Friday, January 31, 2014

PETER BRÖTZMANN, HAN BENNINK, ALBERT MANGELSDORFF – Live In Quasimodo, Berlin, January 14, 1985 (Set1 / Set2 on 2CD)

Private recording/DP-0803
Format: CD, Album; Released: 1985
(Set1 / Set2 on 2CD)
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live in Quasimodo, Berlin, Germany, on January 14, 1985. 
Design by ART&JAZZ Studio Salvarica
Artwork and Complete Design by VITKO

Self-taught on clarinets, he soon moved to saxophones and began playing swing/bebop, before meeting Peter Kowald. During 1962/63 Brötzmann, Kowald and various drummers played regularly - Mingus, Ornette Coleman, etc. - while experiencing freedoms from a different perspective via Stockhausen, Nam June Paik, David Tudor and John Cage. In the mid 1960s, he played with American musicians such as Don Cherry and Steve Lacy and, following a sojourn in Paris with Don Cherry, returned to Germany for his unorthodox approach to be accepted by local musicians like Alex von Schlippenbach and Manfred Schoof.

The trio of Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald and Sven-Ake Johansson began playing in 1965/66 and it was a combination of this and the Schoof/Schlippenbach Quintet that gave rise to the first Globe Unity Orchestra. Following the self-production of his first two LPs, For Adolphe Sax and Machine gun for his private label, BRÖ, a recording for Manfred Eicher's 'Jazz by Post' (JAPO) [Nipples], and a number of concert recordings with different sized groups, Brötzmann worked with Jost Gebers and started the FMP label. He also began to work more regularly with Dutch musicians, forming a trio briefly with Willem Breuker and Han Bennink before the long-lasting group with Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove. As a trio, and augmented with other musicians who could stand the pace (e.g. Albert Mangelsdorff on, for example, The Berlin concert), this lasted until the mid-1970s though Brötzmann and Bennink continued to play and record as a duo, and in other combinations, after this time. A group with Harry Miller and Louis Moholo continued the trio format though was cut short by Miller's early death.

Today I present to Peter Brötzmann Trio with Albert Mangelsdorff, trombone and Han Bennink, drums and percussion. The concert was held in Berlin at the famous Quasimodo 14 January in 1985. This event in two long sets, was never officially recorded, and was placed on the DIME and Ubu Roi (post from Monday, May 11, 2009, -FLAC). Otherwise, I would recommend this blog, a few months back again is activated:

I got this gig from my friend Martin five years ago, recorded on tape. I fixed the sound quality (eliminate noise), designed the new cover and now is before you in the form of albums, and in my collection is in the department of "Private recording", catalog # / DP-0803.

I am sure this is fantastic concert and deserves our attention again. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

JOHN TCHICAI – Solo + Albert Mangelsdorff (1977)

Label: FMP – SAJ-12
Format: Vinyl, LP; CD mastering by Olaf Rupp
Country: Germany - Released: 28 June 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on February 16th, 1977, during a Free Concert at Townhall Charlottenburg in Berlin.
Design, Photography By – Dagmar Gebers
Artwork and Design (inner pages & 4) by VITKO
Recorded By, Producer – Jost Gebers

If one is entitled by virtue of his musical awareness and technical ability to record a solo album, it's John Tchicai. Tchicai likes to play alone, perhaps because he likes to be alone lives and life and games are not to be separated from him. Solo pieces are not Exercises for Finger & formulas, as unfortunately many, too many solo albums, but improvisations of a mature personality with him. The series of short pieces on the bamboo flute is for me the most impressive, because here the solo character, ie the oneness of musical awareness and the instrument most pristine, is expressed.

John Tchicai, who had done in the 60 years of working with Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane Outstanding in the enforcement of free jazz , played in February at the Town Hall Charlottenburg three solo pieces on its three different instruments. Soprano, alto saxophone and flute oriental. He built it on the power of repetition, forceful stimulus was reinforced by the cut, crystal-clear tone of his saxophone. On the other hand, he achieved the same effect with starkly contrasting agents: The gently insinuating sequences of its simple wooden flute take a prisoner just to wear a more into the warm summer night on a Central Asian hill. Tchicais thoughtful and meditative solo music - more than subjects con variationi - are marked by a simplicity in jazz who deliberately radically opposes the always perfektionistischeren trends in arrangement, instrumentation, and production technology. Of equal transparency and clarity is also the spontaneous duo between him and Albert Mangelsdorff, both pull here unceremoniously on the same train and play together in a completely natural, as if they would do this every night. It was the first meeting for years.

_ By MICHAEL THIEM, Jazz Podium # 1, Januar 1978

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JOHN TCHICAI and STRANGE BROTHERS – John Tchicai And Strange Brothers (1978)

Label: FMP – SAJ-15
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; CD mastering by Olaf Rupp
Country: Germany - Released: 21 March 1978
Jazz Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on October 9th,1977 during a Free Concert at the Townhall Charlottenburg in Berlin.
Design [Cover Design], Photography By – Dagmar Gebers, Jost Gebers
Artwork and Design (inner pages & 4) by VITKO
Recorded By, Producer – Jost Gebers

The Strange Brothers disc is a live recording from the town hall in Charlottenburg. The main title reminded me of the New York Contemporary Five by Archie Shepp 1963. Although quiet in the mood, this recording follows on directly from the recordings 14 years ago, and the New York Art Quartet of 1964/65 is alive in some places. Despite the presence Tchicais the musicians surrounding him have great freedom. Of the seven-established on the record date only two pieces of Tchicai. But modesty was always marked Tchicais music as his life.


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Sunday, January 26, 2014

P. DUNMALL / P. ROGERS / K. NORTON – Go Forth Duck (2004) and Rylickolum: For Your Pleasure (2003)

Label: CIMP – CIMP 296
Format: CD, Album; Country: US - Released: 2004
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at The Spirit Room, Rossie, NY, May 20, 2003.
Spirit Room Series, Vol. 175
Artwork By [Cover] – Kara D. Rusch
Engineer [Recording] – Marc D. Rusch
Producer – Robert D. Rusch

While the production appears rushed, the music is of the caliber that is to be expected from musicians such as Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers, and Kevin Norton. The recording comes from the same session that produced the superb Rylickolum: For Your Pleasure but curiously, the notes for this one refer only to tracks from that earlier release, and Kevin Norton is listed as playing drums but not vibes, which he also performs in splendid fashion throughout. There are only three pieces, with two ("Go Forth Duck" and "I Am Not a Van [Ofocals]") of considerable length. Dunmall is a master of the small group performance: he paces each track carefully so that there is a relaxed sense of completeness. Dunmall plays his three favorite horns -- the soprano sax, bagpipes, and tenor sax -- and along with Norton's vibes and drums, plus Rogers' bass, there are a total of six instruments, making this more diverse and accessible than the usual sax-led trio album. In terms of Dunmall's discography, this is a quality set, equal to the reedist's best work. There is the requisite intensity, with Dunmall blowing hard when appropriate; there are also sections of introspective beauty. His magnificent solo on soprano following Norton's hardcore drumming near the end of "Go Forth Duck" shows why Dunmall is so respected as an improviser. Through the course of this solo alone, Dunmall springs off the bass and drums, develops moods, morphs in sometimes subtle ways, and engages in unmitigated flash, ending with a prime display of technical bravura with galloping clusters. His bagpipe reaches a majestic height as he merges sounds with Rogers' acoustic bass on "Come Back Weirdness Day." Rogers and Norton are about as tight a rhythm section as exists. They each know how to spur a soloist and they are each excellent soloists themselves. This is a power trio at the peak of their game, and here they project some wonderful moments.


Label: CIMP – CIMP 289
Format: CD, Album; Country: US - Released: 2003
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at The Spirit Room, Rossie, NY, May 19, 2003.
Artwork By [Cover] – Kara D. Rusch
Engineer [Recording] – Marc D. Rusch
Producer – Robert D. Rusch

The A.L.L. bass was designed by Antoine Leducq; it has a wide fretboard with 2 tiers of strings: 6 or 7 traditional-like bass strings on top and 12 or 14 sitar-like sympathetic strings running under the length of the fingerboard and just above the body of the bass.

Saxophonist Paul Dunmall and bassist Paul Rogers share a longtime association playing European improvised music. With Keith Tippett and Tony Levin they complete the quartet known as Mujician. Dunmall also plays with singer Richard Thompson. With guitarist Phillip Gibb, Rogers and Dunmall comprise Moksha. With percussionist Ken Norton, an Anthony Braxton alumnus, they form a long-travelled trio that took time out here to document intimate empathy and free imagination.

The title track begins portentiously with struck chimes, Rogers softly grinding on bass, and Dunmall playing coy melodies. They quickly blossom into Norton and Rogers providing the clickety clack for Dunmall’s hard driving train. His powerful soprano runs itself out, Norton lets the bass drive for a while, and Norton switches to chilly vibes. Dunmall picks it back up, then rests while Rogers pulls rapid elastic bass and Norton offers light cymbal brush work. He gets crazy in the upper register and Dunmall returns to give chase. Norton adds more drums to the attack, adding thrust to the momentum, all three full force. As the rush dissipates, Norton returns to vibes and Dunmall confines himself to toneless breath, Rogers popping harmonics. Norton plays mysterioso vibes, with occasional drum splash.

The performance continues with “ Villaka, ” and Norton solos in stellar bursts on vibes. He continues creating spontaneous fire, and Dunmall joins him with a tenor full of gasoline. They make having a lot of ideas sound easy. Norton transitions to drums and Rogers returns with his aggressive fluency. The trio rocks hard, then Dunmall lingers over phrases, changing his purrs into barks, finally pops and squeaks coloring strenuous bass runnings from Rogers. Norton whizzes on brushes, switches to sticks, finally to vibes for Rogers’s high scratchings that drop low and Dunmall off again with Norton at his heels still on vibes. Going back to sticks on drums, he whips Dunmall into an inspired exchange.

After their retreat, “ Indokeluka ” begins with Rogers ’ continued soft scrape. Norton contributes tentative vibes and Dunmall a slow soulful melody. Rogers ’ itchy bowing infects Dunmall, who turns melodies in on themselves, finally disolving down to Rogers as the center. Dunmall breaks loose again with Norton casting rhythm nets under his feet, and Rogers continues his bowed meditation. With Norton back on atmospheric vibes, Dunmall rolls quick little phrases around; but as Rogers turns up the intensity, Dunmall gets raw. He slurs and overblows in duet with Rogers, Norton takes an uncluttered solo, and Rogers brings Dunmall back with him. Norton and Rogers take on a swinging rhythm and Dunmall plays all over it. With Norton blazing back on vibes, Rogers and Dunmall offer small comments.

As always, the recording boasts that patented CIMP sound: clear, clean, and refreshing. The unadulterated acoustics gives up every nuance and tone the trio can imagine.

_ By REX BUTTERS, Published: June 1, 2004

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

BLUE NOTES – Blue Notes For Mongezi (1976 / 2CD-2008)

Label:  Ogun – OGCD 025/026
Format: 2 × CD, Album; Country: UK - Released:2008
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded on 23 December 1975 in a rehearsal room in London. 
It is the spontaneous tribute of four musicians who had assembled in London for the Memorial Service for their friend.
Producer – Chris McGregor, Keith Beal
Reissue Producer – Hazel Miller
Remastered By – Martin Davidson
Photography [Back Cover] – George Hallett, Peter Sinclair
Photography [Front Cover, Mongezi Feza] – George Hallett

BLUE NOTES (1964) From left to right: Dudu Pukwana, Monty Weber, Chris McGregor, Mongezi Feza

...The Ogun box necessarily cuts straight to Blue Notes For Mongezi, and as the redux version now occupies two full CDs this will be the main attraction for many buyers. Although the Blue Notes had not played together as the Blue Notes for some years, they nevertheless reunited at Feza’s memorial service and without saying much of anything went straight to a rehearsal room directly afterwards, set up their instruments, and played and played and sang and played for something like three and a half hours without a break. Due to the limitations of vinyl, the original double album was necessarily a set of highlights but still made for one of the most harrowing listening experiences I can recall; the passion, the grief, the words, above all Johnny Dyani’s words, seemed almost too painful for public consumption, but as an act of catharsis and reconciliation it was surely needed, and over the course of its four sides the music did seem to reach a point of acknowledgement and resolution.

Over two CDs, however, the playing time has effectively doubled in length, and we now have the complete record, or as complete a record as we’re going to get, of everything that was played and taped on that day; according to engineer Keith Beal, the musicians started playing practically the moment they came into the room, while the recording equipment was still being set up, and there is an abrupt but small break in the music between the two CDs which marked the point where the tape reels had to be changed, but otherwise the performance is complete.

The completeness also alters the listener’s perspective on the music radically, such that one is effectively listening to a new extended piece of music altogether; the grief is immediately apparent as the music fades in, Dudu’s alto squealing, Dyani’s bowed bass scribbling, McGregor’s piano an abstracted ghost on the far left, Moholo’s drums busy but strangely subdued. The pace is necessarily slower and more organic than on the original vinyl release but the overall picture is critically more detailed; we have Dyani’s urgent ostinatos and parched Xhosa (and occasional English) cries but they are now set in a more complex landscape where there are long periods of straight swing or Coltrane-type waltz passages. In the “ Second Movement ” Dyani’s bass solo remains poignant to the point of unlistenable (in terms of unalloyed, bereaved sorrow), though clearly influenced by Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra recording of “ Song For Che ” with rattling percussion from all direction accompanying his playing and Dudu’s solemn alto succeeding him in the foreground with an eventual martial feel of defiance in the group’s rhythm. This is then succeeded by Dyani and Dudu’s vocal harmonies and chants, again accompanied only by free percussion.

From this point of prayer-filled stasis, the music gradually picks up again on the third CD; Pukwana picks up on “ Yellow Rose Of Texas ” from nowhere in particular (though in the English vocal sections I notice lots of “ We love you ” s but also Dyani’s ominous “ We know your enemies ” ) and turns that too into an ANC-worthy anthem of hopeful triumph, while the band as a whole suddenly swing through a whole series of Blue Notes/Brotherhood standards, most notably a spirited run through Feza’s “ Sonia ” with a terrific McGregor/Dyani duet section. Ultimately we arrive, after a lengthy and patient set-up, at the lilting major key tribute to Feza which concluded the original album, where the Blue Notes appear to will their own rebirth and “ live ” once more. Blue Notes For Mongezi is their “ Everything’s Gone Green ” and just as devastating a listening experience...

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Monday, January 20, 2014

JIMMY LYONS – The Box Set (5CDs-1972/'85) - ayler-2003

Label: Ayler Records – aylCD-036 - 040
Format: 5 × CD, Album, Box Set, Limited Edition
Country: Sweden - Released: 2003
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Cover [Cover Art], Design – Åke Bjurhamn
Engineer – Joe Walker (tracks: 1-1 to 3-1), Judy Schwartz (tracks: 5-1 to 5-7), Verna Gillis (tracks: 3-2 to 3-7)
Executive-Producer – Jan Ström
Photography By – Chris Green, Jerry Kambisis, Lona Foote, Maryanne Driscoll, Nils Edström, Willard Taylor
Producer [Concert-producer] – Bea Rivers (tracks: 1-1 to 3-1), Chris Rich (tracks: 5-1 to 5-7), Sam Rivers (tracks: 1-1 to 3-1), Verna Gillis (tracks: 3-2 to 3-7)
Remastered By – Per Ruthström
Transferred By, Mastered By, Liner Notes – Ben Young

Jimmy Lyons is one of the most intriguing musicians to emerge in the 1960s, as the alto saxophonist provided one of the strongest links between bebop and the New Thing. Unlike many of the movement's provincially raised exponents, Lyons spent his formative years in New York, where he was able to jam with the likes of Cannonball Adderley and Elmo Hope before his historic, quarter-century association with Cecil Taylor began in 1961. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Lyons' solos were about not just notes but phrases: short, jolting cries and serpentine, blues-drenched lines passionately and expertly strung together. There is no more direct route connecting Charlie Parker to the '60s and its ongoing aftermath than Jimmy Lyons.

Yet this did not initially benefit Lyons, who, for a number of reasons, was slow to make his own records. After balking at an offer of a Prestige date in '61, Lyons had to wait until 1969, and then only made the minor classic Other Afternoons (BYG/Actuel) because of the last- minute cancellation of a Taylor-led session. Gaining traction as the leader of working bands took even longer. Lyons' units worked primarily in the New York loft scene until well into the '70s, and it was only a few years before his death in 1986 that Lyons found a steady outlet for their music with the Black Saint label. Still, Lyons left a sufficient body of work for him to be considered a major voice in his own right, a legacy significantly enhanced by The Box Set, a five-CD collection of ensemble and solo concerts spanning the years 1972 to '85.

In a 1978 interview excerpt with WKCR programmer Taylor Storer that is included in the collection, Lyons states that he saw few distinctions between composition and improvisation, a sensibility no doubt reinforced by his association with Cecil Taylor. However, Lyons pursued this position through conventionally formatted pieces, with themes usually stated in unison by the front line. The evolution of his thematic materials is an important thread of this collection, one that is potentially overlooked given the wealth of impassioned performances. The earliest concert, a '72 Studio Rivbea set with trumpeter Raphe Malik, bass player Hayes Burnett and drummer Sidney Smart, reveals Lyons to be navigating several overlapping currents. The tune that came to be Lyons' signature, "Jump Up," is a revving motivic line somewhat in the vein of Sonny Rollins' "East Broadway Run Down." "Mr. 1-2-5 Street" shows adeptness at the early Ornette Coleman gambit of gluing together fragmentary phrases with buoyant rhythmic shifts. And "Ballad 1" initially drifts toward Coleman and then veers with a Coltrane-ish phrase.

Largely because of his alto's central role, Lyons' pieces never seem derivative. The saxophonist bonded a jabbing attack and a plaintive tone in an instantly recognizable manner, and everything he wrote flowed from the resulting soul-stirring sound. This is most evident in the hour-plus solo concert recorded in '81 at Soundscape. It is simply engrossing to hear Lyons' sense of design morph effortlessly into cascading improvisations without being triggered by the abrupt abandonment of the theme by a second horn or the on-cue stretching of the rhythm section. This is not to suggest that Lyons could not achieve comparable results at the helm of a small group, a fact attested to by the expansive '75 trio outing with Burnett and drummer Henry Letcher. Still, this 90-minute Studio Rivbea workout does not represent Lyons' music at its pinnacle.
It takes the enlistment of two musicians outside the New York loft scene for Lyons' ensemble sound to reach full maturity. One is Paul Murphy, a drummer whose relentless drive and conservatory-honed precision and agility could single-handedly propel Lyons' music, as confirmed by a bass-less 1984 concert recorded in Geneva. However, the crucial catalytic voice in Lyons' group was bassoonist Karen Borca, the most dazzling double-reed player in jazz history. Not only did Borca's throaty chortle perfectly complement Lyons' tone, her virtuosity gave Lyons the latitude to ratchet up the degree of difficulty of his rapid-fire themes and to explore contrapuntal writing. On both the Geneva concert and the '85 Brown University concert that closes this set (with the now omnipresent William Parker rounding out the quartet), Borca's subwooferlike rumble in the heads and her high-voltage solos prove to be essential to Lyons' music.

All in all, The Box Set is a triumph.


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Thursday, January 16, 2014


Label: Les Disques Victo – VICTO CD 079
Format: CD, Album; Country: Canada - Released: 2001
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Studio 2, Radio DRS (Zurich) on January 8-9, 2001.
Artwork – François Bienvenue
Re-Design by ART&JAZZ Studio, by VITKO
Executive-producer – Joanne Vézina, Michel Levasseur
Photography By – Michel Doneda

Some albums you need to give time, a chance to grow on you. Wing Vane falls into this category. Saxophonist Urs Leimgruber, pianist Jacques Demierre, and bassist Barre Phillips have recorded a free improv session dominated by the quietness of whispers and the violence of restraint. Listened to in a distracted manner, it sounds like a random aggregate of sounds, completely unrelated to each other -- when there is sound at all! You need to turn up the volume, pay close attention to the minute details, and experience the moments of silence for what they are: gut-wrenching artistic decisions. For an improviser, to consciously decide not to play -- to let silence fill the room and abdicate one's power over it -- is a gesture more meaningful than what listeners usually think. Listen to this CD once. A few days later listen again. You'll find it will offer you something slightly different from what you remembered. Repeat the experience: Again, you will discover new details, new feelings too. A record that teaches you how to listen to music is something to treasure. This kind of free improvising, focused on the subtle and understated, has become more widespread early in the first decade after 2000. What sets this trio apart is the fact that the musicians did not make a religion out of it. Occasionally, Leimgruber's sax produces soaring notes or enters a very busy phase. At certain times, Demierre drops rock-heavy clusters on the piano, driving an impressive crescendo in "Organically Yours." Yet, these moments don't aim at startling you; they flow naturally. Hearing Phillips in such a setting, decidedly more abstract than usual, is a pleasure. Recommended as an acquired taste.

_ By François COUTURE

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Label: FMP – FMP CD 23
Format: CD, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1990
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded on October 6th, 1989 at the FMP-Studio/Berlin
Mastered By – Jonas Bergler
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By, Photography By, Layout – Jost Gebers

This duet between Dutch pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and vanguard drummer Sunny Murray is one of those records that makes FMP such a necessary label. This impromptu meeting between two giants of that "other" jazz world, the avant-garde, reveals with startling clarity the inherent musical courage it takes to play freely with another musician you have never encountered. This nearly 80-minute recording was done in one day in 1989. Here, von Schlippenbach abdicates his normal responsibilities as a leader and becomes a collaborator. Murray, never really anybody's sideman, takes the reins and turns his rhythmic chops on in such a way that the pianist cannot help but to respond in a like manner. So listeners have a study in rhythmic improvisation. The colliding skeins of von Schlippenbach's notes are patterned after the rolling rim shots of Murray's left hand. His arpeggios land like punches in the heart of the tom-tom and bass drum fills, and together they create the rhythmic impulse to improvisation. With the exception of a truly bent -- that is, very innovative -- read of Monk's "Trinkle, Tinkle," the set is one of improvisations credited to one man or the other. Figures combine to make new structures, as bass notes are discarded in favor of side rolls and cymbal shimmers. Also, as middle-register tonal clusters are etched into the pulse of each track, Murray works to accent them, bringing them out from the drums so that they can become drums in and of themselves. And when it's over, in the silence, the listener will most assuredly sit for a while in disbelief at what just transpired.

_ Review by THOM JUREK

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Sunday, January 12, 2014


Label: Ayler Records – aylCD-048/49
Format: 2 × CD, Album; Country: Sweden - Released: 2004
Jazz Style: Free Jazz
Recorded on Nov 15/24, 1972, and Dec 15, 1972 at ASEA, Stockholm, Sweden
Cover, Design – Åke Bjurhamn
Edited By, Mastered By – Jan Hansson
Engineer – Göran Freese
Executive-producer – Jan Ström
Liner Notes – Keith Knox, Roger Bergner
Mastered By [Final Mastering] – Per Ruthström
Photography By – Gunnar Smoliansky, Rita Knox
Technician [Assembling Of Material To Dat], Mastered By [Assistant] – Keith Knox

An extraordinary recording, this two-CD set captures trumpeter Mongezi Feza fronting the remarkable Bernt Rosengren Quartet, with Okay Temiz added on percussion. Recorded in 1972, but not released until 2004 on the Swedish label, Ayler Records, the ten tracks constituting nearly two hours of music are a major find, despite the somewhat sub-par recording quality and the truncated nature of some of the pieces.
As is customary with this label, the production quality is first-rate, with meticulous notes contained in the 20-page booklet, superb packaging, and a serious effort to clean up the sound.
For those familiar only with Feza's work with the Blue Notes, his ability to create astonishing solos at lightening speed in a largely unfettered environment may come as a pleasant surprise...

Some music and musicians are linked irrevocably to a specific era, either because premature exits or enforced retirement have limited their contribution to those particular times or because their strongest work appeared then. Feza, of course, suffered an all too early exit while Windo kept on going until 1992. While it is impossible to predict what the trumpeter would have gone on to achieve, in Windo’s case I feel that the work done in the ferment of the 1970s was among his strongest and most intense.

Explosive South African trumpeter Feza was a guest with Bernt Rosengren’s quartet along with percussionist Okay Temiz, during November and December 1972 and Free Jam was recorded during this time in an old paint and glass-blowing factory in Stockholm. The location may not seem inspiring but the sound definitely is, being both raw and full of the energies of collective improvisation, with band members shouting encouragement while the rest respond with vigorous, ebullient solos and group blowing.

On the first cd the opening ‘ Theme Of The Day ’ is nearly forty minutes of this approach and features a typically buoyant solo from Feza as well as a freely ranging alto break by Rosengren and some muscular tenor from Tommy Koverhult. But much of the track is a high energy group interaction with players moving to the foreground then shifting back into the ensemble again. It is a truly exhilarating sound driven by the twin percussive assault of Temiz and quartet drummer, Leif Wennerstrom. It ends with Rosengren abstracting a melodic theme, apparently from a pop song, ‘ Sambabiten ’ , stretching it a little and bringing the piece to a joyously steady rhythmic conclusion.

From the same day ‘ Group Notes 1 ’ continues the mood of free improvisation and highlights Feza’s dynamic playing alongside Koverhult and Rosengren. ‘ Group Notes 2 ’ also finds the tenor man exploring though in slightly more restrained manner, holding notes then unleashing cascades of them. It reminded me of Coltrane momentarily. There is a more spacious feel to this track though the energy levels are still quite high.

The second cd also opens with ‘ Theme For The Day II ’ , in this case a spiralling motif that gradually mutates into a group improvisation led by Rosengren. The drumming is particularly fierce and it is a shame that the track seems to fade before it really gets started. Following on though, is the first of several tracks which prominently feature Feza. ‘ Mong’s Research I ’ allows him space to build a furious solo supported only by Wennerstrom and Temiz. He then carries this on at the start of ‘ Group Notes III ’ wrenching squirming metallic figures from his trumpet whilst again being powerfully driven by the force emanating from the twin percussion team. It is probably one of the longest solos I've heard him take and his energy and invention become quite staggering, cutting a swaggering path through the track. The other major force on this track is Rosengren who matches Feza in resourcefulness and power.

A further three sections of ‘ Mong’s Research ’ also contain stunning examples of his technique as he bursts out in barely contained melodic torrents over Rosengren on piano. He seems to want to explore every aspect of the improvisations, his tone shifting through a range of moods. Again, this is another one of the most sustained performances I’ve come across, possibly even surpassing work he laid down with Brotherhood Of Breath and The Blue Notes and reminding me what a terrible loss his early death was for the music.

Although this is ostensibly a guest session from the trumpeter he contributes much of the excitement and verve to the performances, sounding like a small musical tornado, aided crucially by the empathies of both drummers. For anyone, like me, who feels they’ve never heard enough of his work this is absolutely essential listening. Jan Strom’s team at Ayler deserve an award both for making it available in the first place and for presenting it in an informative and attractive package with distinctive cover artwork, as ever, by Ake Bjurhamn.

_ By PAUL DONNELLY, Stride Magazine

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Friday, January 10, 2014


Label: Ektro Records – EKTRO-039
Format: CD, Album; Country: Finland - Released: 2006
Style: Free Improvisation
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 recorded live at Telakka, Tampere 6.3.2005.
Tracks 2, 5 and 6 recorded at Kurvi Studio, 2005.
Mastered By [Mastermixing] – Max Latva
Mastermixing at Vapaa Palestiina Studio, spring 2006
Photography – A. O. Väisänen, E. Leskinen, H. Iffland, I.K. Inha, Pekka Kyytinen, Toivo Talvi
Producer – Jorma Tapio
Recorded By – Eero Savela

"All music is improvised."

1 Seita . . 4:06
2 Nocturnal Wind From The Lake . . 4:12
3 Alone In Public . . 3:09
4 Salainen Tuli / Secret Fire . . 21:33
5 Huh-Huh . . 1:17
6 Turja . . 5:42
7 Mana . . 11:35

JORMA TAPIO - Flute [Flutes], Bells [Bell], Voice, Kantele, Percussion
TERJE ISUNGSET - Drums, Jew's Harp, Voice, Percussion

Some particularly impressive shamanistic improv from the Norwegian/Finnish duo of Terje Isungset and Jorma Tapio. The boundless multi-instrumentalism of the two performers is something to behold, with Isungset’s percussion extending far beyond the realms of conventional drumming (apparently he fashions his own instruments from natural elements like arctic birch, granite, slate and ice), and similarly, Tapio’s woodwind playing seems to transcend the conventional language of the that family of instruments, especially on the appropriately titled ‘ Nocturnal Wind From The Lake ’ , which mimics the natural sounds suggested by the title. The closest Aihki comes to conventional jazz improvisation is on the extended jam, ‘ Salainen Tuli/Secret Fire ’ , which as the album’s centrepiece sees the duo running through their expansive repertoire. Beginning as a caterwauling free music workout, the piece eventually dissolves into the more esoteric, spiritual sounds that characterise this set of recordings, and make them so unique.

While the name Jorma Tapio may not be familiar to you, the name Terje Isungset sure as heck should. He's the man responsible for the Igloo record, a past record of the week, recorded entirely on instruments made from ice. We've been selling that like CRAZY, when all of a sudden we got an email from Jussi (Circle, Pharaoh Overlord, etc.) letting us know that his label Ektro was releasing a brand new record by Isungset, teamed up with some guy names Tapio. We were of course intrigued, but had no idea what to expect. And had we actually expected something, we probably never would have guessed how weird and wonderful this record would be. No ice instruments sad to say, but armed with flutes, bells, voices, kantele, percussion, Jew's harp and lots and lots of drums, these two whip up a super wild and wooly, ultra dense blast of what we can only describe as tribal forest folk free jazz. Or something like that.
Free jazz is probably the closest comparison, the first few tracks are dense psychedelic percussive freak outs, lots of splattery spastic free jazz drumming all over the place, deep bowed bass, steel string zings, and super creepy strangled and howled vocalizations.
Everything sounds very primal and tribal, thick swaths of rhythmic throb underpinned by shimmering washes of cymbal sizzle and warbly mumbled melodies. Isungset proves to be a pretty bad ass drummer, whipping up some seriously wild squalls of spastic skitter, and octopoidal crash and bang. The vocals grunt and chant, sort of yodel, and hoot and holler, very festive and just a little nuts sounding. When the drums recede a bit, the band sort of wonders through some ancient forest, fluttering flutes, simple subtle percussion, distant drones. A bit reminiscent of Avarus or Anaksimandros for sure. The 20+ minute centerpiece, the track "Selainin Tuli / Sacred Fire" lets the duo spread way out, and lay out an expansive tribal soundscape, like the earlier 'free jazz' tracks but stripped way down. Hints of No Neck Blues Band and Sunburned Hand definitely surface now and then, the track eventually building to a howling shrieking psych drone freakout before settling back to almost complete silence. then a gentle lilting smudge of soft flutes and abstract clatter. That smeared clatter sort of drifts into the next two songs, disembodied scrapes and creaks, random bits of percussion, thick washes of low end thrum, quite dark an lovely.
The final track is a flittering flutescape, a spare landscape of woodwinds and distant shimmer, which is soon joined by a buzzing Jew's harp, and the harp and flutes get all tangled up into a strangely propulsive groove, some sort of skeletal prog laced with primal psych rock primitivism and festive Renn Faire revelry, like stumbling into some clearing in the woods and finding some strange open air market, with a very strange duo performing before a crowd of rapt onlookers. Weird, but pretty darn cool as well. Finnish music obsessives need this no matter what. Lovers of that modern free folk new weird America thing might just find that this pushes all their buttons, and REALLY REALLY open minded jazz heads might also want to give this a try. Highly recommended!

_ Aquarius Records

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TERUHISA FUKUDA – Shakuhachi - Kinko School (2003)

Label: Ocora – OCR560184 - 1
Format: CD, Album; Country: France - Released: 2003
Style: Ethnic, Shakuhachi
Recorded at Radio France, Paris, June 2003
Japon - Teruhisa Fukuda, Shakuhachi, Kinko School
Performed by : Fukuda, Teruhisa
Publisher : Editions Radio France

Teruhisa Fukuda performing six of the most representative pieces of Kinko School, developed in the 18th century from traditions of itinerant komusô zen monks for whom enlightenment could be reached through the sound of the shakuhachi flute.


1. Hifumi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe . . 9:27
    (Hifumi introduction - Hachigaeshi. Introduction piece)
2. Mukaiji Reibo . . 12:03
    (Spiritual quest - Hazy sea. A metaphorical allusion to human existence)
3. Koku Reibo . . 13:52
    (Spiritual quest for vacuity. This piece is about the search for a convergence of
     spirituality and music)
4. Shin Kyorei / Banshiki . . 18:00
    (Soul - Vacuity with a Banshiki introduction. In a Zen-doctrine sense)
5. Sokaku Reibo . . 10:38
    (Spiritual quest - Nesting cranes. This piece is a symbol of parental love for one's
6. Yobikaeshi Shika no Tone . . 8:40
    (Stag-calls in the distance. This piece is a symbol of human love)

TERUHISA FUKUDA was born in 1949 in Nagano Prefecture. He studied shakuhachi with Baizan Nakamura and Miyata Kohachiro. He is a member of the Pro Musica Nipponia and master teacher working to free the shakuhachi from its strict traditional setting.

He has performed with numerous famous Japanese orchestras including the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed at prestigious performances sponsored by famous groups like the National Theater, New Nippon Steel Culture Foundation, and Musical Foundation for Modern Music, Japan Federation of Composers, Orchestra Project and NHK.

Fukuda-sensei is a member of the Pro Musica Nipponiais and director of La Voie du Bambou in Paris, France.

Relax and enjoy.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

LOL COXHILL – Diverse (LP-1977)

Label: Ogun – OG 510
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: UK - Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded in concert (but only just, as most of the audience were in the bar) at the Seven Dials, Shelton Street, London WC2, 1976.
Front cover illustration from Victorian Lantern Slide (Anon)
Producer, Recorded By – Lol Coxhill

A - Diver  . . 16:30
LOL COXHILL - duet for soprano saxophone and loose floorboard (unrelated)

B - Divers  . .  21:00
LOL COXHILL - soprano saxophone
COLIN WOOD - cello
JOHN MITCHELL - percussion

The two long pieces that make up the Diverse album, we get Coxhill as we know him best: as a quirky, complex improviser with a sense of humor and a flair for understatement. "Diver" is completely solo, a long, loping travail through Coxhill's tonal universe as expressed by his great love of balladry. It's an unusual timbral specter he reveals, but it's a welcome one in that his phrasing, sonorities, and tonal explorations are never off the mark and always expansive harmonically. On the quartet piece, we get chamber improvisation at its finest; various dialogues and languages assert themselves only to disappear before they can take themselves too seriously. The music circles round, and turns out and in on itself before breaking onto higher ground as sound itself.

At the time this album was cut, saxophonist Lol Coxhill seems to have had more of a sense of humor than the entire British improvising crowd combined. This much is evident from the amusing liner notes, at one point quoting someone as saying Coxhill's solo soprano saxophone playing is a highlight of western culture and at another admitting that most of the audience was too busy drinking at the bar to listen to the concert that is featured on this 1976 album. The first half is Coxhill on solo soprano. While that is a good idea, a comparison with some of his later recordings, such as the 1981 Dunois Solos, makes the 16-minute "Diver" a bit edgy and incoherent. One obvious distraction is a loose floorboard, and while there is always a certain amount of interest in phenomenon such as this getting captured on record, inevitably listeners will be able to find better example of this man's fine solo saxophone in the Coxhill discography. The floorboard gets in his way, he get in its way. Perhaps a solo recording of the floorboard is stashed in the Ogun vaults somewhere. A quartet convenes on the second side, placing the saxophonist in front of drums, bass, and cello for music that is slippery, surprising, and not entirely successful. It is admirable music, sure, never content to crawl into one extreme corner and stay there like so many groups on the British free improvisation scene. At times, it even seems like the playing might have been more inspired had the players not been relying totally on their improvised wits; Coxhill is certainly a player that can work magic with composed and arranged material, and aspects of his accompanists' playing suggests they share this similarity with him.


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