. (Out of print.)
(_Dusty Groove, Inc.)



If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, June 5, 2017

LEROY JENKINS' STING – Urban Blues (Black Saint – BSR 0083 / LP-1984)




Label: Black Saint – BSR 0083
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Italy / Released: 1984
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live January 2, 1984 at Sweet Basil, New York City.
Artwork [Cover] – Niridan
Photography By [Cover] – Linda Harris
Engineer – Kazunori Sugiyama
Mastered By – Gennaro Carone
Producer – Leroy Jenkins
Executive-Producer – Giovanni Bonandrini
Matrix / Runout (Side A Runout): BSR 0083-A- 84 I △ [etched]
Matrix / Runout (Side B Runout): BSR 0083-B- 84 I △ [etched]

A1 - Static In The Attic ................................................................................. 6:25
A2 - Looking For The Blues ......................................................................... 9:50
A3 - Come On Home, Baby ......................................................................... 2:25
B1 - Why Can't I Fly ..................................................................................... 5:31
B2 - O.W. Fredrick ....................................................................................... 7:15
B3 - No Banks River .................................................................................... 4:00
B4 - Through The Ages, Jehova .................................................................. 2:53

Leroy Jenkins – violin
James Emery – guitar
Brandon Ross – guitar
Terry Jenoure – violin, vocals
Alonzo Gardner – bass
Kamal Sabir – drums, percussion




Violinist Leroy Jenkins was at the helm of Sting, which played funky and free, did originals and vintage spirituals, and would shift from stretches of collective improvisation to challenging solo exchanges. They were a unique, intriguing group, but sadly didn't last. This 1984 album presented them at their best, displaying the breadth of influences, genres, sources and styles that converged and resulted in the work of a great band.
(_Review by Ron Wynn)



If you find it, buy this album!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

DON PULLEN / MILFORD GRAVES – In Concert At Yale University (LP-1966)




Label: JV – JV 003
Format: Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Numbered / Country: US / Released: 1966 -?
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 30 April 1966 in concert at Yale University.
Originally released on their private Self-Reliance Project label (SRP, Milford Graves with the pianist Don Pullen): SRP Records - PG 286 (Vol. 1)
This (JV 003) is Reissue, Unofficial Release
Matrix / Runout (Etched Side A): S-23907 A
Matrix / Runout (Etched Side B): S-23907 B

A - P.G. I ............................................................................................ 18:50
B - P.G. II ........................................................................................... 23:10

Don Pullen – piano
Milford Graves – drums, percussion

Comes in a canvas type bag instead of a cardboard paper for the outer sleeve, printed on artwork on front, back covers and inner sleeve.






Notes:
Quite nice 1966 original pressing of this extremely rare privately issued free jazz LP. Very few pressed and each copy features an unique totally hand painted cover.
The pictures (about 100 pieces), handpainted by Milford Graves.

“Hey, man, I started something, Look, I did what I did.”
(Milford Graves)

What else can be said here? A great album.



If you find it, buy this album!

THE PHILLIP WILSON TRIO – Live - Fruits (Circle Records / LP-1978)




Label: Circle Records – RK 14778/10
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Germany / Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at the Northsea-Festival in Den Haag, July 14, 1978, Holland
Design, Photography By [Back Cover] – Rudolf Kreis
Photography By [Front Cover] – Günter Voss
Recorded,  Producer By – Rudolf Kreis
Published By – Phillisaundi / Leo Smith Publ. Co.
Matrix / Runout (Side A): F 666 343 A 1
Matrix / Runout (Side B): F 666 343 B 1

A1 - Electricity ..................................................................................... 11:20
A2 - Leo's Tune ................................................................................... 10:21
B1 - F & L ............................................................................................ 14:04
B2 - Death Aint Supposed To Be Negative .......................................... 9:45

Phillip Wilson – drums
Leo Smith – trumpet, pocket trumpet
Johnny Dyani – bass

Wilson assembled the trio featuring Smith and Dyani for a performance at the Northsea Jazz Festival in Den Haag. The performance was on July 14, 1978. The record was produced by Rudolf Kreis for Circle Records, a small German label that recorded mostly progressive jazz from 1977 to the mid 1980s.


“Electricity” starts the set off at a clip, the drummer setting the pace. Dyani’s fast pizzicato plucks go up and down the fret board as Wilson’s light hi-hats keep the momentum. Smith’s strong vibrato-less tone fills the melodic role as the piece pushes on. The bass is high in the mix and Dyani takes advantage as he really wrestles tones out. The dialog between Smith and Dyani is intriguing. The call and response sections are of interest as the two develop an interesting dialog.
This is pure energy music with a free pulse allowing the musicians to really invest in their own sound. Smith keeps the energy up and texture dense with thick swathes of sound. The communication is good. Wilson plays the accompanist role until the middle where he commands a solo that starts at mid intensity and builds, rollicking along. Dyani returns with a solo letting the harmonics ring from his instrument with runs through the registers. It isn’t about intonation and melodicism as much as it is about sound creation, rhythm and texture.
Smith joins back with a blustery tone. The last couple minutes are interesting for the gear shifts, each soloist gets a chance to drive. The bass begins to walk, steering toward the conclusion, then slows with loud twangs as Smith ends with a long tone and Wilson’s cymbal splash.

“Leo’s Tune” is a melody written by Smith. It has a more restrained and thoughtful nature. Smith’s long tones and haunting altissimo are contrasted with a minimal drum part and off beat low strums from the bass. The meditative quality and restraint create a nice balance to the firey “Electricity”.
The group begins to diverge as Smith takes the solo lead. Wilson is in his own world with very subtle hits, mild hints of swing on the hi-hats. Dyani throws in some of his fleet fingered tricks from time to time before he takes his solo. He remains focused on the various sounds that he can emit with his strumming before slowing into a blues-ish strolling line. Wilson begins his solo with rolling snare into an off kilter bounce. The high-pitched bass introduces the ostinato plucking and Smith’s return to the melody. This is a really lovely piece.



The B-side starts off with what is perhaps Dyani’s most intense performance on wax, Wilson’s “F & L”. He starts off with some incredibly nimble finger work and bent notes. Dyani is really the engine here as Smith plays a long tone melody and Wilson stays in the background until the main dancing melody comes in. Dyani’s muscles are flexing as he hints at a bass line but continues to deviate favoring his own fireworks.
Smith begins his solo over Dyani’s funky, distorted (?) bass line. The form keeps switching from quick jam to free space. Definitely a head nodder. Smith sounds strong with his unbroken but arresting tone. Wilson’s drumming keeps with a funky snare hit with off beat ride cymbal work. Dyani finds all sorts of wild, yet minimalist, percussive ideas to mess with. Some pretty left field.
Dyani’s unique sense of groove and physicality on the instrument are on full display. Wilson shows his command of time by bringing his solo down to bare essentials, quick resonant hits on this drum or that, slow builds, a cymbal hit… Dyani brings us back (who else?). Very, very cool piece.

Wilson’s “Death Ain’t Supposed To Be Negative” closes out the disc. Wilson’s unaccompanied drums start off a mid pace groove. Dyani and Smith are quick to start up with minimal plucks and thoughtful bluesy blasts. Smith’s raw tone is especially nice here as he begins to pick up intensity into a gallop. The waltzy tempo set by Wilson dances along nicely as Dyani frames the piece with a descending line, his most harmonic playing on the disc. He also tries different rhythmic phrases on the line.
Smith and Dyani remain in the front of the mix. Smith’s poignant solo breaks off as Dyani comes in with his thrummed tones following the basic form, descending and descending. His bass hums. A very simple yet resonant (in more ways than one) statement. Wilson’s solo finds him a little busier as his snare and cymbals start to sing. He remains within the jazz lexicon throughout with flourishes of out stuff. Smith comes in plaintively. Very controlled end to this one.

"Fruits" is a magical live recording...



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

JEROME COOPER – The Unpredictability Of Predictability /solo album (LP-1979)




Label: About Time Records – AT-1002
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Avant-garde, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Soundscape in New York City, July 6, 1979.
Album Design by – Therese Bolton
Cover and Liner Photographs by – Doug Fidoten
Engineer by – Larry Shengold
Produced by – Jerome Cooper in association with Verna Gillis
All music composed by Jerome Cooper
Matrix / Runout (A-side): AT-1002-A [DC] FW/NY (EDP in ellipse)
Matrix / Runout (B-side): AT-1002-B-1 (EDP in ellipse) [DC] FW/NY

Original US pressing. Solo album of a drummer of the LOFT team.

Tracklist:
A  -   The Unpredictability Of Predictability:
    1 - Movement A, B  (flute, whistle, chiramia, bass drum, sock cymbal) .................... 9:59
    2 - Movement C      (drum set / mallet) ..................................................................... 4:29
    3 - Movement C1    (floor tom-tom, bass drum, sock cymbal, voice) ........................ 6:40
B  -   Bert The Cat      (balaphone, chiramia, bass drum, sock cymbal) ...................... 20:37

"This is not just an album for drummers... anyone into music can dig it this music. Classical music people can dig it because it's structured, people into rock because of the beat, people into jazz because of the improvisation aspect, and those into ethnic music because of the instruments involved." -- Jerome Cooper


A great solo performance from Jerome Cooper – not just drums and percussion, but work on flute, balaphone, and other instruments too! Cooper really brings all of his most thoughtful elements into play here – working slowly, and covering space with ideas that really take some time to stretch out and find themselves – then confidently move forward to open up new chapters in the performance – a bit like some of the best early moments of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, but presented here as a solo act! Side one features "The Unpredictability Of Predictability", in four movements – and side two features "Bert The Cat".



Not many jazz drummers present entire albums of themselves in solo format, but when they do, chances are they're going to haul out everything including the kitchen sink to dazzle the listener with their range and dexterity. Not Jerome Cooper. This superb musician, known primarily for his masterful and invaluable contributions to the fine trio Revolutionary Ensemble, treats his solo performances as free-standing compositions scored for only certain instruments from which he extracts huge volumes of sounds and rhythms. For example, "Bert the Cat" is written for balaphone (an African ancestor of the marimba), chiramia (a double-reed instrument that sounds liked a more softly-timbred shenai), bass drum, and sock cymbal. Using only these four elements, Cooper constructs a rich, propulsive theme so inherently fascinating that one soon forgets one is listening to only a solo percussionist. Cooper has no interest in wowing the listener by playing fast or loud, but simply desires to develop lovely rhythms and melodic patterns and allow them to flower. A fine recording and wonderful antidote for those who claim to be bored by drum solos.

(_Review by Brian Olewnick)



If you find it, buy this album!

LEROY JENKINS – Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival Of America (LP-1979)




Label: Tomato – TOM-8001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Experimental
Recorded and mixed August / September 1978.
Design – Milton Glaser
Cover Photography By – Steve Salmieri
Engineer – James Mason
Liner Notes – Robert Palmer
Producer – Marty Cann
All compositions by Leroy Jenkins
Matrix / Runout (Runout Area Side A): TOM-8001-1 #4 34601
Matrix / Runout (Runout Area Side B): TOM-8001-2 #4 34601

Tracklist:
A  -  Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival Of America .......................................... 21:09
        I.  Blast Off Day (Love - Tolerance - Understanding)
        II.  Discovery (Knowledge - Doubt - Sensitivity)       
        III.  Euphoria (Beauty) 
        IV.  1984           
        V.  Self-Realization      
        VI.  Return Trip
B1 - Dancing On A Melody ..................................................................................... 4:37
B2 - The Clowns ..................................................................................................... 3:18
B3 - Kick Back Stomp ............................................................................................. 6:23
B4 - Through The Ages Jehovah ............................................................................ 3:05

Personnel:
Leroy Jenkins – violin
Richard Teitelbaum – synthesizer [modular Moog, micro Moog] (side A)
Anthony Davis – piano, electric piano
George Lewis – trombone, electronics
Andrew Cyrille – drums, percussion

Great Tomato label... What other imprint could boast a roster that included Doc Watson, John Cage, Townes Van Zandt, Harry Partch, Philip Glass and Sam Rivers? And of course Leroy Jenkins with his release from 1978, Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival of America. That this almost 40 years old artifact sounds as fresh as it does testifies to the vision of its creators.


The all star band includes Andrew Cyrille on drums, a young Anthony Davis on piano, George Lewis on trombone, and Richard Teitelbaum on Modular Moog/Micro Moog Systems. Teitelbaum, who would go on to further distinguish himself as a composer and performer, had played with George Lewis and Anthony Braxton. His unique programming on the Moog protects the session from quaint-sounding 38-year old electronics. The album features a long track with a wide spectrum of mood and well-integrated electronics from Lewis and Teitelbaum; the latter sits out on the last four cuts, which are all acoustic. Jenkins and company work wonders on the collective improvs, gracefully weaving and circling each other. But do not expect to get a jazz album here.




Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival of America represented Leroy Jenkins' first venture into a field where contemporary classical and jazz were beginning to merge, a more modern Third Stream. His quintet on the title suite includes Musica Elettronica Viva veteran Richard Teitelbaum on synthesizer, and also gives us one of trombonist George Lewis' first recorded forays into electronics. The piece uses extensive improvised passages, but both the written material and the rhythms employed are relatively distant from a jazz feel, though with Jenkins a strong blues affinity is never far beneath the surface. Much of it actually prefigures pianist Anthony Davis' work with his Episteme ensemble of a few years later, and one wonders if his experience with Jenkins was critical to his future development. The four subsequent tracks are acoustic, without Teitelbaum and with Lewis confined to trombone. They range through a similarly semi-classical landscape with a bit of jazzy emphasis on pieces like "Kick Back Stomp." But the true highlight of the session is the final song, "Through the Ages Jehovah," an utterly gorgeous melody that's reiterated by the violin and trombone over sumptuous accompaniment by Davis and Cyrille. It's one of those melodies that could go on forever; its brevity is its only fault. Space Minds... is a fine album, one of Jenkins' best outside of the Revolutionary Ensemble, and an excellent introduction to his world.

(_Review by Brian Olewnick)



If you find it, buy this album!