31 December 2009

Chris McGregor & The Castle Lager Big Band - Jazz The African Sound

Following up Riccardo's fine series of big band recordings, here's another one, going back to 1963 and South Africa. This is from a cd re-release in 1991 of the original lp released on Teal Records back then, though listening to it, it sounds as if it was sourced from the original vinyl. This came into my hands via several intermediaries, originating with Chris McGregor's son, if I remember correctly. Thanks to all and sundry. This is one that belongs up on the blogs. It was posted in the past, but this should in any case be an audio upgrade.

The basic facts:

Chris McGregor & The Castle Lager Big Band - Jazz - The African Sound (1991 Teal TELCD 2300)

1. Switch (Kippie Moeketsi)
2. Kippie (Dollar Brand)
3. Eclipse At Dawn (Dollar Brand)
4. Early Bird (Chris McGregor)
5. I Remember Billy (Kippie Moeketsi)
6. Now (Chris McGregor)

Dudu Pukwana (Lead alto), Barney Rachabane (2nd alto), Nick Moyake (tenor), Christopher Columbus Ngcukane(baritone) and Kippie Moeketsi (alto and clarinet)

Bob Tizzard (lead), Blyth Mbityana and Willie Nettie

Dennis Mpali (lead), Ebbie Creswell, Mongesi Feza and Noel Jones

Sammy Maritz

Early Mabusa

Chris McGregor

Recorded 16th and 17th September 1963 by Alan Boyle

Remastering Richard Austen, Downtown Studios

Castle Lager is, as one can see above, a South African brewery, and the promoter of an annual jazz festival, the Cold Castle Jazz Festival, at which the band played in 1963. The brewery also agreed to sponsor a 17-piece big band with musicians of McGregor's choice. But finding concert outlets were more difficult as the brewery was only prepared to sponsor concerts in the black townships, but not in the "white" venues which would have given much better exposure for the band, nationally as well as overeseas. But with the initiative and tenacity of Maxine McGregor, two concerts was organised in the Johannesburg Playhouse and were a resounding success, according to reviews in the papers. All of this is vividly recounted in Maxine's McGregor's biography, "Chris McGregor and the Brotherhood of Breath", published by Bamberger Books in 1995. Required reading for the whole story of the Blue Notes and the Brotherhood, up to the death of McGregor in 1990.

Here's a picture from the book:

Musically, the blend of styles was apparent - southstream as derived from mainstream, but yet different. As one reviewer put it; "While admitting the obvious influence of American jazz on its South African counterpart (it is impossible to discount the tremendous impact of Ellington alone), South African jazz has a character and expression of its own - gay, warm, exceedingly good-humoured, uninhibited and vital". And, "this is a big bustling, muscular blending of the old familiar swing with a flavour which anybody who has listened to African music in recent years will recognise as springing straight from the townships. At times this flavour is most subtly imparted, but it is always there".

So, with these few words, a happy new year to all ... and cheers!

30 December 2009

Julius Hemphill Big Band - Live in New York '80

For the end of the year (and for closing this little ex-cursus about
the 70s/80s Big Bands) i want to propose one of the rare recordings
of the J.Hemphill B.B. : God Bless Julius!
And Happy New Year To You All.

Rec. live at "The Public Theatre", NYC, on November 1980
(mics recording)

Julius Hemphill,reeds,composer,conductor
Stan Strickland/John Purcell/Marty Ehrlich/Henry Threadgill,reeds
Baikida Carroll/John Clarice/Charles Stephens/Erritt McDonald,brasses
Ed Schuller,bass
Warren Smith,marimba
Pheeroan akLaff,drums

1. The Hard Blues (16:47)
2. For Billie (08:51)
3. Open Air (02:23)
4. Border Town (11:56)
5. All Harmony (15:07)
6. Unknown [inc.] (02:43)

Total Time 57:49

28 December 2009

George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band - Live in Stuttgart '78

"George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band, an orchestra that sticks to
originals by
bandmembers (both past and present) and the leader's
arrangements, has long
been one of the most stimulating of all jazz
big bands."
Scott Yanow

Rec. live in Stuttgart, Germany, on September 30, 1978
(radio broadcast)

George Gruntz,keyboards,arranger,conductor
Franco Ambrosetti/Palle Mikkelborg/Woody Shaw/Earl Gardner,trumpets
Runo Erickson/Jimmy Knepper/Eje Thelin/Michael Zwerin,trombones
Jerry Dodgion/Bennie Wallace/Alan Skidmore/Lew Tabackin,reeds
Howard Johnson,tuba
John Scofield,guitar
Mike Richmond,bass
Lois Colin,harp
Elvin Jones,drums

1. Destiny [G.Perla] (12:11)
2. Napoleon Blown Apart [F.Ambrosetti] (14:31)
3. The Age Of Prominence [F.Ambrosetti] (23:21)

Total Time 50:05

26 December 2009

Gil Evans Orchestra feat. R.R. Kirk - Live in Dortmund '76

The Big Bands probably will never return, but we can still
re-listen to those recorded in the 70s and 80s : in this case
the great Gil Evans Orchestra with a "special" guest.

Rec. Live at "Westfalenhalle", Dortmund, Germany, on
October 30, 1976 (radio broadcast)

Gil Evans,piano,conductor,arranger
George Adams,tenor saxophone
John Faddis/Lew Soloff,trumpets
Janice Robinson,trombone
John Clark,French horn
Bob Stewart,tuba
Van Manacas,guitar
Pete Levin,synth
Mike Richmond,bass
Sue Evans,drums,tympani
Rahsaan Roland Kirk,reeds,harmonica (2,3)

1. Intro/Thoroughbred [B.Harper] (14:00)
2. Intro/Rhythm-A-Ning [T.Monk] (07:10)
3. Theme For The Eulipians [R.R.Kirk] (10:02)
4. Freedom [J.Hendrix] (10:13)
5. Priestess [B.Harper] (19:08)

Total Time 1:00:36

24 December 2009

George Russell + RAI Big Band - Live in Rome '80

"how much significant music was sponsored and broadcast in Western
Europe...in the 60's and 70's ( and still)"

from the previous post by Spazz numbNuts.

In this case the Italian RAI was the co-producer of a series of 11 events
involving many great composers/arrangers and its own Orchestra
(the now defunct RAI Big Band).
See the complete program by clicking on the image above.

Re-listening to this concert, i've remembered a J.E.Berendt's article
(about the 60's Big Bands) concluding with a question :
"will ever return the Big Bands?"

Rec. live at Quercia del Tasso in Rome on June 6, 1980.
(radio broadcast)

George Russell, conductor, arranger
Alice Norbury, co-conductor (4)
Lew Soloff, trumpet, flugelhorn
Robert Moore, tenor & soprano saxophone
Bobo Stenson, piano
J.F.Jenny Clarke, bass
Keith Copeland, drums
RAI Big Band :
Nino Culasso/Doriano Beltrame/Cicci Santucci/Michele
Lacerenza,tp - Giancarlo Beccattini/Ernesto Pumpo/
Marco Pellacani/Gennaro Baldino,tb - Gianni Oddi/Baldo
Maestri/Sal Genovese/Beppe Carrieri/Carlo Metallo,reeds
- Sergio Coppetelli/Pino Rucher,gt - Maurizio Majorana,b -
Carlo Zoffoli,vib - Roberto Pregadio,p - Roberto Zappulla,dr

1. Ezz-Thetic (15:41)
2. Two Dimensions (13:23)
3. All About Rosie (11:54)
4. Living Time [Events V and VI] (22:50)
5. Time Spiral (24:10)
6. Listen To The Silence [Encore] (09:55)

Total Time 1:37:56

Happy Christmas To Everybody !


Here's a TERRIFIC show gleaned online.... one of the many great German Free Music broadcasts of the 70's that have been preserved by Tapers and Trader's over the years.
To non Europeans ,even those whose radio arts programs are Government funded, its pleasantly odd and constantly amazing , just how much significant music was sponsored and broadcast in Western Europe...in the 60's and 70's ( and still)

help spread the goodness by sharing whatever you download ... and Buying as much as possible, all involved save for Steve Lacy are still alive and making great music.... all have extensive discographies.

Ive only Just re listened to this ..... a jaw dropingly stunning gig.....amazing shit... all improvs plus a great version of Lacy's bone!
the sound quality is very good....

Thanks to the Original Dime-a-Dozen Seeder Mbutchko... and whomever had the, for sight to record it !!

Jazz ín der Kammer 1978
East Berlin, Germany

fm->cd trade->eac->tlh->flac

Peter Brotzmann-ss/ts/as
Evan Parker-ss/ts
Willem Brueker-ss/ts/bcl
John Tchicai-ss/as
Steve Lacy-ss
Klaus Koch-bass
Gunter Sommer-drums

1. Group Improv (KK/GS out) 7:48
2. Trio Improv (JT/KK/GS) 6:33 ->
3. Evan Parker solo 5:50 ->
4. Duo Improv (SL/WB) 6:45
5. Duo Improv (PB/GS) 5:35
6. Duo Improv (WB/EP) 6:47 ->
7. Bone (Lacy) (SL/KK/GS) 6:10 ->
8. Klaus Koch solo 4:41 ->
9. Duo Improv (JT/PB) 5:49
10.Willem Breuker Solo 5:47
11.Group Improv 10:57
TT 72:46

Enjoy .... share freely DO NOT SELL!!
youll find some relevant info about all of the performers (other than Lacy)... and links to labels where you can Buy their official releases....


BTW- a great disc of the same name ....'saxophone Special' under Lacy's leadership can be found here
highly recommended!

23 December 2009


Hello again, Here's a belated , rather fitting tribute to Rashied Ali who died a few Months ago....

this is a repost by request in Flac , the original mp3 links( 224 kbs) are still functional as far as i can tell.

One track ,a truncated edit of about 40 minutes duration , obviously a completely free improvisation.
blisteringly intense it is too...!!

the mp3's are (links gone! as of 2017) still here

recorded at the Knitting factory NYC on the 19th of june 1996... (to my knowledge still comercially unavailable)
i thought it fitting that this be reposted here... as opposed to 9 grey chairs .

Ivo Perelman, tenor saxophone
William Parker, bass
Rashied Ali, drums

1. Untitled 47:21

Zero In 2

those interested in this might be well advised to purchase, the amazing 'studio ' release Sad Life, on Leo Feigins Leo imprint, by this same trio ... its much better recorded than this and one of the very best discs in this vein period.


19 December 2009

String Trio Of New York - Live in Moers '79

I've taped this brief
performance during
the 8th edition of the
Moers Festival :
during those years
the German Festival
was really a "special
place" where, first or
after, all the emergent
players would be passed.

Rec. live at the 8th "Moers Festival", Moers, Germany,
on June 3, 1979 (mics recording)

Billy Bang,violin
James Emery,guitar
John Lindberg,bass

1. Bang's Bounce (20:57)
2. Abjunctinuity (07:46)
3. Subway Ride With Giuseppi Logan (06:47)
4. Encore (03:11)

Total Time 38:43

17 December 2009

Lol Coxhill - Live in Rome '09

This concert was broadcasted the last Tuesday evening (15.12),
knowing that many people follow Coxhill's work with great passion
i've thought to post it quickly. Lol Coxhill Soirèe.

Rec. live at "Sala A - Via Asiago", Rome, Italy,
on October 19, 2009 (radio broadcast)

Lol Coxhill,soprano saxophone
Roberto Bellatalla,bass (2,4)
Luca Venitucci,piano,accordion (2,4)
Luca Tilli,cello (2,4)
Mike Cooper,guitar,electronics (3,4)
Fabrizio Spera,drums (3,4)

1. Solo (08:15)
2. Quartet (12:47)
3. Trio (21:34)
4. Sextet 09:08)

Total Time 51:45

Sun Ra Archestra - Live in Rome '80

Having listened to many Sun Ra concerts during the years
(Arkestra,small combos,solo), i can say that the level/quality
was very inconstant, from very good to tedious : this one is
good (in my opinion).
Taped by "Ilario" during the March 1980 tour.

Thanks to c & nikos for having titled the tracks !

Rec. live at "Teatro Giulio Cesare", Rome, Italy,
on March 29, 1980 (mix recording)

Sun Ra,piano,organ,synth,conductor
Michael Ray,trumpet,flugelhorn
Marshall Allen,alto saxophone,oboe,flute
Noel Scott,alto & baritone saxophone,flute
John Gilmore,tenor saxophone,clarinet,percussions
Danny Ray Thompson,baritone saxophone,flute
Kenny Williams,tenor & baritone saxophone,flute
Eric "Samurai" Walker/Chris Henderson,drums,percussions
June Tyson,vocals

01. Medley : Improv > Pleiades > Improv > Tapestry From An Asteroid > Improv > Astro Black > Strange Worlds > The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise > The Living Myth > Mystery, Mr. Ra > Discipline 27 (36:03)
02. Inside The Blues (02:08)
03. Blues (03:20)
04. Big John's Special (03:00)
05. Yeah Man! (02:30)
06. Springtime Again (06:20)
07. Limehouse Blues (03:46)
08. Watusi (07:44)
09. Lights On A Satellite (05:45)
10. Enlightenment (02:15)
11. Space Is The Place (08:55)
12. They'll Come Back (04:26)
13. Medley : Calling Planet Earth > On Jupiter > Hit That Jive Jack (15:21)
14. [cuts in >] Exotic Forest [incomplete] (01:57)
15. King Porter Stomp (04:03)
16. Sun Ra and His Band From Outer Space (01:02)

Total Time 1:48:41

14 December 2009

Amalgam - Play Blackwell & Higgins

Continuing with the Amalgam/Jeff Clyne-oriented posts, this was recorded after the "Prayer for Peace" we posted here before. After this recording, Amalgam was to head off in a more explicit fusion direction with a change in personnel with John Stevens vacating the drum chair and Jeff Clyne leaving the bass to others. Interestingly, Clyne became a member of Nucleus and in the mid-70s started his own fusion project under the name of Turning Point. Stevens himself started the band Away, but we'll get to all of that in due course.

Meanwhile, here they are all in tribute mode - to the drummers of the early Ornette Coleman combos and to Coleman himself, of course. In the liner notes, Watts credits the natural melody and the pure rhythm approach of Coleman and the influence both drummers had on the evolution of Stevens. This is not tribute by way of emulation, but by feel - by playing what's right in the given context. Only two tracks here, both recorded live with Stevens down in the steam room, the bassists plying lightly in the background and Watts up front with short bursts of melodic rhythm. Perhaps that is a key characteristic of Watts - the sense of rhythm - strongly explored in later years with his various percussive combos under the moniker of Moire music. Still active, I'm happy to say and just recorded for the Berlin-based Jazz Werkstatt label. Amalgam was a vehicle for the development of the more convential side of the duo's playing; the Spontaneous Music Ensemble another vehicle for going beyond the conventions. And Stevens is a thrill here - his stamina is just amazing!

1. Blackwell (Stevens). Live at Birmingham Arts Lab 23.3.1972
Trevor Watts - alto, John Stevens - drums, Ron Herman - bass
2. Higgins (Stevens) Live at Phoenix, London 24.1.1973
Trevor Watts - alto, John Stevens - drums, Jeff Clyne - bass

This is off a 2004 cd rerelease on FMR Records, originally issued in 1973 on the A label.

Recorded by Trevor Watts, re-mix by Dave Pickett and sleeve design by Margaret Richards

13 December 2009

Rev. Frank Wright Quintet - Live in Moers '81

Just come back from Rome where i've spent some nice
days with "Ilario", drunk the bottle of "Brunello di
Montalcino" and copied some great recordings from
"Ilario"'s archive.
I want to start with Rev. Frank thinking this will make
many people happy.

Rec. live at the 10th "Moers Festival", Moers, Germany,
on June 6, 1981 (mics recording)

Frank Wright,tenor saxophone,bass clarinet,vocal
Arthur Jones,alto saxophone
Bobby Few,piano
Jean Jacques Avenel,bass
Muhammad Ali,drums

1. Burkhard Hennen Intro (0:45)
2. Track #1 (25:29)
3. Track #2 (12:10)
4. Track #3 (28:03)

Total Time 1:06:29

7 December 2009

Muhal Richard Abrams - Live in Rome '79 [2]

I've already posted here the first of two evenings with the Great Muhal
at the Roman Jazz Club "C.J. St.Louis". Here's the second with some music even more fascinating.
The photo above (January '80) was taken in Muhal's apartment at Manhattan Plaza, NYC.

Rec. live at "Centro Jazz St. Louis", Rome, Italy, on February 11th, 1979
(mix recording)

Muhal Richard Abrams,piano

1. Track #1 (44:47)
2. Track #2 (35:18)

Total Time 1:20:05

4 December 2009

Wadada Leo Smith & Steve Lacy - Live in Pisa '78

A set of music completely improvised and full of risks (no agreement was
taken among the Two before the concert) but the result was of clear beauty.

Rec. live at "Piazza dei Cavalieri", Pisa, Italy, on
July 10, 1978 (mics recording)

Wadala Leo Smith,trumpet,flugelhorn,pocket trumpet
Steve Lacy,soprano saxophone

1. Track #1 (23:57)
2. Track #2 (16:02)
3. Track #3 (11:26)

Total Time 51:26

3 December 2009

D.Gillespie/J.Moody/M.Roach feat. WDR Big Band - live in Moers '81 "Charlie Parker Memorial Concert"

This comes from a request the taper of the concert ("Ilario") made me,
having i
a copy of the recording while he has lost the original. I was in
doubt about the request : this could be considered a privatistic use of
the blog, but when "Ilario" promised me a rare bottle of "Brunello di
for the upload, i've changed my opinion...

BTW, not avant-garde, but a very good concert that opened the 10th
Moers Festival : the "glorious" WDR Big Band strengthened by three
icons of the BeBop era in a program dedicated to Bird.

The photo above (taken at the concert) is by the great photographer
dear friend of us : Luigi Zanon.

Rec. live at the 10th "Moers Festival", Moers, Germany,
on June 5, 1981 (mics recording)

Dizzy Gillespie,trumpet
James Moody,alto saxophone
Max Roach,drums

WDR Big Band : Werner Müller,conductor — Bob Coassin/Rick Kiefer/
Heinz Schachtner/Jupp Keuser,tp — Jiggs Wigham/Dave Horler/Heinz
Zimmermann/Hugo Dörfler,tb — R.Warleigh/Eddi Reisner,as — Harald
Rosenstein/Heiner Wiberny, ts — Paul Peucker,bs — Bora Rokovic,p —
Jean Warland,b — Milan Lulic,gt — Spiro Karras,dr

01. Now's The Time (03:50)
02. Barbados (06:25)
03. Lover Man (04:20)
04. Cool Blues (06:38)
05. 'Round Midnight (08:36)
06. J.C.Moses (04:52)
07. Ornithology (07:17)
08. Moose The Mooche (05:37)
09. Out Of Nowhere (04:20)
10. A Night In Tunisia (10:03)
11. Parker's Mood (05:12)
12. Drums Solo (04:25)
13. Now's The Time (11:31)
14. Bird Of Paradise (09:21)
15. Scrapple From The Apple (05:09)
16. Dexterity (04:18)

Total Time 1:43:49