Saturday, November 30, 2013

CLIFFORD THORNTON QUARTET – The Panther And The Lash (1970) - Re-2004


Label: America Records – 067 869-2
Series: Free America – #13
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Limited Edition
Country: France - Released: 2004
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Live concert at "La Maison de la Radio" (ORTF) Paris on November 7, 1970
Art Direction, Design, Painting – Gilles Guerlet, Jérôme Witz
Liner Notes – Philippe Carles
Photography By [Paintings] – Fredéric Thomas
Producer – Pierre Berjot
Reissue Producer [Prepared For Reissue By] – Bruno Guermonprez
Supervised By [Reissue] – Daniel Richard
Transferred By [Transfers], Mastered By [Mastering] – Alexis Frenkel

The album title, referencing the first truly great anthology of poetry written by an African- American, Langston Hughes's 1926 book of the same name, nails Clifford Thornton's political colors firmly to the mast, and they're black. Described, with some justification, by Philippe Carles, the co-author of the seminal Free Jazz Black Power, as the quintessential free jazz performer, Thornton is in absolutely breathtaking form throughout this live set recorded in Paris on November 7, 1970, on which he plays not only the cornet but also trombone, piano, percussion, and shenai, accompanied by the cream of the crop of the local free music warriors, pianist François Tusques and bassist Beb Guérin, as well as the woefully under- recorded American expat drummer Noel McGhie. It's one of the highlights of the America back catalog and its reissue is cause for celebration. Thornton was able, in an all too brief career (he died in Geneva in relative obscurity in 1989), to sign three truly great free jazz albums under his own name. The Panther and the Lash fills the gap between Freedom & Unity (recorded on the day after Coltrane's funeral in 1967, reissued by Atavistic in 2001) and 1975's Jazz Composers Orchestra outing The Gardens of Harlem (JCOA), and is just as indispensable. _ (AMG)

Enjoy. This is one incredible recording.

Links in Comments!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

ARCHIE SHEPP / CLAUDE DELCLOO and the FULL MOON ENSEMBLE – Live In Antibes Vol.1 & Vol.2 (LPs-1971)

Label: BYG Records – 529.338  -  (vol. 1)
Series: Actuel – 38 Format: Vinyl, LP, Country: France/US - Released: 1971
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation, Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded live at Antibes - Juan les Pins Jazz Festival, July 18, 1970, by O.R.T.F.
Producer – Jean Georgakarakos, Jean-Luc Young

Archie Shepp And The Full Moon Ensemble:
CLIFFORD THORNTON (trumpet, piano), ALAN SHORTER (flugelhorn), ARCHIE SHEPP (tenor saxophone, piano, recitation), JOSEPH DÉJAN (guitar), BEB GUÉRIN (bass) CLAUDE DELCLOO (drums)

A - The Early Bird (Part 1)  -  22:16
B - The Early Bird (Part 2)  -  26:31

Superb live recordings (dated July 18 and July 20, 1970) captured in France at the Antibes- Juan Le Pen Jazz Festival. Archie Shepp and the Full Moon Ensemble (featuring Clifford Thornton on piano and trumpet, Beb Guerin on bass and Claude Delcloo on drums) play through four long tracks with an intensity that still sounds fresh more than four decades later."

Label: BYG Records – 529.339  -  (vol. 2)
Series: Actuel – 39 Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: France/US - Released: 1971
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation, Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded live at "Antibes - Juan-les-Pins" Jazz Festival, July 20, 1970, by O.R.T.F.
Producer – Jean Georgakarakos, Jean-Luc Young

Archie Shepp And The Full Moon Ensemble:
CLIFFORD THORNTON (trumpet, piano), ALAN SHORTER (flugelhorn), ARCHIE SHEPP (tenor saxophone, piano, recitation), JOSEPH DÉJAN (guitar), BEB GUÉRIN (bass) CLAUDE DELCLOO (drums)

A1 - Huru (Part 1)  -  26:15
B1 - Huru (Part 2)  -  22:40

Like many saxophonists and jazz musicians in general, Archie Shepp moved to New York City in 1959 in search of becoming a professional musician. Things moved slowly, but by 1965 he had performed with pianist Cecil Taylor and had made the acquaintance of several musicians in the burgeoning free jazz or "new thing" cadre. Most importantly was his relationship with the great saxophonist John Coltrane who recommended him for Impulse Records. Shepp recorded for about a decade with Impulse, but also for other labels like BYG/Actuel which released this concert featuring Shepp on tenor saxophone, piano and vocals, Clifford Thornton on trumpet and piano, Alan Shorter on flugelhorn, Joseph Dejean on guitar, Beb Guerin on bass and Claude Delcloo on drums. The album is taken from two concerts at the French jazz festival in 1970 with "The Early Bird: Parts 1 and 2" on the Vol. 1 and then "Huru: Parts 1 and 2" on the Vol. 2. The music is very wide open and seems use piano as its anchor, with either Shepp or Thornton laying down massive slabs of dark keyboards that lock in with the deeply percussive bass and drums to give the music a haunting and hypnotic effect. Shepp takes a lengthy saxophone solo on "Huru: Part One" where he ranges from deep guttural moans to high energy squalls and howls. "The Early Bird" he incorporates vocals and shouts from his composition "Mama Rose" into the overall fabric of the performance. This is a very interesting and freewheeling set of music. It is a fine example of the way that jazz had evolved in the early 1970's. Incorporating elements of African music as well as the past and present in jazz, it makes for compelling listening.

_ By Tim Niland (MusicandMore)

Links in Comments!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Label: Black Saint – BSR 0003
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Italy - Released: 1976
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Generation Sound Studios, New York on October 13-14, 1975.
Engineer – Tony May
Producer – Giacomo Pellicciotti
All songs written by Muhal Richard Abrams except "Way Way Way Down Yonder" (Malachi Favors).

A fantastic record – and one of the warmest, most soulful sets we've ever heard from Muhal Richard Abrams! The album features Muhal's piano alongside the bass of Malachi Favors – a really unique duo outing that unlocks a whole new side of both players, especially Favors, who really seems to have a presence here that's different than usual – a bubbling, effervescent sense of soul that really buoys up the whole record, and helps Abrams hit these beautifully lyrical tones on the piano. We can't recommend this one highly enough, and the tracks include "W.W. (Dedicated to Wilbur Ware)", "JG", "Way Way Way Down Yonder", "Unity", and "Two Over One". _(Dusty Groove, Inc.)

"The reputation of members of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), of which Abrams is a founding member, has long been one of adventurous, dangerous, and difficult music. But in fact, much of the music created out of this organization shows enormous appreciation of the blues and earlier jazz forms. Sightsong is a splendid case in point. The album opens with four duets (two dedicated to Chicago legends Wilbur Ware and Johnny Griffin) which have a swing, a groove, and a delicacy that no fan of "straight- ahead" jazz could ignore. Favors, always one of the great underrated bassists in the music, provides a thick, soulful pulse and solos with huge imagination while Abrams always stays within the song's parameters which provide ample room for his creativity. As fine as these more "traditional" numbers are, the standout piece is perhaps Favors' solo feature, the wonderfully titled "Way Way Way Down Yonder." Opening with what sounds like the riffled pages of a book, Favors then states the deep, bluesy theme with strutting authority and proceeds through one of the richest investigations of the string bass the listener is ever likely to hear. Sightsong is one of Abrams's finest recordings and is also perhaps the best showcase for Malachi Favors' talents outside of his seminal work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago."


Links in Comments!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Label: BYG Records – 529.342-43-44
Series: Actuel – 42 / 43 / 44
Format: 3 × Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: France - Released: 1970
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Studio 104, Maison de L'O.R.T.F. Paris, December 29, 1970.
Executive-Producer – Jacques Bisceglia, Pierre Lattes
Photography By – Jacques Bisceglia
Producer – Jean Georgakarakos, Jean-Luc Young
Recorded By – Guy Level
Supervised By – Pierre Lattes

Recorded live (three-LP set) at Studio 104/Maison De L'O.R.T.F., Paris, France on December 29, 1970, remarkable gargantuan effort by bassist and composer Alan Silva, for which the term "masterpiece" is not too far a stretch.
This is a magnificent, rambling, chaotic, lavish, and often meandering spectacle that should be heard in one sitting to be completely appreciated. It is a spectacular presentation, with snippets of melodies (or more precisely, riffs) interspersed among the soloists, who include Silva, Steve Lacy, Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Robin Kenyatta, Michel Portal, and Joachim Kühn, to cite the more recognizable names. The results are absolutely thrilling, if not always inspiring, and there are many high points. While individual improvisers are difficult to identify, the level of improvisation remains consistently at the highest levels. It is wild and free, and the listener receptive to free improvisation is likely to be held in rapturous attention. Destined to be a classic of its genre, Seasons offers a full-scale radical bombardment from many perspectives, resulting in a smorgasbord of delights. While listening to so much at once is a challenge, the patient listener willing to put in the effort should be fulfilled and rewarded amply.


Links in Comments!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

EQUAL INTEREST: Joseph JARMAN, Leroy JENKINS, Myra MELFORD – Equal Interest (1999)

Label: OmniTone – 12001
Format: CD, Album; Country: US - Released: 1999
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on 2-3 August 1999 at Sear Sound, New York.
Engineer – Tom Schick; Engineer [Assistant] – Todd Parker
Executive Producer – Frank Tafuri
Liner Notes – Frank Tafuri
Mastered By – Bob Ward
Producer – Equal Interest, Frank Tafuri

Midwest sensibilities and New York attitude converge in an energizing collective, fusing jazz, blues, classical and folk musics. Comprised of two veterans of Chicago's venerable AACM (saxophonist Joseph Jarman and violinist Leroy Jenkins) and "downtown" NY pianist Myra Melford, Equal Interest explodes with sensual, exotic, even mystical sounds, bridging the past, present and future. Pushing and groovin' new jazz for the new millennium.

At the vanguard of the past and present creative improvised jazz movement, these three brilliant musicians come together in continually surprising ways. The depth of their collective spirituality is most impressive, but the music virtually bursts with passion and vibrancy. There is also an equally shared compositional stance. Jenkins (on violin and viola) contributes "B'Pale Night," with swirling melodic improvs surrounding Jarman's alto sax and blue string counterpoint, Melford's piano circling around it all, plus some cartoonish unison lines. "In the Moment" emphasizes harder-edged, darker spontaneity, rich in counterpoint, demonstrating intense listening and responding. Jarman gives the trio another two pieces: "Rondo for Jenny" has Melford on harmonium as a South Indian-based flute-violin unison and Vietnamese oboe solo bring about an air of stark mysticism, while the 13-minute-plus "Poem Song" is one of the more beautiful pieces of music you will ever hear -- fanfare viola introducing serene, meditational flute and delicately constructed, flowing piano. Of Melford's three pieces, "Over This/Living Music" splits time between her 5/4 piano, which sets the pace for skittering violin and flute, and gently plucked strings which back Jarman's solo, with more pensive call and response at the end. "The Beauty We Love" has swelling harmonium under layered strings and alto, while "Everything Today" sports a 6/8 start-up, more free alto, repeated piano lines, and Jenkins' scattershot strings joining clever, spirited, uplifting writing. The finale is a traditional Armenian piece, "Apricots for Eden"; Jarman's tambourine-sounding Turkish hand drum and Melford's harmonium travel at a patient pace, then are inspired to dancing motifs. Following up the prelude to this recording, Out of the Mist (Ocean), this trio has exploded into a most impressive improvising unit that will hopefully continue to bring us miracles like this highly recommended CD.


Links in Comments!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

BOBBY BRADFORD with JOHN STEVENS and the Sponteneous Music Ensemble – Volume 1 and Vol. 2 - 1971 (2LP-1980/'81)

Label: Nessa Records – N-17 and Nessa Records – N-18
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album Country: US - Released: Vol.1-1980  and Vol.2-1981
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded at Polydor Studios, London on July 9, 1971.
New Cover Design by ART&JAZZ Studio, by VITKO
Engineer – Carlos Olms
Photography By – David Redfern
Producer [Recording] – Alan Bates
Producer [Release] – Chuck Nessa

This is not a double CD reissued in 2009, this ripping is made directly from old vinyl records from 1980 / 81st. A few years ago, my four-year son, tore is the original packing, so I made a new cover and since then as a double LP, these two albums is situated in my collection of vinyl records.

In the instances that European and American improvisers have commingled and produced concerts and recordings, especially in the halcyon days of European free improvisation (the 1970s), a significant number of these situations resulted from expatriation. And it's certainly true that in many cases, American-born improvisers could have done better financially being based in Europe—after all, this music has a track record of greater appreciation across the pond, especially on the continent.

England was a bit stodgier in its cultural perception of the new music; perhaps that has had something to do with its vitality (both historic and current). In July 1971, trumpeter Bobby Bradford—a sometime associate of saxophonist Ornette Coleman who worked with clarinetist-composer John Carter in Los Angeles—visited the UK while on holiday. A brief visit, it resulted in contacts with writer Richard Williams, drummer John Stevens and Alan Bates' Freedom label. Long a family man, Bradford eschewed promises of more work in New York and overseas for a fruitful, if quieter, life in Southern California, where he is today.

The present set captures Bradford and Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble (SME), recorded at Polydor studios. Alongside Stevens are regular conscripts, saxophonist Trevor Watts, bassist Yaron Herman and vocalist/guitarist Julie Tippetts; expatriate American trombonist Bob Norden also appears here. Though enough material was recorded for two albums, the complete version didn't appear until the early 1980s, when the tapes were purchased by Nessa Records (then based in Chicago). The 1970-1971 edition of the SME hasn't been significantly documented on record, so these albums with Bradford are doubly interesting.

At the time, Stevens was exploring structures that would allow people with a wide range of musical abilities to participate, such as "click pieces," "sustain pieces," and "rhythm pieces." Such work is represented on LPs like the self-titled SME Polydor LP (1969), Birds of a Feather (BYG, 1970), One Two Albert Ayler (Affinity, 1971) and For You to Share (A Records/Emanem, 1970). It was this edition of the SME that, in fact, kick-started the interests of Emanem Records founder Martin Davidson: "I came to terms with [free improvisation] in 1971. I had heard it starting in the mid-1960s, but could not relate to it. A 1971 concert by the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (with John Stevens, Trevor Watts, Julie Tippetts and Ron Herman) turned me on."

"Norway" and "Rhythm Piece," both on the second LP, exemplify some of the work that this edition of the SME was exploring. The way that the SME approached rhythm in this context had a lot to do with space and impulse. For the rhythm piece, Stevens is heard on a pared down kit, with brushes and knitting needles on snare, a small floor tom, hi-hat and ride cymbal. His approach is akin to Sunny Murray's work with saxophonist Albert Ayler, a constant active presence in free accent; he also uses his voice to elicit non-linear wailing lines. Stevens' playing is perhaps clearer and more detail-oriented than Murray's and is certainly less wave-driven. Herman sketches in pizzicato, his plucks and strums paralleling Stevens' constant movement and the wordless shouts, gasps, clicks and unbridled shrieks of Tippetts, who plays a muted acoustic guitar purely as off-kilter accompaniment. The horns are absent on "Rhythm Piece," allowing the delicate interaction between the three to remain front and center. "Norway" features long tones from voice, trumpet, trombone and soprano in a balladic form, somewhere between the Scottish Highlands and wide-vibrato Cleveland wail. Rattling bells and a single bass chord act as a platform, while tones fall in and out of phase with one another and elide into sharper dialogues.

But if one considers European free improvisation as a defined, emancipated structure free from the influence of American art, the SME would be a round peg in a square hole. An interest in the music of Ayler and Ornette Coleman was central to the aesthetic behind Stevens' work, and early incarnations of the group featured non-chordal, melodic improvisation and interaction that likewise stemmed from boppish themes. Titles like "2B Ornette," "Higgins," and the aforementioned "One, Two Albert Ayler" take a rightful place in the discography, as do "Ornette-ment" and "Trane Ride" represented here. Clearly the connection with free jazz's originators was one reason why the fruits sound so fresh.

Three of Bradford's compositions, plus a lengthy Stevens free suite. "His Majesty Louis" starts off the vinyl, free-time collective calls mated to a bluesy rondo not dissimilar to Coleman's "Congeniality." The Stevens-Herman rhythm section has clearly learned from listening to such bass/drums teams as Charlie Haden/Ed Blackwell, David Izenzon/Charles Moffett and Jimmy Garrison/Beaver Harris (the latter sets had visited the UK with Coleman and saxophonist Archie Shepp in the late 1960s). As the three-man front line is a field of commentary—incisive, vocal cries from Watts' alto, Norden's slushy tailgate and Bradford's cutting, stately horn—bass and drums ebb from loose, jovial swing to net-less freedom. Three minutes in, one might be hard pressed to think that the alto and rhythm are anything other than Ornette, Haden, and drummer Billy Higgins.

That isn't to say that the SME are derivative; rather, honoring forebears while at the same time taking free improvisation into new areas is an approach that Stevens' group so beautifully executes. Syrupy blues and back-alley hollers hark back to traditional modalities, while flitting rhythms and tart dissonance are distinctly modern. "Room 408" is more searing, its theme a series of planar rises, a collective improvisation driven by reedy brays and cutting brass, towards a sublimely immediate trio of bass, trombone and trumpet midway through.

"Bridget's Mother" is a piece for trumpet, alto and voice and is more closely-aligned with the SME works on the first LP, with Bradford's steely, fat lines and the liquid cries from Watts' alto triangulating toward Tippetts' soaring cries and broad, impulsive leaps. Rhythmic motives are introduced but soon fall away to bubbling dialogues and long, seeking tones. As a vocal improviser, Tippetts is extraordinary, often in perfect unison with the alto and able to coax a saxophone-like vibrato from her throat.

Stevens, Watts and Bradford would work together again in 1973 on Love's Dream (Emanem, with Kent Carter on bass), the album a result of a tour that took the quartet through England, Holland, Belgium and France. Though a short-lived collaboration, clearly the resulting Stevens-Bradford music was something special for all involved.


Links in Comments!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

KEITH TIPPETT – Mujician I and II - Live At Berlin 1981/1986 (CD-1998)

Label: FMP – FMP CD 95
Format: CD, Compilation; Country: Germany - Released: 1998
Style: Free Improvisation
Tracks 1, 2 and 5 - 3/4 December 1981 in Berlin 
Tracks 3 and 4 - 13 June 1986 in Berlin 
New CD edition/compilation of the LPs SAJ-37 & SAJ-55, on basis of the original recording tapes.
Composed By, Piano – Keith Tippett
Mastered By – Jonas Bergler
Photography By – Dagmar Gebers
Recorded By, Producer, Design, Layout – Jost Gebers

Given that there are so many recordings of pianist Keith Tippett with his partner, vocalist extraordinaire (some would say superhuman) Julie Tippett and his many large ensemble projects, it's easy to let slip what a truly amazing improvising soloist he is. These first two volumes, recorded in 1981 and 1986, respectively, in Berlin and issued as separate LPs are seemingly the work of one man as an orchestra. The nearly 11-minute "All Time, All Time" begins in the middle registers and, ostinato, goes for the depth of the pianos reaches, as if looking for notes that lie somewhere not between the keys on the piano, but the resonances they make together in the air. The playing is so fast and so dense one has to wonder how many fingers he has and where he comes up with so many ideas so quickly, especially playing with whole tones. While many would be tempted to compare Tippett's playing to Cecil Taylor's, they would be wrong. Tippett is not so much interested in bending the reason for the piano's existence as an instrument as in turning it in on itself and using its sonic possibilities to create new ones from the limitations imposed on it by physical structure. It's not about questing for Tippett, it's about listening and creation. The guy will put blocks of wood inside the instrument and let the vibrations move them around; he'll pick up the lid and blow on the strings. And yet, it's not about extremes; all of this, all of these shamanic elements that Tippett employs are very musical. The speed, the intensity, the singing and bowing, the extended beyond comprehension chord voicings, and harmonic adventures all serve music, not soloist. This is playing on an ego-less level, where musician becomes magician because of the thing he serves, not how it serves him. And what the listener gets is an encounter with music as spoken through one who embodies what it actually is, which is something rare and beautiful. Having these two recordings on one CD, and its final part on another, is a gift. These solo sessions are essential not only for those all-too-few Tippett fans, but for anyone interested in either the piano or music as magical endeavor. And for those curious about Tippett, this is the very best place to start.

_ Review by THOM JUREK

Links in Comments!

Monday, November 11, 2013

OM: DORAN / LEIMGRUBER / BURRI / STUDER – Rautionaha (JapoLP-1977) and Montreaux Live & More (LP-1975)

Label: Japo Records – JAPO 60016
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Jazz-Rock, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded December 1976 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg.
Engineer – Martin Wieland
Photography By – Andreas Raggenbass
Photography By [Cover] – Lajos Keresztes
Producer – Thomas Stöwsand

Urs Leimgruber – soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet, percussion
Christy Doran – guitar
Bobby Burri – bass
Fredy Studer – drums, percussion

A1 - For Ursi ... 9:49
A2 - Stephanie ... 11:56
B1 - Song For My Lady ... 11:11
B2 - Rautionaha ... 13:41

The Swiss quartet of OM, which found just the freedom it needed in ECM ’ s studios for a good decade, flung open the doors with colorful aplomb on Rautionaha, a rare JAPO release. To this early date the group brings a kaleidoscope of shared experience. The sound is appropriately splintered. Guitarist Christy Doran pens the kick-in-the-gut opener, “ For Ursi. ” Unable to resist the attraction from the get-go, saxophonist Urs Leimgruber colors the twilight with his heady tenor, chaining ladders of virtuosity with attentive form. His gurgling expositions of momentary abandon give Doran just the break he needs to cast a reverberant magic with tails flying. The superb rhythm work from percussionist Fredy Studer and bassist Bobby Burri completes this wall of light. The latter gives us “ Stephanie, ” his first of two cuts. This meditation of gongs and electronics coalesces into some fine soliloquies from the composer, while the full drumming and six-string picking shimmer like morning sun on the horizon ’ s lip. The prickly tenor is a bonus. Speaking of which, Leimgruber puts his writing to the test in “ Song For My Lady. ” Something of a ballad, in it he becomes a crying wayfarer who walks the same circle of self-reflection until there is only music left of the one that produced it. Lifting this ponderous weight off our shoulders is Burri ’ s title offering, which grows like weed in a groovy embrace. His bass work glows here. Leimgruber opts for soprano, reaching heights of multi-phonic brilliance that no footstool can reach. The effect is nothing short of extraordinary. The quartet ends on a whimsical punctuation mark, for all like a flag without a country, a star without a sky. In the absence of definite shape, we are free to induce our own.

Label: Indian Records – ST 1001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1975
Style: Free Jazz, Jazz-Rock
Side 1: recorded July 3, at the Montreux Jazz Festival 
Side 2: recorded September 16&17, 1974 at Sinus-Studio Berne, Switzerland 
All tracks mixed September 26&30, 1974 at Sinus-Studio Berne, Switzerland
Cover – Kurt Eckert
Engineer – Peter Mc Taggart (tracks: B1-B3), Steff Sulke (tracks: A1)
Mixed By – Peter Mc Taggart (tracks: A1-B3)
Photography By – William Feess; Producer – OM

A1 - (Füddler) On The Roof  ... 23:45
B1 - Testament Of A Dog ... 4:31
B2 - For Moritz ... 8:19
B3 - When Eyes Are Smiling ... 9:06

The iconoclastic group known as OM (after John Coltrane ’ s album of the same name) took root in the musical wilds of Lucerne, Switzerland in 1972, and for the next decade filled its cup with an idiosyncratic blend of Free Jazz, Rock and Free improvisation. 

Not only was the electric guitar with many electronic devices , such as ring modulator , delay, coupled . OM was one of the first European jazz groups who always had a sound engineer there because they " worked with sound ... so even with an electrically amplified contrabass with ground effects ( ..) , a plant with Hall effects for saxophone, some also the drums and the percussion was reinforced. OM played the Montreux Jazz Festival and at hundreds of concerts in Europe, they became very well known not only in Switzerland, but also in Germany .

Links in Comments!

Friday, November 8, 2013


Label: Hat Hut Records – 2R14
Format: 2 × Vinyl, Album, LP; Country: Switzerland - Released: 1981
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded live on 29 December 1979 at Soundscape in New York City during the European/American Music Festival.
New Cover Design by ART&JAZZ Studio SALVARICA, by VITKO
Edited By – Peter Pfister, Werner X. Uehlinger
Engineer – Peter Kuhn
Mastered By – David Crawford
Producer – Pia & Werner X. Uehlinger
Producer [Concert] – Verna Gillis

Here, in front of you is another "Hat Hut", edition of the early eighties, a double LP album Steve Lacy Trio (with Ronnie Boykins and Dennis Charles), a masterpiece, certainly one of the best live records that gave Lacy.

...With the sextet paired down to a quintet, Lacy recorded the live Stamps (february 1978), containing extended performances of new pieces such as Ire, The Dumps, Duckles and especially Wickets, Troubles (may 1979), with Wasted and Blues. and the live The Way (january 1979), that delivered a 26-minute version of Tao. But the live trio Capers (december 1979) was better than any of the quintet/sextet recordings. The music was literally overflowing from the extended meditations...


I made a complete remaster of tracks after ripping and designed by a new look cover. I hope that you will like . "Hat Hut" original cover also included. Comfortably listening .  –  Enjoy!

Some of Steve Lacy's best work comes from his trios. Somehow, he seems most free and confident in this format, curiously more so than in his rare duo or more popular solo outings. Of course, in this instance, it does not hurt for Lacy to be paired with drummer Dennis Charles and bassist Ronnie Boykins, each of whom seems perfectly attuned to the saxophonist's approach. Charles and Lacy go back to the 1950s together, when they played with Cecil Taylor and Gil Evans together. For this recording, Lacy is highly focused, his improvisations taking on a more syncopated and aggressive flavor than usual. Charles and Boykins kick hard, and the results are exemplary. The unusual choice of tunes (all composed by Lacy) includes "The Crunch," "Quirks," "Bud's Brother," "Capers," "We Don't," and "Kitty Malone."

_ By STEVE LOEWY (All Music Guide)

Links in Comments!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CECIL TAYLOR – One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye (3LP-1980)

For Dominique,
I think that's she only lady who visits this blog.

Label: Hat Hut Records – 3R02
Format: 3 × Vinyl, LP, Album Box Set; Country: Switzerland - Released: 1980
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live in concert on 14 June 1978 at Liederhalle/Mozartsaal Stuttgart Germany.
Artwork [Cover] – Klaus Baumgärtner
Edited By – Peter Pfister
Mastered By – David Crawford
Photography By, Liner Notes – Spencer Richards
Producer – Pia Uehlinger
Producer, Edited By – Werner X. Uehlinger
Recorded By – Süddeutscher Rundfunk

... In 1978 Cecil Taylor not only formed a band, he took it into the recording studio (something he hadn’t done since Conquistador!, a dozen years earlier) and on a European tour. The Cecil Taylor Unit of spring and summer 1978 is not only one of the pianist’s most vital ensembles, it’s also unique in its instrumentation, and its development of a collective identity makes it a rarity among his groups. The four releases by this sextet—its self-titled debut; 3 Phasis; and the live albums Live in the Black Forest and One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye—are among my favorite Cecil Taylor albums, and the subject of this essay.

The group consisted of Taylor; alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons , his creative foil from 1962 to his death in 1986; trumpeter Raphé Malik ; violinist Ramsey Ameen ; bassist Sirone ; and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson . Malik, originally from Massachusetts, had played with Frank Wright and the Art Ensemble of Chicago in Paris in the late 1960s, during the great free jazz migration from the US to France that gave the BYG label the majority of its catalog. He met Taylor in the early 1970s, and first appeared on 1976’s Dark to Themselves, alongside Lyons, tenor saxophonist David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards . Sirone, born Norris Jones , was from Atlanta, and arrived in New York just in time for the first flowering of the free jazz scene; he recorded with many major players within that milieu, including Albert Ayler , Pharoah Sanders and Marion Brown , for sessions on ESP-Disk and Impulse!, and was one of the three co-founders, along with Leroy Jenkins and Jerome Cooper , of the violin-bass-drums trio the Revolutionary Ensemble . Jackson, a transplanted Texan, was another highly regarded player on the New York out-jazz scene; prior to joining Taylor’s group, he had backed Albert Ayler and been the original drummer for Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time —he can be heard on Dancing in Your Head and Body Meta. Ramsey Ameen is the odd man out in the band. He made his recorded debut with the group’s April 1978 studio sessions, which yielded both the self-titled album and 3 Phasis, and seems to have retired from music sometime in the 1980s. And yet his contributions to this group are crucial, serving as a bridge between avant-garde jazz and 20th Century chamber music. Indeed, if you choose to view bridging that distance as the ultimate purpose and greatest success of this band, as I do, then Ameen is the indispensable man, the one without whom the whole project would collapse...

Eleven days after the recording of Live in the Black Forest, the Cecil Taylor Unit made its most expansive and passionate (and final) statement. On June 14, they performed at the Liederhalle/Mozartsaal in Stuttgart, Germany, an event which was recorded for the mammoth One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye. It was the final night of a six-week tour, and not all venues and not all presenters were as respectful of the musicians as they should have been. On this night, there was a well-tuned grand piano in the hall that was covered and locked up backstage; the people in charge said it was reserved for classical pianists, and provided Taylor with a less ideal instrument. Similar disrespect was afforded Ramsey Ameen, with the result that he played the show in his undershirt as a form of silent protest. Still, it’s an astonishing musical event, running nearly two and a half hours in total and originally broken up into three vinyl LPs, later reorganized into two 70-plus minute CDs.

Taylor is not even present onstage for the first twenty minutes of music. He allows the other members of the band to begin without him, in a series of duos and solos, steadily building tension and energy so that when he does finally sit at the keyboard, the resulting explosion will be that much greater. First up are Raphé Malik and Jimmy Lyons, offering a four-minute passage of rippling interplay more conventionally melodic than what they’d play as part of the full Unit, yet still exciting; they sound like yelping puppies, cavorting around the stage. Ameen and Sirone follow them, the violinist building from short, tentative tugs at his strings with the bow to longer, more haunted-house phrases. The bassist, meanwhile, plays with a bow as well, at first, though eventually he moves back to plucking the strings by the end of this over 11-minute passage. The last member of the group to make an individual statement is Jackson, whose solo is as crushing and explosive as anything he’d do eight years later with the jazz-metal improvising quartet Last Exit .

Once Taylor strikes the keys, the music becomes overwhelming. I mean that; One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye is almost too much to take. The performance is continuous; though the untitled piece, simply labeled “ Cecil Taylor Unit ” is divided into five sections (two on the first disc, following the duets and drum solo, and three on the second), the back cover makes it plain:

“ The track points are provided for the listener’s convenience and do not indicate divisions of the work. ”

If you can manage to stagger away to a safe distance and gain some perspective, it becomes apparent that Taylor’s methodology at this concert was the same as in the studio or on Live in the Black Forest. The group fractures into subsets again and again—trumpet/violin, violin/piano, a piano trio, piano trio plus Lyons, even an extended solo piano section to launch the concert’s final half hour. But the ultimate impression is of standing in the path of an avalanche. Every player included is hitting so hard, emitting so much raw energy, that to listen to the entire performance in one sitting is the kind of thing that should earn a person a trophy or a plaque. One Too Many is a fitting capper to this band’s short life, because when it finally ends, you can be forgiven for believing you’ve heard all the music your brain will ever be able to store, by Cecil Taylor or anyone else, for the rest of your life.

Should you want more, though, there’s one more document of this band out there, and to my mind it’s maybe the most important one of all. On June 10, seven days after Live in the Black Forest and four days before One Too Many, the group performed in the Grosser Sendesaal (main hall) of the Funkhaus in Köln. This performance (an hour of it, at any rate) must have been recorded for German radio, because a pristine tape has been circulating in bootleg form for decades. Naturally, it’s readily available on the Internet.

The bootleg recording isn’t ideal. The sound quality is pristine, mind you—every instrument is clear and isolated in the mix, allowing as careful an analysis of each member’s contribution as is possible with the studio recordings. But the music cuts off after an hour, and it’s obvious from what was going on when it ends that there was much more heard that night. Also, the version I have splits the second of the two pieces performed ( “ Third Part of One ” and “ Third Worlds Making ” ) into two chunks, with nearly 10 seconds of silence in the middle. But once you get past those two flaws, the Funkhaus performance is genuinely revelatory, for one huge reason: Cecil Taylor plays the blues.

Not for the whole hour, of course. For the majority of the time, the ensemble conducts themselves as they do on each of their other recordings, thundering along together or splitting into factions. But about ten minutes into “ Third Part of One, ” right in the middle of a powerful burst of Jimmy Garrison -esque strumming from Sirone, Ronald Shannon Jackson begins to smash the hi-hat in a forceful, swinging pattern, and all of a sudden Taylor begins comping like he hasn’t (on record, anyway) since about 1960! Lyons and Malik come in, blowing the blues, and Ameen plucks his strings like a high-pitched guitar, as Sirone walks the whole thing forward and the drums clatter out an even more emphatic beat, one almost recalling Art Blakey . The whole band continues like this for an astonishingly long time, Taylor finally returning to his usual cascades of notes somewhere around the 14-minute mark. But Lyons continues to solo in a lyrical, even somewhat romantic manner, and Sirone and Jackson keep the groove going, until nearly 15 minutes into the piece. And when the drummer does abandon swing, it’s only so that he can take a jackhammering solo of his own. Of all the things this sextet did on record and in concert, this patch of (almost) straight-up hard bop may be the most shocking, and in some ways it puts everything else into an entirely different light.

The 1978 Cecil Taylor Unit was about connecting the dots—about joining blues and swing to modern classical and free jazz, about making it all sing as one. Where the studio albums could be bombastic and crisp at the same time, the live albums had a stark beauty born of subdividing the ensemble into its component parts, the better to reveal the power of the whole. This band’s short lifespan kept its music from stagnating; they never had time to develop rote bits of business, or clichés to endlessly re-work. They burned like a white-hot flame, and then they dissipated. Ameen remained with Taylor through 1979; Lyons through his death in 1986. The others went on to long, productive careers—Malik and Sirone are dead now, but Jackson’s still out there, hitting as hard as ever. And of course, Taylor continues to perform, taking listeners on epic journeys every time he sits down at the piano. I’ve seen him perform four times with ensembles of varying sizes, and own dozens of his albums. But for me, this band might be his ultimate achievement.

Links in Comments!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

SVEN-ÅKE JOHANSSON / NMUI – Mit Dem NMUI Im SO 36 '79 (CD-2004)

Label: GROB – GROB 650, Olof Bright – OBCD 10
Format: CD, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 2004
Style: Free Improvisation
Recorded live at the SO 36, Berlin on April 12, 1979.
Originally released as a 7" on FMP in 1987. Track 1 & 3 are restored to the complete length of the recording, track 2 is previously unissued.
Composed By – Johansson-Halldin
Cover – Sven-Åke Johansson
Illustration [Front] – M. Kippenberger
Mastered By – W. Blaczejzak
Executive-producer – Felix Klopotek, Thomas Millroth

Sven-Åke Johansson’s art has been well documented, and yet there are still discoveries to be found in his cosmos: among these is his work with large groups. One knows the music he has made with jazz combos, free improvising duos and trios or classic free jazz ensembles. He has written pieces for music theatre as well as for new music. He has, however, repeatedly tried out improvisational models in orchestra-like situations – and it is this work that has hardly been documented.
In the middle of the 80’s, Johannson released a single ” Sven-Åke Johansson with the NMUI in SO 36 ‘79 ” in cooperation with the Berlin-based label, FMP. Hidden behind the cryptic abbreviation NMUI is North European Melody and Improvisation Orchestra [in German, Nordeuropäische Melodie- und Improvisationsorchester]. A group, which in addition to Johansson (on drums and accordion), was made up of Rüdiger Carl (tenor saxophone, accordeon), Wolfgang Fuchs (diverse wooden reed instruments), the trombonists Radu Malfatti and Thomas Wiedermann, Hans Reichel on guitar, Norbert Eisbrenner on violin and Maarten Altena van Regteren on bass and cello. It goes without saying: an all-star ensemble.
The single, with a cover from Martin Kippenberger, who also financially supported the recording, contained a twelve-minute section from a concert that, of course, lasted much longer. For nearly 20 years, this single remained the only evidence of Johansson’s large ensemble work – until this recording, which – almost exactly 25 years later to the very day – documents that concert in its full length. And what can you hear? At first, great solos. Johansson creates a lot of space for the players; Hans Reichel, Rüdiger Carl or Maarten Altena play with abandon. Carl, for example, who hasn’t played saxophone for over 10 years, plays unchained free jazz – neighing horses, screaming motors, rat-a-tatting machine guns. Johannson doesn’t just create ” frames ” in which the improvisers move freely, rather he achieves an open compositional principle where an unbelievable amount can (and should) happen, but what happens (which is improvised) makes sense, is committed, originates out of certain compositional connections and leads to others in turn. Thus pulsing free jazz results, flights in new music and, again and again, Berlin folk music. With care, the NMUI adapts the swaying classic ” Bis früh um fünfe/wir sind immer noch Berliner ” [Until early at five in the morning/We’re all still from Berlin]. ” Berlin Folk Music ” – this refers to the location where this music was performed: at the legendary concert hall SO 36 in the middle of the Kreuzberg quarter of Berlin. Back then in 1979 Martin Kippenberger programmed the concerts and staged everything that was radical and good: punk, industrial, wave, avant-pop and free jazz again and again. The audience – mostly punks – accepted the aesthetic challenge and reacted aggressively. One recognizes this on this recording, which originates out of the audience. There is heckling, loud screaming, displays of displeasure.... The musicians don’t let themselves be intimidated. In contrast, the music sounds even more emphatic. With this restoration of this legendary performance, GROB continues the cooperation with
Sven-Åke Johansson which began last year (see Hudson Riv GROB 542). Other recordings will follow.

This release is a co-production with the Swedish label OLOF BRIGHT.

Links in Comments!

Friday, November 1, 2013

HAN BENNINK / WILLEM BREUKER – The New Acoustic Swing Duo In Japan 1984 (LP-1984)

Label: Jazz & NoW – 2
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Japan - Released: 1984
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded live at Jazz & Now, Sendai, Japan, 30 August 1984.
Track A2 is an unaccompanied percussion solo, track A3 is an unaccompanied bass clarinet solo
Artwork and Design by  Han Bennink
Producer – Kunio Nakamura
Recorded By – Morio Nakamura

A1  Sendai Sjors And Sendai Sjimmie  9:57
A2  Kah-Wi! Drums – Han Bennink  6:29
A3  Tlam Bass Clarinet – Willem Breuker  5:56
A4  A Cigar For Kunio  4:35
B1  Domo Louis-San  6:57
B2  Kamikaze Dick  7:56
B3  Call From The Korean Doctor  11:03

Willem Breuker – Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Producer, Remix
Han Bennink – Drums, Piano, Soprano Saxophone, Wind [Megaphone], Producer

Breuker and Bennink developed several projects between 67 and 73, one being a duo, which came the amazing album "New Acoustic Swing Duo", 67. Almost two decades after this shoot, they ran to the session presentations in Japan, this came "The New Acoustic Swing Duo in Japan 1984" captured the Japanese city of Sendai, on August 30, 84. If Breuker was not an enthusiast full of free improv, when he joined Bennink had no other way out: it was best to let the sound flow freely.

Link in Comments!