Here's a recording of the Anthony Braxton Quartet at the Civic Theatre in Leeds from their 'Forces in Motion' tour in November 1985. Three of the concerts from that tour are available on CDs from Leo Records, but each is quite different, and this is no exception.
The first half is by far the strongest, with extended improvisation that really catches fire. The quartet is outstanding, producing extraordinary music. Reeds, bass and drums shine, but the key player, to my mind, is Marilyn Crispell, who holds the entire set together. The second half fails to sustain this - perhaps it is from fatigue, or a poor venue, but there is an aimless introductory improvisation which is barely rescued in the latter stages by Braxton and Crispell. There is a good write up of this concert in Graham Lock's 'Forces in Motion' book, and it's from this that I've taken the set list.
The sound is adequate, but no better than that, so this is offered in mp3 only. Thanks to the original taper and seeder. If there are unreleased recordings of the other concerts from this tour, I'd be very interested in hearing them.
Anthony Braxton Quartet
November 24, 1985
Set 1: Composition 122 (+ 108A), Composition 69N, Composition 69Q, Piano solo from Piano Piece 1, Composition 69M
Part 1a - 46.15
Part 1b - 6.09
Set 2: Composition 69H, Bass solo from Composition 96, Composition 69(O), Composition 116
Part 2 - 41.05
Anthony Braxton (cl, fl, as, Cm-sx, sss)
Marilyn Crispell (p)
Mark Dresser (b)
Gerry Hemingway (d)
30 December 2008
Reading the comments about Konitz in the Murray post I thought this might be quite timely. These two guys have played in duo and quartet formats on countless occasions over the last 40 years, and it's good to see the partnership still going strong as both of them are now turned 80. The setlist contains tunes they've played many times before, but still manage to give a fresh and original twist to them.
Lee Konitz (as), Martial Solal (p).
"Alte Oper", Frankfurt/Main (Germany), September 5, 2008.
1 The Song Is You
2 What Is This Thing Called Love
3 Body And Soul
5 Stella By Starlight
6 Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
This has been recorded from a digital broadcast (thanks to "hamhen") at 256kbps and is posted in MP2 format.
29 December 2008
One of the surprises of my early experiences in the Blogosphere ..was finding a rip of this particular album which i'd had on tape for many years... that rip at 256 by Nonwave.. who has shared many rare gems in the last couple of years, is still available at Nothing is v2..and elsewhere.
Im pleased to be able to present a lossless rip , which i made recently on a portable zoom -box (recorded at 44100 HZ 16 BIT WAV then converted to FLAC) Straight from Iain's amplifier into the device.
tracking using this method requires precision in real time, something elusive on the day ..Swedish vodka.. and incessant music jabber doesn't do much for ones powers of concentration.
All turned out fine in the end...the music's all here..in good sound.
I've been in love with this record ever since first hearing 20 years ago(the very same pressing) a pity that it's relegated to the status of a obscure rarity, since it really is one of The masterpieces produced in Paris during Murray's early ex patriot life there..a period hailed as the Golden Age by fanatics of the Genre.
I prefer it to the better known BYG records,for a start its a better balanced recording, no filler here 'angels and devils' and 'hilarious paris' are among the great anthems in the genre... the version of Richard Rodgers 'this nearly was mine' is a riotous melee that teeters on the brink of chaos.. more 'tasteful'despite its almost over powering emotive load than any smug self knowing formulaic rendition...a great tune.done thorough justice!
The great Alan Silva plays Violin exclusively here..alternating spectral whimsy and frenzied dervish like prayer's.. he is magnificent, they all are .
It's a trans formative experience... to the skeptics who may feel im' tugging myself a bit hard...impossible to exaggerate the impact this record has had on me personnaly check it out in all its sonic glory... clicks and all.
Its unbelievable that one of the finest records of the late 60's remains unreissued to this day
scandalous too that so much early Murray languishes on the unused dusty record shelves of collectors .
Sunny Murray's discog at Mindspring
Sunny Murray@ Myspace
sunny murray myspace
Hart LeRoy Bibbs-poem
"my label eremite records has re-issued BIG CHIEF on vinyl, a lovely reproduction of the original l/p pressed on RTI-180 audiophile vinyl. the re-issue was done with sunny murray's full participation & blessing. look for it soon on ebay, eremite.com, etc. meanwhile it would be cool if you guys removed these files?
best '09 regards, eremite records, CC: sunny murray"
THE REISSUE ABOVE CAN BE ODERED DIRECTLY THROUGH THE LABEL HERE
Another contribution from an Anonymous friend, i havent been able to find a cover image of this one, which seems to be one of the few earlier Birth albums that has not been reissued...although there is evidence that one online seller on Ebay has cdr's for sale.
A search here confirms it's unavailability
Perhaps Hampel has chosen not to reissue this on the grounds that the original recording is so flat and one dimensional.
none the less the music is quite exceptional, a largely free improvised set ..its all more or less one free floating piece.
Great to hear Anthony Braxton on contra bass clarinet especially this vintage and setting... spine chilling stuff.
There is an ethereal quality to this wonderfully spacious set ..that could perhaps (heresy of heresie's) have used the slightly reverby ,crisp production values of a Manfred Eicher.
THANKS again anonymous for the opportunity to hear this unique combination of individuals in such a free wheeling setting.
ripped from vinyl at 320kbs
ANTHONY BRAXTON / GUNTER HAMPEL / JEANNE LEE - FAMILIE
Concert In Paris, Theatre du Moffetard, April 1st, 1972
Birth LP, 008
GH - b cl, fl, vib, ss
JL - voc
AB - as, fl, cl, cb cl, ss
(ripped direct from LP - the muffled sound quality is unfortunately due to the lo-fi sound of the original recording)
28 December 2008
Some one emailed me months ago asking if i had any unofficial material by Motian's trio with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano.. i don't.
Paul Motian ,one of the great modern jazz drummers was perhaps as instrumental in emancipating the drums from the rigid role Of mere time keeping, and developing the concept of free time as Sunny Murray and Andrew Cyrille.. you hear freedoms on The Bill Evans village vanguard records from 1961 that were unparallelled in their day,a fact that's due more to the fluid and spontaneous role of the rhythm section than to anything Evan's plays.
This concert feature my favourite Motian group of all time..they only made one album 'Dance' for ECM, one of the enduring classics of the late 70's.
There's so little Charles Brackeen on record.. that one wonders how some one with such prodigious gifts has been so neglected by the 'industry',Brackeen is prominently featured on both tenor and soprano saxes.
Masterful bassist David Izenzon, stretches out like you've never heard him....at least not on record.
this is a beautifully detailed recording in superb sound... many thanks to the Tapers Seeders Traders..whom ever they be.
Paul Motian Trio
Charles Brackeen ts, ss
David Izenzon b
Paul Motian dr
1) 10:40 Asia
2) 11:16 Prelude
3) 07:55 Lullaby
4) 10:13 Yala
5) 08:55 Abacus
6) 10:52 Waltz Song
7) 11:42 Victoria
8) 12:15 Dance
9) 02:03 Calypso
all compositions by Paul Motian
Source/Lineage: FM –
Here's a further contribution from anonymous who brought us 'presenting Burton Greene '..many thanks .
There is unfortunately a lack of information about this online, and since it is unfamiliar I'm loathe to review it in any way.
What i can say though is that Barbara Donald was one of the the most original trumpet voices of her generation, her individual tone to my ears had much more in common with say a Fats Navarro than any of the more renown 'new thing trumpeter's'..
Donald sadly made only 2(to my knowledge) lp's under her own name..i have heard neither ,so thanks anon for the opportunity.
Most of us know her work largely through a sequence of Sonny Simmons lp's(whom she married in the mid 60's)beginning with 1966's 'staying on the watch'.
They remained friends after separating and continued their association performing together frequently in the late 80's and early nineties.
any one interested in more biographical info ,regarding Donald... can find a page devoted to her on Sonny Simmons website..here
BARBARA DONALD & UNITY - THE PAST AND TOMORROWS
Cadence LP, CJR 1017, 1983
1. THE PAST AND TOMORROWS 3.45
2. LOVE FOR ERIC 5.45
3. PANNONICA 3.37
4. LET IT RIDE 4.57
5. BOP-A-LOT 8.43
6. CHILDREN OF THE NILE 9.58
7. CHARLES TOO 4.16
Barbara Donald - tpt
Carter Jefferson - ts
Gary Hammon - ts
Peggy Stern - p
Mike Bissio - b
Irvin Lovilette - d
april 16 & 17, 1982, Northwest Recordings, Seattle
26 December 2008
Howard Riley, one of the great pioneers of the European 'free' scene, probably deserves to be better known than he is.
A virtuoso pianist he started playing at a very young age first appearing on record with Barry Guy in the late 60's..and continuing the association well into the present.
Beginning in 1971 with 'flight'Riley ,Guy and drummer Tony Oxley created one of the most imaginative sequences of lp's in the genre, for Me personally among the most rewarding music ever, records i can listen to with endless fascination and a complete and utter lack of listener fatigue.
Riley is also known for his associations with the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, SME , Keith Tippett, Lol Coxhill,Trevor Watts , John Stevens and Jaki Byard(feathers with Jaki 1981).
Riley sometimes operates within a relatively straight jazz framework, among the great ones in that vein is 'wishing on the moon' made with one of his regular projects,'feathers' featuring Mario Castronari and Tony Marsh.
This solo performance is in Riley's own words "one extended continually evolving piano solo improvisation in which my only starting points were 4 very short musical shapes that were capable of being interrelated during the course of the improvisation."
Recorded at Riverside Studios England 9th of July 1976
A christmas present from anonymous ..left in the comments to the previous post.
Dan Warburton-It's about time Presenting Burton Greene was reissued!
Burton Greene-Yes, it's enjoyed much more creative life in the cut-out bins than it ever did on the shelves! You know, that was the first time a Moog was used on a jazz record. I first met Robert Moog in 1963 at an electronics show in New York where he was running around saying "does anybody want to try my instrument?" I went up and introduced myself: "I'm a piano player, I can use that.." He said, "I can't offer you any money, but my wife is a great cook and if you feel like coming up to Ithaca, you're welcome to stay." Well, man, I hadn't eaten in a month so I said, "Erm, yeah I think I have a little free time at the moment..!" (laughs) and I went up to Ithaca and had a ball. And after that I was the synthesizer expert..! I tried to work a deal with Norman Seaman to do a solo Moog concert - that was even announced on my first quartet record - but he was losing money and it didn't happen. Anyway, John Hammond at Columbia had heard about that. "You're the cat who plays the synthesizer. Burton, you've got to add the synthesizer to that record." The record was already done, but he said, "we'll pay you to work on the synthesizer." The magic word. Five hours at $100 an hour. Normally I don't drink, but I remember that day when I went to the studio to get that extra $500 out of Hammond, I drank a quarter bottle of Scotch. I rolled in the studio like Napoleon (laughs). There were wall-to-wall Moogs in the studio and five assistant Walter Sears engineers each getting $80 an hour to help me create. They said: "What will it be sir?" I said, "I'd like a Sine Generator 17 to start with, please. 17B." "OK, sir, yes.." (imitates the noises of a Moog) I said, "Hmm it's a little thin.." They said "what about a BX.." I didn't know sine from sawtooth! Hammond was like, "that's my boy!" We ended up with all this weird shit and had to find a place to put it. I said to [drummer] Shelly [Rusten]: "There's a little part of your solo there that we can.. enhance." He said "don't you put that shit on top of my solo, man!" (laughs)
PRESENTING BURTON GREENE
Columbia LP, CS 9784, 1968?
1. BALLAD IN B MINOR 6.40
2. SLURP! 7.37
3. NIRVANA VIBRATIONS 8.55
4. LEBANESE TURN-A-ROUND 3.45
5. EASTERN FOLK SONG 6.30
6. VOICE OF THE SILENCES 11.33
Byard Lancaster - as, tpt
Steve Tintweiss - bs
Shelly Rusten - perc
Burton Greene - pno, pno harp, elec harpsichord, chants
moog synth on (2)
22 December 2008
Günter Sommer and three old friends, or the Synopsis group who were central to an important development of the German Democratic Republic scene in the 70s. Here a decade later on what I percieve to be a mostly unknown French release on the Nato label, I was extremely lucky to find a copy in 2008 on the internet.
A snippet about the group from Heffley "...Such changes lay in the group's decision to use traditional German materials (mostly Medieval and folk) and aesthetics (lyrical, melodic, from the Romantic period) as the springboard, along the lines of Ornette Coleman's melodies, into free improvisation. They did this without the Western sense of sarcasm or irony, more with respect and affection. Unlike the West Germans, for them it was a reassertion, not a denial, of local identity beyond that imposed by the Russian occupiers, and of European roots that matched the African roots unearthed by their heroes from America."
I highly recommend it.
Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky, alto saxophone, clarinet and flute
Conrad Bauer, trombone
Ulrich Gumpert, piano
Günter Sommer, percussion
A1. Nelly Et Sylvain 7:17
A2. Daniel Und Seine Volvo 9:19
A3. Makoko Aperçoit Monsieur Léon 4:44
B1. Toute Pour Raoul 9:16
B2. Jiair Und J.E. 8:34
B3. Isabel Records Boxes 4:42
Recorded May 3 & 4, 1984 at Théâtre Dunois, Paris.
All music by Günter Sommer except B1 which is by the group.
NATO 329 (vinyl rip)
21 December 2008
Here's the great Leroy Jenkins solo concert from 1977, again courtesy of Iain.
who says 'this is a very beautiful concert..I'm happy to be able to share it'
Jenkins here weaves a dense tissue of free improvisation interpolated with rustic folk forms,quotes from hymns and the blues.. cascading ripples of plangent scrapping creaky euphoria.
it features a very simple, lyrical rendition of Billy Strayhorn's lush life..one of the best
an awe inspiring concert from the late under recorded and appreciated master, long overdue for a carefully remastered reissue.
recorded at Washington square church N.Y.C, on January 11 1977
2. Why am i here
4. Lush life
5. Keep on trucking brother
6. Nobody knows the trouble i've seen
Leroy Jenkins -violin
Here's the first of a series of posts ripped from the collection of my old friend Iain,someone with whom Ive shared many journeys of musical discovery over the years..who also happens to be a self confessed lurker, he states that after having downloaded so many rarities over the past year ..he'd like to give a little back and share some of his own.
English improvising saxophonist Lol Coxhill is a much loved favourite..
Lol coxhill , one of Europe's greatest jazz men/free improvisers is probably unjustly remembered more by progressive rock fans ,for his association with the so called canterbury scene,and the likes of Kevin Ayres, delivery and the Damned ,and for his bit part in Derek Jarman's film Caravaggio, than for being one of the greatest free improvisers alive.
Coxhill started out in the late forties playing bebop and Afro Cuban jazz, he was a contemporary of and frequent guest with the likes of Tubby Hayes and Joe Harriott.
He was also around in the mid 60's when the first signs of a completely free music scene first emerged in Britain..and he has performed and recorded with most of those pioneers ...SME, The Brotherhood of Breath,Company, Evan Parker,Paul Rutherford , Eddie Prevost and so on ..in seemingly endless permutations.
He has also recorded dozens of solo soprano saxophone sessions..and they are among the wonders of 20th century music.
Abstract expressionist painter william Dekooning's description of himself as a 'slipping glimpser'is what most immediately comes to my mind in describing Coxhill's solo improvisations...slippery they are often oddly loping in much the same way as say one of the more wayward improvisations of a Lee Konitz, or a Sonny Rollins.
theres a great deal of Sly humour present and Coxhill rarely resorts to histrionic cliches, his improvisations are quite kaleidoscopic in breadth, as a melodic improvisor he's simply peerless.. melodies spiraling out and unfurling seemingly effortlessly until its almost hallucinatory in intensity! not to mention the 'pastelate intervals'
No idea about the provenance of this record..it has all the hall marks of being a bootleg, but could just as easily have been released by Coxhill himself.
no track titles, no clearly labeled a or b sides..this isn't even mentioned in the discography under Coxhill's name on the European improvised music site.
links in mp3 and flac in the comments
more Coxhill to follow in the next few weeks!
heres a link to Lol Coxhills Website 'a life in music'
19 December 2008
17 December 2008
This is for the people requesting it at the 'nine sisters' blog... many thanks to them for the gems they've shared.
The 2nd part of a magnificent concert recorded at the 'peace church' Washington square N.Y.C. on may 19 1970.
the recording was supervised by Ornette Coleman, not released though until some 6 years later.
for me this(and vol 1) is a significant milestone in being the most fully realised document of what Braxton ,Jenkins and Smith were on about at this early stage of their careers.
much better recorded than the earlier lp's recorded in Paris for Byg, this concert is one of the gems of the AACM collective discography.
so its a real surprise that this hasn't been reissued more widely, and that it remains so little heard.
hope you enjoy it...
see the comments for both lame and flac links, I'll be posting the flacs only ,for volume 1 later tonight.
mp3's for volume 1 are at 'nine sisters' linked on the front page.
CCC vol 2
side A- Muhal part 1
side b- Muhal part 2
Leroy Jenkins-violin, viola little instruments
Anthony Braxton-reeds, percussion
Leo Smith-tpt ,fl hrn, french hrn, perc
Muhal Richard Abrahms-pno, cello , clarinet
16 December 2008
13 December 2008
I can find virtually no information about this concert on the net. I must assume that the details I have are correct:-
Frank Wright/Andrew Cyrille Duo
Soundscape, New York
December 09, 1981
Frank Wright - reeds
Andrew Cyrille - drums
The seeder in dime (my thanks to him) stated that he had got it in trade, so it's been doing the rounds for some years.
I can find no recorded evidence that Wright played with Cyrille on other occasions. All I can say is that it is definitely Frank Wright accompanied by an excellent drummer, who isn't Muhammed Ali, Wright's more common partner, and probably is Cyrille. If there are any experts out there, perhaps they can confirm this.
The tracks are all improvisational pieces and are not tunes I've heard Wright play on his recordings. I also have the 2nd set, but frankly it would be an over-indulgence to post 2 hours of duo playing. If anyone particularly would like the other, then I could post it sometime in the future.
Sound quality is really quite good, perhaps too good for an audience recording of the time, so I've included flac as well as mp3 versions.
11 December 2008
Back in May this blog carried a performance of Composition no. 356, from the January 2008 Chiasso festival, and here is a companion piece, Composition no. 348, from the San Sebastian jazz festival in July.
Not surprisingly there are many similarities; the music seems to follow a diurnal cycle - the dawn is signalled by AB just before the end - and a large part of the music occupies itself with night and the time just before dawn. Animal calls and the noises and movements of the night become transformed by imagination into something altogether different.
This is a DVD, in ten hefty files, which were originally torrented by cosmikd, to whom I am very grateful for making this available in such high quality. An mp3 audio file is also available, prepared from the audio file torrented by the wonderful boldsouls. The music is superb, and it is great to see the interaction between the musicians, particularly as they move from the quiet of night into the crescendo of dawn.
Anthony Braxton Accelerator Ghost Trance Septet
San Sebastian, Spain
25th July, 2008
NO CONVERSION, DIRECT FLUX COMPLIANT DVD
Broadcast: Mezzo, 8th November, 2008
Taped & authored by Cosmikd (mp3 file prepared from boldsoul's flac files).
Anthony Braxton (alto, soprano, sopranino & baritone sax, contrabass clarinet)
Taylor Bynum (trumpet, flugelhorn with pistons, trumphone)
Jessica Pavone (violin, viola)
Chris Dahlgren (double bass, viola da gamba)
Aaron Siegel (drums, percussion, vibes)
Mary Halvorson (electric guitar)
Jay Rozen (tuba)
Menu with chapters :
1. Introduction 1:24
2. Composition #348 61:24
3. Credits 2:00
Heres a fresh rip of michael smiths geomusic, recorded by smiths quartet while on tour in poland ,with the adition of a couple of polish musicians, including the great saxophonist/ violinist zbigniew Namyslowski, a prodigy who was closely associated with Komeda(to whom track 3 is dedicated,and Stanko.
This one goes out to our friend fslmy with thanks for all his great shares!
I dont know a great deal about Smith, first stumbling across his work in the throes of discovering Steve Lacy's oeuvre.
his discography i think is pretty sparse, i know of only 4 or 5 albums recorded under his own name.
As a side man in the mid 70's he recorded with both Anthony Braxton And Steve Lacy,being Lacy's regular pianist for a couple of years.
recently re-emerging(in the late 80's and mid 90's) for a couple of very good discs with Noah Howard.
This one is possibly his finest record under his own name...my favourite in any case.
saxophonist Claude bernard is good if not very distinctive ... but its the rythym section of Kent Carter and Lawrence cook, as well as Namyslowski Who light up the procedings, blowing even Smith out of the water.
One odd thing about the liner notes is that the reviewer refers to Smith's Devilish appearance!
Smith himself says 'i dont know what direction the music is going, it is going at the same time everywhere and nowhere'
recorded in Warsaw, october 1976
Michael Smith-pno, composer
Claude Bernard-alto sax
Zbigniew Namyslowski-alto sax, violin
Kent Carter-db, cello
Note this album appeared as mp3's last year at jizzrelics ..this is a rip from my own copy... a bit crackly but otherwise in pretty good nick!
a stunning set, from one of my very favourite musicians...this has been out of circulation way too long.
as much as i like Sunny Murray ,Milford Graves,Tony Oxley ..and DOZENS OF OTHERS
Andrew Cyrille is the master post free, jazz drummer as far as i'm concerned ...nothing i can say here will do the man justice.
He first came to prominence in the mid 60's appearing on classic Walt Dickerson quartet dates for prestige 'new jazz 'and audio fidelity..he'd also previously recorded with Coleman Hawkins among others.
most here will know him as Cecil Taylors drummer of a dozen or so years standing..his most conceptually in tune drummer from my point of view.
The late 70's was an era of creative resurgence and eclectic syntheses after the Dead End, purveyance of slick Light weight fusion,and the grotesque formulaic excesses of would be funksters and card board cut out hard boppers.
A certain postmodern sensibility seemed to flower out of the ashes of what some might call the 2nd wave of the 'new thing', that sensibility was of course already present in the work of members of the AACM... irony and savage satire co-existing with playful homage..even reverence for the past.
Cyrilles band Moano was there in the midst of it all drawing on and combining stylistic elements of all previous subgenres in jazz and whatever else they felt like using.
for Me the great enduring classic in this vein is Cyrille and moano's Meta Musicians stomp(1978) on black saint .
ON the other hand they sometimes also laid down ferocious freely improvised sets, this is perhaps more "free" but none the less compelling.
its clear that some of the 'tunes'owe something to cecil taylor's shamans chant, no surprise given that Cyrille ,Daniel, and Ware were at the time all still members of CT's unit.
ted daniel plays mostly electric trumpet and flugelhorn(uncredited)here..sounding more than a bit like the forbear of what T.Kondo often does in the classic Die like a dog quartet dates on FMP.
anyone who likes this ought to check out virtually anything Cyrille has ever done... starting with metamusicians stomp 1978, Nuba 1979, and special people 1980
all excellent black saint release.
'junction was recorded live at Sam Rivers rivbea studios may 3rd 1976 ...and at wollman auditorium, Columbia university on june 12 1976
Cyrille- perc,sanza,voice, composer
Ted Daniel-trpt ,flugelhorn, flute
David S Ware-tenor sax
covers included in both fl ac and lame files.
BTW/ I'm willing to be schooled in the finer points of photographing images and record covers ..i only have a cheap 6 mega pixel camera, and find it excruciatingly difficult.
for those having problems with the vbr link ...try this
10 December 2008
A small contribution to the south African thread running through these pages, and by way of a response to a request, here's Music for xaba a great fusion of free jazz , tribal psychedelia and those unforgettable township melodies.
All these players had strong associations with Don Cherry.. and these sessions have a marked resemblance to many of his projects...(long may he b4e remembered).
To those who are familiar with Cherry and the many classics in the free ethno tribal trance out sub genre, but don't know this..its well worth checking out.
note this is my rip, and thus different to that which first appeared at jizz relics,and has since done heavy duty in the blogosphere.
For my money feelings ,on side one and gorans soder the final track contain some of the best Feza playing on wax.
info and covers included in both flac and mp3 files.
recorded at theatre nine ,Stockholm Sweden November 2Nd 1972
Johnny Dyani-db, pno ,vox
Okay Temiz-drums and percussion
Mongezi Feza-trpt, perc,vox
7 December 2008
There seems to be an interest in Kidd Jordan, so to accommodate that interest, we bring a set from this year's Vision Festival in New York. Jordan was honoured with an whole evening and played four out of five seats, in sweltering heat to judge from reports from the scene.
Jordan, a long-time New Orleans resident, was one of the many having to relocate due to the massive floods in the wake of Katrina and his property in the Upper Ninth Ward was completely devastated. He is now a Baton Rouge resident. Instead of moving to the jazz capitals of the US, he remained in New Orleans and worked for many years as a jazz instructor at the Southern University in New Orleans, from which he retired in 2006. He was awarded the French Chevalier order by the Ministry of Culture in 1985 for his teaching and his performances.
The set we have here was the penultimate one of the evening and has Jordan on tenor, Fred Anderson on tenor and the ubiquitous William Parker on bass and Hamid Drake on drums. Anderson is in the left channel and Jordan in the right. At about the 15-minute mark they are joined by Billy Bang on violin and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre on tenor. The three tenors at Vision!
There is only one piece, clocking in over 40 minutes. It starts off with Anderson and Jordan trading licks among each other, Anderson with longer, fluid lines in mid- and lower registers and Jordan with shorter, sharper, more staccato phrases in the upper registers, often reaching into atonal shrieks. McIntyre appears roughly in the middle of the mix and the second half has them all shooting off at each other, switching from free improvisation to nods in the direction of blues and traditional jazz idioms. Underneath is Parker and Drake, laying down a solid groove which sets them feet a-tapping, no matter what.
This was recorded on 14 June 2008 and later transmitted by BBC's Jazz on Three programme. This is only an except of the whole programme and I've left out an interview, which I can always add, if desirable. Thanks to Tom Phillips for recording the programme and to the BBC crew for recording and airing the performance. We'll have some more Kidd Jordan here in a little while.
5 December 2008
David Murray & Milford Graves: Real Deal
David Murray (tenor saxophone on 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8, bass clarinet on 4 and 7),
Milford Graves (drums and percussion)
1. Stated With Peace (David Murray) 7:50
2. The Third Day (David Murray) 8:50
3. Luxor (David Murray) 8:29
4. Under & Over (Milford Graves) 6:03
5. Moving About (Milford Graves) 11:08
6. Ultimate High Priest (Milford Graves) 6:27
7. Essential Soul (Milford Graves) 10:49
8. Continuity (David Murray) 4:10
Recorded November 3, 1991, at Power Station, NYC
This album came 11 records into Murray's tenure with DIW records and, as would be suggested by a duo performance with Milford Graves, it probably has more in common with Murray's earlier performances than with his other work of that time. During most of October and early 1991 Murray seemed to have been locked in the Power Station recording studio in New York City, and with nothing else to do he embarked on a mammoth recording session with a wide array of different musicians. This duo performance was the last of a run that included a quartet with James Blood Ulmer, Murray's then concert quartet with Bradford Marsalis added on two tracks, and a beautiful quartet/quintet recording with some of his earlier collaborators including Bobby Bradford, Dave Burrell, and Fred Hopkins.
'Moving About' is perhaps the most imaginative and satisfactory of the tracks as a collaboration. While elsewhere the sax and drums sometimes sound like they a running on parallel lines, here the drum textures seem to offer Murray something to work with, and his playing is ecstatic but rooted. Nevertheless my favourite track is 'Essential Soul'. Perhaps because I favour Murray over Graves, and I always feel that this period is the strongest for Murray's Bass Clarinet playing. Here Murray's playing might be more independent, but Graves is more restrained, and he follows Murray's lead even though this is the percussionist's composition. I just adore Murray's exposition. Others may find it meandering, and it doesn't seem to have any sense of direction, or any musical resolution; it's just one of those beautiful Murray journeys. I don't really care where it is going. 'Under & Over' is almost jolly, and there is some real interaction as Murray takes a much more percussive role on Bass Clarinet, and produces some of his best squeals and squarks, in a uncanny copy of his tenor saxophone playing. This was a real instrumental master at work. Luxor investigates the tumultuous side of Murray, and 'The Third Day' is almost middle eastern to my untrained ear, with lots of busy traps playing from Graves.
Graves is venerated as much, I feel, because his recordings are a rare commodity, and yet he is striking even amongst free drummers. He certainly became enamored of complex timbres and his playing is often more musical than rhythmic in the jazz swing sense. In the New York Art Quartet started out as a conventional traps drummer in a strong and idealist group, joining Albert Ayler for Holy Ghost and Love Cry (where he seems toitally dominated), he then appeared intermittently on disk with a range of his own groups and in small scale settings. I do love his work on Nommo with Don Pullen, in a combination of jangle and cavernous percussion with dark piano clusters that shouldn't work, but does. This is real textual stuff, in which who is the percussionist and who the melodist seems a stupid question. I would be interested to find out who had the idea of pairing him with Murray. It isn't that there wasn't a precedent. Murray seemed to like percussive percussionists, and had played with Sunny Murray, Philip Wilson, and Andrew Cyrille within three years of arriving in New York. he then went on to work with some of the best drummers in jazz, followed by experiments with Kahil El'Zabar from the late 1980s into the 1990s. later Murray would explore a whole wider world of percussion in collaborations with African and Caribbean percussionists.
Although it is possible to still buy a new copy of this recording for as little as $18, and a second hand one for as much as $80, it does seem to be out of print. I don't hold this in the top pile of Murray work, but for those willing to spend a little time acclimatising, and especially if they are willing to suspend their belief that music has to have a purpose beyond the moment, this is exactly the real deal.
3 December 2008
Festival Sons d'Hiver
Salle Gérard Philipe,
17 february 200872:55
Kidd Jordan (tenor sax)
William Parker (double bass)
Milford Graves (drums, percussion, voice)
1. Unknow 6:51
2. Unknow 16:28
3. Unknow 5:59
4. Unknow 7:43
5. Unknow 14:40
6. Unknow 7:23
7. Milford speak 4:41
8. Unknow 7:30
9. Milford speak 1:40
Looking through Graves's discography on the net, I was surprised how relatively few commercial recordings he's made, considering he was one of the pioneers of freejazz in the 60s, so has been around a long time. I see he's a teacher and healer so maybe they are his main interests. It was great then to come across one of his rare performances on dime.
1 December 2008
Wilber Morris / David Murray / Dennis Charles: Wilber Force
Wilber Morris (b)
David Murray (ts 1-4 6,bcl 5)
Dennis Charles (d)
1. Randy (Wilver Morris) 12:55
2. P.C.O.P. #1 (Wilver Morris) 10:00
3. Miss Mack (Wilver Morris) 9:05
4. West Indian Folk Song (Dennis Charles) 8:40
5. Afro-Amer. Ind (Wilver Morris) 10:20
6. P.C.O.P. #2 (Wilver Morris) 11:35
Recorded live at February 6, 1983 at Kwame, NYC
This seems to be the second recording for Wilber Morris’ sometime bass-drums-sax trio. This one features the young (but long-time Morris associate) David Murray, and recent partner in rhythm (but fixture of the New York scene) Dennis Charles. Morris and Murray were both part of the tide of West Coast musicians setting up in New York in the mid 1970s to play in the loft scene, while Charles had been the powerhouse behind some of the key experimental musicians of New York’s avant guard since the early 1950s.
I bought this as part of my obsessive David Murray collecting, but it is now far from a completists addition. The bassist is clearly the leader here, composing all the themes with short names ( West Indian Folk Song is Charles’), and giving all the numbers their drive and shape. Murray is particularly effective in a trio, and the Morris themes seem to push him to some very different performances. Although I tend to think Murray can do no wrong, even I’d have to admit that he hardly ever subsumes himself into the setting he finds himself. In ‘Afro-Amer.Ind’, though, features his plaintive bass clarinet weaving through Morris’ bass figures and Charles’ choppy cymbal work. A bass and vocal chant leads to a long Murray solo, subsides into a bass solo with a intermittent gentle tap and brushed backing from Charles, before Murray and Charles burst back in stretch to the end. Meditative is probably the adjective. By contrast Charles’ jolly theme suits Murray well, and brings out a strong tight drums and bass performance.
‘Miss Mack’ is more subdued sax and Charles’ lovely drum textures. This one repays repeated listening. It’s remarkable how much is going on amongst the three musicians. The longest track, ‘Randy’, has one of those quirky rhythm-melody themes, and some constant changes of pace driven by bass and drum with Murray holding on for dear life! He does get to squeal a little here, though. there are two ‘PCOP’s, though I’m not clear what they are. A lovely theme set out by sax and bass with cracking physical playing from Charles. There’s a lot of unfocused meandering, but journey’s don’t have to be purposeful if there’s lots to hear on the way, and here the textures are just wonderful. This really is music for the moment that allows you to forget where you’ve come from, and care little about where your heading.
As far as I am aware this was the first time Murray was on a DIW recording, and a decade later this was going to be his main channel for releases. There’s a pattern in Murray’s history where he records as a sideman for a project and seems to establish a relationship that blossoms into a recording contract later on. This was also a bit of a return to small group recordings after septet and octet experiments (usually featuring Morris and his younger brother, Butch) interspersed with quartet recordings.
Although this had a CD release, it wasn't widely available outside Japan, and it doesn't seem to be currently available. Along with Collective Improvisations (featuring Denis Charles and saxophonist Charles Tyler for Bleu Regard in 1981) this is an enjoyable record in its own terms, and a key point in Murray’s career that isn’t that well known.