Friday, August 26, 2016

VIENNA ART ORCHESTRA – Suite For The Green Eighties (2LP-1982)




Label: Hat Hut Records – Hat Art 1991/92
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Box Set / Country: Switzerland / Released: 1982
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation
Track A1 on June 15, 1981, at Thalwil Gemeindehaussaal
Track A2 on October 29, 1981, at Bern Restaurant Schweizerbund
Track B1 on October 28, 1981 at Geneve New Morning
All other on October 30, 1981 at Zürich Bazillus
Cover art by – Klaus Baumgärtner
Photos by – Heinz Heinrich Stoller
Packaging concept by Werner X. Uehlinger
Recorded by – Peter Pfister
Mixed and edited by – Peter Pfister, Mathias Rüegg and Werner X. Uehlinger
Produced by Pia and Werner X. Uehlinger

A1 - Haluk ...................................................................................... 14:05    
A2 - Plädoyer For Sir Major Moll ..................................................... 6:10    
B1 - Nanan N'z Gang ..................................................................... 11:10    
B2 - Blue For Two ............................................................................ 6:15    
C1 - Suite For The Green Eighties Part I ....................................... 11:25
C2 - Suite For The Green Eighties Part II ........................................4:05
D1 - Suite For The Green Eighties Part III ...................................... 7:50
D2 - Suite For The Green Eighties Part IV ...................................... 8:00
D3 - Suite For The Green Eighties Part V ....................................... 5:45

Orchestra:
Lauren Newton – voice
Karl Fian – trumpet
Herbert Joos – flugelhorn, baritonhorn, double trumpet, alpenhorn
Christian Radovan – trombone
Billy Fuchs – tuba
Harry Sokal – soprano sax, tenor sax, flute
Wolfgang Puschnig – alto sax, bass clarinet, piccolo flute
Ingo Morgana – tenor sax
Woody Schabata – vibes, marimba, tablas
Uli Scherer – pianos, melodica
Jürgen Wuchner – bass
Wolfgang Reisinger – percussion, drums, paiste gongs
Janusz Stefanski – drums, percussion
Mathias Rüegg – leader, composer, arranger



It might as well be said now so the hate mail can flow fast and free: I happen to agree with music critic/composer and historian Art Lange that Mathias Rüegg, leader, composer, director, etc., of the Vienna Art Orchestra is, without question, Europe's answer to Duke Ellington at the end of the 20th century, though he clearly isn't yet in Ellington's league. With Suite for the Green Eighties, a work inspired in equal parts by the gaining of popularity and power by the Green Party in Germany, Austria, and elsewhere in Europe, and also by the classic book by Charles Reich called The Greening of America, the five-part work is a crosshatch of jazz, blues, circus music, postmodern harmonic and intervallic invention, and dance music (as in ballet). The temptation to call it a pastiche is too easy to drape over this mammoth construction of color and texture in sound.





Before this suite begins -- and it is actually more like a symphony than a jazz suite -- there are three Rüegg compositions that set the audience up for the drama. There is the New Orleans jazz-flavored "Haluk," with its riveting soprano solo by Harry Sokal; the glorious Gil Evans-ish "Plädaoyer for Sir Mayor Moll," with its elegant quotation from "I Only Have Eyes for You," and microtonal flügelhorn solo by Herbert Joos, which turns the piece inside out and makes it a modal meditation on minor sevenths; and the woolly "Nanan N'Z Gang," which sounds -- in its opening measures -- like it was written in the medina in Morocco or Algeria. It eventually evolves into a post-bop modal stomp with a killer alto sax break from Wolfgang Puschnig. When the "Suite" finally begins, listeners are almost taken off guard since it sounds like a coda. Before the vibes and trumpets go into a dance of intricate counterpoint, the band plays "fliessend," smoothly and evenly, and the movement becomes almost contemplative, with the exception of the two contrapuntal instruments now playing in restrained tones. As the bop horn lines state the theme for the rest of the suite, short, choppy interludes of dissonance and even sets of quiet tone rows are inserted into the melody! Rüegg's harmonic sensibility is so developed that he has no difficulties in traversing isorhythms to get to his desired place. By the time the last movement is reached, one would swear that all elegiac notions have been left behind in order to join Buddy Rich and Count Basie in a Kansas City block party. Swinging brass, jump-start rhythms, and angular solos carry the joyous suite to its impossible ending -- in the quiet of the evening with only the feeling that something new is possible for the first time in a long, long while.   (_Review by Thom Jurek)



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

YOSUKE YAMASHITA TRIO – Sunayama (LP-1978-Frasco – FS-7025)




Label: Frasco – FS-7025
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Victor Studio, Tokyo, Japan on June 21 and 22, 1978.
Producer – Roppei Iwagami
Director – Hiroshi Mitsuoka
Engineer – David Baker, Yoshikira Suzuki
Manufactured By – Nippon Phonogram Co., Ltd.
Original Japanese press from 1978 on the Frasco label with obi and insert.

A  -  Sunayama ........................................................................ 18:58
B1 - Usagi No Dance - Dedicated To Pepi .............................. 15:06
B2 - Anomachi Konomachi ........................................................ 5:01

Yosuke Yamashita – piano
Akira Sakata – alto saxophone
Shohta Koyama – druma, percussion
with
Yasuaki Shimizu – tenor saxophone
Hitoshi Okano – trumpet
Kenji Nakazawa – trumpet
Shigeharu Mukai – trombone
Kiyoshi Sugimoto – guitar (track B1)






Sunayama, recorded at Victor Studio, Tokyo (june 1978) featured standard Yamashita trio: piano – Yosuke Yamashita, alto saxophone – Akira Sakata and drums – Shohta Koyama with: tenor saxophone – Yasuaki Shimizu, two trumpets – Hitoshi Okano and Kenji Nakazawa, trombone – Shigeharu Mukai and guitar – Kiyoshi Sugimoto on track B1.

Topnotch album !!!



If you find it, buy this album!

YOSUKE YAMASHITA TRIO – Hot Menu - Live At The Newport Jazz Festival (LP-1979-Frasco – FS-7028)




Label: Frasco – FS-7028
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live on June 29, 1979 at "Jazz at the Symphony", as part of Newport Jazz Festival
Design – Koga Hirano
Photography By – Yukio Ichikawa
Management – Jam Rice
Music Director – Hiroshi Mitsuka
Engineer [Recording & Mixing Engineer] – David Baker
Producer [For Frasco] – Yosuke Yamashita
Producer [For Jamrice] – Roppei Iwagami

A1 - Introduction - Rabbit Dance (Usagi No Dance) ................... 14:50
A2 - Mina's Second Theme ......................................................... 10:03
B  -  Sunayama ........................................................................... 14:20

Yosuke Yamashita – piano
Akira Sakata – alto saxophone, alto clarinet
Shohta Koyama – drums, percussion





Beginning in the '70s, his trio toured widely and played many major European events, including the Berlin and Montreux jazz festivals. Yamashita's U.S. debut was at the 1979 Newport Jazz Festival; he also recorded with members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago around that time.
June 29, 1979 in the "Jazz at the Symphony", as part of the Newport Jazz Festival, New York, Yosuke Yamashita Trio presented in the best way, material from their latest studio album „Sunayama“.

Enjoy!



If you find it, buy this album!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

TOSHIYUKI MIYAMA and THE NEW HERD – Live! New Herd (LP-1977)




Label: DAM – DOR-0030
Format: Vinyl, LP, 45 RPM / Country: Japan / Released: 1977
Style: Bop, Jazz-Funk, Big Band
Live recording, April 30, 1976, Mitaka City Auditorium Hall.
Leader, Conductor – Toshiyuki Miyama
Arranged By – 前田憲男 (Norio Maeda) ?
Recorded By [Recording Engineer] – Yoshihiko Kannari
Manufactured By – Toshiba EMI Ltd
Rare Japan jazz LP
DAM original live recording 45 RPM!

A1 - Theme From Ironside .................................................................... 4:00
        (Written-By – Quincy Jones)
A2 - Love Supreme Part 1 ..................................................................... 9:05
B  -  Love Supreme Part 2 ................................................................... 12:25
        (Written-By – John Coltrane)

conductor  – Toshiyuki Miyama
alto saxophone  – Kazuo Oguro, Shinji Nakayama
baritone saxophone  – Miki Matsui
tenor saxophone  – Kiyoshi Saito, Shoji Maeda
piano  – Yoshinobu Imashiro
guitar  – Kozaburo Yamaki
trombone  – Masamichi Uetaka, Seiichi Tokura, Takeshi Aoki, Teruhiko Kataoka
trumpet  – Bunji Murata, Kenichi Sano, Koji Hatori, Kunio Fujisaki
bass – Masao Kunisada
drums, percussion  – Nakamura Yoshio





DAM recording, meeting at Mitaka City Auditorium Hall, original live recording, April 30, 1976. Prestigious Japanese jazz Big Band, NEW HERD led by Toshiyuki Miyama, left behind him many of the  masterpieces.
On this album were recorded two unforgettable performances, "Theme From Ironside" and "A Love Supreme" part I and II.

Note:
Well, Quincy Jones was in charge of the music in the classic detective TV drama "Ironside", Raymond Burr is a starring, aired in the United States until 75 years. Here we have a great performance JAZZ FUNK cover to Rare groovy "Theme From Ironside".
Recorded "A Love Supreme" modal cover of John Coltrane are arranged in two parts (the drum solo of Part 2 is a masterpiece !!!).

DAM 45 rotation indeed sound quality. Japanese pressings are renowned for their superb sound quality, as well as the bonus of inner sheets often with full lyrics.



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

SAKATA ORCHESTRA – 4 O'Clock (LP-1981-Better Days – YF-7026-N)




Label: Better Days – YF-7026-N
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1981
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Experimental, Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded At – Nippon Columbia Studio 1981
Illustration – Izumi Takao
Cover – Tztom Toda
Design – Hitoshi Nagasawa
Photography By – Sho Kikuchi
Directed By – Tomohiro Saito
Engineer, Mixed By – Kazuhiro Tokieda
Mixed By – Kazuhiro Tokieda
Producer – Pochi Kashiwabara

A1 - What Time Is It? ....................................................................... 8:21
A2 - 4 O'Clock ................................................................................ 11:12
B1 - E? E!! E? .................................................................................. 9:51
B2 - Trapper .................................................................................... 8:50

All songs composed and arranged by – Akira Sakata

Musicians:
Akira Sakata – alto saxophone, alto clarinet
Kasutoki Umezu – alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Yoriyuki Harada – bass clarinet
Tomoki Takahashi – tenor saxophone
Seiichi Nakamura – tenor saxophone, clarinet
Ichiko Hashimoto – fortepiano
Shuichi Chino – fortepiano, organ
Shinji Yasuda – trumpet
Haruki Satoh – trombone
Shigeharu Mukai – trombone, bass trombone
Hiroshi Yoshino – bass
Tamio Kawabata – electric bass
Nobuo Fujii, Tony Koba – drums, percussion
Kiyohiko Semba – percussion





Incredible work, Akira Sakata Orchestra (information on the web is very scarce) on this album is create a monstrous specimen of free-jazz, intense improvisations of saxophone and piano, incisive bass, playful rhythm section, best wild jazz with fast movements and rapid pace, ever is changing, collapse, again manic lifting, This is pure hell here.
I think that this album should be in every collection of free-jazz improvisations.

Enjoy!



If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, August 1, 2016

MASAYUKI TAKAYANAGI And NEW DIRECTIONS – Independence: Tread on Sure Ground (LP-1970 / Re:LP-1982)




Label: Union Records – JUP-3
Format: Vinyl, LP, Reissue / Country: Japan / Released: 1982
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Teichiku Kaikan Studio on September 18 1969.
First vinyl reissue / Press: Japan-1982 / Different cover
Engineer – Mac Onuki
Mixed By – 伊豫部富治 (Tomiharu...?)
Conductor [Time Conduct] – Toshio Sato
Producer – Mitsuhiko Dairoku, Masayuki Takayanagi
All music composed and arrangements by Masayuki Takayanagi

A1 - 銀河系 [The Galactic System] ......................................................................... 11:26
A2 - 病気のおばさん [Sick...Sick...Sickness...My Aunt] ............................................ 1:12
A3 - 習作第3番アップ・アンド・ダウン [Study No.3 Up And Down] .................... 5:55
B1 - スペインの牧童の笛 [Herdsman's Pipe Of Spain] ............................................ 6:46
B2 - 夜の沼 [Deepnight...Swamp] ............................................................................. 1:24
B3 - ピラニア [Piranha] .......................................................................................... 13:22

Masayuki Takayanagi and New Directions:
Masayuki Takayanagi – guitar
Motoharu Yoshizawa – bass, cello, percussion, reeds [folk pipe], voice
Yoshisaburo Toyozumi – drums, percussion

Dear fans of free jazz, today I present to you another beautiful copy from my special collection of rarities. This is a vinyl edition of the album " MASAYUKI TAKAYANAGI And NEW DIRECTIONS – Independence: Tread on Sure Ground“, first vinyl reissue / Press: Japan-1982 / Union Records – JUP-3, with different cover.
Otherwise, originally released in 1970 on Teichiku / Union Records – UPS-2010-J.


This is a quintessential album by Takayanagi Masayuki and it was his debut recording as a leader with his newly erected unit The New Directions, a trio consisting out of bassist (and other instruments) Motoharu Yoshizawa and drummer Yoshizaburo Toyozumi. Recorded at the Teichiku Kaikan studios on 18 September 1969 (released in 1970), Independence – Tread on Sure Ground, is largely regarded as the first true classic of Japanese free jazz. The group thrashes out an entirely new Japanese methodology for improvisation based on Takayanagi's theories about progressive art. As Alan Cummings explains in his texts to review issues, the group's sonic outburst is pregnant with an urgent intensity similar to a violent rotating windstorm.





.....“An electric guitar string is pinged with a sour and markedly unlovely resonance. It is left to fade away naturally, its dying whisper replaced with a wavering feedback tone that grows steadily in volume and thickness. Against the slow feedback wave, a sudden loud percussive crash, urgent staccato rolls across the toms, and the dry rasp of a rattle. A choppy, non-sequential series of chords from the guitar, still mouth-puckeringly bitter is set against the warmer resonance of an alternately bowed and plucked double bass. Each instrument sounds self-contained, like lunar bodies spinning on their own axes at different tempos, but locked together by unfathomably complex rules of motion. Additional percussive rattles and scrapes have been overdubbed to fill in the blank space. Tendrils of feedback snake in and out, like cosmic dust from some cataclysmic celestial event. The playing is exploratory and deliberate, technically adept and keenly judged, easily sustaining interest and motion across the track's eleven minutes. Its sense of focused concentration is more akin to the European free improvisation of AMM or The Spontaneous Music Ensemble than the violent ecstasies of American fire music.”....... (by Alan Cummings).......


Note:
In 1969 Takayanagi formed his New Directions trio (initially Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and cello, Yoshisaburo Toyozumi on percussion) that proceeded to record Independence (september 1969 - Union, 1970), Call in Question (march 1970 - PSF, 1970), with the addition of Motoreru Takagi on sax.
He also recorded with saxophonist Kaoru Abe (who died of a drug overdose in 1978 at the age of 29): Kaitaiteki Koukan/ Deconstructive Communication, recorded live in june 1970, Gradually Projection (july 1970) and Mass Projection (july 1970), the latter two recorded at the same live performance.
Free Form Suite (may 1972 - Three Blind Mice, 1972), with the three-movement Free Form Suite, credited to New Directions For The Arts with Kenji Mori on clarinet, flute and saxophone, Jazz Guitar Forms (november 1973) for a quartet with Kenji Yokoyama on piano (two side-long jams, Collabolation and Straight Away), April Is The Cruellest Month (may 1975), credited to New Direction Unit but still a quartet with Kenji Mori and a rhythm section, Eclipse (may 1975) and the double-LP Axis Another Revolable Thing Parts 1 & 2 (september 1975), all with the previous line-up.
Panic (august 1974) was a collaboration with pianist Mitsuaki Kanno. Grune Revolution (january 1976) was a collaboration with bassist/cellist Keiki Midorikawa....ect...



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

KAORU ABE – Mort À Crédit (2LP-1976- ALM Records-AL-8/AL-9)




Label: ALM Records – AL-8 / AL-9
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Subtitled "Saxophone Solo Improvisations" / Gatefold sleeve
A-1, B-2 recorded live at Aoyama Tower Hall, October 18, 1975.
B-1 and C-1 to D-2 recorded at Iruma Shimin Kaikan, October 16, 1975.
Design [Designed By] – Nobukage Torii
Photography By [Photo] – Masahiro Imai
Includes liner notes in Japanese by Aquirax Aida
Producer – Aquirax Aida, Hangesha, Yukio Kojima
Recorded By – Yukio Kojima

AL-8
A  -  Alto Improvisation No.1 ............................................................... 26:00
B1 - Alto Improvisation No.2 .............................................................. 11:20
B2 - Alto Improvisation No.3 .............................................................. 12:30
AL-9
A1 - Sopranino Improvisation No.1 ...................................................... 6:17
A2 - Alto Improvisation No.4 Part 1 ................................................... 20:14
B1 - Alto Improvisation No.4 Part 2 ................................................... 18:50
B2 - Sopranino Improvisation No.2 ...................................................... 7:00

KAORU ABE – alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone

After the Partitas double album (recorded 1973, released 1981), Mort À Credit was to become the last Abe album to be released in his lifetime.



Mort À Credit was the title given to Céline's novel Death On The Installment Plan, not a coincidence and an analogy that makes at least a little bit of sense - Abe was reportedly a major Céline fan, and his solo disks on PSF have Japanese translations of Céline text attached to the songtitles in the CD inserts. It consists of two alto improvs from a show on October 18, 1975, and five more (three on alto, two on sopranino) from another performance a couple of days earlier. Released by Kojima on 2LP in 1976 (the reissue does not appear to contain any unreleased material), it can be said to mark a significant change in Abe's style. Abe is here a little soften from his usual urgency - this can perhaps be in part attributed to the passage of time - and become more interested in spacing and the exact rhythms of phrasing. While never entirely ignorant of these concerns, by now they had come very much to the fore, as is illustrated by the two recordings from the earlier show here, in which roughly cut-off notes are spaced so regularly that their rhythms are like watching a slowed-down strobelight. With run after run of harsh, crude and almost bawdy staccato honking, Abe speedily races through the octaves in ascending and descending anti-order cadence. He breaks regularly into very shrill squeaks and squeals (and the occasional bold wail-melody) and references non-existent simplistic and just about jokey tunes. The eventuall effect is like having someone tapdance on stilletoes on your temple. Some passages are about 50% clearer than others, and at more than one point the fidelity swings sharply, moving from distant, muffled high-pitch screeching tones to furoious forehead-centre blowing gusts in virtual machine-gun arc.




Of the three alto tracks from the October 16 performance, the first is the most impressive. Again beginning with twisting, dancing note clusters that somersault forth from the speakers, Abe soon moves into the increasingly familiar technique of aching, wrenching bursts of heavy shrieking alto, separated by stopwatched periods of silence. Dwelling almost exclusively in the upper register, Abe sets upon the sounds lying within a limited tonal range and squeezes hard, eking an incredibly broad range of textures from an ostensibly small palette. He continues to work thus in the following two pieces, nodding throughout to the temperately expressionistic style he would employ so effectively on the Nord duo with Yoshizawa, and further impressing the change that had by now come about in his playing. Though at this point still slightly unfocused in parts, these recordings offer a significant development of his earlier playing that's simultaneously evolved and honed down/devolved, and are crucial from a historical perspective, showing Abe to be almost out on his own at this point (and also helping to contextualise the efforts of present-day practitioners like Masayoshi Urabe and Tamio Shiraishi). The two sopranino cuts hint at more history to be dug up, like Abe's pieces on bass clarinet showing him to adapt to the instrument rather than forcing the instrument to adapt to him. The first in particular (though at the time of the show possibly intended as introductory in nature) sends lovely, moving and sustained melodies flowering forth, one after another; the second ups the pace, with Abe improvising in light, feathery strokes - a painfully abbreviated look at another potential big gun in Abe's arsenal, the only other available glimpse being the Graves record, and who knows how often Abe actually employed the instrument in the live setting.





Mort À Credit shows Abe in a fascinating period of transition, moving forth to something complexly and identifiably new, yet intransigently rooted in what had come before. Alan Cummings reports that the general consensus in circles there within which Abe's work is known and appreciated is that he was at his best ca. 1970-1973/74, a view I don't think I could ever really significantly disagree with. But for me the period summarised by Mort À Credit is also highly salient. While his earlier recordings focused on energy and an almost self-conscious encompassing of the saxophone's entire range and sonic potential (like some deliberately comprehensive inventory of Sounds You Can Make With An Alto), the material here shows Abe audaciously experimenting with a smaller range of sounds - those inherent in the instrument's upper limits - and pushing them further, narrowing his scope and coming up with improvisations which, in what they attempt to achieve, are arguably even further 'out'.
(– Review by Nick)



If you find it, buy this album!