Thursday, May 29, 2014

STEVE LACY SEVEN – Prospectus (2LP-1983)

Label: Hat Hut Records – ART 2001
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Switzerland – Released: 1983
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded on 1st (A1, B, C, D2) & 2nd (A2, A3, D1) November 1983 at IRCAM Espace De Projection, Paris.
Credit for Percussion on Side C actually says 'Cyrille Few and his friend'.
Artwork and Complete Design by ART&JAZZ Studio, by VITKO
(Original hat Hut cover included also)
Producer – Pia & Werner X. Uehlinger
Recorded By – Peter Pfister

Steve Lacy – soprano saxophone, composed
Steve Potts – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Irene Aebi – cello, violin, voice
Bobby Few – piano
George Lewis – trombone
Jean-Jacques Avenel – bass
Oliver Johnson – drums, percussion
Sherry Margolin (tracks: C, D2) – percussion

Early 80's Larger Steve Lacy group, featuring longtime cohorts Jean-Jaques Avenel on bass and Bobby Few on piano, along with George Lewis, Steve Potts, Irene Aebi and Oliver Johnson. As always, Lacy's brilliant melodicism and remarkable songcraft provide a platform for a colletive of impressive soloists and deft group interplay.

This session from 1983 is the original rare double LP (Hat Hut Rec.-ART2001) and is called the "Prospectus."

The Steve Lacy Sextet sessions with the addition of George Lewis on trombone are truly startling for the reason that they show this band at the absolute peak of its creative and intuitive power. Recorded as a portrait of the "state of things" within the band at the time, it is really no more than that -- and perhaps that's why it looks so large. Lacy's compositional style had been evolving for some time toward larger groups and, by the time the sextet had hit its stride, he was offering his musicians works to play that were originally written for much larger ensembles. On "Stamps" and "Wickets," one hears the arrangement style of Charles Mingus in the foreground; the long, asymmetrical, repetitive foreground lines are shadowed by the rhythm section playing a deep blues that echoes the piano playing of Bobby Timmons. When the horns join in the blues reverie, it's time for pianist Bobby Few to step out and let Lewis hold down the fort. It's blues, blues, and all blues -- though they certainly are a different shade of blues. Next up is the crazy "Whammies," which Lacy claims is based on lines from Fats Navarro. And it is crazy and even unbearable, with all that intensity happening at one time and all those conflicting harmonies, adding up to one big musical mess! But as the album's shining diamonds -- "The Dumps" and "Clichés" -- come into view, it's easy to hear the near telepathic communication among this band's members. Lacy doesn't even have to lead; he only needs to name the tune. At this time in his career, Few was a pianist with no peers; coming from equal parts bop and vanguard jazz, he is the ballast for the group, and all roads lead from him to Lacy and from Lacy into the stratosphere. Lacy and Lewis have a tremendous rapport, particularly on "The Dumps," where they counter and then play each other's solos! As the record closes with the rollicking abstraction that is "Clichés," listeners can feel the closeness of this "chamber" ensemble, even with Lewis in the mix. Both the percussive and rounded edges of the piece offer aspects of listening in a mode seldom heard on jazz records anymore. This record is a bouquet of essences, amplifications, dissonances, and complex melodic invention. It was one of the Steve Lacy Sextet's closest steps to perfection. Highly recommended.


If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, May 26, 2014

SZABADOS QUARTET – Az Esküvő / The Wedding (LP-1975)

Label: Hungaroton/Pepita – SLPX 17475
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Hungary - Released: 1975
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
MHV recording; Side A: 1974, Side B: 1973, Hungary
Artwork By [Design] – Imre Kolma
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Endre Radányi
Photography – László Fejes
Producer [Musical Producer] – Dóra Antal

Rare Hungarian LP, Szabados Quartet - The Wedding  (Hungaroton SLPX 17475, 1975) it's first Szabados recording and represents a truly masterwork.

A1 - Az Esküvő
A2 - Improvisatio - Zongora - Hegedű Duó (Duo For Piano And Violin)
B1 - Miracle
B2 - Szabó Irma Vallatása (The Interrogation Of Irma Szabó)

György Szabados – piano, zither
Lajos Horváth – violin, double bass
Sándor Vajda – double bass
Imre Kőszegi – drums, percussion

György Szabados (13 July 1939 – 10 June 2011) was a Hungarian jazz pianist, and is sometimes referred to as the "father" or "unofficial king" of the Hungarian free jazz movement since the 1960s.

Szabados was born in Budapest. Even though he started performing in 1962, his rise to fame is generally considered to have started with his quintet winning the renowned San Sebastian Jazz Festival Grand Prize in the free jazz category in 1972. His first album that was recorded with a quartet in 1975 was entitled Wedding. Despite the abstraction of the music, the record was well received in Hungary and abroad, thereby setting the scene for his subsequent albums. International recognition is probably noted by including the album in The Essential Jazz Records compiled by Max Harrison, Eric Thacker and Stuart Nicholson (Volume 2: Modernism to Postmodernism). Even though he could not record again until 1983, he maintained his status by establishing the Kassák Workshop for Contemporary Music, in which a new generation of musicians acquired a free and intuitive manner of playing jazz, with a distinct Hungarian sound. Generally, his collaborators would make up the next generation of Hungarian jazz, including acclaimed saxophone player Mihály Dresch. Further international recognition followed in the 1980s, through his collaboration with Anthony Braxton on their duo record Szabraxtondos. In Hungary, he proceeded to form MAKUZ, or the Royal Hungarian Court Orchestra, which membership varied, but always consisted of at least nine musicians that were committed to free, improvised music. Subsequently, he still collaborated with Roscoe Mitchell on their 1998 record Jelenés (Revelation) and again with Braxton and Vladimir Tarasov this time for the live recording Triotone. He was awarded the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious cultural award in Hungary, in 2011 by the President of Hungary. He died in Nagymaros on 10 June 2011.

If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Label: MPS Records ‎– CRB 759, BASF ‎– CRB 759
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1970
Style: Style: Contemporary Jazz, Jazz-Chanson
Recorded at MPS-Tonstudio Villingen, February 1970
Written-By – Friedrich Gulda
Photos By – Hubmann, Wien
Produced and Recorded By – Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer

"Music is like a large tree that has different branches, but they all grow out of the same tribe." _ Gulda

A1 - Die Schöne Musi . . . 8:55
A2 - Donau So Blue . . . 5:45
A3 - Hau Di In Gatsch . . . 5:18
B1 - Selbstgespräch Im Kasgraben . . . 6:24
B2 - Requiem . . . 7:15
B3 - Andrerseits . . . 4:21

Friedrich Gulda – piano
Albert Golowin – vocal
J. A. Rettenbacher – acoustic bass
Manfred Josel – drums, percussion

Albert Golovin; pseudonym for vocal performances by the pianist and composer Friedrich Gulda

Friedrich Gulda can not assign a certain style of music is , he never wanted to leave to cram in a Spate . His styles range from classical to jazz to rock and techno. But with his " musical Changes" he had never given a direction entirely . Even as he turned to jazz , he let lose from the classic little direction . In classical piano music, he was of the opinion that Mozart is the greatest musician who has ever lived , and it is very difficult to interpret it , although they are of medium to slight difficulty. He was himself, and above all Mozart interpreters to be very critical , and said, " you can not just down to play that way." In his childhood he often said : " First I want to learn to play Beethoven, Bach and then finally the master of all masters Mozart. " Gulda also is not without reason as the best interpreter of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach. He did not have many as a model , except Alfred Cortot he mentioned often with positive reviews and is even traveled after him Classical pianist. Cortot was a Franco -Swiss pianist , who had lived in Paris. He was a very good teacher and played in concerts as it had occurred to him . He did not play clichéd what Friedrich Gulda was very impressed . In the jazz world, he of course had several role models , especially at the beginning of his jazz - time . Most of all he mentioned the trumpeter Miles Davis, but he also learned much from Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul , Herbie Hancock , etc. Most likely , you can assign him nor the "Free Music " , in which the randomness is considered as a principle. The only rule is to recognize no rules . Therefore it has to be very intrigued totally free to improvise because of his jazz experience . Free music is something not -composed , so nothing you can hold in grades, she has no rhythm, harmony , melody or shape. He thinks the transmission of free music is on the medium of the record or the tape only as a suggestion for the people allowed and they can not therefore re-enact the same style. The message of the music is free , do not go into a store and buying records , but even to make music , and is in contrast to today's consumerist and commercialized world . However, by turning to outdoor music there was great financial losses at Friedrich Gulda and his classic work had restricted itself . At the end of his life career to be playing the piano had drastically reduced because he was of the opinion , for this kind of music , the piano is not very suitable. Later also strengthened its Gulda Jazz music activity with singing. Under the pseudonym Albert Golovin he sang of love, death and loneliness in the Viennese dialect. Gulda had a technique like no one else , he did not need to concentrate on playing games. He could afford to listen to the games themselves . He was his best audience , his own biggest fan , but also his own harshest critic .

In front of you is another intriguing album by Friedrich Gulda, who has prepared Ricardo.

If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

STEVE LACY FIVE – The Way (1979) - 2CD-2004

Label: hatOLOGY – hatOLOGY 2-604
Format: 2 × CD, Album, Reissue, Limited Edition
Country: Switzerland - Released: 2004
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded live on 23 January 1979, at Stadttheater Basel, Switzerland
Design [Graphic Concept] – fuhrer vienna
Liner Notes – John Corbett
Mastered By – Peter Pfister
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Thomas Wunsch
Producer – Werner X. Uehlinger

This double-CD reissues the nine numbers from a former double LP, adding three previously unreleased tunes from the same Switzerland concert. The Steve Lacy Five is at its best on scalar-based instrumentals such as the near-classic "Blinks." The many strong solos by Lacy and the highly underrated altoist Potts makes this two-fer of interest for followers of advanced jazz. This was always a well-organized and highly original group.

1-01  Stamps . . . 5:46
1-02  Blinks . . . 10:45
1-03  Troubles . . . 9:59
1-04  Raps . . . 11:31
1-05  Dreams . . . 9:17

2-01  Existence . . . 8:40
2-02  The Way . . . 8:30
2-03  Bone . . . 8:50
2-04  Name . . . 12:57
2-05  The Breath . . . 12:00
2-06  Life On Its Way . . . 11:05
2-07  Swiss Duck . . . 5:53

STEVE LACY – Soprano Saxophone
STEVE POTTS – Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
IRENE AEBI – Cello, Violin, Voice
KENT CARTER – Double Bass
OLIVER JOHNSON – Drums, Percussion

The great Steve Lacy, recently departed, made many records, but this one captures a great ensemble at the peak of its creative powers. It's a two-CD set from one concert in Basel in 1979, and it's hard to believe that so much great music was played in one sitting.

"Stamps has Lacy's signature angular, repeated (almost minimalist, à la Terry Riley or Steve Reich) phrases that function in the role of the traditional jazz head. Drummer Oliver Johnson plays through the repeated motives with waves of drums and cymbals that subsequently provide a bridge into improvisations that start over an A and D drone. They are both sensitive and bold, modern yet linked to an ancient inner human voice. The band falls back into the repeated motives naturally, ends, and after a very brief pause launches into "Blinks. Here Kent Carter's perfectly calibrated bass playing propels altoist Steve Potts through a gratifying solo. Then Lacy himself takes center stage and delivers a solo with sophisticated lines, growling effects, and minimalist motives building to a roar and then subsiding to a whisper, dovetailing perfectly into Irene Aebi's cello solo.

In "Troubles, we get the rare treat of hearing Steve Lacy's singing voice. Irene Aebi plays the role of the "straight voice against Lacy, who purposely alters each melodic phrase while they both sing the same words. Johnson and Carter provide a broad swing beat for intense, swirling improvisations. "Dreams sets up an impressionistic soundscape, complete with sensitive sound effects. Brion Gysin's words end the piece in a touching, concise way.

Disc two is where the suite "The Way begins. The music, inspired by the text to the "Tao Te Ching, is incredible. "Existence becomes a swinging, chromatically rising bass figure that never fails in energy or inspiration. Irene Aebi may have her detractors, but her vocal performances throughout the suite are really powerful. Indeed, the entire band is incredibly focused and we get to hear more nuance and depth from everyone in a way that we don't experience on the first CD. "Bone starts with a kind of cartoon conga-line rhythm. Again the collective improvisation is breathtaking, but always with the overview of the form in mind.

The final section of the suite, "Life On Its Way, starts with a very sensitive drum solo that segues into the two soprano saxophones playing "off stage and the violin evoking the Chinese erhu. "Life On it's Way draws the listener in as perhaps the most dramatic and narrative piece of the suite, and it ends with what seems like appropriate thoughtfulness. The audience reaction swells, almost as if people quickly realized the incredible journey the suite took them on, and the rhythmic clapping brings on "Swiss Duck, the encore.

The last vocal line from this version of "Bone is "...vitality clings to the marrow, leaving death behind. Lacy's music lives on, leaving death behind. The Way is an easy contender for best reissue of 2005.

_ By FRANCIS LO KEE, June 16, 2005 (AAJ)

If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, May 16, 2014

INTERMISSION – Live In Bimhuis, Amsterdam, December 6, 2008

Label: Private Recording / DP-0821
Format: CD, Album; Released: 2008
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
VPROJazzLive vanuit het Bimhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Artwork and Complete Design by ART&JAZZ Studio, by VITKO
December 6, 2008, Amsterdam, (Netherlands)in collaboration with VPRO Radio6 – VPRO Jazz Live from the Bimhuis

This is a radio broadcast of their concert at Bimhuis (December 6, 2008) and the announcement of the start of their long awaited European tour. Beautiful recording.

01 Intermission (Bimhuis, Amsterdam 2008) - set 1 . . . 49:25
02 Intermission (Bimhuis, Amsterdam 2008) - set 2 . . . 51:47

Klaas Hekman - bass saxophone
Hideji Taninaka - double bass, singing bowls, sho
William Parker - double bass, shakuhachi, zurna, guimbri, doson ngoni, poetry
Wilbert de Joode - double bass, singing bowls

With its three double bass players the quartet Intermission emphasizes the lowest sounds and makes them tangible. After a break of several years New Yorkers William Parker and Hideji Taninaka once again meet Wilbert de Joode and initiator Klaas Hekman, who plays bass saxophone. ‘Feel the deep boneshake’ (Downbeat).

See also:
INTERMISSION with Derek Bailey

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BRUISE: T. Bevan / J. Edwards / A. Wales / M. Sanders / O. Robinson – Bruise With Derek Bailey (2006)

Label: Foghorn Records – FOGCD006
Format: CD, Album; Released: 01 Apr 2006
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at the 291 Gallery, Hackney Road, London E2, on Tuesday August 17th 2004.
Post-production and Mastering: Asa Bennett at sonic studios.
Engineer by – Ashley Wales
Design by Paul Dunn @ diablo based on original artwork by Ashley Wales

Gig of the year – Derek Bailey’s return in triumph from Barcelona to East London. – Phillip Clark, Jazz Review

01. Search . . . 20:50             
02. Locate . . . 16:01 
03. Destroy . . . 34:02

Tony Bevan – bass saxophone
Ashley Wales – soundscapes, electronics
Orphy Robinson – electronics, marimba, percussion, steel drums, trumpet
John Edwards – double bass
Mark Sanders – drums, percussion
Derek Bailey – electric guitar

Tony Bevan is an improvising virtuoso on Soprano and Tenor saxophones, but perhaps is best known for his work on the Bass saxophone, on which he is probably Britain’s only major modern performer (“the world’s greatest improvising Bass saxophonist” - Timeout). He is closely linked with the late Derek Bailey, with whom he appeared and recorded many times, as well as with Free Jazz legend Sunny Murray, who, along with Edwards, he has been playing with for more than a decade, releasing a number of award winning recordings and appearing in Antoine Prum’s award winning film “Sunny’s Time Now”. He recently curated with Prum a 3 day festival on British Improvised Music in Berlin, which is released on film in late 2012, following more filming in the UK in early 2012 . His playing covers all bases from rock group Spiritualised (on whose new album he is a featured soloist) to Classical Avant-Garde composer Luc Ferrari, with the likes of Barre Phillips, Matthew Bourne, Joe Morris, Marc Ribot and Tony Buck of The Necks in between. 
He runs the Foghorn label.

Derek Bailey (29 January 1930 – 25 December 2005)

Sonically this is maybe not the best document (a straight-to-DAT recording from a gig at London’s 291 Gallery, acoustically somewhat muddled though quite acceptable) but it’s essential listening for Derek Bailey fans. As usual, the guitarist sought out the company of younger players – in this case, the acoustic/electronic (not electroacoustic) quintet responsible for Bruised, one of last year’s best and most overlooked improv records. The new disc is, among other things, the final chapter in the longstanding relationship between Bailey and bass saxophonist Tony Bevan. It’s hard not to hear real poignancy in Bevan’s playing here, which is stripped down so far it’s as if he’s trying to make an entire musical language out of achingly isolated notes. There’s also the tickle of hearing Bailey with the blue-chip UK free-improv rhythm section of John Edwards and Mark Sanders. The off-balance recording makes it harder to parse the electronic input from Orphy Robinson and (especially) Ashley Wales, but they’re certainly responsible for the haunting, elusive soundscaping (I was also surprised at the closeness in timbre between Robinson’s steel drums and Bailey’s distorted guitar). Derek Bailey was the kind of player an Oulipian would love, someone for whom obstacles were occasions for necessary creativity. By the time this disc was recorded in August 2004 he was already suffering from what was initially diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome but later turned out to be degenerative motor neurone disease. In response, he simply went calmly about refashioning his entire approach to the instrument. I’ve always loved the spacious, floaty interludes that occur on his discs, when isolated sound-events: a slow-swelling discord, a quiet scrape over the length of a string are dropped into silence like pebbles cast in a well. His playing throughout this album is like an album-length exploration of that particular corner of his music. His tone on the instrument is much softer than before by this point he was playing without a pick and his improvisations are constructed out of quiet, separately twisted fragments. There’s nothing overtly valedictory about the music the three tracks are called ‘Search’, ‘Locate’ and ‘Destroy’, after all but it is nonetheless hard not to be moved by a few moments here. Bevan’s soft-spoken duet with Bailey near the end of the album, in particular, serves as an achingly beautiful farewell to his mentor, so much so that it’s almost a relief when the full band regroups for a final pummelling blowout.
– ND “ParisTransAtlantic”

Foghorn Records:

Buy this album!

Monday, May 12, 2014

FRIEDRICH GULDA – Vienna Revisited (LP-1969)

Label: MPS Records – MPS 15 226 ST
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: West Germany - Released: 1969
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Jazz-Chanson
Recorded at MPS-Tonstudio Villingen / Black Forest, Febr. 1969.
Written-By – Friedrich Gulda
Producer, Engineer – Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer
Recorded By [Recording Director] – Willi Fruth

...But the greatest discovery in this respect is, of course, Golowin - a singer who can't be heard because he doesn't give a damn about a musical careeer or anything connected with it...

A1 – Sonatine - 1. Satz . . . 4:58
A2 – Sonatine - 2. Satz . . . 6:18
A3 – Sonatine - 3. Satz . . . 3:25
A4 – Die Reblaus . . . 3:38
B1 – Wann I Geh . . . 11:02
B2 – Du Und I . . . 3:35
B3 – Wann Du Mi Einmal Loswerd'n Willst . . . 3:01
B4 – Auf Visit' . . . 4:13

Friedrich Gulda – piano
J. A. Rettenbacher – bass (tracks B1-B4)
Manfred Josel – drums (tracks B1-B4)
Albert Golowin – vocals (tracks B1-B4)

Friedrich Gulda (16 May 1930 - 27 January 2000) was an Austrian pianist.

Born in Vienna as the son of a teacher, Gulda began learning to play the piano from Felix Pazofsky at the age of 7; in 1942, he entered the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied piano and musical theory under Bruno Seidlhofer and Joseph Marx. After winning first prize at the International Competition in Geneva four years later, in 1946, he began going on concert tours throughout the world. Together with Jörg Demus and Paul Badura-Skoda, Gulda formed what became known as the “Viennese troika”.

Although most famous for his Beethoven interpretations, Gulda also performed the music of J. S. Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Ravel.

From the 1950s on he cultivated an interest in jazz, writing several songs and instrumental pieces himself and combining jazz and classical music in his concerts at times. Gulda wrote a Prelude and Fugue with a theme suggesting swing. Keith Emerson performed it on Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s The Return of the Manticore. In addition, Gulda composed Variations on The Doors’ Light My Fire. Another version can be found on As You Like It (1970), an album with standards such as ‘Round Midnight and What Is This Thing Called Love. In 1982, Gulda teamed up with jazz pianist Chick Corea, who found himself in between the breakup of Return to Forever and the formation of his Elektric Band. Issued on The Meeting (Philips, 1984), Gulda and Corea communicate in lengthy improvisations mixing jazz (Someday My Prince Will Come and the lesser known Miles Davis song Put Your Foot Out) and classical music (Brahms’ Wiegenlied).

This album is a contribution by Ricardo. 

If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, May 9, 2014

DÖRNER / ERICSON / HÅKER FLATEN / STRID - The Electrics – Live At Glenn Miller Café (2005)

Label: Ayler Records – aylCD-034
Format: CD, Album; Country: Sweden - Released: 2006
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded in concert at Glenn Miller Café, Stockholm, on October 3 and 4, 2005.
Composed By – Dörner, Flaten, Strid, Ericson
Cover – Åke Bjurhamn
Executive-producer – Jan Ström
Mixed By [Cd] – Billström, Strid, Ericson
Photography By – Lars Jönsson
Recorded By, Mastered By – Niklas Billström

Excellent session at Ayler's favorite Glenn Miller Café, free blowing yet tight arrangement with an open-minded approach to improvisation, including the minimal and fascinating "Electrance." Exciting and cutting edge music.

Axel Dörner 

Ayler Records first documented this quartet with Sture Ericson on reeds, Axel Dörner on trumpet, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass, and Raymond Strid on drums during a live set on their first tour back in 2000. This release captures the group five years later during a run at the venerated Glenn Miller Café in Stockholm. In the intervening years, Dörner, Håker Flaten and Strid have gone on to record and perform in a wide variety of contexts (Ericson, a figure from the '80s Swedish jazz scene has still remained elusive based on his scant recorded output.) Like their first outing, this is another free blowing session and it is clear that the four revel in it. While Håker Flaten and Strid are known for this kind of setting, it is a kick to hear Dörner let loose in full free-jazz mode. While many think of him in settings like his trio with John Butcher and Xavier Charles, he's continued to show his passion for jazz-based outings like his recordings with Otomo Yoshihide's New jazz Orchestra or Alex Von Schlippenbach's Monk workouts. Ericson is more of an unfettered firebrand, whether sparring with Dörner or careening over the thundering pulse of the music. Yet he can also drop down to subtle textural abstractions, whispering his clarinet against the quiet shudders and creaks like the start of a piece like "Electroots". Here the four show that they are about more than just brawn and buster, kicking things off with a spare, floating, collective improvisation and slowly ratcheting up the activity level as the piece progresses. On the closing "Electraps", Ericson's bubbling bass clarinet, Dörner's muted trumpet smears, Håker Flaten's scraped arco, and Strid's pin-prick percussion etch out pointillistic interactions that builds with eddies of activity. This is the sort of session that showcases how the Northern Europeans continue to carve out their take on the free jazz tradition.

Ayler Records:

Buy this album!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

ALFRED 23 HARTH QuasarQuartet – POPendingEYE (1993)

Label: Free Flow Music Production – ffm 0493
Format: CD, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1993
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live 5th December 1992 at the Hindemith Hall of the Old Opera, Frankfurt
New Cover Design by ART&JAZZ Studio, by VITKO
Photography By – William Klein
Producer – S. Siebenlist
Technician [Ton] – T. Raisig

Live-Mitschnitt aus dem Hindemith-Saal der Alten Oper Frankfurt, 5. Dezember 1992.
Straight ahead energetic Jazz. Enjoy!

01. 1st2nd3rd&4th . . . 29:18
02. BukzokWestWostokSude . . . 29:38

Alfred 23 HARTH - tenor sax, bassclarinet
Simon NABATOV - piano
Vladimir TARASOV - drums and percussion
Vitold REK - bass

"I want more POPEYE", writes Alfred Harth. "Possessing uncompromising moral standards and resorting to force when threatened". He also refers to "my artist's way through postmodernism", which at the beginning of the 90s brought him to grow tired of "all those mixes, remixes, postmodernisms and pop" that he had gone through during the previous decade: he was ready to return to a "pure" approach, essentially based on real players and real instruments. Enter Russian drummer Vladimir Tarasov from the Ganelin Trio, a long-time admirer of Harth, met for the first time in 1992 when Mr.23 was invited by Moscow TV for a program about him; the next character after his portrait would be none other that Popeye the Sailor (hence the album's title, a word game with the ironical "end" of the "pop phase" of Alfred's career). Tarasov had imported all the early Harth albums in the USSR, playing together became a necessary consequence. The QuasarQuartet, formed by the saxophonist in the same year, sees Harth on tenor sax and bass clarinet and Tarasov on drums and percussion, plus the fabulous pianist Simon Nabatov and the excellent Vitold Rek on bass. "POPendingEYE" features two half-hour tracks in which everything (Coltrane-derived ascensions, logical freedom, contaminations of marching band rhythms, folk melodies, pyrotechnical pianism, sadly pensive reed lines) obeys to a logic that's inspired by Harth's idea of "opening to the East": in fact, besides this new musical situation, he met his current partner - South Korea's visual artist Soonjoo Lee - right at that time . Even the track titles, "1st2nd3rd&4th" and "BukzokWestWostokSude", respectively refer to the world's divisions ("...we know what the 3rd world is, but which would be the 1st?" says Harth) and to a mixture of Korean and English language to describe directions. And many directions this music points at, with a stimulating alternance of high-charge improvisations and melodic crystals that doesn't remind us about the players' originary lands, but it rather stands as a primary example of reciprocal instant comprehension: no language is a barrier when the instruments are the ones doing the talking. "POPendingEYE" - a meaningful record in the free music scene of the early 90s - has remained pretty obscure despite its quality; but it sure helped Alfred Harth to be "strong to the finish", as the Sailor himself would have it. The fact is, his creativity shined then and it still does. What finish, then? And what's your favourite brand of spinach, Alf?
Highly recommended.


Buy this album!

Friday, May 2, 2014


Label: FMP – FMP 0940
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: Germany - Released: 1982
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on September 7th 1980, during the 8th Wuppertaler Free Jazz Workshop
Design by Peter Kowald
Photography By – Unknown Artist
Producer – Jost Gebers, Peter Kowald
Recorded By – Jost Gebers

A1 - Improvisation I (Charig/Rutherford/Poore/Brötzmann/Parker/
        Trovesi/Wachsmann/Van Hove/Kowald/Sommer) . . . 5:50
A2 - Fantale (Evan Parker) . . . 9:31
A3 - Bones and wishes (Phil Wachsmann) . . . 6:13
B1 - Improvisation II (Charig/Rutherford/Poore/Brötzmann/Parker/
        Trovesi/Wachsmann/Van Hove/Kowald/Sommer) . . . 10:05
B2 - The Family (Fred Van Hove) . . . 11:35

Marc Charig - trumpet, alto horn
Paul Rutherford - trombone, euphonium
Melvyn Poore - tuba
Peter Brötzmann - saxophones & clarinets
Evan Parker - soprano & tenor saxophone
Gianluigi Trovesi - saxophones & clarinets
Philip Wachsmann - violin
Fred Van Hove - piano
Peter Kowald - double bass
Günter Sommer - drums

This short-lived all-star assemblage of European talent only released one LP, and this is it! A large group that wears its size lightly, there is a lot of space for solos and smaller group work, while also allowing for some tremendously beautiful, all-in crescendos. And don't let the "workshop" of the title lead you astray: this is a band with a full understanding of the repertoire, and complete command of the material. Come join The Family!

DISCOGRAPHY: FMP Numbers (LP's, CD's & Singles), SAJ Numbers, Uhlklang:

If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

PETER KOWALD QUINTET – Peter Kowald Quintet (LP-1972)

Label: FMP – FMP 0070
Format: Vinyl, LP; Country: Germany - Released: 1972
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live January 19, 1972 at Akademie der Künste in Berlin
Artwork – Danny, Dietrich Maus, Geges Margull, Gerd Hanebeck, Heiko Hösterey, Krista Brötzmann, Paul Miron, Peter Paulus, Tomas Schmit, Toon Lem, Winfried Gaul, Wulf Teichmann
Producer – P. Kowald
Recorded By – Eberhard Sengpiel
Supervised By – Jost Gebers

"It was recorded at a concert in Berlin, during a Free Music Festival January 19, 1972 , and is a thoroughly excellent example of the kind of music to be heard at such events all over Europe....this LP is highly recommended."

A1 - Platte Talloere . . . 13:16
A2 - Wenn Wir Kehlkopfoperierte Uns Unterhalten . . . 7:06
B1 - Pavement Bolognaise . . . 14:00
B2 - Guete Luuni . . . 2:49

Peter van de Locht: alto saxophone
Günter Christmann: trombone
Paul Rutherford: trombone
Peter Kowald: double bass, tuba, alphorn
Paul Lovens: percussion

The informal freemasonry among European practitioners of the New Music grows daily stronger. Although the Continentals are rarely allowed to play here (thanks to antiquated regulations), British musicians now regularly cross the Channel to appear side-by-side with the best players Europe has to offer.
This album represents just such a collaboration, with trombonist Paul Rutherford taking his place in the band of German multi-instrumentalist, Peter Kowald, which itself contains one Belgian (van de Locht) and one Dutchman (Lovens).
It was recorded at a concert in Berlin, during a Free Music Festival last January, and is a thoroughly excellent example of the kind of music to be heard at such events all over Europe.
The work of the trombone team is what catches the ear first; Rutherford produces his vast array of technical effects, and manages to make music out of them all the time. Near the end of “Pavement Bolognaise”, for instance, he plays a long unaccompanied passage made up of long, low growls, ending with a delicious smear, which is quite riveting.
Christmann is a rather more straightforward player (though not much) and makes a fine complement. When he, Rutherford, and Kowald (on Alphorn, I think) play together on the short “Guete Luuni”, the effect is like a brass band lament from outer space.
The leader himself has some impressive moments on bass, particularly on “Platte Talloere”, where he plays a long solo made up of strange scratching sounds (caused by pressing the bow down hard on the strings) and is beautifully accompanied by Lovens – who seems to have calmed down a lot since I first heard him a couple of years ago.
Van de Locht sounds like a very promising young musician, giving his best work in the ensemble improvisations, when he provides an upper line with a poignant, bitter-sweet flavor.
A quintet, then, which is integrated as well musically as it is nationally; and a LP of informal, enjoyable music, which is highly recommended.

from: Melody Maker, June 17, 1972

If you find it, buy this album!