lunes, 27 de julio de 2009

Studying to live by the State

Hi some of you know, I’m preparing for a few public exams. These will be in October and will finish at this year ending. This is my second time and I've to take it more serious and study really hard so I won't release many albums until I finish them. I know you will understand. Stay tuned and have nice holidays.

miércoles, 15 de julio de 2009

Arthur Taylor - Taylor's Tenors (1959) [New Jazz]

Legendary drummer Art Taylor played on a multitude of classic jazz sessions, but only managed to release a few dates as a leader before he passed away in 1995. His second, Taylor's Tenors, from mid-1959, features two straight-ahead tenor saxophonists, Charlie Rouse and Frank Foster, engaging in an insightful yet swinging hard bop conversation. Rouse would shortly become Thelonious Monk's tenor of choice, while Foster continued his tenure with Count Basie's band for another five years. These six hard bop pieces include two by Monk, Jackie McLean's "Fidel," and originals each from Rouse, pianist Walter Davis, and Taylor. (Al Campbell)

1. Rhythm-A-Ning
2. Little Chico
3. Cape Millie
4. Straight, No Chaser
5. Fidel
6. Dacor

Arthur Taylor (drums); Charlie Rouse & Frank Foster (tenor saxophones); Walter Davis (piano); Sam Jones (bass).

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 3, 1959.

martes, 14 de julio de 2009

Gigi Gryce Quintet - Saying Somethin' ! (1960)

Altoist Gigi Gryce's last regular group before moving to Africa and largely retiring from music was the quintet featured on this CD, two other Prestige/New Jazz sessions and an album for Trip. Gryce's alto matched well with Richard Williams's impressive trumpet and, with fine support from pianist Richard Wyands, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Mickey Roker, the two horns explore mostly blues-based originals by Gryce, Curtis Fuller and Hank Jones. There is more variety than expected and the contrast between Gryce's lyricism and the extroverted nature of Williams's solos make this set fairly memorable. (Scott Yanow)

1.- Back Breaker
2.- Leila's Blues
3.- Blues In The Jungle
4.- Down Home
5.- Let Me Know
6.- Jones Bones

Gigi Gryce (alto saxophone); Richard Williams (trumpet); Richard Wyands (piano); Reggie Workman (bass); Mickey Roker (drums)

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 11, 196o.

domingo, 12 de julio de 2009

Chico Freeman & Mal Waldron - Up And Down (1989)

"...Waldron controls pace and phrase through placement and volume of dissonant chords and contrary motion...he gently supports [vocalist] Ghiglioni's whispery scat effort and ballad reading, and applies a heavy-rocking waltz to Freeman's soprano..."(Down Beat)

"...Remarkably smooth is this encounter between the rough and ready Chicagoan tenor-player and that archdeacon of anti-Monk..." JazzTimes

1.- Battleground
2.- Hiromi
3.- Tyrolean Waltz
4.- Aftermath
5.- My One and Only Love
6.- Up and Down

Chico Freeman (soprano & tenor saxophones); Mal Waldron (piano); Tiziana Ghiglioni (vocals); Ricky Knauer (bass).

Recorded at Barigozzi Studio, Milan, Italy on July 26 & 27, 1989.

jueves, 9 de julio de 2009

Eric Dolphy & Booker Little - At The Five Spot, vol. 1 (RVG Remasters)

After having left the ensemble of Charles Mingus and upon working with John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy formed a short-lived but potent quintet with trumpeter Booker Little, who would pass away three months after this recording. Despite all of the obstacles and subsequent tragedy, this quintet became legendary over the years -- justifiably so -- and developed into a role model for all progressive jazz combos to come. The combined power of Dolphy and Little -- exploring overt but in retrospect not excessive dissonance and atonality -- made them a target for critics but admired among the burgeoning progressive post-bop scene. With the always stunning shadings of pianist Mal Waldron, the classical-cum-daring bass playing of Richard Davis, and the colorful drumming of alchemistic Ed Blackwell, there was no stopping this group. Live at the legendary Five Spot Café in New York City, this band set the Apple, and the entire jazz world on their collective ears. "Fire Waltz" demonstrates perfectly how the bonfire burns from inside the soul of these five brilliant provocateurs, as Dolphy's sour alto and Little's dour trumpet signify their new thing. Dolphy's solo is positively furious, while Blackwell nimbly switches up sounds within the steady 3/4 beat. "Bee Vamp" does not buzz so much as it roars in hard bop trim. A heavy tandem line breaks and separates in the horn parts like booster rockets. Blackwell is even more amazing, and Dolphy's ribald bass clarinet set standards that still influences players of the instrument. Where "The Prophet" is a puckery blues, it is also open armed with minor phrasings and stretched harmonics. This is where Waldron and Davis shine in their terra cotta facades of roughly hewn accompaniments to Dolphy and Little's bold flavored statements. A shorter alternate take of "Bee Vamp" is newly available, shorter by two-and-a-half minutes and with a clipped introductory melody. Most hail this first volume, and a second companion album from the same sessions, as music that changed the jazz world as much as Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane's innovative excursions of the same era. All forward thinking and challenged listeners need to own these epic club dates.

1.- Fire Waltz
2.- Bee Vamp
3.- The Prophet
4.- Bee Vamp (alternate take)

Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone & bass clarinet); Booker Little (trumpet); Mal Waldron (piano); Richard Davis (bass); Eddie Blackwell (drums).

Recorded at The Five Spot, NYC, on July 16, 1961.

miércoles, 1 de julio de 2009

David Friesen & Mal Waldron - Remembering Mal (1985)

1. If I Were A Bell
2. Fire Waltz
3. Round About Midnight
4. With A Song In My Heart
5. You Mean Me
6. Someday My Prince Will Come
7. All God's Chillung Got Rhythm

Mal Waldron (piano); David Friesen (bass)

Recorded Live on July, 1985 at the Hyatt on Sunset, L.A, California.

martes, 30 de junio de 2009

Walt Dickerson - Relativity (1962)

Largely continuing the blueprint of A Sense of Direction, Relativity finds Walt Dickerson mixing standards with adventurous yet upbeat originals. This time around, though, there's a subtext to Dickerson's standards selection: all three -- "It Ain't Necessarily So," "I Can't Get Started," and "Autumn in New York" -- had been previously recorded by Milt Jackson, which invited explicit comparisons and gave Dickerson a chance to show off how distinctive and pioneering his Coltrane-influenced approach to vibes really was. As for his originals, Dickerson is once again in a good mood, offering bursts of up-tempo energy in "Steppin' Out" and the title track, as well as a playfully swinging tribute to his eight-year-old sister titled "Sugar Lump." On the more cerebral side, there's a free-form dialogue with bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, "The Unknown," which features some of Dickerson's freest playing. If there is a flaw with Relativity, it's that it doesn't have quite the same spark of revelation as Dickerson's first two albums; critics were beginning to identify his brief note clusters and stop-start phrasing as stylistic trademarks, and aside from the duet with Abdul-Malik, the record doesn't really push Dickerson's sound into new territory. Still, taken independently of context, Relativity is another fine recording and one of the better pieces of Dickerson's underappreciated legacy. (Steve Huey)

1.- Relativity
2.- It Ain't Necessarily So
3.- I Can't Get Started
4.- Steppin' Out
5.- The Unknown
6.- Sugar Lump
7.- Autumn In New York

Walt Dickerson (vibes); Austin Crowe (piano); Ahmed Abdul-Malik (bass); Andrew Cyrille (drums)

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ on January 16, 1962.

lunes, 29 de junio de 2009

Bobby Bradford and The Mo'Tet - Live In L.A. (1983)

Cornetist Bobby Bradford has recorded far too infrequently throughout his career. A mellow-toned player with an adventurous style that is usually surprisingly accessible, Bradford is well-featured on this excellent quintet date with altoist James Kousakis, both Roberto Miguel Miranda and Mark Dresser on bass and drummer Sherman Ferguson. Together they perform five of Bradford's originals, music that at its best (particularly on "Sho Nuff Blues" and "Dirty Rag") looks both backwards to earlier styles and extends the innovations of Ornette Coleman. Recommended.

1.- Sho' Nuff Blues
2.- Ornate
3.- Ashes
4.- You Know
5.- Dirty Rag

Bobby Bradford (cornet); James Kousakis (alto sax); Roberto Miguel Miranda (bass); Mark Dresser (bass); Sherman Ferguson (drums).

Recorded on June 7 & 8, 1983 at Music Lab., Los Angeles, CA.

viernes, 26 de junio de 2009

Borah Bergman - A New Frontier (1983)

On the years Bergman has broken down any residual distinction between left -and right- hand functions in piano-playing. On the two large-scale pieces wich make up "A New Frontier" he sets up huge whirling shapes with each hand, which then engage in confrontational dialogue. There is something slightly mechanistic about the playing on "Night Circus" that makes one think of the player-piano pieces of Colon Nancarrow, but this is eliminated on the remarkable "Time For Intensity", a more richly coloured pair of contrating pieces, the second of which, "Webs And Whirlpools", is quite astonishing. (The Penguin Guide To Jazz Recordings, Ninth Edition).

The similarities in style between pianist Borah Bergman and Cecil Taylor cannot be denied. Bergman, like Taylor, assaults, cajoles, and fully explores the instrument; there's nothing mild or polite about the way he rips through chords, develops spiraling, teeming two-handed statements, or barrels through the octaves with each hand making its own furious phrases. This contains two lengthy pieces, each broken into movements. This is intense solo piano that requires just as committed and concentrated an effort from the audience as the performer in order to appreciate and follow the direction. (Rob Wynn).

1.- Night Circus
- Part I : By The Red Moon
- Part II : Trapeze

2.- Time For Intensity
- Swift River
- Webs & Whirlpools

Borah Bergman (piano)

Recorded in New York on January, 1983.

jueves, 25 de junio de 2009

William Parker Quartet - Sound Unity (2005)

Recorded at two live dates in Canada in July and July of 2004, Sound Unity is the most beautifully wrought of William Parker's ensemble recordings. Certainly it doesn't break as much ground as some, and it acknowledges his debts to composers like Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Eric Dolphy, and that's fine; in Parker's able hands as a leader, this band with saxophonist Rob Brown, drummer Hamid Drake (are he and Parker the best rhythm section in jazz or what?), and trumpeter Lewis Barnes understands that both listening and silence are as important as what notes to play. The interaction between the horn players feels like they've been playing together for a very long time -- check out the 18-plus-minute title track. What's also important to note here is the fluidity that the rhythm section engages the horns with, such as on "Wood Flute Song," or the crazy, funky joy on "Hawaii." The bandmembers nearly lift off; they're having so much fun. The music on this set is one of those bridges -- across tradition, subgenre, nuance, and harmony. Parker's lyricism is profound, and has never been heard quite like this before. Brown is a more subtle player than some Parker has worked with before, and Barnes is a natural singer on the trumpet. The gap that's provided in the absence of a piano allows for a less strident interaction harmonically and dialogically. The music here flows, reaches, steps back, and reaches further, with Parker's guidance allowing for the horns to push one another as they do on "Groove," not so much for what they know, but for what they bring to a tune emotionally. "Harlem"'s folk song melody and lyric are among the most beautiful Parker has yet written; it's a place where blues and the Middle Eastern musics of Morocco come together. This is a stellar offering from one of the music's greatest lights. (Tom Jurek)

1. Hawaii
2. Wood Flute Song
3. Poem for June Jordan
4. Sound Unity
5. Harlem
6. Groove

William Parker (bass); Rob Brown (alto sax); Lewis Barnes (trumpet); Hamid Drake (drums).

Recorded live to multi-track at Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Suoni Per Il Popolo (Montreal) in the Summer of 2004.

martes, 23 de junio de 2009

Dave Douglas - Convergence (1998)

On “Convergence” the brilliant trumpeter-composer Dave Douglas pursues new territory following up on “Parallel Worlds” and the more recent “Five”. Douglas once again utilizes the sparkling talents of violinist Mark Feldman and cellist Erik Friedlander as the combination of strings, trumpet, and rhythm section consisting of Drew Gress (bass) and Michael Sarin (drums) create music that transcend many of the existing boundaries of jazz. “Parallel Worlds” and “Five” were landmark recordings for Douglas’ chamber-like excursions with his lead trumpet, string arrangements, pounding backbeats and keen sense of swing which comprised a sound that added a new and refreshing dimension to modern jazz.

Historically speaking, Douglas’ utilization of strings within this unit tends to play more of an active role contrasting other projects of this ilk past and present. Douglas’ creative visions along with these superb musicians-stylists project a group feel, which sounds uncannily natural. “Convergence” could be a pivotal masterpiece for this band as they extend their collective wares to provide music that is dazzling, pleasantly hypnotic, non-derivative and flawlessly executed.

The brief opener is a traditional Burmese song which translates to “Will You Accept My Love Or Not?” as the band performs incredible unison runs with all the intensity of a turbo-charged Indian raga or John McLaughlin’s amazing Jazz-East Indian band “Shakti”. Douglas’ “Joe’s Auto Glass” is filled with complex charts which touch upon Ornette Coleman’s renowned harmolodic development while Douglas’ “Tzotzil Maya” exemplifies the trumpeter’s sweet, crystalline tone and brilliant lyricism. Despite flawless technique, Douglas is a team player and skilled bandleader, as his compositions increasingly become more identifiable as time passes by reflecting his glaring personalized vision.

“Meeting at Infinity” borders classical, blues and hefty doses of hard-edged swing as the thematic approach is multi-colored and at times linear. “Meeting at Infinity” is a prime example of Douglas’ collage approach to compositional development. On Kurt Weill’s “Bilbao Song”, the band performs a playful tribute to Weill as Mark Feldman’s sonorous and lush violin passages prod the band into an about face as they deconstruct the familiar melody line. Michael Sarin’s polyrhythmical drumming is a thing of beauty as he lays the foundation for an all hands blowout of sparkling improvisation and winding thematic development. Douglas takes the lead, as wit and humor intentionally and momentarily bastardize the melody while the movements seamlessly transform into lush romanticism.

Douglas’ tribute to the late great “poet of jazz” drummer Tony Williams is portrayed via his composition “Goodbye Tony”. Here, Mark Feldman opens with a monstrous violin solo as Michael Sarin’s intense drumming paves the way for the forthcoming intensity along with Drew Gress’ pulsating bass lines. Douglas solos with passion and fire as this tribute to Tony Williams turns into a ferocious swing romp while Friedlander and Feldman change gears and handle the bottom end with Gress and Sarin. The proceedings heat up as the band engage in impossibly fast yet fluctuating tempos. Douglas and co. trace the evolution of William’s jazz career from Miles Davis, to his 1980’s Quartet with Wallace Roney. Erik Friedlander gradually balances the torrid pace with a pensive, warm cello solo, followed by light choruses that suggest heartfelt or sad emotions in accordance with the untimely passing of this great and important jazz giant. “Goodbye Tony” appropriately ends on a somber note.

“Convergence” is a milestone recording for this band as Dave Douglas continues his masterful assault on modern jazz. Enough said. ***** Out of 5 stars. Hopefully USA jazz radio will not ignore this gem and give “Convergence” some much deserved airplay; hence the pathetic state of affairs for jazz radio in general, that notion may be wishful thinking".

(Glenn Astarita)

1. Chit Kyoo Thwe Tog Nyin Lar (Will You Accept My Love or Not)
2. Joe's Auto Glass
3. Tzotzil Maya
4. Meeting at Infinity
5. Desseins Eternels
6. Bilbao Song
7. Border Stories - The Story
8. Border Stories - The Elaboration
9. Border Stories - The Exaggeration
10. Border Stories - Apocrypha
11. Collateral Damages
12. Goodbye Tony
13. Nothing Like You

Dave Douglas (trumpet); Mark Feldman (violin); Erik Friedlander (cello); Drew Gress (bass); Michael Sarin (drums).

Recorded on January 22 & 23, 1998 at Sound on Sound, NYC.

lunes, 22 de junio de 2009

Roy Ayers - Stoned Soul Picnic (1968)

Stoned Soul Picnic is vibraphonist Roy Ayers' third and probably best solo album, made in 1968 while he was still a part of Herbie Mann's group. Ayers stands clearly in the shadow of Bobby Hutcherson on this primarily modally-oriented date, sounding nothing like the groove-meister he would become known as later in the 1970s.

Producer Mann, always an underrated talent scout, assembles an especially exceptional septet for Ayers here with Gary Bartz on alto sax, arranger Charles Tolliver on trumpet/flugelhorn, Hubert Laws on flute, Herbie Hancock on piano (and probably uncredited organ on the title cut), Ron Carter or Miroslav Vitous on bass and Grady Tate on drums.

The program is a typical late 1960s menu, heavy on such Top 40 pop covers as the dated "Stoned Soul Picnic," "For Once In My Life" and "What The People Say." What sets these and the interesting, if unsuccessful, cover of Jobim's "Wave" apart are Tolliver's rather ingenious arrangements. Tolliver seems to tear apart the constraints of these duds (although "Picnic" is beyond hope) by dramatically slowing down the melodies, providing Ayers the time and space to set the mood (Tolliver correctly recognizes Ayers's strengths with ballads) and punctuating with nicely considered horn statements in between.

It is the two modal originals here — Ayers lovely "A Rose For Cindy" and Tolliver's waltz, "Lil's Paradise" — that make this disc worth hearing. Ayers plays some of his finest-ever work on these pieces. You're sure to hear something new and different in these pieces every time. Hancock completists will also be especially pleased with the pianist's performance here (and on "What The People Say" too).

Except for the nods toward late 1960s pop-jazz conventions, Stoned Soul Picnic is a marvelous disc well worth investigating. With so much of Ayers's West Coast work of the 1960s (especially with Jack Wilson) lost in limbo, this disc serves as a cogent reminder of the strength of the vibist's chops. And groove lovers might be happily surprised hearing what Ayers was up to before the groove. (Douglas Payne)

1.- A Rose For Cindy
2.- Stoned Soul Picnic
3.- Wave
4.- For Once In My Life
5.- Lil's Paradise
6.- What The People Say

Roy Ayers (vibes); Gary Bartz (alto sax); Charles Tolliver (arranger, trumpet, flugelhorn); Hubert Laws (flute); Herbie Hancock (piano, organ); Ron Carter (bass on #1 & 2); Miroslav Vitous (bass on # 3-6); Grady Tate (drums).

Recorded on June 20, 1968.

viernes, 19 de junio de 2009

The Michael Marcus 3 - Live In N.Y. (1999)

Clearly indebted to Ornette Coleman, Michael Marcus leads his trio (drummer Cody Moffett and bassist Chris Sullivan) through dangerous terrain, navigating the way with his stritch and bass clarinet. Sounding on stritch very much like a cross between an alto and a soprano saxophone, Marcus hits the ground hard as he propels with a solid forcefulness that is as exciting as it is invigorating. The piano-less, sax-led trio faces numerous hurdles, including the challenges of maintaining harmonic balance and listener interest for a full recording. Marcus manages to do it all so well that the piano isn't missed at all. For the most part eschewing cliché, the reedist runs through six tunes of his own plus Dolphy's "Serene" and Monk's "'Round Midnight." He toots a wicked bass clarinet on the latter that pays homage to its composer while leaving Marcus' stamp. (Steven Loewy)

1.- Blue Halo
2.- Serene
3.- Message From Marcus
4.- Involution
5.- Thematic Collisions
6.- 'Round Midnight
7.- Message From Marcus (solo)
8.- Blue Halo / Glittering Twilights

Michael Marcus (reeds); Chris Sullivan (bass); Codaryl Moffett (drums).

Recorded Live at The Knitting Factory, N.Y.C. on January 22 & 23, 1999.

martes, 16 de junio de 2009

William Parker / In Order To Survive - The Peach Orchard (1997-1998)

The Peach Orchard is a two-CD set showcasing bassist William Parker's work with an ensemble consisting of composer/instrument maker/pianist Cooper Moore (who limits his involvement in music to Parker's groups), improvisational saxophonist, Rob Brown and percussionist extraordinaire Susie Ibarra (Assif Tsahar, Matthew Shipp Trio, Davis S. Ware Quartet, One World Ensemble). This cream of the New York, contemporary, free jazz scene veers from such challenging, busy compositions as the explosive first track "Thoth" to such reflective pieces as "Moholo," basically a study in rhythmic intricacy featuring a five-minute introduction led by Ibarra to the 19-minute piece. Brown is eloquent and lyrical as he sails up and down scales through "Three Clay Pots." The title track is inspired by the devastation of a cherished Navaho orchard by an oppressive U.S. Army. The lengthy piece (20:45) is the quartet's collage of hostility and deep sadness. Disc Two opens with the profound and eerie "Posium Pendasem #3." Assif Tsahar joins the group on bass clarinet for the melancholy, piano-led piece. The beautiful mystery of autumnal changes are explored in "Leaf Dance," at once both bittersweet (Brown's lines) and playful (Cooper Brown). A traditional jazz melody acts as bookends for a series of Latin, common-time, and extemporaneous, thematic variations in "Theme For Pelikan." The band's theme, "In Order to Survive," a lively, rollicking and urgent composition fueled by the growing intricacy of Cooper Brown's part closes this two-disc set that offers new discoveries upon every listen.
(Thomas Schulte)

1. Thot 14.12
2. Moholo 18.51
3. Three Clay Pots 15.24
4. The Peach Orchard 20.45

5. Posium Pendasem #3 11.36
6. Leaf Dance 25.28
7. Theme From Pelikan 17.10
8. In Order To Survive 12.24

William Parker (bass); Cooper-Moore (piano); Rob Brown (alto sax); Susie Ibarra (drums);
+ guest on track 5,

Assif Tsahar (bass clarinet)

Recorded by Alen Hadzi Stefanov
1, 4: Context / NYC on March 20, 1998
2, 3, 8: Knitting Factory / NYC on July 2, 1997
6, 7: Alterknit / NYC on February 7, 1997
5: Context / NYC on March 21, 1998

lunes, 15 de junio de 2009

Walt Dickerson - Peace (1976)

On Peace, Cyrille drives things along with great generosity of spirit. Working without piano, Dickerson sounds both edgier and more expressive, recalling the innovative work of the previous decade. (The Penguin Guide To Jazz Recordings, Ninth Edition).

1.- Universal Peace
2.- Chant of Peace
3.- Warm Up

Walt Dickerson (vibes); Lisle Atkinson (bass); Andrew Cyrille (drums)

Recorded on November 14, 1976.

miércoles, 10 de junio de 2009

Rob Brown Trio - High Wire (1993)

This trio session was altoist Rob Brown's first as a leader. All three musicians had served time in Cecil Taylor's bands and the listener indeed gets a strong sense of the Jimmy Lyons influence here, with perhaps some Oliver Lake thrown in for good measure. In fact, if you dropped Taylor from his early-'70s band (with Lyons, Sirone, and Andrew Cyrille) and updated it by a couple of decades, you might very well come up with something approximating this disc. Brown has a liquid and linear way of phrasing that allows him to glide through the relatively free structures he's created here (all the compositions are penned by him) and even when he drives scorching to the outer limits of his horn, there's an innate lyricism that's never far below the surface. When he takes off into the ether on tracks like "Just a Touch," the results mark a high-water mark in the ecstatic jazz scene of the early '90s. Older listeners might argue that, for all its technical proficiency, the music is essentially a regurgitation, with little real advancement, of music first heard in the late '60s and early '70s, and there's certainly something to be said for this point of view. For younger listeners, however, those weaned on the experimental rock scene, the musicians in this trio and others opened many a conceptual door. Parker is a solid enough mainstay here, though one might wish for a bassist with a less muddy tone, someone (like Sirone!) more capable of punching through the storms. Krall has a precise, coloristic attack that serves well as a foil for both of his comrades. Brown shows himself in full command of his horn and if, ultimately, High Wire is more a free blowing session than an exposition of ideas (the tunes are a bit sketchy and perfunctory), it's a solid, enjoyable one that fans of the downtown New York scene will want to own. (Brian Olewnick)

1.- Hex Key
2.- Totter
3.- Revealing
4.- Just A Touch
5.- Turmoil
6.- Trickster

Rob Brown (alto saxophone); William Parker (bass); Jackson Krall (drums).

Recorded on July 22, 1993 at Tom Tedesco's Studio, N.J.

martes, 9 de junio de 2009

Jemeel Moondoc Sextet - Konstanze's Delight (1981)

Konstanze's Delight consists of just three long pieces, the first of them an opportunity for the whole band to show its stuff. As so often in this context, Parker is the cement, setting off on dark, seductive chant that gradually reels in Moondoc, Campbell and the underrated Jamal, who conjures up storms on this record. The two horns seem to be engaged in a game of one-on-one ball, chasing, dodging, body-checking and setting up half a dozen false climaxes before the whole thing unwinds. At longer than half an hour, it palls pretty seriously before time's up, but it's part of a live set and is doubtless pretty typical of what Moondoc was doing at the time. "Chasin' the Moon" is high-octane stuff, a starring vehicle for Jamal and Christi. (The Penguin Guide to Jazz on Cd - Ninth Edition)

1.- Konstanze's Delight
2.- Chasing the Moon
3.- High Rise

Jemeel Moondoc (alto saxophone); Roy Campbell (trumpet); Khan Jamal (vibraphone); William Parker (bass); Dennis Charles (drums); Ellen Christi (voice).

Recorded live at 3rd Street Music School, New York on October 24, 1981.

lunes, 8 de junio de 2009

Walt Dickerson - Life Rays (1982)

In the dynamic company of Sirone and Cyrille, Walt emerges as a particular kind of modernist, a radical-conservative. Most of the tracks are quite long, but "Good Relationship" and a titanic version of " It Ain't Necesseraly So" give the set epic dimensions. Dickerson seems to be striking harder than usual, Cyrille is faultless and the music has a strongly percussive quality. Sirone is magnificent whenever soloing, but rather anonymous in accompaniment. (The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - Ninth Edition)

1.- No Ordinary Man
2.- Good Relationship
3.- Life Rays
4.- It Ain't Necessarily So

Walt Dickerson (vibes); Sirone (bass); Andrew Cyrille (drums)

Recorded on February 4 & 5, 1982 at Barigozzi Studios, Milano (Italy).

Sam Rivers Winds of Manhattam - Colours (1982)

Sam Rivers, the octogenarian multi-instrumentalist and composer, has always been just outside the kind of mainstream attention that would have made him a jazz superstar. He played tenor in the Miles Davis quintet, but managed to officially only record on one album. He worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Cecil Taylor and McCoy Tyner, but seldom showed up on their recordings. With his late wife Beatrice (for whom one of jazz’s best compositions was named), Rivers opened Studio Rivbea in Manhattan in the early 1970s, and served as a mentor to generations of younger musicians. Relocated to Orlando, Florida, since 1990, Rivers continues to compose, arrange and perform.

Colours, recorded in Milan in 1982 with his group Winds of Manhattan, is demanding, occasionally discordant, sometimes dense, sometimes austere and rhythmically idiosyncratic. There is simply no “easy” way to listen to it. This is jazz meticulously arranged for an ensemble with no drummer, no bassist, no brass and no keyboard or guitar player. The entire sonic range consists of eleven saxophones and/or flutes.

“Lilacs” starts with everyone playing the theme in unison. It sounds like a bop chart, but without a rhythm section, the piece gets totally recast. Rivers burns on tenor as the band vamps behind him. The title track presents a slowly shifting melodic line, while long-tone chords hold the harmony in suspension. “Spiral” has a twisting line, one repeated phrase chasing the previous one. It’s busy, but every line is lucid. Double solos run through the piece. They’re tough to separate, but with players like Steve Coleman and Bobby Watson, all are good. “Matrix” alternates staccato bursts — baritones with baritones, sopranos with sopranos, tenors with tenors — with rich harmonic tapestry. Rivers brings out his distinctive flute playing for “Revival.” “Blossom" ends the album on an ambitious note. Without solos, lengthy and challenging, it features a rush of flutes, rhythmically restless unison phrases and the intriguing use of counterpoint. It is a most impressive piece of composing and arranging. (Charles Farrell)

1.- Lilacs
2.- Colours
3.- Spiral
4.- Matrix
5.- Revival
6.- Blossoms

Sam Rivers (soprano & tenor saxophone, flute); Marvin Blackman (soprano & tenor saxophone, flute); Talib Kibwe (soprano and tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute); Chris Roberts (soprano saxophone, flute); Steve Coleman (alto saxophone, flute); Bobby Watson (alto saxophone, flute); Nat Dixon (tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute); Bill Cody (tenor saxophone, oboe); Eddie Alex (tenor saxophone, piccolo); Jimmy Cozier (baritone saxophone, flute); Patience Higgins (baritone saxophone, flute).

Recorded on September 13, 1982 at Cine Music Studio, Milano (Italy).

viernes, 5 de junio de 2009

Don Patterson - Boppin' & Burnin' (1968)

Although organist Don Patterson is the leader of this set that in 1998 was reissued on a CD, the quintet date is most notable for the playing of trumpeter Howard McGhee. McGhee, who had not been heard from much on record for a few years, proves to still be in prime form. Altoist Charles McPherson, the young guitarist Pat Martino and drummer Billy James complete the group. The repertoire is particularly strong with two McGhee originals (including the memorable and haunting "Island Fantasy"), "Epistrophy," "Now's The Time" and a trumpet feature on "Donna Lee." Highly recommended. (Scott Yanow)

1. Pisces Soul
2. Donna Lee
3. Island Fantasy
4. Epistrophy
5. Now's the Time

Don Patterson (Hammond B-3 organ); Charles McPerson (alto saxophone, except #2); Howard McGhee (trumpet); Pat Martino (guitar); Billy James (drums).

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on February 22, 1968.

jueves, 4 de junio de 2009

Billy Harper - Black Saint (1975)

Tenor saxophonist Billy Harper helped launch the Italy-based Black Saint jazz label with this 1975 release. And not only does this represent the inaugural outing for the label, it also signifies one of the finest modern jazz releases of the '70s. Influenced by tenor sax giant John Coltrane, Harper proceeded to mold a distinctly personalized sound awash with slight inferences of R&B and hard bop. Additionally, the saxophonist's melodic gifts come to the forefront throughout this often-invigorating studio date. On the opening piece, titled "Dance Eternal Spirits, Dance," the tenor saxophonist fuses an engagingly melodic theme with lightning-fast flurries atop a peppery jazz waltz groove. Harper radiantly executes soul-searching lines atop a loosely based jazz waltz/swing vamp during "Croquet Ballet," as he alternates lower-register voicings with high-pitched, plaintive cries. Here the artist shrewdly reworks the primary melody as he literally interrogates his tenor saxophone. Highlights abound, while trumpeter Virgil Jones and pianist Joe Bonner provide Harper with buoyant frameworks via hearty soloing and intuitive support. Vigorously recommended. (Glen Astarita)

1.- Dance, Eternal Spirits, Dance!
2.- Croquet Ballet
3.- Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart

Billy Harper (tenor sax and cow bell); Virgil Jones (trumpet); Joe Bonner (piano); David Friesen (bass); Malcolm Pinson (drums)

Recorded on July 21 & 22, 1975 at Barclay Studios, Paris.

miércoles, 3 de junio de 2009

R. Rudd, S. Lacy, M. Mengelberg, K. Carter, H. Bennink - Regeneration (1982)

In 1982, very few people were aware of late pianist Herbie Nichols' name, much less playing his music. Versatile avant-garde pianist Misha Mengelberg gathered together a noteworthy group (comprised of trombonist Roswell Rudd, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, bassist Kent Carter, and drummer Han Bennink) to play three songs apiece by Nichols and Thelonious Monk. The musicians very much understood the composers' purposes, and on such numbers as "Monk's Mood," "Friday the 13th," "Blue Chopsticks," and "2300 Skiddoo" (the latter two had never been recorded with a group larger than a trio before), they come up with definitive treatments. Highly recommended. (Scott Yanow)

1. Blue Chopsticks
2. 2300 Skiddoo
3. Twelve Bars
4. Monk's Mood
5. Friday the 13th
6. Epistrophy

Roswell Rudd (trombone); Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone); Misha Mengelberg (piano); Ken Carter (bass); Han Bennink (drums).

Recorded on June 25 and 26, 1982 at Barigozzi Studio, Milano (Italy).

martes, 2 de junio de 2009

Walt Dickerson - This Is Walt Dickerson ! (1961)

Absolutely delicious.
Soon, more Dickerson.

Walt Dickerson never got quite the credit he deserved for pioneering a modernist approach to the vibes during the early '60s, aligning himself with the emerging "new thing" scene and expanding the instrument's vocabulary beyond Milt Jackson's blues and bop influences. Dickerson's groundbreaking sessions for Prestige all predated the rise of Bobby Hutcherson as the hot new "out" vibes player at Blue Note, and while Hutcherson was a bit freer early on, Dickerson's work still sounded adventurous and forward-looking. This Is Walt Dickerson!, his opening salvo, is every bit the statement of purpose the exclamatory title suggests. Each of the six selections is a Dickerson original, and he proves to be a marvelously evocative composer. Witness the cool, film-noir ambience of the mildly dissonant opener, "Time"; the haunting atmospherics of "Elizabeth," a tribute to his wife; the way the repeated riff of "Death and Taxes" imparts the sense of drudgery and inevitability suggested by the title; or the way Dickerson and pianist Austin Crowe keep twisting the rhythmic emphasis and cadences over the repetitive beat of "The Cry." Dickerson's harmonically advanced playing is just as distinctive, too. He keeps the use of vibrato to a bare minimum, so much so that it's almost a shock when he lets some shimmering chords ring out on "Infinite You"; moreover, his use of rubber mallets instead of the customary felt-tipped augments his soft, controlled tone. In addition to Crowe, Dickerson is backed by bassist Bob Lewis and future Cecil Taylor drummer Andrew Cyrille. A striking debut, This Is Walt Dickerson! sets the stage for continued excellence, but also proves that Dickerson's talent was already fully formed. (Steve Huey)

1.- Time
2.- Elizabeth
3.- The Cry
4.- Death and Taxes
5.- Evelyn
6.- Infinite You

Walt Dickerson (vibraphone); Austin Crowe (piano); Bob Lewis (bass); Andrew Cyrille (drums).

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ on March 7, 1961.

domingo, 31 de mayo de 2009

Anthony Braxton - Six Monk's Compositions (1987)

The band Anthony Braxton assembled for this unique exploration of the compositions of Thelonious Monk is one of the wonders of the composer's retinue. Braxton, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Buell Neidlinger, and drummer Bill Osborne use six Monk tunes and go hunting for harmonic invention; in order, they are "Brilliant Corners," "Reflections," "Played Twice," "Four in One," "Ask Me Now," and "Skippy." From the jump, the listener can tell this is no ordinary Monk tribute. The music is fast, skittering along at a dervish's pace on "Brilliant Corners," and Braxton's horn -- an alto on this album -- moves right for that street where interval meets modulation and sticks his solo in the center, careening over the arrangement -- which is what the tune is in essence, an arrangement rather than a "song" -- and slipping just behind the beat to allow Waldron's brittle, almost angular percussive sonority to define the melody enough to move around the harmonic framework. And this is only the beginning. The other five compositions here are treated in a similar fashion, in that they are radically reinterpreted, played and executed with a degree of musicianship seldom found on any tribute. Braxton's intent was to get at the knotty -- even nutty -- harmonic and rhythmic idiosyncrasies that make Monk's music connect so deeply and widely yet remain difficult to interpret correctly. If all you get is a listen to "Four in One" or "Skippy," just listen to how completely each of these musicians reinvents himself to approach the material. On alternating tunes, Braxton and Waldron provide the catalyst, but all four become changelings in light of this intense and addictive harmonic conception. (Thom Yurek)

1. Brillant Corners
2. Reflections
3. Played Twice
4. Four In One
5. As Me Now
6. Skippy

Anthony Braxton (alto sax); Mal Waldron (piano); Buell Neidlinger (bass); Billy Osborne (drums).

Recorded on June 30th & July 1st, 1987 at Barigozzi Studio, Milano (Italy).

Old and New Dreams - Old and New Dreams (1976)

These four alums of groups led by Ornette Coleman got together to explore the sound and repertoire that their mentor had largely given up when they cut this record back in 1976. They were so pleased with the experience they adopted the album title for the group name and went on to make several for albums over the next decade or so. This brilliant debut made clear that the approach was as vital and potent as ever. Although the opening track "Handwoven" is the only Coleman tune included here, the original pieces by Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, and Charlie Haden were all composed and performed in the spirit of the saxophonist’s classic quartet.

Redman’s playing always reflected a more conventional harmonic sensibility, so Old and New Dreams doesn’t sound quite as freewheeling as its model, but there’s no missing the sublime interplay, flashes of collective improvisation and unabashed melodic ebullience. Despite the inspiration, however, there’s no doubt that this quartet’s stands on its own merits, from the singular way Blackwell could breakdown a swing pattern as productive jabs at the frontline improvisers to Cherry’s magical yet deeply human lines to the distinctive musette playing Redman drops on the title track. An underrated classic. (Peter Margasak)

1.- Handwoven
2.- Dewey's Tune
3.- Chairman Mao
4.- Next to the Quiet Stream
5.- Augmented
6.- Old and New Dreams

Don Cherry (pocket trumpet); Dewey Redman (tenor sax and musette); Charlie Haden (bass); Eddie Blackwell (drums)

Recorded in October 1976, at Generation Sound Studios, New York.

sábado, 30 de mayo de 2009

Cecil Taylor - The Willisau Concert (2000)

One of most Taylor's accesible and beauty solo concerts. Also one of my favourites

Cecil Taylor had released numerous albums of solo recitals, and picking the best out of such a stellar crop is next to impossible. At the very least, it's safe to say that among his recordings after having reached the ripe age of 70, The Willisau Concert is among the very best and that it sits comfortably alongside discs like Indent, Silent Tongues, and Double Holy House. Since around 1970, in one sense Taylor, especially when playing solo, reiterates the same immensely deep composition time and time again. One hears almost the same motifs, usually subtly altered, a profound appreciation of the blues (if rarely directly stated), and an attack that, even if it had mellowed somewhat over the years, retained a hugely proud and rigorous character. Here, he battles a luxurious sounding Boesendorfer into submission, making rich use of its extra low notes; there's almost always a rumbling going on. His unyielding invention is at the forefront as he wrings variation upon sublime invention on his repository of melodic lines, never noodling about in search of inspiration, always somehow summoning it directly to his fingertips. The live performance is sliced into five sections. A lengthy main portion seemingly leaving no stone unturned is both beautiful and exhausting on it own. But then, as though Taylor realized there were things left unsaid, he launches into a stunning 13-minute postlude, breathtaking in its touch and level of emotion. In an embarrassment of riches, he adds three brief and exquisite addenda, achieving a delicacy and depth unmatched by any of his peers in the music. The Willisau Concert shows a grandmaster as yet unfazed by age, much less current fashion, and stands as one of Cecil Taylor's finest recordings. Very highly recommended.

1.- Willisau Concert part. 1
2.- Willisau Concert part. 2
3.- Willisau Concert part. 3
4.- Willisau Concert part. 4
5.- Willisau Concert part. 5

Cecil Taylor - piano

Recorded live on September 3, 2000, at the Jazzfestival Willisau.

Jimmy Lyons Quintet - We Sneezawee (1983)

...Karen Borca also appears to great effect on "Wee Sneezawee", perhaps the most conventional of these discs in freebop terms but a similarly invigorating session. Only on the brief, uncharacteristic "Ballada", with which the album ends, does Lyons occupy the foreground. It's immediately clear that his fey, slightly detached tone doesn't entail an absence of feeling; the closing track is a sad monument to a fading career.

(The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - Ninth Edition)

1. Wee Sneezawee
2. Gossip
3. Remembrance
4. Shackinback
5. Driads

Jimmy Lyons (alto sax); Karen Borca (bassoon); Raphé Malik (trumpet); William Parker (bass); Paul Murphy (drums).

Recorded at September 26 & 27, 1983 at Vanguard Studios, New York.

jueves, 28 de mayo de 2009

Gigi Gryce-Donald Byrd Jazz Laboratory/Cecil Taylor Quartet - At Newport (1957)

At first combining a set by Cecil Taylor with another by the Gigi Gryce-Donald Byrd Jazz Laboratory seems like an odd pairing, but it ends up working rather well. These live recordings, which come from the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival, have stood the test of time rather well. Taylor's style of piano playing is not that far removed from Thelonious Monk in his interpretation of Billy Strayhorn's "Johnny Come Lately," though his dissonant, angular approach is a bit busier; Steve Lacy's nasal-toned soprano sax and solid rhythmic support from bassist Buell Neidlinger and drummer Denis Charles fuel Taylor's fiery playing. Both Taylor's "Nona's Blues" and "Tune 2" are fairly accessible in comparison to his works in the decade which followed. The Gigi Gryce-Donald Byrd Jazz Laboratory -- with pianist Hank Jones, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Osie Johnson -- is firmly rooted in hard bop. Oddly enough, none of the three pieces were written by either Gryce or Byrd, though they were both already budding composers at this point in their respective careers. But their brief program -- which includes Ray Bryant's "Splittin' (Ray's Way)," the blues "Batland," and a rousing rendition of "Love for Sale" -- is a good representation of this unfortunately short-lived and under-recorded group. Reissued as a part of Verve's limited-edition series in the summer of 2002, this valuable CD will be available until the summer of 2005.

1. Johnny Come Lately
2. Nona's Blues
3. Tune 2
4. Splittin'
5. Batland
6. Love for Sale

Cecil Taylor Quartet: Cecil Taylor (piano); Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone); Buell Neidlinger (bass); Denis Charles (drums).

The Gigi Gryce-Donald Byrd Jazz Laboratory (#4-6): Gigi Gryce (alto saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Hank Jones (piano); Wendell Marshall (bass); Osie Johnson (drums).

Recorded July 1957 at the Newport Jazz Festival, Rhode Island: tracks 4-6 on July 5, and tracks 1-3 on July 6

miércoles, 27 de mayo de 2009


Ron Carter - Uptown Conversation (1969)

Ron Carter's Uptown Conversation may very well be the most intriguing, challenging, and resonant statement of many he has made over the years as a leader. Originally on the Embryo imprint of Atlantic Records, Wounded Bird now reissues it with two alternate takes. As a prelude to his funkier electric efforts for CTI and the wonderful dates for Milestone Records where he emphasized the piccolo bass, these selections showcase Carter with unlikely partners in early creative improvised settings, a hint of R&B, and some of the hard-charging straight-ahead music that he is most well known for. Flute master Hubert Laws takes a prominent role on several tracks, including the title cut with its funky but not outdated style, where he works in tandem with Carter's basslines. On "R.J.," the short hard bop phrasings of Laws and Carter are peppy and brisk, but not clipped. The first rendering of "Little Waltz" apart from the Miles Davis repertoire to which Carter contributed is more pensive and delicate, with Laws at the helm rather than Davis' trumpet. Carter's trio recordings with pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Billy Cobham are cast in a different light, as the lengthy "Half a Row" (referring to six of a twelve-tone row) is at once free, spacy, loose, and very atypical for these soon-to-be fusion pioneers. The three stay in a similar dynamic range during "Einbahnstrasse," but move to some hard bop changes informed by the brilliant chordal vamping and extrapolating of Hancock, while "Doom" is another 3/4 waltz with chiming piano offsetting Carter's skittering bass. There's also a free-and-easy duet with guitarist Sam Brown, and this reissued CD also includes alternate takes of both "Doom" and "Einbahnstrasse" as bonus tracks, the latter piece omitting the dark foreboding intro. Considering the music Ron Carter played preceding and following this effort, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more diverse, intellectually stimulating, enlivened, and especially unrestricted musical statement in his long and enduring career. (Michael G. Nastos)

1. Uptown Conversation
2. Ten Strings
3. Half A Row
4. R.J.
5. Little Waltz
6. Einbahnstrasse
7. Doom
8. Einbahnstrasse (alt. tk.)
9. Doom (alt. tk.)

Ron Carter (bass); Hubert Laws (flute); Herbie Hancock (piano); Billy Cobham, Grady Tate (drums).

Recorded at A & R Recording Studios, New York on Oct 6 & 7, 1969.

Sam Rivers - Crystals (1974)

When Sam Rivers' Crystals was released in 1974, it had been over a decade since Ornette had worked with his Free Jazz Double Quartet, nine years since Coltrane assembled his Ascension band, and six since the first Jazz Composers' Orchestra Association was formed and whose first records were issued (a couple of members of that band also perform with Rivers here). It's difficult to note in the 21st century just how forward-thinking this avant-garde big band was, and how completely innovative Rivers' compositions are. The number of musicians on this session is staggering: With Rivers, it numbers 64 pieces! A few of the names appearing here are Hamiet Bluiett, Richard Davis, Bob Stewart, John Stubblefield, Bill Barron, Robin Kenyatta, Julius Watkins, Norman Connors, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Hart, Ahmed Abdullah, Charles Sullivan, Clifford Thornton, Grachan Moncur, Ronnie Boykins, and Reggie Workman -- and no pianist. Musically, this is the mature Sam Rivers speaking from the wide base of his knowledge as a composer, improviser, and conceptualist. These compositions were written between 1959 and 1972, and were finished as new elements came to him to fit them together conceptually. The fact that all six of them are so gorgeously juxtaposed is a testament to his discipline and his vision. From the beginning of "Exultation," the horns storm out of the gate, saxophones up front in what appears to be full free jazz freakout. Trumpets and trombones bleat behind, and the bass violins bow in unison on a modal opening. Within minutes, however, the rhythm section kicks in, and a full-on swinging soprano solo accompanied by the stomping bass of Workman fills the center for about 40 bars until the entire band comes back for a restated them that is knotty yet swinging. A number of instruments then jump through the center of the piece, creating an intervallic dialogue that prompts the soloists to come back in and take it. The intervals and contrapuntal structures are subtle enough to avoid seams -- though the jagged edges in the solos provide dense and beautiful textures -- and when the whole band comes back in, one doesn't notice that they are all grooving in a whole new rhythmic situation that is full of stops, starts, and sideways maneuvers. On "Tranquility," the bassist lays down a syncopated funk groove and long, drifting melodic lines that are written out comes flowing in between the bass and Stewart's tuba. They shimmer around each other in harmonic dissonance, though with the dynamics controlled, the edges are rounded. Rivers has written some of the most complex music of his life here, allowing for short, poignant, and often strictly composed solos to complement the linear, contrapuntal structures that these towering compositions are. As soloists do give way to one another, it is remarkable that the sheer density of hard swing provides the center of the maelstrom with such a wide emotional and chromatic palette. This is spiritual music in the most profound sense in that it attempts to breach the gyre between what has previously been said -- by Ellington, most notably -- what can be said, and the musically unspeakable. There is a massive centrifugal force at work in Rivers compositions here; and it pulls everything in, each dynamic stutter, legato phrase, ostinato whisper, and alteration in pitch in favor of what comes next. The swinging nature of these tunes refutes once and for all whether or not avant-garde music can be accessible -- -though it's true Sun Ra had already done that, but never to this extent. In sum, there are harsh moments here to be sure, but they are part of a greater and far more diverse musical universe, they are shards in the prism of the deep and burning soul that these six compositions offer so freely. Of the many recordings Rivers has done, this was the very first to showcase the full range of his many gifts. It is an underrated masterpiece and among the most rewarding and adventurous listening experiences in the history of jazz. Now that it is available on CD with pristine sound, you have no excuse. (Thom Jurek, All Music Guide)

1. Exultation
2. Tranquility
3. Postlude
4. Bursts
5. Orb
6. Earth Song

Personnel: Sam Rivers (arranger, conductor, soprano & tenor saxophones); Fred Kelly (soprano, alto & baritone saxophones, flute, piccolo); Joe Ferguson (soprano & alto saxophones, flute); Roland Alexander (soprano & tenor saxophones, flute, African flute); Paul Jeffrey (tenor saxophone, flute, bassett horn); Sinclair Acey, Ted Daniel, Richard Williams (trumpet, flugelhorn); Charles Majeed Greenlee, Charles Stephens (trombone); Joe Daley (euphonium, tuba); Gregory Maker (bass); Warren Smith (drums); Harold Smith (percussion).

Recorded at Generation Sound Studios, New York, New York on March 4, 1974.

martes, 26 de mayo de 2009

Max Roach feat. Anthony Braxton - Birth and Rebirth (1978)

The duets with Braxton are a key point. In ther anxiety to sort-code music, critics couldn't decide who was climbing into whose pigeonhole, whether Birth and Rebirth was a better example of reedman's accommodation to the mainstream, or of Roach's avant-garde credentials. In the event, of course, they met exactly head-to-head. Braxton, even on this vintage, is still making respectful gestures towards bop, and Roach is constantly looking for points beyond orthodox time-signatures.
The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - Ninth Edition)

The first of drummer Max Roach's two duet sets with multireedist Anthony Braxton consists of seven fairly free improvisations that they created in the studio. Each of the selections (particularly "Birth" which builds gradually in intensity to a ferocious level, the waltz time of "Magic and Music," the atmospheric "Tropical Forest" and "Softshoe") have their own plot and purpose. Braxton (who performs on alto, soprano, sopranino and clarinet) and Roach continually inspire each other, which is probably why they would record a second set the following year. Stimulating avant-garde music. (Scott Yanow)

  1. Birth
  2. Magic And Music
  3. Tropical Forest
  4. Dance Griot
  5. Spirit Possession
  6. Softshoe
  7. Rebirth
Anthony Braxton - alto, soprano & sopranino saxophones, clarinet
Max Roach - drums

Recorded in September 1978 at Ricordi Studios, Milano.

lunes, 25 de mayo de 2009

Cecil Taylor - Olu Iwa (1986)

On the shelf for eight years before release, and whith Wright and McCall both gone in the interim, this already has the feel of history about it. Some of the music, too, has one reflecting on Taylor's own history: the presence of Barker's marimba harcks back to Earl Griffith on the ancient "Looking Ahead!", and the small group with horns reminds one of "Unit Structures". But the two sprawling pieces here (the first is almost 50 minutes; the second , where the horns depart, is nearly 30) have moved far on from those days. Alternately hymnal, purgatorial, intensely concentrated and wildly abandoned, the first theme is a carefully organized yet unfettered piece that again disproves Taylor's isolation (it's firmly within free jazz traditions, yet sounds like something no one else could have delivered). The second, despite the absence of the towering Brötzmann, superb in the first half, is if anything even more fervent, with the quartet - a more-time appearance for this band on record - playing at full strech. Another great one. (The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - Ninth Edition)

B Ee Ba Nganga Ban'a Eee! (48:21)
Olu Iwa (Lord of Character) (27:09)

Cecil Taylor: piano; Thurman Barker: marimba, percussion; William Parker: bass; Steve McCall: drums.
Earl McIntyre: trombone (1); Peter Bröztmann: tenor sax, tarogato (1); Frank Wright: tenor sax (1)

Recorded live during the "Workshop Freie Musik 1986" of Berlin, April 11 & 12 1986.

sábado, 23 de mayo de 2009

Andrew Hill Trio - Strange Serenade (1980)

This is as dour and dark as anything Hill has committed to record. Silva and Waits are ideal partners in music that isn't so much minor-key as surpassingly ambigous in it's harmonic language. Hill seems on occasion to be exploring ideas that can be traced back to Bud Powell - no the straight bebop language so much as the more impressionistic things. There are curious little broken triplets and wide-interval phrases which seem to come straight from Bud's last recordings.

(The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - Ninth Edition)

1. Mist Flower
2. Strange Serenade
3. Reunion
4. Andrew

Andrew Hill (piano); Alan Silva (bass); Freddie Waits (percussion).

Recorded at Barigozzi Studio, Milan, Italy on June 13 & 14, 1980.
Soul Note

viernes, 22 de mayo de 2009

David Murray Trio - 3D Family (1978)

A major early release by tenorist Murray, 3D Family appeared originally on Hat Hut records as a double LP before eventually being re-released on disc by hat ART. Murray performs here in a live context with one of his very strongest rhythm sections: the intensely musical South African bassist Johnny Dyani and veteran master drummer Andrew Cyrille. The program consists of all Murray compositions, weaving between burners, funky dances, and soulful ballads. "Patricia" is an especially lovely example of the latter, with Murray displaying his well-known penchant for Ben Webster-like growls, which almost inevitably mutate into upper-register cries. The title track is a wonderfully surging piece, full of drama. Dyani's propulsive playing here is astonishing; of all the bassists to accompany Murray, perhaps only the late Fred Hopkins was his peer. His often-played "P-O in Cairo" suffers a bit pared down to a trio, its sinuous line sounding a bit lost as though seeking support, but still the playing manages to salvage something. If anything, the length of the pieces allows Murray to drift on a bit longer than necessary at times. As often as not, though, he manages to wring out some extra juice, making it easy for the listener to grant him significant slack. Still in his mid-twenties, this recording captures him moving toward the crest of his powers (evidenced in his octets) and is one of the better trio dates in his discography. Recommended, as much for the marvelous "sidemen" as for Murray himself.

1.- 3D Family
2.- Patricia
3.- In Memory of Yoko Kenyatta
4.- Shout Song

David Murray (tenor saxophone); Johnny Mbizo Dyani (bass); Andrew Cyrille (drums)

Recorded in concert at Jazz Festival Willisau on September 3, 1978.
hatART 6020

Charles Tolliver Music Inc. & Orchestra - Impact (1975)

This is the japanese remastered edition of the big band Tolliver's "Impact" (not be confused with the quartet live album). Probably, one of my all time favourite (also my girl's).

Trumpeter/flügelhornist Charles Tolliver often straddled the line between the lyricism of hard bop and the adventurous nature of the avant-garde. Released in 1975, Impact contained a stimulating progressive edge within an energetic large band (14 horns, eight strings, and rhythm section) format. Tolliver's arrangements are consistently bright and build momentum, while the soloists are given sufficient room to maneuver through the multiple textures. Featured soloists in the remarkable reed section include Charles McPherson, James Spaulding, George Coleman, and Harold Vick (Al Campbell)

1. Impact
2. Mother Wit
3. Grand Max
4. Plight
5. Lynnsome
6. Mournin' Variations

Charles Tolliver (trumpet/flugelhorn); Stanley Cowell (piano); Cecil McBee (bass); Reggie Workman (bass); Clint Houston (bass); James Spaulding (alto/soprano sax & flute); George Coleman (tenor sax); Harold Vick (tenor/soprano sax & flute); Virgil Jones (trumpet); Jon Faddis (trumpet); Garnet Brown (trombone) . . .

Recorded and mixed at Sound Ideas Studios on January 17, 1975.
Strata-East (CD 9001)

David Murray - The Hill (1986)

For this date, Murray teamed up with the able veterans Richard Davis and Joe Chambers, producing a varied, solid, and enjoyable session mixing originals with standards and showing that he was quite capable of holding his own among the older pros. Davis had always shown himself to be open to all sorts of jazz, from the most traditional to the outer reaches of the avant-garde (check out his work with the Creative Construction Company), and he runs the gamut here. His arco playing on the title track and "Herbie Miller" is as free as you please, yet he swings Ellington's "Take the Coltrane" like nobody's business. Butch Morris contributes a lovely number, "Fling," allowing Murray to indulge in his romantic side. The leader's playing is typically gritty and imaginative throughout; Murray rarely gives less than 100 percent live or on record, and if his work here is less than his most inspired, that still leaves plenty of room for a lot of good blowing. Joe Chambers switches to vibes for the closing track, a luxuriant rendition of Strayhorn's classic Chelsea Bridge, and along with deep work from Davis, provides a rich bed for Murray's most probing playing on the date. Summoning the spirits of Ben Webster and perhaps just a bit of Archie Shepp, he pours phrase after liquid phrase in a warm and touching tribute to one of the great jazz composers. The Hill offers an accurate snapshot of Murray in the mid-'80s, straddling the mainstream and avant-garde and proving himself quite adept in either.

1. Santa Barbara and Crenshaw Follies - David Murray-(8:25)
2. The Hill -David Murray- (9:00)
3. Fling -Lawrence Butch Morris- (7:09)
4. Take the Coltrane - Duke Ellington- (7:42)
5. Herbie Miller -David Murray- (5:52)
6. Chaelsea Bridge - Billy Strayhorn- (10:31)

David Murray - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Richard Davis - bass
Joe Chambers - drums

Recorded November 29, 1986 at Sound Ideas Studios, New York
Black Saint 120110-1

jueves, 21 de mayo de 2009

Frank Lowe - The Flam (1975)

On this free jazz date the powerful tenor Frank Lowe teams up with trumpeter Leo Smith,
trombonist Joseph Bowie, bassist Alex Blake and drummer Charles Bobo Shaw for five group
originals including the collaboration "Third St. Stomp." The very explorative and rather emotional music holds one's interest throughout. These often heated performances are better heard than described. (Scott Yanow)

…A wonderful band and a very fine record which was unavailable for far too long. A good place to start if you haven't encountered Lowe before… ” (The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - Ninth Edition)

1. Sun Voyage (Joseph Bowie) 7:35
2. Flam (Frank Lowe) 14:03
3. Be-Bo-Bo-Be (Charles Shaw) 10:53
4. Third St. Stomp (Lowe/Shaw/Bowie/Blake/Smith) 10:21
5. U.B.P. (Leo Smith) 0:45

Frank Lowe (tenor saxophone), Leo Smith (trumpet), Joe Bowie (trombone), Alex Blake (bass), Charles "Bobo" Shaw (drums)

Recorded in NYC, Generation Sound Studios October 20-21, 1975