With the passing away of Jerome Cooper on 6 May this year, the Revolutionary Ensemble has taken their revolution to the spiritual realm. Leroy Jenkins died in 2007 and Sirone in 2009, both of whom have been featured on this blog before as well as the Ensemble in full. The Revolutionary Ensemble started up in the 1970s, mostly playing the loft and club circuit in New York, disbanded in 1977 and came together in the new millennium to make a couple of albums before it was all over.
With a basic lineup of violin, bass and percussion, the group developed a chamber-like sound, less rowdy perhaps than their free jazz compatriots at the time, yet, still distinctely anchored in free improvisation.
The three sets featured here were recorded at the Tin Palace, located on the Bowery, close to CBGBs, and one of the few places offering performance space for this type of music. It eventually folded in the late 70s, but there are fond memories attached to the place to judge from accounts found on the web.
January 14 1977
master audience cassette > cdr (transferred by orchiddoctor)
cdr > eac(secure mode) > peak pro 5.2(adjust volume, trim wave files) > flac(level 6) (tracked/edited by carville, no noise reduction)
total time 2:24:58
1st set 54:29
4 13:25 (tape flip @ 5:01)
2nd set 59:09
2 30:30 (tape flip @ 27:10)
3rd set 31:19
This is another recording done by "orchiddoctor" and edited and uploaded by "carville", so thanks to them for keeping history alive. To quote orchiddoctor's notes:
"The Revolutionary Ensemble. What can I say? Rare performances (among the last) by an underappreciated group that just couldn't get work. These two nights were the only times I saw them. I did do a photo shoot of Jerome Cooper a year later at his practice space in the meat packing district, and I saw him with Roscoe Mitchell at the Wildflowers set; but I don't recall seeing any of these guys again. Certainly not as a unit. Just for flavor, during the quiet moments--especially Leroy's solos--you can hear the cash register at the Tin Palace going ca-ching. I miss that sound! The Palace is now a vacant, ugly mess, haunted by the ghosts of great musicians. R.I.P. Mr Jenkins and Sirone."
And Mr. Cooper.