22 October 2012

John Tchicai with Strings

This was discreetly slipped into the comments section in response to a request, but I think it deserves front page treatment. The title might hint at a string quartet or something even larger such as a symphony orchestra, but the closest you get to strings here are guitar, piano and harpsichord (and various samples). A somewhat curious and intriguing item in the Tchicai discography. Serene and sacral soundscapes; wistful; spectres of wide openness; church-like; hymns; heavenly or perhaps heaven-bounnd and a poem recited by Tchicai right at the end. A fitting epitaph of sorts. Unusual, but delightful.


1. Lied
2. Test-Piece 1
3. Cross Ness
4. Hymn
5. Solemn
6. Formalism
7. Test-Piece 2
8. Lullaby
9. These Pink Roses (words by Steve Dalachinsky)

Recorded in London in 2005

John Tchicai: bass clarinet, alto sax and voice
John Coxon: electric guitar, piano, harpsichord, samples, cymbals, bowls
Ashley Wales: Samples, trumpet, bass drum, steel bowls, percussion, bowed cymbal
Mark Sanders: drums and percussion on tracks 2, 4 and 5

The two chaps accompanying Tchicai made up the drum-and-bass outfit Springheel Jack before venturing into freer terrain. This one appears to be out of print, but other items on the Treader label can be found here:


Thanks to Robert for supplying this one.


kinabalu said...


Bozo the Perplexed Clown said...

With all due respect to the great Sol, this tasty little sucker should just not be that rare to anyone collecting JT's career; there is a difference between out-of-print recently, and o/p years ago! maybe they would want to "jack" it back into print, since the tragic passing...
Bozo realizes this makes him sound like an anal idiot, but there is too much really rare Tchicai to "rescue" then fooling around with stuff this recent,IBHO.
That said,that series had neat covers, didn't they?

gilhodges said...

Any great lover of the dear Tchicai should celebrate this offering. It is respectful and cherishing posts like this that will give OOP recordings like this a chance to get back in print.

kinabalu said...

@Bozo: It ain't necessarily so that "new" is easier to find than "old". In this particular instance, I knew there were people looking for copies and could not find any, so therefore I decided to "forward" it from one contributor who had a copy.

If you're interested in "new" and "unusual" Tchicai, I would recommend one I do have, "Anybody Home", most of it recorded in a cave on the Faroe Islands!

You can get it from here:


Bozo the OLD Clown said...

I traded fan letters with Tchicai in the 70s, so I don't take offence at Gil's remark-I LOVE that album! It's just that I know a number of little label owners, and they are getting more and more antsy about the endless appearence of their "Product" To Bozo, this item would be a natural for helping your direct friends with, directly! But not just making it available on-line to everyone. That's MY opinion, but I acknowledge I ain't running the blog- and I have the highest respect for those that do! I respect their call! It is a great album! What Bozo has said, and will continue to feel, is that there is a line that can cause turmoil if breeched, and every now and then one of these shots may unwittingly do that.
There is no evidence either way to support the claim that these postings help an item come back to "Life". Radio shows and audience tapes morality at least can be argued on the grounds they were not put in circulation by the economic outlay of any particular person/outfit.
Bozo does not like the computer world too much, and barely knows how to post comments, or type! I am not trying to "Inflame", is that what y'all call it?, anyone. And in the future, I will trust in the staff at Sol to do what they do, and keep thoughts about whether any particular blog is appropriate to his clownish self.
One last thught, the people listening now seem to have slightly bigger ears than they did 25-30 years ago, when the slightly off-beat albums like this were ignored, for instance none of Bozo's friends could get into the Blak material at all. So you all have fun, and don't worry about me,retreating to my rockin' chair!

magogiallo said...

thank you for this one, I have it only in a bad mp3. For all Tchicai fans I had just bought (august) a 4LP box set West Africa Tour April 1985 together with H. Geerken and F. Don Moyè, unfortunatly only 134 copies, if someone is interested may try to get it here: http://www.soundohm.com/home.php
good luck

kinabalu said...

Just a minor point: No, this one cannot be traded directly. I cannot trade something I don't have! This was put online in response to a request, because it's commercially unavailable at the moment. Whether it will remain so, is moot. I thought that was clear.

Of course, anything posted here could be traded directly, which would undermine the entire purpose of the blog, would it not?

Boozo the Reject said...

DEar Kinabalu, Onx and the TEAM:
Bozo will not be injecting himself into this issue anymore-do what you gotta do! Of course posting anything will enable people to hear great stuff they might not have been exposed to, kinda like radio in the old days! All I am saying is I can see a day where music no longer Physically exsists, and I don't fully trust the Internet. What the Micromaniacs have created can be blocked or ruined , as we found out partially earlier in the year.
Bozo will clutch to his greedy piles of plastic till the bitter end...
The work of Sol is 99% magnificent, so it's important it be continued. Bozo does not know how to squish those words back together in his last sentence, so what does he know about what is appropriate in the 21st century. Please remember though, believe it or not, not everyone knows how to use a computer, or even own one. + Bozo can't think straight today after witnessing the "Skins choke to the Giants yesterday...

john said...

..... anyway it's great to have this as it's o.o.p and I couldn't otherwise hear it. When/if it's re-issued I can buy it, as I frequently do, thanks to having had the chance to hear something new from a blog.

Bozo's Big Mouth said...

bozo is startin' to wish he had just kept his mouth shut!

apf said...

Thank you!

Bozo Learns A Skill said...

Bozo just learned how to cut and paste, with the earlier help of a SOL Brother, and guess what? [what now,Bozo?] Soundohm, thanks mgugiallo's comment, seems to list, right now, John Tchicai with Strings-so anyone who wants it, get busy and good luck! They didn't seem to take paypal, or I would have got an extra copy for the future use of a deserving friend! BTW, the 4lp set seemed to be gone- now, no arguement that would make a great post! gotta get ready for the big debate,bye!

the hypocritical clown said...

BUt please correct my spelling of MAGOGIALLO name on my new post just submitted, sorry and thanks! And sorry to give you guys a hard time, i love you all, just worried is all... best wishes, bozo

onxidlib said...

Sorry Bozo, but it seems there is no way to correct a comment. The only option is to delete 'em!

Anonymous said...

this one is also OOP could someone post it please? i was snoozin' and don't like loozin'

Igor said...

"Bozo went to Speaker's Corner. Returns in the summer."

No hard feelings Bozo, but this time you're overdo it.

kinabalu said...

@anon: post what?

SOTISE said...

in response to bozos first comment, the most plausible and obvious solution might be a return to mp3's , which do not i believe detract from potential sales of reissues, i introduced Flac to this blog , and a part of me deeply regrets it, i did so because the limitations of the format seemed to not do justice to the music, on the other hand they are perfectly fine for simply checking stuff out, with a view to future purchase...
the big question is and has always been , just what are we doing here, what are we seeking to accomplish? if anything other than merely trading records in digital form.

after all Bozo , anything could be jacked back into print at anytime, one has to draw the line somewhere, either something is in circulation or it isn't.

this very issue is compounded by the fact that many artists have links to sites like i-tunes which sell mp3's of even their out of print albums, a transactional process in which the artist has a pecuniary interest..

Bozo the Flac-y Clown said...

PLEASE, I beg y'all to not even entertain the thought of returning to mp3, that's what would truly make a circus out of things! Bozo wishes there had been a less public way of expressing his concern over that one particular album to the Sol Brain-trust. And make no mistake, it is a helluva album!
Bozo officially apologizes for 'causing a ruckus. He is not used to the rules and straight-jackets of on-line B-crapping; where fun turns to turmoil, and back again. To paraphrase those immortal words: can't we all just move on?

sotise said...

Bozo, most of us have email visible in our profiles , so its perfectly simple to contact us , as for Rules there are none as far as im concerned, and you are entitled to voice an opinion , i feel you made a valid point , the reality i think is that which ever way you cut it this whole filesharing caper is piracy , we do not own the copy right to OOP records , therefore what we do is infinge copyright laws...
there was a certain idealism in 2006/7 when the music blogosphere first exploded , but filesharers werte in a minority, there was discussion, enthusiasm....
things have changed , most downloaders here never comment, and are only interested in bloating their portable hardrives , a lot of younger people dont give a fuck about the artists concerened and have never bought a CD/LP in there lives , yet they have vast accumulated archives.
We are Feeding them, and making filehost fat cats rich in the process...
Why would MP3'S make a Circus of things????? , if you are going to comment, lets have reasoned responses , not vacuous histrionics

the Question Remains , just what the hell do we think we are doing here, and let me ask you 'Bozo' just what are you doing here?

Bozo the Proud CLOWN said...

Any preservation of music, of whatever kind, should be done with the most care and at at the highest possible,reasonable , quality. By reasonable I mean the best that can be achieved without extreme expense,or secret-agent-type devices. That, in this case, I respectfully quess would mean "Flac". If only mp3 was available to us, I would not be making this arguement.
My first comment on this subject would not have been written if the Tchicai had remained in the contribution,request or free-form sections! This is an important thought to remember in the slogging the clown is taking. I honestly thought it was just too recent, and too high profile, and it's availability to in question, as proven!, to give a main listing to.
Did any of you clowns post an email to Treader to ask if they would mind? Maybe they wouldn't have minded! Then all this Sol-wretching would be irrelevant.
Sotise, you seem like a great person, and it's cool you take the time to think about the bigger picture, but why do you participate at all then? Life is a compromise, if , geez, The clown gives up.!!!
Stick to radio broadcasts, and live recordings. Only do discs as a last resort, in the sections I mentioned. That would solve a lot of problems right there.
Bozo ain't joining no social-media to contact someone! OUT!
PS, no-one out there think I've raised some good points? The clowns friends have told him he did good, but I guess they are too chicken to write in.

Bozo the Mysterious Chef said...

Sotise and i were allies in the great brew ha-ha over Irene A. back in the Lacy-cremona post. I hope there are no bad feelings engendered,OK? I would bet the Clown and he would see eye-to-eye on most things musical! Let's go to the free-form section, and revitalize that for these more free-wheeling discussions, and explore more clearly future possibilities for a bright Solar future. Bozo is gonna work on getting some hot dogs from his own kitchen on the menu for all to feast on!

sotise said...

bozo, aint no social media involved .... click on the zombie, an email link comes up...

'does anyone think i raised a valid point'
well i said i thought you had so yes, but what do you propose?

if we were purely about preserving the music what ever that means, we would only share super rare private pressed stuff ,which will in all likely hood never be reissued.
we have done a little of that , most records here are scarce and expensive to buy but not absolute rarities one NEVER SEES.. ..

why not rip some in your possesion and share them here?

serviceton said...

serviceton the friendly pig says:

I think fair points are being made here by Mr Bozo, Mr Sotise, and Mr K.
That we don't seem to be basking in the warm glow of collective concordance suggests to me 3 things.

1 - All have slightly differing views as to what Inconstant Sol is 'about'. As it has no stated manifesto or declaration of purpose or conduct, this is understandable. (Note that I'm not calling for such a thing -- just trying to be be factual)

2 - What is 'OK' morally and ethically in the music filesharing world will also provoke wildly
divergent (and sometimes subtly nuanced) differences of opinion amongst participants and spectators. On this blog, the differences are perhaps likely to be fewer than elsewhere. That any remaining differences can be important is evidenced above

3 *Tone* of comment is difficult to infer many times on bulletin boards, blog pages and many other interweb locations. It can be *way* harder to come to a consensus online then might be possible in a face-to-face situation.

I am tempted to revive the "created in an evening and quickly left moribund" devils lunchbox blog - and invite everyone over for a chat on matters raised here. Not because I particularly enjoy debating or anything..
But it does matter.
I haven't said anything of what I think here - which may either be admirable or pathetic. Just like me. :o)

Just don't anyone get offended here eh?

kinabalu said...

As the one who committed a NEW cd to the MAIN post, I have in the meantime been diligently trying to track online copies of this item. Out of stock from Cargo Records which is the main distributor of Treader releases. Nothing on Amazon co uk, nothing on Itunes, further nothing on Spotify or on Wimp, streaming services available here. On the latter, altogether 16 Tchicai releases, on the former 12 releases, none of which is the item in question here. On Discogs and Ebay, none. Searching Gemm, Musicstack and Cdandlp, which are huge databases, results in 1 copy found, but these include dealers trading in second-hand copies.

None of the above means that there is not a single or a few copies available out there, otherwise there would be nothing to purchase and hence nothing to post.

So I would say for all practical purposes, pretty much unobtainable. If one were to apply the same exacting standards to everything posted, I think we'll be running out of options.

However, I do see a future for cassettes made in 20 copies from the early part of the 80s, ripped to low-grade mp3. I would say anything made in more than a 100 copies smacks of blatant commercialism and should be shunned by true collectors.

I saw that there was a copy of the West African four lp set for one hundred bucks. So if anyone wants to rise to the challenge ... Don't ask me, though.

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose that you could re-upload this? I've been looking for a physical copy for a while with no luck!

- John

kinabalu said...

Still unavailable, I note.



Anonymous said...

Thank you kindly!
I've heard bits of this off of this radio show/podcast that someone uploaded to Youtube, and the songs were beautiful! I do hope that Treader can get to a point where they get better distribution.

Cheers & Many thanks to the I.S. folks for all of the music - John

DW said...

kinabalu, your gift is most welcomed!