28 May 2008

Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory - Radio Broadcast 1997

Roscoe Mitchell' s Note Factory
The Knitting Factory NYC
June 16 1997

Roscoe Mitchell reeds, flutes
George Lewis trombone
Hugh Ragin trumpet
Mathew Shipp piano
Craig Taborn Piano
William Parker Bass
Tani Tabal Drums
Gerard Cleaver Drums
Jaribu Shahid Bass

This was broadcast on radio WKCR concurrently with the live performance as part of the NYC jazz festival, so it's totally unedited. The first track consists of a lot of shuffling about and warming up before the band get to work on track 2.

The above photo is from a more recent version of the Note Factory, but should give some idea of what the band looked like.

After the end of the concert, the announcer mentions that the following concert is Noah Howard. That would be great to listen to if anyone has it.

The files I downloaded from dime are of SHN file extension, which I think is a lossless format used on MAC. I found some freeware to convert to mp3, but if anyone can tell me how to convert to flac, I could post them later.

Thanks to "abbcccus" for seeding.

26 May 2008

Braxton at Moers 1976

Yet more Braxton coming up!

This is a quintet recording from the Moers festival on 6 June in 1976. However, as has been said in the comments section of a previous Braxton posting, there is no record of this particular concert in the official archive. What was announced on this date was the Braxton Quartet with Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland and Barry Altschul. The official archive also announced a Braxton - Leo Smith duo on the follwing day, but what eventually transpired was a Braxton - George Lewis duet, earlier documented on this blog.

Be that as it may, but what we have here is quite possibly a one-off with this very exciting line-up:

Anthony Braxton (sss, as, cl, bcl, fl)
Kenny Wheeler (tpt, flh)
George Lewis (tb)
Harry Miller (b)
Tony Oxley (d)

It's one contiguous piece lasting close to one hour, separated into four tracks by the poster. No titles, but from what I can hear, there is fairly distinctive theme right at the beginning of track three which is repeated at the end of track four and which might be recognisable for those well acquainted with the Braxton ouevre.

I do think the Miller - Oxley rhythm section really adds a punch to the three soloists in front. Another high is the extended Lewis solo at the beginning of track 4. The wonderful duet with Braxton was obviously not a one-off strike; this guy is top of the league, no doubt about it.

This is another grab off Dime, so thanks to the poster and the seeders and all.

I've taking the liberty of only doing this in high-quality mp3. Listening to the flacs on my 5+1 surround speakers, I can't notice any discernible difference. The recording is fair, but obviously not up to the standard of hi-fi freaks, so there.


The next one from me won't be Braxton, giving people some time to absorb all the good B. stuff coming down the pike.

21 May 2008

Anthony Braxton Quartet, Live at the Place, Eugene Oregon, March 30th 1978

The photo is of Braxton in February 1988 in concert in Corvallis, Oregon.

Anthony Braxton Quartet, Live at the Place, Eugene Oregon, March 30th 1978
Anthony Braxton Clarinet, Soprano and Alto Saxophone
Ray Anderson Trombone
Brian Smith bass
Thurman Barker Drums

Set One: two unknown tracks (possibly areas 40 and 69) 63:47
Set Two: two unknown tracks (possibly areas 40, 69 and others) 77:29

You know this is going to mean big files to dl.

The sound is A- to B+

This is another interesting musical experience that I'm sharing on behalf of Dale. It comes with a story of mishap about Dale's meeting with Braxton. He took a little encouragement to share this, but I always enjoy these human-scale stories, and Dale says the embarrassment has been blunted by time.


It was approximately a year or so before the '89 Eugene big band performances and Braxton was in Eugene to conduct some seminars and to do some solo performances where he was planning to perform improvisations based on Monk compositions. There was to be a seminar and a concert here in Eugene Oregon (in the University of Oregon Music School) and the same thing at the Oregon State Music school in Corvallis Oregon. I was assigned the pleasurable task of driving Braxton around town - shuttling him between the motel and the schools etc...

The weather was TERRIBLE. We’d had freezing rain shortly after he arrived; then the temperatures dropped and it started snowing. It was one of those driven, cold snow storms where the air was full of snow being whipped up from the ground. The ice looked as though it had been scrubbed clean and tinted a bleak gray by the thick sky. The plan was for me to take him by the music school (for some introductions, a tour of the facilities and whatever). Then maybe get a bite to eat afterward depending on what the music department folks had in mind. So I showed up at the motel and Braxton was waiting outside wearing his cardigan sweater - no coat. And he was freezing but he wanted me to wait so he could run back up to his room to grab his alto. He did that and we drove over to the U of O. “Luckily” for us we found parking just a block from music school. We left the car, which was along the street in one of those university residential areas, and skated our way over to the music center. Things went really well and we headed back to the car after only about a half hour.

When we got back to the car the curbside door was ajar and the saxophone was GONE! I was freaked out! Evidently the car had not been locked. We searched the car in vain and then paced up and down the sidewalk hoping to spot the thief. Then it occurred to us that MAYBE he hadn’t actually grabbed the instrument back at the motel. That it was still in the room. That we had IMAGINED all that. Well, it wasn’t in the room!

At this point I wanted Anthony to call the police. NO! NO?! He was ADAMANT! NO police!!

Were the performances to be cancelled? What next? I called up some friends to see if we could borrow an instrument. Nothing! Then I called one of the music stores in town, told them the situation and they said they had a beautiful, like new, Selmer Mark 6 on hand that they would be willing to rent. I mean, I was really feeling responsible at this point and would have footed the bill if necessary even though I couldn’t afford it. So we drove over and went in.

One of the sales clerks had “heard” of Braxton but wasn’t familiar with his music. But since he was somebody the U of O had scheduled the sales people were interested and seemed receptive. Braxton indicated that he needed to shake the instrument down to see if would be useable - you know, check the pads etc. and stock up on a bunch of reeds. So the people at the store laid things out, Anthony wet the reeds, and the test began. First a long note. He removed the reed, sucked on it for a minute or so more, slipped it back in. Another long note. Then he EXPLODED into a series of scales swooping up and down at incredible speeds. Occasionally he paused to ‘trill’ and checkout some fingerings. He eventually threw in little Monk at an incredible tempo to make sure he could pull it off. Finally, after about five or so minutes, Anthony stopped and smiled. His first since the theft of his instrument and I was close to smiling myself. Still stunned BUT I was breathing again.

In the meantime all the sales staff, all the patrons and the store owner had realized a phenomenal musician was on the premises. A small group had gathered around to check out who had demonstrated such brilliant technical wizardry. It wasn’t the same as a concert but it was dazzling. The owner piped up “Uh . . we’ll loan it to you for nothing and hopefully, if you feel it’s appropriate, you’ll mention us. AND we’ll give you a really good price on it if you like the way it sounds and plays.” Anthony tested the instrument a little longer and finally decided it would work - that he would go ahead with the concerts.

We left with the instrument. I drove Anthony back to the motel, he picked up a few things and we went over to my house so he could do more “warming up.” He couldn’t practice at the motel and he felt he had to put in a couple hours just so he’d know how to deal with the idiosyncracies of that particular horn.

The evening concert was basically a solo exploration of the quartet material found on the Black Saint “Six Monk’s Compositions (1987).” I don’t really remember much about Braxton’s playing that evening because I was preoccupied with what had happened earlier in the day. I just kept replaying that moment when we got back to the car and discovered the horn missing. And it didn’t help that Anthony was not particularly pleased about his playing and was finally openly admitting how very distressed he was about the loss of his instrument, a Selmer Mark 7. But we’d muddled through the day, Braxton had done his solo concert, and we’d averted a total disaster. It could have been worse – or could it?

We had planned to drive up to Corvallis after the concert and get Anthony into his new lodgings, a Bed & Breakfast near the OSU campus. It’s only 50 miles but the temperature had dropped and NOW there was a howling blizzard going on. This is REALLY rare in Oregon. Winters are rainy NOT blizzardy. We decided to drive up anyway despite the treacherous road conditions. I don’t remember how much snow we got but it was hard to see and the roads were slick. What normally takes an hour to drive took three. But we made it.

The plan was for me to drive back that evening but it was 2:30 A.M. and the roads had become almost impassable so I decided to stay in Corvallis over night. Fortunately they had an additional room at the B & B. In fact we were the only two roomers that night. Winter time is not when people vacation in Corvallis. And nobody else would have been crazy enough to try driving.

The next morning I woke up to the sound of Braxton practicing. I only wish I could have recorded some of it. I mean it was flat amazing. I think he’d figured out the Mark 6 and was more focused than he had been on the previous evening. A great instrumentalist can even make arpeggios sound musical. After breakfast I drove Anthony up to the University and took off for Eugene. The Sun was out and the roads had been somewhat cleared.

The next evening I drove back to Corvallis with my wife Margaret. This time I was able to listen to the music and it was a knockout performance. Braxton WAS on! His rendition of “Brilliant Corners” was over 20 minutes and spectacular from beginning to end. Only a small crowd attended but we had the good fortune of catching Braxton at his best. I also got some great photos.

Braxton returned the horn to me that evening. He had decided to get another Mark 7 (if he could find one) which was what he was accustomed to playing. When I returned the horn to the store in Eugene the following morning the young man at the counter was a little surprised to see me. I guess he figured Braxton would keep it. I thought he would myself. In any case, it would be interesting to know who finally got that horn and if it is still being played. I also wonder where the thief went to sell Braxton’s “old” horn.

Noah Howard -live at the village vanguard 1972 FLAC, Rashied Ali- den haag 19th of august 2006 (mp2)

heres a favourite, which i promised to brent/1oo9 a few weeks ago before moving.
this was uploaded @192 some ways back last year at ch#9...
and if anyone is interested in the mp3 rip its in the comments to an earlier post of N.H's ole.
im not quite sure of the historical status of this release this ..bootleggy reissue which i bought on line a few years ago, appears to have been a cd r only release, its a marvelous concert and is undoubtedly one of noah howards stronger records.
i wont waffle... im just about to travel to melbourne interstate , to play a few gigs with some friends and so will be absent again for a few weeks to come.
thanks to T ,for the use of his scanner( mine is broken)
while i'm at it heres something i uploaded 6 weeks ago but havent got around to posting.
one of the most impressive concerts ive heard from dime.. both in terms of sound and performance quality..
Rashid Ali QuintetPure Jazz Fest, Nieuwe Kerk, Den Haag/NL, 19th August 2006 (MP2)
Rashid Ali-dr,Lawrence Clark-reeds,
Jumaane Smith-tpGreg Murphy-p
Joris Teepe- b
01 Sky Refrain.mp2 15:1202 You're Reading My Mind.mp2 07:2803 Big Bush.mp2 19:5104 Multi Kulti.mp2 05:4105 Cherokee.mp2 25:10
TT: 1:13:22
source: DVB-S@256, 48kHz > raw data > ProjextX > mp3DirectCut > mp2 (lossy recording seeded in its original broadcast codec)
thanks to the original seeder/ taper and traders

16 May 2008

Anthony Braxton Septet - Composition 356 - Chiasso, January 2008

(Thanks to sambeck2001 for confirming that this is composition 356).

This is from the Chiasso festival in January this year and I recorded it from RTSI's broadcast last weekend. There are many similarities with much of the Iridium set, but there is also extensive use of electronics and 'noise' which marks this piece as something different. Jessica Pavone's violin plays an important role in shaping this music, which seems to include a cycle from waking to sleeping through to waking again.

I would be very interested in reading your reaction to this music. For my part, I find this music - unlike some earlier Braxton - begins to hint at some archetypes which affect us all. Perhaps, to use his words, it enters an upper partial. This is not music which is simply beautifully crafted and virtuosic; a key part of it is its impact on and transformation of our imagination and consciousness.

Anthony Braxton Septet
Algebra delle emozioni
Chiasso, Spazio Officina, Saturday 26th January, 2008

Anthony Braxton (sax contralto, sopranino, clarinetto contrabbbasso)
Taylor Ho Bynum (cornetta, flicorno e trumpbone)
Jessica Pavone (violino e viola)
Mary Halvorson (chitarra elettrica)
Jay Rozen (tuba)
Chris Dahlgren (ccontrabbasso)
Aaron Siegel (percussioni e vibrafono)

01 Composition 356 (64.46)
02 Radio voiceover (1.50)

EDIT - the text file included the download has two errors: (i) the composition number is 356, not 364, and (ii) the place of the concert is Spazio Officina, Chiasso, not Stati Uniti (!). Mi dispiace.

15 May 2008

Cecil Taylor and Tony Oxley Teatro Comunale, Modena 11th October 2007

Cecil Taylor and Tony Oxley

Teatro Comunale, Modena 11th October 2007

Cecil Taylor Piano and Tony Oxley Drums and Percussion

Part one 40:19
Part two 20:26
Part three 15:04
Part four 8:36

This is another post I'm making from music passed on to me by Dale (there's more to come!). For this reason I'm not sure about the origin. It's a very good recording quality, but there's noise on the track and drop out from time to time, which suggests a radio broadcast re-recording. The music is marvelous through out. I have mixed feelings about Taylor, but I loved this, and I find Oxley consistently interesting. Here they really spark each other. Taylor's such a percussive player that one could speculate that he wouldn't go too well in a duo with a drummer, but I wonder if the extra crash and clatter pushes Taylor into a range of other explorations. There's even vocal on part three. Not quite poetry; not quite Ra-ian metaphysical lecture; not quite singing. It certainly worked for me!

The art work was supplied with the disks, and as this isn't a commercial release, I think this is Dale's. Although he's a regular contributer to the comments section, I know he's had some computer problem, but some additional information would be very welcome when time and technology permit.

Lester Bowie New York Organ Ensemble - Live Germany 1995

Another one for you Hammond B3 fans. This has a real New Orleans feel about it - the first track almost starts off like a church service. Bowie is in excellent form, and is superbly supported by Lacy and Carter. I've never heard of the lady on the organ, but I see that she started out playing with and conducting church choirs, before graduating to the likes of AEOC and Archie Shepp. She plays with great sensitivity without being to intrusive which is all too easy with such a powerful instrument.
Lester Bowie's New York Organ Ensemble
Grillo Theater
Essen, Germany
3. April 1995

Lester Bowie tp, flh
Amina Claudine Myers Hammond B3-org, voc
James Carter ts
Frank Lacy tb
Kelvyn Bell g
Don Moye dr, perc

1. 23:42
2. 9:26
3. 6:16
4. 20:07
5. 14:48
6. 8:00
7. 12:13
8. 4:28
total time 1:39:00 - complete
This is an audience recording, sound is OK, but a little echoey. Probably not much enhanced by flac, so MP3 link only. Thanks to seeder and taper.

11 May 2008

Sam Rivers & Mario Schiano "Rendez-vous" (1977, Red/Vedette VPA8375)

Italian saxophonist Mario Schiano passed away on the 10th after a long illness. He was one the key figures of the development of free jazz and improvisation in his country.

A great article by Francesco Martinelli containing the most precise historical info available to my knowledge can be found at Point of Departure. Discographical info can be found here, and CDs can be purchased from Italian label Splasc(h) (including a reissue of the early "If Not Ecstatic We Refund") as well as from Atavistic.

Link in the comment for MP3 version of the Rivers/Schiano/Holland/Altschul record "Rendez-vous" on Red/Vedette from 1977, as posted on Church Number 9.

Rest in peace Mr. Schiano.


Johnny Mbizo Dyani - Grandmother's Teaching

Here is a rare item which has been confounding me for a while. A Johnny Dyani discography on the net lists this as being released on the ITM label in Germany. Having got the item, I found that it was actually a tribute record to Dyani from a group led to Marilyn Mazur, but with Chris McGregor and Harry Beckett guesting on a couple of tracks.

So, further research led me to this record which is another "Grandmother's Teaching" on the JAM Disques 0582/JD030 (France) label. And this is the real deal.

This album has six tracks:

1. Blues For Bra Dick
2. I Will Let The Spring To Explain
3. Open Ballad To Mandela
4. Grandmother's Teaching
5. Zalis Idinga
6. Majikas Bhekane

Composition credits are not provided on the record; most likely all are by Dyani. Recording details not provided either; most likely 1982 or at any rate, the early 80s.


Butch Morris, cornet;
Doudou Gouirand, alto saxophone;
Pierre Dørge, guitar;
Johnny Dyani, bass, voice;
Makaya Ntshoko, drums

Gouirand is French presumably and has done a few more records on the same label; Dørge is Danish and has recorded other albums with Dyani, mostly on Steeplechase; Morris is well-known having played with many prominent free jazzers in the 70s and beyond and Ntshoko has recorded with other members of the Blue Notes and their UK associates on the Ogun label.

"Blues for Bra Dick" kicks off the proceedings in a funky mode with a Dyani groove that drives the soloists along. "I will let the Spring" sounds like something that would not be out of place on a "Nordic" ECM album with a plaintive, evocative theme which could have been signed by Garbarek or Vesala or Stanko. "Mandela" is as the title indicates, a slow, somber and pensive ballad. "Zalis Idinga" starts off in similar somber fashion, but picks up speed after a short while and returns to the ballad theme at the end. "Majikas Bhekane" is classic kwela with the band in swinging mode and Dyani intoning over the rest. That leaves the title track which is truly something else. Dyani starts off in acapella and is slowly joined by percussion and then bass which leads into a duet and and fades out, unfortunately after about 11 minutes. This is an astounding vocal performance which I can't recall having heard on any other Dyani record. Worth the price of admission alone. Truly stunning!

10 May 2008

Joe McPhee Black Magic Man 1975

Joe McPhee Black Magic Man 1975
1. Black Magic Man 9:22 (McPhee)
2. Song For Lauren 9:25 (McPhee)
3. Hymn of the Dragon Kings 17:01 (McPhee)

This is an intriguing album for many reasons. If I understand it correctly this was the first release on Hat Hut records, and it has even been claimed that hearing this recording encouraged Werner Uehlinger to set up the Swiss label in the first place. Secondly, it was actually recorded five years earlier in 1970 at Vasser College in New York. It's hard to imagine now that something like this could remain unheard for so long. Of course given how small the original circulation of the record was, very few people have heard it at all. A real shame. Finally, it catches a group of musicians trying to consolidate the radical innovations of the previous few years into a very individual performance. McPhee seemed to keep to tenor and soprano saxophone on this recording, although he later mastered most of the instruments you can blow into, and some that need electricity.

I have to say, I absolutely loved this record, and can't quite see how I have got by without it! I'm again indebted to Dale for the privilege he bestowed on me to first hear, and then share, this quite marvelous record.

The opener, 'Black Magic Man' is intense, emotional music with forceful percussion, strident piano and some exhilarating playing from McPhee. I don't know much about pianist Mike Kull, although someone of the same name played with Roswell Rudd in the 1990s. His role is most significant on the second track, with its wider emotional range; clearly a personal tender ballad for Lauren (who I am told is McPhee's son). The two percussionists Ernest Bostic and Bruce Thomson are most apparent on the final track where Kull and bassist Tyrone Crabb come in well after five minutes. Listening to the first third it will be no surprise that McPhee was enamored of Jimmy Guiffre's work, with which he has much in common to this non-musicians ear. McPhee recorded an album of Giuffre's music, and dedicated it to him. You may well know how much I adore Guiffre's work. Later parts of this last track also feature some strange bass guitar playing (it's an acoustic bass we here most of the rest of the time, I think). I can't quite work out what Crabb is doing here, but it all seems to fit! The soprano and double percussion bring to my mind an influence from Coltrane, although this isn't apparent in McPhee's sound which is all his own.

The concert audience are enthusiastic, as they should be; but it's the musicians who seem to be having the real ball. I wish I'd been there.

4 May 2008

Braxton in Paris 1969

Continuing with the AACM and backing up some years from the previous one, this is a fairly obscure recording of the quartet of Braxton, Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins and Steve McCall from Paris 1969. It has the same line-up as on the first Braxton album for Byg Actuel which was recorded on 10 September in Studio Saravah in Paris.

This, however, is reportedly recorded on 25 October the same year, presumably from a live concert. It is an excerpt of about 20 minutes, presumably from radio as one can hear a brief snip of the French presenter right at the end of the piece.

Further discographical information here: "There are a number of additional "little instruments" including bells, chimes, bicycle horn, toy flute, possibly toy piano, whistle, and woodblock. The private recording reportedly came from a reel-to-reel tape bearing the info Paris, October 25, 1969. The sound is good enough that this could be a radio broadcast, and this may be a recording from Amougies on October 26, but there is no significant crowd noise."

See http://www.jazzdiscography.com/Artists/Braxton/brax-1969-1970.html

Not entirely consistent, in other words.

Though billed as a Braxton recording, this is very much a collective, collaborative effort with all four chipping in. Good sound, though a bit heavy on the reverb, IMHO. Quite a free-wheeling exercise, but lots of atmospherics and mood changes along the way. One to savour, I would think, considering the relative paucity of Braxton material from this period. I've got another Braxton rarity from the Paris period, but we'll get to that in due course.

I suppose the logical follow-up to this one would be the two CCC records on Muse, but I have a feeling they have been posted elsewhere already. We'll see.