Monday, November 2, 2020

KONDO / KAISER / OSWALD ‎– Moose And Salmon (mge30 / LP-1979)




Label: Music Gallery Editions ‎– mge30
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Canada / Released: 1979
Style: Free jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live 1978
Mixed By [Mixdown] – Henry Kaiser, John Oswald
Selections from seven to eleven takes (a-k) plus guitar solo excerpt.
Lacquer Cut At – The Lacquer Channel Limited / derived from matrix
Matrix / Runout (Side A, etched): MGE 30 - MOOSE THREE TLC-T
Matrix / Runout (Side B, etched): MGE 30 - SALMON TLC-A

side 1:
A - Moose ............................................................................................................... 26:16
      c .............................. 7:06
      a ............................ 16:07
      b .............................. 3:40

side 2:
B - Salmon ............................................................................................................. 26:12
      h .............................. 1:26
      d .............................. 5:46
      b .............................. 2:51
      HK ........................... 1:57
      g .............................. 5:45
      i ............................... 3:40
      b .............................. 5:03

Personnel:
John OSWALD – performer [player], alto saxophone (Toronto, Canada)
Henry KAISER – performer [player], electric guitar (Oakland, USA)
Toshinori KONDO – performer [player], trumpet, Horn [alto horn] (Tokyo, Japan)

Musician Toshinori Kondo recently left us...... This post is in his honor, and for eternal memory.....

Note:
The material is out takes and reiterations from 2 LP records, "Improvised" (Music Gallery Editions 12), and "Moose And Salmon" (Music Gallery Editions 30). There are some technical problems with over modulating, print thru, and, in the case of the trio tracks and TK 24/02/79, modulation of hum by DBX coding. For the record Moose And Salmon this latter problem was somewhat alleviated by notch filtering and compression, but at the cost of regeneration noise compounded with a low level signal on LP, necessitated by cutting long sides.
Tracks from the Moose And Salmon sessions are coded with letters A-L (12 takes 24, 25 Feb 1979) and sub numbered 0-25 indicating the initial minute of the selection within the take. Each instrument was recorded stereo onto 6 tracks of a Teac 80-8. Mixdown to 2 track stereo by HK & JO.
On this program the selection HK is an excerpt from a longer solo as is the dual horn solo that follows it. Ice Death is HK x 5, California early 1978, and JO (Calgary) is from a session for "Improvised" 23 Jan 78.




Canadian alto saxophonist John Oswald began as a post-jazz improvisor, accompanying Henry Kaiser on "Improvised" (february 1978 - Music Gallery, 1978).Moose And Salmon (february 1979 - Music Gallery, 1979) was a trio with Kaiser on electric guitar and trumpet player Toshinori Kondo. In Moose Kondo's minimalist, viscid and clownesque trumpet forces Kaiser to restrain his acid/psychotic soliloquies and lets Oswald's youthful madness overflow. Salmon is even noisier and even less structured, with the horns squeaking against subliminal guitar drones.

Out Of Stock ...... Very hard to find.



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

SOMEI SATOH – Mandala / Sumeru (ALM Records - AL-26 / LP-1982)



Label: ALM Records - AL-26
Format: Vinyl , LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1982
Style: Contemporary
Recorded At - NHK Electronic Music Studio
Mandala for vocal drones and electronics recorded at NHK Electronic Music Studio in October 1982.
Sumeru was recorded in December 1982.
Comes with insert
Cover [Design] 
 Hitoshi Susuki , Kohei Sugiura
Illustration 
 Fujio Watanabe
Liner Notes 
 Ishida Kazushi 石田 一 志 , Sato Clever 佐藤 聰明
Producer  Yukio Kojima
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): AL 26 A ⁜ Y 1
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): AL 26 B ⁜

side 1:
A - Mandala ............................................................................................................. 19:00
      (for vocal drones and electronics)
      Special thanks to Wataru Uenami

side 2:
B - Sumeru .............................................................................................................. 28:00
      conductor – Hiroshi Kumagai
      cello – Masaharu Kanda, Tadao Takahashi
      viola – Hiroshi Nakayama, Takashi Satoh
      violin – Kazuo Yageta, Kenji Kobayashi, Masanobu Hirao, Michiko Yageta
      double bass – Akira Imamura , Kensuke Inomata
      percussion – Midori Takada

RARE ORIGINAL FIRST PRESS ISSUE FROM 1982 of this Minimal / Electronic music & Drone masterpiece.
Released on the collectible ALM / KOJIMA RECORDS imprint.


MANDALA or MANDARA 曼荼羅
Especially important to Japan’s Esoteric Sects

Origin = India
Sanskrit = Maṇḍala, मण्डल
Chinese = Màntúluó
Japanese = Mandara
English = Mandala

The mandala, Hindu in origin, is a graphic depiction of the spiritual universe and its myriad realms and deities. Much later, first in Tibet and China then Japan, the mandala was adopted as a powerful religious icon among practitioners of Esoteric Buddhism (Skt. = Vajrayana). In Japan, the mandala rose to great prominence as a “living entity,” one that ensured the efficacy of esoteric rituals performed in its presence. The original Sanskrit term “maṇḍala” comes from India, and is sometimes translated as circle, essence, or hitch (as when connecting an ox to a cart). The Sino-Japanese spelling of mandala (曼荼羅 or 曼拏羅 or 曼陀羅) is a transliteration of the Sanskrit term. But these transliterations have no inherent meaning -- they simply resemble the sound of the original Indian term.

Mandala scrolls and paintings became popular in Japan in the 9th century onward with the growth of the Shingon 真言 and Tendai 天台 sects of Esoteric Buddhism (Jp. = Mikkyō 密教; Skt. = Vajrayana), which arose in part as a reaction against the power and wealth of court-sponsored Buddhism. The founders of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan were the monks Kūkai 空海 (774 - 835 AD) and Saichō 最澄 (767 - 822 AD). Kūkai, aka  Kōbō Daishi 弘法大師 (his posthumous name), founded the Shingon Sect of Esoteric Buddhism, while Saichō founded the Tendai Sect. Both traveled to China to study and learn the esoteric secrets, and both returned to Japan with numerous artworks and sutras to help spread the teachings. Yet, the oldest surviving color mandala in Japan is thought to be a copy of the Ryōkai Mandara (from China) which was brought to Japan in 859 AD by the Tendai priest Enchin 円珍 (814-891).


Somei Satoh (SATOH Somei 佐藤聰明) was born in 1947 in Sendai (northern Honshu), Japan. He began his career in 1969 with "Tone Field," an experimental, mixed media group based in Tokyo. In 1972 he produced "Global Vision," a multimedia arts festival, that encompassed musical events, works by visual artists and improvisational performance groups. In one of his most interesting projects held at a hot springs resort in Tochigi Prefecture in 1981, Satoh places eight speakers approximately one kilometer apart on mountain tops overlooking a huge valley. As a man-made fog rose from below, the music from the speakers combined with laser beams and moved the clouds into various formations. Satoh has collaborated twice since 1985 with theater designer, Manuel Luetgenhorst in dramatic stagings of his music at The Arts at St. Ann's in Brooklyn, New York.


Satoh was awarded the Japan Arts Festival prize in 1980 and received a visiting artist grant from the Asian Cultural Council in 1983, enabling him to spend one year in the United States.He has written more than thirty compositions, including works for piano, orchestra, chamber music, choral and electronic music, theater pieces and music for traditional Japanese instruments.
Somei Satoh is a composer of the post-war generation whose hauntingly evocative musical language is a curious fusion of Japanese timbral sensibilities with 19th century Romanticism and electronic technology. He has been deeply influenced by Shintoism, the writings of the Zen Buddhist scholar DT Suzuki, his Japanese cultural heritage as well as the multimedia art forms of the sixties. Satoh's elegant and passionate style convincingly integrates these diverse elements into an inimitably individual approach to contemporary Japanese music.

Like Toshiro Mayazumi an Toru Takemitsu, the most well-known of contemporaryJapanese composers outside Japan today, Satoh has succeeded in reshaping his native musical resources in synthesis with Western forms and instrumental sonorities. His work cannot, however, be considered within the mainstream of contemporary Japanese art music, for he writes in an unreservedly non- international style, remarkably free from any constraints of academism. This may be attributed to the fact that being primarily self-taught, he has never been subjected to a formal musical education. Satoh has on occasion, been referred to as a composer of gendai hogaku (contemporary traditional music). Much as Satoh is reluctant to be so classified, this assessment of his writing has some validity if one views him as reworking the traditional Japanese musical aesthetic in a broader, abstract context infusing it with a new vitality.




Minimalism, that Eastern-derived Western phenomenon born of the sixties, has much in common with the hypnotic, regular pulsations of rock. In Satoh's case, however, the repetitions are perceived more as vibrations because of the rapidity of the individual beats in conjunction with an extremely slow overall pulse. This creates the sensation of being in a rhythmic limbo, caught in a framework of suspended time which is typically Japanese. This experience can be summed up in the Japanese word 'ma' which may be defined as the natural distance between two or more events existing in a continuity. In contrast to the West's perception of time and space as separate entities, in Japanese thinking both time and space are measured in terms of intervals. It is the coincidental conceptualization of these elements which is perhaps the main feature distinguishing Japan's artistic expression from that of the West. 

In Satoh's own words:
"My music is limited to certain elements of sound and there are many calm repetitions. There is also much prolongation of a single sound. I think silence and the prolongation of sound is the same thing in terms of space. The only difference is that there is either the presence or absence of sound. More important is whether the space is "living" or not. Our sense of time and space is different from that of the West. For example, in the Shinto religion, there is the term 'imanaka' which is not just the present moment which lies between the stretch of past eternity and future immortality, but also the manifestation of the moment of all time which is multi-layered and multi-dimensional …. I would like it if the listener could abandon all previous conceptions of time and experience a new sense of time presented in this music as if eternal time can be lived in a single moment."



If you find it, buy this album!

TAKEHISA KOSUGI – Improvisations In The Studio, Tokyo, 1974. (Re-LP-2011)




Label: B 13 ‎– B146
Format: Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Reissue, Unofficial Release, Red
Country: Italy / Released: 2011
Style: Modern Classical, Experimental
Recorded Date : September 16, 17, 1974 Location : CBS/Sony Studio No. 1
Engineer – Satoru Tsuji, Tomoo Suzuki
Producer – Akiko Yoshimura
Licensed From – Alfa/RVI, Tokyo
Pressed By – GZ Digital Media – 93240E
© & ℗ 2011 publishing house "Mirumir" / Ltd edition of 500 copies
Transparent PVC sleeve containing pressing on red vinyl and transparent PVC insert with black lettering.
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout stamped): 93240E1/A
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout stamped): 93240E2/A

side 1:
A - Mano Dharma '74 ..................................................................................................... 26:30 
      (excerpt from a meta-media solo improvisation perforemed by Takehisa Kosugi)

side 2:
B - Wave Code #E-1 ...................................................................................................... 22:30
      (triple performance by solo vocalist; Takehisa Kosugi) 

TAKEHISA KOSUGI – composer, performer, all instruments

"the deaf listen to sounds touching, watching,……
the blind watch sight listening, smelling,……"


Originally released on CBS Japan in 1975, this solo album by the godfather of Japanese avant-garde music was called one of the top ten 'Japrock' albums of all time in Julian Cope's Japrock Sampler." Red vinyl LP in clear plastic sleeve with black lettering. Limited edition 500 copies.

Composer, multi-instrumentalist and mixed-media artist, Takehisa Kosugi has stood on the forefront of the Japanese avant-garde for over six decades. In the 1960s, he was part of Japan's first improvisational music collective, Group Ongaku, and contributed to Fluxus in New York. In 1969, he founded the influential, experimental ensemble The Taj Mahal Travellers, and in 1975 he would release his first solo album, Catch-Wave.

"Mano-Dharma '74" features improvised violin drones and voice with various oscillators, echo delays and layered tape experiments that the artist made in New York in 1967. While Kosugi's continuously changing spectrum of sound shifts gradually (almost imperceptibly), photocell synthesizers create ultra-low frequencies to disturb the crestless sound waves. The brighter the light is, the harsher the noise becomes.



Catch-Wave's second sidelong piece, "Wave Code #E-1," is a three-part performance for solo vocalist. As Kosugi describes in the liner notes (translated into English for this edition), the concept of onomatopoeia played an essential role in the type of sounds he generates with his voice, manipulated through customized electronic circuits and at times recalling Gregorian chant, throat singing and cosmic soundscapes.

Fascinating album ....!



If you find it, buy this album!

MNEMONIST ORCHESTRA – Mnemonist Orchestra (Dys ‎– DYS 01 / LP-1979)




Label: Dys ‎– DYS 01
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Abstract, Noise, Experimental
Recorded in March 1979, Fort Collins, Colorado (U.S.A.).
Artwork [Booklet Art] – McGregor, Yeates, Hougen
Artwork [Labels] – Yeates, Hougen
Photography By [Jacket Cover] – McGregor
Concept By [Jacket Cover] – Sharp
Conductor, Tape [Taping Assistance] – Bruce McGregor
Engineer [Sound Engineering] – Mark Derbyshire
Producer – William Sharp
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, etched): DYS 01 A RD 18404
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, etched): DYS 01 B RD 18405

"DYS 01" was recorded in March 1979, Fort Collins, Colorado (U.S.A.). The musicians improvised within loose arrangements intended to suggest the concept of each piece. All pre-taped sounds were mixed live with the other instruments.
Record contains an 8 page insert with various art prints made by the project. LP in thick, handglued cover. Limited to around 100 copies.

side 1:
A1 - Input .................................................................................................................. 12:00
A2 - Vulnerable, Then Functional ............................................................................. 11:40

Side 2:
B1 - Corrosive On Contact ....................................................................................... 11:20
B2 - Stasis ................................................................................................................ 15:40

MNEMONIST ORCHESTRA:
Steve Chaffey – drums, percussion
John Herdt – electric guitar, percussion (A2, B2)
Torger Hougen – spoken word, illustrations
Bruce McGregor – tape, conducting, photography, illustrations
Dave Mowers – trombone, percussion
Hugh Ragin – trumpet, percussion
Steve Scholbe – alto saxophone
William Sharp – tape, conducting, arrangements, production, cover art, design, piano (A2),
5-string electric guitar (B1)
Randy Yeates – spoken word, illustrations

Additional musicians:
Dave Calvin – bass guitar (B1, B2)
Dave Marsh – bass guitar (A1, A2)
Nicki Relic – piano [prepared piano]  (A1, B1, B2), spoken word (A1)

Mnemonist Orchestra is the eponymously titled debut studio album of the free improvisation ensemble Mnemonist Orchestra, released in 1979 by Dys Records. – Extremely Rare LP...



The album was recorded in March 1979 by a group of friends and collaborators coming from diverse backgrounds, including musicians, visual artists, and scientists. Interested in the possibilities of spontaneous interaction among a diverse group, they intended the album to be an exploration of the effects of technological saturation on society, particularly upon children. The music drew heavily from musique concrète and film music, both of which would continue to influence the ensemble's future works.




There are thirteen in Mnemonist Orchestra : trumpet, trombone, alto sax, guitar, piano, bass, vocals, percussion, etc. Mark Derbyshire is the tape manipulator who brings together hundreds of free fragments; Bill Sharp is the ideologue and the spokesperson. The four movements of the symphony take place in an absolutely chaotic and uncoordinated way, independent and random sound elements follow each other quickly: monologues, jazz improvisations, background distortions, toy noises, electronic fanfares, and so on to infinity. Input is the archetype: free instruments and voices at the Art Enseble Of Chicago, with the clownesque trumpets, the other instruments that agree with indifference and nonchalance, guitar distortions, bells.the chirping of a sax in an electronic tornado leads to a crazy hard-rock for guitars forgotten with frantic and dissonant harmony of the winds. In Corrosive a tenuous piano sonata is hit by a chaotic free jazz jam. The masterpiece is Stasis , another disconnected delirium of wind instruments on a percussive carpet made of random gongs, broken objects, clock ticks, beaten metal sheets; a decaying orgy of crumbling sounds. They are absurd pieces that owe more to avant-garde jazz than to rock or electronics. Their paranoid ritual develops according to a very specific emotional thread, a convulsive gesticulation that leads to psychic collapse through a progressive rarefaction of the material.

(Review By: Achim Breiling)



If you find it, buy this album!

BIOTA – Rackabones (Dys ‎– DYS 12/13 // 2LP-1985)




Label: Dys ‎– DYS 12/13
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1985
Style: Abstract, Art Rock, Jazz, Experimental, Avantgarde, Free Improvisation
Recorded Spring 1984 – Winter 1984/85. Rec. Technology Inc / Camarillo California.
George Harms – photography
Carol Heineman – [folder mezzotints & line etching], design
Tom Katsimpalis – illustrations [center labels], folder insert drawings
Tanya Staab – jacket inside drawings (artwork - l.)
Joy Froding – jacket inside drawings (artwork - r.)
Peter Lange / Randy Yeates – artwork [jacket outside (drawings)]
Bruce Leek – engineering
Mark Derbyshire – technician [technical assistance]
Composed By [Composition], Producer [Production] – Carol Heineman, Mark Piersel, Randy Yeates, Steve Scholbe, Tom Katsimpalis, William Sharp
Coordinator [UK Coordination] – Bryan Downes
Effects [Processing], Mixed By [Mixing] – Piersel, Scholbe, Sharp
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, etched): DYS 12 A RD 18426 - I
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, etched): DYS 12 B RD 18427 - II
Matrix / Runout (Side C runout, etched): DYS 13 C RD 18428 - A
Matrix / Runout (Side D runout, etched): DYS 13 D RD 18429 – B

side 1:
A - Vagabones - I ....................................................................................................... 26:10
side 2:
B - Vagabones - II ...................................................................................................... 26:00

side 3:
C - Rackabones - I .................................................................................................... 17:38
side 4:
D - Rackabones - II ................................................................................................... 17:30

BIOTA:
Carol Heineman – instruments, production
Tom Katsimpalis – instruments, production, illustrations
Mark Piersel – instruments, production, mixing
Steve Scholbe – instruments, production, mixing
William Sharp – instruments, production, mixing
Randy Yeates – instruments, production

Musical sources: organs/ guitars / dulcimers / tamboura / ching / ukulele / alto saxophone / clarinet / harmonicas / bagpipes / accordion / recorders / whistles / voice / toys / bass drum / bodhran / metronome / side drum / maracas / wood drums / bells / kalimbas /…

Recorded Spring 1984 – Winter 1984/85. Comes with a visual portfolio with 6 folders. Distributed by Recommended Records.
Rackabones is the sixth studio album by the free improvisation ensemble Biota, released in 1985 by Dys Records. The album marked the official beginning of Biota as an ensemble separate from the Mnemonists name. (The name Mnemonists has continued to be retained for the group's visual output.)

Incredible stuff from the American band. This was after they’d changed their name from Mnemonists, and forged forward as the musical project Biota. Under the new moniker, the collective were quieter; more discrete. However, the music oozes towards you in an extremely unsettling manner; rolling, cracking, clumping, and dissolving then reforming before your very eyes.



Founded amid the college-town environs of Fort Collins, Colorado, in the late 1970s, Biota's initial recordings were produced under the name Mnemonist Orchestra (soon after shortened to Mnemonists). Produced and engineered by Mark Derbyshire and William Sharp, Mnemonists released five albums between 1980 and 1984 on its self-founded Dys label.
After the release of Gyromancy in 1984, the group split into two collaborative factions: a visual-arts collective, which retained the name Mnemonists, and the musical group, Biota.

Biota is a longstanding American experimental electronic music ensemble that has released a growing number of elaborate musical-visual projects and albums since their beginnings in the late 1970s. Biota is known for its highly detailed and often radical approach to composition and arrangement, founded largely upon principles of studio-based co-composition, simultaneity, and meticulous electronic processing of mostly acoustic sound sources — creating an unconventional continuum of traditional and nontraditional musical forms, including folk, jazz, chamber, rock, and occasional balladry.



Four long pieces can be heard on "Rackabones", which are stylistically based on the two long compositions found on "Gyromancy". In the very elaborately designed booklet of the LP (which also contains 6 double-sided art prints), the musicians and the instruments used are listed, but without specifying who played what. Steve Scholbe, Tom Katsimpalis, Mark Piersel, Randy Yates, Carol Heineman and William Sharp serve here: organs, guitars, dulcimers, tambura, ching, saxophones, clarinets, ukulele, harmonicas, bagpipes, accordion, recorders, whistles, voice, toys, bass drum, bodhran, metronomes, side drum, wood drums, bells, kalimbas. The whole thing was edited, distorted and mixed by the Trio Sharp, Piersel, Scholbe, with the help of Mark Derbyshire, who still belonged to the band on "Gyromancy".

The result is an adventurous and extremely complex sequence of countless sound events, the origins of which cannot always be clearly heard. The music fluctuates between ambient-like soundscapes, RIO-like strumming, electronic sound walls, pure noise confusion, meditative sound floating, minimalist sound constructions, strange songs, edgy chamber music confusion, percussive stamping, confused plingings, bizarre tape collages, chopped-up sound puzzles, strange white sound puzzles, strange , broken folk fragments, somber roar and halls, weird gurgling and almost industrial noise back and forth. For almost 90 minutes there is just strange, hard to describe music to the ears, which, if you get involved, offers a very fascinating listening experience. The whole thing often looks as if someone had put a myriad of different recordings, of instrumental voices, noises, voices and rhythms, into a mixer, finely chopped them up, mixed them well, hung them together, and then electronically distorted the mess. Amazingly, the result is a very dense whole, which oozes out of the speakers like an extreme acoustic nightmare, like an intense sound hallucination, like a drug trip painted in sound. This is how madness sounded. Grandiose!




At least two things can be gathered from my painstaking attempt to put this musical event into words: on the one hand, the whole thing is a rather extraordinary, musical work of art (and in my opinion the best album from Mnemonists / Biota), which on the other hand is far beyond it, what is considered "normal" in the musical field. So only music lovers who hear rather strange "stuff" should listen in here. For lovers of avant-garde sounds, this album is highly recommended! A small problem, however, is that "rackabones" are not yet available on CD.

(Review By: Achim Breiling)


Note:
A small change was deliberately made at the some pages which has no effect on the quality of the original design. In this way, I protect my work.



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

MACHINE GUN – Machine Gun (MU Records ‎– MU 1001 / LP-1988)




Label: MU Records ‎– MU 1001
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1988
Style: Experimental, Jazz-Rock, Free Improvisation
Side A recorded live at the Court Tavern, N.B., N.J.
Side B recorded live at CBGB's N.Y.C., except Trinity Rain recorded
at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.
All tracks improvised
Cover design by – Thi Linh Le
Produced by – Robert Musso
Engineered by – Tom Ruff
Mastered by – Howie Weinberg
℗ 1988 MU Records / Printed in Canada
Matrix / Runout (A-Side Runout, Etched): MU 1001 SA QΔ 1-1
Matrix / Runout (B-Side Runout, Etched): MU 1001 SB QΔ-X 1-1

side 1:
A1 - In Court ............................................................................................................. 5:53
A2 - The Opening Of Entry ....................................................................................... 3:30
A3 - Fancy Products ................................................................................................. 3:46
A4 - Prancing In Your Bed ........................................................................................ 4:48
A5 - Dive ................................................................................................................... 3:50

side 2:
B1 - Myffy's 1st Date ................................................................................................ 2:49
B2 - The .8 Factor .................................................................................................... 3:58
B3 - One For The Chipper ........................................................................................ 2:04
B4 - Trinity Rain ........................................................................................................ 3:21
B5 - Hierocryptics ..................................................................................................... 5:52

Personnel:
Thomas Chapin – saxophone, flute
Robert Musso – guitar, 6-string bass, electronics [ambient tapes]
Jair-Rohm Parker Wells – electric bass
Bil Bryant – drums [acoustic and electric drums]
John Richey – electronics [vocal cut-up's, tapes]
with guests:
Sonny Sharrock – guitar
Karl Berger – melodica, voice


Thomas Chapin (March 9, 1957 – February 13, 1998) was an American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist. Though primarily an alto saxophonist, he also played sopranino, as well as soprano, tenor, baritone saxes and flute.
Many of his recordings as a leader featured his trio with drummer Michael Sarin and bassist Mario Pavone, occasionally joined by guests, as well as founding Machine Gun, a free-funk-free-jazz-rock band with guitarist/producer/engineer Robert Musso.
Chapin studied with Jackie McLean and Paul Jeffrey.
Chapin died of leukemia three weeks before his 41st birthday. He last played two weeks before his death, at a benefit concert.

Karl Berger / Sonny Sharrock

For all practical purposes, this is the very first Machine Gun record, comprised of two live performances in New Jersey and New York. Machine Gun was a band that played hybrid forms of rock, jazz, and funk, all from an outsider's perspective. Personnel were the late saxophonist Thomas Chapin, guitarist Robert Musso, drummer Bill Bryant, bassist Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, and vocalist and electronic cutup artist John Richey. Special guests on these dates included the late guitarist Sonny Sharrock and Karl Berger (melodica, voice). From the opening skronk of "In Court," it's obvious that Machine Gun plays high-energy, visceral music. There are riffs and form, but lots of improvisation follows that form, and mutates it further into other forms. Feedback, tape manipulation, and hard rock and punk attitude are at the heart of the Machine Gun approach to music and noisemaking. On "Fancy Products," a striated funk riff is wound around itself and a vocal until it becomes a harmolodic jazz riff that collapses in on itself before remerging as a colossal free improv jam where Chapin and Musso trade out eights for the remainder.



On the New York CBGB's date, which covers the latter half of the disc, percussion and guitars create sparkling shards of rhythm as Berger plays a melodica through the center of "Muffy's 1st Date," turning around a small lyric idea until it gradually expands out to involve the entire band in its hypnotic simplicity. Here again, there is little refinement to the approach -- just an insistence on energy and forward thrust as the dynamic range collapses by the seventh or eighth track. This is very interesting.... and performance promise incredible sense of space and sounds, and in the end you get it all in the best possible manner .... Great album!

(Review by B. Bismount)



If you find it, buy this album!