30 August 2012

Don Pullen Quartet - Live in Milan '78

Milan was the final stage of a very long European tour, where, in addition to three concerts, the Quartet recorded the album "Warriors" for the Black Saint.

Rec. live at "Capolinea", Milan, Italy, on Sunday April 9, 1978
(mics recording)

Don Pullen,piano
Chico Freeman,tenor & soprano saxes,flute
Fred Hopkins,bass
Bobby Battle,drums

Sunday afternoon set:
1. Richard's Tune [D.Pullen]/Look Up [C.Freeman] (1:03:15)

Sunday evening set:
2. Double Arc Jake [D.Pullen] (1:36:21)

Total Time 2:39:36

Double Arc Jake (excerpt)

29 August 2012

Mary Halvorson Quintet - Live in Saalfelden '12

Just a taste of the Saalfelden Festival: much more in the next future.

Rec. live at the "33rd Jazzfestival Saalfelden", Saalfelden,
Austria, on August 25, 2012 (mics recording)

Mary Halvorson,guitar
Jonathan Finlayson,trumpet
Jon Irabagon,alto sax
John Hébert,bass
Ches Smith,drums

1. Sinks When She Rounds The Bend (No. 22) [09:26]
2. Love In Eight Colors (No. 21) [13:18]
3. Hemorrhaging Smiles (No. 25) [11:38]
4. Sleep [13:40]
5. Mile High Like (No.16) [05:40]

Total Time 53:45

All compositions by M.Halvorson.

Hemorrhaging Smiles (excerpt)

28 August 2012



Byard Lancaster, flute, alto and soprano sax, octavoice, bass clarinet, piano

Keno Speller, percussion (only C2 & D1)

A1. "Sweet Evil Miss" Kisianga     10:18
A2. Virginia             08:30
B1. C. Marianne Alicia         11:57
B2. Dr. Oliver W. Lancaster     07:53
C1. Palm Sunday         10:54
C2. Prima - Mr. A. A.         08:17
D1. Keno - Exactement         08:30
D2. Providence Baptist Church    07:04

Recorded by Jef Gilson at Palm Studio, 1st February & May 18, 1974.

PALM 11/12

Thank you Nick.

27 August 2012




Byard Lancaster, alto and tenor saxophone, flute
Sylvain Marc, Fender bass
Steve McCall, drums


A1. McCall All
B1. Flore
B2. John III

A1. Us
B1. Just Test

Recorded at Palm Studio, Paris, on 24 November 1973 by Jef Gilson.

PALM 8 & 8bis

Note: The 7" (8bis) was originally released as a bonus to the LP.



24 August 2012


This is Willem Breuker's first LP under his own name and also one of the earliest recordings of European Free Jazz. Already in this early stage of the socalled "European emancipation" we have not only a small combo but already compositions for a large ensemble. The achievement is quite differrent to Alex von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity (here and here) from the same year.

My thanks goes again to N for his ongoing generosity.


On side A:

Willem Breuker, bass clarinet, baritone, alto & soprano saxophone, piano, drums
Gilius van Bergeyk, oboe
Guus Dral, bassoon
Eddie Engels, trumpet, fluegelhorn
Henk Scheffer, trombone
Carl Schulze, trombone, vibraphone
Jaap Verhaar, horn
Jan Wolff, horn
Hans Dulfer, tenor saxophone
Ab van der Molen, soprano saxphone, bass clarinet
Cornelius Hazevoet, piano
Pieter Boersma, cello
Arjen Gorter, double bass, accordion, harmonica
Dick van der Capellen, double bass
Victor Kaihatu, double bass, guitar
Pierre Courbois, drums
Rob Kattenberg, drums
Ileana Melita, voice

On side B:

Willem Breuker, bass clarinet, clarinet, baritone, tenor, alto & soprano saxophone
Misja Mengelberg, piano
Dick van der Capellen, bass (pizzicato)
Victor Kaihatu, bass (arco)
Pierre Courbois, drums

A1. Litany For The 14th Of June, 1966    (07:42)   
A2. Life Is Music Is Love Is All     (06:11)    
A3. Psalm 64                             (01:35)    
A4. Time Signals And Sound Density V     (05:59)    
B1. Implication And Piano Distance     (05:44)    
B2. Composition 19 In Silvergrey     (05:59)    
B3. Composition 30                     (05:11)    
B4. Composition 28                     (04:12)

Recorded at Musis Sacrum, Baarn, Holland.
Date: 26 and 27 October 1966 (A) and 27 October 1966 (B).

RELAX 33004
Note: A bit later re-released as WERGO Records (WER 80002), 1966.

23 August 2012

Cecil Taylor - Live in Genoa '83

Dreaming of the real Master...

Rec. live at "Villa Imperiale", Genoa, Italy, on July 27, 1983
(mix recording)

Cecil Taylor,piano

1. Improvisation (37:54)
2. Three Encores (07:53)

Total Time 45:48

2nd Encore

21 August 2012

Tim Berne Quintet - Live in Genoa '88

After a post dedicated to followers of Tim Berne, here we go back to the eighties with one of the best groups put together by Tim in that period.

Rec. live at "Villa Imperiale", Genoa, Italy, on July 4, 1988 (mix recording)

Tim Berne,alto sax
Herb Robertson,trumpet,cornet,laryngeal crowbar
Hank Roberts,cello,electric cello,vocals
Mark Dresser,bass,giffus,bungy
Joey Baron,drums,CX-101,shacktronics

1. The Telex Blues (12:26)
2. Lightnin' Bug Boute (18:30)
3. Evolution Of A Pearl (19:24)
4. Hong Kong Sad Song/More Coffee (12:42)
5. SEP (12:58)

Total Time 1:16:01

All compositions by Tim Berne.

SEP (excerpt)

19 August 2012

Endangered Blood - Live in Venice '11

One of the most interesting band among those born in recent years.

Rec. live at "Teatro Fondamenta Nuove", Venice, Italy, on November
24, 2011 (radio broadcast)

Chris Speed,tenor sax & clarinet
Oscar Noriega,alto sax & bass clarinet
Trevor Dunn,bass
Jim Black,drums

1. Plunge (10:02)
2. Rare (09:37)
3. Uri Bird (07:30)
4. Valya/Tacos At Oscars (17:53)
5. Nice Stray Bash (06:57)
6. Elvin Lisbon (07:05)

Total Time 59:06

All compositions by Chris Speed except (5) by Oscar Noriega

Rare (excerpt)

17 August 2012

United Front - Live in Moers '79

As promised, here is my recording of the United Front in Moers '79.
Note that in the Festival program, this group was listed as "Lewis Jordan Quartet".

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

Lewis Jordan,alto sax
George Sams,trumpet & flugelhorn
Mark Izu,bass
Carl Hoffman,percussion

1. Intro by Burkhard Hennen (0:37)
2. Nothing Is More Precious Than Independence And Freedom (09:54)
3. Nomadic Winds (12:43)
4. Unknown (08:12)
5. Unknown (13:21)
6. Unknown (09:57)
7. Unknown (06:41)
8. Unknown [encore] (04:03)

Total Time 1:05:32

Nomadic Winds (excerpt)

Trio Music - Live in Genoa '83

This is the whole concert from which it was taken the song of the
blindfold test.

Rec. live at "Villa Imperiale", Genoa, Italy, on July 25, 1983
(mix recording)

Armando "Chick" Corea,piano
Miroslav Vitous,bass
Roy Haynes,drums

01. Eiderdown (12:40)
02. Someday My Prince Will Come (07:58)
03. Chick talks #1 (0:47)
04. Mirovisions (16:36)
05. Autumn Leaves (09:05)
06. Chick talks #2/'Round Midnight (10:38)
07. Hackensack (05:50)
08. Prelude No.2 [A.Skrjabin] (06:15)
09. Duet Improvisation [C.Corea/M.Vitous] (03:40)
10. Solo [M.Vitous] (04:48)
11. Solo [R.Haynes] (07:28)
12. Slippery When Wet/Matrix (08:33)

Total Time 1:34:25

United Front - Ohm: Unit of Resistance

United Front - Ohm: Unit of Resistance
RPM Records RPM 2 (1981)

Here is the second album from United Front, following up the posting of their first below. One notable change in the meantime; Anthony Brown has replaced Carl Hoffmann on drums/percussion and Jason Michaels has been added on piano on a couple of tracks. Otherwise, I don't hear any major changes from their first. One difference is that this album appears more coherent and consolidated. It's very well composed and arranged. The Art Ensemble of Chicago touch is still there, I feel; witness the poetry and musical theatre on "Nothing is More Precious than Independence and Freedom", the serenity of "Ichi Ni San" (meaning one two three in Japanese) and the confident swagger of "What I Heard Once".

I was gratified to learn in a comment to the earlier post that several members are active in the San Francisco area. Shall we hope for a united front again? In any case, these early records have made me curious to explore what these fellows have done later on.

Side 1

1. Nomadic Winds (G. Sams)
2. Nothing is More Precious than Independence and Freedom (L. Jordan)
Words by Frederick Douglas

Side 2

1. I Will Be Free (M. Izu)
2. Ichi Ni San (L. Jordan)
3. What I Heard Once (G. Sams)

Produced by United Front

Anthony Brown - multiple percussion
Mark Izu - bass
Lewis Jordan - alto, voice
Jason Michaels - piano on a1 and b1.

Recorded May 5 and 7, 1981 at John Altmann's Studio, San Francisco
Recording and mixing engineer - John Altmann

16 August 2012

Jan Garbarek - Til Vigdis

Jan Garbarek trio & quartet - Til Vigdis
Norsk Jazzforbund NJFLP-1 1967

This is a key record in what were the formative years of Norwegian free jazz. We have documented in the past similar key records and events in German, Dutch and French jazz and in British jazz as well, in particular the innovations of Joe Harriott and the scene around the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and the South African expats in London centred on the Blue Notes. And a bit of Scandinavian jazz, too, both in Denmark and Sweden. Not so much in Norway, though, so about time, then.

Garbarek was twenty when he made this and at the time very much inspired by the new thing over in the US; Coltrane, Shepp, Ayler and Sanders are all strong sources of inspiration, even naming the opening track after Mr. J.C. himself, an adaptation of Coltrane's "Mr. P.C" for Paul Chambers. This piece exists in several versions, usually from recorded live dates in Europe or at Birdland in NYC. "Freedom jazz dance" also exists in many versions, one of which can be found on the "Miles Smiles" album with the classic quartet and of course on Eddie Harris' "The In Sound" from 1965. It shows that Garbarek was quite au courant with what was going on the wider jazz world at the time. This album is quite different from what Garbarek does these days; here he is much more intense, less preoccupied with silence and space in the music (what was to be known as the Nordic Sound on ECM releases), instead cramming in as much as can be played within the time given. Not so all the way through, the title track is a more languid piece, possibly inspired by jazz excursions into eastern sounds and vibes. Jon Christensen is on fire, particularly on the swinging "Freedom Jazz Dance".

I don't know anything about Frank Phipps, briefly described as a Californian, who is on the second side and in the picture below. Personal and kind liner notes by Karin Krog, the grand lady of Norwegian jazz, not averse to experimenting and innovating herself, as we have documented in the past (and will do in the future).

I realise that this is a record that many have heard of, but few  have actually seen or heard, including myself until very recently. So what else to say but dig in and enjoy!

The quartet in full flight at Sogn Jazz Club in 1967
Note the original Edvard Munch painting on the wall!

Side 1

Mr. J.C. (J. Coltrane)

Jan Garbarek - tenor sax
Per Løberg - bass
Jon Christensen - drums

Recorded live at "Abeidsbrakka" Asker, 1. April 1967

Side 2

Freedom Jazz Dance (Eddie Harris)
Til Vigdis (Jan Garbarek)

Jan Garbarek - tenor sax
Frank Phipps _ valve trombone
Arild Andersen - bass
Jon Christensen - drums

Recorded live at Studentbyens Jazz Klubb, Oslo, 24. September 1967
Pic courtesy of Arthur Sand/Norwegian Jazz Archive.

15 August 2012

A Midsummer Blindfold Test (3rd Edition)

An easy test for this year: who plays this fine version of "Someday My Prince Will Come"?

Someday My Prince Will Come

14 August 2012


I got to know Kenji Mori through his collaboration with Masayuki Takayanagi. I'm longing for some profound informations about the japanese Free Jazz scene from the sixties onward. The book from Teruto Soejima "Nihon furī jazu-shi : The history of Japanese free jazz" is not yet translated into english......

My appreciation goes to Nick!

-Live in "5 Days In Jazz 1974"-

Kenji Mori, alto saxophone

A1. Alto Form I        (16:45)

Hideo Ichikawa, piano
Tamio Kawabata, bass
Arihide Kurata, drums

B1. Early Summer       (08:12)
B2. Dance Of Caravan   (15:18)

Recorded: March 26 (side A) & March 22 (side B), 1974, at Toshi Center Hall, Tokyo.


12 August 2012

United Front - Path with a heart

West Coast jazz has not been getting the attention it deserves and has by and large been overshadowed by the latest on the East Coast. So to rectify that unfortunate situation, we'll be posting a few left coast records largely centered on this quartet. This was the first record out on RPM, a San Francisco-based label which remained active up to the end of the 80s, succeeded by Asian Improv records.

Not easy to find much info on this disc, also noted in a Downbeat review by resident vinyl freak John Corbett which can be found here:


In the review, he drew an interesting parallel with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and with the Black Artists Group in the use of little instruments, notably at the beginning of the A-side, and also with Anthony Braxtion in the odd march tune starting up the B-side. There is something of the genre-breaking habitus of the AACM crowd here, also heard on Izu's "Forgotten Spirits", calling forth the link between the US west coast and the East Asian continent which was eventually to be known as Asian Improv.

As Corbett concudes: "This release remains incredibly rare, so much so that a Google search barely yields anything. If that is the measure of things that are truly obscure nowadays, this album does not deserve to be hidden from view". Sound like the right thing to post, then.

Thanks to "Arcturus" for making me aware of this very fine band. More to come!

Basic info:

United Front - Path with a heart
RPM Rpm-1 (1980)


a1_Feel free (C. Hoffman)
a2_Don't lose your soul (M. Izu)
a3_And so it goes (L. Jordan)

b1_march in ostinato (G. Sams - dedicated to Lawrence Carroll and Norman Saunders)
b2_Forgotten spirits (M. Izu)
b3_Jazz piece
a. Now and then (L. Jordan)
b. Here and there (L. Jordan)
c. In an hour or two days (R. Wood, L. Jordan)

Carl Hoffman - percussion
Mark Izu - bass, sheng
Lewis Jordan - alto saxophone
George Sams - trumpet, miscellaneous instruments

Recorded July 28 and August 1 at John Altmann's stdio, San Francisco
Recording and mixing engineer - John Altmann

Produced by United Front

Trombone Workshop - Live in Moers '77

A Dream Team.

Rec. live at the 6th Moers Jazz Festival, Moers, Germany,
on Friday, May 27, 1977 (mics recording)

Albert Mangelsdorff,trombone
Günter Christmann,trombone
George Lewis,trombone
Paul Rutherford,trombone

1. Track #1 (18:50)
2. Track #2 (14:19)
3. Track #3 (16:35)
4. Track #4 (11:11)

Total Time 1:00:56

Track #1 (excerpt)

8 August 2012


As promised in the last point, here is a very Norwegian record and a continuation of the interface between folk music and jazz that I've been exploring for a while. Followers may recall the six records posted by Francois Tusques and the Intercommunal Free Dance Music Orchestra and the two records by Ken Hyder's Talisker. There were also clear folkish strands in the Welfare State/Lol Coxhill record posted below. 

Østerdalen is in the Eastern interior of Norway, close to the border with Sweden, and this record draws upon dance and song traditions of that eastern valley (which is what the name means). This was made in the mid-70s and released on a record label which was very much a front for the Maoist party of Norway, not dissimilar to Tusques' sympathies with les Gauchistes and the Chinese Cultural Revolution at the time. As such, it reflects the cultural politics of that party and movement, consciously drawing on national folk traditions and adapting it to the modern idiom of jazz. This record assembles a top crew of jazzers in the mid-70s, not the least Jan Garbarek, who had acquired an international reputation through many releases on ECM.

These pieces are played fairly straight, but leaving some room for jazz improvisation and the final track actually sees the crew in a collective blow out. The online magazine Ballade asked critcs and musicians to nominate their all-time fave Norwegian jazz records and this made it to no. 20, not too bad considering that this is a very untypical jazz record as far as jazz goes. The magazine also noted that this was the only one among the top 20 which had not made to cd. In other words, perfect for this blog! For those who want to explore further, one cannot fail by getting the magnificent "Musik genom fyra sekler" by Jan Johansson that came out in 1968, shortly before his death. And there was Merit Hemmingson as well, updating Swedish folk on the Hammond B3 in the early 70s. Sign of the times!

As Torgrim Sollid says on the back sleeve: "We have recorded this record because we think it is right to cultivate our musical roots. We think it is a pity that no one has heard all this fine music for so very long". Posting it here may carry it even further, I hope.


a01_Bruremarsj (etter Martinius Helgesen)
a02_Pols (etter Martinius Helgesen)
a03_Halling (etter Martinius Helgesen)
a04_Bånsull (etter Gudlaug Bjøraanesset)
a05_Pols (etter Martinius Helgesen)
a06_Gukko (etter Martinius Helgesen)
a07_Bukkehornlåt (etter Ole Eggen)
a08_Kulokk (etter Ole Haugen)
a09_Bånsull (etter Peder Gjermundsen Lien)
a10_Salmetone (etter Marit Holmen)
b01_Bruremarsj (etter Martinius Helgesen)
b02_Halling (etter Martinius Helgesen)
b03_Bånsull (etter Martinius Amundsen)
b04_Kulokk (etter Hanna Moren)
b05_Halling (etter Martinius Amundsen)
b06_Kulokk fra Tolga (etter Petronille Hulbækdal)
b07_Halling (etter Johan Elgsbøen)
b08_Pols (etter Martinius Helgesen)
b09_Vår Gukko
b10_Gukko fra Åsbygda


Lars Martin Thommesen: trumpet, fluegelhorn
Torgrim Sollid: trumpet, fluegelhorn
Jan Garbarek: soprano sax, tenorsax, bass sax
Knut Riisnæs: Flute, tenor sax
Alf Erling Kjellmann: tenor sax
Erling Aksdal jr.: piano
Bjørn Alterhaug: bass and vocals
Ole Jacob Hanssen: drums of various kinds

 "Etter" means "after" - the original composer.

John Surman - Live in Genoa '96

A solo concert by Surman is a rare and unique event, highly suggestive and magic, a bit like the solo concerts by Lacy.
(great dat recording)

Rec. live at "Teatro ai Parchi di Nervi", Genoa, Italy,
on August 1, 1996 (mix recording)

John Surman,soprano & baritone saxes,bass clarinet,electronics

1. Mevagissey/Sweet Georgia Brown (21:01)
2. Improvisation (05:29)
3. Unknown (04:51)
4. The Potato Song (09:49)
5. Unknown (06:07)
6. A Blues (05:36)
7. Piperspool (24:23)

Total Time 1:17:19

The Potato Song (excerpt)

6 August 2012

Steve Lacy - Live in Florence '78

I'm very happy to have recovered, thanks to my old friend Lino, this recording for years disappeared from my archive.
And along with this, the whole collection of Lino's recordings, that i'll have to digitalize. Stay tuned!

Rec. live at "Teatro Tenda", Florence, Italy, on July 9, 1978
(mix recording)

Steve Lacy,soprano sax

1. The Crust (08:37)
2. Follies (08:13)
3. Unknown (06:35)
4. Italian Duck (07:47)
5. Coastline (07:31)
6. Deadline/The Dumps/Deadline (reprise) (11:07)
7. Bone (06:42)

Total Time 56:35

Deadline (excerpt)

Welfare State/Lol Coxhill

This is something of an oddity in the Lol Coxhill discography, but a delightful record all the same. Coxhill was the musical director for this travelling troupe from 1973 to 1975. This is functional music, adapted to the multi-dimensional performances of Welfare State, Welfare State was a nomadic consortium of artists, makers, musicians and performers. As said by John Fox in the liner notes, the WS envisaged themselves as Civic Magicians and Engineers of the Imagination, devising rituals and constructing images for particular times, places and seasons. They travelled throughout Europe with a mobile village of lorries and caravans, creating and animating outdoor events with sculptures, theatre pieces, celebrations, dances and processions. Consisting of 16 adults and 7 children, WS would stop for shorter or longer residences, whenever the opportunity arose to "make poetry concrete".

The record captures the functionality and the ceremoniality of the music, though listening to it one inevitably misses the other sensory elements needed to make it a full spectacular experience, but one might conjure up suitable visual images from the sounds captured on this album, not the.least the front cover pic which reminds me of the cult film "The Wicker Man".  Obvious referneces here to medieval ceremonies and rituals and old-age mythology. It might bear some resemblances to what in the UK has become known as the Travellers movement, dating back to the festivals of the 70s and ideas of alternative life styles, ironically at a certain distance from the welfare state, one might think.

As said above, this is altogether lovely. Lots of tracks here which made track-splitting into an ordeal, but perseverance shall be rewarded, they say. Among the troupe, there is a certain vocalist extraordinaire by the name of Phil Minton. Hard to pick out favourites here, but there is a duet of blackbird (?) and soprano saxophone, a splendid piece of pastoral idyll.

The info is a mite too extensive to put here, but there is an info file attached and scans of the back cover for those who want to engage in details. I keep thinking this is a very British record (more so as the liner notes even go to the point of emphasizing that the Ayler tune "Ghosts" has a BRITISH arrangement). So after this one, there will be a very Norwegian record, also rooted in folk music traditions. We'll get to that in a little while.

2 August 2012

Louis Moholo-Moholo Unit - Live in Milan '12

Once again: if someone gives help to title the unknown tracks is welcome.

Rec. live at "Teatro Manzoni", Milan, Italy, on March 4, 2012
(mics recording)

Louis Tebugo Moholo-Moholo
Francine Luce,vocals
Henry Lowther,trumpet
Alan Tomlinson,trombone
Jason Yarde,alto & soprano saxes
Ntshuks Bonga,alto sax
Alexander Hawkins,piano
John Edwards,bass

01. Wedding Hymn [T.Matshikiza] (03:57)
02. Lost Opportunities [H.Miller] (07:00)
03. For The Blue Notes [L.Moholo] (03:40)
04. Ismite Is Might [C.McGregor] (07:18)
05. Un Ti Son Ba [F.Luce]/Dikeledi Tsa Phelo [P.Pheto] (11:44)
06. Thank U 4 2 Day [J.Yarde] (06:26)
07. Wish You Sunshine [J.Dyani] (06:21)
08. B My Dear [D.Pukwana] (08:42)
09. Sonke [P.Pheto] (08:13)
10. Zanele [P.Pheto] (09:10)
11. You Ain't Gonna Know Me [M.Feza]/Ithi Gqi [J.Dyani] (03:40)
12. The Tag [J.Yarde] (03:55)

Total Time 1:22:11

Dikeledi Tsa Phelo