Monday, March 31, 2014

QUINTET – Quintet At Mulhouse, 29 / 08 / 2008 (JAZZ À MULHOUSE – FREE MUSIC 2008)

Label: Private Recording / DP-0845
Format: CD, Album; Released: 2008
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Quintet At Mulhouse, 29.08.2008
Recorded live at JAZZ À MULHOUSE – FREE MUSIC 2008, France
Design by ART&JAZZ Studio Salvarica
Artwork and Complete Design by VITKO

01 Quintet at Mulhouse 2008 – Intro  (1:33)
02 Quintet at Mulhouse 2008 - Improv Set  (60:04)

A festival line-up has its hazards, contradictions and happy events. At the beginning, two bands were foreseen : the 1st with Clayton Thomas, the 2nd with John Edwards and Evan Parker. Unavailability and failure of both projects. Clayton Thomas expressed his wish to play with Pascal Le Gall. We therefore submitted the idea of a quartet with two basses to which Evan Parker suggested to add an old buddy, Tony Marsh… Idea accepted. Free music gets the better of us !

26/08/2008 – 30/08/2008

- Barre PHILLIPS solo

- Peter EVANS solo
- ZAKARYA (Yves WEYH / Alexandre WIMMER / Vincent POSTY/ Pascal GULLY)
- Dorothea SCHURCH / Jacques DEMIERRE / Roger TURNER
- ROOT DOWN (Orchestre de 22 musiciens dirigé par Tommy MEIER)
- THAU 4TET (Sabina MEIER / Hans KOCH / Paed CONCA / Fabrizio SPERA)

- HUBBUB (Jean-Luc GUIONNET / Bertrand DENZLER / Frédéric BLONDY / Jean-Sébastien   MARIAGE / Edward PERRAUD)

- Axel DÖRNER, solo
- EDGAR (Sébastien COSTE / Will GUTHRIE)
- Catherine JAUNIAUX / Sophie AGNEL
- QUINTET (Evan PARKER / John EDWARDS / Clayton THOMAS / Pascal LE GALL / Tony MARSH)
- BAISE EN VILLE (Natacha MUSLERA / Jean-Sébastien MARIAGE)

- Nikos VELIOTIS, solo

Friday, March 28, 2014


Label: ILK Music – ILK 148CD
Format: CD, Album; Country: Denmark - Released: 30 March 2009
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Live concert recording from Loft, Cologne on June 22, 2005.
Recorded At – Loft, Köln, Germany
Barcode: 5706274002010

The music appears as played and heard with a minimum of editing.

A pure improviser, Danish native Anker pushes and pulls a variety of extended themes on this recording, with the American-based team of acoustic pianist Craig Taborn alongside drummer Gerald Cleaver.

This is the second release by Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker with her trio with Craig Taborn on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums. The concept that started on the first album, "Tryptich", comes to fruition on this live date, and takes the concept a notch higher. Gone are the high-toned nervousness, and some of the density of the improvisations, making room for slower, warmer, more deeply felt and opener structures, and it works to perfection. Anker delves deep into the nature of music, stripping it of all its mannerisms, patterns and clear melodic lines, revealing a subtle, sensitive, melodic emotional nakedness, fragile and beautiful, intense and heartfelt. Taborn and Cleaver provide the ideal support and interaction, enjoying the subtleties, reinforcing the emotional depth, adding perspective and color, but leaving the center stage to Anker, whose calm presence defines the music. On "Magic Carpet", the long first track, she moves the music from calm, almost contemplative moments to increasing levels of intensity towards the end, but without raising her voice, or without losing the sensitivity, drawing Taborn and Cleaver into her realm of fast little sounds, who echo her, join her, then take over for two consecutive solos, compact, efficient, but great. The equally long second piece starts again in the faintest of modes, with barely audible sax notes vibrating in the air, floating sensitively, encountering their counterparts from the piano and finger-played drums, dancing around each other rhythmically, but then one without recognizable pattern. And out of this almost-silence erupt some gut-wrenching agonizing wails, slowly, plaintively, and then listen how Taborn takes over, capturing the idea, playing around with the implicit rhythm for a wild yet light piano excursion, and when Lotte Anker joins, she moves the piece back to slowness, stretching her notes, laying a quiet blanket on top of the rhythmical frenzy that Cleaver starts creating, followed in that by Taborn, leading to a strange musical contrast between the rhythm section and the tenor, the one hectic, the other slow. The last piece, "Berber", brings again this strange mixture of abstract and deeply emotional music, demonstrating that in the right hands and ears, musical purity in all its polished rawness, in all its real sensitivity, devoid of fake feelings, averse of false pretention, is not a vague dream, but a real possibility. Free form unleashes true feelings. An absolutely stunning performance.

_ By Stef


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IRENE SCHWEIZER – Live At Taktlos 1984 (LP-1986/CD-2005)

Label: Intakt Records – Intakt CD 001
Format: CD, Album; Country: Switzerland - Released: Aug 2005
Style: Free Improvisation
Recorded live 4th & 5th February 1984 at the Taktlos Festival, Rote Fabrik, Zürich.
Recorded live at Taktlos 1984 by Peter Pfister
Grafic Design: Ruedi Wyss
Executive Production: Patrik Landolt
First released as Intakt LP 001 / 1986

Schweizer’s Live at Taktlos—taped in 1984 at the first annual incarnation of the Swiss festival bearing the same name—marked the first LP release on Intakt. Reissued on CD the album presents the pianist in three extremely fertile situations with fellow improvisers from Europe and America. Peter Pfister, most-renowned these days for his impeccable engineering work for Hatology, handled the recording and while the fidelity isn’t blemish free it still captures the players with true-to-life sound. The disc's three main pieces accord ample space for extended free improvisation, the longest among them swallowing up a good twenty minutes. “ Every Now and Then, ” a manically-paced match-up of vocalist Maggie Nicols with pianist Lindsay Cooper works as coda. “ First Meeting ” teams Schweizer with trombonist George Lewis for a lengthy extemporization that is startling in its degree of close convergence, so much so that parts, particularly the puckishly tuneful conclusion, sound pre- composed. A wealth of unorthodox patterns and phrases pour forth from both players, often at telegraphic speed, but the whole constructed from these parts never loses a guiding sense of symmetry.
Less easily accessible is the trio of Nicols, Schweizer and Günter Sommer who convene on the enigmatically-titled “ Lungs and Legs Willing? ” Nicols ’ operatic, largely abstract vocals soar and swoop, leaving pianist and drummer to shape a sequence of ground-swelling collisions, soft and stentorian, that serve as terrestrial counterpoint in a crowded exchange. “ Trutznachtigall ” delivers an even most challenging experience via what on the surface seems the most conventional instrumentation. Bassist Joëlle Lèandre brings her full repertoire of capricious techniques to the event, sawing down tree trunks with her bow, punishing her strings with chest-pounding pizzicato flurries and, if the snapshot in the CD booklet is to be believed, even playing her instrument upside down. Her gruff and often outrageous vocals add to the turbulent atmosphere, veering from banshee wails to romantic cooing and back again. Lovens’ percussive idiosyncrasies fit right in, the fractious, but precisely intentional clatter from his kit complimenting Schweizer’s frequent forays under her piano’s hood to pluck and damper hammered strings. Attaching a play-by-play to all the delirious, irreverent action and reaction ends up a pointless pursuit within mere minutes. A marker for various partnerships that have since made good on their promises tenfold, this music still packs an enjoyable jolt on par with its initial release twenty years ago.

_ By DEREK TAYLOR, All About Jazz, USA, November 2005

Irène Schweizer, Günter Sommer, Bauhaus Dessau, DDR, 1986. - Photo: Patrik Landolt

Most independent recording labels have their bellwether artists, those musicians on the roster central to the label's identity and mission. Hatology has Joe McPhee. Peter Brötzmann is commonly associated with FMP. Tzadik revolves around John Zorn. In the case of Intakt it's Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer. Schweizer has been playing actively for nearly half a century and the last several decades of her career have been faithfully documented on Intakt. Ideally, labels and artists share a reciprocal relationship. It's the charge of the label to act as advocate for the artist and the job of the artist to supply the label with meaningful creative capital. Schweizer's partnership with Intakt represents a model of this sort of mutually sustaining arrangement.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

ROSCOE MITCHELL – Nonaah (2LP-1977)

Label: Nessa Records – N-9/10
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation

Side A and B1, B2 recorded live on 23 August 1976 in Willisau, Switzerland (solo concert).
B3, C1 recorded on 17 January 1977 in Chicago, IL.
B4, D1 recorded on 22 February 1977 in Chicago, IL.
C2 recorded live on 15 January 1977 at Mapenzi, Berkeley, CA (solo concert).
D2 recorded on 22 January 1977 in Chicago, IL.

Alto Saxophone, Composed By – Roscoe Mitchell
Design – Arnold A. Martin
Liner Notes – Chuck Nessa, Terry Martin
Photography By [Cover] – Roberto Masotti
Producer – Chuck Nessa
Recorded By [Berkeley] – Roscoe Mitchell
Recorded By [Chicago] – Stu Black
Recorded By [Willisau] – Walter Troxler

"Nonaah is extraordinarily confrontational music--it presents instrument, composer and materials in a profoundly naked light. Perhaps more important than opening up one's preconceptions about the saxophone, it also complicates the AACM aesthetic."

One of the significant things that set AACM music apart from its brethren in New York in the 1960s and early 1970s was its use of space, of opening up the music so that things could occur within broad, environmental relationships. That sense of space was very important. In an entirely different take on "energy" music, the challenge of discerning what could be perceived as multiple, self-contained orbits was uniquely gratifying. To listeners weaned on the intervallic leaps of reed player Eric Dolphy and the ringing "wrong" notes of pianist Thelonious Monk, and the areas of quietude and vastness made perfect sense in the early music of reed players Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton.

On first hearing, Mitchell's Nonaah turns the perceived spaciousness of AACM-music on its end. Gone are the silences punctuated by little instruments or brief, anguished saxophone squalls that seemed to recoil as quickly as they appeared. Nonaah was something else entirely, an exorcism of the alto saxophone as much as putting the instrument through its paces. Released in 1977 on Nessa Records as part of a continual and tireless documentation of the music of the AACM, starting with Lester Bowie's Numbers 1 & 2 (Nessa, 1967), Nonaah consisted of a double vinyl set including solo alto saxophone, a saxophone quartet, duos with saxophonist Anthony Braxton and bassist Malachi Favors, and a trio with pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and trombonist George Lewis.

"Nonaah" itself is represented in both solo and quartet versions. The solo, which opens disc one, comes from a 1976 Wilisau concert, and lasts just over a half hour (including eight minutes of the Joseph Jarman composition "Ericka"). The title piece was previously referenced on the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Bap-tizum (Atlantic, 1972) and Mitchell's Solo Saxophone Concerts (Sackville, 1973), but this is its fullest explication. The piece begins with a jagged eight-note phrase, with its last note being held in gradually longer intervals. Each attack of the phrase itself becomes more distorted, each repetition goading the audience into a mixture of cheers and guffaws at some of the most naked saxophone playing they'd probably ever heard. At about five minutes in, the held tone becomes smeared, bent, and torqued; Mitchell begins rushing the phrase and the key becomes ambiguous. It is a furious troweling of hard ground—of forcing a very contained phrase into malleability and to either give up its fruits or die trying.

At nine minutes, Mitchell has exhausted this phrase, torqued it into recognizable but worked- over fragments. Here he moves on to the form of a plaintive ballad, running his keyed, reeded fingers over a delicate line, an insect with feelers for sound. Seemingly trepid, the intervals he's working with are incredibly vast, from low, velvety purrs to high-pitched, rounded pops. The next movement is faster, harsher and high-volume, buzzing and metallic. It seems to cull its language from both the original theme and the ballad portion, and is resoundingly physical—one can feel Mitchell's body contorting along with the phrases he's building up and tearing apart. One wants to say this is staunchly avant-garde music, and it is, but it's not without the trilled leaps of saxophonists Charlie Parker and Lester Young, the smoky, crushed fabric of a swing player, or the searing honk of R&B.

Jarman's staple "Ericka" is a ballad of extraordinary depth and beauty; Mitchell approaches it with warmth, stateliness and whimsy. His solo is full of curlicues, lines rushing down the staircase, and blurs in which notes pop out like flickers of light. By the end of the piece, Mitchell has found his way to clenched air and popping veins, energy being bottled and trying to escape both at once.

In January of 1977, Mitchell brought saxophonists Jarman, Wallace McMillan and Henry Threadgill together for a seventeen-minute saxophone quartet recording of the title piece. As the final work on the original double album, it marked an expanded exploration of the materials on side one. Operating at what appear to be slightly different intervals, the first movement is rendered like a rickety string quartet, clearly intertwined but operating with a logic that's distressingly internal. There's a bounce to it akin to a Steve Lacy piece gone horribly awry or a player piano stuck on repeat. The second section sounds lush, reminscent of Duke Ellington in its colorful expanse and woody timbres (you could almost swear there are a cello and violin present). Delicate measures and caressed intervals become brilliant orchestral floes, hints of saxophonist Johnny Hodges bringing the section to a unison close. To hear the contrasts between pointillist, scrabbling jounce and tone poem is something more pronounced in the quartet, proof (as if one needs it) of an excavating process leading to a compositional plenum.

Nonaah is extraordinarily confrontational music—it presents instrument, composer and materials in a profoundly naked light. Perhaps more important than opening up one's preconceptions about the saxophone, it also complicates the AACM aesthetic and vision. Rather than providing space, this is incredibly dense music, bristling with tension that is not overcome by ecstatic release. Nonaah is about as direct as one can get and, lest one forget, the music of Mitchell, Abrams, Jarman, Braxton and their cohorts is rebellious to this day.

_ By CLIFFORD ALLEN, Published: September 28, 2008 (AAJ)

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Friday, March 21, 2014

LLOYD McNEILL – Elegia (LP-1980) and LLOYD McNEILL QUARTET – Asha (LP-1969)

LLOYD McNEILL – Elegia (LP-1980)
Label: Baobab Record Co. – BRC-3, Baobab Record Co. – Baobab No. 3
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released: 1980
Style: Free Improvisation, Fusion
Recorded Dec., 13, 1979 at Right Track Recording Studios NYC
Artwork By [Front Cover Painting], Design – Ron DiScenza
Composed By, Arranged By, Producer, Liner Notes – Lloyd McNeill
Conductor – Andrew White
Engineer [Recording], Mixed By – Vince McGarry

A1 - Samba For The Animals  7:38
A2 - Behind The Wind [Flute Solo]  2:23
A3 - Asha II  11:15
B1 - Elegiac Suite For Elizabeth  12:39
        a - Time
        b - The Mighty River
        c - The Wind 
B2 - Stripped Pants [With Cadenza]  3:14
B3 - Memory Cycle  7:27

LLOYD McNEILL ....... Flute, Alto Flute
DOM SALVADOR ....... Piano
CECIL McBEE ....... Bass
PORTINHO ....... Brazilian Percussion
CLAUDIO CELSO ....... Guitar
NANÁ VASCONCELOS ....... Percussion, Vocals
SUSAN OSBORN ....... Vocals

The first thing to know about Lloyd McNeill is that his are the very best soul-jazz flute LPs, and each is first-rate, a masterpiece of self-direction. The second thing to know is there is much more to him than his recorded legacy. He is one of those incredible, super-sensitive people who excels at every artistic idiom and endeavor; making wonderful music is just part of his flowing creativity. A professor (at Rutgers University, earlier Dartmouth), he has much to say about music and creativity as well as an impeccable gift for saying it...sensibly. McNeill's writings on his musical experiences provide invaluable documents of "the period" (late 1960s-1970s) as well as a rare glimpse at the joy of a relatively unsung master.

Born in Washington, DC in 1935, McNeill earned his B.A. at Morehouse College in Atlanta and also studied painting at Howard University in his home town and lithography at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He has taught variously painting, illustration, and music at Dartmouth, Howard, Spelman, and Livingston College at Rutgers University. Films he has scored include "To Market, To Market," "TV Education in Samoa," and "Summer in the Parks." Also his quartet provided the music for the Spoken Arts LP "The Dream Awake."

McNeill has played with jazz legends --Andrew White (his longtime collaborator/producer), Eric Dolphy, Sabu Martinez, Mulatu Astatke, among many others-- and he has had a significant hand in the arts scene of Washington, D.C. The major galleries of art, including those of the Smithsonian, sponsored multi-media "happenings" that soared far above the hippie caricature of acid rock with light show. During the first flowering of post-Civil Rights, African-American culture, the Lloyd McNeill Quartet's improvisitory, simultaneuous jazz and large-scale painting "happened" while a lucky, perhaps unsuspecting public drank it in.

McNeill believes his influences and their results in his art, music, and poetry are inseparable and mutually reinforcing. Time spent with Picasso in Cannes, 1965 led to new expressions in all three, for instance. And when one brushes against a force such as Picasso, just the idea of "meeting Picasso" has a certain momentum, never mind the inevitable casting of rays of a different kind of light. Canvas, vinyl, the stage, paper, and books of poetry offer a few key imprints of McNeill, and McNeill consistently pays tribute to many illustrious peers.

There are six principal albums, all produced and entirely under the artist's control. Each title surpasses anything comparable on the major labels, even Blue Note. The Black Jazz label may be roughly similar in style, but Asha and Baobab are wholly Lloyd McNeill. The records reflect none of the usual external trends from the decade in which they were recorded; all sound like 1971 rather than 1979. The final record even reprises the first (the exotic, broodingly moody "Asha"), and the sound throughout remains somewhat interchangeable and timeless. But each record has its own themes and currents, and even improvisation has its signatures and fingerprints.

Label: ASHA Recording Co. Inc. – ASHA One  /  ASHA NO. 1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released: 1969
Style: Free Improvisation, Fusion
Recorded at Edgewood Recording Studio, 1969.
Design [Cover] – McNeill
Engineer [Recording] – Ed Green
Photography By [Photos] – Joan Knight

A1 - Asha  8:45
A2 - As A Matter Of Fact  4:53
A3 - Two-Third's Pleasure  5:53
A4 - Dig Where Dat's At!  3:27
B1 - St. Margaret's Church  6:50
B2 - Effervescence  6:51
B3 - Warmth Of A Sunny Day  10:22

LLOYD McNEILL ..... Piccolo Flute, Flute
GENE RUSH ..... Piano
ERIC GRAVATT ..... Drums, Percussion
PAUL HAWKINS ..... Percussion [Latin]

ASHA Recording Co. Inc. – ASHA NO. 1

Collectors items, Lloyd McNeill records should be snapped up on sight. Hip Wax is pleased to offer the two titles for which limited stock remains as well as the Black Line book. Other items, such as used originals of other titles and rare LPs featuring Lloyd McNeill, may be available. See the jazz page at Hip Wax for all items.

In front of you are two beautiful albums. Enjoy!

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Monday, March 17, 2014


Label: FMP – FMP 0760
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 24 July 1980
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded live during the Total Music Meeting '79, November 1, 2 and 4 at the Quartier Latin, Berlin
Artwork – Else Nothing
Photography By – Dagmar Gebers
Recorded By, Producer – Jost Gebers

Translation from German:

What at first surprising is the spectrum that is presented here. Such a "cool" Introduction as Becker's " Selb-Dritt " could have of these musicians can hardly wait some time ago. In between, however, there are plenty of musical and breakout, so of supercooled resignation can be no question. In general, one should be wary of too rapid emotional generalizations. What is visible, audible, is more differentiation. Also the train to the jazz tradition here is not nostalgia or hopelessness - more of a space for freedom, for in new contexts can be also about the experience and Played By free disposal. This ranges from bebop and hard bop to cool, to the classics of free jazz. Luckily, and I think that's a highlight worth train, the four musicians do not work with a quote chain of Aha-effects, but with their musical experiences. To imitator is most likely to experience lots. What surprised me: how seamlessly hand how well the transition from rhythmic passages open and found the reverse of traditional bound, swinging is. What surprised me: how in places the relative distinction of soloists and Accompanying einspielt again. I suspect that this is related to the quartet constellation, because selbviert could hear the musicians gathered here only rarely.
My tension was and is mostly the trio ( Petrowsky / Koch / Sommer or Petrowsky / Becker / Koch). In the quartet the result is an impression which certainly emphasizes the individual qualities of the musicians, but refers to the Sporadic of the Quartet meeting: A body or function is occasionally occupied (After Sommer playing alone as a full orchestra and Petrowsky is lately emerged as an unaccompanied soloist.) If Petrowsky, Sommer and Koch have long been known as an outstanding musician in jazz of the GDR, so is " Selb-Viert ", etc. therefore worth listening to, because it is first introduced here on a LP trumpeter / flugelhorn player Heinz Becker in a wider context as a soloist. The inspiration and precision of his runs, his-even without damper-in slow passages often restrained and verhangender sound, but especially the intuitive interaction with Petrowsky, contribute to the appeal of this plate. Petrowsky is often the urgent, the - not only as regards the pace - accelerating, Becker sometimes the prudent - structuring partner. Noteworthy are the phonetic equivalents - especially in the interplay of alto saxophone and flugelhorn. In unison - " Blues Connotation " by Coleman, the only pronounced historical reverence - and especially in the free Duoimprovisationen of the two winds, creates a difficult ponderable, fascinating blend of friction and agreement, which are undoubtedly some of the mentality of the players reflects . When Sommer then in " Not wanted " on his metallophonic marked odd, reminiscent of gamelan music time signatures or on the pool toys free accent chains and cook vigorously against it sweeps , they are up to date and own jazz idiom suddenly selbviert together, the long-standing and partly common Jazz companions.

aus: Jazz Podium # 12, Dezember 1980

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Saturday, March 15, 2014


Label: Impetus Records – IMP LP 18617, (IMP CD 18617)
Format: Vinyl, LP, CD, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1990
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded 12th December 1986 in concert, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Design [Cover Design] – Evan Parker, Impetus
Engineer – Tod Ploharski
Mastered By [Digitally] – Dave Bernez
Photography By – Caroline Forbes

Tracks A1 and B2 are trios, track A2 is a bass solo and track B1 is a saxophone solo.

Recorded in 1986 at a concert in Atlanta, the trio of Parker, Guy, and Lytton had even then been playing together for over a decade, and here it shows. Over four pieces, all of them improvised on the spot, Parker leads the trio through the gyrations of his circular improvisation on both soprano and tenor and also through the small and basic elements of "jazz" he respects -- but they get mutated almost immediately, as one might expect. Parker's interplay with his rhythm section is akin to a rough dancer skidding along the floor to a graceful, elegant orchestra. The interplay between Guy and Lytton is so mesmerizing, so completely self-contained, it's Parker who has to focus on them or he'll be lost in the glorious tumult. The rhythmic communication -- especially as Guy pulls out three or four notes, legato, and then slides a chord up the bass as Lytton creates a rhythm around that phrase for Guy to come back to and extrapolate -- is breathtaking. As for Parker, there is little to say except that, despite having to be very physical on this evening, he was aware of everything, offering whatever color and shape, whatever texture or fragment that might be useful to the rhythmic dance, though he was the frontman. This is a must-have for fans of this trio.

_ Review by THOM JUREK

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

BOB DOWNES OPEN MUSIC – Crossing Borders (1978/79)

Label: Reel Recordings – RR 011
Format: CD, Album, Remastered; Country: Canada - Released: 2009
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Riverside Studio, London 1978/79.
Composed By, Arranged By, Liner Notes – Bob Downes
Other [Sound Advice] – Miki Dandy
Photography By – Bob Downes, Jak Kilby
Producer [Produced In Canada By] – Michael King

01. Jungle Chase  (21:59)
02. South American Indian  (4:14)
03. Sad Senorita  (10:58)
04. Che Guevera  (11:00)
05. Basking In The Sun  (8:02)

BOB DOWNES : alto & tenor saxes/flute & Columbian pan flute/Bahian cowbells/vocalizing (1), solo bass flute/simultaneous vocalizing (2), alto saxophone (3), flute/vocalizing (4), flute (5)
BARRY GUY : bass (1,3,4)
DENIS SMITH : drums (1,5)
BRIAN GODDING : electric guitar (3,4,5)
MARK MEGGIDO : bass (3,4)
JOHN STEVENS : drums (3,4)
PAUL RUTHERFORD : trombone (5)
PAUL BRIDGE : bass (5)

Here's another of Reel's exercises in twentieth century tape archaeology. Like earlier efforts, it has the practical effect of sealing another hole in the documented fabric of British jazz and improvised music from the last four decades of that century. It's highly worthwhile too, this labor of love, as on this occasion it yields a program of music every bit as inventive as that produced by bigger stars—the term is as good as meaningless in the circumstances—of the day. Recorded at the end of the '70s, this music is both timeless and symbolic of moments in time when the players came together informally to tease the music from out of the ether.

Although primarily a flautist, it's the pieces that document Downes on alto or tenor sax that are the most compelling. His alto sound on "Sad Senorita" is significantly textural, and has an edge both grainy and acerbic. In the company of the underrated Brian Godding on guitar it does a dance at once lively yet downbeat in emulation of the title. Drummer John Stevens, in marked contrast to his work with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, shows how propulsive he could be in a relatively more orthodox setting, while the basses of Barry Guy and Mark Meggido conspire never to get in each others' way, lending impetus to the music's open feel.

Downes plays both alto and tenor sax on the opening "Jungle Chase," in addition to flute and the Columbian pan flute he opens the piece on. His facility as a flautist is brought home. His rounded, full-bodied tone is never reduced to mere piping and the effect is that of a wholehearted improviser working the moment as though it's the most precious thing. The impression is reinforced when he switches to alto sax about nine minutes in, with Guy again on bass tracking developments.

Trombonist Paul Rutherford crops up on "Basking In The Sun," a piece which is the embodiment of propulsive atmosphere. Downes' flute is at its most lyrical and the music coalesces in a manner that soundtracks the activity of the title most effectively. Rutherford, at his most necessarily conventional, reminds us of how lovely his tone was. The relative brevity of the piece is fine in itself, an example of open music in the most rewarding sense of the term.

_ By NIC JONES, Published: May 3, 2009, AAJ

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Label: Jazzland Records – JLP 51
Format: Vinyl, Album; Country: UK - Released: 1961
Style: Hard Bop, Post Bop, Free Improvisation
Recorded in London, June 17 and August 29, 1961.
Produced By – Ed Michel
Liner Notes By – Chris Whent
Recorded at – Star Sound Studios, London

An incredibly rare album released by British saxophone great Don Rendell, a tour-de-force of hard bop that stands up against many recordings in the US at the time. Or so deluded Brits like to think – you decide for yourself. Rendell ’ s name and reputation is known only to a few aficionados of British jazz, and the quintet introduces on alto the great British blues/r&b pioneer Graham Bond.

DON RENDELL – tenor saxophone
GRAHAM BOND –  alto saxophone
JOHN BURCH – piano

Still a vital sound on the saxophone well in his seventies, Don Rendell was one of the pioneers of British modern jazz in the immediate post war years. The music made by these players (and those that they inspired and influenced) in the vibrant UK jazz scene of the 50s and 60s through to the 70s, has been ignored by musical history until now. Recordings were unavailable and copies of original albums were incredibly rare. The situation was worsened as the biggest catalogue of recordings: Dennis Preston's Lansdowne Productions, passed into the ownership of a major label which did not offer much hope for an extended re-issue programme.

However, with the appearance in early 2003 of the Gilles Peterson-compiled, Tony Higgins- researched compilation, "Impressed", all that has changed. Utilising not only the Lansdowne catalogue, but recordings on labels such as Fontana and Argo, this compilation opened up a new audience for the music. The fulcrum of the first volume of "Impressed" were cuts recorded by the Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet with their regular pianist Mike Garrick. The five albums that the Quintet recorded are now available again, but ROARIN', Rendell's LP from 1961, dates from the time prior to the Quintet's activities when, for fifteen years, he was lauded as Britain's finest saxophonist.

"Roarin'" is by far the most far-reaching of Rendell's early releases. In early 1961, he had put together a new Quintet and had started to work club dates. The band included Phil Kinorra and Tony Archer on drums and bass, both youngsters, but already with the experience of playing alongside Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd in the London production of the play The Connection. Pianist John Burch was a long-time associate who provided a stability at the centre of the group. The wild card was the 23-year-old alto player Graham Bond, who is described as having a contrasting melodic approach to the saxophone rather than harmonic one of Don Rendell. Later Bond moved to the organ and formed the Graham Bond Organisation (from which both Jack Bruce and Ginger Taylor emerged from the ranks). On this recording Bond is presented as the new jazz terror.

The band were signed to record for the Riverside subsidiary, Jazzland, by their European distributor, Interdisc. This meant they'd got a US release, a rare event for a UK combo. The young American, Ed Michel, (who made his name in the late 60s and early 70s as Impulse Records' in-house producer of Archie Shepp, Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane and Keith Jarrett sessions) was at the desk.

"Roarin'" is hard bop, seven tracks long; four of which are originals and three are covers. Thelonious Monk's Blue Monk and Miles Davis' So What, are deceptive pieces that require improvisational skill to navigate their beautiful tunes. Duke Pearson's Jeanine was already on its way to becoming a jazz standard, having appeared in versions by Cannonball Adderley on Riverside and Donald Byrd on Blue Note. The original tunes kick off with Bond's Bring Back The Burch, an interesting rhythmic piece reminiscent of Bobby Timmons' This Here. John Burch's Manumission is a long piece which sees latinesque rhythms and some wild alto play from Bond and a commanding tenor solo from Rendell. Burch also wrote The Haunt, while Rendell's composition You Loomed Out Of Loch Ness rounds things off with some stunning ensemble work from the band.

The album sold quite well in the UK, and it received a favourable review in the US jazz bible Downbeat. It was the first step towards a limited recognition of UK jazz in the US, though not exactly a bridgehead. This Rendell Quintet did not last long. By the end of 1962 Don had formed the first line-up of his classic 1960s Quintet with Ian Carr.


If you find it, buy this album!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

SAM RIVERS – Black Africa! - Villalago 1976 (Horo,2LP-1977) and Perugia 1976 (Horo,2LP-1977)

Label: Horo Records – HDP 03-04
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Italy - Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Villalago (Umbria Jazz) July 24, 1976,
except D2 recorded live at Perugia, July 25, 1976
Re-Design Covers By – ART&JAZZ Studio, By VITKO
Producer – Aldo Sinesio

Sam Rivers - Black Africa! Villalago
Horo HDP 3/4 (2 LP) 1977 Italy

A  -  Black Africa (Soprano Section)  19:54
B  -  Black Africa (Piano & Flute Section)  19:56
C  -  Black Africa (Flute & Tenor Section)  19:58
D1 - Black Africa (Villalago: Encore)  11:04
D2 - Black Africa (Perugia Concert: Finale)  11:03

SAM RIVERS - tenor & soprano saxophone, flute, piano, voice
JOE DALEY -  tuba, euphonium
DON PULLEN - piano (track C)
SIDNEY SMART - drums, percussion

"Umbria Jazz certainly has got to be one of the most unique jazz events in the world. Taking place in the Umbria region of central Italy, this festival is a mini tour by both participating musicians and the public of the little towns in the region. The performances take place in the piazzas or parks of the village, and no entrance fee is charged. A nominal charge is made for bus transportation to the villages. These two double albums document the performances by the Sam Rivers tour: the villages of Villalago and Perugia."
_ Carl Brauer, CADENCE / Vol. 4, No. 4 / June 1978

Sam Rivers Trio performs Rivers` composition BLACK AFRICA in Villalago/Perugia, Italy on July 24/25, 1976. Joe Daley plays tuba & euphonium and Sidney Smart is on drums and percussion. Rivers employs his usual repertoire of sax, flute, piano and screaming. In addition, the editors of this LP have seen it fit to print Don Pullen`s name in capital letters on the back cover, but I wouldn`t make too much out of this, for reasons mentioned shortly.
The set is more a free jazz freak-out than a composition. I`ve heard wilder things, but not from Rivers. The music is excellent. In addition to Rivers` contribution, especially Joe Daley on tuba is awesome. If there`s one shortcoming, it`s the sound quality, which is admittedly relatively poor. It just so happens that one of the worst moments in this regard coincides with Pullen`s comes, making his contribution barely audible. That`s why marketing this with his name seems pretty misleading.
But despite these shortcomings, I am sure you will enjoy this legendary gig.

Label: Horo Records – HDP 05-06
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Italy - Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live in Perugia (Umbria Jazz), July 25, 1976.
Re-Design Covers By – ART&JAZZ Studio, By VITKO
Producer – Aldo Sinesio

Sam Rivers - Black Africa! Perugia
Horo HDP 5/6 (2 LP) 1977 Italy

A - Black Africa! (Tenor Section)  19:55
B - Black Africa! (Piano Section)  19:47
C - Black Africa! (Flute & Soprano Sections)  16:26
D - Black Africa! (Tenor Section)  21:04

SAM RIVERS - tenor & soprano saxophone, flute, piano, voice
JOE DALEY -  tuba, euphonium
SIDNEY SMART - drums, percussion

Back covers is slightly altered in order to insert the informations which is found in the inner pages of the both albums.

If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

THE HUMAN ARTS ENSEMBLE – The Human Arts Ensemble Live Vol. I (LP-1978)

Label: Circle Records – RK 23578/9
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at "De Groote Luxe", Tilburg, Holland, May 23, 1978.
Recorded By, Design – Rudolf Kreis
Photography By [Back Cover] – H. L. Lindenmaier
Photography By [Front Cover] – Günter Voss
Producer – Rudolf Kreis
Matrix / Runout (A): F 666 280 A - I
Matrix / Runout (B): F 666 280 B - I

The Human Arts Ensemble – The Human Arts Ensemble Live Vol. I

Tracklist :
A1 - Stick Candy Man ........................................................................... 12:06
        Composed By – L. Thomas, M. Roseman
A2 - Concere Natashiah ......................................................................... 9:06
        Composed By – C. Shaw
B1 - Blue Lou ......................................................................................... 5:34
        Composed By – J. Lindberg, L. Thomas
B2 - Let's Do Six-Eight ......................................................................... 10:26
        Composed By – C. Shaw

Personnel :
LUTHER THOMAS – alto saxophone

The Human Arts Ensemble was a musical and theatrical cooperative founded in St. Louis, MO, in 1971 by free jazz musicians who had been associated AACM and BAG (Black Artist's Group). Around 1970, public funding began to dry up for arts organizations that were suspected of having ties to radical political groups, and drummer Charles Bobo Shaw had the idea of creating a new artistic co-operative that was open to any person without regard to race. The resulting Human Arts Ensemble was thus able to proceed within a radical political agenda and pursue its unique brand of guerilla theater, yet get the public support it needed to do so.

The Human Arts Ensemble ultimately proved an important training ground for jazz musicians who were interested in free improvisation. Among musicians who spent some time jamming with The Human Arts Ensemble were Luther Thomas, Joseph Bowie, Marty Ehrlich, John Lindberg, and even a young John Zorn, along with more established artists such as Lester Bowie and Oliver Lake. The album Under the Sun, recorded in 1973, appeared on the Arista/Freedom label in 1975 to wide critical acclaim and even some decent sales despite its avant-garde orientation. Part of the appeal of Under the Sun was its blending of funk grooves with free improvisation. The Human Arts Ensemble continued to present elaborate musical pageants in the St. Louis area until 1977. At that time, part of the key membership relocated to New York, with others electing to stay behind in St. Louis. The group existed only briefly in New York, as Joseph Bowie ultimately became more deeply involved in forming his band, Defunkt, and the remaining Human Arts Ensemble members drifted off to other pursuits.

Tottaly new FLAC link and complete cover.

If you find it, buy this album!

CHARLES BOBO SHAW and The Human Arts Ensemble – Çonceré Ntasiah (LP-1978)

Label: Universal Justice – UJ 101
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Jazz-Rock
Recorded at Studio Rivbea, New York, 1977. 
Mastered at The Master Cutting Room, New York.
Design – Stephanie Blumenthal
Mastered By – Joe Brescio
Photography By – Jacki Ochs, Rob Söteman
Photography By [Front Cover] – Giuseppe Pino
Producer [Post Production] – Michael Cuscuna
Recorded By – Ira Seigel

Charles Bobo Shaw & The Human Arts Ensemble / Çonceré Ntasiah (Universal Justice UJ101), rare small private label record issue in 1978.

A1 - Steam Away Kool 500  9:53
A2 - Jacki Bee Tee  8:16
B1 - Concere Ntasiah (written-By – Abdul Wadud)  10:41
B2 - Be Bo Bo Be  5:09

JOSEPH BOWIE - trombone
JULIUS HEMPHILL - soprano saxophone
FRANCOIS NYOMO MANTUILA - acoustic & electric guitars
ALEX BLAKE - bass, electric bass

It was recorded around 1977, and released in 1981. The first track has a gritty, rockin' bass line, and a sound that would probably fit in with what the No Wave scenesters were digging on toward the end of the 1970s. Jacki Bee Tee is free improv number that has a bit of a Latin groove to it. Some more free jazz follows on the third track (Concere Ntasiah), which has an almost Gothic rhythm thing anchoring the proceedings - plenty of open space, and quiet moments, with some lovely acoustic guitar soloing. Be Bo Bo Be closes the album with a sound that I'd almost characterize as 1960s Archie Shepp or Marion Brown gone electric, with a splash of Revolutionary Ensemble thrown in - it's definitely fire music.

If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, March 3, 2014

JOSEPH JARMAN - from " The Art Ensemble Of Chicago " – Song For (1967) / Goody LP-1971

Label: Goody – GY 30003 / Goody Series Vol. 3
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Unofficial Release
Country: France - Released: 1971
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded 1966, Sound Studios Inc., Chicago
Engineer – Stu Black
Liner Notes – Claude Delcloo
Photography By [Photo] – Philippe Gras
Producer – Robert G. Koester
Producer [Serie Directed By] – Claude Delcloo, Jean Luc Young
Supervised By – Chuck Nessa

A1 - Little Fox Run  7:00
A2 - Non-Cognitive Aspects Of The City  14:00
B1 - Adam's Rib  5:52
B2 - Song For  13:23

JOSEPH JARMAN – alto saxophone, voice [recitation]
FRED ANDERSON – tenor saxophone (tracks: A1, B1, B2)
WILLIAM BRINFIELD – trumpet (tracks: A1, B1, B2)
CHRISTOPHER GADDY – piano, marimba
STEVE McCALL – drums (tracks: A1, B1, B2)
THURMAN BARKER – drums (track A2)

Delmark cover (LP-1967)

Chicago, 1966: the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians had just formed; the Art Ensemble of Chicago was slowly coalescing. Multi-reeds player Joseph Jarman gathered some of the top players in this nascent Chicago scene (including Fred Anderson and Steve McCall), creating a recording that is near archetypal in its sound. All of the characteristic elements of the AACM sound are here: the cooperative spirit of the players, the use of so-called "little instruments" and innovative textures, and the alternating of wild free- blowing with a disciplined invocation of silences. Thurman Barker joins McCall on drums; their thoroughly melodic drumming is masterful. Along with some of Roscoe Mitchell's early efforts and early Art Ensemble recordings, this is an essential window into one of the most fertile and imaginative eras in jazz.

Joseph Jarman - 1966: Part wizard, part priest, balancing on the cusp of two groups. His first opportunity to record his music presents a dilemma - which he solves by involving all. We should be thankful for the resultant music. Not only did he reveal some of himself, but gave us an introduction to the compositions and playing of (Bill) Brimfield and Fred (Anderson), the percussive delights of Thurman (Barker) and Steve (McCall), the best documentation of Charles Clark and the only offerings of Christopher Gaddy that we can now experience.

This was one of the early classics of the AACM. Altoist Joseph Jarman, who would become a permanent member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago shortly after this recording, is heard in a sextet with trumpeter William Brimfield, the legendary tenor Fred Anderson, pianist Christopher Gaddy, bassist Charles Clark, and either Steve McCall or Thurman Barker on drums. The four very diverse improvisations include one that showcases a Jarman recitation, a dirge, the intense "Little Fox Run," and the title cut, which contrasts sounds and a creative use of silence. Overall, this music was the next step in jazz after the high-energy passions of the earlier wave of the avant-garde started to run out of fresh ideas. It's recommended for open- eared listeners...
_ Review by SCOTT YANOW

If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

KALAPARUSHA MAURICE McINTYRE – Forces And Feelings (LP-1972)

Label: Delmark Records – DS-425
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded November 11, 1970 at Sound Studios, Inc.
Engineer – Stu Black
Photography By – Charles Stevens
Cover Design By – Zbigniew Jastrzebski

Kalaparusha Ahra Difda is a secret master of the tenor saxophone: Ignored by most, but a musical voice of value (if only the market system consistently recognized excellence). Kalaparusha's second Delmark session, with a group he called The Light, offers sunshine to all willing to emerge from hiding. Step into the light...

Recorded in late 1970, this is McIntyre's second release for the Delmark label. Much like his first effort, Humility in Light of the Creator, Forces and Feelings projects a spiritual tone. While it is occasionally more relaxed than his debut, that's not to say this is McIntyre's mellow disc -- far from it. Forces and Feelings has much in common with the otherworldly vibration Albert Ayler experimented with on his Impulse! date Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe, especially when comparing the vocals of Rita Omolokun with Mary Maria, Ayler's girlfriend/vocalist. It was during this period that McIntyre changed his name to Kalaparusha Ahra Difda, leading many to the conclusion that his uncompromising spirituality was keeping him from playing more gigs, especially those in nightclubs. McIntyre's band for this session was called the Light and featured AACM member Fred Hopkins on bass, Sarnie Garrett on electric guitar, Wesley Tyus on drums, and the vocals of Omolokun. The vinyl cover shot of the ocean with the sun rising (or setting) conveys the divine nature of the music inside the jacket. Considering the lack of recordings made by this underrated tenor saxophonist, any of his LP's recommended.
_ Review by AL CAMPBELL

Saxophonist Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre's recording sounds like a time-unbound, spiritual tour de force of black cultural history. He features vocalist Rita Omolokun (Worford) on spoken and soared vocals and plays fractured tenor saxophone throughout this key recording from the Chicago jazz avant-garde. The music rumbles across Fred Hopkins's bass and Sarnie Garnett's guitar with a careful precision before Wesley Tyus's forceful drumming carries the impact to the gut level. McIntyre plays an expressive tenor, bowing to tonal studies resembling so many straight-ahead jazzers and then ripping through the channels of regularity with what seems a hypnotic, blind storm of wind and thunder.

If you find it, buy this album!