:::Saxophone Colossus:::

Posted: Tuesday, 22 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Sonny Rollins will go down in history as not only the single most enduring tenor saxophonist of the bebop and hard bop era, but also the greatest contemporary jazz saxophonist of them all. His fluid and harmonically innovative ideas, effortless manner, and easily identifiable and accessible sound have influenced generations of performers, but have also fueled the notion that mainstream jazz music can be widely enjoyed, recognized, and proliferated. Born Theodore Walter Rollins in New York City on September 7, 1929, he had an older brother who played violin. At age nine he took up piano lessons but discontinued them, took up the alto saxophone in high school, and switched to tenor after high school, doing local engagements. In 1948 he recorded with vocalist Babs Gonzales, then Bud Powell and Fats Navarro, and his first composition, "Audubon," was recorded by J.J. Johnson. Soon thereafter, Rollins made the rounds quickly with groups led by Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron, Chicago drummer Ike Day, and Miles Davis in 1951, followed by his own recordings with Kenny Drew, Kenny Dorham, and Thelonious Monk.
In 1956 Rollins made his biggest move, joining the famous ensemble of Max Roach and Clifford Brown, then formed his own legendary pianoless trio with bassist Wilbur Ware or Donald Bailey and drummer Elvin Jones or Pete La Roca in 1957, doing recorded sessions at the Village Vanguard. Awards came from Down Beat and Playboy magazines, and recordings were done mainly for the Prestige and Riverside labels, but also for Verve, Blue Note, Columbia, and Contemporary Records, all coinciding with the steadily rising star of Rollins. Pivotal albums such as Tenor Madness (with John Coltrane), Saxophone Colossus (with longstanding partner Tommy Flanagan), and Way Out West (with Ray Brown and Shelly Manne), and collaborations with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Clark Terry, and Sonny Clark firmly established Rollins as a bona fide superstar. He also acquired the nickname "Newk" for his facial resemblance to Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe.

:::Review Scott Yanow@allmusic.com:::

Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus (1956)

1. St. Thomas 6:46
2. You Don't Know What Love Is 6:28
3. Strode Rode 5:13
4. Moritat 10:06
5. Blue 7 11:18

Piano - Tommy Flanagan
Bass - Doug Watkins
Drums - Max Roach
Tenor Saxophone - Sonny Rollins

:::Iron Path:::

Posted: Sunday, 20 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

When it comes to avant-garde jazz/rock noise, few bands kicked out the jams better than did Last Exit. A who's-who of jazz players with punk-ass attitudes, Last Exit -- guitarist Sonny Sharrock, bassist Bill Laswell, drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, and saxophonist Peter Brotzmann -- could swing, rock, and create an all-out free-jazz din all in the blink of an eye. More important, Last Exit was about was the thrill and danger of total improvisation; so much did they believe in this concept that their debut performance in Zurich in 1986 was completely improvised and unrehearsed. Granted, one person's free improvisation is another's tuneless chaos, but Last Exit, due primarily to the skill of its individuals, only infrequently fell off the precipice into the netherworld of arty wanking. These were four men that emotionally, intellectually, and musically belonged together: Sharrock had gotten his start playing blues, but rebelled against structured, proper guitar technique, preferring to play sheets of atonal metallic distortion; Shannon Jackson grew up playing Texas blues, but through working with players such as Blood Ulmer, explored a percussive world that was not regimented by time and meter; Bill Laswell played and produced rock, funk, and "straight" jazz, and in Last Exit he mashed all of these influences into one feral ball of noise and rhythm; and Peter Brotzmann didn't simply blow sax, he blew it to bits as if his life depended on it.

:::Review by John Dougan@allmusic.com:::

Last Exit - Iron Path (1988)

1. Prayer 4:37
2. Iron Path 3:28
3. The Black Bat (For Aki Ikuta) 4:33
4. Marked for Death 2:19
5. The Fire Drum 4:18
6. Detonator 3:47
7. Sand Dancer 1:56
8. Cut and Run 2:30
9. Eye for an Eye 4:54
10. Devil's Rain 4:12

Bass - Bill Laswell
Drums - Ronald Shannon Jackson
Engineer - Martin Bisi
Guitar - Sonny Sharrock
Mastered By - Howie Weinberg
Photography, Artwork By [Front Cover Design] - Thi Link Le
Producer - Bill Laswell , Last Exit
Saxophone [Bass] - Peter Brötzmann

:::Air Time:::

Posted: Friday, 18 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

First among many ensembles in different genres that have chosen the name Air, this trio specializing in collective improvisation grew directly from the membership of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Throughout 11 albums that appeared over a span of one dozen years this group operated in modes comparable to that of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and at times some of Albert Ayler's early trio realizations. Its inception occurred in 1971, when saxophonist Henry Threadgill agreed to fulfill a request from the theater department at Chicago's Columbia College to devise modern arrangements based upon ragtime compositions of Scott Joplin (a concept borne to fruition by Anthony Braxton and Muhal Richard Abrams in 1976). Threadgill joined forces with bassist Fred Hopkins and drummer Steve McCall, and named the trio Reflection.
Although they parted ways the following year, the cooperative unit reassembled in New York in 1975 and chose the elemental name Air.

:::Review by Scott Yanow@allmusic.com:::

Air - Air Time (1977)

1. I'll Be Right Here Waiting (2:37)
2. No. 2 (2:00)
3. G.v.E. (7:00)
4. Subtraction (13:34)
5. Keep Right On Playing Through The Mirror Over The Water (9:17)

Bass - Fred Hopkins
Percussion - Steve McCall
Saxophone (alto, Tenor), Flute (bass), Hubkaphone - Henry Threadgill


Posted: Thursday, 17 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

When five Downtown New York improvisers with deep roots in the jazz tradition embrace the Hasidic musical legacy and the scintillating rhythms of the holy land, a new voice emerges. Blending together an intense mixture of ethnic and cosmopolitan sounds, Hasidic New Wave fuses spiritual songs from Hasidic dynasties to funk and jazz, Arabic dances with avant-garde rock, and juxtaposes horas and freylekhs with sheer improvisation. Hasidic New Wave's alternatingly ecstatic and meditative performances, imbued (as is consistent with Hasidic tradition) with joy and passion, has led critics to liken the band to Sun Ra meets Jimi Hendrix at a Jewish wedding and exclaim HNW marries Hasidic music to avant-jazz, spinning traditional Jewish celebratory songs into extended Jazz improvisations that incorporate ferocious horn blowing and raucous electric guitar solos.

:::Review by Adam Greenberg@allmusic.com:::

Hasidic New Wave - Psycho-Semitic (1998)

1. Seven Blessings from the High Priest: Achas
2. AKS
3. Seven Blessings from the High Priest: Achas ve-achas
4. Hebe Bop
5. Seven Blessings from the High Priest: Achas ve-shtayim
6. Transcendence / U'Mipney Khata'eynu
7. Al-Osfour Al-Majnoun (The Crazy Bird)
8. Seven Blessings from the High Priest: Achas ve-sholosh
9. Ve-Samakhto Dub
10. Seven Blessings from the High Priest: Achas ve-arba
11. Habibi
12. Seven Blessings from the High Priest: Achas vo-sheysh
13. Blues In Exile
14. Seven Blessings from the High Priest: Achas ve-khamesh
15. Men Trinkt Mashke (People Drink Whiskey

Frank London - trumpet
Greg Wall - sax
David Fiuczynski - guitar
Fima Ephron - bass
Aaron Alexander - drums


Posted: Wednesday, 16 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

DEDALUS - not to be confused with another Italian 'DEDALUS' who mix folk with jazz - were a most enterprising 70's jazz-rock quartet from Turin who still keep a high public profile among collectors. Evoking SOFT MACHINE but with an emphasis on keyboards, they use the violin, synthesizer, guitar, sax, cello, bass and drums; their style is more experimental and spacer than other Italian jazz-rock bands (KALEIDON, DUELLO MADRE, PERIGEO). After a first album in 1973, they lost their bassist and went on as a trio for a second album; they then lost their drummer and split up. In 1990, they reappeared for a third album that featured the original line-up minus the drummer. After many personnel changes, the keyboard player reformed the band under the name The BONANSONE DEDALUS GROUP who released a fourth album in 2004.
The eponymous first LP was their most SOFT MACHINE-like album, featuring some particularly spacey experimentation. "Materiale per Tre Esecutori e Nastro Magnetico" (1974) contains some highly complex music in a contemporary classical vein à la John Cage or Edgar Varese; it is also marked by a stronger use of electronics (no doubt due to the loss of their drummer). The privately released "Pia Visione" (1997) tried to revive the original spirit of the band but with a very minimalist approach. As for "Nomos Apache Alpha" (2004), it has a strong classical chamber music feel as it is mainly cello and flute based.
Fans of SOFT MACHINE and ARTI E MESTIERI should find the first, and particularly the second album, quite enjoyable.
:::Lise (HIBOU), CANADA@ www.progarchives.com:::

album review@www.progarchives.com

Dedalus – Dedalus (1973)

1. Santiago (9:13)
2. Leda (4:30)
3. Conn (3:48)
4. C.T.6 (14:02)
5. Brilla (5:39)

- Fiorenzo Bonansone / cello, electric piano, synthesizer
- Marco Di Castri / guitars, Tenor saxophone, percussion
- Furio Di Castri / bass, percussion
- Enrico Grosso / drums, percussion
- Rene Montegna from "AKTUALA" / African percussion

Releases information
LP Vynil Magic VM 009 (1973)

:::Some Other Stuff:::

Posted: Tuesday, 15 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Grachan Moncur III was one of the top trombonists of the jazz avant-garde in the 1960s although he had only a few chances to lead his own record sessions. This 1964 set (which has been reissued on CD) was one of his finest, a quintet outing with bassist Cecil McBee, two of the members of the Miles Davis Quintet (pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Tony Williams), and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter just a brief time before he joined Miles. The group performs four of Moncur's challenging originals, including "Nomadic" (which is largely a drum solo) and "The Twins," which is built off of one chord. None of the compositions caught on but the strong and very individual improvising of the young musicians is enough of a reason to acquire the advanced music.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

Grachan Moncur III - Some Other Stuff (1964)

1.Gnostic (11:42)
2. Thandiwa (8:17)
3. The Twins (12:53)
4. Nomadic (7:41)

Bass - Cecil McBee
Drums - Anthony Williams
Engineer - Rudy Van Gelder
Piano - Herbie Hancock
Producer - Alfred Lion
Saxophone [Tenor] - Wayne Shorter
Trombone - Grachan Moncur III


Posted: Monday, 14 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

This album is a must have if you like Ecm's output but are a little turn off by some of their more eclectic productions. This cd has it all. Great, original compositions (Edward Vesala is the closest comparison), incredible playing and terrific sound. Of the 2 Krakatau on Ecm i like this the best and should appeal to all listeners looking for adventurous yet hum-able jazz influenced music.
:::Review by M. Hiraldo:::

Krakatau – Volition (1992)

1. Brujo (7:38)
2. Volition (9:26)
3. Nai (6:03)
4. Bullroarer (2:16)
5. Changgo (4:22)
6. Little Big Horn (8:41)
7. Dalens Ande (6:21)

Artwork By [Cover Design] - Sascha Kleis
Artwork By [Cover Painting] - Päivi Björkenheim
Bass [Acoustic] - Uffe Krokfors
Drums - Alf Forsman
Engineer - Jan Erik Kongshaug
Guitar, Shekere - Raoul Björkenheim
Photography - Stefan Bremer
Producer, Other [Notes] - Steve Lake
Saxophone [Tenor], Performer [Krakaphone, Toppophone, Whirlpipe] - Jone Takamäki
Written-By - Forsman (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 7) , Takamäki (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 7) , Björkenheim , Krokfors (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 7)


Posted: Friday, 4 September 2009 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

This was the first real indication to the world that Keith Jarrett was an ambitious, multi-talented threat to be reckoned with, an explosion of polystylistic music that sprawled over two LPs (now squeezed onto a single CD). Using his classic quartet (Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian) as a base, Jarrett occasionally adds the biting rock-edged electric guitar of Sam Brown and always-intriguing percussionist Airto Moreira, and indulges in some pleasant string and brass arrangements of his own, along with some grinding organ smears and acceptable soprano sax. Jarrett again turns his early rampant eclecticism loose -- from earthy gospel-tinged soul-jazz to the freewheeling atonal avant-garde -- yet this time he does it with an exuberance and expansiveness that puts his previous solo work in the shade. "Common Mama," a spicy Latin workout with brass punctuations, "Take Me Back," driving soul jazz with streaks of electric jazz-rock, and the lengthy, nearly free "Nomads" are the most invigorating tracks.
:::Review by Richard S. Ginell:::

Keith Jarrett – Expectations (1971)

1. Common Mama (8:11)
2. The Magician In You (6:52)
3. Roussillion (5:22)
4. Expectations (4:26)
5. Take Me Back (9:30)
6. The Circular Letter (For J.K.) (5:04)
7. Nomads (17:21)
8. Sundance (4:27)
9. Bring Back The Time When (If) (9:51)
10. There Is A Road (God's River) (5:32)

Arranged By - Keith Jarrett
Bass - Charlie Haden
Composed By - Keith Jarrett
Drums - Paul Motian
Engineer - James Green , Tim Geelan
Guitar - Sam Brown
Mastered By [Remaster] - Mark Wilder
Other [Back Cover Photo] - Urve Kuusik
Other [Cover Art] - Robert Horvitz
Percussion - Airto Moreira
Piano - Keith Jarrett
Producer [Digital] - Nedra Neal
Producer [Original Recordings] - George Avakian
Saxophone [Soprano] - Keith Jarrett
Saxophone [Tenor] - Dewey Redman