9 December 2017

The Phill Musra Group - The Creator Is So Far Out (Sagittarius 2010)

info are very few about Phil Musra, what I found is from cliffordallen blog

"...Philip Musra, a reedman and composer living in Los Angeles. He’s not a figure who’s well-known in the jazz (or even avant-garde) community, though his work in the 1970s with his brother, multi-instrumentalist Michael Cosmic, Turkish-born drummer Huseyin Ertunc, and bassist-composer John Jamyll Jones is the stuff of curiosity and possibly legend. Part of what has made their music - available on a small scattering of privately-pressed LPs - so interesting is that it does not sound like anything else. I recently characterized the trio music (without Jones) as something like a collision between the AACM and Alan Sondheim’s Ritual 770 or another, similar wild-and-woolly artists’ collective. The group was based in Boston at the time and also worked with pianist Gene Ashton (now known as Cooper-Moore) and poet-vocalist Ntozake Shange, among others. Apparently Musra and Cosmic also spent time in Chicago studying with AACM musicians. Until recently, not much was known about their concurrent and subsequent activities........Shimmering percussion dense but hanging in midair, maniacal insistence on mini-organ chords or frantic arpeggios on a glockenspiel, and intertwining flutes and saxophones are the linguistic building blocks, and the dialect is unlike anything I had previously experienced.

... Though Musra has assembled CD-Rs of archival material to almost no distribution over the past few years, his visible output has generally remained known only to connoisseurs of rare records from a bygone era. That is until now, as what is officially his second LP as a leader in over 35 years has been released in a limited edition via the Sagittarius A-Star label. The Creator is So Far Out takes its title from a composition that also appeared on his 1974 Creator Spaces LP (Intex) as well as on the present album. Here, he's joined by drummer Don Hooker, percussionist Steven McGill and pianist Walter Barrilleaux on two sidelong originals.
The core trio of Musra, Hooker and McGill has been together since last year, making live appearances on the West Coast (most often at the Heartbeat House in LA) and cutting some YouTube videos that have yet to go viral. As one would hope, there is a rather profound difference between this trio and what came before. Rather than the slightly-unhinged democracy of his 1970s free unit with Cosmic, Musra stretches out his husky and somewhat minimalist riff on Newk over dry, regular conga and trap set patterns on the lyrical, loving ode Yvonne, peppered with occasional throaty wails. The title track is taken in a bluesy direction, Barrilleaux laying down churchy chords around Hooker's loose lope and Musra's slightly wandering declarations. McGill's brief, glassy vibraphone is used as a marker between tenor and soprano solos, on which the leader's pinched tone contrasts curiously with the rhythm section's chunky groove. Boxy electric piano and flute shortly make a strange pair, as Musra runs through his arsenal. There's always been an outsider quality to Musra's music, and thirty-odd years ago that unbridled and sometimes unfocused energy probably contributed to his and his compatriots' unknown status. Now, of course, that naturalness is something many musicians work to achieve, and if Musra's music is a little more reigned in today, it's not without a folksy honesty that makes The Creator is So Far Out a charmingly humanist statement." 

A. Yvonne        
B. The Creator Is So Far Out        

Phil Musra - Reeds
Walter Barrilleaux - Piano
Don Hooker - Drums
Steven McGill - Percussion, Vibraphone

Recorded August 22, 2010 @ Mysterious Mammal Studio, Los Angeles.


corvimax said...


correct silence said...

Great idea Corvimax. I take this opportunity to inform about the reissue of the historic album of Phil Musra Group "Creator Space" originally recorded in 1973 and very rare until now. It have been reissued by "Now Again" in a double lp or triple cd with the album of Michael Cosmic "Peace In The World". In my opinion the 3 cd is really better because two bonus tracks have been added to the Phil Musra in a band previously unknown, those two bonus are fantastic. The third cd contains one 20 minutes track of the World Experience Orchestra where Musra, Cosmic, Huseyin Ertunc and Robert Ruff were playing. This track is an early version of "The Prayer", better in my opinion than the version featured on their first album.

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

Directly from the label one could get also a three LP version via pre-order.

jazzfan1 said...
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jazzfan1 said...
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correct silence said...
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correct silence said...

Less cosmic but very soulful, so nice to hear Phil Musra so many years after his legendary album. If you have more Musra in stock Corvimax, don't hesitate to post them here.

corvimax said...

yes correct silence, I did notice the new release, and no I havent any more Phil Musra albums, phisycally, only web downloads.
But I have more sagittarius, only a few can be considered out of print, I will post them in the next days.
Also I want to report a rumor that circulate the web, about Sagittarius label not paying the due to the artists involved in their releases. I dont say it is so, just asking if someone knows something about it.

correct silence said...

The only thing that I can say about this label is what Mike Johnston from Northwoods Improvisers told me during the recording of the last Faruq Z Bey album. The fact that the producer have announced a certain price for the musicians and the time in the studio, but finally gives a very smaller price for everything. Mike told me that they finally could stay only one afternoon in the studio and that everything was messy.

corvimax said...

I can add a live recording:
Phil Musra at Catalina's, Los Angeles, 31 May 1988


bhowani bhowani said...

Thanks a lot for your sharings, Corvimax and Happy New Year !!