Saturday, September 28, 2013

JEMEEL MOONDOC – Muntu Recordings - 3 CD Box, 1975/1977/1979 (2009)

Label: NoBusiness Records – NBCD 7-8-9
Format: 3 x CD, Compilation, Limited Edition Box Set; Country: Lithuania - Released: 2009
Style: Free Jazz 
CD1 - "First Feeding" recorded April 17, 1977 at Bob Blank Studios, New York City. Originally released in 1977 on Muntu Records 1001.  
CD2 - "The Evening Of The Blue Men" recorded March 30, 1979 live at Saint Marks Church in New York City. Originally released in 1979 on Muntu Records 1002.
CD3 - "Live At Ali's Alley" recorded April 20, 1975 live at Ali ’ s Alley. Previously unreleased session
Composed By – Jemeel Moondoc

Limited edition of 1000 handnumbered copies.

Rashid Bakr, Roy Campbell, William Parker, Jemeel Moondoc, Groningen 1980

Jemeel Moondoc, Arthur Williams, Studio Rivbea, 1976

William Parker , Anthony Brown, Jemeel Moondoc, Billy Bang, Groningen 1978

Christened with a name that communicates his endearing musical idiosyncrasy, altoist Jemeel Moondoc has followed a career in free jazz quite similar to his peers in its many ups, downs and detours. This revelatory box set tracks the early years of that trajectory and returns the saxophonist’s initial recordings to circulation, two LPs originally released on Moondoc’s Muntu label. A third disc captures the trio version of Muntu live at Ali’s Alley, drummer Rashied Ali’s loft space, and is actually the earliest music on the set.

Moondoc was a student of Cecil Taylor’s during the pianist ’ s early- ’ 70s tenures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Antioch College, participating in numerous workshops and performing with various student ensembles. Upon moving to New York, he used those experiences and resulting contacts to quickly hook into the burgeoning loft jazz scene in the city. Among his early colleagues were bassist William Parker and drummer Rashid Bakr, who were making names for themselves in similar fashion.

The first disc in the box comprises the 1977 LP First Feeding and finds the three men in augmented quintet formation with the addition of enigmatic pianist Mark Hennen and the equally obscure Arthur Williams on trumpet. Recorded in a studio, the sound is sharp, though the presence of vinyl sourcing remains audible in places. The group investigates three pieces, cumulatively dedicated to mentors like Taylor, Sam Rivers, Bill Dixon and others.

The set’s three pieces range from the relative brevity of the opening title invocation to the closing sprawl of “ Theme for Milford (Mr. Body and Soul). ” The middle piece, “ Flight (From the Yellow Dog), ” takes flight on a soaring theme hauntingly similar to Moondoc’s much later-composed “ You Let Me into Your Life. ” What’s most striking is how the music mirrors what’s come after; there’s a “ hear it here ” first feel to how the four approach collective improvisation, assimilating the advances of Taylor and others like Ornette Coleman. Musicians in the idiom have been doing it ever since with varying degrees of originality and success.

Of the five players, it’s curiously Hennen who makes the strongest impression. His, by turns ruminative and forceful, suggests an oblique amalgam of Paul Bley and Taylor. Bakr works in both momentum and color, acting as co-conspirator in steering the ebb and flow. Williams makes for a spirited partner with Moondoc on the front line, the two sparring like dueling ptarmigans or wheeling off in airborne acrobatics. Parker’s shining moment comes with an extended bass solo in the final piece, where he practically turns his instrument into firewood with chopping fingers and bow. Together, the five whip quite a glorious controlled racket.

Roughly two years later, Moondoc booked a revamped Muntu crew for a gig at Saint Mark’s Church, the venue of numerous subsequent free jazz performances, including several incarnations of the venerated Vision Festival. Roy Campbell replaces Williams and the piano chair remains vacant. Titled Night of the Bluemen, the subsequent LP split the performance into two halves. The title piece carries the qualifier “ Part 3 ” prompting the natural question, what of parts one and two?

Sound is a shade cavernous by comparison thanks to the vaulted ceilings of the venue, and Parker suffers most, his furious pizzicato frequently reduced to a muddy aural blur in the ensemble sections. He makes up for it in an arco solo clearly audible in its string-abrading ferocity, spurred by ebullient shouts of encouragement from his employer. The other players are relatively well-served; Moondoc and Campbell are in especially vociferous moods, dancing, darting and diving amidst the churning, surging waves of rhythm. Side B’s “ Theme for Diane ” traces contrastive ballad contours with comparable passion and cohesiveness.

Flipping the page back to Muntu in its relative infancy, the third disc’s live shot from Ali’s Alley comprises another rendering of “ Theme for Milford ” in a single 36 ½-minute slab of largely improvised interplay. Fidelity again is far from perfect, but more than passable. The thrill of hearing the three core members hold forth at one of the pillars of the loft jazz community effectively excuses the somewhat distant positioning of Parker and Bakr in the 35-year-old mix. Moondoc’s mercurial alto sings front and center, reeling off eliding melodic variations against the undulating accompaniment of his partners that occasionally slip in focus but largely stay on point for a full 15-plus minutes. Parker and Bakr occupy much of the remainder of the piece with statements of their own, the latter devising inventive things with what sounds like woodblocks and other ancillary percussion. The modest applause at the end illustrates that times were tough even back then when it came to audience size for these sorts of gigs.

Muntu suffered a crushing setback as an ensemble when Cecil Taylor ostensibly wooed Parker and Bakr away to fill slots in a new trio. With hindsight, its hard to blame the two men for jumping ship after weighing the prospect and Moondoc doesn’t appear to have harbored any lasting ire, having worked with both men, particularly Parker, in the intervening years. Results of their auspicious meetings are still readily available on labels like Eremite and Cadence Jazz, but Moondoc’s been mostly silent (at least on record) for some time. The arrival of this important and opportune box set will hopefully foster resurgence in attention toward his art and motivate new music-making in the process.

Dusted Reviews,  date: Feb. 5, 2010


By the way, this is my 200th post.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BURTON GREENE – Mountains (Live Recording, LP-1971)

Label: Button-Nose Records – 01
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Netherlands - Released: 1971
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Live recording released on Button-Nose in Netherlands in 1971.
Vinyl Rip

Deep avantgarde, rare Dutch free jazz LP from 1971. A very intriguing album, I emphasize the parts "Ascent" and "Descent" and solo piano composition "Now Music" (side B).

A1 Mountains.... Expression 1 / piano, flute and cello (22:15)
     I Prologue
     II Ascent
     III Descent
     IV Aftermath
B1 Now Music / piano solo  (20:04)

Burton Greene – piano
Tom Moore – flute, cello

Pianist Burton Greene was born June 14, 1937 in Chicago. Following a brief stay in San Francisco he moved to New York in the early ‘ 60s and quickly became part of the nascent free jazz movement, playing with Alan Silva in the Free Form Improvisation Ensemble. He was a member of the Jazz Composers ’ Guild, worked with Marion Brown, Rashied Ali, Albert Ayler, Sam Rivers, and Patty Waters among others before moving to Europe in 1969. He currently resides on a houseboat in Amsterdam, the city where he has lived since 1970. Burton has recorded for no less than fifteen labels, including ESP-Disk ’ , Columbia, Button Nose, Cat Jazz, CIMP, and BVHaast, and his latest solo release, “ Live at Grasland, ” is available from Drimala Records.

This is an excellent album. Enjoy!

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Friday, September 20, 2013


Label:  Bead Records – BEAD CD002
(Bead Records was a musicians collective label set up in 1974 in London, UK.
Specialised in experimental/improvised sound/electronics.)
Format: CD, Album; Country: UK - Released: 1999
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation 18 May 1994, in Studio 2 at the Broadcasting House, Stockholm, Sweden.
New Design by ART&JAZZ Studio, by VITKO
Drawing by Geoffrey Winston

1994's GUSHWACHS finds Phillipp Wachsmann engaged in an early round of electro- acoustic improvisation with Gush, the Swedish free-music trio of Mats Gustafsson, Sten Sandell, and Raymond Strid. This outing, which prefigures Evan Parker's well-received Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, is a particularly multiphonic exercise in the extension of instrumentation through live electronic processing. Gush employs such unusual voices as Sandell's prepared piano, harmonium, and analog synthesizer, Gustafsson's shrieking French flageolet and invented fluteophone (a flute played with a saxophone mouthpiece), and Strid's assortment of amplified "instruments and objects."

While Wachsmann's classically inflected viola and violin lines integrate well with the established ensemble, it's his use of electronics to break down and simultaneously reconfigure sounds that makes GUSHWACHS so exhilarating. Gustaffson's excitable brass prattle, often multiplied and amplified by Wachsmann, communes with gurgling oscillations and showers of Strid's tabletop percussion and instrumental scrabbling. Sandell and Wachsmann float delicate phrasing through the commotion of sound. The intricate, multi-tiered strategy of processing and performance liberates the players, sparking spectacularly combustible free improv that pays off in a riot of sonorities both natural and unnatural.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

ALEXANDER von SCHLIPPENBACH & TONY OXLEY – Digger's Harvest (1998)

Label: FMP – FMP CD 103
Format: CD, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1999
Style: Free Improvisation
Recorded live during the Total Music Meeting '98 on November 5 & 7, 1998, at the "Podewil" in Berlin.
Artwork – Tony Oxley
Layout – Jost Gebers
Liner Notes – Bert Noglik, Peter Niklas Wilson
Photography By – Dagmar Gebers
Producer – Jost Gebers
Recorded By – Holger Scheuermann, Jonas Bergler
Translated By [Liner Notes] – Isabel Seeberg, Paul Lytton

The art of the duet is displayed admirably on Digger’s Harvest by Schlippenbach and Oxley. Using their creative energies and the inherent musical affinity between them, they go on an extended voyage of individual and joint expression. Schlippenbach begins with a deceptively angular style with fingers stabbing at single notes, but he accelerates from zero to sixty in no time flat. Spanning the keyboard in rush-hour frenzy, he builds the set’s nearly half-hour opener into a mad dash and then with screeching brakes slows the pace down to a more reasonable speed. Schlippenbach uses this technique regularly throughout the long program to keep the music off balance and challenging. He states a theme with short strokes and then widens the range with a flurry of notes generated around the core concept. His methodology in developing his solos in this manner is intriguing. A kernel of an idea is expressed, and it then explodes into a plethora of notes spanning the entire range of the keyboard. The process is repeated and new ideas flow in natural succession.
Oxley uses a jagged-edged percussion style in accentuating Schlippenbach’s direction. His playing provides a staccato beat of sudden bursts of energy that take on a muted tone. Oxley frequently uses the deadened edges of his kit to underscore the piano rather than compete with it. He develops a convulsive sound of irregular rhythm and interrupted beat that is the perfect complement to the music pouring from Schlippenbach’s fingers. It has the unsystematic motion of fits and starts, yet it results in amazing musicality when countered by the equally spasmodic outpouring from the piano. It is as though he is playing a game of cat and mouse with Schlippenbach. The piano statement is made, and Oxley expels a fitful round of gunfire under, around, and above it. He hears Schlippenbach and knows exactly where he is going. The music of these two is challenging. It has extensive subtlety that requires very careful listening to absorb the message fully. The effort will be a truly worthwhile exercise.

_ By  Frank Rubolino
from: Cadence Magazine # 4, April 2000

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Monday, September 16, 2013

PAUL SMOKER with ED SCHULLER and DOMINIC DUVAL – Duocity In Brass & Wood (2CD-2003)

Label: Cadence Jazz Records – CJR 1155/56
Format: 2 × CD, Album; Country: US - Released: 2003
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
CD1 - Recorded live at The Bop Shop, Rochester, NY, May 18, 2001 
CD2 - Recorded live at The Bop Shop, Rochester, NY, October 10, 2001
Engineer – Matthew Guarnere
Mixed By, Edited By – Matthew Guarnere, Paul Smoker

Duo improvisations featuring a double bass and a horn are some of the hardest performances to realize. The challenge is compounded if the non-bass-playing partner only has a trumpet’s three valves and his embouchure with which to create. Thus Rochester, N.Y.-based trumpeter Paul Smoker should be complimented for sheer audacity. His double CD session of live, more than 60-minute duets with either Dominic Duval or Ed Schuller shows what can happen when two accomplished musicians strip down to the essentials and go at it with no preconceived notions.

Performing for the first time as a duo and with not many previous encounters under their respective belts, Smoker and Duval spend most of the time on the seven tracks playing slow- moving themes to determine each other’s skills. In the case of the trumpeter especially, this seems to involve extended techniques that at time stray close to the show-offy.

On “Burn Dialogue/Blue Mon ”, the nearly 13½-minute longest track for instance, he begins a cappella with a capricious display of growls and chromatic high-pitched note bending. Just before the solo threatens to turn into a Maynard Ferguson style extravaganza, it finally become a hell-bent-for-leather dialogue between Smoker’s chromatic trills and Duval’s slower-paced, carefully emphasized arco work. As the bassist bows away the trumpeter decorates the output with shrill high notes and a line that sounds like “Cherokee” played at a languid pace. There’s no mistaking “Blue Monk” , which soon appears in proper cadence here, replete with plunger trills. As Smoker dispenses his variations on the theme, Duval counters with pealing, pizzicato strokes that offer a sandpaper rough version of the same thing. Other than a singing version of “If I Were A Bell” presented in a muted Milesean fashion, the tunes concentrate on brass and bass effects. At one point Smoker warbles offbeat slurring phrases as Duval introduces well-modulated triple stops; at another four-string strums from the bassman calls forth echoes that could come from an Alpine horn --then choked valve plunger work examination.

Fittingly, the final tune is both abstract and conventional. Initially it resounds with idiosyncratic brass note flurries that go from andante to adagio to allegro, as the bass line becomes excessively discordant. The ending however finds Smoker appropriately quoting “The Party’s Over” in mid-register, Bobby Hackett-like fashion.

Over-abundant experimentation also characterizes the four Schuller/Smoker duets, with the others leading up to and away from “Hypnotics/Bassoptics Mutetics/Nostematics”, an almost 31-minute tour de force. Separated by periods of silence and applause, the first section showcases legato trumpeting with thundering bass lines that get harder, stronger and more repetitive as Smoker shrilly whistles from his mouthpiece. As Schuller strongarms a vamping ostinato back and forth, the trumpeter buzzes grit from his valves and soon broaches mouthpiece kisses, small smacks then squeals. Following a pause, a dark, double-stopping bass solo seems to invite Smoker’s most idiosyncratic response as higher-pitched, Harmon- muted obbligatos share space with deeper open tones. It almost appears as if he’s playing two trumpets at once. As Schuller continues to snap out short melodies and decorative asides that then turn to a walking bass line, Smoker completes the showcase with a flourish, producing a steady “Flight of the Bumblebee” buzz from his mute.

“Didgerotics”, is the most interesting of the pieces -- not to mention the shortest -- since Smoker manages to produce basso didjeridoo and radung or metal Tibetan bass horn sounds from his axe, not to mention vocalized plunger inflections straight out of the Bubber Miley Jungle book. Meanwhile Schuller moves from assured, low-pitched arco thrusts to split second visits to the effervescent cello register.

"Duocity in Brass & Wood" is a good document, which can be appreciated even by those who do not feel close to the aesthetics free, thanks to the continual references to jazz and freshness of ideas.

_ By Ken Waxman

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Friday, September 13, 2013

CHRIS McGREGOR – In His Good Time (Live In Paris 1977) - LP-1979

Label: Ogun – OG 521
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: UK - Released: 1979 
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at the Palais des Glaces, Paris in 1977.
Piano – Chris McGregor
Producer – Chris McGregor, Ron Barron

Founder of South African group the Blue Notes and, later in London, the Brotherhood of Breath, pianist Chris McGregor (born in the Transkei to Scottish missionary parents) was among the first musicians to take what became known as "township jazz" beyond South Africa, when he and the Blue Notes went into voluntary exile in 1964. Like pianist Dollar Brand (later Abdullah Ibrahim) and trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who had both left the country in the wake of 1960's Sharpeville massacre, McGregor no longer felt he could live and work under the barbarism of the apartheid regime, in which the Blue Notes' situation was exacerbated by the presence of both black and white musicians in the group.

The classic Blue Notes' lineup featured alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, tenor saxophonist Nick Moyake, trumpeter Mongezi Feza, bassist Johnny Dyani and drummer Louis Moholo- Moholo. A bigger band, Brotherhood of Breath included several members of the Blue Notes along with musicians prominent on London's free jazz scene.

McGregor, who died in 1990 in his adopted homeland of France, rarely recorded solo. Two albums for the French Musica label have long been collectors' items, as has In His Good Time, recorded at a Paris concert in 1977 and first released by Ogun in 1979.

"Damn; I really don’t know what to write about Chris McGregor, after all he has been my friend for a dozen years. His powerful personage moved into the English scene in the middle sixties, and eventually created the Brotherhood Of Breath, and in doing so influenced a whole group of English players to continue his African concepts. He brought with him the incredible players of South Africa, among them the late Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, Louis Moholo, Ronnie Beer and Johnny Dyani. His reputation was based almost entirely on his ability as an organiser, as a band leader, and his previous solo piano recording on Musica was not really representative of his ability. This Ogun production however shows that his heritage can come forth without the aid of an orchestra. The performance, a concert at the Palais des Glaces in Paris, consists, with the exception of Dudu Pukwana’s “ The Bride ”, of all original compositions, compositions that show Chris to be a powerful and original pianist. Of course you can hear Africa clearly, even living in England and now France, could not take that away. He used to say that when he lived in South Africa, receiving records from America was like getting letters from a friend. Chris I thank you for this correspondence."

_ BILL SMITH in Coda Magazine, February 1980

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NEW YORK ART QUARTET – Old Stuff (Copenhagen, Denmark 1965) - CD-2010

Label: Cuneiform Records – Rune 300
Format: CD, Album; Country: US - Released: 2010
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Tracks 1-6:
Recorded at the Montmartre Jazzhus, Copenhagen, Denmark October 14, 1965.
Tracks 7-11:
Recorded at the Concert Hall of the Radio House, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Copenhagen, Denmark, October 24, 1965. 
Both concerts were live radio broadcasts.
Producer – Børge Roger Henrichsen (tracks: 7 to 11), Pedro Biker (tracks: 1 to 6), Per Møller Hansen (tracks: 7 to 11)

The story behind Old Stuff is that John Tchicai lined up some gigs in his native Copenhagen for the fall of 1965. The regular drummer (was it still Milford Graves?) and whoever the bass player was at the time (Reggie Workman?) could not make the trip, so the quartet was fleshed out with Finn von Eyben coming in on bass and Louis Moholo on drums. Von Eyben sounds fine on the recording and adds his own conceptual influence. However it is Moholo that changes the character of the band in an more dramatic way. He gives the band a totally different rhythmic base. Moholo's time was quite different from Graves: there is in the former a more linear poly-rhythmic thrust to the pulse that propulses the band differently yet still opens it up to an expanded sense of temporal possibilities. It gives Tchicai and Rudd support for more complex yet still free solo statements and they respond beautifully.
And so you get a long set of music drawn from two gigs they played during their stay that fall. The recording quality is excellent, as is the level of the music. It's a major addition to the NY Art Quartet discography and highly recommended!

New York Art Quartet, Copenhagen, October 1965:
Roswell Rudd  – trombone,  Louis Moholo – drums,
Finn von Eyben – bass,   John Tchicai – alto saxophone

New York Art Quartet, MoMA 1965, (Tchicai, Rudd, Workman, Graves)

There ’ s a certain exciting charge to early free (avant, new thing, or whatever you wish to call it) jazz, an electricity in the air from those days before anyone knew exactly what was happening, which, in its weird, wily experimentation, translates particularly well on record. Before the classic fire music blow out could be formalized into a clearly-delineated model, there was a strange melange of flavors: Sun Ra ’ s Saturn-bop, Ayler ’ s formative howls, Dolphy ’ s skewed vision of cool, Ornette Coleman ’ s sublime honking, and a lot of other open minds stretching way out as they saw fit. The free-for-all spirit of the times makes for some interestingly timeless listening, and the broadly-named New York Art Quartet was one group that was there to catch the wave. Although the smallness of their deeply respectable discography, now only four official albums deep (and one of those is a reunion session from the year 2000), severely restricted their legacy, the players who have moved through their ranks - John Tchicai, Roswell Rudd, Milford Graves, Reggie Workman and Don Moore, to name a few - have certainly made their individual marks. Thus, the unit has remained a sort of legendary footnote, an early, all-too-brief meeting of the minds right at the beginning of the revolution.

Old Stuff, recorded in 1965 and only now seeing the light of day, won ’ t change that. Less of an all-star lineup than their self-titled debut on ESP, it ’ s more of a glimpse back than a lost classic. Fans of that seminal slab might be disappointed by the absence of drummer Milford Graves, and I for one can hardly fathom the pressure of filling his shoes. Along with Sunny Murray and Rasheid Ali, Graves was one of the founding fathers of the un-metered, pan- rhythmic school of drumming to which many remain beholden. Hardly the established approach in ’ 65 that it is today, it ’ s difficult to imagine more than a handful then (or now) capable of matching his innovation and effortless mastery. Still, Louis Moholo does a bang- up job holding things down. Less iconoclastic than his predecessor, his playing sways and sashays more than it rips and shreds, but not without some serious force. There ’ s a certain go- for-broke roughness audible here, and it ’ s exciting to hear him drive the rest of the players, egging them on even as he keeps time.

Around him, the horns squall and cry, but all within a clear melodic framework. The vibe is less sheets of sound than "Lonely Woman," and Coleman ’ s mark is clearly felt. The melodies and motives are tossed around like pizza dough between Tchicai and Rudd, the only two constant members of the NYAQ family, and their chemistry is, if not revelatory, certainly wonderfully sloppy and loose. Apparently the session was booked in Copenhagen, despite the unavailability of half of the New Yokers. Thus, in addition to Moholo, bassist Finn on Eyben fills in, and you definitely get the sense that the Rudd and Tchicai are leading, going for it despite or because of the less practiced setting. There is a confidence to their tone which more than compensates for the oft-rambling structures.

Overall, the record runs a little long, clocking in at just over an hour. But isn ’ t that kind of the point? We already have two proper mid-60s albums from the NYAQ, as well as a whole slew of other classic studio sessions from this deepest of musical eras. Old Stuff is for the heads who wore through their copies of Shape Of Jazz To Come and Ascension when they first came out, for the completists who can ’ t let a single take slip by uncatalogued. As expected, NYAQ rips, moans, screams, and most of all breathes. It ’ s beautiful, messy, raw and not a little bit fun. Like a lot of other stuff from this time, it sounds like a wild party, and yet still serious as your life. It sounds free, unfettered, and alive. It sounds great.

_ By Daniel Martin-McCormick

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

CHARLES GAYLE QUARTET – Vol 1 - Translations (1994)

Label: Silkheart – SHCD 134
Format: CD, Album; Country: Sweden - Released: 1994
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded at the House of Music, Studio A, West Orange; N.J. on January 21 and 22, 1993.
Artwork [Cover Art] – Ulf Rollof
Design, Layout – Jörgen Renhorn
Edited By – Allan Tucker
Executive Producer – Keith Knox
Photography By [Booklet Photographs] – Ruth Davis
Photography By [Kylrock] – Lars Gustafsson
Recorded By – Nicholas Prout
Recorded By [Assisted By], Edited By [Assisted By] – Nelson Ayres

 Charles Gayle
William Parker

Five years after his recording debut, tenor saxophonist Charles Gayle sounds as intense and passionate as ever on this set of five lengthy sound explorations. In addition to tenor, Gayle also plays a bit of bass clarinet and viola. Both William Parker and Vattel Cherry are on basses (with Parker also heard on cello and violin), while drummer Michael Wimberly keeps up with the other players. At least volume-wise, the strings add a little variety to this quite free-form and explorative music. While not for everyone, those listeners who enjoy the ESP free jazz jams of the 1960s and the more violent sets of John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and Albert Ayler will find this music quite stimulating.

_ Review by SCOTT YANOW

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CHARLES GAYLE QUARTET – Vol 2 - Raining Fire (1994)

Label: Silkheart – SHCD 137
Format: CD, Album; Country: Sweden - Released: 1994
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded at the House of Music, Studio A, West Orange; N.J. on January 21 and 22, 1993.
Artwork [Cover Art] – Ulf Rollof
Design, Layout – Jörgen Renhorn
Edited By – Allan Tucker
Executive Producer – Keith Knox
Photography By [Booklet Photographs] – Ruth Davis
Photography By [Kylrock] – Lars Gustafsson
Recorded By – Nicholas Prout
Recorded By [Assisted By], Edited By [Assisted By] – Nelson Ayres

The companion CD to Vol. 1: Translations, this explosive set has tenor saxophonist Charles Gayle also heard a bit on bass clarinet (for "Blood's Finality") and viola, while joined by bassists William Parker (also playing cello and violin) and Vattel Cherry plus drummer Michael Wimberly.

 Vattel Cherry
 Michael Wimberly

"The all-out assaults of his earlier sessions gives way here to a more open rhythmic sensibility. Gayle's playing takes on an emotionally incantatory urgency here over the shifting layers of dual basses and Wimberly's tumbling, flexible attack. Raining Fire is the more fiery of the two CDs, from the opening blasting hurricane charge through In Christ with Gayle's most incendiary playing of the two. Translations (Silkheart 134) and Raining Fire are welcome additions to Gayle's growing discography, documenting Gayle's uncompromising intensity and continued growth."

_ By MICHAEL ROSENSTEIN, Cadence, November 1994

These sessions were considered so successful that this quartet became Gayle's regular group for a time. The music is unremittingly intense with Gayle screaming a lot in spots, although the sections with strings are at a quieter volume. Charles Gayle's mostly free-form music is certainly not for everyone, but fans of his passionate explorations will want all of his chance-taking and very heartfelt efforts.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Different Perspectives In My Room ...!" today celebrates its first birthday

Graphic Design:
Poster DP001
"Different Perspectives In My Room ...!" today celebrates its first birthday 
Artwork and Complete Design by VITKO


My dear friends, today, the blog "Different Perspectives In My Room...!" celebrates its first year of existence. Thank you for your support, and an incredibly large number of visitors to this site talking about an enviable popularity. I could not imagine that it would happen so quickly.

This opportunity to thank especially Uri, who once cold the February evening, explained to me how to set up my first post on the then legendary and, in my opinion, the best blog "A Darker Shade Of Blue", which is the 8th of August last year, hooligans wiped out, destroyed, broken to pieces that are no longer able to compile. Uri and Ground Rules, I wish you all the best.

In the past year, there were 190 posts, I tried to be good quality, generally, free jazz, focused mainly in Europe and the two large city, London and Berlin, without neglecting the musicians similar determination from the U.S. and other parts of the world. So it will be in the future, and you can contact me if you have a desire or suggestion. Without hesitation, please!

And of course, do not be lazy, leave a few more comments behind yourself, I'm doing this for you, and it is good to know your opinion. (Happy, or not) :)

Regards, Vitko

Thursday, September 5, 2013

IRENE SCHWEIZER QUINTET – The Storming of the Winter Palace (Moers-Zurich 1986/'88) - LP-1988 / CD-2000

Label: Intakt Records – Intakt CD 003
Format: CD, Album, Reissue; Country: Switzerland - Released: 2000
Style: Free Improvisation, Contemporary Jazz
Track 1 recorded May 18th, 1986 at the International-New-Jazz-Festival-Moers by WDR (Cologne)
Tracks 2 & 3 recorded March 25th, 1988 at the Taktlos-Festival at Rote Fabrik, Zurich
First released on Intakt LP 003 / 1988
Composed By – George Lewis (tracks: 3), Günter Sommer (tracks: 3), Irène Schweizer (tracks: 1, 2), Joëlle Léandre (tracks: 1), Maggie Nicols (tracks: 2)
Cover Art: Ruedi Wyss
Executive Production: Patrik Landolt
Engineer – Peter Pfister

At the Moers Jazz Festival in 1986, the quintet of Irène Schweizer, Maggie Nicols, George Lewis, Joelle Leandre and Guenter Sommer caused quite a commotion. The "Frankfurter Allgemeine" wrote: "a great moment of free improvised music; the listeners gave endless ovations, were stunned, moved, even happy just like the protagonist themselves, who lay in each others arms after the magic process of spontaneous interaction". The album with excerpts from the Moers concert as well as from the subsequent performance at the Zurich Taktlos Festival was awarded the German Record Critics Prize.

The Storming Of The Winter Palace was originally released on LP in 1988 as Swiss based “ Intakt Records ” has thankfully chosen to reissue this most interesting recording on CD. The 26-minute opener, “ Now and Never ” offers a hearty mix of disparate motifs, glistening choruses and endearing interplay among trombonist George Lewis, vocalist Maggie Nicols, pianist Irene Schweizer, percussionist Gunter Sommer and bassist Joelle Leandre. Here, Ms Nicols displays a supremely masterful vocal range complete with spurts of humor, scat and spoken word intermingled with weaving, multidimensional ensemble work along with an abundance of peaks and valleys. The musicians entice one another with interesting dialogue and shrewd on-the-fly development yet many of these sequences sound composed or pre- planned. On “ The Storming of the Winter Palace ” George Lewis and Ms Leandre are the instigators who often prod Ms Nicols into operatic-style vocal pyrotechnics, which unto itself is rather amazing. The audience in attendance must have literally been on the edge of their seats during the final piece, titled “ Living on the Edge ” as the band pursue vivid theatrics, circular thematic movement along with some downright awe-inspiring drumming/percussion from Gunter Sommer. 

The Storming Of The Winter Palace is a showstopper as this writer often thought of the visual aspects; hence, a video of this performance would have been an added treat as the music and overall intensity alludes to one heck of a live performance! * * * * ½

Published: February 1, 2000 (AAJ)

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Label: daagnimRecords – CD9
Format: CD, Album  - Special Limited Edition
Country: US - Released: 2004
Style: Free Improvisation, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded on 23 November 2003, at Universal Rehearsal, NY.
Composed By – Dennis González (tracks: 1, 2, 7); "Nile River Suite" By - González, Grimes, Thompson, Campbell, Mateen
Recorded By, Mixed By – Dennis González

Dennis González – trumpet [C]
Sabir Mateen – tenor sax, alto sax, alto clarinet, clarinet [B-flat], flute
Roy Campbell, Jr. – trumpet, flugelhorn, trumpet [Pocket], flute
Henry Grimes – acoustic bass
Michael "T. A." Thompson – drums, percussion

Dennis González
 Henry Grimes
 Roy Campbell, Jr.
 Sabir Mateen
Michael "T. A." Thompson

Free Jazz is full of stories like that of Dennis Gonzalez. A very talented trumpeter and composer, Gonzalez played with a veritable who's who of free jazz in the 80s and early 90s. Unfortunately, like so many fine musicians of that era, he became discouraged by the lack of adequate opportunities in the jazz world and left active performing, preferring instead to teach music and French in Dallas, Texas. But Gonzalez just couldn't stay away from the free jazz scene and in 1999 he recorded again after a five year hiatus, with an eclectic ensemble featuring himself on keyboards, trumpet and samples and even a Tejano accordionist. Since then, Gonzalez has embarked on a steady mix of touring and recording, all the while continuing to teach his high school students.

Nile River Suite is the latest in an impressive series of recordings Gonzalez has made over his career. This CD is notable in many ways. It marks the first time that legendary bass player Henry Grimes has recorded since his dramatic re-entry into the music scene two years ago. Grimes' story is fascinating. After recording on many seminal LPs with Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler and others, Grimes moved to Los Angeles and disappeared. He was widely reported dead. However, two years ago he was discovered living in an LA SRO. Given a bass by William Parker, Grimes began to play again with a triumphant set at the Irridium in NY and then a knockout group at the Vision Festival. On this disc he sounds like he hasn't missed a beat! (Henry says he practiced bass in his head during his thirty missing years and you can believe it!) On an instrument that is often overlooked by musicians fascinated by the more showy reed instruments, Grimes is powerful. His lines and tone seduce you almost hypnotically. He is a powerful presence that only gets better with age.

The disc also includes some of the top New York free jazz musicians. Sabir Mateen on reeds is a true wonder. This musician is perhaps one of the most underrated reed players on the scene. Mateen is unusual in that, like Eric Dolphy before him, he has a distinct voice on each of his instruments and a marvelous tone. And though Mateen has perhaps the best altissimo shriek this side of Albert Ayler, his playing is marked by a captivating melodic sense and an unfailing technique. Drummer Michael "T.A." Thompson is another crack NY musician, capable of driving bop-inflected grooves, subtle polyrhythms and powerful tom-tom work. Adding brass player Roy Campbell to the mix was particularly audacious for Gonzalez. Campbell is a true master of all aspects of the instrument, with a tone and style that shows the influence of the entire history of jazz trumpet, from Louis Armstrong through Lee Morgan and on out. That Gonzalez stands up well to such a master is a credit to his own sense of style. You always know which musician is soloing. They are distinct, but complimentary.

The compositions on the disc are impressive, and the multi-part Nile River Suite is truly marvelous. The disc opens with an 18 minute "Lyons in Lyon," a tribute to the late alto player Jimmy Lyons, which sits on the stylistic edge between free bop and total out playing. Gonzalez gives a wonderful, almost Clifford Brown style solo. "Sand Baptist" is a similarly tradition-infused cut, with mellifluous solos by Mateen and Campbell. The major work on the disc, the three part "Nile River Suite," begins with an atmospheric extended introduction for wind trio (Campbell and Mateen on flutes with Gonzalez on trumpet) and then features some inspired solo work before seamlessly moving into a hypnotic Middle Eastern jazz groove. A beautiful lyrical solo by Campbell introduces the second movement of the work with a dark, Lee Morgan-inspired tone. The interplay between Grimes and Thompson is magical. The third movement is dominated by a beautifully constructed, melodic drum solo by Thompson and some soulful blowing by Mateen before the piece winds down to a peaceful conclusion. The final cut on the disc, "Hymn for the Ashes of Saturday," is pure avant-funk, with a groove that would have done Lee Morgan or Cannonball proud. A marvelous way to round out a beautiful album.

This is disc, like so many produced in the new millennium, is a limited addition on the daagnimRecords label. The sound is wonderful, with lively present bass and yet a very clear high end. The music on this disc is adventurous, but ultimately melodic and appealing. This is not the scream fests of Peter Brotzman or other extreme players. Rather it is a deeply felt and almost spiritual disc and a wonderful introduction to the musicians on this album. Find it while you can!

_ Reviewed By CHRIS FORBES

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