28 February 2009

Don Cherry - Scandinavian Radio Sessions 1965-1971

Responding to another request, from blogger chum Sotise, this is a set of three separate radio broadcasts, featuring Don Cherry with a large band, in a smaller setting and finally with a smaller jazz group.

The first set, from 1971, has a large group setting with Cherry playing with Danish musicians. Listening to it, the Eastern influence is quite noticeable, whether it is from Indonesian gamelan or Indian classical vocal and instrumental traditions, but still mixed in with the Western jazz heritage. It is somewhat reminiscent of similar experiments with John Tchicai and Cadentia Nova Danica, George Russell and the Jazz Composers Orchestra Association taking place at the time.

Don Cherry & Opportunity
Danish Radio Studios, Copenhagen 1971-05-21

1. Ying Yang
2. The Whole World Catalogue
3. The Celestial Reflection

Don Cherry: cornet, piano, vocals, shells, percussion
Erik Tenzier, Lars Taageby & Niels Riskjaer: trumpets
Erling Kroner & Kjeld Ipsen: trombones
Michael Hove: alto sax
Knud Bjørnøe, Jesper Nihau & Jesper Thilo: tenor saxes
Flemming Madsen: baritone sax
Torben Munch: guitar
Kasper Winding, Bent Clausen & Claus Nordby: drums
Bo Stief: bass
Thomas Clausen: keyboards
Palle Mikkelborg: conductor

The second set is a collaboration with Terry Riley, well-known for exploring minimalistic, drone-based sound suites, again very often with a strong Eastern influence, and Riley has continued to work with Indian musicians up to the present date, including the concert I attended a couple of years ago. This music was made around the time of the "Rainbow in Curved Air" lp and on the lp as well as here Riley switches between soprano sax and organ, one side for each. Cherry and the group stays close to the pulse of the pieces, resulting in a very intimate, low-key set. Special! According to the info file, Cherry and Riley had met in Sweden a few days earlier, and Riley invited Cherry along for this session. Apart from a short rehearsal the night before it was the first time they played together. The session took place in complete darkness, the musicians seated in a circle on the studio floor

Terry Riley with Don Cherry
Studio session for "Tambourinen", Copenhagen, September 1970

4. untitled I
5. untitled II
6. untitled III

Terry Riley: soprano sax on I & III, organ on II
Don Cherry: pocket trumpet, wood drum on II
Knud Bjørnøe: flute on I & II, drum on III
Jesper Zeuthen: soprano sax on I, tenor sax & tambourine on II, wooden flute on III
Poul Ehlers: bass on I & II, cello on III

The final set, a fairly straight bop date, was recorded in Stockholm back in 1965. Mostly with visiting musicians, this is a lively set of fairly short tunes, providing a counterpoint to the introspection of the former set. Listening to all three sets jointly, you do get a sense that that Cherry was slowly moving away from the jazz idiom towards exploring contacts with non-western musical traditions. That tendency was to continue with Codona which made several albums for ECM and into the 80s.

Don Cherry Quartet
Studio Session, Stockholm, September 1965

7. Elephantasy
8. O.C.
9. The Salad Of The Bad Young Man

Don Cherry: cornet
Brian Trentham: trombone
Cameron Brown: bass
Al Heath: drums
Kwame Ajucu (or Ojukwu): alto sax on Elephantasy

26 February 2009

Sam Rivers - The Quest

Responding to a request from Frank Wells, this is Sam Rivers - The Quest, a record out on the Red Record label in Italy and on the Pausa label in the US (both covers above), released in 1976. This is a trio recording with Dave Holland on bass and Barry Altschul on drums and percussion, old Braxton alumni, as it were, and here teaming up with Rivers. Recorded on 12-13 March 1976 in Milano, Italy. This is a mp3 download, ripped from vinyl, so no flacs for this one.

Only four pieces on this record:

1. Expectation
2. Vision
3. Judgement
4. Hope

Rivers shifts from soprano to flute to piano and tenor on the four tracks. He does a splendid job on both soprano and tenor saxes, fills in a lot of colour atmospherics on flute, though perhaps less of a chance to really shine here. I'm less sure about his piano playing. To me, it comes off a bit stiff and contrived and doesn't really gel with the two other guys, but that's just my opinion. It'll be interesting to know if others hear differently. Holland and Altschul are superb throughout. In my view, the first and the last tracks are the definite ones.

I've got some more Rivers in the archives, "Hues" from 1975, one live concert in Foggia, Italy, 1980 (no further info on who's playing - LYM - any idea?), and one live concert from Warsaw in 2000. Let me know if there's an interest in any or all of these - and I'll post them.

23 February 2009

Dave Burrell and David Murray Daybreak

Dave Burrell and David Murray Daybreak
Gazell GJCD 4002

1. Daybreak (Dave Burrell) 12:03
2. Sketch #1 (David Murray) 9:49
3. Blue Hour (Dave Burrell) 13:45
4. Qasbah Rendezvous (Dave Burrell) 8:21

Recorded March 30th 1989 at Morning Star Studio, Springhouse, PA, USA
Produced by Sam Charters

Dave Burrell (p)
David Murray (ts, bcl)

I always think that Dave And David are an unlikely pairing. Burrell’s piano playing is angular and spiky, and he likes abstraction and high-end trills; while Murray’s sax and clarinet style is full-throttle gospel-soaked emotion with a strong attachment to melody. But they are both rooted in the tradition of black jazz. This record features a great collection of duets, and reveals a long-term partnership in which they developed a love for each other’s playing, and a distinctive approach to the music which allows each personality to prosper in the company of the other.

They actually recorded over 14 LPs together, including the other duo performances on Brother to Brother, Windward Passages, and In Concert, and the classic DIW quartet recordings Spirituals, Deep River, Lovers, and Ballads. I think they play notably differently together, than when compared with their performances apart. I think they play notably differently together, than when compared with their performances apart.

I think this is something to do with that respect and interest in the jazz tradition. While this record is far from the sorts of investigation of earlier styles of jazz that both musicians had explored, it is deeply rooted in the emotional practices of those traditions. Murray’s sax seems to soar above Burrell’s piano, to reach ecstatic heights. Once you know that Burrell has a fascination with the music of Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson, and the early influences of blues and gospel on jazz you can hear it in his playing, and you can start to understand why he makes such a satisfactory foil for Murray’s gospel-free-swing style. Burrell’s a much more expansive player than Murray, and as Murray takes the emotive line it allows Burrell to be more acerbic.

It’s Dave Burrell’s composing skills that dominate here, and he produces some lovely themes for the recording date which ebb and flow in the performances. Murray seems much more at home once the playing settles into some form of organisation, but he’s more than happy to match the piano player’s complex lines in duals like the one that opens 'Blue Hour'.

This album features Murray’s most ‘out’ playing of the 1980s, and it is interesting to note that he recorded this at the same time as Ming’s Samba for Columbia, and while he was releasing music for Bob Thiele’s Red Barron; all of the latter tended to the mainstream of the ‘jazz revival’ of the late 80s and early 90s. The production credits go to Sam Charters, who discogs.com suggests is jazz and blues historian Samuel B. Charters. This is probably correct because (if my memory serves me correctly) in the 1990s Gazell, while originally a Scandinavian label, was owned by Sonet (which was previously owned by Charters).

22 February 2009

26-30 august 2000, 35th AACM Festival in Chicago - Leroy Jenkins Ensemble

AACM 35TH Anniversary Celebration
(Jimmy Jones in Jazz Now, September 2000)

The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) held their 35th Anniversary Celebration at the Museum of contemporary Arts in Chicago, April 26 - 30, 2000. These celebrations (or festivals) have been held every five years since the AACM was formed and I [Mr Jimmy Jones] was fortunate enough to attend the ones in 1985, 1990 and 1995.

The AACM was formed in 1965 when a group of young African American musicians including Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve McCall, Malachi Favors Maghostut, Kelan Phil Cohran, Fred Anderson, Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell met because they were dissatisfied with conditions for African American Musicians and the way their music was handled. The group established goals to cultivate young musicians and to create music of a high artistic level, to encourage sources of employment for worthy creative musicians, to set examples of high moral standards for musicians to uphold the tradition of elevated cultured musicians handed down from the past, and to stimulate spiritual growth in creative artists through participation in programs, concerts and recitals. The motto for the AACM is "Great Black Music Ancient to the Future." Among the best known AACM musicians are Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Lester Bowie, Henry Threadgill, Chico Freeman and Jack DeJohnette.

I missed the first day of the celebration which began at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday with a round table discussion about the AACM. This was followed by performances of students of the AACM School of Music.

The schedule for each of the other four days of the celebration were similar with two different masters of ceremony and two different groups performing each day. Between sets, awards were presented to three deserving individuals such as monster musician Muhal Richard Abrams, Von Freeman and Jodie Christian and surviving relatives of the late Steve McCall, Fred Hopkins and Lester Bowie. In addition, the well prepared program listed sites for jams for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Thursday concert was hosted by saxophonist Joseph Jarman and Jazz writer Neil Tesser. The concert began with a brief "Opening Drum Call" featuring seven percussionists performing on all types of instruments.

Leroy Jenkins led a ten piece group in the first of the two Thursday sets.

The group performed two Leroy Jenkins compositions and one David Boykin composition..

Thursday April 27, 8 pm

1 Opening drum call

Willel Afi-fi, African drums
Ajaramu, trap drums
Dushun Mosley, African drums
Ameen Muhammad, Libation
Avreaayl Ra, trap drums
Chad Taylor, trap drums
Benjamin C. Ford Ward, African drums

2-6 Leroy Jenkins Ensemble

Leroy Jenkins


David Boykin


Niki Mitchell


Jeffrey Parker


Taalib-Din Ziyad


Glenda Fairella Baker


Kenneth Green


Ann E. Ward


Rollo Radford


Chad Taylor


Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007) - An Appreciation
By Carman Moore, Published in March 5, 2007

Leroy Jenkins, pioneering violinist and composer, died in Manhattan on Saturday, February 24th from complications related to lung cancer. He was 74 years old. Prized equally in the avant-garde jazz community as in that of the new-music world, Jenkins was a leader in the post-World War II generation of musicians who worked the cracks between worlds. Whether it was as a violinist on a jazz scene that had precious few violinists or as an African-American composer in a classical music scene exhibiting few but growing numbers of black composers, Leroy's gift and passion for music made him seem to simply dive in and make himself at home. Thin and taut as a steel e string, and just as expressive and resilient, Jenkins seemed to clearly be composing as he improvised, while his composing seemed as naturally poured forth as inspired moments of improvisation.
Trained classically from childhood in his native Chicago, Jenkins' way with improvised jazz solos was unique. At times the listener might perceive Brahms or Tchaikovsky virtuosity in the middle of some wild otherwise clearly blues-based passage—one that might be as well a personal shout of triumph, joy, or anguish from a man's very soul. Just as he pushed the limits of jazz Leroy also pushed the limits of classical music. His was a unique American gift to the world of music.
I first met Leroy through an introduction in the mid '80s by the American symphonist Alvin Singleton. I had been trying to assemble the Skymusic Ensemble for several years, as an inter-stylistic chamber group that could make music that would be by turns read and improvised—listenable but always dangerous and unpredictable—Downtown crossed with Uptown. Sam Rivers on soprano saxophone, Gordon Gottlieb on percussion, Marianna Rosett on acoustic piano, Kitty Hay on flute, and Eric Johnson and Kenneth Bichel on synthesizers were the already brilliant members, but we needed a bit more edge. Alvin suggested Leroy. Violin? Edge? When I met him he seemed too gentle, though like our other members he also seemed a pleasure to be around. The rest is history. Leroy's wild and powerful sound and improvised choices took the Ensemble over the top.
And was he funny! On New Years Eve 1989 in Venice, on our way to play my score to Alvin Ailey's Goddess of the Waters, which was commissioned for the Ballet Company of La Scala, Skymusicians and any English speakers within earshot were treated non-stop to Gordon and Leroy laying down barrage after barrage of enough quips and foolishness to make Martin and Lewis and Abbot and Costello seem like Dick Cheney on tranquilizers. Sometime around sunset they both sailed off drunk in a gondola still yacking it up.
Just last year I found myself both in terror of things technical and in desperate need to stop scribbling parts with a pencil and grow up. Leroy put my mind at ease. "I'm using Sibelius," proudly announced this man not noted for a love of things left-brained. Hearing that, I was buoyed, gave it a try with occasional frantic calls for help to Leroy in Brooklyn, and now swear by the user-friendly software. Of course, the main factor here was Leroy's generosity of heart and belief in other people's right to life's wonders. Both hands-on and by example he was the best of teachers, and I was his student in many ways.
Leroy Jenkins was born on March 11, 1932 and grew up on the tough South Side of Chicago. One can only imagine what it must have been like for a small, frail, highly-intelligent black kid walking those streets with a violin. Maybe folks left him alone fearing he was packing, Capone-style. Actually as a sub-teen Leroy was already making a name for himself as a prodigy. With Professor O.W. Frederick at Ebenezer Baptist Church the young Jenkins not only learned the violin, but also the music of such pioneering black classical composers as Will Marion Cook and William Grant Still. From the legendary Walter Dyett at Chicago's Du Sable High School he took lessons in such woodwinds as bassoon, alto saxophone, and clarinet, although violin remained his passion. After graduating from Florida A & M University Jenkins taught school in Mobile, Alabama then returned to his beloved Chicago where in 1964 he joined the legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (the A.A.C.M.), a "free-jazz" group influenced by the work of Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman. He subsequently formed the Creative Construction Company with Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, and Steve McCall and toured Europe, moving to New York in 1970 to form the critically-acclaimed Revolutionary Ensemble with Jerome Cooper, drums, and bassist Sirone.
The '70s and '80s saw Jenkins, like friend and colleague Muhal Richard Abrams, developing a much-admired creative voice as a composer in the classical new-music world. His music was performed by such as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Albany Symphony, the Kronos Quartet, Pittsurgh New Music Ensemble, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and the New Music Consort. From the mid '80s Jenkins was, of course, violinist with our electro-acoustic Skymusic Ensemble, for many years in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. In 1989 Leroy Jenkins was commissioned by Hans Werner Henze for the Munich Biennale New Music Theater Festival to create the opera/ballet Mother of Three Sons with choreographer Bill T. Jones. Later the work was also staged at the New York City Opera and Houston Opera and received a Bessie Award for its "lyrical, intricately-constructed river of jazz and opera." Jenkins then turned much of his attention to creating music theatre works, among them: Fresh Faust, a rap opera; The Negro Burial Ground, a cantata presented at New York's Kitchen Center; the opera The Three Willies in collaboration with Homer Jackson presented at The Painted Bride of Philadelphia and at the Kitchen; and Coincidents an opera with librettist Mary Griffin, which is to receive its premiere at Roulette in New York. At the time of his death Mr. Jenkins was developing two new operas: Bronzeville, a history of South Side Chicago with Mary Griffin, and Minor Triad, a music drama about Paul Robeson, Lena Horne, and Cab Calloway set to a libretto he engaged me to write.
Jenkins's performing work continued apace. He collaborated frequently with dancer/choreographer Felicia Norton and was commissioned by the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival for collaborations with choreographers Molissa Fenley and Mark Dendy. A recent touring group called Equal Interest featured Jenkins on violin, Joseph Jarman on woodwinds, and pianist Myra Melford. Also recently he assembled a world- music improvisatory ensemble including Jin Hi Kim of Korea on Komungo, Rmesh Misra of India on Sarangi, the Malian Yacouba Sissoko on Kora, and himself on violin. For these and a lifetime of extraordinary work, Leroy Jenkins received many awards, including ones from the NEA, NYSCA, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation (2004).
The likes of Leroy Jenkins will not soon be seen again. Tucked gem-like under his chin, his violin seemed some vital body part hard-wired into an extremely active brain. At work on a composition he was all excitement, open to suggestion, thoughtful, and fearless. He has left the world of music—too soon—a better place.

...here are the new links

Leroy Jenkins Ensemble - (2000) 35 AACM Anniversary Concert - [FLAC]


partt 2

part 3

part 4


21 February 2009

A great new blog: I forgot clifford

Regular visitors to this blog may like to go and visit a kindred spirit at I forgot clifford. You really are in for a treat, as pablo has shared some very interesting jazz with a heavy emphasis on free improvisation and spirituality.

The blog hasn't even been going a month, and yet there is a whole load of great music. Some of it has been posted on the net already, but it all seems to be out of print (and in some cases very rare); in high quality mp3 files; and with good discographic information. The LPs have been digitised as single files, but it's not hard to cut them up to single tracks if that's how you like your music organised.

This is what pablo posted in the last few days:

Do drop by; but do say thank you, or contribute a comment on the music. It's hard work digitising music from vinyl LPs, and shares like these are very rare.

19 February 2009

Kevin Ayers and the Whole World live in Driebergen Holland 1970

Here's one that has been doing the rounds for a while. Known as "Colours of the Day", it features a live concert at Driebergen, Holland, broadcast by VPRO on 30 July 1970. This ROIO also comes with extra tracks recorded elsewhere, but what's on offer here is the Driebergen concert and nothing but.
This band was a strange creature and perhaps too strange to last for very long. It mixes Kevin Yyers' very English pop songs with an instrumental crew better known for long improvisational workouts. Lol Coxhill was to continue as a jazz improviser, Mike Oldfield to strike gold against all odds with "Tubular Bells", David Bedford to become a contemporary music composer and Robert Wyatt to continue drumming with Soft Machine and Matching Mole until an accident left him unable to go on drumming, launching a new career as a singer, composer and player up to the present day. And Kevin Ayers made a bundle of albums until his semi-permanent retreat in Ibiza, but has resurfaced recently with a new solo album.
The tunes are mostly from the first two Kevin Ayers solo albums with a couple of Soft Machine standards thrown in for good measure, as a launching pad for extended improvisation. A motley bunch of characters, to say the least. And Lol gets to do a little bit of crooning towards the end, said tune resurfacing on his first solo album (which we perhaps ought to post here).
The facts:
Driebergen, Holland, July 30, 1970FM broadcast - (53'22")
01 - The oyster and the flying fish
02 - Lady Rachel
03 - We did it again
04 - Hat song
05 - Clarence in Wonderland
06 - Colores para Dolores
07 - Why are we sleeping?
Kevin Ayers
Lol Coxhill
David Bedford
Mike Oldfield
Robert Wyatt
and Bridget St. John on track 1
A jolly good time was had by all!

14 February 2009

Cecil Taylor "Live In The Black Forest" (LP, MPS 15.505)

As far as i know this one was never issued as a regular CD, unless a high costly japanese edition, long OOP by now. As a pearl, remained in vinyl. This one came straight from the portuguese LP edition from 1979 (Dargil), as you can see by the back cover text translated in vernacular. Hope you enjoy it.

side 1: The Eel Pot [24:57]
side 2: Sperichill on Calling [25:08]

Cecil Taylor, piano
Raphe Malik, trumpet
Jimmy Lyons, alto saxophone
Ramsey Ameen, violin
Sirone, bass
Ron Jackson, drums

13 February 2009

Mike Osborne at the BBC 1980

When something like this turns up, it goes right to the top of the queue. This is a set of two broadcasts from the BBC in 1980.

The facts:


Mike Osborne Quartet

Jazz In Britain, BBC radio, 19th May 1980

Mike Osborne (as), Dave Holdsworth (tpt, fglh), Paul Bridge (b), Tony Marsh (d)

1. Snow Blindness
2. That's It!
3. Younis
4. radio outro


Mike Osborne Quartet

BBC Jazz Club, 1st June 1980

Mike Osborne (as), Dave Holdsworth (tpt, fglh), Paul Bridge (b), Andy Rosner (d)

1. Making Ends Meet
2. radio announcer
3. New Waltz
4. radio announcer
5. Straight Jack
6. radio outro

The presenter of the first broadcast was Charles Fox (as can be heard) and of the second, Peter Clayton, both of them regular BBC jazz presenters at the time and both, alas, deceased. And so is Mike Osborne.

Here's a reminiscence from his partner on these dates, taken from the inner sleeve of the cd reissue of two Ogun Osborne releases, Dave Holdsworth:

I played numerous gigs with Mike between the mid 1960s and 1982. My lasting impression is of music and performance of total integrity, searing passion, risk-taking and improbable tempos. I suspect that the music was as challenging for the listener as for the musicians. On every gig each tune was played with the same sense of urgency and surprise as when it had been first encountered. Verbal direction from Mike was virtually non-existent - you relied on your musical wits and what you had learned from playing with him over the years. Having recently transcribed many of his compositions from tapes of old broadcasts, I found that Mike's idiosyncratic concept of time and phrasing often resulted in complex notation which is difficult to read, whilst to the ears the tunes are readily accessible and easy to remember.

Another quote, from Charles Fox, from the same source:

Identity is at the heart of jazz; the way a musician is recognisably the same person from start to finish of his career, despite going through different phases, evolving different techniques. In a perfect world no good jazz player would ever be required to carry a passport, only to blow a handful of notes.

Recorded from radio onto cassette tape by "aw4". Pic above courtesy of Ogun records.

RIP Mike.

9 February 2009

Anthony Braxton, Composition #113, Sound Aspects 003 (1984)

Here is Braxton at 39 at the peak of his intellectual and musical capabilities. Those were the years of the astonishing piano quartet (Braxton, Crispell, Dresser, Hemingway), but here we have a solo performance on Eb soprano saxophone. I don't want to go deep into musical meanings but let Mr. Braxton do it in his deep cover notes. Only want to say that here we have a corner stone in Braxton music, an astonishing performance without a moment of boring or lack of concentration.


Here the performance notes of Mr Braxton from inside folio.


The piece must be performed with one large photograph of a dark train station at midnight - positioned to the left of the instrumentalis (asn raised to around eight feet from the stage) and the photograph must be of a rainy and somewhat gloomy image - that gives one the impression of secrecy and desperation, ( the xact dimensions and specifiactions are in the score). To the right of the instrumentalis a long pole like stand should be positioned that contains a lighter railroad lantern. A given performance of composition 113 should include the use of four to six microphones that gives the instrumentalist sound direction and focus possibilities. To achieve this effect on the recording I requested the use of four directional like microphones.
The fantasy of Ojuwain represents an opportunity to move into the world of portrayal and intentions - as an effort to connect to the greater challenge of extended involvment. All of these matters are directly related to the route of my own creative growth (and attractions).
Composition No. 113 is dedicated to Pedro, Margit and Caetano de Freitas - in celebration of the forming of their own recording company. There is certainly a need for alternative companies that are interested in creative music.
Anthony Braxton
New Heaven, CT., Feb. 1984

Composition 113
(for one soloist, a large photograph, and prepared stage)

Anthony Braxton eb soprano saxophone

side 1
Section 1 [7:44]
Section 2 [7:27]
Section 3 [5:07]

side 2
Section 4 [6:47]
Section 5 [5:35]
Section 6 [4:45]

Composition bya Antony Braxton Synthesis Music (BMI)

Recorded December 6, 1983
at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik,
Stuttgart, West Germany
Engineer: J. Wohlleben

7 February 2009

Colombo, Mancini, Mariani, Vittorini - I VIRTUOSI DI CAVE -RED Record VPS 131

Another unbelievably OOP vinyl from the italian RED Record catalogue.
Once again, as still well pointed out by sotise in a previous italian music post, this missing reissue underlines the musical limits of the RR producer. To better say underlines mostly his choice of definitely more traditional, conventional and, at least to me, boring improvised music.But how much more e
asy to sell in Europe and Outside of it?
Here is an italian saxophone quartet (all the members are multireed players) leaded by the greatly underrated Eugenio Colombo, at least in my opinion, who recorded in 1977,in Rome, an astonishing and still fresh today album. The first Rova recording dates to july 1978 (Cinemè Rovatè) and the first WSQ to june 1977 (Point Of No Return). It seems to me almost unbelievable that in the provincial Italy some genuine musical talents could record in december 1977 such an unpredictable, fresh and compelling attempt. Tecnichal mastery (especially by Colombo), a very fine and mature balance of written and improvised parts, deep reference to mediterranean traditional music (Colombo is an expert of mediterranean music and of circular breath technique), a subtle irony, the fun and joy of playin togheter, all this contribute to the success of this music. This is, to my knowledge, the only document of a seminal group. Even the Colombo recordings aren't so easy to find. His partecipation to the Italian Instabile Orchestra isn't his first and most important outcome but an important arrival point of a deep and uncorrupted musical mind.

Translated from the liner notes:
The VIRTUOSI DI CAVE is a group of four young sax players that for since some years gather themselves in an old house in Cave near Rome. There they study and try new musical shapes in which improvisation and composition can blend givin such way life to a new music. That music stand in the traced field of european and italian classical contemporary music, but distinguish for its originality and the totally new ensemble of four reed players. The tracks here are mostly written with clear references to the mediterranean and oriental folklorical musical tradition but using an european avant-garde composing method. The collective playing, the counterpoin, the timbrical and harmonical choices, the playing and interpreting techniques all those musical facts are used for a control of the improvised parts as planned by the compositions. Colombo, Mancini, Mariani e Vittorini all take part to the activities of the Testaccio's Music Popular School in Rome.
Chicco Tagliaferri

Colombo, Mariani, Mancini, Vittorini
I Virtuosi di Cave, RED Record (It) VPA131

Eugenio Colombo (as, bar, kazumba)
Roberto Mancini (as, ts)
Alberto Mariani (ts, sop, kazumba)
Tommaso Vittorini (ts, bar, sop)

Rome, December 1977

  1. Il granchio verde [19:35]
  2. Ethnomusicology [11:00]
  3. Zanzare immense [01:45]
  4. Pottosfera [5:25]
All compositions written by Eugenio Colombo


Links in comments

5 February 2009

Jeanne Lee in New York 1988

I've been plainly delighted to see so many Jeanne Lee postings on this blog lately, so what else to do but to top it with yet another Jeanne Lee performance? This concert is nothing less than marvellous imho and here she is joined by a stellar crew as follows:

Jeanne Lee: voice
Milène Bey voice (tracks 3-5-6-7)
Mark Whitecage: as, fl, sound sculptures
Gunter Hampel: bar-sax, vibes, fl
Reggie Workman: b
Andrew Cyrille: dr

The tunes:

1. The Subway Couple [Lee] 06:52
2. Untitled ("Bruckner Boulevard") [Lee] 06:19
3. News Watch [aka "Dandelion Wine") [Robinson/Lee] 10:31
4. I like your style (voc/b/d only) [Bues/Lee] 04:31
5. untitled? ("No matter where you go...") [Bey] 04:56
6. Serenade for Marion Brown [Hampel/Lee] 17:28
7. Sun Dance [Lee] 10:14

Most of these tunes are what Jeanne Lee call "tone poems", at times mundane stories and events, even news items, set to jazz rhythms. Roped in here is the exquisite rhythm section of Reggie Workmnan and Andrew Cyrille who deliver a strong groove behind Jeanne's vocal improvisations. An added bonus of great significance is Milène Bey (see pic above), French of Martinique extraction, who followed a career in dance and music in NY in the 80s until she returned to her native Martinique in the mid-90s. She penned the fifth tune, performed in French, quite a tricky one, which Jeanne Lee doesn't quite get the hang of. Probably, with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better to let Bey take the lead, but never mind.

My particular favourite is the 10-minute "News Watch" where Bey is joined by Bey providing a fine vocal counterpoint and with Workman right behind with some very expressive bass work and Cyrille plying the sticks lightly and elegantly. But all tunes are fine and on the final one, Bey gets to let loose on some daring vocalisations.

Jeanne Lee died in 2000 from cancer which would have been treated had she been able to afford medical insurance which she could not. Money makes the world go around, doesn't it? She would have been seventy on 29 January 2009 (so a belated 70th anniversary commemoration to her). History would have it that Milène Bey were to succumb to cancer in 2006 on Martinique.

Upped by ........... so a tip of the hat for that. This one goes out both in flac and mp3. I would advise downloaders to get the flacs, even if it may take a bit longer. Superb sound throughout. Pic of Jeanne Lee courtesy of Amir Bey who also happened to be Milène Bey's husband until their separation and her return to Martinique. Check out the fine web site at http://thenewtimesholler.com/index.html.

4 February 2009

Louis Moholo-Moholo and friends at Sant ' Anna Arresi, Sardinia, 2007

I promised some more Kidd Jordan a while back, so here he is in another setting, matched with three other senior gentlemen and one aspiring senior gentleman, captured at a festival on Sardinia in 2007.

Louis Moholo- Moholo is the leader of this combo, but on hearing, it's very much a collaborative venture. Two longish pieces are played, lasting well over an hour in total.

Basic facts:

Louis Moholo and Friends, 2007.08.29,
Sant'Anna Arresi(Italy), Festival 'Ai confini tra Sardegna e Jazz 2007',
Piazza del Nuraghe, Sant'Anna Arresi, Sardinia, Italy

Recorded from RAI Radio3, Italy

Louis Moholo and Friends - CONCERT FOR AFRICA

Kidd Jordan - ts
Dave Burrell - p
William Parker - b, shenai
Louis Moholo - dr

1.- 25:48
2.- 38:30

total time 64:18

The first piece is a frenetic tour de force with Jordan kicking off with characteristic short, staccato phrases, often reaching into the high registers. Dave Burrell butts in at the six-minute mark with what might be called a pointillistic solo, accompanied by Moholo-Moholo's rolling along with the rhythm. Considering the many records Moholo-Moholo has done with pianists, the latest with Marilyn Crispell, it would have been interesting to hear him in a duo setting with Burrell. To me, the Burrell solo is quite possibly the high point of the entire concert. Jordan returns with a short burst and Burrell is back with Moholo-Moholo chugging along in the background. Parker peeks in briefly, but sounds a bit muffled there in the back. Jordan returns for a longer section, with longer, more drawn-out phrases in post-Coltrane style, not unlike Pharaoh Sanders and other spiritual jazz masters.

The second piece does not quite keep the momentum of the first one; everyone takes it down a bit and more room is given to Burrell to nudge things along. Parker gets in to do a bit of Middle-East snakecharmer magic on the shenai towards the end and Jordan digs out the heavy Aylerian vibrato with Burrell tinkling right behind. At one point, Louis ditches the sticks and plays with his bare hands behind a Parker solo or so it sounds. Louis rounds off the proceedings by saying "You don't have to love us, we love you!" We do love you, Louis, and your senior friends. Age is no impediment against kicking up a real ruckus.

Beautifully recorded by Italian radio, so do try to grab the flacs for that extra bit of high fidelity. Photo courtesy of richardkaby at Flickr.