Wednesday, December 14, 2016

FREDERIC RZEWSKI – Attica / Coming Together / Les Moutons De Panurge (LP-1974 / Opus One – Number 20)

Label: Opus One – Number 20
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Experimental, Contemporary, Minimal
A and B1 composed in 1972 and recorded April 20, 1973 at Blue Rock Studio in NYC.
B2 composed in 1969 and recorded at the University of Northern Illinois DeKalb, Illinois, 
May 10, 1973.
Engineers – Eddie Korvin (track A), Jan Rathbun (track B1), Steven Ovitsky (track B2)
Producer – Mike Sahl
Written-by [Text] – Sam Melville (track A), Richard X. Clark (track B1)
Composed By, Liner Notes – Frederic Rzewski
Design [Cover Design] – Herman Zaage
The inks of this cover are fluorescent.
Sponsored in part by the Ford Foundation and Anthony Keashey.
Matrix / Runout (A-Side Runout Etching): OPUS #20 RE <1> CF
Matrix / Runout (B-Side Runout Etching): OPUS No. 20 Side 2 JF

A  -  Coming Together ...................................................................... 19:15
         bass – Richard Youngstein
         piano, electric piano – Frederic Rzewski
         alto saxophone – Jon Gibson
         synthesizer – Alvin Curran
         trombone – Garrett List
         vibraphone – Karl Berger
         viola – Joan Kalisch
         voice [speaker] – Steve Ben Israel
B1 - Attica ......................................................................................... 6:30
         bass – Richard Youngstein
         piano – Frederic Rzewski
         alto saxophone – Jon Gibson
         trombone – Garrett List
         piccolo trumpet – Alvin Curran
         vibraphone – Karl Berger
         viola – Joan Kalisch
         voice [Speaker] – Steve Ben Israel
B2 - Les Moutons De Panurge ........................................................ 16:15
         Blackearth Percussion Group:
         percussion [almglocken] – Garry Kvistad
         percussion [nabimba] – Richard Kvistad
         vibraphone, glockenspiel – Christopher Braun
         xylophone – Anne Otte

Cover has different typesetting for composer's name (stacked as opposed to on a single line) and lettering is in blue/violet instead of gold. This cover is fluorescent.
Labels on disc are reversed (A-label on B-side). Album has a piece of typewritten paper inserted stating the following:
"Please note: the labels on this record are reversed. We regret the inconvenience."

This brilliant early recording of Frederic Rzewski (unfortunately unavailable of 2002.) showcases the composer emerging from a period in which he was largely involved with free improvisation (with the group Musica Elettronica Viva) and beginning to investigate more structured writing.

The lineup on this recording is pretty amazing. Rzewski himself plays piano. Jon Gibson, who has worked with the big four minimalist composers (Young, Riley, Reich and Glass) as well as being an excellent composer himself, plays alto sax. Composer Alvin Curran, also of Rzewski's MEV group, plays synthesizer. Garrett List, whose beautiful LP "Your Own Self" already on this blog, plays trombone. Karl Berger play vibes, and has played on some classic ESP jazz recordings as well also working with Don Cherry. Violist Joan Kalisch has played on recordings by Don Cherry and Alice Coltrane, and Richard Youngstein has worked with Paul Bley. The reading is done by stage actor Steve Ben Israel, who was a member of New York's Living Theatre.

Here the burgeoning minimalist movement was a prime musical influence, although on two of the pieces what strikes the listener first and foremost is the political content. "Coming Together" melts a wonderfully undulating and propulsive score that just won't give up with the impassioned reading (by Steve ben Israel) of a text written by Sam Melville an inmate at Attica prison documenting both his woes and his impressive resolve not to knuckle under. The words are repeated with increasing ferocity as the music goes through several permutations, eventually matching the speaker in a roaring finish. When other prisoner Richard S. Clark was released from prison in 1972, he was asked by a reporter how it felt to leave Attica behind him. His response, "Attica is in front of me," provides the text for the powerful and haunting second work here. His words are spoken in additive fashion -- first just "Attica" then "Attica is" -- in a soft, almost ghostly fashion over a gently percolating score that combines sorrow and hope in a complex and rich fabric.

"Les Moutons de Panurge," a completely instrumental composition, uses the same basic structural idea. A 65-note melody is performed in the sequence 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, and so on, until the entire melody has been read with the understanding of the near-impossibility of the ensemble staying in unison for the duration. Here, as performed by the Blackearth Percussion Group, it takes on the character of a wild gamelan orchestra, perhaps slightly tipsy. It's utterly invigorating, as is the entire record. Very highly recommended.
_ Review by Brian Olewnick

This LP was recorded is on the excellent Opus One records - all the covers of LPs on the label were meant to respond to black light!....... Trippy.

If you find it, buy this album!


  1. FREDERIC RZEWSKI – Attica / Coming Together... (LP-1974)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork


    1. or

  2. Hi, unfortunately 1fichier doesn't allow free downloads anymore. They ask us to pay 1 Euro or we have no service. The problem is that I don't know how to make that payment, none of the options available seem possible to me, regretably. Perhaps you could use AdDrive or another file service?

    1. For me the free options still works, 1fichier is building a fence because of Trump, Erdogan and Putin already!?

  3. Hi again, could you post this record using another file service? I can't pay 1fichier to have access, the only option they give and that I could use is Skrill. That is if I had a credit card, which I don't have. Here in America, to have a credit card, you need to make a certain amount of money, and since I am way bellow poverty line, beacause of my mental disability, I'm not granted to receive one. The other option would be to make a bank transfer, but I tried for hours to find out how to do that, I have never done this before, where I live we use interac to send money to someone, using their email address, and we also use interac like you do with a credit card in Europe, interac is the same as ATM for instance.

    So you see, I can't send that 1 Euro 1fichier asks me to give.

  4. met no problem with this download.
    i do use JDownloader. it's free Java-based download manager, essentially easing the d/l process from a lot of servers.
    so, my advice is to use JDownloader

  5. a brief note: problem does really persist if you are trying to d/l the files from 1fichier from your browser. using the download managers could be quite useful for solving the problem.

  6. I'll try to combine with what I have.
    Tonight I will make a new upload at MEGA or Mediafire. I think it fits all.
    By the way, do you like this album?

  7. Well, I tried to get Jdownloader, I tried to get it from 4 different places but all I got were malwares. Anyway, thanks for the tip, unfortunately I have to give up.

  8. So yes Vitko, if I could get this album it would mean a small victory amongst an ocean of frustrations, you can believe my word on that.

  9. I would love for you to upload to MEGA or Mediafire. Love going through the vinyl and discovering new treasures.

  10. I have been using JDownloader for a while (most recent version installed) but have had no luck with this link.

    1. Press the "All Downloads", button is located below, on the right side.

  11. Thanks for the new link Vitko. This payment issue is unique to 1fichier as far as I can tell. Hope they can figure something out. Making it difficult for people to send you money seems an odd business model! : - /

  12. Completely new to me, it's the discovery. An excellent album. And your graphics presentation is amazing. Thank you Vitko.

  13. Thanks so much. I've been having problems downloading from 1fichier too, no idea why, but I can't get anything to download from them. Other sites seem fine.

  14. My recommendation is to install "JDownloader" (it's free).
    jDownloader allow you to create very long lists of downloads, so that you can download them in sequence, one after the other, or even simultaneously, meaning you can save lots of time.
    Simultaneously download as many files as you want, even from different hosts.
    Ability to pause and resume the download whenever you want.....etc... - Official Homepage:
    and this:

  15. Thanks so much. This & the Garrett List album are revelations...

  16. This is staggeringly good. THANK-YOU so much.