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.

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