domingo, 4 de novembro de 2012

segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2012

Blue Effect - Za Krokem Zen (1976)

- Radim Hladík - acoustic & electric guitars
- Oldřich Veselý - electric pianos, organ, vocals
- Vlado Čech - drums, percussion
- Fedor Freso - bass, vocals

quarta-feira, 20 de junho de 2012

John Klemmer - Blowin' Gold / All the Children Cried (1969) & Eruptions (1970)

Music and total creation have always been my motivation. It has been my savior and my guide. To it I owe my high and my pain. The movement of sound and colors through my mind has reached my fingers. They move with the love and desire equal to that of a newborn child's passion for Nature and Growth. I hold the faith that Art and Passion shall overcome all.

John Klemmer

The perpetual, onrushing press of seconds, minutes, and hours defines our everyday experience. The extraordinary moments are the ones that seem to take place out of time, the moments when the flow becomes suspended and activity freezes into a still-life. There are many such moments in these recordings of John Klemmer's. To experience them is to stand on a spot where the air is clear and the view stretches for miles.

Sides One and Two of this collection, originally issued in 1969 as Blowin' Gold, did a surprisingly thorough job of defining the course electric fusion music or jazz/rock would take, from 1970 to the present. The music predates Bitches Brew, the epochal Miles Davis release of 1970. Indeed, it was on this date that guitarist Pete Cosey began trying out a few of the ideas he would later utilize with Davis' band of the seventies. These historical notes are one key to the magic of the music. It is underniably music of its time: the freshness and, for want of a better world, optimism it purveys were as characteristic of the late sixties as they were almost unknown during the mid-seventies. Yet its sounds and structures, and especially its prescient melding of diverse musical elements, give it a thoeoughly contemporary sound.

"When a good friend of mine heard this music," Klemmer remarks, "he said, `it´s you, but you´re sort of playing the role of alchemist.´I guess that's true. This music represents my first use of different idioms togheter, of jazz, rock, electronics, blues, pop music. It was my first use of the echoplex, andin general I really felt like I was bursting open, finding my own thing to do."

Klemmer grew up in the wndy city, and his musical experiences there were broad. He remembers playing one of his first gigs with Muhal Richard Abrams, the stern, iconoclastic founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicias cooperative, in a bowling alley. "I played dixieland bands and totally free groups." he recalls. "in R&B bands and in a rock group with Jimmy Guercio (who became the producer of the the producer of the rock group Chicago). That's where this combination thing started, because I was always interested in playing so many different kinds of music."

When he recorded Blowin' Gold, Klemmer was a featured soloist with Don Ellis' adventurous big band, which opened shows for numerous rock groups, among them Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Klemmer was exposed to a lot of contemporary rock, all at once. "That was eight or nine months before I recorded the album, and it was a period of osmosis." For the date, Klemmer and his friend, pianist Richard Thompson, flew to Chicago where they worked with the Chess house rhythm section that backed Muddy Waters and other blues and R&B giants.

The next two Klemmer albums on Cadet, which have been condensed into the third and fourth sides of this set, featured musicians with whom Klemmer worked regularly in California. Many have gone on to become some of the busiest jazz, rock, and studio players on the West Coast.

The musicianship and respect of the players for one another is evident throughout the sessions. So is the heat generated by Klemmer's improvising and ideas. "I conceptualized my music and the performance of it from a gut level," he says. "It´s emotional music." In fact, Klemmer seems to have transferred the proverbial heat of Chicago jazz to supposedly cool California without losing an nth of a degree. His sound on the tenor is raw and thrusting, almost abrasive sometimes, and his technique is encyclopedic, combining an essentially Coltrane-inspired orientation with the lyricism and warmth of the Lester Young school and the vocalized shrieks and yelps of the post-Ayler avant gardist.

What's truly remarkable is Klemmer's ability to make this unusually broad vocabularyfit into a hard-rocking rhythmic context. The mixture is at its most incendiary on My Heart Sings, which combines acoustic energy saxophone with all-stops-out electronic experimentation and manages to make a great deal of subsequent jazz/rock sound pale and overly intellectual by comparison. It is at its most prophetic on Here Comes The Child, which uses the studio as musical instruments, as Herbie Hancock and Weather Report would do a few years later. "I wrote the song on a Saturday afternoon," Klemmer says. "I was looking out a window, and across the street, in a park, a children's party was going on. It was a matter of trying to put the whole thing - the music and the children - on the record."

Time stops; the children are laughing in a perpetual afternoon. That's one of the magic moments in the collection; the rest you'll enjoy finding for yourself.
By Rober Palmer


Blowin' Gold 1969

01 - Excursion #2 (03:44)
02 - My Love Has Butterfly Wing (03:49)
03 - My Heart Sings (04:05)
04 - Hey Jude (05:50)
05 - Third Stone from the Sun (04:08)
06 - Free Soul (05:17)
07 - Children of the Earth Flames (06:34)

John Klemmer - tenor saxophone
Phil Upchurch - bass
Morris Jennings - drums
Pete Cosey - guitar
Richard Thompson - piano, organ

All the Children Cried 1969

01 - All the Children Cried (03:12)
02 - For God Whoever and Whatever It Is (04:50) x
03 - Journey's End (03:51)
04 - Moon Child (05:35) x
05 - Here Come the Child (03:08)
06 - I Whisper a Prayer for Peace (02:45)
07 - Mind Explosion (07:04) x
08 - Pulsations of a Green-Eyed Lady (03:18)
09 - Sololoquy for Tenor and Voice (01:17) x

John Klemmer - saxophone, wood flute & echoplex
Richard Thompson - keyboards
Art Johnson - guitar & echoplex
Wolfgang Melz - electric bass
Bob Morin - drums

Eruptions 1970

01 - Garden of Uranus (08:24)
02 - Summer Song (04:08)
03 - Regions of Fire (07:32)  x
04 - Rose Petals (05:32)
05 - Lady Toad (05:52)  x
06 - Mon Frere Africain (04:30)
07 - La De-Dah (04:00)
08 - Earth Emancipation (07:35) x

John Klemmer - saxophone, wood flute & echoplex
Mike Lang - organ & fender piano
Art Johnson - guitar & echoplex
Wolfgang Melz - electric bass
John Deniz - drums
Gary Coleman - percussion
Mark Stevens - percussion

Note: tracks marked with an x are not available.

domingo, 17 de junho de 2012

Joe Henderson - Power to the People (1969)

The late sixties were an exciting time for jazz, although not a lucrative one. Faced with a declining market share due to the popularity of rock music, jazz musicians were forced to find an audience by pursuing new avenues in composition and instrumentation.
Joe Henderson, a much beloved player for the Blue Note label was dropped in the late sixties. Orrin Keepnews, who certainly could recognize great talent when he saw it, signed him to his newly formed Milestone label. This 1969 release finds Henderson with a near perfect rhythm section. It features imaginative compositions that easily make it a highlight of the accomplished musician's career.
Power to the People is an appropriate title for a session filled with the sense of urgency and charisma found here. Henderson took a page from the compositional methods of the Miles Davis quintet from a few years back in that many of the compositions feature the same dark corners and ambiguous chord structures of that famous group. Only "Incognito" harkens back to an earlier time in Henderson's career.
Henderson has, for the most part, abandoned the harsh tone of his earlier releases for a more smoothed over sound, giving up nothing in confidence. Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter are session musicians here, featured both on acoustic and electric instruments.
Jack DeJohnette, another master who would contribute heavily to Miles' electric period, provides skilled drumming in the background. As an added bonus, two selections feature Mike Lawrence, a promising trumpeter who died in 1983.
As part of the Keepnews Collection, the sound on this release is superb. Carter is served especially well—every note is clearly heard. Hancock's electric piano, at times both burbling in the background and providing an acid sting, is also crisp.
While signed to the Blue Note label, Henderson provided seminal releases in the accepted format. On many levels, Power to the People is more satisfying, a neglected gem that showcases an artist reaching for all that he can accomplish. 
By David Rickert in All About Jazz


01 - Black Narcissus (04:52)
02 - Afro-Centric (07:05)
03 - Opus One-Point-Five (04:56)
04 - Isotope (04:56)
05 - Power To The People (08:45)
06 - Lazy Afternoon (04:36)
07 - Foresight and Afterthought (07:33)

Joe Henderson - tenor saxophone
Mike Lawrence - trumpet
Herbie Hancock - piano, electric piano
Ron Carter - bass instrument, electric bass
Jack DeJohnette - drum

sexta-feira, 11 de maio de 2012

Pharoah Sanders Quintet - Warsaw (1999)

01 - Welcome
02 - Olé
03 -  Heart is a Melody

Pharoah Sanders - Tenor Sax
William Henderson III - Piano
Alex Blake - Bass
Jean-Paul Bourelly - Electric Guitar
Trilok Gurtu - Drums, Percussion

sábado, 21 de abril de 2012

Stomu Yamashta - Floating Music (1972)

It's actually difficult to believe the Japanese never did anything regarding one of their most experimental and best-regarded countrymen. Graced with a "prog" artwork, this gatefold album is probably the proggiest of all his albums (and a bloody lengthy one at that both asides clocking over the 25 minutes each), and maybe his jazziest as well. By 73, Stomu had left Paris and the experimental theatre scene and had relocated to London, where he will act as a catalyst are his person and help out a few new musicians get their career started (Pert, Boyle) as well as work with established stars like Winwood, Hopper. The album also bears the name of Floating Music, which might be the Stomu's backing formation's name, but this is unclear to me, the same way East Wind is as well. Anyway, Floating Music will become Yamash'ta's songwriting copyright name.
The 18 minutes Poker Dice is a stunning slow developing splendid electric piano-driven piece that also features a fuzz organ, thousands of percussions, and a groovy groove. Most artists would've been content filling their album with Poker Dice alone, but Stomu unleashes another 8-mins+ Keep In Lane track, which is closer to straight jazz and free jazz than the usual jazz-rock, that unfortunately fails to match the other track's perfection.
The flipside also has two tracks, but recorded live in London early 72, the first of which is one rare non- Yamash'ta composition, the 13-mins Xingu, future Brand X drummer penning this one. Starts out in free-jazz mode, before settling down to a very calm moment, slowly rebuilding the track through successive addition of instruments. The track reaches two or three climaxes, but thankfully never reaching the chaotic state of the opening minute of this track. The 12-mins One Way starts on a space whispering, where Stomu's vibraphone will take the lead (neither Moerlen, nor Greenslade style) but he will go mad on other percussion instruments as well. A complete freak-out, stunning track, slowly dying on Thompson's flute death throes. Great stuff.
With Edge and Freedom, Stomu reached the progressive apex of his of his career, while his higher profile Go project would get him much more attention from the public. Stomu's album in the vinyl format should still be available on the second-hand market at reasonable price, as they've never been collectibles.
By Sean Trane

Progressive Jazz

01 - Poker Dice (18:03)
02 - Keep In Lane (08:32)
03 - Xingu (13:04)
04 - One Way (11:53)

Stomu Yamash'ta - percussion
Morris Pert - drums, percussion
Andrew Powell - bass (03,04)
Robin Thompson - organ, piano, soprano sax, sho (02-04)
Phil Plant - bass (01,02)
Peter Robinson - piano (01)
Dave White - soprano sax (02)
I.Goffe - trombone (02)
R.Harris - trumpet (02)

quinta-feira, 12 de abril de 2012

Hermeto Pascoal - Susto/ São Jorge (1979)

Hermeto Pascoal - tenor and soprano saxophones, fludgehorn, guitar, vocals, percussion
Nenê - drums
Zabelê - vocals, percussion guitar
Jovino - piano
Cacau - tenor saxophone, fludgehorn
Itiberê - bass
Pernambuco - percussion
Dominguinhos - acordeon

domingo, 18 de março de 2012

Blue Effect - Svitanie (1977)

Now known as M Efekt, this group is almost entirely rebuilt from scratch from its previous incarnation of 73 (even if the album was released in 75) around Hladic and Cech, welcoming ex Collegium Musicum Fedor Freso on bass and Synkopy61 Oldrich Vesely keyboardist. The quartet now formed some sort of CzechMoravianSlovakian supergroup, modifying their sound to a very Yes-like soundscape. Generally known as their better works among progheads, this writer can't help but preferring their more fusion-esque album like their 73 album. While I have yet to see this album in Cd format with its original red & orange artwork instead of this bland b&w photo, this album IS indeed one of ME's best, because while being sort of derivative, ME manages to sound like their own group with its own sound.
With a very pleasant start with the 10-min Vysoka track, the group manages to foray through a large panel of moods and ambiances without sounding like "going through the motions", and it shows in the group's enthralling music. The shorter (relatively) Pada Rodenska is an absolutely fantastic Moravian folk song interrupted by some bold and daring Daffy/Donald Duck-like synth noises, but the track is probably the most memorable. Closing the album's first side is the Popoludni track is a bit jazzier than the rest of the album but closing weird synths
The sidelong title-track "epic" is a slow starter, with some multi-voiced lines, sending us towards Yes and early Soft Machine, finally lifting off around the 9-min mark, when the group takes Yes and Genesis-like unison march and adapt it to Slavic charms. The track gets lost a bit in a lengthy slower passage before returning to the early opening passages of the track. Considering the 19-min+ of the track, it seems this track could've been held to some 12 mins without losing a note, the useless expansion stopping this track from being of epic proportions. I find that ME's vocal delivery on this album is very much Italian-like, but timbre-wise, it sounds like a cross of Jon Anderson and Ian Gillan, if you can picture that.
The Cd re-issue comes with one bonus track, the harder-edged almost 7-min Golem, which would fit the album superbly if it had been better sung, but overall it is a very worthy addition. Almost quite as good as their 73 album, but quite different as well, you can easily jump on thios album, if you are into a symphonic mood.

Progressive Rock

01 - Vysoká stolicka, dlhý popol (10:12)
02 - Ej, padá, padá rosenka (6:36)
03 - V sobotu popoludní (4:15)
04 - Svitanie (19:35)
05 - Golem (6:47)

Vlado Cech - drums, percussion
Fedor Freso - bass, mandolin, vocals, percussion
Radim Hladík - acoustic & electric guitars
Oldrich Veselý - acoustic & electric pianos, organ, Arp & string synths, vocals

domingo, 11 de março de 2012

John McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist (1979)

Since John McLaughlin's first two post-Shakti albums -- Electric Guitarist and Electric Dreams -- featured the word "electric" in their titles, it seems that the guitarist wanted to emphasize his more plugged-in side to those who might not have followed along on three previous releases featuring his acoustic world music band. He also thumbed through his impressive phone book to call in some of the cream of the 1977 crop of jazz fusionists to help him out on Electric Guitarist, a true return to form. Ex-Mahavishnu members Jerry Goodman and Billy Cobham assist in kicking things off just like in the old days with "New York on My Mind," a tune that could have been an outtake from his earlier Mahavishnu Orchestra work. Also along for the ride are Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, David Sanborn, Carlos Santana, Jack Bruce, and four legendary drummers including Cobham, Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette, and Narada Michael Walden. Unfortunately, the credits don't specify who plays on which track (well-written liner notes would help there), but anyone familiar with the distinctive styles of these artists can easily pick them out. McLaughlin is in fine form throughout, especially when playing clean, staccato, bent notes on the ballad "Every Tear from Every Eye." The majority of the selections stay in a more subtle but amped-up groove as McLaughlin shifts from dreamy to a faster, more straight-ahead tempo on the seven-minute "Do You Hear the Voices that You Left Behind?" A duet with Billy Cobham on "Phenomenon: Compulsion" provides the set's most frantic fireworks as both musicians air out their chops on a breathless, galloping piece with some of the guitarist's most furious picking.
By Hal Horowitz in All Music Guide


01 - New York on My Mind (05:46)
02 - Friendship (07:02)
03 - Every Tear from Every Eye (06:53)
04 - Do You Hear the Voices You Left Behind? (07:41)
05 - Are You the One? Are You the One? (04:43)
06 - Phenomenon: Compulsion (03:23)
07 - My Foolish Heart (03:25)

John McLaughlin – guitar
Carlos Santana – guitar (track 2)
Stu Goldberg – Minimoog (track 1), electric piano (track 1), organ (track 1)
Chick Corea – Minimoog (track 4), piano (track 4)
Patrice Rushen – piano (track 3)
Tom Coster – organ (track 2)
Billy Cobham – drums (tracks 1, 6)
Narada Michael Walden – drums (track 2)
Tony Smith – drums (track 3)
Jack DeJohnette – drums (track 4)
Tony Williams – drums (track 5)
Alyrio Lima – percussion (track 2)
Armando Peraza – conga (track 2)
Fernando Saunders – bass (track 1)
Neil Jason – bass (track 2)
Alphonso Johnson – bass (track 3), Moog Taurus (track 3)
Stanley Clarke – bass (track 4)
Jack Bruce – bass (track 5)
David Sanborn – saxophone (track 3)

sábado, 25 de fevereiro de 2012

Booker Little - Out Front (1961)

Booker Little was the first trumpet soloist to emerge in jazz after the death of Clifford Brown to have his own sound. His tragically brief life (he died at age 23 later in 1961) cut short what would have certainly been a major career. Little, on this sextet date with multi-reedist Eric Dolphy, trombonist Julian Priester, and drummer Max Roach, shows that his playing was really beyond bebop. His seven now-obscure originals (several of which deserve to be revived) are challenging for the soloists and there are many strong moments during these consistently challenging and satisfying performances.
By Scott Yanow in All Music Guide


01 - We Speak (06:46)
02 - Strenght and Sanity (06:17)
03 - Quiet Please (08:10)
04 - Moods in Free Time (05:44)
05 - Man of Words (04:51)
06 - Hazy Hues (06:41)
07 - A New Day (05:31)

Booker Little - trumpet
Julian Priester - trombone
Eric Dolphy - alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute
Don Friedman - piano
Art Davis - bass
Max Roach - drums, timpani, vibraphone

sábado, 11 de fevereiro de 2012

George Benson - The Other Side of Abbey Road (1970)

Just three weeks after the U.S. release of the Beatles' swan song, Abbey Road, Creed Taylor ushered George Benson into the studio to begin a remarkably successful pop-jazz translation of the record (complete with a parody of the famous cover, showing Benson with guitar crossing an Eastern urban street). It is a lyrical album, with a hint of the mystery and a lot of the cohesive concept of the Beatles' original despite the scrambled order of the tunes. Benson is given some room to stretch out on guitar, sometimes in a bluesy groove, and there are more samples of his honeyed vocals than ever before (oddly, his voice would not be heard again by record-buyers until he signed with Warner Bros.). Don Sebesky's arrangements roam freely from baroque strings to a full-throated big band, and Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, and Hubert Laws get some worthy solo space. Yet for all its diversity, the record fits together as a whole more tightly than any other George Benson project, thanks to his versatile talents and the miraculous overarching unity of the Beatles' songs. One wonders if the Fab Four liked it, too.
By Richard S. Ginell in All Music Guide

Jazz Pop
Guitar Jazz

01 - Golden Slumbers/ You Never Give Me Your Money (04:48)
02 - Because / Come Together (07:23)
03 - Oh! Darling (03:59)
04 - Here Comes the Sun / I Want You (She's So Heavy) (09:02)
05 - Something / Octopus's Garden / The End (06:23)

George Benson – guitar, vocal
Herbie Hancock - piano, organ, harpsichord
Ernie Hayes - piano
Bob James - piano
Ron Carter - Bass guitar
Gerry Jemmott - Bass guitar
Idris Muhammad - drums
Ed Shaughnessy - drums
Ray Barretto - percussion
Andy Gonzalez - percussion
Wayne Andre - trombone, euphonium
Don Ashworth - baritone saxophone
Sonny Fortune - alto saxophone
Jerome Richardson - tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute
Mel Davis - trumpet, flugelhorn
Bernie Glow - trumpet
Freddie Hubbard - trumpet
Marvin Stamm - trumpet
Phil Bodner - flute, oboe
Hubert Laws - flute
Raoul Poliakin - violin
Max Pollikoff - violin
George Ricci - cello
Emanuel Vardi - viola

domingo, 5 de fevereiro de 2012

Charles Earland - Living Black! (1970)

Recorded in 1970 at the Key Club, Living Black! is notable for many reasons, not the least of which is that it showcased Earland in a live setting at his most inspired. From choosing his sidemen to material to reading the audience to pure instrumental execution, there isn't a weak moment on this date, nor a sedentary one. Earland makes the band roll on all burners from the git and never lets up. Consisting of four extended tunes, there's the burning rhythm and stomp of "Key Club Cookout," which blazes with wisdom and rhythm fire. Earland's own soloing is revelatory, but it is the way he drags absolutely unexpected performances from his sidemen that makes him so special as a bandleader. In this case, Grover Washington never played like this again on a record; deep in the soul groove on his tenor, he turned it inside out, looking for new embouchures in which to get the sounds out of the horn. He dug deep inside his trick bag and left no one wanting. Likewise, guitarist Maynard Parker, who came from the Chicago blues school, gets to exercise that side of his West Side soul personality -- check out his break on "Westbound No. 9." The long blues strut of "Killer Joe" is what drives the tune, the longest track on the record. It features a slow, strolling horn line from Washington and trumpeter Gary Chandler that opens out onto a gorgeously pastoral frame before popping out with the blues feel once again. Parker's guitar playing fills all the places Earland chooses not to, so the band's density is total. There is a moving and instrumentally astonishing short version of "Milestones" that closes the set, but it wasn't even necessary. Everybody who was there, no doubt -- as well as any listener with blood instead of sawdust in her or his veins -- had their minds blown long before.
By Thom Jurek in All Music Guide

Jazz Funk
Soul Jazz

01 - Key Club Cookout (09:31)
02 - Westbound No. 9 (08:19)
03 - Killer Joe (14:28)
04 -Milestones (04:34)
05 - More Today Than Yesterday (08:20)
06 -Message from a Black Man (09:59)

Charles Earland - organ
Grover Washington Jr. - alto
saxophone, tenor saxophone
Maynard Parker - guitar
Gary Chandler - trumpet
Jesse Kilpatrick - drums
Buddy Caldwell - congas

quarta-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2012

Ted Curson - Tears for Dolphy (1964)

Although the term "avant-garde" is used several times in the liner notes, this quartet outing by trumpeter Ted Curson, tenor saxophonist Bill Barron, bassist Herb Bushler and drummer Dick Berk actually falls between hard bop and free bop. Curson and Barron in particular made for a potent team and their interplay on nine originals (five by Curson, four by Barron) is quite impressive, swinging and occasionally witty. This CD reissue brings back the entire Tears for Dolphy album plus three of the six songs from the Flip Top LP, all recorded the same day. Although the title cut does not live up to its potential, such tunes as "Kassim," "7/4 Funny Time," "Quicksand" and "Searchin' for the Blues" manage to be both explorative and surprisingly accessible.
By Scott Yanow in All Music Guide


01 - Kassim (07:41)
02 - East 6th Street (05:38)
03 - 7/4 Funny Time (05:28)
04 - Tears for Dolphy (08:32)
05 - Quicksand (06:39)
06 - Reava's Waltz (07:10)
07 - Searching for the Blues (07:47)
08 - Desolation (08:45)
09 - Light Blue (03:43)

Ted Curson - trumpet, pocket trumpet
Bill Barron - tenor saxophone, clarinet
Herb Bushler - double bass
Dick Berk - drums

sábado, 28 de janeiro de 2012

Anthony Braxton - 3 Compositions of New Jazz (1968)

While it is not as powerful or as revelatory as For Alto, Anthony Braxton's second album for Delmark, 3 Compositions of New Jazz is his debut as a leader and showcases just how visionary -- or out to lunch depending on your point of view -- he was from the very beginning. Recorded nine months after his debut with Muhal Richard Abrams on Levels and Degrees of Light, Braxton's compositional methodology and his sense of creating a band are in full flower. For one thing, there is no use of a traditional rhythm section, though drums and a piano are used. The band is comprised of Leroy Jenkins on violin and percussion, Braxton on everything from alto to accordion to mixer, Leo Smith on trumpet and bottles, and Abrams on piano (and alto clarinet on one track). All but one track -- "The Bell" -- are graphically titled, so there's no use mentioning titles because computers don't draw in the same way. There is a sonorous unity on all of these compositions, which Braxton would draw away from later. His use of Stockhausen is evident here, and he borrows heavily from the melodic precepts of Ornette Coleman. The use of Jenkins' violin as a melodic and lyric device frees the brass from following any kind of preset notion about what should be done. Abrams plays the piano like a percussion -- not a rhythm -- instrument, and colors the textural figures in, while Smith plays all around the open space trying hard not to fill it. This is a long and tough listen, but it's a light one in comparison to For Alto. And make no mistake: It is outrageously forward-thinking, if not -- arguably -- downright visionary. Braxton's 3 Compositions of New Jazz is an essential document of the beginning of the end.
By Thom Jurek in All Music Guide

Free Jazz

1 - (840m)-Realize-44M-44M (19:59)
2 - N-M488-44M-Z (12:54)
3 - The Bell (10:26)

Anthony Braxton – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute, oboe musette, accordion, bells, snare drum
Leroy Jenkins – violin, viola, harmonica, bass drum, recorder, cymbals, slide whistle
Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet, mellophone, xylophone, kazoo
Muhal Richard Abrams – piano (track 2 & 3), cello, alto clarinet (track 3)

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Inflated Tear (Live in Prague, 1967)

Roland Kirk - multiple reeds
Ron Burton -piano
Steve Novosel - bass
Jimmy Hopps - drums

sábado, 21 de janeiro de 2012

George Adams - Sound Suggestions (1979)

Tenor saxophonist George Adams' third recording as a leader (following two obscure releases for the Italian Horo label) is a little unusual in that the extroverted soloist is heard on the usually introverted ECM label. Adams is teamed with fellow tenor Heinz Sauer (who has a cooler sound), trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, pianist Richard Beirach, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette for five group originals. The playing is advanced but not as fiery as most of Adams' later sets.
By Scott Yanow in All Music Guide


01 - Baba (13:00)
02 - Imani's Dance (11:00)
03 - Stay Informed (08:01)
04 - Got Somethin' Good for You (05:42)
05 - A Spire (08:07)

George Adams – tenor saxophone, vocals
Kenny Wheeler - trumpet
Heinz Sauer - tenor saxophone
Richard Beirach – piano
Dave Holland – bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums

sábado, 14 de janeiro de 2012

Albert Ayler - Live in Greenwich Village (1965)

Live in Greenwich Village was Albert Ayler's first recording for Impulse, and is arguably his finest moment, not only for the label, but ever. This double-CD reissue combines both of the Village concerts -- documented only partially on previously released LPs -- recorded in 1965 and 1966 with two very different groups. The Village gigs reveal the mature Ayler whose music embodied bold contradictions: There are the sweet, childlike, singalong melodies contrasted with violent screaming peals of emotion, contrasted with the gospel and R&B shouts of jubilation, all moving into and through one another. On the 1965 date, which featured Ayler, his brother Donald on trumpet, Joel Freedman on cello, bassist Lewis Worrell, and the great Sunny Murray on drums, the sound is one of great urgency. Opening with "Holy Ghost," the Aylers come out stomping and Murray double times them to bring the bass and cello to ground level in order to anchor musical proceedings to their respective generated sounds. "Truth Is Marching In" casts a bleating, gospelized swirl against a backdrop of three- and four-note "sung" phrases that are constantly repeated, à la a carny band before kicking down all the doors and letting it rip for almost 13 minutes. On the 1967 date of the second disc, the Aylers are augmented with drummer Beaver Harris, violinist Michel Sampson, Bill Folwell and Alan Silva on basses, and trombonist George Steele on the closer, "Universal Thoughts." "For John Coltrane" opens the set with a sweltering abstraction of tonalities in the strings and horns. On "Change Has Come," the abstraction remains but the field of language is deeper, denser, more urgent. Only with "Spiritual Rebirth," which opens with a four-note theme, does one get the feeling that the band has been pacing itself for this moment, and that the concert has become an actual treatise on the emotion of "singing" as an ensemble in uncharted territories. Throughout the rest of the set, Ayler's band buoys him perfectly, following him up through every new cloud of unknowing into a sublime musical and emotional beyond which, at least on recordings, would never be realized again. This recording is what all the fuss is about when it comes to Ayler.
By Thom Jurek in All Music Guide


01 - Holy Ghost (07:41)
02 - Truth Is Marching In (12:42)
03 - Our Prayer (04:45)
04 - Spirits Rejoice (16:22)
05 - Divine Peacemaker (12:37)
06 - Angels (09:53)

01 - For John Coltrane (13:40)
02 - Change Has Come (06:24)
03 - Light In Darkness (10:59)
04 - Heavenly Home (08:51)
05 - Spiritual Rebirth (04:26)
06 - Infinite Spirit (06:37)
07 - Omega Is The Alpha (10:46)
08 - Univeral Thoughts (08:22)

Albert Ayler - tenor saxophone
Don Ayler - trumpet
Michel Sampson - violin
Bill Folwell - bass
Henry Grimes - bass
Beaver Harris - drums

segunda-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2012

Waiting for the Axe to Fall

Gil Scott-Heron and the Midnight Band

sexta-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2012

Masahiko Satoh - All-in All-out (1979)

This unkown gem - that will amaze casual listeners and still conquer regular ones - stars both Masahiko Sato's talent in displaying a wide varriety of tones and fusion scales and Dave Liebman's fierce and intense saxophone playing. Sometimes "All-in, All-Out" recalls Weather Report's edgy style of abstract fusion, and Sato's work here serves that purpose very well,which means, painting soundscapes simultaneously dreamy and cerebral. "Sapajou Walk" begins like an orchestrated blues lament, but by the time we reach "Fallout", the last track, we realize that this is not just a pop-oriented jazz thing, but a trip to something much deeper. This is truly great stuff, so check it out.
By Miguel Patrício in Improvised Solo

Progressive Jazz

01 - Sapajou Walk (06:17)
02 - Grama Grass (07:35)
03 - Salamander (06:26)
04 - Moth Ball (04:25)
05 - Thus The Song Passed Out Of Their Mind (07:11)
06 - Fallout (08:18)

Masahiko Satoh - acoustic piano, Rhodes piano, Korg synthesizer, percussion
Dave Liebman - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, alto flute
Ryo Kawasaki - electric bass guitar
Francisco Centeno - electric bass
Harvey Mason - drums
Rubens Bassini - percussion
Randy Brecker - trumpet
Tom Malone - trombone
Dave Taylor - bass trombone

segunda-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2012

Psi - Horizonte (1977)

With their sole output 'Horizonte', Psi managed to fit everything I love about jazz fusion into one concise package. Virtuosity, creativity, delicious improv, great songwriting, energy, progressive leanings, they all shine here. They have an interesting and unique sound that is distinctively theirs, but dynamic enough to create different atmospheres throughout the album.
Don't be fooled by the deceptively simple 2 minute opener. Don't get me wrong, its a solid fusion track, but only a sampler of sounds and songs to come. In Bettgerausche, the quiet reverberated guitar licks and melancholy accompanying saxophone lay the groundwork for a gorgeous progressive fusion track that sets the bar high for the rest of the album. And it never loses that high. The self titled track is certainly a highlight, opening with complex keyboard melodies that sonically dart around almost too quickly to keep up with. The rest of the track seamlessly entwines these melodies with jaw-dropping improv from the keys, guitar, and sax player.
Also worth mentioning is the virtuosity of the musicians here, especially the keyboard playing of Mathias Fray. Maybe I'm a bit biased being a keys player myself and fully realizing how far his talents reach, but nonetheless he surprised me time and time again throughout each track. Certainly not to understate the efforts of the other musicians, the guitar playing is as fast as it is inspired, and the saxophone adds a lot of great sound to the band. Needless to say the rhythm section does its job, and very well at that. Their chops match the often quirky music exceptionally well.
Tough to recommend anything quite like this, as it is very unique music. Lotus' two albums come close, though this has more of an easy-listening vibe to it. Perhaps a better known comparison would be Brand X. It reminds me of a quirkier 'Unorthodox Behavior' at times, and the jazzy vibe is similar.

Progressive Rock

01 - Unter Der Schurze Liegt Die Wurze (02:28)
02 - Bettgerausche (05:29)
03 - Horizonte (07:28)
04 - Elektrisch Kall-Heinje (05:02)
05 - Urschrei (02:04)
06 - Breikopf (08:36)
07 - Drall / Arkadash (09:14)

Bodo Feldmann - electric bass, vocal
Mathias Frey - keyboards
Volkmar Zimmermann - guitars
Robert Jahn - drums
Wilfried Kunkler - tenor saxophone