22 November 2008
19 November 2008
Serviceton..a friend in Melbourne ,sends his regards AND another wonderful contribution.
thank you ServicetonThe following are servicetons thoughts on this great record.
" I meant to write a little bit along with the last Carter / Bradford post (Secrets) back in July.
I’ll add a couple of comments here..
I love this record.
For me, it’s an absolute knockout. As with Secrets previously, it’s the 2nd side that rises to the heights of greatness, but the whole album is really good.
It’s the first tune, the most “Ornette-ish” piece, that for my money is the weakest thing on the record. But make no mistake, even this is a good performance! Although there are other things going on as the piece builds, at least thematically, it’s *really close* to a Coleman / Cherry harmonised line. Thus, maybe the most ‘derivative’ thing on the album.
Those listening will immediately notice the sound of 2 bass players, combining and complementing beautifully
Eye of the Storm is the sole Bradford composition, and shows this group doing something original, involving and absorbing.
After the quiet intro by the 2 bassists, the whole band kicks in with a wonderful sense of drive and energy. The theme is inventive and individual - far fewer *echoes of Ornette* on this. Bradford solos first, and at length, with control and invention, as the band build the intensity. Freeman is fantastic in being “loosely tight” and driving at the same time.
Loneliness, which begins Side 2, for me, is the highpoint of the album. Just a beautiful, haunting piece of music, with an inspired level of musicianship from all.
Both leaders double - Carter plays flute for two sections, Bradford, glockenspiel near the beginning. The 2 bass players, as before, weave around each other magically. Those missing the sound of Carter’s clarinet, just listen to his opening notes on alto saxophone here – the strength and purity of tone enough to make you regret that he later gave up that instrument. A slow and spare mini-masterpiece..
Encounter is a driving free-form cooker of a piece. With more of a complex compositional interplay between the horns, and an odd time signature, this is slightly off-kilter and driving at the same time. Freeman is again (as throughout) fantastic in ‘making this go’. The group dynamic is wonderful, all the soloing is strong (including Carter on tenor), and the thing finishes beautifully to round out a really satisfying record.
Worth Noting: -
For a well-known clarinet player, Carter plays a lot of saxophone on this album! There’s no clarinet at all. But some flute, as per above..
The only bass player listed on the sleeve is Tom Williamson. There’s clearly a 2nd bass player throughout - who plays really well. I’ve read informally in a couple of places that the second bassist is Henry Franklin, who later appears as one of the bassists on 1972’s ‘Secrets’
There’s a reasonable possibility that the 1st track is mis-titled on the cover and *should* be called ‘The Sunday Afternoon Jazz Society Blues’. At least, it is labeled that way on my promo LP label. Sounds kind of snappier that way...
Sound of the rip from vinyl is pretty much ‘untreated’. The most egregious clicks have been manually removed, and I chopped between-the-tracks noise. Maybe chopped too savagely, I don’t know. NO musical information has been cut.
So, if you’ve got FLACs, you can treat away, equalize, and noise-reduce to your personal preference.
To my ears at least, the sound is crying out to parametrically remove that constant background vinyl’shoosh’ throughout, and maybe clean up a couple of other spots.
If you’ve got MP3s, sorry - what you got is what it is..
Having said all that, the sound is pretty good.
And the music is wonderful.
Hope you enjoy too."
BTW/ THIS CAN ALSO BE FOUND AT 192KBS AT THE FLYING DUTCHMAN BLOG.
17 November 2008
It's not appropriate to get into politics on this blog site, but for those interested, Atzmon's site has numerous links to his writings (gilad.co.uk). The band is named after the PLO headquarters in East Jerusalem.
His music contains middle-eastern influences, as in for example, The Burning Bush in this concert, though not exclusively so.
Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble
39th German Jazz Festival,
Sendesaal des HR,
1st November 2008 (MP2)
Gilad Atzmon, ss, as, cl
Frank Harrison, p, keyb
Yaron Stavi, b
Asaf Sirkis, dr
01 Autumn In Baghdad 07:40
02 comments 01:26
03 The Burning Bush 15:18
05 Spring In New York 10:50
06 band intros 02:38
07 My Refuge 07:41
08 What A Wonderful World 05:25
This post comes from a digital recording in MP2 format courtesy of joerg,my thanks to him. I have converted it to MP3 format. Obviously there is not lossless version available, but sound quality is excellent.
13 November 2008
A wonderful... concert sent by B… For those who love the “art of the duo” album on enja .
This concert features a lot of the same material.. and much more.
Highlights for me specifically are ..a stunning version of “She's As Wild As Springtime”
Dukes “Mood Indigo” … an expressive articulate conversation between old friends with a lot of shared history.
Albert Mangelsdoff & Lee Konitz -DUO-1982-03-11
NDR Jazz Workshop No. 169
Kleiner Sendesaal des Funkhauses, Hannover,
Albert Mangelsdorff, trombone
Lee Konitz, alto saxophone
01 .-A Minor Blues In F
02 .-Announcement LK
03 .-Mississippi Mud
04 .-She's As Wild As Springtime
05 .-Rootie Toot
06 .-Mood Indigo
07 .-Body And Soul
08 .-Hannover Square
10 .-Just Friends
11 .-About Time We Looked At This (cut)
12 .-Duo Love Call
Flacs only for this one ..unless someone desperately needs the low quality.
Thanks to the original tapers /seeders / traders
12 November 2008
Another, excellent out of print Frank Lowe record, this was recorded at soundscape in 1981, its similar in style to say “exotic heartbreak” Lowe like a lot of his contemporaries at this juncture seemed to be re-examining jazz tradition.
And rediscovering his roots.
On certain tracks he sounds a heck of a lot like Don Byas in the late 40’s before his (Byas’s) tone hardened and developed a brittle edge.
On side two Lowe reintroduces some of the staccato chirps and growls, which Lester Bowie credited him with being the first to introduce on the tenor sax.
The choice track for me here is the finale “close to the soul”.. Butch Morris and the rhythm section are very fine, and vibes and guitar make for an interesting at times ethereal contrast to Lowe and Morris’s funkier much more gut bucket approach.
A special album for me.. Just don’t expect the extent of non linear freedom as on “the flam” and “fresh”
It’s a dark toned recording ..not the best sound ,by todays standards ..you may want to boost the treble while listening.
Check the archives for more unpublished and out of print Lowe...
Frank Lowe-tenor sax
recorded at Soundscape N.Y.C 31st of march 1981
7 November 2008
JThe appearance of a Weather Report recording here may raise some highbrows amongst the more serious-minded of you. I also think that the later WR stuff, after they became successful, left much to be desired, but this early recording, I think, is really special because of the artists guesting on it. If you've enjoyed the recent Surman postings, you'll like this. (and Skids is not bad either !) Details: Weather Report Funkausstellung, Berlin, 3 Sep 1971 Weather Report: Joe Zawinul, piano & electric piano Wayne Shorter, tenor & soprano sax Miroslav Vitous, bass Alphonse Mouzon, drums Dom Um Romao, percussion & flute with Eje Thelin, trombone Alan Skidmore, tenor sax & flute John Surman, bass clarinet, soprano & baritone sax CD1 (65:31): 01 - I Will Tell Him On You / Early Minor / Firefish / Early Minor 24:16 02 - Sunrise 15:29 03 - Moto Grosso Feio 13:45 04 - Directions 12:00 CD2 (47:11): 05 - Morning Lake / Waterfall 9:22 06 - Umbrellas 6:48 07 - Orange Lady 10:58 08 - Dr Honoris Causa 15:39 09 - Eurydice (incomplete) 4:22 NDR Radio Broadcast I think all the tunes are WR's, I'm not familiar with all their repertoire. The distinctive WR sound is still there, but much freer than their later recordings. I would be interested to now how Surman, Thelin and Skidmore came to play this gig, and whether it was a one-off or repeated. Surman went on to play in a quartet led by Vitous some years later. I found this some time ago on a torrent (not dime). It's only ripped at a fairly modest 192kbps. Perhaps, as it comes from a radio show, it was broadcast at 192 digital and this is as good as it gets. If anyone has a genuine higher bit rate copy, please feel free to post it, but to my ears this sounds pretty good.
3 November 2008
This recording was initially attributed to Surman when it was first released, though McLaughlin was given the credit on the CD reissue.
1. Glancing Backwards (for Junior) - (8:54) (J.Surman)
2. Earth Bound Hearts - (4:15) (J.McLaughlin)
3. Where Fortune Smiles - (4:01) (J.Surman)
4. New Place, Old Place - (10:24) (J.McLaughlin)
5. Hope - (7:19) (J.McLaughlin)
John McLaughlin - guitar
John Surman - soprano & baritone saxes (all except 3.)
Karl Berger - piano (all except 2.)
Dave Holland - bass (all except 2.3.)
Stu Martin - drums (all except 2.3.)
Recorded at Apostolic Studios, New York City, late May 1970. Produced by McLaughlin, Surman, Berger, Martin and Holland.
2 November 2008
India Navigation IN 1026
Recorded live on June 26 1976 at Ladies’ Fort, NYC
David Murray (ts)
Olu Dara (tp)
Fred Hopkins (b)
Phillip Wilson (d)
1. Flowers For Albert (Murray) (14:18)
2. Santa Barbara and Crenshaw Follies (Murray) (15:53)*
3. Joanne’s Satin Green Dress (Lawrence “Butch” Morris) (12:56)
4. After All This (Murray) (13:59)*
1. Roscoe (Murray) (9:05)
2. The Hill (Murray) (17:55)*
3. Ballad For A Decomposed Beauty (Murray) (9:18)
* not on original LP.My second new contribution to the India Navigation fest taking place at http://indianavigation.blogspot.com is David Murray's debut solo release. The original record was made up of parts of a live concert by his then quartet in one of New York’s famous 70s Jazz lofts, the Ladies’ Fort.
I'd been totally immersed in Murray's 1980 work before I tracked a copy of this earlier recording down, and I can still remember being completely thrown. It is quite remarkable how mature all aspect of the record are: his compositions are some of the most notable of the 1970s; his playing is superb; and the group with then regular collaborators Dara, Hopkins and Wilson is one of the best of this period of jazz for my money. There's a small, but very enthusiastic audience, and I try to visualise while listening what it must have been like to sit in a large post-industrial New York space and hear this music for the first time. It still makes the hairs on the back of my neck bristle today; how it must have felt to be there watching as well as listening I can only imagine.
The recording is significant for its music, its place in jazz history, and the way it has been used to interpret Murray. Here's a few thoughts on all that:
There are ten versions of ‘Flowers for Albert’ to be listened to on Murray recordings. This was the first time it was recorded. Most bibliographies note that the title track is named after Albert Ayler, and then infer this as evidence that Murray is an Ayler disciple. The fact that Murray played some of his first New York gigs with his near namesake drummer Sunny Murray – who had been the powerhouse of Ayler’s 1964-5 recordings that included the mighty Spiritual Unity – must have made Murray very aware of Ayler. There are also some undoubted comparisons to be made. The obvious one, most often made, is that both men manipulate the saxophone in a manner that pushes it outside its ‘normal’ musical uses. Murray clearly shares Ayler’s early interest in pushing the mechanics of the instrument to do things few other players realised, or even imagined. Less often noted is the strong roots in, and exploration of, gospel music. Or more specifically the aspects of gospel that relate to the emotional power and ecstatic nature of gospel within African American music.
However, there are far more interesting things at play here. As the title suggests, and as Murray has confirmed in interviews, the flowers are to be left in memorial of Ayler’s death. The melody captures this perfectly. This version start with a Murray solo which tantalises us with fragments of the melody for a good minute before playing it through in its entirety. This is a simple and catchy line, and this interest in song-like melodies is probably the strongest characteristic of all Murray’s work. In interviews Murray tells us that the striking melodic line came into his head as he walked past the place on the bank of the East River where Ayler’s body was found. So, while other commentators make the link to Ayler playing in life as Murray’s major stylistic influence, we should perhaps see the sadness at his death as a catalyst for one example of Murray’s ability to articulate deep emotional responses through musical sound.
In fact the consistent use of the title to link Murray stylistically to Ayler is misguided. Listening to either recording, though, suggest far more interesting connections. For all his supposed influence Ayler only appears once as composer of a Murray recording in the nearly 800 tracks available. The point is important because although Murray tends to record mainly his own compositions and those of his closest associates, a small but significant number of his recorded performances are of pieces widely associated with players who Murray has noted as being significant in his personal development. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn are responsible for the bulk of this category, often those connected to the Ellington band’s long-time tenor player Paul Gonzalves; but compositions also associated with other tenor players like Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane feature often. The one Ayler composition played by Murray is 'Ghosts' from the mid-1960s, which features on the album Tenors: his celebration of these saxophonists. I've several posts on this issue here if you're interested.
The CD version I post here is expanded from the original vinyl release (the other Murray India Navigation CD re-releases usually cut tracks or performance lengths). This allows us to listen to previously unreleased versions of 'Santa Barbara And Crenshaw Follies' and 'The Hill' which he was to record again later in his career, and 'After All This' which doesn't seem to have been repeated. The twisted melody of 'Follies' precedes a great Murray solo set against marvelous Hopkins bass and Wilson's skipping drum work and off-kilter punctuation from Dara. It's a great example of Murray's earlier interest in hyper-emotional playing around single fragments of the lovely melodies he wrote. Dara seems to understand the process brilliantly, and they pass the solo opportunity on like the baton in a relay. Murray recorded the Hill four times, and on each occasion he produces an epic piece of over 10 minutes. Here it's longer still at over 17 minutes. The dynamic of future recordings is here from the beginning, but it doesn't yet have the majesty it would on Ming four years later.
I love 'Joanne's Green Satin Dress' which has a great two horn theme and some beautiful playing from both Dara and Murray. Dara was later to be quite disparaging about the music he played during this time, as well as critical of players in the New York loft scene. You couldn't tell that he was anything but delighted to be playing in this context on this track; and on the rest of the LP. 'Roscoe' meanders, but is sustained by a strong individual performance from Murray. It's more like a sax solo with percussion sprinkles. 'Ballad For A Decomposed Beauty' is one of the strongest titled pieces Murray recorded, and the sense of decay and melancholy is apparent in the melody and the playing, especially from Murray and Hopkins on bowed bass.
By the way, don't confuse this recording with the 1990 CD released by West Wind records of David Murray and the Low Class Conspiracy Flowers for Albert. This is actually a CD release covering the tracks from two LPs made just three days after the live recording I've been talking about here. The studio recordings were originally released on Circle Records as Live Vol 1: Penthouse Jazz and Live Vol 2: Holy Siege On Intrigue. The band on that occasion was David Murray (ts), Lawrence “Butch” Morris (c), Don Pullen (p), Fred Hopkins (b), and Stanley Crouch (d) [yes, that Mr Crouch].
I've done quite a bit of writing on Murray which (if you haven't done so already) you can explore at your leisure here.
1 November 2008
Dudu Pukwana (Alto Saxophone)
Elton Dean (Saxello track 5)
Nick Evans (Trombone track 5)
Mongezi Feza (Trumpet)
Lucky Ranku (Guitar)
Frank Roberts (Keyboards tracks 1 to 4)
Keith Tippett (Piano track 5)
Ernest Mothole (Bass tracks 1 to 4) ,
Victor Ntoni (Bass track 5)
James Meine (Drums tracks 1 to 4) ,
Louis Moholo (Drums tracks 5)
1. Diamond Express
2. Bird Lives
3. Ubagile (See Saw)
4. Madodana (The Young Ones)
5. Tete And Barbs In My Mind
If you are not familiar with Dudu Pukwana, something of his background should indicate his importance in British jazz. He was one of the musicians who came together in the early 1960s South Africa in the multi-ethnic Blue Notes. You can imagine what the official response to such a group would be under the Apartheid regime of that time. The musicians relocated to Europe, and made their base in London. The Blue Notes fused multiple South African forms with African American jazz, and in Europe they engaged with the London, and wider European free movements. Pukwana's music tended to emphasise the rhythmic patterns of both South African popular music, and African American funk with a acerbic emotionally charged alto playing style. His classic In the Townships is one of my all-time favourite records.
If you are familiar with Dudu Pukwana, but not with this recording a real treat lays in wait for you. For me, it is one of the most interesting record in the Pukwana discography. The first four tracks are by a group of Pukwana's SA collaborators. They feature great rumbling rhythm section the drives the music. 'Madodana' is my favourite, featuring a percussion bridge built around the drummer's 's standard kit [I'm not sure if it's Louis Moholo or James Meine; the CD lists both, but discographies only Meine even though there seems to be more than one percussionist], and all the band on assorted clatter and shake. Frank Roberts' Fender Rhodes gives it a funky feel, and Pukwana and Feza are great if a little in the sidelines. 'Ubagile' is typical of Pukwana's township jive, although his playing is a little more laid back, and Roberts' keyboards are mixed up higher than the alto. Sometimes Pukwana sounds like he's fighting to be heard. 'Tete and Barbs in my Mind' is completely different. This is obviously due to the addition of Elton Dean on saxello and particularly Keith Tippett on piano. Pukwana is now far more strident, and higher in the mix, and matches Tippett's discordant but very grand playing and the bands unison rich SA melodies. Mongezi died soon after this recording; a great loss to a great community of jazz players.
I'm not sure how this came to be originally issued on Arista's Freedom label, but copies of the original LP are quite hard to find. It was rereleased on by the German DA music label Jazz Colours as Ubagile. Now seemingly OOP, I thought a few more people should hear this great music.
You can find a developing discography of Pukwana's music at my blog wallofsound