quinta-feira, 29 de abril de 2010

Pharoah Sanders - Karma (1969)

John Coltrane left behind a legacy of experimental and extremely spiritual work whose timeless quality still reverberates today. After his untimely death many poseurs came out to stake their claim as the next Coltrane. Many tried and many failed. Then in 1969 a former sideman of Coltrane's, Pharoah Sanders, stepped out from the shadow of his mentor and recorded Karma, which bore the soul of Coltrane's musical and spiritual passion.
Karma was released four years after his first record as a leader, Pharoah's First (1965). While working with Coltrane, Sanders began to develop an aggressive tone that ripped into an anarchaotic passion owing as much to Coltrane as Albert Ayler. His records as a leader did not always reflect the raw energy that would show up on Coltrane classics such as Ascension. His 1966 Impulse! debut, Tauhid, is a great example of this. Sanders let the work take on a generalized groove that worked with the mood created in each piece. In doing so, he created not only his best pre-Karma record, but one of his finest overall. After Coltrane's death, Pharoah worked with his widow Alice before setting to work on what would become Karma.
As with many records of the mid to late-'60s/early '70s, Karma is based primarily around the first of two album tracks, "The Creator Has a Master Plan." The track is one of the finest and best-executed and edited jams ever caught on record, though many critics would and will argue with that statement. The master plan of tracks on contemporaneous Miles Davis records like In a Silent Way or Bitches Brew was created by the editing and production efforts of Teo Maceo. Recordings like Free Jazz or Ascension, in contrast, worked by virtue of the way they tore down sonic and musical boundaries. Sanders incorporates these values into "The Creator," making it more than just a loose jam; no matter where Sanders goes, he is in total control. Even as the piece peaks into volatile eruptions roughly sixteen minutes in, he saddles the passion and works the track back into the initial groove that was comprised its first movement.
"Creator" comes in at 32:47 and wastes not a single note. Opening with a virtual rush of sound, it then quiets down and drops a brief riff from A Love Supreme. The tune then works itself into a groove that would later be known as acid jazz, working with Eastern percussion and allowing the bass to float close to the front of the mix. This first section relies on a modal two-chord structure that keeps the tone bouncy and meditative. At eight minutes Leon Thomas begins a chant-like vocal that varies lines from the mantra "The creator has a master plan, peace and love for every man." The vocals drop and the third movement becomes an unrelenting Coltranesque blitz that tears the mellow mood apart, only to combine the angst and mellowness in the next movement and settle back into a reprise of the first fourteen minutes.
"Colors," on the other hand, is a shorter and more structured piece that features some solid and well-executed chops. Again Leon Thomas sings, and Ron Carter takes over the duties of Richard Davis and Reggie Workman.
Love or hate the music of Pharoah Sanders, you cannot deny the man's vision after hearing this record. His is an absolute genius approach to arrangement and performance. Though Sanders would release many great records and even mellow his distinctive tenor sound down, Karma is a record that deserves to be heard by any serious jazz fan.
by Trevor McLaren in All About Jazz

Progressive Jazz

01 - The Creator Has a Master Plan (32:47)
02 - Colors (05:36)

Pharoah Sanders - Sax (Tenor)
Leon Thomas - Percussion / Vocals
Julius Watkins - French Horn
James Spaulding - Flute (on track 1)
Lonnie Liston Smith - Piano
Reggie Workman - Bass
Richard Davis - Bass (on track 1)
Ron Carter - Bass (on track 2)
Billy Hart - Drums (on track 1)
Freddie Waits - Drums (on track 2)
Nathaniel Bettis - Percussion (on track 1)
Leon Thomas - Vocals

quarta-feira, 28 de abril de 2010

Don Cherry - Mu (The Complete Session) (1969)

This classic pair of recordings, reissued as a single CD, captures Don Cherry near the height of his global quest to absorb as much music as possible from different cultures and funnel it back through his jazz sensibility. It's one of the earliest, and most successful, experiments in what would later come to be known as world music. He wisely chose his fellow Ornette Coleman cohort Ed Blackwell -- a drummer steeped in the traditions of New Orleans, African music, and free jazz -- for his partner. Despite his reputation as a trumpeter, Cherry spends a great deal of time here on piano, flutes, and vocals. His piano playing, while relatively simple, is fluid and melodic, owing a good deal to Abdullah Ibrahim (who is represented here with a couple of his themes). Likewise, his singing -- heavily influenced by Indian karnatic song -- is endearingly bright, heartfelt, and lovely. But, above all, his trumpet playing is stellar. When Cherry hits his ringing, clarion passages, he projects a purity of sound that few other trumpeters could match. Blackwell matches him sound for sound, with rolling West African-derived rhythms, Basin Street marches, and the most overtly musical tone of any drummer this side of Max Roach. The Mu sessions have long held legendary status and it's not difficult to hear why. Highly recommended.
by Brian Olewnick in All Music Guide

World Fusion

"Mu" First Part
01 - Brilliant Action (08:44)
02 - Amejelo (07:29)
03 - Total Vibration (09:27)
04 - Sun Of The East (07:54)
05 - Terrestrial Beings (04:34)

"Mu" Second Part
06 - The Mysticism Of My Sound (03:54)
07 - Medley/ A) Dollar Brand, B) Spontaneous Composing, C) Exert, Man On The Moon (02:42)
08 - Bamboo Night (06:59)
09 - Teo-Teo Can (06:04)
10 - Smiling Faces, Going Places (04:41)
11 - Psycho Drama (02:23)
12 - Medley/ A) Theme Albert Heath, B) Theme Dollar Brand, C) Babyrest, Time For... (04:00)

Don Cherry - pocket trumpet, piano, indian flute, bamboo flute, bells, percurssion, voices
Ed Blackwell - drums, percurssion, piano, bells

terça-feira, 27 de abril de 2010

Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch (1964)

Out to Lunch stands as Eric Dolphy's magnum opus, an absolute pinnacle of avant-garde jazz in any form or era. Its rhythmic complexity was perhaps unrivaled since Dave Brubeck's Time Out, and its five Dolphy originals -- the jarring Monk tribute "Hat and Beard," the aptly titled "Something Sweet, Something Tender," the weirdly jaunty flute showcase "Gazzelloni," the militaristic title track, the drunken lurch of "Straight Up and Down" -- were a perfect balance of structured frameworks, carefully calibrated timbres, and generous individual freedom. Much has been written about Dolphy's odd time signatures, wide-interval leaps, and flirtations with atonality. And those preoccupations reach their peak on Out to Lunch, which is less rooted in bop tradition than anything Dolphy had ever done. But that sort of analytical description simply doesn't do justice to the utterly alien effect of the album's jagged soundscapes. Dolphy uses those pet devices for their evocative power and unnerving hints of dementia, not some abstract intellectual exercise. His solos and themes aren't just angular and dissonant -- they're hugely so, with a definite playfulness that becomes more apparent with every listen. The whole ensemble -- trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, vibist Bobby Hutcherson, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Tony Williams -- takes full advantage of the freedom Dolphy offers, but special mention has to be made of Hutcherson, who has fully perfected his pianoless accompaniment technique. His creepy, floating chords and quick stabs of dissonance anchor the album's texture, and he punctuates the soloists' lines at the least expected times, suggesting completely different pulses. Meanwhile, Dolphy's stuttering vocal-like effects and oddly placed pauses often make his bass clarinet lines sound like they're tripping over themselves. Just as the title Out to Lunch suggests, this is music that sounds like nothing so much as a mad gleam in its creator's eyes.
by Steve Huey in All Music Guide


01 - Hat and Beard (8:28)
02 - Something Sweet, Something Tender (6:06)
03 - Gazzelloni (7:24)
04 - Out to Lunch (12:10)
05 - Straight Up and Down (8:21)Line-up:
Eric Dolphy - alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Freddie Hubbard - trumpet
Bobby Hutcherson - vibraphone
Richard Davis - bass
Tony Williams - drums

Miles Davis Quintet - Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (1956)

Although they had made a few slightly earlier cuts that would later be issued on Columbia, the first full-length album by the Miles Davis Quintet is quite intriguing in that it gives one a look at tenor saxophonist John Coltrane when he still had a hesitant style. This audiophile CD reissue has the same music that is currently available on an Original Jazz Classics set: five jazz standards plus "The Theme." Unlike Coltrane, who would develop rapidly within the next year, Miles was already very much in his prime, sounding quite lyrical on "Just Squeeze Me" and "There Is No Greater Love," and the classic rhythm section (pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones) was quickly starting to gel.
by Scott Yanow in All Music Guide


01 - Just Squeeze Me (7:25)
02 - There Is No Greater Love (5:16)
03 - How Am I to Know? (4:37)
04 - S'posin' (5:12)
05 - Miles' Theme (5:47)
06 - Stablemates (5:19)

Miles Davis - Trumpet
John Coltrane - Tenor saxophone
Red Garland - Piano
Paul Chambers - Bass
Philly Joe Jones - drums

domingo, 25 de abril de 2010

Terumasa Hino - Alone Together (1970)

Harmoniously noisy and musically upbuilding, this legendary session was recorded in New York at a time when jazz was travelling through new orientations, once again. It is certain that Alone Together reminds us of Miles Davis electric explorations, that had already begun in 1967 and would have reached its peak in the hermetic Bitches Brew session in 1969. However, it is incorrect to point out that influence as a creative dependency. Terumasa Hino - and his brand new quartet, which has important names such as Richard Davis, Harold Mabern and Steve Grossman (the later would replace, in the following years, Wayne Shorter in Milles Davis band) - plays so fiercly confident, yet in some ways, melancholically fiery that, at least, the first track must be acknowledged, to us all, as a musical mark and conquering.
by Miguel Patrício in Improvised Solo

Progressive Jazz

01. Introduction - Alone Together (17:59)
02. Satsuki (11:21)
03. Make Left (9:11)

Terumasa Hino - trumpet. flugelhorn
Steve Grossman - tenor sax, alto sax
Harold Mabern - piano, electric piano
Richard Davis - bass, electric bass
Motohiko Hino - drums

sábado, 24 de abril de 2010

Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)

Ornette Coleman's Atlantic debut, The Shape of Jazz to Come, was a watershed event in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven't come to grips with. The record shattered traditional concepts of harmony in jazz, getting rid of not only the piano player but the whole idea of concretely outlined chord changes. The pieces here follow almost no predetermined harmonic structure, which allows Coleman and partner Don Cherry an unprecedented freedom to take the melodies of their solo lines wherever they felt like going in the moment, regardless of what the piece's tonal center had seemed to be. Plus, this was the first time Coleman recorded with a rhythm section -- bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins -- that was loose and open-eared enough to follow his already controversial conception. Coleman's ideals of freedom in jazz made him a feared radical in some quarters; there was much carping about his music flying off in all directions, with little direct relation to the original theme statements. If only those critics could have known how far out things would get in just a few short years; in hindsight, it's hard to see just what the fuss was about, since this is an accessible, frequently swinging record. It's true that Coleman's piercing, wailing alto squeals and vocalized effects weren't much beholden to conventional technique, and that his themes often followed unpredictable courses, and that the group's improvisations were very free-associative. But at this point, Coleman's desire for freedom was directly related to his sense of melody -- which was free-flowing, yes, but still very melodic. Of the individual pieces, the haunting "Lonely Woman" is a stone-cold classic, and "Congeniality" and "Peace" aren't far behind. Any understanding of jazz's avant-garde should begin here.
by Steve Huey in All Music Guide


01 - Lonely Woman (05:01)
02 - Eventually (04:22)
03 - Peace (09:02)
04 - Focus on Sanity (06:50)
05 - Congeniality (06:47)
06 - Chronology (06:04)

Ornette Coleman – alto saxophone
Don Cherry – cornet
Charlie Haden – double bass
Billy Higgins – drums

sexta-feira, 23 de abril de 2010

John Coltrane Quartet - Alabama (1963)

"Alabama" is a song written by John Coltrane that appears on his album Live at Birdland. It was written in reaction to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, an attack by the Ku Klux Klan in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four girls.

quarta-feira, 21 de abril de 2010

Hiro Yanagida - Hirocosmos (1973)

Top quality, legit, eye-popping reissue housed in hard cover mini-LP styled gatefold sleeve complete with obi and liners of this rare 3rd album by psychedelic maverick Yanagida Hiro. Another totally vanished and ear bleedingly rare gem out of Japan's psychedelic history, this was Yanagida Hiro's (ex Apryl Fool, Food Brain, Sato Masahiko & Soundbreakers, Floral, etc) second solo album released in 1973. Original copies hardly never surface anymore so this reissue that came out years ago was a more than welcome feast. The music is also just stellar and can be best described and as a mixture between Miles Davis mid seventies electric period (minus the horns) cross-breeding with fusion and psychedelic elements, some snippets of unbridled improvisational jams and extended spun out instrumental tracks. Swirling key changes, synth driven organic whirlpools of exotic bliss, rigid time changes, swift communicative interplay that touches on freak out jams as well as on sweet oozing interludes. A real sonic gem, and probably the best disc ever made to accompany your autumn feelings of fleeting summer lust and last upsurges of vitality before winter settles in. One of the key recordings out of Japan's psychedelic and progressive rock history and much in demand although never offered these days.


01 - The Sea Of Tempest (05:38)
02 - Ode To Taurus (04:18)
03 - Breaking Sound-Barrier (05:19)
04 - Happy Cruise (06:32)
05 - Rockomotion (05:54)
06 - Uncertain Trip (06:40)
07 - Time For Reverie (04:22)

Hiro Yanagida - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ [Hammond], Synthesizer [Arp], Mellotron
Tsugutoshi Goto - Bass Guitar
Takeru Muraoka - Sax
Masayoshi Takanaka - Electric Guitar
Masami Kawahara - Percusion
Robert Rosenstein - Drums

segunda-feira, 19 de abril de 2010

John Coltrane Quartet - The 1962 Graz Concert (1962)

The complete 1962 Graz Concert by the John Coltrane Quartet is historically noted for one particular item: this recording from the Austrian city contains the only known performance of "Autumn Leaves" by this group. Coltrane played it often during his tenure in Miles Davis' quintet, and in solo performances with pickup bands in Europe earlier, but other than on this occasion, it's nowhere else in his oeuvre. The date has been released either in whole or in part before, back in 1999 on Great Britain's Charly imprint, and part of it appeared on a collection from various European live dates known as Sheets of Sound as well as on a rather dodgy bootleg entitled Spiritual on the Delta imprint. The music is terrific. The eight tracks that cover two discs offer the band the opportunity to really stretch out. This standard is a perfect example as Coltrane switches from tenor to soprano. Elsewhere, such as on "My Favorite Things," "Impressions," and "I Want to Talk About You," you can hear the fullness of the direction the band was heading to, before A Love Supreme was even recorded. There is a beautiful reading of "Every Time We Say Goodbye" and real workouts on "Mr. P.C." and "Bye Bye Blackbird," which clocks in at a whopping 23 minutes. The sound is not improved on this version; if you already have the Charly set, there is no need for a second purchase -- it's radio broadcast quality. If you don't have it, however, and consider yourself a fan, it's available again in the 21st century, so snag it because the performance is dynamite.
by Thom Jurek in All Music Guide


Disc One
01 -Bye Bye Blackbird (23:38)
02 - The Inchworm (12:31)
03 - Autumn Leaves (10:34)
04 - Every Time We Say Goodbye (06:54)
05 - Mr. P.C. (19:26)

Disc Two:
01 - I Want To Talk About You (14:02)
02 - Impressions (20:55)
03 -My Favorite Things (23:30)

John Coltrane - tenor saxophone
McCoy Tyner - piano
Elvin Jones - drums
Jimmy Garrison - bass

Katsumi Watanabe - Monday Blues (1974)

To call Monday Blues - Katsumi Watanabe's 1974 album - , one of the greatest renditions ever recorded in the history of guitar jazz, is certainly not a critic extravagancy. This fabulous recording, overlooked by some, yet unknown to the majority, has everything a casual listener wants: a profound sense of coolness and pace, underlined by the outstanding musical dialogues between Watanabe's exciting solos and Hidefumi Toki's sax playing.
by Miguel Patrício in Improvied Solo


01 - Monday Blues (07:58)
02 - A Child Is Born (02:10)
03 - Good Vibes (08:35)
04 - On The Horizon (10:29)
05 - Round Midnight (06:03)
06 - Here's That Rainy Day (01:54)

Katsumi Watanabe : Guitar
Hidefumi Toki : Alto Sax, Soprano Sax
Humio Itabashi : Piano
Motohiko Hino : Drums
Tsutomu Okada : Bass

domingo, 18 de abril de 2010

McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy (1967)

Two and a half years after his last recording as a leader for Impulse, pianist McCoy Tyner emerged to start a period on Blue Note that would result in seven albums. Having left John Coltrane's Quartet in late 1965, Tyner was entering a period of struggle, although artistically his playing grew quite a bit in the late '60s. For this release, the pianist is teamed with tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Elvin Jones for five of his originals. Highlights of the easily recommended album include "Passion Dance," "Four by Five," and "Blues on the Corner."
by Scott Yanow in All Music Guide


01 - Passion Dance (8:44)
02 - Contemplation (9:10)
03 - Four by Five (6:33)
04 - Search for Peace (6:27)
05 - Blues on the Corner (5:58)

McCoy Tyner: piano
Joe Henderson: tenor saxophone
Ron Carter: bass
Elvin Jones: drums

Shigeharu Mukai - Favorite Time (1976)

Who would guess that Shigeharu Mukai's - one of the best japanese trombonists ever - first and most important influence was John Coltrane's stellar sounds? It seems that Favorite Time, his third album as a band-leader, is not a mere academic tribute to Trane's oeuvre, but it's mainly a sincere musical approach to the master's teachings. Constantly learning and musically inteligent, Mukai's Quintet re-works many of Trane's masterpieces (e.g: Afro-Blue, Impressions, In a Sentimental Mood etc.) and gives them a new polished touch. Finally, it must be said that any jazz listener will notice not only Shigeharu Mukai's undisputable trombone skills, but also the superb, almost legendary, rendition of Katsumi Watanabe in the guitar.
by Miguel Patrício in Improvised Solo


01 - Afro Blue (11:15)
02 - Old Folks (03:31)
03 - Autumn Leaves (06:36)
04 - Impressions (08:39)
05 - In A Sentimental Mood (04:38)
06 - Stella By Starlight (04:53)

Shigeharu Mukai: trombone
Katsumi Watanabe: guitar
Fumio Itabashi: piano
Hideaki Mochizuki: bass
Oliver Johnson: drums

sexta-feira, 16 de abril de 2010

Terumasa Hino Quartet - Alone, Alone and Alone (1967)

Long considered a jazz legend and Japan’s foremost trumpeter, Terumasa Hino has played with almost all the jazz heavyweights throughout the past half century, from Gil Evans and Elvin Jones to Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Born in Tokyo in 1942, Hino made hgis professional debut at the tender age of thirteen, drawing his main inspiration from Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis. This is the first album by Terumasa Hino as a leader. The title tune, "Alone, Alone and Alone" is very brilliant. He performs and has recorded this on countless occasions up to now.


01 - Alone, Alone And Alone (7:31)
02 - Soulful (10:31)
03 - Summertime (7:33)
04 - Downswing (3:16)
05 - Blunch (B-Lunch) (8:04)

Terumasa Hino - trumpet
Yuji Ohno - piano
Kunimitsu Inaba - bass
Motohiko Hino - drums

terça-feira, 13 de abril de 2010

Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz: A Colective Improvisation (1960)

The original cover of "Free Jazz" (1960) featured a reproduction of one of Jackson Pollock's drip paintings, "White Light." The reference is an apt one--like Pollock, Ornette has always had faith that out of chaos, intuition and freedom, beauty will emerge. For the recording session of "Free Jazz," Ornette brought with him two quartets (each with bass drums, and two horns) and had them play simultaneously, giving them only a few very vague directions.
What emerged was, like a Pollock painting, a thing of primal beauty and power, formally strange and surprisingly dance-like. It is also (like a Pollock) better experienced than described.
Each quartet occupies their own stereo channel (Ornette, Don Cherry, Scott LaFaro and Billy Higgins are on the left channel; and Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell are on the right). The music that comes out of the speakers is much more than an experiment; it's also much more than just the collective sound of all these wonderful musicians. It's an ecstatic work that has been an inspiration to creative musicians for over 40 years, and it will continue to be for many years to come.


01 - Free Jazz (37:10)
02 - First Take (17:02)

Ornette Coleman – alto saxophone
Don Cherry – pocket trumpet
Scott LaFaro – bass
Billy Higgins – drums
Eric Dolphy – bass clarinet
Freddie Hubbard – trumpet
Charlie Haden – bass
Ed Blackwell – drums

sábado, 10 de abril de 2010

Hiro Yanagida - Milk Time (1970)

One of the central fixtures of the the 70's Japanese psychedelic underground, wailing keyboard wiz Yanagida was a member of Nurse With Wound listers Foodbrain, Masahiko Satoh and Soundbreakers, Apryl Fool and the completely mental Love Live Life + 1. Milk Time was the first of four album under his own name and though it contains a handful of the pedal-to-the-metal howling hammond psych/proto-prog attacks that he's notorious for (and which was lacquered on rather thicker on his eponymous second album), this one casts it's net further afield; outwardly bound Journeys Through Burning Brains playing footsie with harpsichord-laden moves located somewhere between Carnaby Street and Rischkas' Soul occupy equal space to the propulsive acid thunder, much of it garlanded by the stinging acid guitar of the legendary Kimio Mizutani. This scene is now finally getting it's day in the sun via Julian Cope Japrocksampler and Milk Time is one of it's stone cold classics.

Progressive Rock

01 - Love St. (0:54)
02 - Running Shirts Long (8:43)
03 - When She Didn't Agree (1:14)
04 - Happy, Sorry (5:55)
05 - Yum (3:50)
06 - Love T (1:37)
07 - Fish Sea Milk (2:24)
08 - Fingers Of A Red Type-Writer (8:29)
09 - Milk Time (0:27)
10 - Me And Milk Tea And Others (2:47)

Hiro Yanagida - Keyboards, Written-By, Arranged By
Keiju Ishikawa - Bass
Hiro Tsunoda - Drums, Percussion
Nozomu Nakatani - Flute
Kimio Mizutani - Guitar [Electric]
Hiroki Tamaki - Violin [Electric]

quinta-feira, 8 de abril de 2010

John Coltrane Quartet - The Paris Concert (1962)

This excellent CD by the classic John Coltrane Quartet (with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones) is highlighted by a 26-minute version of "Mr. P.C." Also included on the album are "The Inch Worm" and the ballad "Every Time We Say Goodbye." Although the sound and passion of the group on this date will not surprise veteran listeners, it is always interesting to hear new variations of songs already definitively recorded in the studios. The Paris Concert is recommended to all true Coltrane fanatics.
by Scott Yanow in All Music Guide


01 - Mr. P.C (26:30)
02 - The Inchworm (10:18)
03 - Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (04:56)

John Coltrane - soprano and tenor saxophone
McCoy Tyner - piano
Elvin Jones - drums
Jimmy Garrison - double bass

terça-feira, 6 de abril de 2010

Miles Davis Quintet - Miles in Tokyo (1964)

Miles Davis's most successful groups--his first great quintet with John Coltrane, for example, and his mid-1960s outfit with saxophonist Wayne Shorter--are well known, but the ensembles in-between are also notable. On this 1964 concert, recorded in Tokyo, Japan, Miles was already working with the rhythm section he would maintain until 1970--drummer Tony Williams, bassist Ron Carter, and pianist Herbie Hancock. The saxophonist, remarkably enough, is subsequent avant-garde legend Sam Rivers.
Rivers is a unique and under-appreciated player not bound by stylistic constraints; he plays with great verve, humor, and invention. Though Rivers seems a bit out of place on this set of mostly standards (which includes "My Funny Valentine" and "All of You"), it is interesting to hear how his sound changes the group, pushing it toward more flexible rhythmic and harmonic structures. "So What," for example, grows to skittering near-cacophony, with a series of complex solos. Hancock's blinding right hand and the propulsive rhythms of Carter and Williams also drive Davis to some of the edgiest playing of his career at that point. Miles in Tokyo is a fascinating document of Davis in transition, but is also worth picking up for the chance to hear Rivers in such unique company.
After George Coleman left the Miles Davis Quintet, tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers took his place for a short period including a tour of Japan. Davis did not care for Rivers' avant-garde style (they failed to develop any chemistry) and soon replaced him, but this live LP (originally only issued in Japan) survived to document this brief association. The music (five lengthy versions of standards) is actually of high quality, with both Davis and Rivers in fine form and the young rhythm section (pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams) pushing the trumpeter/leader to open up his style.

Modal Music

01 - Introduction by Teruo Isono (01:10)
02 - If I Were a Bell (10:17)
03 - My Funny Valentine (12:50)
04 - So What (08:05)
05 - Walkin' (09:15)
06 - All of You (11:18)
07 - Go-Go (01:21)

Miles Davis - trumpet, tenor saxophone
Sam Rivers - tenor saxophone
Ron Carter - bass instrument
Tony Williams - drums
Herbie Hancock - piano

segunda-feira, 5 de abril de 2010

Wes Montgomery - Live in Belgium (1965)

01 Impressions
02 Twisted Blues
03 There's That Rainy Day
04 Jingles
05 The Girl Next Door

Wes Montgomery - guitar
Arthur Harper - bass
Harold Mabern - piano
Jimmy Lovelace - drums

domingo, 4 de abril de 2010

Albert Ayler Trio - Spiritual Unity (1964)

Spiritual Unity was the album that pushed Albert Ayler to the forefront of jazz's avant-garde, and the first jazz album ever released by Bernard Stollman's seminal ESP label. It was really the first available document of Ayler's music that matched him with a group of truly sympathetic musicians, and the results are a magnificently pure distillation of his aesthetic. Bassist Gary Peacock's full-toned, free-flowing ideas and drummer Sunny Murray's shifting, stream-of-consciousness rhythms (which rely heavily on shimmering cymbal work) are crucial in throwing the constraints off of Ayler's playing. Yet as liberated and ferociously primitive as Ayler sounds, the group isn't an unhinged mess -- all the members listen to the subtler nuances in one another's playing, pushing and responding where appropriate. Their collective improvisation is remarkably unified -- and as for the other half of the album's title, Ayler conjures otherworldly visions of the spiritual realm with a gospel-derived fervor. Titles like "The Wizard," "Spirits," and "Ghosts" (his signature tune, introduced here in two versions) make it clear that Ayler's arsenal of vocal-like effects -- screams, squeals, wails, honks, and the widest vibrato ever heard on a jazz record -- were sonic expressions of a wildly intense longing for transcendence. With singable melodies based on traditional folk songs and standard scales, Ayler took the simplest musical forms and imbued them with a shockingly visceral power -- in a way, not unlike the best rock & roll, which probably accounted for the controversy his approach generated. To paraphrase one of Ayler's most famous quotes, this music was about feelings, not notes, and on Spiritual Unity that philosophy finds its most concise, concentrated expression. A landmark recording that's essential to any basic understanding of free jazz.
by Steve Huey in All Music Guide


01 - Ghosts: First Variation (05:16)
02 - The Wizard (07:24)
03 - Spirits (06:50)
04 - Ghosts: Second Variation (10:01)

Albert Ayler - tenor saxophone
Gary Peacock - bass
Sunny Murray - percussion