Tuesday, February 21, 2017

NOAH HOWARD – Patterns (Altsax Rec. – AMC 1000 / LP-1973)




Label: Altsax – AMC 1000
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1973
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded in Hilversum, Holland, October 1971.
Design at Photography – Chas. Baum and Daphne Warburg
Mastered At – Sadler Recording Service
Lacquer Cut At – Bell Sound Studios
Matrix / Runout (Side A, hand-etched): AMC⋅1000⋅A Bre 6 - 4 - 73
Matrix / Runout (Side B, hand-etched): AMC.1000⋅B Bre 6 - 4 - 73

A - Patterns .......................................................................................... 18:41
B - Patterns (continued) ....................................................................... 18:45

Composition by Noah Howard

Noah Howard – alto saxophone, bells, tambourine, timpani
Misha Mendelberg – piano
Earl Freeman – bass
Jaap Schoonhoven – electric guitar
Steve Boston – congas
Han Bennink – percussion

A nice obscure one from Noah Howard, recorded in Holland during his time in Europe, and featuring a great lineup that includes Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. The album is one long track – "Patterns" – in which Howard solos in a fairly free, post-Coltrane kind of way, although the other players retain more of their own styles.  (Dusty Groove, Inc.)



Originally issued on his own AltSax label in 1971, the "Patterns" session is one of the great mystery spots in the Noah Howard canon... The blasted opening sequence, which we seem to enter whilst already in-process, is a space duet for conga & electric guitar unprecedented in the annals of jazz & new music. When the rest of the musicians enter there is a heavy attempt to africanize Dutch architecture, a proposition which Mr. Mengelberg seems reluctant to accept. What eventually occurs is a primitivist aerial slugfest that invokes a world of shared experience, then negates its substantiality with hammers of nihilist beauty. Emblematic of the end of Europe's open arms policy towards America's expatriate improvisers, "Patterns" remains a nobly ferocious, confounding ghost.
_Review by Byron Coley



If you find it, buy this album!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

JOSEPH JARMAN / FAMOUDOU DON MOYE – Egwu-Anwu (IN 1033/2LP-1978)




Label: India Navigation – IN 1033, India Navigation 1033
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live, concert in Woodstock, New York 1978.
Artwork [Cover] – Kenneth Hunter
Liner Notes – Thulani Nkabinde
Producer – India Navigation Company
IBO and UGEB translations – Okah Arikpo
Tehnical Advisor / Instrument setting – Clarence Williams
All Compositions by – Joseph Jarman / Famoudou Don Moye
Matrix / Runout (Side A, etched): IN-1033-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B, etched): IN-1033-B
Matrix / Runout (Side C, etched): IN-1033-C
Matrix / Runout (Side D, etched): IN-1033-D

ENU-IGWE (THE HEAVENS) ..................................................................... 23:16
      A1 - Egwu-Yesi Kipaleta
      A2 - Egwu Jilala
      A3 - Egwu Ping
NANKE ALA (AND THE EARTH) ............................................................... 19:14
      B  -  Ikpa-Azu: Ohnedaruth       
NKE ALA (THE EARTH) ............................................................................. 20:30
      C1 - Egwu-Erosora Ekou Katah
      C2 - Egwu-Tombong Goudiaby
      C3 - Egwu Ogotemmeli
NA ENU IGWE (AND THE HEAVENS) ...................................................... 20:15
      D1 - Lobo
      D2 - Ekpokpona-Ye Fai

Joseph Jarman – tenor sax, alto sax, sopranino sax, flute, bass clarinet, conch, vibraphone, 
                            cimbals, gongs and accessories, sonors drums
Famoudou Don Moye – drums, other percussion, bailophone, conch, whistle, horns, marimba,                                       cimbals, gongs and accessories, sonors drums

Egwu-Anwu (Sun Song) is an out-of-print live recording by Joseph Jarman and Famoudou Don Moye. The recording is of a live performance recorded in Woodstock, NY, on January 8, 1978, which was released by India Navigation  (catalogue # IN 1033).





Half of the Art Ensemble make a special live appearance for this wonderful late 70s set – recorded in concert in Woodstock, with a loose, open feel that's as much New York loft jazz as it is Chicago AACM. Jarman plays a variety of reeds – including tenor, alto, and sopranino sax, as well as flute and bass clarinet, and a bit of vibes – and the main percussion is handled by Moye on drums, marimba, and other instruments. The album features a long suite of tracks entitled "The Heavens / And The Earth / The Earth / And The Heavens" – building nicely throughout the extended performance!
(Dusty Groove, Inc.)


Take a look at this:
A history of Jazz Music: Chicago's creative jazz / by Piero Scaruffi
http://www.scaruffi.com/history/jazz16a.html
http://www.scaruffi.com/history/jazzp.html



If you find it, buy this album!

JOSEPH JARMAN – As If It Were The Seasons (Delmark-1968 / Re-CD-1996)



Label: Delmark Records – DD-417
Format: CD, Album, Reissue / Country: US / Released: 27 Aug 1996
Original vinyl released: Delmark Records ‎– DS-417 (1968) / A.A.C.M. Jazz Series
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Track 1 / Recorded at Ter-Mar Studios, July 17, 1968.
Track 2 / Recorded at Ter-Mar Studios, June 19, 1968.
Design [Cover] – Joseph Jarman, Zbigniew Jastrzebski
Engineer, Remix – Paul Serrano
Producer, Supervised By – Robert G. Koester
Recorded By – Malcolm Chisholm
Reissue Producer – Steve Wagner
All compositions by Joseph Jarman
Remixed and remastered from the original analog tapes.

01 - As If It Were The Seasons / Song To Make The Sun Come Up ................. 23:47
02 - Song for Christopher ................................................................................... 20:58

Personnel:
Joseph Jarman  alto sax, basoon, fife, recorder, soprano sax
Charles Clark  bass, cello, koto
Thurman Barker  drums
Sherri Scott  voice
Muhal Richard Abrams  piano, oboe (track 2)
Joel Brandon  flute (track 2)
Fred Anderson  tenor sax (track 2)
John Stubblefield  tenor sax (track 2)
John Jackson  trumpet (track 2)
Lester Lashley  trombone (track 2)

After the death of Christopher Gaddy, who played piano on his debut album, "Song For", Jarman played with the rhythm section of bassist Charles Clark and drummer Thurman Barker. For concerts he invited guests as Sherri Scott, who adds his voice to the trio for the first pieces in this record. Jarman composed "Song for Christopher", based on incomplete notations by the pianist, as a memorial to Gaddy. The piece was recorded by the group augmented by six musicians. Clark died on April 15, 1969 at twenty- four, he had taken part only in three recordings, Muhal Richard Abrams’s "Levels and Degrees of Light", Jarman’s "Song For" and this album.


As If It Were The Seasons was Joseph Jarman's second album for Delmark records, following his 1966 debut, Song For. Recorded in 1968, it is a rare document of his artistry pre-Art Ensemble of Chicago. Remastered from the original analog tapes, this reissue sheds new light on a seminal free jazz classic.
The album contained two extended compositions; each one filling a side of the original vinyl release. Side one combined the title track with "Song To Make The Sun Come Up," both exercises in restraint and dynamic variation. Accompanied by bassist Charles Clark and drummer Thurman Barker, Jarman alternates between a number of reeds for color and texture. Drifting through patches of meditative silence broken by skittering percussion and breathy supplication, the trio ascends to a cathartic release led by Jarman, who unfurls an alto sax solo bristling with tension and fury.
As the storm subsides, under-recognized vocalist Sherri Scott materializes. Free jazz vocals are generally an acquired taste, but Scott delivers lyrical phrases with pitch control and subtle dynamics worthy of Sarah Vaughan. Blending notes and tones with élan, she dovetails with Jarman's alto as he soars upward with circuitous abandon. Sharing a moment of tender vulnerability toward the end, they float in unison over a haunting landscape of sinuous arco bass and scintillating percussion.



Dedicated to the late pianist Christopher Gaddy, "Song For Christopher" occupied the second side and augmented the quartet with six additional musicians. Pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, and tenor saxophonists Fred Anderson and John Stubblefield would all go on to great acclaim. Flutist Joel Brandon is now best known for his unconventional whistling, but trumpeter John Jackson and trombonist Lester Lashley have unfortunately since faded into obscurity.
Slowly gaining steam until the entire ensemble is in full swing, the episodic composition follows a dramatically unfolding arc. Expanding from a glacially rising vortex of sound into a gorgeous ascending melody, the group harmonizes on a buoyant line full of optimistic verve before tearing into a manic screed rivaling John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse!, 1965) in density.
In the midst of the fray, Abrams' kinetic piano assault sidesteps Anderson's brawny tenor explosions as the entire group erupts in testimonial cries. The collective climax ends abruptly, yielding a nuanced coda ripe with exotic timbres; Scott's ghostly vocalese drifts through a magical soundscape of Asiatic percussion before fading into the ether.

In league with contemporaneous masterpieces like Roscoe Mitchell's "Sound" (Delmark, 1966) and Anthony Braxton's "3 Compositions of New Jazz" (Delmark, 1968), "As If It Were The Seasons" continues to challenge and reward listeners almost five decades later.

_Review by Troy Collins, AAJ



If you find it, buy this album!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO – Live In Paris 1969 (Get Back Rec. / 2LP-2002)




Label: Get Back – GET 2017
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Reissue, Gatefold Sleeve / Country: Italy / Released: 2002
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded On October 5th, 1969 in Paris, France.
Liner Notes – Brian Case
Photography By – David Redfern
Producer – Jean-Luc Young
Original BYG recordings (Japan) – Live Part 1/BYG Records ‎– YX-2040
                                                        Live Part 2/BYG Records ‎– YX-2041
The LP was issued on the Arista Freedom label in the United States in 1974.
© 2002 Get Back - Manufactured and marked by Abraxas srl - via Aretina, 25 - 50069 Sieci (Firenze) Italy. Issued under license from Charly Licensing Aps
Matrix / Runout: GET 2017 DLP 1 A 33RPM
Matrix / Runout: GET 2017 DLP 1 B 33RPM
Matrix / Runout: GET 2017 DLP 2 A 33RPM
Matrix / Runout: GET 2017 DLP 2 B 33RPM

A - Oh Strange (Part 1) ………………………………………………….....…. 23:37
B - Oh Strange (Part 2) ………………………………………………….....…. 25:38
      Written-By – Joseph Jarman, Lester Bowie
C - Bon Voyage (Part 1) …………………………………………….……....... 21:50
D - Bon Voyage (Part 2) …………………………………………….……....... 24:08
      Written-By – Lester Bowie

Personnel:
Lester Bowie – trumpet, fluegelhorn, bass drum
Roscoe Mitchell – soprano sax, alto sax, bass sax, logs, bells, siren, whistles
Joseph Jarman – soprano sax, alto sax, clarinet, oboe, flutes, marimba, vibes
Malachi Favors – bass, fender bass, banjo, logs, drums, percussion
Fontella Bass – vocals





Recorded in 1969, Live in Paris follows two studio albums that the Art Ensemble cut for BYG/Actuel during the same year -- A Jackson in Your House and Message to Our Folks. What Parisian audiences must have made of the band with its wild makeup and costumes can only be debated, but the music contained on this double-LP, original double album is stellar (the LP was issued on the Arista Freedom label in the United States in 1974). Each LP features one composition, divided into two parts. "Oh, Strange," by Joseph Jarman and Lester Bowie, begins with a very short, bluesy jazz theme that is augmented almost immediately with all manner of percussion instruments, which multiply until they literally take over, leaving Jarman and Mitchell, who knottily play a folk song variation on the opening theme that is articulated over moans, groans, and droning baritone and tenor saxophones. Dynamics and tension begin to gradually shift as notions of tempo, and even striated harmonics, are laid waste in the din. But this far from unlistenable noise; in fact, perhaps now in the 21st century more than ever before, the freewheeling improvisations of the Art Ensemble make a kind of syntagmatic sense. On the other monolithic piece here, "Bon Voyage," written by Bowie, the Art Ensemble is accompanied by the composer's then-wife, singer Fontella Bass, who recorded "Les Stances à Sophie" with them later (Famoudou Don Moye was not yet a member of the ensemble). Bass uses her rhythm and blues grit and gospel dynamics and control to improvise alongside the bandmembers, who have to make plenty of room for her contribution. There is a wondrous tension at play in the oppositional fields of male and female energies here. Bass swoops, glides, hollers, moans, and sings her way into the maelstrom of space. This is the finest live recording by the Art Ensemble, and documents the first tour of a legendary band that created new standards not only for improvisation but for performance as well. Now that Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors Maghostus have left this world, with this double LP, I want to remind listeners how enormous their accomplishments were.


Overall, this is an extremely interesting album for fans, but neophytes should check out a few other entries before coming here. If you do run into this first, moved toward it by some of its following, just remember that this is only one facet of a very talented band.

Enjoy!


If you find it, buy this album!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO – The Paris Session (2LP-1975)




Label: Arista – AL 1903, Freedom – AL 1903
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation / Country: US / Released: 1975
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Polydor Studios (Dames II), Paris, 26th June 1969.
Design [Sleeve] – Hamish Grimes
Photography By – Jan Persson
Engineer – J. P. Dupuy, P. Quef
Liner Notes – John B. Litweiler
Producer – Alan Bates, Chris Whent
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, etched): AL 1903-SA
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, etched): AL 1903-SB
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, etched): AL 1903-SC
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, etched): AL 1903-SD

At the second LP (side C) the first track misspelled: "Joro", and correctly is "Toro".

Tracklist:
A  -  Tutankhamun ....................................................................................... 18:10
B1 - The Ninth Room .................................................................................. 15:35
B2 - That The Evening The Sky Fell Through The Glass
        Wall And We Stood Alone Somewhere? .............................................. 6:00
C1 - Toro ....................................................................................................... 8:25
C2 - Lori Song ............................................................................................... 3:53
C3 - Tthinitthedalen Part One ....................................................................... 4:24
C4 - Tthinitthedalen Part Two ....................................................................... 4:54
D  -  The Spiritual ........................................................................................ 20:00

Roscoe Mitchell – alto sax / soprano sax / bass sax, clarinet, flute,
                               whistle, siren, bells,    percussion
Lester Bowie – trumpet, flugelhorn, horns, drums [bass drum]
Joseph Jarman – alto sax / soprano sax / bass sax, clarinet, oboe, flute,
                            piano, harpsichord, guitar, percussion
Malachi Favors – bass, bass [Fender], banjo, sitar, percussion

The Art Ensemble of Chicago is an avant-garde jazz group that grew out of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the late 1960s. The ensemble integrates many jazz styles and plays many instruments, including "little instruments": bells, bicycle horns, birthday party noisemakers, wind chimes, and various forms of percussion. The musicians wear costumes and face paint while performing. These characteristics combine to make the ensemble's performances both aural and visual. While playing in Europe in 1969, five hundred instruments were used.





Members of what was to become the Art Ensemble performed together under various band names in the mid-sixties, releasing their first album, Sound, as the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet in 1966. The Sextet included saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, trumpeter Lester Bowie, and bassist Malachi Favors. For the next year, they played as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble. In 1967, they were joined by fellow AACM members Joseph Jarman (saxophone) and Phillip Wilson (drums) and recorded for Nessa Records.

All of the musicians were multi-instrumentalists. Jarman and Mitchell's primary instruments were alto and tenor saxophone, respectively, but they played other saxophones (from the small sopranino to the large bass saxophone), and the flute and clarinet. In addition to trumpet, Bowie played flugelhorn, cornet, shofar, and conch shells. Favors added touches of banjo and bass guitar. Most of them dabbled in piano, synthesizer, and other keyboards.

In 1969, Wilson left the group to join Paul Butterfield's band. The remaining group travelled to Paris, where they became known as the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The impetus for the name change came from a French promoter who added "of Chicago" to their name for descriptive purposes, but the new name stuck because band members felt that it better reflected the cooperative nature of the group. In Paris, the ensemble was based at the Théâtre des Vieux Colombier and they recorded for the Freedom and BYG labels. They also recorded Comme à la radio with Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem but without a drummer until percussionist Don Moye became a member of the group in 1970.

The double album "The Paris Session" is a compilation of studio recordings from this period in Paris 1969 which were originally realized in two vinyl editions "Tutankhamun" and "The Spiritual" (both Freedom Records), plus material that was first released on this LP.



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

LESTER BOWIE'S BRASS FANTASY – I Only Have Eyes For You (LP-1985)




Label: ECM Records – ECM 1296 /  ECM Records ‎– 825 902-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Germany / Released: 1985
Style: Contemporary Jazz
Recorded February 1985 at Rawlston Recording Studios, Brooklyn, NY.
Design – Dieter Rehm
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Karl Johnson
Photography by [Insert Photo] – Helmut Frühauf
Photography By [Liner Photo] – Lynne Wilson
Photography By [Liner Photos] – Deborah Bowie
Engineer – Akili Walker
Digitally mixed at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg
Engineer [Mixing] – Martin Wieland
Producer – Lester Bowie, Manfred Eicher
Matrix / Runout (Side A): 825 902-1 S1 ECM 1296 320
Matrix / Runout (Side B): 825 902-1 S2=2 ECM 1296 320

A1 - I Only Have Eyes For You .................................................................... 10:30
         By – Al Dubin, Harry Warren
A2 - Think ....................................................................................................... 1:31
         By – Bruce Purse
A3 - Lament (Dedicated To Dr. Ray Copeland) ........................................... 13:50
         By – Malachi Thompson
         soloist, trumpet – Stanton Davis
B1 - Coming Back, Jamaica ........................................................................... 5:17
         By – Lester Bowie
B2 - Nonet .................................................................................................... 14:30
         By – Bob Stewart
B3 - When The Spirit Returns ........................................................................ 7:50
         By – Lester Bowie

Personnel:
Lester Bowie – trumpet
Malachi Thompson – trumpet
Bruce Purse – trumpet
Stanton Davis – trumpet, flugelhorn
Craig Harris – trombone
Steve Turre – trombone
Vincent Chancey – French horn
Bob Stewart – tuba
Phillip Wilson – drums, percussion

Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy’s debut album is a deliberate provocation. The band, a nonet consisting of four trumpets, two trombones, a French horn, tuba and drums, displays Bowie’s love for pop music while clearly being in the jazz tradition, the album is released on ECM Records, a label that is famous for its clean and perfect sound. The band is extremely cool and tight (especially Bob Stewart on tuba, Steve Turre on trombone and Philip Wilson on drums), the sound is full of emotional depth and the selection of the tracks – from The Flamingo’s doo wop classic “I Only Have Eyes For You” to Bob Stewart’s majestic and uplifting “Nonet” – take the concept of Ancient to the Future to the next level because in spite of the pop approach the music breathes the spirit of gospel and blues. Lester Bowie’s “Coming Back, Jamaica”, is one of the best reggae tracks ever, which is dominated by the mother of all tuba solos. One of my all-time-favorite albums!





“I Only Have Eyes For You” it was Lester’s first record with his new group, Brass Fantasy, and for my money, this lineup is my favorite. And of all the subsequent Brass Fantasy albums, this first one is my favorite. The basic (and I know it’s not cool to reduce a great concept down to something so basic) premise for the group seems to have been: take some pop tunes and make arrangements for a brass band of improvisers with the lead role going to the great singer of songs, Lester Bowie. So if that’s the schtick with this band, then maybe why I like this first album so much is the fact that this first album only features one pop tune cover; the other five tracks are originals, two of which are Lester compositions. The cover feature here is obviously the title track which dates back to the early 30’s, but the version everyone today knows is the most popular: the 1959 version of “I Only Have Eyes For You” by the Flamingos. The Flamingos were a classic doowop group and they had their share of hits, but their version of this tune is one of the classic recordings of all time. It’s just magical. Here, listen. Awesome, right? Now, check out the Brass Fantasy version. It’s longer than the Flamingos version but it stays pretty faithful to that 1959 arrangement, even down to those amazing “doo bop shoo bops.” I can hear Lester playing the words and I love how he sings that diminished feel coming out of the bridge each time the bands repeats. So many great sounds of Lester’s ridiculously huge arsenal of amazing trumpet sounds come out in this recording. He’s really a vocalist stuck with a trumpet. And dig Vincent Chancey’s French horn. Perfect.

What a great start to an amazing record. Another gem on this record is “Think” by trumpeter Bruce Purce (never heard of him before or after this record! Have you??). Malachi Thompson’s “Lament” is also pretty special. Lester’s two compositions on this record “Coming Home Jamaica” and “When the Spirit Returns” are also pretty sweet (some classic Lester on these) and indicative of the kinds of tunes he wrote and often played with later versions of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. And then there’s the great tuba monster Bob Stewart who is always the rock of Brass Fantasy albums. His tune “Nonet” is probably the most “avant” on this album. It’s amazing. Wonderful arrangement and spectacular group playing and improvisation. All in all, it’s a really special album from a performance standpoint and fro a compositional standpoint. Although some of the future Brass Fantasy records resort to kinda dialed-in, almost cheesy arrangements of pop tunes, the band never compromises here. There is some adventuresome and powerful playing and writing on this first album.

Have I sold you on this record yet? :)... If you like brass instruments, if you like trumpet, if you like Lester Bowie, if you like The Flamingos, if you like jazz, if you like good music, then you really should consider adding this album to your collection.
(_by Outside Pants)

An almost perfect album.



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CHARLES BOBO SHAW / HUMAN ARTS ENSEMBLE – Junk Trap (LP-1978)




Label: Black Saint – BSR 0021
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Italy / Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Fusion
Recorded in May 1978 at GRS Studios, Milano, Italy
Cover [Cover Art], Photography By – Giuseppe Pino
Design [Cover] – "Gigi" Barbieri
Engineer – "Michel" Carlo Assalini
Producer – Giacomo Pellicciotti
Producer [Assistant] – Walter Prati
Matrix / Runout (Side A Runout): BSR 0021-A-78 I △
Matrix / Runout (Side B Runout): BSR 0021-B-78 I △

A1 - Beyond The New Horizon .................................................................. 7:42
A2 - Night Dreamer .................................................................................. 10:57
A3 - Brown Rock City ................................................................................ 7:25
B1 - Skiwee ............................................................................................... 6:30
B2 - Junk Trap ........................................................................................... 9:15
B3 - Electric Two ....................................................................................... 6:25
B4 - Sequence ........................................................................................... 2:29

Luther Thomas – alto saxophone
Joseph Bowie – trombone
James Emery – guitar
John Lindberg – acoustic /electric bass
Charles Bobo Shaw – drums, percussion, bugle




A wonderfully focused record from drummer Charles Bobo Shaw -- a set that shows the new fire his music had gained in the latter part of the 70s! The lineup still strongly shows Shaw's roots -- a creative combo that features Joseph Bowie on trombone, Luther Thomas on alto sax, James Emery on guitar, and John Lindberg on bass -- and there's a nice sense of swing amidst the freedom, a rhythmic pulse that comes especially strongly from the bass and drums, and which reminds us of some of Thomas' best moments in this mode. The set's a great example of the way that 70s groups like this could work with a great sense of freedom, but still keep things grooving too.
(source: Dusty Groove America)

Enjoy!



If you find it, buy this album!