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!
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)
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