:::Metal Fatigue:::

Posted: Monday, 29 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , ,

This is the disc I play for those wanting to hear Allan's music for the first time. He still has a rock feel on this disc. It contains the most cited work for guitarists of the shredder variety, "Devil take the Hindmost." Truly a classic that defies time. Nearly twenty years after it was first released, it still holds as a monolithic moment in guitar history. "Home" is one of the few Holdsworth recordings of Allan's acoustic abilities. Beautiful. "The Un-Merry-Go-Round" is a three part opus, with a drum solo, beautiful chordal work and inspirational soloing. "In the Mystery" closes the album with Paul Korda on vocal. Drummer Mac Hine,(machine), makes a few appearances but Gary Husband and Chad Wackerman share the drumming duites. Jimmy Johnson, Flim, lays down some serious bottom and takes a few timely solos. Hearing this, you'll understand why Allan was requested to play on so many artists recording. One word, "Unique."
:::Review by Dan Bobrowski:::

Allan Holdsworth - Metal Fatigue (1985)

1. Metal Fatigue (4:54)
2. Home (5:29)
3. Devil Take the Hindmost (5:33)
4. Panic Station (3:31)
5. The Un-Merry-Go-Round (14:06)
6. In the Mystery (3:49)

- Allan Holdsworth / guitar
- Jimmy Johnson / bass (1-4,6)
- Chad Wackerman / drums (1-4)
- Gary Willis / bass (5)
- Alan Pasqua / keyboards (5)
- Gary Husband / drums (5)
- Paul Korda / vocals (6)
- Paul Williams / vocals (3)
- Mac Hine / drums (6)

Tracks 1 & 4 written by Allan Holdsworth & Paul Williams
Tracks 2, 3 & 5 written by Allan Holdsworth
Track 6 written by Allan Holdsworth & Paul Korda
Produced by Allan Holdsworth

:::Question Mark:::

Posted: Saturday, 27 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

One of the lesser-known players of the Polish jazz scene of the 70s -- but a heck of a great saxophonist who stretches out nicely here in post-Coltrane reedom, but also manages to groove a bit too! The session has Janusz Muniak on both tenor and soprano sax -- working with a quintet in styles that range from open and almost free, to more inside and tightly grooving, with a sweeter electric feel. Instrumentation in the group includes electric piano, guitar, bass, and drums -- and the feel here is almost like some of the directions the Impulse Records scene of the 70s took their Coltrane inspiration when they electrified the rhythms, and tightened things up a bit. Titles include "Obertas", "Taniec Pawia", "Znak Zapytania", and "Przejazdzka Walcem".
:::Review by Dusty Groove America:::

Janusz Muniak - Question Mark (1978)

1. Przejażdżka Walcem (Drive On A Planing Roller) 12:17
2. Taniec Pawia (Peacock's Dance) 7:35
3. Obertas 9:55
4. Znak Zapytania (Question Mark) 10:18

Bass - Andrzej Dechnik
Drums, Percussion - Jerzy Bezucha
Guitar - Marek Bliziński
Music By - Janusz Muniak (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Piano, Electric Piano - Paweł Perliński
Saxophone [Tenor And Soprano] - Janusz Muniak

Originally released in 1978 on Polskie Nagrania Muza (SX 1616).
Recorded Warsaw, June 1978.
Polish Jazz Deluxe series. Released in digipak

:::Polar Bear:::

Posted: Thursday, 25 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

For those that don’t know, Polar Bear are a jazz band, and in 2005 were the token jazz nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. If you saw the award show that year, you’ll know that their kinetic, two sax, bass and drums line-up rocked the house party at the drop of a hat, and left everyone else (bar, possibly, winner Antony Hegarty) looking like very clumsy, boring musicians indeed. You’ll also know that their drummer is a demon, with the biggest hair ever seen in music.
That drummer, who goes by the name Seb Rochford, is also Polar Bear’s bandleader, meaning that he’s the guy who directs the group and sketches the shapes of their tunes. He also, along with bassist Tom Herbert and baritone / tenor saxophonist Pete Wareham, plays in Acoustic Ladyland, an electrified sister act to Polar Bear who do a similar thing to Battles, only coming from the opposite direction. Acoustic Ladyland’s 2006 album, Skinny Grin (review), is about the most exciting and essential example of jazz / rock / avant-garde fusion released in… oh, my lifetime. You should check it out.
Polar Bear play jazz much more straight down the line than their alter ego, though; there’s no electric bass run through effects peddles here, no Hendrix-esque soloing, and no songs titled after Iggy Pop or The Ramones. There are also no samples, loops, or nods to hip-hop or drum 'n' bass, although there are subtle electronic production touches (plus mandolin, kalimba and 'balloon') provided by Leafcutter John. They’re provided live though, in an improvisational jazz style, just like everything else here, which means that, while this is a very modern jazz album in style and tone, it’s still the sound of five men (the fifth being second sax player Mark Lockheart) playing music together in a room, rather than one guy mixing together sample stems on a laptop.
While Wareham and Rochford are the biggest names in the band, it’s often Herbert that carries the compositions, his rich double bass simultaneously anchoring and driving the soloing saxophones and textural electronics, while working in blissful rhythmic union with Roachford’s excitable percussion. Many passages verge on a kid of jazz-dub, Roachford and Herbert laying down a steady, tricky groove while the saxophones and electronics stretch the soundscape above into psychedelic headspace.
Several times across this eponymous album, the group’s third, Polar Bear dip in and out of ambient jazz occasionally redolent of Miles Davis’ legendary In A Silent Way album (though sans keyboards), but they always remember to reintroduce verve, grooves and thrilling intergroup dynamics before things get boring.
Technically Polar Bear mix up many different styles of jazz, from bop to fusion to free through everything else, but always back to their own recognisable stylistic template. Throughout the album melodic themes and rhythmic patterns are established, dissolved, forgotten and then reintroduced. Take the way 'Goodbye' starts life as the kind of tuneful, upbeat style-hopping that might be Polar Bear's signature sound, before it liquefies into a swirl of shooting electronic textures, rattling percussion, and spinning-but-still-melodic sax, and then morphs effortlessly through plains of ambient drone into 'Appears, Moves And Sails'.
It’s this seamless motion and playful interplay that makes Polar Bear such a thrill; they seem to know exactly what to do and when – when to surprise, when to comfort, when to excite, when to calm. The third quarter of the record possibly wanders too far into free jazz skronking and textural explorations for some, but this is a big album – 14 tracks over 75 minutes – and takes in a lot of ground, meaning there should be at least something for everyone. For sheer musical pleasure it’s one of my favourite records of the year. I could listen to them play all day.
:::Review by Nick Southall:::

Polar Bear - Polar Bear (2008)

1. Tay 4:58
2. Goodbye 7:58
3. Appears, Moves And Sails 6:31
4. Tomlovesalivelovestom 6:01
5. Voices 5:53
6. Industry 3:39
7. Brian 7:06
8. Sunshine 4:41
9. Leafcup 8:11
10. It Snows Again 5:00
11. Sounds Like A Train To Me 2:39
12. I Am Alive 4:54
13. Woollen Blanket 2:13
14. Joy Jones 5:27

Bass - Tom Herbert
Drums - Seb Rochford
Electronics - Leafcutter John
Tenor Sax - Mark Lockheart , Pete Wareham

:::Constructive Destruction:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Oh, those Luttenbachers. Just when everything settles down into a nice quiet drone of "progressive improv," where everybody's happy and traversing the edge of realization unto sleep, they have to show up and destroy the world. Recorded in 1993 in Chicago, this lineup is spiritually -- if not musically -- linked to John Zorn's Naked City. Ken Vandermark and Jeb Bishop, along with drummer Weasel Walter, guitarist Dylan Posa, and saxophonist Chad Organ, are a compositional and improvisational terror. Opening with the lovely "The Critic Stomp," the Luttenbachers create swirling combinations of rock energy's most organized moments and stack them against the individual desire to cut out of the universe by screaming your way through your instrument. This continues though the dynamic changes from time to time, as on "Fist Through Glass," where a particularly knotty melodic line is played by the saxophones and Bishop on trombone, and then illustrated with the most distorted guitar accompaniment ever recorded. Walter has to keep everything past triple-eight time, so furious are the tempos, and he is assisted by Vandermark's sense of impeccable timing to carry a line to the end and stop it on a dime. Other notable tracks are "Coffeehouse in Flames," pulled out on occasion by the Vandermark 5, and "Eaten By Sharks," with its wraparound bassline and tenor solos that literally make you wish you had been anywhere but here when the horns started bleating. This is awesome, this is fun, this is wake the dead music that actually might.
:::Review by Thom Jurek:::

The Flying Luttenbachers - Constructive Destruction (1994)

1. The Critic Stomp 4:18
2. Pointed Stick - 93B 6:33
3. The Indiscreet Notion 7:20
4. Fist Through Glass 2:58
5. Playing In The Dumpster 3:38
6. Eaten By Sharks 5:53
7. Brainstorm 5:29
8. Coffeehouse In Flames 6:37

Bass [Guitar], Trombone - Jeb Bishop
Drums - Weasel Walter
Guitar [Electric] - Dylan Posa
Saxophone [Tenor] - Chad Organ
Saxophone [Tenor], Clarinet [Bass, Bb] - Ken Vandermark

:::Last Chance Disco:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Another revolutionary and heartening jazz-is-reborn manifesto from the F-IRE collective of young London bands—and by a mile the most extreme to date. At times closer to thrash metal and grindcore than jazz as it's usually defined, and acknowledging the presence of Pig Destroyer and Dizzee Rascal in the world around it, Acoustic Ladyland is either an electric jazz band that plays dirty rock 'n' roll, or a dirty rock 'n' roll band that plays electric jazz. Either way it'll rip the nose clean off your face, and either way it's a riot.
This is the sound of young London and the sound of tomorrow, but you know what? Your parents might like it. (If they're jazz fans, that is.) Because Acoustic Ladyland—like F-IRE colleagues Polar Bear and Ingrid Laubrock, whose respective Held On The Tips Of Fingers and Forensic were recently reviewed here—are reclaiming the joyous, on-the-edge and in-the-moment lust for exploration and adventure that used to define what jazz was all about and now might do so again.
Three of the four musicians who make up Acoustic Ladyland (saxophonist Pete Wareham, who writes all the tunes, bassist Tom Herbert, and drummer Sebastian Rochford) are also members of Polar Bear, but the vision here takes a substantially bigger fix from the experimental end of rock and punk. Both bands share an attitude, to music and the world, and both graft a free jazz aesthetic on top of the beats, but they're very different animals. Acoustic Ladyland give a much bigger nod to crunching WMD riffs (check son-of-Willie Dixon's-"Spoonful" riff on "Remember") and full-on high-decibel sonic distortion. It's amazing that such similar lineups can produce such dissimilar, from-the-heart musics.
The opening "Iggy," a roaring whirlwind of punk bass, screaming tenor sax, rough keyboards, and take-no-prisoners drumming, says it all. "Thing" inhabits similar territory. (Well, ravishes it, more like.) "Deckchair," "Trial & Error," and "Nico" are relatively spacey and understated, but only relatively—the album is really a near seamless flow of rapid fire explosions, postmodern beats, raucous instrumental exuberance, passion, anger and, indefinably but unmistakably, hope and optimism. Fierce shit, and on the right side of the barricades.
Acoustic Ladyland, formed in '01 to play jazz reimaginings of Hendrix—and exciting enough even then—has now evolved into one of the most thrilling bands on the planet. No question about it. A punk jazz orgasm you don't want to miss.
:::Review by Chris May:::

Acoustic Ladyland - Last Chance Disco (2006)

1. Iggy 1:59
2. Om Konz 5:52
3. Destchair 4:08
4. Remember 5:47
5. Perfect Bitch 2:01
6.Ludwig Van Ramone 4:40
7.High Heel Blues 2:05
8. Trial & Error 4:50
9. Thing 2:41
10. Of View 4:42 Written-By - S. Rochford
11. Nico 4:42

Bass - Tom Herbert
Drums, Mixed By - Sebastian Rochford
Keyboards - Tom Cawley
Saxophone [Baritone], Written-by, Mixed By - Peter Wareham

:::Song Of The New World:::

Posted: Monday, 22 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , ,

Quite a few leaders of small jazz groups at some point got the itch to arrange music for large ensembles. McCoy Tyner scratched his for the first time on this 1973 recording. While I don't rank it among my favorite Tyner albums, I do think that it is very good, and I would say that it is the best of his several like-minded projects.
Tyner used two large groups, one of horns and reeds and the other mostly strings. The strings perform on "The Divine Love" and the title track, while Tyner is backed by the horns and reeds on the other three tunes. Tyner continued to be confident enough in his personal style to revisit some old territory, as this album is the third in a row to feature a piece that was a regular in the sets of John Coltrane's quartet during Tyner's tenure; here, it's the Mongo Santamaria standard "Afro Blue."
The only real issue to discuss here is Tyner's success with the bigger groups, as the material is fine and Tyner and his rhythm section are in top form. My verdict is this: on only one track — the delicate "The Divine Love" — are the extra musicians integrated with the music to the extent that they're necessary.
On all of the other pieces, they really just provide bulk to the beginnings and endings of the tunes. A potential problem is that, since the album was recorded, school marching bands and 1970s television theme songs have become so closely identified with this kind of music that the contemporary listener may be hard pressed to effortlessly receive the grandiosity and power that Tyner surely wanted these recordings to exude. Despite these issues, though, the majority of the album is just Tyner, his rhythm section and another soloist — and in that format, the music is as timeless ever.
:::Review by Matt P.:::

McCoy Tyner - Song Of The New World (1973)

1. Afro Blue 9:58
2. Little Brother 10:13
3. The Divine Love 7:28
4. Some Day 6:49
5. Song Of The New World 6:50

McCoy Tyner (piano); Sonny Fortune (soprano & alto saxophones, flute); Virgil Jones, Cecil Bridgewater, Jon Faddis (trumpet); Dick Griffin (trombone, bass trombone); Garnett Brown (trombone); Kiani Zawadi (euphonium); Julius Watkins, Willie Ruff, William Warnick III (French horn); Bob Stewart (tuba); Hubert Laws (piccolo, flute); Harry Smyles (oboe); Selwart Clarke, John Blair, Sanford Allen, Winston Collymore, Noel DaCosta, Marie Hence (violin); Julian Barber, Alfred Brown (viola); Ronald Lipscomb (cello); Jooney Booth (bass); Alphonse Mouzon (drums); Sonny Morgan (congas).

:::Nation Time:::

Posted: Saturday, 20 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Tenor saxophonist Joe McPhee has been a cult figure in the jazz world despite a string of releases on the visible Hat Art label and vocal support from the likes of Ken Vandermark. Nation Time is good evidence why. Its three tracks were recorded live in December 1970 and released the following year on the tiny independent CjR Records. "Nation Time" and "Scorpio's Dance" feature McPhee with a quintet that mixes electric and acoustic instruments with dual percussionists. In a way, this is familiar territory, working Coltrane-inspired repetitions and a nearly reckless group interplay against a variety of musical textures. Here some electric piano or full-speed drumming, there roughly wailed sax or a trumpet pushing notes to a near drone. But no matter how familiar the approach, the end result is inventive and captivating as these two pieces shift from nearly conventional extended improvisations to less structured sound without ever sounding forced.
However, it's the 13-minute "Shakey Jake" that seems like the birth of a wonderful new style that unfortunately never went any further. With the quintet expanded by an alto sax, organist, and electric guitarist, McPhee gets busy marrying free jazz to James Brown funk or maybe creating a vision of what would have happened if early-'60s Coltrane had revisited his R&B youth. The band sets up a complex but danceable groove while the soloists surf along, twisting melodies and pushing the beat but never relying on repeated riffs. Despite their various ideas and overlapped solos, the effect is collaborative not competitive as if they realized what a rare experience this would be.
:::Review by Lang Thompson:::

Joe McPhee - Nation Time (1970)

1. Nation Time 18:30
2. Shakey Jake 13:32
3. Scorpio's Dance 8:40


Bass, Bass [Electric], Trumpet - Tyrone Crabb
Guitar [Electric] - Dave Jones (tracks: 2)
Organ - Herbie Lehman (tracks: 2)
Percussion - Bruce Thompson, Ernest Bostic
Piano, Electric Piano - Mike Kull
Saxophone [Alto] - Otis Greene (tracks: 2)
Saxophone [Tenor], Trumpet - Joe McPhee

:::The Way Up:::

Posted: Thursday, 18 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Pat's most audacious work yet: a near-70-minute piece filled with everything we love and then some, even making ample use of his 42-string guitar. This album is dazzling, filled with complex arrangements, soothing interludes, stimulating grooves and truly never gets dull; it also never goes astray from the general theme of the album, with an ever-present aura about it, keeping in Metheny's traditional jazz sound that is still instantly recognizible and the recurring themes. Here we also have the introduction of a harmonicat. The harmonica parts are quite pleasent, and many will find this implimentation of jazz harmonica pretty fresh. All the players are spot on. It is very expressionistic and colorful. Metheny and Mays' cylinders were certainly all being fired with the writing and recording of this masterpiece. It may very well be what they've been trying to accomplish all these years, and if I'm not mitaken, their finest hour yet! Metheny's already got plenty to boast in his catalog, but none like this one.
Despite it's length, it really is a pleasant listen. The easiest a tough listen can be. It's just so relaxing and warm, you can't help but keep it going.
This disc has been in my car for over a year at this point, and it has not yet left once!
:::Review by Moatilliatta:::

Pat Metheny - The Way Up (2006)

1. The Way Up: Opening (5:17)
2. The Way Up: Part One (26:27)
3. The Way Up: Part Two (20:29)
4. The Way Up: Part Three (15:54)

- Pat Metheny / acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer guitar
- Lyle Mays / piano, keyboards
- Steve Rodby / bass, cello
- Chong Vu / trumpet, voice
- Gregoire Maret / harmonica
- Antonio Sanchez / drums
- Richard Bona / percussion, voice
- David Samuels / percussion

:::The Ringer:::

Posted: Wednesday, 17 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

In the early '70s, Charles Tolliver was one of the brightest young trumpeters in jazz. He studied at Howard University and then moved to New York in 1964, playing and recording with Jackie McLean. Tolliver was on quite a few excellent advanced hard bop records in the mid-'60s, played with Gerald Wilson's Orchestra in Los Angeles (1966-1967), and was a member of Max Roach's group at the same time (1967-1969) as the compatible Gary Bartz. In 1969, Tolliver formed a quartet called Music Inc. that often featured pianist Stanley Cowell and was on a few occasions expanded to a big band. Tolliver and Cowell founded the Strata East label in 1971, which released many fine records in the 1970s. Although it was an era when there was a serious shortage of talented young trumpeters (prior to the rise of Wynton Marsalis), Tolliver after the mid-'70s maintained a low profile. Charles Tolliver, whose fat tone was influenced by Freddie Hubbard while his ideas display bits of John Coltrane, has recorded as a leader for Impulse (two songs from a 1965 concert), Black Lion, Enja, and Strata East.

This is the Charles Tolliver record to get, although it may be hard to find. The masterful trumpeter, in a quartet with pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist Steve Novosel, and drummer Jimmy Hopps, plays five of his strongest compositions. Highlights include the powerful "On the Nile," "The Ringer," and "Spur," but each of the numbers has its memorable moments. Tolliver is heard at the peak of his creative powers; it is strange that he never received the fame and recognition that he deserved.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

Charles Tolliver - The Ringer (1969)

1. Plight 7:11
2. On The Nile 12:34
3. The Ringer 5:44
4. Mother Wit 8:45
5. Spur 4:56

Bass - Steve Novosel
Drums - Jimmy Hopps
Piano - Stanley Cowell
Trumpet - Charles Tolliver

:::Winter Songs:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Art Bears' second album is their masterpiece, a beautifully focussed and concentrated piece of work that was recorded in just 2 weeks. Amazingly, the music was all written during the recording period - Chris Cutler arrived with the texts, Fred Frith set them to music and the arrangements evolved in the studio.
On this album there were no guest musicians, although special mention should be made of engineer Etienne Conod's contribution to their use of the studio as a compositional instrument.
Where their debut album explored several different themes, the lyrics for Winter Songs are informed mostly by Chris Cutler's fascination with the Middle Ages and are based on stone carvings in Amiens cathedral (except for two songs that refer to similar carvings in other cathedrals from the same era and area). The words are always poetic and sometimes oblique, although Cutler's political leanings can be inferred from Gold: "Owned men mined me/And out of their lives all my value derived/And out of their deaths/My authority". The music has some of folk influences first heard on 'Hopes and Fears' (Frith began his musical career in folk clubs and some of his solo albums feature his unique take on various folk traditions), but also ventures into dense, dark RIO style chamber rock and even into Residents- influenced studio wizardry. With Frith playing everything except drums, the arrangements are precise and uncluttered. Bass guitar is only heard on a few tracks, most notably on The Summer Wheel and 3 Figures, and like all the other elements in the sonic palette it is only used when necessary. There are some splendid passages featuring violin and piano, as well as Frith's ever inventive guitar. Chris Cutler's drumming is likewise a model of clarity and concision - rather than trying to fill all the available space, he knows when to drive the tempo forward, when to play softly to complement Frith or Dagmar and - most crucially - when not to play at all. Dagmar's interpretation of this material features some of her best vocal performances - The Hermit is sung with a clear, bell like tone, on The Skeleton she is at her most strident and the frantically uptempo Rats and Monkeys (a counterpart to the rock out on In Two Minds from Hopes and Fears) shows the uniqueness of her talent. A particularly powerful moment comes at the opening of First Things First, where the vocal is played backwards as an introduction to the song, mirroring the the theme of the lyrics (two dead trees pulling apart in opposite directions). Lyrics, melody, rhythm, arrangement and production are all informed by a singular vision, and there is nothing extraneous anywhere in these 12 songs.
Despite the possibly forbidding avant garde credentials of the writers and performers, this often a melodic and accessible album. Dagmar's voice is something of an acquired taste, but it is worth persevering with; few albums released under the 'rock' banner have such a coherent and fully realised artistic vision.
This album is on a par with Robert Wyatt's Rock Bottom, Christian Vander's Wurdah Itah or Captain Beefheart's Lick My Decals Off, Baby. Uneasy listening, but highly rewarding and strongly recommended.
:::Review by Syzygy:::

Art Bears - Winter Songs (1979)

1. The Bath of Stars (1:45)
2. First Things First (2:41)
3. Gold (1:40)
4. The Summer Wheel (2:47)
5. The Slave (3:38)
6. The Hermit (2:59)
7. Rats and Monkeys (3:14)
8. The Skeleton (3:11)
9. The Winter Wheel (3:06)
10. Man and Boy (3:22)
11. Winter/War/Force/Three Figures (5:51)
12. Three Wheels (3:38)

- Fred Frith / guitars, violin, keyboards
- Chris Cutler / drums, percussion
- Dagmar Krause / vocals
+ Etienne Conod / engineering, mixing


Posted: Tuesday, 16 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

One of the first Swedish bands to fuse jazz and rock (and occasionally African and Latin-American music as well) was Egba, led by trumpeter Ulf Adaker and saxophonist Ulf Andersson , two musicians with roots in the jazz of the 1960s. Several other musicians of that era also expanded their vocabulary to include the electronic sounds of the day, collaborating with younger musicians whose background was mainly in rock. One of the latter is pianist and keyboard player Harald Svensson, who has also been involved in other groups, most notably Entra. Tenor saxophonist Ove Johansson and keyboard player Susanna Lindeborg in the group Mwendo Dawa have combined acoustic instruments with electronic sounds since the 1970s. The first EGBA album was released in 1974.
:::Review by Progressive Music House:::

Egba – Egba (1974)

1. Green Clouds (7:55)
2. Mogubgub (13:00)
3. The Black And The White (5:48)
4. Lisa Sleeps (3:08)
5. Gbinti (5:38)
6. Cirrus (2:47)
7. Capsilon (3:18)

Ulf Adaker-trumpet
Ulf Andersson-saxophone,flute
Jan Tolf-guitar
Claes Wang-percussion,drums
Stefan Brolund-bass,contrabass
Ahmadu Jarr-congas,percussion
Harald Svensson-keyboards


Although not as well-known in the West as his countrymen Adam Makowicz, Tomasz Stanko, and Michal Urbaniak, Wróblewski has been one of the dominant figures in Polish jazz since the late '60s. Wróblewski played clarinet, tenor sax, and piano while studying agriculture at a Polish technical college; his first professional experience was with Krzysztof Komeda in 1956. Beginning in 1958, he studied at the Higher School of Music in Krakow. That year, he was chosen by George Wein and Marshall Brown to play in the International Youth Band, which performed at the Brussels World's Fair and the Newport Jazz Festival. In 1960, he played and recorded with Stan Getz and a group of Polish musicians; the resulting album was issued as Jazz Jamboree '60.
Wróblewski led many Polish jazz groups during the 1960s, including the Jazz Outsiders and the Polish Jazz Quartet. He played some free jazz, but -- while occasionally prone to experimentation -- he remained attached to more traditional forms. Wróblewski formed the Polish Radio Jazz Studio orchestra in 1968 and led the band until 1977; it included most of the country's top jazz players at one time or another. Around that time, Wróblewski was also vice president and later president -- of the Polish Jazz Society. He led several of his own ensembles during the '70s, including Mainstream (co-led with Wojciech Karolak), Chalturnik (an experimental aggregate), and his quartet.
:::Review by allmusic:::

Quite a groovy little album -- big band work from Polish saxophonist Jan Ptasyn Wroblewski, done with the same hip flair and sense of soul as similar projects for MPS at the time! There's a sound here that's ambitious, but not overly academic -- a bold statement in music that's filled with strong colors, firm tones, and a confident direction -- played to perfection by a group that includes Wroblewski on tenor, Tomasz Stanko on trumpet, Michael Urbaniak on violin, Zbigniew Namyslowski on alto sax, and Adam Makowicsz on Fender Rhodes. Tracks are longish, but very well constructed -- so that they don't run on too much, and have a tightness that matches the spirit of the set. Titles include "Determinant One", "Quotation From Myself", "Magma", "Seaweed Sale", and "No Fade Out".
:::Review by Dusty Groove America, Inc.:::

Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski - Sprzedawcy Glonów (1973)

1. Seaweed Sale 6:18
2. No Fade Out 6:04
3. Quotation From Myself 9:09
4. Determinant One 9:50
5. Jan Szpargatol Mahawisnia 6:26
6. Magma 5:18

Studio Jazzowe P.R. - directed by Jan 'Ptaszyn' Wróblewski

Tomasz Szukalski - tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet (1, 3-6)
Michał Urbaniak - violin (1), soprano sax (2)
Zbigniew Namysłowski - alto sax, flute (1-6)
Tomasz Stańko - trumpet (2, 3, 4, 6)
Adam Makowicz - Fender electric piano (4)
Marek Bliziński - guitar (1, 4, 5)
Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski - tenor saxophone (1, 2, 4, 6), conductor
Wojciech Karolak - Hammond organ (1, 5)
Włodzimierz Nahorny - alto sax, flute (1-6)
Zbigniew Seifert - alto sax (2,3), violin (6)
Stanisław Mizeracki - trumpet (1,2,3,4,6);
Bogdan Dembek - trumpet (1,3,4,5,6)
Bogusław Skawina - trumpet (2)
Laco Deczi - trumpet (5)
Józef Grabarski - trumpet (1)
Stanisław Cieślak - trombone (1-6)
Andrzej Brzeski - trombone (1,2,3,4,6)
Andrzej Piela - trombone (2,3,5,6)
Jan Jarczyk - trombone (1,4,5)
Dariusz Filiochowski - French horn (1,3,5,6)
Dariusz Szewczyk - French horn (4)
Zdzisław Piernik - tuba (2,3,5,6)
Janusz Muniak - tenor sax, soprano sax, flute (2,3,5,6)
Waldemar Kurpiński - baritone sax, clarinet (1,3,4,5,6)
Andrzej Trzaskowski - piano ( 6)
Paweł Jarzębski - bass (1,2,4,5)
Bronisław Suchanek - bass (3,5,6)
Janusz Stefański - drums (2,3,5,6)
Czesław Bartkowski - drums (1,4), percussion (5)
Kazimierz Jonkisz - percussion (1,3,4,5,6)


Posted: Thursday, 11 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Xhol figure among true legends of krautrock (before Amon Düül II, Guru Guru...). First born as an experimental free-jazz ensemble they progressively found their own musical identity at the end of the 60's with an extraordinary fusion of styles, mixing strange-atmospheric-freakout organic chords with discreet acid folk-ish accents, electronic weirdness (Motherf**kers GmbH) and a sonic, catchy free form rockin' jazz that admits closed relationships with Miles Davis' eccentric experimental fusion jazz period. Hau- ruck is their jazziest musical excursion. The two epic and totally improvised tracks on Hau-Ruck deliver unmistakable spaced out jazzy fantasies, including excellent rhythmical sections, powerful organic harmonies and eternal brass incantations. The wha wha effects give a more fuzzy, druggy tone to the compositions. The energy and groovy aspects are always well defined and accompany otherworldly and haunting keyboard sequences. Breit starts as a spiritual-psych atmospheric epic and pursue on a propulsive, hypnotic jazzy rock improvisation dominated by Hammond organ solos and sensual, intense brass parts. Schaukel deliver an other colourful, dynamic musical universe, featuring a nervous, charming bluesy rock background. Seriously impressive and easily recommended. Top class album.

Xhol Caravan - Hau-RUK(1970)

1. Breit (24:13)
2. Schaukel (20:20)

- Skip van Wyck / drums
- Tim Belbe / saxophone
- Klaus Briest / bass
- Öcki / keyboards

:::Blue Moses:::

Posted: Wednesday, 10 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , , , ,

Randy Weston's most popular record, this Lp (which he had mixed feelings about) features Weston not only on piano but electric keyboards. Backed by Don Sebesky arrangements and assisted by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and tenor-saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., Weston plays quite well on four of his compositions; best-known are "Ganawa (Blue Moses)" and "Marrakesh Blues." The music retains the African feel of most of Weston's latter-day playing but also has some commercial touches that do not hurt the performances. This rewarding date has not yet been reissued on CD.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

Randy Weston - Blue Moses (1972)

1. Ifrane 5:12
2. Ganawa (Blue Moses) 13:25
3. Night In Medina 6:30
4. Marrakesh Blues 12:18

Arranged By - Don Sebesky
Bass - Bill Wood (2) (tracks: 3) , Ron Carter
Drums - Bill Cobham
English Horn, Clarinet, Flute - George Marge
Flugelhorn - Alan Rubin , John Frosk , Marvin Stamm
Flute - Hubert Laws
French Horn - Brooks Tillotson , James Buffington
Oboe, Clarinet, Flute - Romeo Penque
Piano - Randy Weston
Saxophone [Tenor] - Grover Washington Jr.
Synthesizer [Moog] - David Horowitz
Trombone - Garnett Brown , Warren Covington , Wayne Andre
Trombone [Bass] - Paul Faulise
Trumpet - Freddie Hubbard
Vocals - Madame Meddah

:::Let My Children Hear Music:::

Posted: Tuesday, 9 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

On the original LP issued by Columbia, Mingus thanked producer Teo Macero for "his untiring efforts in producing the best album I have ever made." From his deathbed in Mexico in 1979 he sent a message to Sy Johnson (who was responsible for many of the arrangements on the album), saying that Let My Children Hear
Music was the record he liked most from his career. Although Mingus' small-group recordings are the ones most often cited as his premier works, this album does, in fact, rank at the top of his oeuvre and compares favorably with the finest large-ensemble jazz recordings by anyone, including Ellington. The pieces had been brewing over the years, one from as far back as 1939, and had been given more or less threadbare performances on occasion, but this was his first chance to record them with a sizable, well-rehearsed orchestra. Still, there were difficulties, both in the recording and afterward. The exact personnel is sketchy, largely due to contractual issues, several arrangers were imported to paste things together, making the true authorship of some passages questionable, and Macero (as he did with various Miles Davis projects) edited freely and sometimes noticeably. The listener will happily put aside all quibbles, however, when the music is heard. From the opening, irresistible swing of "The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jiveass Slippers" to the swirling depths of "The I of Hurricane Sue," these songs are some of the most glorious, imaginative, and full of life ever recorded. Each piece has its own strengths, but special mention should be made of two. "Adagio Ma Non Troppo" is based entirely on a piano improvisation played by Mingus in 1964 and issued on Mingus Plays Piano. Its logical structure, playful nature, and crystalline moments of beauty would be astounding in a polished composition; the fact that it was originally improvised is almost unbelievable. "Hobo Ho," a holy-roller powerhouse featuring the impassioned tenor of James Moody, reaches an incredible fever pitch, the backing horns volleying riff after riff at the soloists, the entire composition teetering right on the edge of total chaos. Let My Children Hear Music is a towering achievement and a must for any serious jazz fan. The CD issue includes one track, "Taurus in the Arena of Life," not on the original LP, but unfortunately gives only snippets from the Mingus essay that accompanied the album. That essay, covering enormous territory, reads like an inspired Mingus bass solo and should be sought out by interested listeners. One can't recommend this album highly enough.
:::Review by Brian Olewnick:::

Charles Mingus - Let My Children Hear Music (1971)

1. The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jiveass Slippers – 9:34
2. Adagio ma Non Troppo – 8:22
3. Don't Be Afraid, the Clown's Afraid Too – 9:26
4. Taurus in the Arena of Life – 4:17
5. Hobo Ho – 10:07
6. The Chill of Death – 7:38
7. The I of Hurricane Sue – 10:09

Lonnie Hillyer, Jimmy Nottingham, Joe Wilder, Snooky Young (tp)
Jimmy Knepper (tb)
Julius Watkins (frh)
Charles McPherson (as)
Jerry Dodgion, Bobby Jones, Hal McKusick, James Moody (reeds)
Jaki Byard, John Foster, Roland Hanna (p)
Charles McCracken (cello)
Ron Carter, Richard Davis, Milt Hinton (b)
Charles Mingus (b, comp, arr)
Dannie Richmond (d)
Teo Macero (cond, as) and others

:::Lost Direction:::

Posted: Monday, 8 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Shibusashirazu Orchestra, which is at the forefront of contemporary jazz, was formed by bassist Daisuke Fuwa in 1989 as a free jazz orchestra.
The orchestra is, so to speak, a multimedia jazz performance group consisting of over twenty musicians, including many well known Japanese performers such as Hiroaki Katayama (ts) and Takeshi Shibuya (p), as well as Butoh dancers,modern dancers, theater actors, and artists.
All of the works played by Shibusashirazu Orchestra are Japanese jazz works composed or arranged by Daisuke Fuwa. The orchestra gives exciting stage performances, with its dynamic sound and lively dancing and acting.
Large moving objects made by stage artists make the audiences even more enthusiastic.
It can be said that Shibusashirazu Orchestra is not only a jazz orchestra but alsoa group that brings together various aspects of contemporary Japanese culture.
Some of its performances show the course of Japanese music from the Middle Ages to the present, as the group includes musicians playing traditional Japanese instruments such as shamisen, shakuhachi, and ryuteki (a bamboo flute).
:::Review by http://chitei-records.com:::

Shibusashirazu Orchestra - Lost Direction (2005)

1. Hyottoko 2 (7:09)
2. Yukue Shirazu (29:51)
3. Hyottoko 3 (10:38)
4. Naadam (7:53)
5. Ee Janai Ka (7:12)

Shibusashirazu Orchestra
Daisuke Fuwa: bass
Hiroaki Katayama: tenor saxophone
Yoshiyuki Kawaguchi: baritone and soprano saxophones, harmonica
Keiko Komori: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Yoichiro Kita: trumpet
Daisuke Takaoka: tuba
Aya Murodate: flute, vocal
Uchihashi Kazuhisa: guitar
Takeshi Shibuya: organ
Ayako Sasaki: keyboards, vocal
Masahiro Uemura: drums
Mari Sekine: percussion


Composed by Daisuke Fuwa (1-3); Eiichi Hayashi (4); and Izumi Kunihiro, Yoichiro Kita, and Daisuke Fuwa (5)
Recorded live by Atsushi Tanaka at Buddy, Ekoda, Tokyo, April 16, 2002
Produced by Teruto Soejima and Burkhard Hennen
Released in 2005

:::Egyptian Jazz:::

Posted: Sunday, 7 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Salah Ragab was a central figure in the history of jazz in Egypt. A sometime collaborator with Sun Ra, Ragab founded the Cairo Jazz Band in 1968, the same year that he became the head of the Egyptian Military Music Department. The Cairo Jazz Band was Egypt's first big band, mixing American jazz with North African music, combining jazz instrumentation and musical style with indigenous melodies and instruments, like the nay (bamboo flute) and the baza (ramadan drum). Such musical cross-fertilization was not unusual in itself; American musicians from Sun Ra to Yusef Lateef had long been fascinated by the music of Islam and North Africa, incorporating both the instruments and musical forms of the Fertile Crescent into their work. But Salah Ragab’s music presents a topsy-turvied perspective, a view from the other side of the musical equation of West meets Middle East.
More importantly, however, The Cairo Jazz Band seriously swings. While there have been some tantalizing tidbits from Ragab available in the past, such as the Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab in Egypt release on Leo Records, this reissue is the first time such a wide variety of Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band's music has been made available outside Egypt. Collecting material from 1968-73, Egyptian Jazz is published by the UK imprint Art Yard, who have hitherto exclusively released an outstanding series of vinyl-only Sun Ra recordings. It's no surprise, then, that there's much here to appeal to Sun Ra aficionados, but with songs like the swaggeringly cocksure “Egyptian Strut” and blow-outs like the scorching “Ramadan in Space Time” and the ultra-groovy “Neveen,” this record more than stands on its own. As head of the Egyptian Military Music Department, Ragab had access to some of Egypt's finest instrumentalists, and he drew deep from this pool of musical talent. The ensemble playing is top-notch throughout and there are stand-out solos on flute, sax, and keyboards, notably on the percussion-heavy "Neveen
The CD version, which is the first such release by Art Yard, contains four bonus tracks, none of which, save perhaps the alternate take of "Kleopatra," smack remotely of filler. Indeed, one of the most enjoyable and idiosyncratic Ragab pieces here, the mysterious, multi-part serpentine stomper, "A Farewell Theme," is available only on the CD version. It's a fantastic release from beginning to end, capturing a particularly fruitful moment of musical cross-pollination.
:::Review taken from http://www.passionate-music.com:::

Salah Ragab And The Cairo Jazz Band - Egyptian Jazz (2006)

1.Ramadan In Space Time
4.Oriental Mood
7-Egypt Strut
8-The Crossing (Oubour)
9.Calling You
10.The Kings Valley-Upper Egypt
11.A Farewell Theme
12.Kleopatra (Alternate Take)

Bass - Moohy El Din Osman
Bongos - Sayed Ramadan
Conductor - Salah Ragab
Congas - Salah Ragab
Drums - Salah Ragab , Sayed Sharkawy
Drums [Baza] - Sayed Ramadan
Flute - Zaky Osman
Flute [Bamboo Nay] - Abdel Hamd Abdel Ghaffar (Toto)
Piano - Khmis El Khouly , Salah Ragab
Saxophone [Alto] - El Saied El Aydy , Farouk El Sayed
Saxophone [Baritone] - Abdel Hakim El Zamel , Saied Salama
Saxophone [Tenor] - Fathy Abdel Salam , Saied Salama
Trombone - El Sayeed Dahroug , Mahmoud Ayoub , Sadeek Basyouny
Trombone [Bass] - Abdel Atey Farag
Trumpet - Ibrahim Wagby , Khalifa El Samman , Mohammad Abdou , Zaky Osman
Tuba [Bass] - Mohammad Abdel Rahman

Recorded in Heliopolis Egypt.


:::You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol.2:::

Posted: Saturday, 6 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

While the first installation of the You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore series was a mixture of various songs from different eras of Zappas career, volume 2 comes up in the form of an entire concert, recorded in Helsinki, Finland in 1974. All of the musicians on here were present for Roxy & Elsewhere, which was actually released a few weeks prior to this concert. The group at this time, consisting of George Duke on keyboards, Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax/flute and vocals, Ruth Underwood on percussion, Tom Fowler on bass, Chester Thompson on drums, and FZ on guitar and vocals, is among the most tight and cohesive groups that Zappa ever had, as they could essentially anything at any given moment, for example rapid fire flourishes of every instrument into a call and response game with Zappa, they were one of the most talented incarnations of Zappa's career to say the least. You'll find on this album a wide variety of pieces ranging from A Token of My Extreme (titled Tush Tush Tush), which would end up on Joe's Garage, to Dupree's Paradise (which would eventually be played on The Perfect Stranger) and it's all played magnificently by the band.
The first disc opens with the electric keyboard flourishes of Tush Tush Tush, which is essentially the opening warm up of the group where the members get on the stage. The first song played is Stinkfoot, which while not living up to its studio counterpart, is a very trying effort with some great solo guitar from Zappa. After a rousing version of Inca Roads, the instrumental RDNZL (which would end up on Studio Tan 4 years later) is played in a slightly stripped down form in comparison to the bombast studio version. You'll find many songs that were on Roxy & Elsewhere towards the end of the first disc, in fact 5 of the last 7 songs were on Roxy & Elsewhere. I'm fonder of the fuller sound that R&E had with these pieces, but despite that these are great renditions with some superb work from every member throughout. A nice inclusion for the set was The Idiot Bastard Son, which gets a stellar vocal rendition from Murphy Brock, who in the song prior to this one, Room Service, has fantastic vocal interplay with Zappa and a great beat to it compliments of Chester Thompson.
The second disc opens with a piece from the Grand Wazoo days titled Approximate, which is essentially a tightly constructed free for all piece that has some rampant runs from all instruments. When they perform it vocally in the beginning, as well as stomp their feet to it, you can hear the audience have a good laugh at it. Towards the middle Chester Thompson belts out a great drum solo that really rounds out the rest of the piece. Dupree's Paradise follows, which is essentially a 24 minute instrumental that has a spoken section towards the middle. All the stops are pulled out here musically, with low register synthesizer and moog fills from Duke, droning marimba and percussion from Underwood, a majestic flute solo from Murphy Brock, Zappa's guitar insanity, and some top notch rhythmic work from Fowler (who performs a killer bass solo) and Thomspson. The rest of the show consists of several shorter pieces, ranging from the majestic Uncle Meat/Dog Breath Variations, to a rousing and hilarious working of Montana, and it comes to a close with the opening flourishes of Big Swifty. I'll mention that many unreleased songs are played between these pieces, but they are nothing I would call spectacular (although the Finnish Tango is pretty killer).
In the end, You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore Volume 2 is the perfect summation of this era in Zappa's productive career. If you're just getting into the series I think I would recommend this one first as it is the most cohesive of the entire collection (being that it is just one concert and not a wild combination of many). The setlist is great, as well, and nothing really lets me down about this piece. You can't go wrong with this one.
:::Review by Cygnus X-2:::

Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol.2 (1988)

Disc one
1. Tush Tush Tush (A Token of My Extreme) (2:47)
2. Stinkfoot (4:20)
3. Inca Roads (10:54)
4. RDNZL (8:43)
5. Village of the Sun (4:33)
6. Echidna's Arf (Of You) (3:30)
7. Don't You Ever Wash That Thing? (4:56)
8. Pygmy Twylyte (8:22)
9. Room Service (6:22)
10. The Idiot Bastard Son (2:39)
11. Cheepnis (4:28)

Disc two
12. Approximate [#] (8:12)
13. Dupree's Paradise (23:59)
14. Satumaa [#] (3:51)
15. T'Mershi Duween [#] (1:31)
16. The Dog Breath Variations (1:38)
17. Uncle Meat (2:28)
18. Building a Girl [#] (1:00)
19. Montana (Whipping Floss) (10:15)
20. Big Swifty (2:16)

- Frank Zappa / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- George Duke / keyboards, vocals
- Chester Thompson / drums
- Tom Fowler / bass
- Napoleon Murphy Brock / saxophone, vocals
- Ruth Underwood / percussion, keyboards

:::Before A Word Is Said:::

Posted: Friday, 5 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Alan Gowen was involved in some of my favorite albums. He more or less made them to what they are. He is most known for his decisive influence on the likes of National Health and Gilgamesh. Alan Gowen was diagnosed with leukemia back in 1980. His illness was fatal. But before he passed away, he invited his friends Phil Miller, Richard Sinclair and Trevor Tomkins to a recording session in his own flat. The result was his epitaph and final farewell to a music scene he had served so well. Alan Gowen passed away only weeks after this recording, later released as this album after his death.
The making of this album makes this a very poignant album. Those of us into the Canterbury Scene owes Alan Gowen a huge debt of gratitude. It is therefore not easy to write a 100 % objective review. Well, this review is a failure in that respect. But I am only a human being and it is my right to, in my own way, mourn the passing of a man who died in 1981. People still mourn the passing of Ludwig Van Bethoven when they listen to the symphony which he wrote as his own epitaph. Noone of his mourners attended his funeral of obvious biological reasons. So please forgive my tears......
This album is pretty much dominated by Alan Gowen's keyboards and his playing is flawless. The rest of the musicians do a brilliant job too and this album is a credit to their superb musicianship too. This album was recorded in a flat where a man was dying. So the sound is therefore surprisingly flawless. I cannot find anything wrong with it. But if you have a $ 10 000 sound system, you may find some flaws. I suspect the tapes was heavy doctored in a proper studio.
The music is in the Gilgamesh vein. That means laidback jazz with a quirky Canterbury slant. Some influences from National Health can be detected too. The best song here is the title track and it is a funeral dirge. A very haunting, dark funeral dirge too with some children voices at the end. The symbolism is obvious. Overall, the album does have a dark, sad feeling over it. This is not a happy album. It is what it was meant to be; an epitaph.
Quality wise, this album is very strong at times. The title track has been mentioned and it is among the best songs Alan Gowen ever did. Songs like Umbrellas and Above & Below is very strong too. I have difficulties finding any flaws with this album. It has become one of my favorite Canterbury Scene albums during the last weeks. That is not due to sentimentalism. It is due to the music here makes my heart strings sings. Yes, the music is sad and somber. But this album has it's own identity which I feel the two proper studio albums from Gilgamesh was sadly lacking. The label "dark Canterbury Scene jazz" may apply to this album.
This is an excellent album from the Canterbury Scene. I do not think I am overly sentimental or too influenced by the tears in my eyes when I give it four stars. I honestly think this is a great album. Alan Gowen got his fitting epitaph and we can only be grateful with his decission to invite his three friends into his flat during the final weeks of his life. R.I.P.
:::Review by toroddfuglesteg:::

Miller, Sinclair, Tomkims & Gowen - Before A Word Is Said (1981)

1. Above & Below (7:41)
2. Reflexes In The Margin (4:00)
3. Nowadays A Silhouette (4:30)
4. Silver Star (2:24)
5. Fourfold (6:15)
6. Before A Word Is Said (7:58)
7. Umbrellas (3:54)
8. A Fleeting Glance (7:33)

- Alan Gowen / keyboards
- Phil Miller /guitar
- Richard Sinclair / bass, vocals [1 - 7]
- Trevor Tomkins / drums

Releases information
Before A Word Is Said [LP Europa 1982] [CD Voiceprint 1995]
Rec: 25-27 Apr & 2-4 May 1981 -Loc: Alan Gowen's house, Tooting, London - Eng: Peter Ball - Pr: Jean-Pierre Weiller

:::Ptah The El Daoud:::

Posted: Thursday, 4 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Sometimes written off as an also-ran to her more famous husband, Alice Coltrane's work of the late '60s and early '70s shows that she was a strong composer and performer in her own right, with a unique ability to impregnate her music with spirituality and gentleness without losing its edges or depth. Ptah the El Daoud is a truly great album, and listeners who surrender themselves to it emerge on the other side of its 46 minutes transformed. From the purifying catharsis of the first moments of the title track to the last moments of "Mantra," with its disjointed piano dance and passionate ribbons of tenor cast out into the universe, the album resonates with beauty, clarity, and emotion. Coltrane's piano solo on "Turiya and Ramakrishna" is a lush, melancholy, soothing blues, punctuated only by hushed bells and the sandy whisper of Ben Riley's drums and later exchanged for an equally emotive solo by bassist Ron Carter. "Blue Nile" is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; Coltrane's sweeping flourishes on the harp nestle in perfectly with flute solos by Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson to produce a warm cocoon of sound that is colored by evocations of water, greenness, and birds. Perhaps as strong as the writing here, though, are the performances that Coltrane coaxes from her sidemen, especially the horn players. Joe Henderson, who can always be counted on for technical excellence, gives a performance that is simply on a whole other level from much of his other work -- freer, more open, and more fluid here than nearly anywhere else. Pharoah Sanders, who at times with John Coltrane seemed like a magnetic force of entropy, pulling him toward increasing levels of chaos, shows all of the innovation and spiritual energy here that he is known for, with none of the screeching. Overlooked and buried for years in obscurity, this album deserves to be embraced for the gem it is.
:::Review by Stacia Proefrock:::

Alice Coltrane - Ptah The El Daoud (1970)

1. Ptah, The El Daoud 13:58
2. Turiya And Ramakrishna 8:19
3. Blue Nile 6:58
4. Mantra 16:33

Bass - Ron Carter
Composed By - Alice Coltrane
Drums - Ben Riley
Harp, Piano - Alice Coltrane
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute [Alto, Left Channel] - Joe Henderson
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute [Alto], Bells [Right Channel] - Pharoah Sanders

:::Introducing The Eleventh House:::

Posted: Wednesday, 3 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Larry Coryell stands on equal footing with John McLaughlin as one of the premier jazz fusion guitarist and this probably represents his finest achievement. Many people consider his earlier work with McLaughlin, 'Spaces' as writing the textbook for fusion style guitarwork, but to me, this is his greatest overall musical achievement. Comparisons to the original Mahavishnu Orchestra may seem to be inevitable considering the power and attack of the band's performance, but stylistically, the band plays much closer to the fusion/funk style of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. Their is not as much of an eastern influence as the Mahavishnu Orchestra and there seems to be a wider variety of tempo and stylistic diversity on this recording. The synthesizer runs and Randy Brecker's trumpet keep pace rather well with Coryell's intensity and the compositional framework is elaborate and melodically sophisticated. But the highlight, of course, is the blitzkrieg of notes being pummelled out of Coryell's guitar mostly trading with synthesizer and trumpet, intermingled with more mid tempo improvisations; but the dynamics and interaction feature not just beautifully intricate work, but ingenious melodic and harmonic scales befitting musicians of the highest technical accomplishment. This is probably the most technically perfect fusion recording I have ever heard; a joyous and awesome performance!
:::Review by wooty:::

Larry Coryell - Introducing The Eleventh House (1974)

1. Birdfingers ( 3:07 )
2. The Funky Waltz ( 5:10 )
3. Low Lee Tah ( 4:17 )
4. Adam Smasher ( 4:30 )
5. Joy Ride ( 6:08 )
6. Yin ( 6:03 )
7. Theme For A Dream ( 3:26 )
8. Gratitude ( 3:21 )
9. Ism-ejercicio ( 3:59 )
10. Right On Yàll ( 4:21 )

- Larry Coryell / guitar
- Randy Brecker / trumpet
- Mike Mandel / keyboards
- Danny Trifan / bass
- Alphonse Mouzon / drums

:::Spiritual Unity:::

Posted: Tuesday, 2 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , ,

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

Albert Ayler Trio - Spiritual Unity (1964)

1. Ghosts: First Variation 5:14
2. The Wizard 7:23
3. Spirits 6:48
4 . Ghosts: Second Variation 10:02

Bass - Gary Peacock
Percussion - Sunny Murray
Saxophone - Albert Ayler


Posted: Monday, 1 March 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

Due to its previous rarity, Nipples has been something of a free jazz cult item, even championed by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. Now with a more easily found CD available, listeners can hear that it's not quite a lost classic but still comes by its reputation honestly. To be fair, the slightly muffled sound quality doesn't help music this detail-oriented, but perhaps listeners should be glad it was even recorded. The 18-minute title track (the original LP's first side) is a performance by improvisers who would become well-known names but were still making their marks in 1969. Brotzmann, of course, is on tenor sax with Evan Parker also playing tenor (instead of his usual alto), guitarist Derek Bailey, pianist Fred Van Hove, drummer Han Bennink, and the now mostly forgotten Buschi Niebergall on bass. They create a swirl of sound with saxes locking into repeated riffs that generally change slowly but sometimes take abrupt leaps while the drum, bass, and guitar roll in waves and the piano jumps in with hyperactive runs. The music's dense, everything-at-once nature sometimes makes it seem like a hot-headed competition, but in the end it's the musician's construction of intricately detailed patterns that really matter.
The 15-minute "Tell a Green Man" finished the album. A performance by just Brotzmann, Van Hove, Niebergall, and Bennink, the piece offers a contrast by a closer focus on each instrument instead of group improvisation. The piece opens with Bennink alone on drums at a mid-tempo before Niebergall enters with bowed bass. Brotzmann and Van Hove eventually jump in, pushing the others. Nipples is certainly not the best introduction to these musicians but nevertheless offers a fascinating look at their early careers.
:::Review by Lang Thompson:::

Peter Brötzmann Sextet/Quartet - Nipples (1969)

1. Nipples 17:54
2. Tell A Green Man 15:32

Bass - Buschi Niebergall
Drums - Han Bennink
Guitar - Derek Bailey
Piano - Fred Van Hove
Saxophone [Tenor] - Evan Parker
Saxophone [Tenor], Artwork By [Cover Design] - Peter Brötzmann