Wednesday, November 15, 2017

JASPER VAN'T HOF's PORK PIE feat. CHARLY MARIANO – Transitory (MPS Records – 0068.125 / LP-1974)




Label: MPS Records – 0068.125
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress / Country: W. Germany / Released: 1974
Style: Jazz-Fusion, Jazz-Funk
Recorded at Conny's Studio Neukirchen, Germany, May 17 & 18, 1974.
Cover, Photography By, Design – Frieder Grindler
Photography By – Hans Harzheim, Kira Tolkmitt
Liner Notes – Achim Hebgen
Recorded By – Conny Plank
Producer – Achim Hebgen
Matrix / Runout (Side A, etched): 0701610 S1
Matrix / Runout (Side B, etched): 0701610 S2

A1 - Epoch  (van't Hof ) ......................................................................................... 7:40
A2 - Transitory (Part 1)  (van't Hof ) ...................................................................... 4:42
A3 - Transitory (Part 2)  (van't Hof ) ...................................................................... 4:02
A4 - Angel Wings  (Catherine) .............................................................................. 5:23
B1 - Pudu Kkottai  (Trad.-Mariano) ....................................................................... 8:05
B2 - Something Wrong  (van't Hof ) ...................................................................... 2:44
B3 - Bassamba (Part 1)  (Jenny-Clarke) ............................................................... 2:51
B4 - Bassamba (Part 2)  (Romano)....................................................................... 4:39
B5 - March Of The Oil-Sheikhs  (van't Hof ) ......................................................... 3:10

Personnel:
Jasper Van't Hof – electric piano, organ [prepared], grand piano, celesta
Charlie Mariano – soprano / alto saxophone, flute, bamboo, nagaswaram
Philip Catherine – electric / acoustic guitar
J.F. Jenny-Clarke – bass
Aldo Romano – drums / percussion
Ivanir "Mandrake" Do Nascimento – congas, pandeiro, tambourine, agogô, bells

LP MPS-BASF/ 21 22099-0, MPS Records – 0068.125 (Original German Pressing), cult label
Gatefold sleeve. Black label MPS dist. by Metronome.
(track A3 dedicated to Peter Trunk)

Dutch keyboardist / composer Jasper van`t Hof was one of the most prominent young Jazz musicians on the European scene in the late 1960s / 1970s and a pioneer of the new European Jazz, which emerged like a Phoenix on the ashes of the stagnant Jazz tradition. A founding member of the legendary Association P.C., van`t Hof left the group in 1972 (to be replaced by Joachim Kühn) and a year later formed his own ensemble Pork Pie (the name being a tribute to a famous Lester Young tune) with four other excellent musicians: the veteran American (but resident in Germany) saxophonist Charlie Mariano, Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, French bassist Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark and Italian (but resident in France) drummer Aldo Romano. The group recorded a couple of albums on the legendary German MPS label, of which this was the first. The group played a completely innovative music, which moved freely between genres and included Free Jazz, Jazz-Rock Fusion, Psychedelic and World Music elements. All five members of the group were splendid musicians, blessed with virtuosity and inspiration, and the rapport between them was phenomenal.




Mariano's arrangement of "Pudu Kkottai"—a traditional North Indian song expanded into free territory while retaining ethnicity through use of bamboo flute and nasal double-reed South Indian nagaswarama—seamlessly fuses serpentine linearity with more turbulent undercurrent, harmonic density and a surprising blend of acoustic and electric instruments. Jenny-Clark's "Bassamba (Part 1)" is a freewheeling bass-drums duet that leads into Romano's "Bassamba (Part 2)," which refers more clearly to its namesake, a potent samba beat turned into something else by van't Hof's electric piano and Mariano's effervescent alto. Catherine's one solo spot is his own "Angel Wings," a dark Mahavishnu-like energy creating a modal backdrop for the guitarist's overdriven tone, juxtaposed with a paradoxically beautiful layered flute theme by Mariano that unexpectedly fades out.
The rest of the writing belongs to van't Hof, including the rock-inflected "Epoch," which sets the stage for Pork Pie's greatest differential. Few, if any, fusion bands of the time were using electric bass as their foundation, but Jenny-Clark didn't need 1,000 watts to create an energetic pulse; nor did Romano need a dozen rack toms to push forward with a perfect combination of groove, elasticity and unfettered freedom. At a time when keyboards and guitars ruled the day, Mariano's saxophone was a welcome contrast, while van't Hof's solo acumen and avoidance of synthesizers was refreshing, while never diminishing the group's potency.
But Transitory's high point is the two-part title track. Orchestral in scope despite limited instrumentation, van't Hof's strength as a textural player, comfortably blending impressionistic writing with freer concerns, is in full force. "Transitory (Part 2)" is a marvel of color and timbre—how Weather Report might have sounded in its early days had Wayne Shorter been a more assertive foil for Joe Zawinul's expansive arrangements. A minor classic finally receiving its due, Transitory proves that as American fusion was leading towards its inevitable implosion, a distinct lack of ego was keeping it alive and well elsewhere in the world.

This album sounds today as advanced and oracular as it did at the time of the recording, losing nothing of its freshness, a true timeless masterpiece. The Brazilian percussionist Ivanir “Mandrake” Do Nascimento appears as a guest on some of the tracks and adds his magic to the mix. In retrospect this is a superb example of what was happening on the European Jazz scene at the time, underlining the perpetual quest for new forms of expression and ceaseless search for new musical vocabulary.  (Review By John Kelman)



If you find it, buy this album!

21 comments:

  1. JASPER VAN'T HOF's PORK PIE – Transitory (LP-1974)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC-96kHz+Artwork (371 MB)

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?p7n5a0xzhd

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  2. Nice one! Love Jasper and Mariano's 70's fusion!

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  3. Thanks Vitko for the upgrade and artwork, another classic MPS

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  4. Outstanding album! Thanks once again Vitko.

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  5. Un grand merci Vitko for this treasury.

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  6. Nice one Vitko, early van't hof is hard to find. cheers.

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  7. Beautiful stuff. Thanks a lot!

    By the way, is there any way I could get an invitation to A Darker Shade of Blue? It seems to have gone private...

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    1. I do not know if this is still possible, but try. Contact address is:
      adarkerjazzinn@gmail.com

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  8. A wonderful album that is always a delight to revisit. It was re-released on cd by the Promising Music label in 2008. The second Pork Pie album "The Door Is Open" however is still awaiting a cd release. Hint...

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    1. Jasper Van't Hof's Pork Pie - The Door Is Open, somewhere I read, was released again FEBRUARY 24, 2017 by the MPS label. That was the reason why I did not put this LP together with their first album though I planned. Cheers!

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  9. After some more investigation it appears to me that it has been made available on streaming sites and as a hi-res FLAC download only.

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  10. Nice. My new favorite fusion album.

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  11. I look forward to hearing this. Many thanks!

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