Following on from the former posting of the Group live in 1987, here is an older date from 1978 with some of the same players. As I said in that post, some of the members of the Group emerged during the loft movement in the 1970s. This was a musicians' initiative to create their own spaces for players to express themselves and interact with others. Perhaps the most well-known was Sam Rivers' Studio Rivbea, and another was Ali's Alley, run by Rashied Ali who was the drummer with John Coltrane during his last days, before launching a solo career with his own group. Ali made a duo record with Frank Lowe in the early 70s and the latter can also be heard on this date.
As I said in the former post, both Abdullah and Bang emerged as major players on the loft scene during the 70s and Frank Lowe was very much a part of that scene as well, having cut his debut record for the legendary ESP label, "Black Beings" with, among others, Rashied Sinan on drums who is "coincidentally" also on this date. So it's all interlinked.
Close to two hours in all here with music, though tending towards the free side, that still has a strong rhythmic pulse and melodic core. Lively, propulsive, energetic, thorougly enjoyable. Dig in!
The sonics on this recording may not be the optimal as this clearly is an audience recording, also capturing the ambience of the space in which it was performed. But don't let detract from the joyous and uplifting music on display here!
Abdullah Ahmed Sextet
NYC, Ali's Alley
July 12, 1978
Ahmed Abdullah - tp
Frank Lowe - ts
Billy Bang - viol
Jay Hoggard - vb
Jerome Hunter - b
Rashied Sinan - dr
No set list given, so if anyone can help out, it would be appreciated.
Jay Hoggart is here on vibraphone and today teaches music at Wesleyan. Jerome Hunter, the bassist, has played with Sun Ra, among others, another common link.
Abdullah is still active today, educator, curator and musician and writer, though his book on his years with Sun Ra still remains unpublished. He maintains his own web site which can be accessed here:
His curatorial work in later years has been linked to thia place:
which is in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, one node in a network of community organising. A place to check out for jazz-loving brooklynites and newyorkers?
There'll be more posts on the NY 70s/80s club scene, so stay tuned!