Saturday, April 26, 2014


                                                                                                          Back cover - detail
Label : Frasco – FS-7019/20
Format : 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Japan - Releazed: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
(reissue 2007, Super Fuji Discs, FJSP-38/39, 2-CD set)
Recorded live at Nihon Seinenkan Hall, September 29, 1976
Engineered by – Tsuyoshi Miyasaka
Produced by – Yosuke Yamashita
Original design by – Koga Hirano
Photos by – Haruhisa Yamaguchi and Takumi Uchida

Ingenious Japanese Avant-Free Jazz rarity, double vinyl, Yosuke Yamashita Trio: "Arashi" (Storm), recorded live in 1977.

A1 - Moonlight Desert  (11:57)
A2 - Flower Corpse  (6:06)
A3 - Prelude by Gong and Human Voices  (3:28)
A4 - Ghosts Part I  (2:14)
B1 - Ghosts Part II  (4:20)
B2 - Golden Veins of a Leaf  (4:03)
B3 - Nihility Mobs: Interlude by Footsteps  (1:47)
B4 - An Age Is a Sunlight Coming through the Foliage of the Woods  (10:21)
B5 - Theme for Arashi  (2:58)
C1 - Great Nihility Conference: Part I-V  (21:07)
C2 - A Hairstic and a Liliputian Part I  (0:51)
D1 - A Hairstic and a Liliputian Part II  (0:17)
D2 - A Fan and a Doll  (0:49)
D3 - The Future War  (0:46)
D4 - Forest in Forest Shade  (1:01)
D5 - Theme for Arashi  (18:43)
D6 - Moonlight Desert  (2:55)

Yosuke Yamashita Trio:
Yosuke Yamashita: piano, percussion
Akira Sakata: alto saxophone, clarinet, percussion
Shohta Koyama: drums, percussion

Gerald Oshita: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, percussion
Dairakudakan (Maro Akaji, Ushio Amagatsu, Ko Murobushi, Tetsuro Tamura, Man Uno, Naohiko Torii, Kosei Inao, Nanten Harada, Junpei Sakai, Yosuke Matsuzawa, Mutsuko Tanaka, Anzu Furukawa, and Keiko Katsumata): Butoh dance

And finally, a masterpiece. So what does that free jazz of Albert Ayler have in common with Japanese trio, discover themselves.
Yosuke Yamashita Trio with Gerald Oshita and Dairakudakan, Recorded live at Nihon Seinenkan Hall, September 29, 1976.

If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, April 25, 2014


Label: Crown – JAW 1001
Series: Crown Golden Series – SL-2936
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: Japan - Released: 1975
(Reissue CD is 1995, Panam ‎– CRCP-164)
Style: Free Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded on 25th to 28th September, 1974 at Crown Record No.1 Studio.
Manufactured By – Crown Record Co., Ltd.
Record Company – Crown Record Co., Ltd.

In front of you is another Japanese challenge, Yosuke Yamashita Trio, fascinating music making, you'll enjoy every single note.

A1 - Prophase . . . 3:30
A2 - Double Helix . . . 4:45
A3 - Chiasma . . . 9:46
B1 - Interphase . . . 9:15
B2 - Mitochondria . . . 9:49

AKIRA SAKATA – alto saxophone


Born in 26 February 1942, Tokyo, Japan. Although he had played professionally at the age of 17, pianist Yamashita went on to study at the Kunitachi College of Music (1962-67). He established himself playing in the quartets of Masahiko Togashi and Sadao Watanabe. The earliest influence of Bill Evans soon gave way to the influence of Cecil Taylor. When Yamashita formed his own trio with Akira Sakata (alto saxophone) and Takeo Moriyama (drums) and toured Europe (1974) the music was so wild the group was known as the Kamikaze Trio. For inspiration Yamashita looked back to ‘the beginning of jazz - Europe had the system but Africa had all the feeling. All the material I use belongs to the system, but as long as I can stand on the outside and approach things from the outside, I will never be suffocated’. He kept a trio going throughout the 70s and continued to play as a sideman with the bands of Kazumi Takeda (tenor saxophone) and Seuchi Nakamura (tenor saxophone). From 1974 he made regular trips to Europe with the trio in Germany as well as playing with Manfred Schoof (1975), then as a soloist and in 1977 in a duo with bass player Adellard Roidinger. He disbanded the trio in 1983 when he felt that he had achieved as much as he could in that format. Yamashita formed a big band with an eclectic style and performed in many varied situations including solo performances of his own versions of classical pieces, playing with Kodo, a Japanese drum choir, and having pieces performed by the Ozaka Philharmonic Orchestra. During the 90s he was again playing and touring with a trio, comprising Cecil McBee and Pheeroan Ak Laff. Yamashita also composes for films including Fazâfakkâ (UK title: The Girl Of Silence) (1995), Kanzo Sensei (UK title: Dr. Akagi) (1998) and Sukedachi-ya Sukeroku (UK title: Vengeance For Sale) (2001). From 2004 he was visiting professor at Tokyo’s Kunitachi College of Music.

If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, April 21, 2014

ITARU OKI TRIO – Satsujin-Kyoshitsu (LP-1970) - ( 沖至トリオ - 殺人教室 )

Label: Jazz Creaters – JC-1
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: Japan - Released: 1970
Style: Free Jazz
Recorded in Tokyo, February 1970.
(Album title is read as "Satsujin Kyoshitsu"; usually translated as "Homicide Classroom".
English translations for the title "Homicide Classroom" and for track B2 - "Eternal Lyric" were given on the obi of this release, but not on this LP.)
Recording Engineer by – Kinji Hayashi
Produced, Liner Notes by  Teruto Soejima (see note)
Photography by – Katsuyuki Oda
Design by – Nobuo Umemori

A1 - 水との会話 "Aporia" . . . 12:09
A2 - 図形的発展 "Spectral" . . . 7:04
B1 - 空間の飛翔 "Papilio" . . . 11:13
B2 - 永遠の詩 "Eternal Lyric" . . . 5:20

ITARU OKI – trumpet, fluegelhorn, cowbell, triangle, bells, Indian bells, wood block, backet trumpet
KEIKI MIDORIKAWA – bass, piano, gong
HOZUMI TANAKA – drums, gongs, timpani

This album is now almost impossible to obtain, so it is my pleasure to present it here. Enjoy!

Teruto Soejima, Tokyo, Japan
Jazz critic, producer, film artist, at DUG in Shinjuku
Probably the one person who introduced Japanese Free Jazz to European audiences.

As Producer - Outside Japan:
Since 1979, has produced and organized overseas performances by over 30 Japanese performing arts groups (jazz, Japanese traditional music, avant-garde theater, etc.). These include three European tours (in 1998, 2000, and 2002) by the jazz orchestra Shibusashirazu; a concert in Germany (in 1995) by the shakuhachi player Hozan Yamamoto; and a tour of Russia and Lithuania (in 1992) by the improvisational music trio Ton Klami.
2006 - Served as art director of the five-day festival "Jazz in Japan 2006" in Paris, France.

In Japan:
Has organized such events as the 14-day free jazz festival Inspiration and Power (in 1974 and 1976), the Pan Music Festival '82, and the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra Japan Tour (in 1996).

I recommend his books:
Gendai Jazz no Choryu [Currents in Contemporary Jazz] (1994)
Nihon Free Jazz-shi [The History of Japanese Free Jazz] (2002)

If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, April 18, 2014

TERUMASA HINO – Hogiuta (LP-1976)

Label: East Wind – EW-8041
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Japan - Released: 1976
Style: Free Improvisation, Fusion
Studio recording, Japanese Original & East Wind, 1976
Promotional Director By – Yukio Morisaki
Photography By – Tadayuki Naitoh 
Producer By – Yasohachi "88" Itoh
Engineers By – Yoshiro Suzuki, David Baker
Executive Producer By – Toshinari Koinuma

Note: Japanese Original & East Wind JPN Spiritual Jazz !

A1 - Gyohkoh . . . 4:17
A2 - Hohjoh . . . 5:11
A3 - Yuhwa . . . 4:13
A4 - Hogiuta . . . 4:23
A5 - Yuhkyu . . . 1:40
B1 - The Good People . . . 15:08
B2 - Conclusion . . . 6:46

TERUMASA HINO  Trumpet, Fluegelhorn, Percussion, Composer, Voices
CECIL McBEE  Bass (Acoustic), Voice
MOTOHIKO HINO  Drums, Percussion, Voices
MTUME  Percussion, Conga, Voices

A fine trumpeter influenced by Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, Terumasa Hino has long been one of Japan's best jazz musicians. A professional since 1955, Hino has mostly become known to Americans since the 1970s due to his Enja recordings, although some of his albums were made available domestically by Catalyst, Inner City, and Blue Note. He moved to the U.S. in 1975, where he worked with Gil Evans, Jackie McLean, Dave Liebman, and Elvin Jones. Hino spent more of his time in Japan after the early '80s, and recorded in several different styles ranging from straight-ahead to fusion.

Very rare album and exceptionally beautiful recording.

If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CHARLES LLOYD QUARTET – The Flowering (LP-1971)

Label: Atlantic – SD 1586
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: US - Released: 1971
Style: Free Improvisation
Recorded in concert at Aulean Hall, Oslo, Norway, 1971
Artwork [Cover Painting] – Jacques Richez
Design [Front Cover] – Haig Adishian
Design [Rear Cover] – Alyse Koylan
Engineer – Meny Bloch
Producer, Liner Notes – George Avakian

A1 - Speak Low . . . 8:26
A2 - Love-In / Island Blues . . . 6:19
A3 - Wilpan's . . . 6:39
B1 - Gypsy '66 . . . 14:11
B2 - Goin' To Memphis / Island Blues . . . 7:04

CHARLES LLOYD  Flute, Saxophone

A great title for this one – as the set really features reedman Charles Lloyd flowering strongly – blooming into a richer expression of his talents than any one might have expected a few short years before! The album features Lloyd working with his groundbreaking quartet of Keith Jarrett on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums – players who have a perfect rhythmic conception to take Charles to the place he wants to go with his reeds! Titles include "Speak Low", "Goin' To Memphis/Island Blues", "Gypsy 66", "Wilpan's", and "Love-In/Island Blues".

If you find it, buy this album!

CECIL McBEE – Alternate Spaces (LP-1979)

Label: India Navigation – IN 1043
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: US- Released: 1979
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Modal
India Navigation Studio Recording, 1978
All Compositions By – Cecil McBee
Cover Photo By – Lucia McBee
Produced by India Navigation Company 1979

A1 - Alternate Space . . . 9:05
A2 - Consequence . . . 8:15
B1 - Come Sunrise . . . 6:43
B2 - Sorta, Kinda Blue . . . 6:35
B3 - Expression . . . 7:13

CHICO FREEMAN – Tenor & Soprano Saxes, Flute  

Bassist Cecil McBee and Chico Freeman (who triples on tenor, soprano and flute) teamed up many times during the late 1970s and '80s. Their collaborations found them playing music that was a spiritual extension on hard bop, adventurous while moving forward. On this LP, they perform five of McBee's originals in a sextet that also includes trumpeter Joe Gardner, the percussive pianist Don Pullen (a major asset to the date), drummer Allen Nelson and percussionist Don Moye. The often melodic but unpredictable music definitely holds one's interest.

If you find it, buy this album!

CECIL McBEE SEXTET – Music From The Source (LP-1978)

Label: Enja Records – enja 3019
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: Germany - Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded "live" at Sweet Basils, N.Y.C. Date: August 2, 1977.
E. Producer: Horst Weber
Producer: Cecil McBee
Engineer : Bob Cummins
Mastering: David Baker
Cover Design: Weber/Winckelmann
Cover Photo: Gerd Chesi

A - Agnez (with respect to Roy Haynes) (Cecil McBee) . . . 19:14
B1 - God Spirit (Cecil McBee) . . . 8:15
B2 - First Song in the Day (Hal Galper) . . . 17:20

CHICO FREEMAN – Flute, Tenor Sax
JOE GARDNER – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
DON MOYE – Percussion

Other than a 1974 set for Strata-East, this post-bop effort was bassist Cecil McBee's earliest recording as a leader. With Chico Freeman (heard on tenor and flute) as the most impressive soloist, McBee performs two originals and a piece by Hal Galper in a sextet that also includes trumpeter Joe Gardner, pianist Dennis Moorman, drummer Steve McCall and Don Moye on conga. The music is spiritual in nature, sometimes quite modal and in the adventurous genre of John Coltrane without being derivative. A fine live set, one of two recorded within a two-day period at New York's Sweet Basil.

If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

PAUL SMOKER TRIO – Come Rain Or Come Shine (1989)

Label: Sound Aspect Records –  SAS  CD 024
Format: CD, Album; Country: W.Germany - Released: 1989
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded 18-19 Aug, 1986 in Cedar Falls, Iowa
Engineer By – David Baker
Executive Producer By – Pedro de Freitas

Five years ago, Paul Smoker Trio gave his brilliant European debut in Moers. At the legendary "New Jazz Trio" with Manfred Schoof, Peter Trunk and Cee lake felt you remember, but played the Americans its Free Bop with the concentrated power of the currents of the 80s. Now, the third album by this still equally populated and the same exciting gambling trio had appeared; and yet you're looking in the latest American and West German jazz encyclopedia the name of trumpeter Paul Smoker vain. Maybe it is because he teaches away from the Media Representative peered New York in Iowa at a college. Instrumental Technically any case he needs any more than Ron Rohovit, bass, and Phil Haynes, drum kit to put his light under a bushel. In the album of humorous text is a Don Cherry, who makes on Maynard Ferguson, the speech - which also points to the crux of this music back: Paul Smoker sounds like he should be a world champion to flex its muscles in constant power play. But breaks would not have to be energetically dead moments. The excel-lent bass playing, the beneficial also in the middle and lower register he-goes to can, to appear in the rare trumpet moments without some of the worn generen energy flows; also the perfect shape consciousness of the drums then opens up new sonic spaces. These quieter periods, however, are rare; dominate the power play interactions, quite in the manner of the European new jazz of the late 60s. Pieces of you have the great joy because in the long run annoys's.

Note: Small history of composition "Come Rain Or Come Shine"

“Come Rain or Come Shine” is a wonderful composition with a fantastic melody and very challenging changes. For the jazz musician, there are many openings for altering the changes and heading in different directions harmonically.
_ By David Friesen, jazz bassist

While many of the great song composers used repeated notes as a device to build tension and emphasize their harmonies, Harold Arlen, as a rule, was not one of them. “Come Rain or Come Shine,” however, is not just a rare Arlen exception; it may very well be the repeated-notes-champion among the top jazz standards.

1. “Come Rain or Come Shine” was introduced by Ruby Hill and Harold Nicholas in the Broadway musical St. Louis Woman. Set in St. Louis in 1898, the story revolved around Della Green (Hill), a woman who wants out of her relationship with bar owner Biglow Brown (Rex Ingram) when she falls for Li’l Augie, (Nicholas), a jockey on a winning streak. The show opened on March 30, 1946, at the Martin Beck Theatre to lackluster reviews and attendance and closed after only 113 performances. 
St. Louis Woman was beset with problems before it even opened. Songwriter Harold Arlen and lyricist Yip Harburg had just scored two successes with Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s Wizard of Oz, for which they won an Academy Award for Best Song, and the long-running Broadway musical, Bloomer Girl (1944). Profiting from stakes in both productions, MGM was eager to back Arlen’s St. Louis Woman, an all-black show based on Arna Bontemps’ first published novel, God Sends Sunday (1931). MGM was further willing to provide Lena Horne as the leading lady, and Johnny Mercer signed on to write the lyrics.

2. Talented trumpet player Clifford Brown had a brilliant career cut short by his untimely death in an auto accident at age 25. However, during his four years of recording he managed to leave a large body of work with many great moments of jazz.
In Paris, as a member of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in 1953, Brown was in the studio with a small group made up of his compatriots from the Hampton band, performing arrangements written by Quincy Jones (also a member of the Hampton group). On the CD reissue of their recording of “Come Rain and Come Shine” we have the opportunity to hear two takes of the tune, illustrating Brown’s inventive genius.

3. The 1959 recording of “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Ray Charles (The Genius of Ray Charles) is widely beloved and is a great example of the song as a vehicle for ballad singing. The tune is often played with a swing feeling as well, and the standout performance among many in this style is Art Blakey’s from 1958 (Moanin'). This performance features dramatic solos from each of Blakey’s sidemen from this incarnation of Jazz Messengers, Bobby Timmons, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson and Jymie Merritt.....etc....etc.... 

If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Label: AMIGA – 8 50 041 (Series: Amiga Jazz)
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono, Reissue
Country: German Democratic Republic (GDR); Released: 1980 
Style: Hard Bop, Free Jazz
Recorded at Walldorf Tonstudio Frankfurt, 6 and 7 Jun 1964
Photography By [Liner Foto] – Mara Eggert
Producer - Horst Lippmann
Liner Notes By – Karlheinz Drechsel
Written-By – Albert Mangelsdorff (tracks: A1 to A4, B2, B4), Heinz Sauer (tracks: B1), Ravi Shankar (tracks: B3)

Albert Mangelsdorff had just completed a long concert tour in Asia prior to this recording session in Frankfurt, where he documented many of the originals that he performed on the road.

A1 - Now Jazz Ramwong . . . 9:02
A2 - Sakura Waltz . . . 3:27
A3 - Blue Fanfare . . . 6:41
B1 - Three Jazz Moods . . . 6:13
B2 - Burungkaka . . . 3:28
B3 - Raknash . . . 4:42
B4 - Theme From Vietnam . . . 0:59
B5 - Es Sungen Drei Engel . . . 7:31

GÜNTER KRONBERG – Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
HEINZ SAUER – Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
ROLF HÜBNER – Drums, Percussion

Brilliant modern jazz from German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff – recording here in 1964, but sounding years ahead of his time, with an amazing a blend of jazz and Asian styles! The album's one of Mangelsdorff's best ever – a set of rhythmic tunes that seem clearly informed by the work of Ornette and Joe Harriott, but also based along eastern themes picked up by the group on a tour of the Orient – and performed by a sharp-edged quintet that includes Heinz Sauer on tenor and soprano sax, Günter Kronberg on alto, Günter Lenz on bass, and Ralph Hübner on drums. There's some nice traces of MPS/Saba modal and Jazz Meets the World styles – and overall, the rhythmic pulse keeps things from getting as free and out as on Mangelsdorff's 70s sides – really soaring, but never too far out – and always with a cool exotic groove. The whole thing's great – instantly striking, and always a treasure – and titles include "Sakura Waltz", "Now Jazz Ramwong", "Raknash", "Theme From Vietnam", and "Burungkaka".


If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, April 4, 2014

CHICO FREEMAN – The Search (LP-1983)

Label: India Navigation – IN 1059
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released: 1983
Style: Hard Bop, Free/Avant-Garde Jazz
India Navigation Studio Recording, 1982
Design – Tan Ohe
Photography By – Beth Cummins
Producer – Bob Cummins

This is a beautiful collaboration between Freeman and the vocalist Val Eley. All four tracks include vocals by Eley. Her singing is very strong. The opening, "The Search", starts with unaccompanied vocal line. The moment when the piano trio jumps in always gives me goosebumps even after tens of listens to this album. I was at a cafe one day and listened to this album, fascinated with it, and walked immediately to a record store and bought it. Kenny Barron is so wonderful on this album. McBee playing in this album is very secure (in terms of intonation). Participation of Nana Vasconcelos is also great. All the four compositions are very well composed, arranged, and performed.

A1 - The Search  10:52
A2 - Illas  11:48
B1 - Close To You Alone  7:30
B2 - Soweto Suite  12:25

CHICO FREEMAN – Saxophone, Flute
VAL ELEY – Vocals
JAY HOGGARD – Vibraphone, Marimba
NANA VESCONCELOS – Berimbau, Percussion

Surely, it ’ s not the most known album nor the easiest to find of this musician and composer. Even so, it ’ s an excellent work, where the vocal performance of Val Eley gives it a character of great beauty and exclusivity.

Although Jazz always was the basis of the music composed by Chico Freeman, many of his works present a rather sharp stylistic diversity as he himself likes to point out: “ My objective is to explore new worlds, and I don ’ t want to be limited by categories. The only limitations I place on myself are the limitations on my own imagination, and within that realm, there are none ” .

Comprising three originals from Freeman and one from Cecil McBee, “ The Search ” is a memorable album, which reveals the vocal performance of Val Eley denoting a strong lyrical component, a style of recitation and drama so popular in the Cabaret music or the hippie revival of the musical “ Hair ” . Although I ’ m not a special follower of the singing Jazz, this album left me rendered to Eley ’ s vocal and interpretive skills, from the very first audition.

But this musical piece is much more than the voice of Eley, or we were not dealing with a star cast, composed of the finest instrumentalists. The faultless performance of Cecil McBee (bass) and Billy Hart (drums) is joined by the brilliant Kenny Barron (piano), giving the 40 minutes of this record, an unparalleled rhythmic robustness. Jay Hoggard (vibraphone/marimba) and Nana Vasconcelos (berimbau/percussion) complement the aesthetic sense of this work, with details of great opportunism and excellence. As for Chico Freeman, those who know him from other albums, know how exciting his performance can be. A real musical treat.

Generating a positive wave that emanates a contagious spirituality of influences as diverse as the Hard- Bop, R&B or the Free/Avant-Garde Jazz, this work can be heard with the greatest pleasure, without ever becoming dull or boring.

"The Search" is indeed a serious case of inspiration and musical quality and therefore I never tire of recommending it to all my friends and lovers of good music.

If you find it, buy this album!

ORNETTE COLEMAN – Twins (recorded between 1959 and 1961, LP-1971)

LP cover originally released in 1971

Label: Atlantic – SD 1588
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, 180 Gram; Country: US - Released: 1971
Style: Free Jazz, Hard Bop
"First Take" recorded on December 21, 1960, at A&R Studios, New York City.
"Little Symphony" recorded on July 19, 1960, at Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City.
"Monk And The Nun" recorded on May 22, 1959, at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California.
"Check Up" recorded on January 31, 1961, at Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City.
"Joy Of A Toy" recorded on July 26, 1960, at Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City.
Design [Cover Design] – Haig Adishian
Photography [Cover Photo] – Omar Kharem Producer – Nesuhi Ertegun
Design [Cover Design] – Haig Adishian
Liner Notes – Martin Williams
Mastered By – George Piros
Mixed By [Re-mix Engineer] – Geoffrey Haslam

"Ornette Coleman's music has always shown an expressive feel for the playful, the joyful, the whimsical side of human nature. And I'd say it's often there, deep down, in things he plays or writes in quite different moods." _ Martin Williams

A1 - First Take ........................................................................ 17:00
A2 - Little Symphony ................................................................ 5:15
B1 - Monk And The Nun .......................................................... 5:56
B2 - Check Up ........................................................................ 10:11
B3 - Joy Of A Toy ..................................................................... 4:40

Artists on Check Up : DON CHERRY (cor), ORNETTE COLEMAN (as), SCOTT LaFARO (b), ED BLACKWELL (d), recorded NYC, January 31, 1961. Recording Engineer Tom Dowd.

Other tracks: DON CHERRY (pocket tp), FREDDIE HUBBARD (tp), ERIC DOLPHY (bcl), ORNETTE COLEMAN (as), CHARLIE HADEN, SCOTT LaFARO (b) ED BLACKWELL, BILLY HIGGINS (d), sessions May 22, 1959, July 19, July 26, December 21, 1960.

Ornette Coleman
Freddie Hubbard

Ornette Coleman's Twins (first issued on LP in 1971) has been looked at as an afterthought in many respects. A collection of sessions from 1959, 1960, and 1961 with different bands, they are allegedly takes from vinyl LP sessions commercially limited at that time to 40 minutes on vinyl, and not initially released until many years later. Connoisseurs consider this one of his better recordings in that it offers an overview of what Coleman was thinking in those pivotal years of the free bop movement rather than the concentrated efforts of The Art of the Improvisers, Change of the Century, The Shape of Jazz to Come, This Is Our Music, and of course the pivotal Free Jazz. There are three most definitive selections that define Coleman's sound and concept. "Monk & the Nun" is angular like Thelonious Monk, soulful as spiritualism, and golden with the rhythm team of bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins driving the sweet and sour alto sax of Coleman and piquant trumpeting of Don Cherry. "Check Up" is a wild roller coaster ride, mixing meters, tempos, and dynamics in a blender in an unforgettable display of sheer virtuosity, and featuring bassist Scott LaFaro. "Joy of a Toy" displays the playful Ornette Coleman in interval leaps, complicated bungee jumps, in many ways whimsical but not undecipherable. It is one of the most intriguing of all of Coleman's compositions. Less essential, "First Take" showcases his double quartet in a churning composition left off the original release This Is Our Music, loaded with interplay as a showcase for a precocious young trumpeter named Freddie Hubbard, the ribald bass clarinet of Eric Dolphy, and the first appearance with Coleman's groups for New Orleans drummer Ed Blackwell. "Little Symphony" has a great written line with room for solos in a joyful hard bop center with the quartet of Coleman, Cherry, Haden, and Blackwell. All in all an excellent outing for Coleman from a hodgepodge of recordings that gives a broader view of his vision and the music that would come later in the '60s.


If you find it, buy this album!