14 May 2014

Spontaneous Music Ensemble - Karyobin



There was a request for this one from Roberto T. a while back in our comments section at the top. I knew I had it on the Ipod, so it must be retrievable from the archives. Perseverance shall be rewarded, they say, so here it is.

This is a classic, needless to say. British improv; understated, chamber-like, light-footed, intimate, attentive, cohesive, whatever adjectives may apply. And a fine thing, all in all.

Guitar [Electric] - Derek Bailey
Saxophone [Soprano] - Evan Parker
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Kenny Wheeler
Bass - Dave Holland
Drums - John Stevens

Recorded at Olympic Sound Studios 18/2/68.

Producer - Eddie Kramer
Recorded By - Eddie Kramer

Artwork By [Painting Of Karyobin] - Robert Macauley

35 comments:

kinabalu said...

This was initially posted as mp3 files, so that's what I have.

http://rapidshare.com/files/366348864/SME_-_Karyobin.rar

Stefano said...

Thanks!!!!

gd said...

thanks!

roberto t. said...

Lossy is more than enough for me, kinabalu. For some decades this record always skipped from me, and I unconsciously did the same. So thank you for our final meeting, never too late, this time!

jason said...

Slight upgrade (320) here if required

http://progres-agitation.blogspot.com/2010/03/spontaneous-music-ensemble-karyobin.html

Mike said...

Thanks - I'd been wanting to hear this for years!

Anonymous said...

anyone have any more SME or John Stevens - not that much on the web sadly

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this - I'm very new to the site, and figuring out how the downloads work...

jahknee said...

thanks SO much for posting..I keep reading about this in my Penguin Guide to Jazz....can't wait to hear it! Again, thank you for your work!!

Tantris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bventure said...

Many thanks for the FLAC upgrade Tantris - I only had the original mp3 @192

martin said...

Thank you, thank you Tantris.

A long time ago I read something to the effect that the death of the person behind Chronoscope had created some sort of legal problem regarding a reissue of Karyobin. I don't know if I have remembered this correctly or even if it was ever true. Perhaps someone out there knows more.

Anonymous said...

I consider "Karyobin" to be as epochal as Brötzmann's "Machine Gun"... definitely among the most significant euro-freejazz records out there. A BIG one.

Box 'em upzo said...

The classical world is amassing their holdings into tremendous box-sets, available dirt-cheap in most cases. A newcomer could build up a world-class archive with a couple of average credit cards! Why the hell can't the jazz and free-music world do the same? Almost everyone should be ashamed of themselves! A SME bow of these treasures should have hit the street eons ago, but like I have stated repeatedly, the hero-worship, the ego-mania,the dogmatic rules and regulations, the various schools and factions, and feuds and sour grapes, the "us vs. them" mentality, the paranoia over rip-offs,geez you think this was politics! No one ever puts the fans first, and they wonder why we turn to blogs...The recent fiasco involving a name very dear to some of our tastes shows how ridiculous the scene has become!

Anonymous said...

I, too, have the original @192. This lossless CD rip is very much appreciated. Many thanks.

-Brian

Igor said...

Thank you for your efforts kinabalu, jason and Tantris. Hope that your scanner will start working again, Tantris. From my own experience I know that such malfunction can be very frustrating.

Bozzo:I agree with you - in general. Could you be more specific, please, as regards "recent fiasco" that you mention. I must admit I didn't dig what you had in mind.

Colin Green said...

I'm afraid the reasons why one doesn't see budget price boxed set reissues - as in the classical world - is that with free jazz/improvised music, many of the master tapes have been lost; no one company owns the rights to a significant number of recordings; and a box set would never sell in sufficient numbers to justify the initial outlay. A nice thought though.

Anonymous said...

"and a box set would never sell in sufficient numbers to justify the initial outlay"

I hate to say it in this place, but I'm absolutely sure music blogging is one reason for that. Go figure.

Colin Green said...

I’m not sure about that. This blog has a pretty responsible attitude regarding the music that’s posted, and OOP recordings have usually not been reissued due to master tape availability and/or economics. There really is little money to be made in this area of music, and for most of the people who produce them, it’s a labour of love, and breaking even.

Consider the following from Paul Dunmall about the recording of “Shooters Hill”:

“I drove to the London Studio from Worcestershire, John Adams from Norfolk, Mark Sanders from Ramsgate, Roberto and John from North London and Paul Rutherford from South London. I paid for the studio time as it was my project but that’s all. Nobody got paid a fee or any travel expenses, there just wasn’t the money for it. We all did it for the love of music making. When the cd was released we all got a certain amount each to sell on gigs. That’s a typical example that’s happened more times than I can remember.”

Ironically, in the context of this discussion, that CD is one that forms part of FMR’s 50 CD set of Dunmall recordings for the label, priced (I think) at £100.00, which is £2.00 per CD. Highly recommended. That’s pretty much the only budget box set I can think of in the free jazz world, and was produced in a limited quantity. I’ve no idea how they’ve sold, but Trevor Taylor, the owner of FMR, is definitely not in it for the money.

I should also say that Paul sanctions uploads of certain of his recordings to this site.

Andy said...

Maybe it's something to do with the big cheap boxes' music being so old that it's out of copyright and it's up for grabs for anyone to release. (Or have I got that wrong?). And our stuff isn't quite old enough yet. And yes, it's of miniscule interest in the great scheme of things. Nice to be part of the miniscule.

Colin Green said...

It’s 50 years before the copyright in the recording expires, but even then, it won’t give you any rights to access the master tape. The record company is entitled to hang on to that. It does give one the right to copy the recording, however. Hence, when the Furtwangler recording of Tristan and Isolde came out of copyright, there were a number of alternative releases, not taken from EMI’s tapes, but LP transfers and possibly other sources.

The classical budget sets, such as various collections from Decca, are of recordings which moved to pure profit some years ago, and large companies have the capital available to finance such a production, and a vast catalogue to mine. It’s probably the last attempt to remarket these recordings on CD before the move to downloading music files, and even then I imagine there will be discounted packages. It’s good news for the consumer though. As has been noted, it’s possible to start a classical music collection far more cheaply than ever before, though I don’t recommend maxing out on credit cards to do so!

Yes, it is nice to part of the minuscule. Improvised music requires a lot of effort, but repays handsomely, and is some of the most interesting and vibrant music now being produced. Unfortunately, that has always been and will remain, a minority opinion.

Enuf Already,Zo! said...

Nice to see a bit of a discussion! The clown is not unaware of the social and economic factors and games going on in the various genres of music, especially with regards to how it is presented, and sold
to the "public".
One of the best reissue projects in our lifetime was the original Evidence Sun Ra releases, where for a very reasonable price incredibly rare material was lovingly cleaned up,
informative liner notes written and tremendous care shown in the art work,etc. Let's contrast this to the ICP Box, which basically told the fans of that stuff to screw themselves. First they spent years saying they wouldn't reissue the classic albums everyone wanted despertly on cd.
Then they make you buy the top half of the catalog, which most[?] fans probably already owned on cd, to FINALLY get the first 25 or so albums on disc! Almost no unreleased goodies thrown in to sweeten the pot, and then a lame box to put them in- mine arrived with everything scrambled like a jigsaw puzzle! BTW, Pay IN ADVANCE, and throught the nose for it, loyal listeners! We, the great artists, have deined to do you a favor and let you hear our music! {This may sound harsh, and a bit over-the-top,but...}
The FMP box; let's give our loyal fans some stuff they got, some they don't- and half a Lacyis better than none!
Don't even get me started on Mosaic!!! The clown just got the Mingus, instead of passing on it like he swore he would-already having 5.5 of the 7 discs worth of material! This happens OVER AND OVER with them.
Instead of going on and on, let's just say the clown is very worried that soon, when this is a non-physical heritage, it will be MUCH easier for no-one to give a crap anymore. All the little fiefdoms should start banding together and talking about how this priceless cultural heritage is to be preserved for the long haul. No worries now that Louis Armstrong is a Sony recording artist...

Nick said...

Some of us are glad that our top spot on the ICP WL came to nothing :-)

Nick said...

The Jef Gilson compilations and box are nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Interesting debate - thanks guys. Btw - is this SME upload taken from the CD or the orig vinyl? I am led to believe they sound very differentand the vinyl is far superior, the CD apparently suffering from some ham fisted noise reduction techniques. Any ideas? - Phil

Colin Green said...

According to Tantris’ post above, the flac posting is taken from the CD, although his arithmetic is a bit out: it was released in 1993, 21 years ago. That’s when I picked up my copy on CD (can it really be that long ago). It sounds fine to me, but I know that Ben Watson has some negative things to say about it in his book about Derek Bailey, and he reports that Bailey was not impressed with the transfer. I don’t have it on vinyl and can’t make a comparison.

The link for the original post of the mp3 file on Rapidshare still works, but a cursory listen suggests that it’s a CD rather than an LP rip (absence of vinyl noise) but I could be wrong.

sandor essedy said...

thanks a lot for giving a really listenable of this one.

Colin Green said...

And a tip concerning the dreadful packaging of the ICP box set. Tip them on the floor, sort them into order and then wrap each pack of ten in an elastic band and stack them in the box. Not perfect, but it worked for me.

Tired Zo Needs a Pick-me-Up said...

Thanks Colin, you made the clown's day! But for the $ it cost, a dutchman should come by and light up a huge one while they rubberband it up for me! Someone there must be sitting on a stashof tapes like GroupComposing and Unlawful Noise that would blow us all away!!!

Colin Green said...

Quite possibly, but if there was a lot of money to be made out of them, I'm sure we'd have heard by now.

Mixed up nutzo said...

Colin, not to be argumentative, but what does money have to do with it? Why does anyone in this "Art-form",{using the term loosely],think there's a big payoff? if there was we'd be disectting George Benson and the gang!
You have a great point, of course, though. The Masters of this scene probably figure that in this day and age, w/o the government/high society funding streams, plus thedownloadingfree generation's adversion to spending cash that there isn't much point to releasing much any more. {I could have worded that more clearly!]
Maybe the Sol-honcho's could run an informal poll: How many of us would PAy to hear an hour of hi-musical quality material by our heroes that has not been made public before? 50, 150, 750?
Hardly anything seems to sell even a thousand units anymore...
I want to revitalize my old label, but my wife says "what's the point?"...Best wishes to all, and happy New year!

lee said...

Not going to touch the other debate with a long pole, instead I'll just say thanks for offering this one for download. The performance does sound slightly muted (re noise reduction), but the playing is absolutely gorgeous. Stevens is phenomenal, and he really keeps things buoyant and propulsive.

maready said...

Many thanks for the upgrade on this one. I have never managed to find the vinyl or the short-lived CD edition and have happily made do with MP3s. As for the endless debate --- it's impossible for me to speak for anybody but myself, but before the advent of places like Inconstant Sol, much of the history of jazz and free improvisation was known to me in name only. I've been buying records since I was 9 years old in 1969 and I'm still buying them. If I get an opportunity to buy an actual copy of Karyobin (or Juba-Lee or any of about 35 FMPs on my want-list) you'd better believe I'll do so. I was very happy to be able to fill some gaps in my knowledge with the FMP store at Destination Out, but now that is gone as well. The fact is that the economics of pressing CDs and the scattered state of masters, rights etc. makes it unlikely that many once-available items will ever be available in physical form again. In the meantime, Inconstant Sol is keeping the history available, in the same way that the public library ought to be doing. And when 'Topography of the lungs' was re-issued by Evan Parker, when classic Noah Howard records became available as commercial downloads, when a used copy of Machine Gun showed up in the local chop, I paid for physical copies of music I would never have heard if not for the unpaid hours of curatorial work by the historians of culture of the internet.

Thanks again for this one and so many others and I will be sure and purchase a new Incus and Psi CD within the next couple of months!

Tantris said...

I've been listening to the Karyobin CD a lot over the last few weeks, through a decent system - I'm not noticing any particular deficiency in either the recording quality or the mix - quite the opposite, in fact - it's one of the better CD transfers out there. It would still be interesting to compare to the vinyl, of course.

It's interesting to read some of Evan Parker's observations on Karyobin in various interviews. It started as a duo, between Stevens and Parker, and then became a quintet when the Island recording opportunity materialised. EP hints that there may be some tapes of the original duo - now those, together with a remix of the quintet, would definitely make an interesting reissue! Here's hoping.

Tantris said...

Here's a link to the release of Karyobin on cD in Japan;

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/UICY-77702

Good to see this back in circulation, albeit only in Japan at the moment. I think the links above were dead, but I've removed them anyway. I'm still hoping for a release with some of the original tapes of the Stevens & Parker, assuming that tapes of that are still extant.