:::Disco Volante:::

Posted: Saturday, 22 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , ,

Mr. Bungle, for me, one of the most important bands ever. This album, ABSOLUTELY GREAT, with the exception of "The Bends", which doesn't warrant anything intersting and is basically annoying. The rest of the songs: all great. I would've loved to have given this 5 stars, but blame it on "the Bends".
This album came so unexpectedly. Their self-titled debut was somewhat commercially acceptable, this album is one of the most anti-commercial albums in recorded history. Completely bizaare sounds cascade from crag-jagged towering monoliths of insanity. The musical styles range from tango, jazz, techno, death metal, surf rock, and sounds probably undiscernible from the creators themselves. "Everyone I Went to High School with is Dead" contains morbid lyrics and the vocals sound like they're done by the dead classmates. "Carry Stress in the Jaw" is perhaps the heavist track, going in and out of speed and death metal bursts colliding into vocal excursions that resound as if they were sung in the deeps of a cave. The time signatures are astonishing on the album throughout. "Violenza Domestica" is an italian song about domestic violence with great vocals by Mike Patton. The talent of the musician's is incredible, all exemplifying great range. "Ma Meeshka Mow Skowz" is in a language all their own (I hope). "The Bends" is the most astonishingly topsy-turvy "song" I've ever heard. "Platypus" is a very humrous and immensely technical song about, you guessed it the platypus. The album ends with "Merry Go Bye Bye" which begins as surf-rock normality (excluding the lyrical subject matter which is about suicide) and then descends into feral madness (the vocal abilities resemble a plane taking off, repeatedly). The song then goes in roller coaster mode for the remainder having a very gentle and poignant moment before being raped by the cacophony of musical din. The hidden stuff at the very end of the album is very loud and frightening if your trying to listen to the album before going to bed (not recommended; it will wake you right up, violently). Highly recommended album for fans of original musicians with integrity and skill.
:::Review by billyshears'67:::

Mr. Bungle - Disco Volante (1995)

1. Everyone I Went To High School With Is Dead (2:44)
2. Chemical Marriage (3:09)
3. Sleep (Part II): Carry Stress In The Jaw (8:59)
4. Desert Search For Techno Allah (5:24)
5. Violenza Domestica (5:14)
6. After School Special (2:47)
7. Sleep (Part III): Phlegmatics (3:16)
8. Ma Meeshka Mow Skowz (6:06)
9. The Bends (10:28)
...1) Man Overboard
...2) The Drowning Flute
...3) Aqua Swing
...4) Follow The Bubbles
...5) Duet For Guitar and Oxygen Tank
...6) Nerve Damage
...7) Screaming Bends
...8) Panic
...9) Love On The Event Horizon
...10) Re-Entry
10. Backstrokin' (2:27)
11. Platypus (5:07)
12. Merry Go Bye Bye (12:58)

- Trevor Dunn / bass
- Mike Patton / organ, ocarina, vocals, microcassette
- William Winant / percussion, bongos, cymbals, glockenspiel, Jew's-Harp, tabla, xylophone, kanjira, sistrum
- Graham Connah / piano
- Theobald Brooks Lengyel / reeds (multiple)
- Clinton McKinnon / clarinet, drums, keyboards
- I Quit / percussion, wood block
- Lisandro Adrover / bandoneon
- Trey Spruance / pipa, keyboards/organs, guitar, electronics

:::Flyin’ Lady:::

Posted: Tuesday, 18 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

JAN "PTASZYN" WROBLEWSKI [YAHN PTOSH-shin vroo-BLEFF-ski] Polish tenor saxophonist and composer. Wróblewski is the one of the first Polish musicians who started playing in a free-jazz style and, although later he used a more traditional approach, he remained open to musical experimentation. Some of his compositions are influenced by Polish folk music.This LP was recorded in Warsaw in 1978. Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski Quartet: Andrzej Dąbrowski (dr), Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski (ts), Witold Szczurek (cb), Marek Bliziński (g).
:::Taken from nme.com:::

Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski Quartet – Flyin’ Lady (Polish Jazz vol. 55) (1978)

Side A
1. Pastuszek Stomp
2. Grzmot nad ranem
3. Bossa Nostra

Side B
1. Pani Ptakowa
2. Dlaczego małpa...
3. Licheć Checioł Dana

Jan “Ptaszyn” Wróblewski – tenor sax
Marek Bliziński – guitar
Witold Szczurek – bass
Andrzej Dąbrowski – drums

:::Jaco Pastorius:::

Posted: Monday, 17 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , ,

It's impossible to hear Jaco Pastorious' debut album today as it sounded when it was first released in 1976. The opening track -- his transcription for fretless electric bass of the bebop standard "Donna Lee" -- was a manifesto of virtuosity; the next track, the funk-soul celebration "Come On, Come Over" was a poke in the eye to jazz snobs and a love letter to the R&B greats of the previous decade (two of whom, Sam & Dave, sing on that track); "Continuum" was a spacey, chorus-drenched look forward to the years he was about to spend playing with Weather Report. The program continues like that for three-quarters of an hour, each track heading off in a different direction -- each one a masterpiece that would have been a proud achievement for any musician. What made Jaco so exceptional was that he was responsible for all of them, and this was his debut album. Beyond his phenomenal bass technique and his surprisingly mature compositional chops (he was 24 when this album was released), there was the breathtaking audacity of his arrangements: "Okonkole Y Trompa" is scored for electric bass, French horn, and percussion, and "Speak Like a Child," which Pastorious composed in collaboration with pianist Herbie Hancock, features a string arrangement by Pastorious that merits serious attention in its own right. For a man with this sort of kaleidoscopic creativity to remain sane was perhaps too much to ask; his gradual descent into madness and eventual tragic death are now a familiar story, one which makes the bright promise of this glorious debut album all the more bittersweet. (This remastered reissue adds two tracks to the original program: alternate takes of "(Used to Be a) Cha Cha" and "6/4 Jam").
:::Review by Rick Anderson:::

Jaco Pastorius - s/t (1976)
1. Donna Lee 2:28
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Congas – Don Alias
Written-By – C. Parker

2. Come On, Come Over 3:52
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Trombone [Bass] – Peter Graves
Saxophone [Baritone] – Howard Johnson
Clavinet, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Herbie Hancock
Saxophone [Tenor] – Michael Brecker
Written-By – B. Herzog, J. Pastorius
Vocals – Dave Pratter, Sam Moore
Drums – Narada Michael Walden
Featuring – Sam & Dave
Trumpet – Randy Brecker, Ron Tooley
Congas – Don Alias
Saxophone [Alto] – David Sanborn

3. Continuum 4:33
Written-By – J. Pastorius
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Alex Darqui, Herbie Hancock
Drums – Lenny White
Bells – Don Alias

4. Kuru/Speak Like A Child 7:42
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Cello – Beverly Lauridsen, Charles McCracken, Kermit Moore
Viola – Manny Vardi, Julian Barber, Stewart Clarke
Arranged By [String Arrangement] – Jaco Pastorius
Violin – David Nadien, Harold Kohon, Harry Cykman, Harry Lookofsky, Joe Malin, Paul Gershman
Drums – Bobby Economou
Bongos, Congas – Don Alias
Concertmaster – David Nadien
Piano – Herbie Hancock
Written-By – H. Hancock, J. Pastorius
Conductor [Strings] – Michael Gibbs

5. Portrait Of Tracy 2:22
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Written-By – J. Pastorius

6. Opus Pocus 5:29
Saxophone [Soprano] – Wayne Shorter
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Herbie Hancock
Steel Drums – Leroy Williams, Othello Molineaux
Written-By – J. Pastorius
Percussion – Don Alias
Drums – Lenny White

7. Okonkole Y Trompa 4:25
French Horn – Peter Gordon
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Bata [Okonkolo Iya], Congas, Cabasa [Afuche] – Don Alias
Written-By – D. Alias, J. Pastorius

8. (Used To Be A) Cha-Cha 8:57
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Written-By – J. Pastorius
Flute [Piccolo] – Hubert Laws
Drums – Lenny White
Piano – Herbie Hancock
Congas – Don Alias

9. Forgotten Love 2:14
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Viola – Al Brown, Manny Vardi, Julian Barber, Stewart Clarke
Arranged By [String Arrangement] – Jaco Pastorius
Written-By – J. Pastorius
Double Bass – Homer Mensch, Richard Davis
Cello – Alan Shulman, Beverly Lauridsen, Charles McCracken, Kermit Moore
Violin – Arnold Black, David Nadien, Harold Kohon, Harry Cykman, Harry Lookofsky, Joe Malin, Matthew Raimondi, Max Pollikoff, Paul Gershman
Concertmaster – David Nadien
Piano – Herbie Hancock
Conductor [Strings] – Michael Gibbs

Bonus Tracks (Previously Unreleased)

10. (Used To Be A) Cha-Cha 8:49
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Written-By – J. Pastorius
Flute [Piccolo] – Hubert Laws
Drums – Lenny White
Piano – Herbie Hancock
Congas – Don Alias

11. 6/4 Jam 7:45
Written-By – J. Pastorius
Electric Bass – Jaco Pastorius
Congas – Don Alias
Drums – Lenny White
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Herbie Hancock

:::The Rumproller:::

Posted: Sunday, 16 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

To follow up on his unexpected boogaloo hit "The Sidewinder," Lee Morgan recorded Andrew Hill's somewhat similar "The Rumproller" but this time the commercial magic was not there. However the trumpeter, tenor-saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Ronnie Mathews, bassist Victor Sproles and drummer Billy Higgins all play quite well on the title cut, two of Morgan's songs (the bossa nova "Eclipso" is somewhat memorable), a ballad tribute to Billie Holiday and Wayne Shorter's "Edda." This album is worth picking up but it is not essential.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

Lee Morgan - The Rumproller (1965)

1. The Rumproller 10:26
Written-By – Andrew Hill
2. Desert Moonlight 9:22
Written-By – Lee Morgan
3. Eclipso 6:53
Written-By – Lee Morgan
4. Edda 7:19
Written-By – Wayne Shorter
5. The Lady 7:30
Written-By – Rudy Stevenson
6. Venus Di Mildrew 6:26
Written-By – Wayne Shorter

Bass – Victor Sproles
Drums – Billy Higgins
Piano – Ronnie Mathews
Tenor Saxophone – Joe Henderson
Trumpet – Lee Morgan

:::Home Is Where The Music Is:::

Posted: Wednesday, 12 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Released as a double LP on Chisa/Blue Thumb in 1972, Hugh Masekela's Home Is Where the Music Is marked an accessible but sharp detour from his more pop-oriented jazz records of the '60s. Masekela was chasing a different groove altogether. He was looking to create a very different kind of fusion, one that involved the rhythms and melodies of his native South Africa, and included the more spiritual, soul-driven explorations occurring in American music at the time on labels like Strata East, Tribe, and Black Jazz as well as those laid down by Gato Barbieri on Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman imprint. The South African and American quintet he assembled for the date is smoking. It includes the mighty saxophonist Dudu Pakwana and drummer Makaya Ntshoko, both South African exiles; they were paired with American pianist Larry Willis and bassist Eddie Gomez, creating a wonderfully balanced, groove-oriented ensemble. Produced by Stewart Levine and composer Caiphus Semenya, this is a near mythic date that was reviewed favorably but infrequently back in the day.
The ten tunes here range between five and 11 minutes; half were written by Semenya, Masekela and Willis wrote one apiece, and the balance were covers -- including a gorgeous arrangement of Miriam Makeba's "Uhomé." "Part of the Whole"opens the set with Willis on Fender Rhodes piano, with a lazy rolling blues groove that is equal parts soul-jazz and South African folk melody. The horns enter behind him playing a vamp before they ramp it up in the chorus twice before Pakwana takes his solo against the rhythm section. Willis' sense of time is indomitable and the funky breaks laid down by Ntshoko are beautifully balanced by Gomez's woody tone. Pakwana wails emotionally, swerving between post-bop and more free explorations. Masekela answers his solo on his flugelhorn in tight, hard blues lines. His flight remains inside with the rhythm section offering this deep groove-laden backing. It's merely a taste of things to come however, as the following cut, Sekou Toure's "Minawa," makes clear. Willis opens it with his own solo backed by the rhythm section; his touch is deft, light, elegant, and deeply melodic. It feels like a different band until the horns enter. When they do, they open that intricate lyric line into waves of passion and restraint. Semenya's "The Big Apple," feels like a tune written by Ramsey Lewis with a horn section backing him. It's all bass note groove, hypnotic repetition, and soulful blues before the horns get to move around one another and solo above Willis' beautiful fills on the grand piano. This set marks the first appearance of Willis' tune "Inner Crisis," the title track of his debut solo LP which would appear a year later on Groove Merchant -- only this time with an acoustic piano intro before moving to the Rhodes. This track is a funky spiritual jazz classic and this version may be better than his -- largely due to this killer horn section. Other standouts include Kippie Moeketsi's loping "Blues for Huey," the ballad "Nomali," and Masekela's knotty, joyous "Maseru." In sum, Home Is Where the Music Is, is a stone spiritual soul-jazz classic, that melds the sound of numerous emerging jazz schools in its pursuit of musical excellence; it succeeds on all counts and is one of the greatest recordings in Hugh Masekela's long career. In a year full of amazing titles, this is still a standout.
:::Review by Thom Jurek:::

Hugh Masekela - Home Is Where The Music Is (1972)

1. Part Of A Whole 9:37
Written-By – Caiphus Semenya
2. Minawa 9:38
Written-By – Sekou Toure
3. The Big Apple 7:52
Written-By – Caiphus Semenya
4. Uhomé 5:20
Written-By – Miriam Makeba
5. Maseru 7:12
Written-By – Hugh Masekela
6. Inner Crisis 5:52
Written-By – Larry Willis
7. Blues For Huey 6:26
Written-By – Kippie Moeketsi
8. Nomali 7:20
Written-By – Caiphus Semenya
9. Maesha 11:49
Written-By – Caiphus Semenya
10. Ingoo Pow-Pow (Children's Song) 6:47
Written-By – Caiphus Semenya

Alto Saxophone – Dudu Phukwana
Double Bass [Acoustic Bass] – Eddie Gomez
Drums – Makhaya Ntshoko
Flugelhorn – Hugh Masekela
Piano – Larry Willis

:::Black Fire:::

Posted: Tuesday, 11 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Black Fire, Andrew Hill's debut record for Blue Note, was an impressive statement of purpose that retains much of its power decades after its initial release. Hill's music is quite original, building from a hard bop foundation and moving into uncharted harmonic and rhythmic territory. His compositions and technique take chances; he often sounds restless, searching relentlessly for provocative voicings, rhythms, and phrases. Black Fire borrows from the avant-garde, but it's not part of it -- the structures remain quite similar to bop, and there are distinct melodies. Nevertheless, Hill and his band -- comprised of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes -- are not content with the limitations of hard bop. Much of the music is informed by implied Afro-Cuban rhythms and modal harmonics, resulting in continually challenging and very rewarding music. Hill's complex chording is thoroughly impressive, and Henderson's bold solos are more adventurous than his previous bop outings would have suggested. Their expertise, along with the nimble, unpredictable rhythm section, help make Black Fire a modern jazz classic.
:::Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:::

Andrew Hill - Black Fire (1963)

1. Pumpkin 5:22
2. Subterfuge 8:02
3. Black Fire 6:53
4. Cantardos 5:39
5. Tired Trade 5:48
6. McNeil Island 2:55
7. Land Of Nod 5:45

Bass – Richard Davis
Drums – Roy Haynes
Piano – Andrew Hill
Saxophone [Tenor] – Joe Henderson

:::Ra #7:::

Posted: Monday, 10 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Sun Ra - Celestial Love (1982)

Side A
1. Celestial Love (Ra)
2. Sometimes I'm Happy (Caesar-Youmans)
3. Interstellarism (Insterstellar Low Ways) (Ra)
4. Blue Intensity (Ra)

Side B
5. Sophisticated Lady (Carney-Ellington)
6. Nameless One #2 (Ra)
7. Nameless One #3 (Ra)
8. Smile (Chaplin)

Ra-p, keyb, org;
Walter Miller-tp;
Tyrone Hill-tb;
Vincent Chancey-frh;
Marshall Allen-as, fl;
John Gilmore-ts;
Danny Ray Thompson-bs, fl;
James Jacson-bsn, perc; pos.
Hayes Burnett o
John Ore-b; prob.
Eric Walker-d;
Atakatune (Stanley Morgan)-cga;
June Tyson-voc en Smile y Sometimes I'm Happy.

:::Ra #6:::

Posted: Sunday, 9 October 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Of Mythic Worlds is a fine album recorded in 1979 that sounds like a studio date. "Mayan Temples" is a great piece: slow and exotic with lots of flutes and bass clarinet. A nice reading of "Over the Rainbow" follows, then a great piano feature called "Inside the Blues." Side two heads just a bit farther out, with "Intrinsic Energies" sounding like some kind of space bebop while "Of Mythic Worlds" is a great tenor feature for John Gilmore. This is another album that will probably be tough to find but well worth it.
:::Review by Sean Westergaard:::

Sun Ra - Of Mythic Worlds (1980)

A1 Mayan Temples 7:48
A2 Over The Rainbow 5:15
A3 Inside The Blues 5:45
B1 Intrinsic Energies 8:40
B2 Of Mythic Worlds 12:5

Arranged By – Sun Ra
Artwork By [Cover Art] – Lisabeth Sterling
Composed By – Sun Ra (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B2)
Executive Producer – Rick Barry, Tom Buchler
Liner Notes – Spencer Weston
Producer – Sun Ra

:::Ra #5:::

Posted: Friday, 30 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , ,

On Jupiter is a great album recorded in 1979, about a year after Lanquidity. After easing in with the fairly brief title cut, a fairly mellow affair featuring June Tyson on vocals, listeners are treated to the all-out disco-funk of "U.F.O." Anchored by a monster bassline courtesy of Steve Clarke, this tune has fun ensemble vocals and great solos on guitar and tenor sax. This is as funky as Sun Ra ever got and really must be heard to be believed. Side two consists of "Seductive Fantasy," a lovely piece composed on top of a three-note bass ostinato that features lots of great piano from Ra and some interesting guitar sounds from either Skeeter McFarland or Taylor Richardson. John Gilmore gets plenty of room on this track as well and Luqman Ali's drumming is superb. This album is well worth picking up, but being one of those Saturn rarities makes it pretty difficult to do so.
:::Review by Sean Westergaard:::

Sun Ra - On Jupiter (1979)

1. On Jupiter 4:01
2. UFO 8:35
3. Seductive Fantasy 17:09

Alto Saxophone, Flute, Oboe – Marshall Allen
Alto Saxophone, Flute, Percussion – Danny Ray Thompson
Artwork By – Art Yard
Baritone Saxophone – Julian Pressley
Bass – Richard Williams
Bass Clarinet – Eloe Omoe
Bassoon, Flute, Percussion, Drums [Ancient Egyptian Infinity Lightning Drums] – James Jacson
Cello – Unknown Artist
Drums – Reg McDonald, Samarai Celestial
Drums, Vocals – Luqman Ali
Electric Bass – Steve Clarke
Electric Guitar – Skeeter McFarland, Taylor Richardson
Percussion – Atakatune
Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Vocals, Composed By, Arranged By – Sun Ra
Tenor Saxophone, Percussion, Vocals – John Gilmore
Trumpet – Eddie Gale
Trumpet, Vocals – Michael Ray
Violin – Unknown Artist
Vocals – June Tyson

:::Ra #4:::

Posted: Thursday, 29 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Space Probe dates from 1969-1970, and is a bit of an odd album. "Primitive" starts things out; basically it's a percussion piece featuring James Jacson's log drum and lots of hand percussion. There's just a bit of what sounds like bass clarinet at the beginning, but it doesn't last long. "Conversion of J.P." is a less cacophonous, percussion-oriented piece, highlighted at the beginning by the flute playing of Marshall Allen. Then Ra's piano enters about eight minutes in and takes the tune in a very different direction with the same percussion backing. Ra's playing here is fascinating, though not at all flashy. "Space Probe" is a side-long tour de force by Ra on the miniMoog, and he amply demonstrates that nobody handles a Moog quite like Sun Ra. It could be the sound effects to a '50s sci-fi flick, no problem, or a demonstration of how weird the miniMoog can get. It ain't easy listening, but it's pretty stunning all the same for those with adventurous ears.
:::Review by Sean Westergaard:::

Sun Ra - Space Probe (1978)

1. Space Probe 17:57
2. Earth Primitive Earth 6:12
3. Circe 0:47
4. Solar Symbols II 5:05
5. Dance Of The Wind 2:55
6. Recollections Of There 4:51
7. Destiny 0:54
8. The Conversation Of J.P 13:44

Clarinet [Bass] – John Gilmore
Drums [Hand] – Nimrod Hunt
Drums [Log Drum] – James Jacson
Flute – Marshall Allen
Synthesizer [Moog], Piano, Other [Intergalactic Instruments] – Sun Ra
Vocals – Thea Barbara

:::Ra #3:::

Posted: Wednesday, 28 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

The Sun Ra Arkestra looks both forwards and backwards in time on this obscure small label LP. Ten years earlier, one could not have imagined Ra and his men romping through "On the Sunny Side of the Street" or reinventing "Flamingo." However, those versions certainly sound quite original, and there is no mistaking the band for any other orchestra on "Space Fling," "Manhattan Cocktail" and the trademark "Space Is the Place." The music on this album features a version of the Arkestra consisting of six reeds (including John Gilmore and Marshall Allen), three trumpets (including Michael Ray and Eddie Gale), two trombones (with a young Robin Eubanks), the French horn of Vincent Chancey, guitarist Dale Williams, three bassists, four percussionists, singer June Tyson and the leader's keyboards. A stimulating set.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

Sun Ra - The Other Side of the Sun (1979)

A1 Space Fling 7:37
A2 Flamingo 4:44
Composed By – Anderson, Grouya
A3 Space Is The Place 9:48
B1 The Sunny Side Of The Street
Composed By – J. McHugh 9:35
B2 Manhattan Cocktail 9:54

Arranged By – Sun Ra
Bass – Ben "Jereeboo" Henderson, Bob Cunningham, OscarBrown, Jr.
Composed By – Sun Ra (tracks: A1, A3, B2)
French Horn – Vincent Chancey
Guitar – Dale Williams
Percussion – Artaukatune, Eddie Thommus, Luqman Ali, William Goffigan
Photography By [Cover] – Jay Edgerton
Piano [Acoustic], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Percussion, Bells, Vocals – Sun Ra
Producer – Sun Ra
Reeds – Danny Davis, Danny Thompson, Elo Omoe, James Jacson, John Gilmore, Marshall Allen
Trombone – Robin Eubanks, Tony Bethel
Trumpet – Eddie Gale, Michael Ray, Walter Miller
Vocals – June Tyson

:::Ra #2:::

Posted: Tuesday, 27 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

Along with Lanquidity, Nuclear War is one of the rarest discs in Sun Ra's enormous catalog. Recorded in 1982, Nuclear War disappeared until 2001 when the Chicago-based Atavistic label made it part of their exceptional "Unheard Music Series." Originally Ra was so sure the funky dance track was a hit, he immediately took it to Columbia Records, where they immediately rejected it. Why he thought a song with the repeating chant "Nuclear War, they're talking about Nuclear War/It's a motherf***er, don't you know/if they push that button, your ass gotta go/and whatcha gonna do without your ass" would be a hit is another puzzle in the Sun Ra myth. Even with the danceability factor, without heavy censoring, the song would never be played on the radio. Severely depressed by the rejection, but still determined, Ra licensed the track to Y Records, a post-punk label out of Britain. Initially a vinyl 12" was released with "Sometimes I'm Happy" on the flip side. Two years later, Nuclear War was released as an album, but only in Italy. The remaining tracks include four originals and three standards, Ellington's "Drop Me Off in Harlem," "Sometimes I'm Happy," and "Smile." The latter two are highlights in their own right thanks to the gorgeous vocals of June Tyson.
:::Review by Al Campbell:::

Sun Ra - Nuclear War (1982)

1. Nuclear War 7:44
Vocals – June Tyson
2 Retrospect 5:40
3 Drop Me Off In Harlem 5:03
Written-By – Ellington
4 Sometimes I'm Happy 4:27
Vocals – June Tyson
Written-By – Caesar, Youmans
5 Celestial Love 5:30
6 Blue Intensity 5:14
7 Nameless One No. 2 3:59
8 Smile 4:25
Vocals – June Tyson
Written-By – Chaplin

Alto Saxophone, Flute – Marshall Allen
Baritone Saxophone, Flute – Danny Ray Thompson
Bass – Hayes Burnett
Bassoon, Percussion [Infinity Drum] – James Jacson
Congas, Percussion – Atakatune
Drums – Samarai Celestial
French Horn – Vincent Chancey
Piano, Synthesizer, Organ, Vocals – Sun Ra
Tenor Saxophone – John Gilmore
Trombone, Vocals – Tyron Hill
Trumpet – Walter Miller

:::Ra #1:::

Posted: Monday, 26 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

A hard-to-find, alternately chaotic and tightly organized mid-'70s session that was issued on the Cobra, and then Inner City labels. Sun Ra provided some stunning moments on the Rocksichord, while leading The Arkestra through stomping full-band cuts of atmospheric or alternately hard bop compositions, peeling off various saxophonists for skittering, screaming, at times spacey dialogues.
:::Review by Ron Wynn:::

Sun Ra - Cosmos (1976)

1. The Mystery Of Two 5:47
2. Interstellar Low-Ways 4:45
3. Neo Project #2 5:15
4. Cosmos 2:50
5. Moonship Journey 6:30
6. Journey Among The Stars 5:50
7. Jazz From An Unknown Planet 8:10

Alto Saxophone, Flute – Danny Davis, Marshall Allen
Baritone Saxophone, Flute – Danny Thompson
Bass Clarinet, Flute – Elo Omoe
Bassoon, Flute – Jac Jackson
Drums – Larry Bright
Electric Bass – R. Anthony Bunn
French Horn – Vincent Chancey
Keyboards [Rocksichord] – Sun Ra
Tenor Saxophone – John Gilmore
Trombone – Craig Harris
Trumpet – Ahmed Abdullah


Posted: Sunday, 18 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Second full Jazz Q studio album is their top release. It's interesting to notice how fast jazz band, founded in mid-60s became free jazz/experimental band in late 60s and turned to bluesy jazz- rock in early 70-s.
If you ever heard Jazz Q split album with Blue Effect (where they are more free jazz part, balanced with bluesy jazz rock by Blue Effect ), you will be surprised from very first sounds of this album. First of all, band have female vocalist now ( Joan Duggan), and then they play totally different music there.
Joan's vocals are in the key of Nico, with similar timbres, just stronger. Music on this album is keyboards-dominated jazz rock, influenced by Brian Auger, with often jazzy drumming and great Frantiek Francl guitar solos over it. Music is very bluesy, far not so complex and experimental as on band's split debut.
Excellent jazzy musicianship in combination with light psychodelia of Joan's vocals and perfect guitar work bring this album on forefront of similar albums (in fact this release could be placed at the same level with best Auger/Driscoll releases).
Best album of one of the best Czech jazz fusion bands from early 70-s. Very recommended!
:::Review by snobb:::

Jazz Q - Symbiosis (1973)

1. From Dark to Light (6:05)
2. Lost Soul (6:05)
3. Starbird (7:25)
4. The Wizard (16:25)
5. Epilogue (3:25)

Backing Vocals - Jiř Rotter , Leek Semelka , Pavel Dydovič , Vladimr Mik
Bass - Vladimr Padrůněk
Clarinet - Jan Kubk
Congas - Jiř Tomek
Double Bass - Alexander Čihař
Drums - Michal Vrbovec
Electric Piano, Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Leader - Martin Kratochvl
Guitar - Frantiek Francl
Lead Vocals - Joan Duggan
Trumpet - Radek Pobořil

:::Weather Report:::

Posted: Wednesday, 14 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

With two WR members emanating from Miles' Bitches Brew line-up (Zawinul and Shorter), it was obvious that their first album would be heavily influenced by it. But to everyone's surprise, WR's debut only took BB as a starting point and expanded on it, pushing the musical adventure a notch further and improvising so well and inspired, that you'd swear the whole thing is written. The duo enrolled the Czech-born Miroslav Vitous, (which will become an indispensable early WR's pillar) than secured Brazilian-born percussionist Airto Moreira and drummer Alphonse Mouzon, thus creating a real supergroup or an all-star line-up as the jazz circles prefer it. Released in 71 on the Columbia banner with a strange abstract artwork, WR's debut would take the JR scene by storm.
Right from the first twitches of Milky Way, we just know we're in for a long strange trip, as the music flirts with atonalities, then reaching a strange metamorphosed Miles jazz-funk (Umbrellas) that takes away the pleasantness and replacing it with cold hard improvising. On Seventh Arrow (a Vitous track), Zawinul's Fender Rhodes takes us sky-bound with Shorter's sax hovering like a mosquito around our ears until Zawinul derails the train into cosmic heights with his weird synths layers. The album's highlight is the Zawinul-penned Orange Lady, starting out lazily under the noontime sun, and then simply roasting under the scorching sun.
The flipside opens on the magical Morning Lake, with zawinul's Rhodes layering the track as to allow vitous to soar with his bass, while Shorter's sax is the cool breeze setting the mist apart to let the sunrays grace our ears. Waterfall, as you'd guess, is definitely more rapid than the Morning Lake, but obviously the cool Shorter breeze is not yet shaking the night's torpor. Shorter was being short-changed in terms of songwriting credits up to now, but he gets to close the album with two tracks, first the again-slow (but brooding and menacing) Tears (astounding track with celestial voices) and the funkier Eurydice, which is much closer to conventional jazz than the Z-S duo had done in quite a while.
An impeccable album, but not likely suited for everyone as it is much slower than you'd expect a WR album, especially for those more familiar with the Pastorius days. Personally, I always preferred the Vitous-era as they were truly groundbreaking and along with its successor, this album is clearly teir most progressive.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Weather Report - Weather Report (1971)

1. Milky Way (2:33)
2. Umbrellas (3:27)
3. Seventh Arrow (5:22)
4. Orange Lady (8:43)
5. Morning Lake (4:25)
6. Waterfall (6:20)
7. Tears (3:25)
8. Eurydice (5:45)

- Airto Moreira / percussion.
- Alphonze Mouzon / drums, voice
- Wayne Shorter / soprano & tenor saxophones
- Miroslav Vitous / acoustic & electric basses
- Joe Zawinul / acoustic & electric pianos

Additional musicians
- Don Alias / percussion
- Barbara Burton / percussion

:::Give & Take:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Floating Anarchy
Here & Now's debut album is a stunning, if slightly inconsistent effort; when it's good, it kicks serious donkey and ranks up there with the very best space/prog has to offer. You will be hard pushed to find better.
If you're familiar with "Floating Anarchy" (listed under Gong), then you'll have an idea of what you're in for, as this is "The Here and Now Band" referred to on that album. Here & Now mix punk, reggae influences and space rock into a sound reminiscent of Gong and Hawkwind, and it's easy to hear where the Ozric Tentacles got their sound from (the Ozrics regularly supported Here & Now in the early 1980s before their first album release).
The first track is actually entitled "What You See is What You Are" on my original vinyl copy - and on the Here & Now fan sites. A catchy, spacy keyboard hook is joined by a unison female vocal and the bass/drums/guitar pile in with a driving riff for a pair of verses and chorsuses that are pleasant but don't attempt to progress. But the interesting bit is to follow; the instrumental section kicks off into a different dimension - a spine-tingling space bridge that could have been lifted from "You", but with the Here & Now twist; Kieth da Bass driving Kif Kif le Batteur's jazzy percussions under some superb Hillage-esque guitar from Steffi Sharpstrings - we get the feeling that this is something the Ozrics would like to have achieved.
"Nearer Now" is a well-written song with fabulous "walky" bass lines. There seem to be snippets of early Pink Floyd and Hawkwind here. There's a punky edge, and the song is in a fairly standard format - but somehow this is unmistakably prog rock, with the catchy yet unpredictable melody lines, contrapuntal instrumental parts and ambiguity of key base. Around 3:40 the instrumental section kicks in, and Steffi S provides spine-tingling and melodic guitar solo lines treading once more into Steve Hillage's shoes with something that might have come from "Green".
"Grate Fire of London" is the centerpiece for me. An absolute masterpiece in itself and worth the price of the album. Smoky keyboards swirl around ambient guitars as Sooze ba Blooze sings "I'm gonna find you again" in a pure voice - comparisons to Annie Haslam may be appropriate here, but the space whispers are more similar to Shakhti Yoni. Percussion and bass increase the dramatic tension, and we get colours of "Angel's Egg", but with added chaos and sirens. The instrumental section from around 5:02 onwards is peculiarly regressive in some ways, in that it hearkens back to "Flying Teapot" and even "Camembert Electrique", but with Keith's pounding bass lines. Steffi's unison guitars and Kif Kif's precision drumming confirm the "Camembert..." links - but the music does not kick in, leaving anticipation for what happens next...
...which I find somewhat unsatisfying. Keith's bass has a fantastic rich sound, da Blitz works some great spacey keyboards, Sharpstrings provides some really subtle stabbing accompaniment - but the overall effect is of a very repetitive and unimaginative song "This Time". When the change comes it's chaotic - but in a disorganised way. The "stream of consciousness" male vocals are probably the best feature of this track - although I might take issue with the line "If you wanna lot of chocolate on your biscuit join a club..."
"Seventies Youth" is delightfully "Dippy Hippy" and a simply wonderful song. At the same time, it is the foundation of the songwriting path that Here & Now would follow. The albums that come after this, up to "Been and Gone" all develop the style presented in this track - but are very hard to track down. Notable points; It's just a great song with superb textures - not harmonically adventurous, but slightly Bowie in flavour, and very psychedelic.
"Improvisation" is just that. 11 minutes of blissful Here & Now style improv - although you just know that the structure was pre-arranged... H & N demonstrate what it is to play with feeling - this is how it's done, boys and girls, and this would only be out of place on an Ozrics album because it outclasses the Ozrics all over. Otherwise, you might be forgiven for thinking this was the Tentacular ones with Hillage on lead and beautiful and sometimes slightly disturbing female backing vocals. Enjoy this one at maximum volume and dance around your clothes, which are probably in a pile on the floor by now...
But close the curtains, OK ;0)
Easily the proggiest of Here & Now's output of the 1970s and 1980 (the remainder of their albums focus on progressive songwriting, incorporating ever deeper punk and reggae influences), "Give and Take" possesses something of a mysterious otherworldly quality and comes highly recommended, despite the fact that I can't really award masterpiece status, mainly because of "This Time".
:::Review by Certif1ed:::

Here & Now - Give & Take (1978)

1. What You See Is What You Get (5:23)
2. Nearer Now (5:42)
3. Grate Fire Of London (7:33)
4. This Time (4:46)
5. Seventies Youth (5:00)
6. Improvisation (11:04)

- Steffy Sharpstrings / guitar, vocals
- Keith tha Missile / bass, vocals
- Gavin da Blitz / keyboards, synthesizers
- Kif Kif Le Batter / drums, guitar, vocals
- Suze da Blooze & Annie Mandrake / Choir of Angels

:::Fantasy Of Horses:::

Posted: Monday, 12 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Wow!! I never start my review with wow. But apparently this group remains to be discovered by a lot of people, and that includes me. Talk about unearthing a gem here. Out of nowhere comes from the underworld this strange band that knows what drama is. As a matter of fact, some of their music can even be called operatic having not only a string section but also a moody wind section as well: jazzy feel on those very Spanish Conquistador dramatic themes. Yes, the music is often grandiose (sometimes bordering on the cheesy) and being somehow what Days Of Future Past should've been. Does this sound intriguing? Ya betcha!! These guys are drawing musical circles around you and they are twiddling with your unstabled brains with their incredible musical meanders and those orgasmic Mellotrons washes. For their second album, leader Browning opted for another horn section, and inside the quartet baritone singer Hoban stepped in to take the keyboards.
I am generally not an opera fan (and certainly do not like the "high culture" snobbery always present at those events), but here I will not only make an exception, we are in for a real rock opera, much more than the great Townsend threw at us into his trips and anguishes (go back to sleep, Rick!!). This music is really classical music fused with rock and might just be on the best example of fusion ever (even if I repeat the word cheesy). But the rock parts are hovering between early Crimson with a great (and much more than that) rhythm section, jazzy Spanish horn section drawing of Rodriguez-type of Aranjuez Concerto. Just flabbergasting if you let yourself taken by the waves of the music. The four tracks (two short and two epics) are gut-wrenching, fascinating, orgasmic, grandiose hair-raising (hear the Farewell of Dancer, the first epic) and yet flow so easily together to form one gigantic track. So much that the heavily rhythmic jazz rock of City Night Life simply does not shock, but actually perfectly and lovingly out-of-place, just like it was meant to be. Too bad for an excellent drum solo that lasted a minute too long, though. The title track starts on a slow operatic style but the crescendo is breathtakingly implacably progressive. Stupendous flutes with the whole orchestra pushing the oboe and other winds (the trombone gets some superb underlines), the whole thing resonates a bit like those unique and crazy Finns of Haikara (their first album really) due to the same Crimson influences but also Magma's works on choral works and interplay with rock. Stupendous, incredibly flawlessly played and written, this is nearing perfection although on the duration, not throughout the whole album, but close enough to be a masterpiece.
Just some 35 minutes-long, this album is easily the best thing to have come from down under, crushing any other pretenders by far, even (especially ;-) Sebastian Hardie. A second reissue saw the light of day in 06 (along with the never re-issued debut The Armada) with a 13-min+ bonus Browning-penned instrumental track Eagle Odyssey, which is not of the same era, recorded purposely for this album's bonus and entirely symphonic (no group or rock instruments). However it fits the album so well, that you don't even notice any difference and most listeners discovering the album now, will most likely integrate it in the album's oeuvre as if it had been there from the start. Sibelius and Strauss come to mind, when listening to this piece.
I'm not exactly sure how I should take the fact that this group was never being exposed (not even sure there are that many collectors who know of the group) and that they are finally getting exposition some 30 years later. This was obviously not a cheap record to make back then, so it is hard to understand how this group was never promoted properly. I just can't believe there are still some incredible albums that are finally getting a bit of attention some 30 years later (but this is also what keeps this old geezer up to his progressive obsessions ;-). Because music like this is only waiting for progheads to love it. One of my shocks this year!!!
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Rainbow Theatre - Fantasy Of Horses (1976)

1. Rebecca
2. Dancer
.. a) Straicase
.. b) The big time
.. c) Spin
.. d) Theatre
.. e) Farewell
3. Caption for the city night life
4. Fantasy of horses
.. a) Early light
.. b) Frolic
.. c) Trappers
.. d) Captives
.. e) Frolic
.. f) Escape
.. g) Cliff edge

- Julian Browning / guitar, keyboards
- Ferg McKinnon / bass
- Graeme Carter / drums, percussion
- Keith Hoban / vocals, organ
- Frank Graham / trumpet
- Martin West / saxophone, clarinet
- Ian Relf / trombone
- Tricia Shevenan / flute
- Chris Stock / oboe
- Karin McGechie / violin
- Stephen Daunt / violin
- Nya Murray / violin
- Rowan Thomas / alto
- Sara Glenie / violoncello

:::Jean Louis:::

Posted: Saturday, 10 September 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Jean Louis's self-titled debut merges avant-jazz, math rock and noise into a stylish and highly energetic whole that kicks your ass from start to finish.
This three-piece, consisting of Aymeric Avice on trumpet, Joachim Florent on double bass and Francesco Pastacaldi on drums, creates an enormous sound with their heavy, groove laden melodies and tasteful electronics. The players here are really top-notch musicians and know how to play their respective instruments. The rhythm section likes to play math rock-esque grooves, while the noisy trumpet either joins in, or adds flourishes over the top with the use of a mic and effects pedals. This rhythm section rivals that of any of the great bands from the 70's, magma included and they rock out harder than most so-called rock bands out there. The drumming on this album is some of the best in any genre, but Joachim Florent on bass is really the glue that hold the band together. He is an absolute magician, changing from finger to bow and even thumping his bass with a drum stick on the song Airbus, his constantly shifting rhythms and deep grooves are really impressive to listen to and really brings a cohesiveness to the overall sound of the band.
The album starts off with the track Tourlac and what a start it is! This track really gets the album off to a rolling start with a screeching trumpet flowing into an incessant bass drum that soon gives way to a stop start section with all three instruments playing together. The bass and drums continue of a sick groove while the trumpet goes on a tangent, using electronics that sounds like multiple distorted trumpets all playing in unison. The song then moves into a quiet section with the bass playing a slow, chilled out rhythm while the trumpet adds various electronic flourishes. The track eventually builds and builds back to the original groove with a slight slowing down of tempo here and speeding up there and then winds down into a quiet ending with the trumpet and bass.
Maximator, starts with a somewhat slow and low key groove from the bass and drums which is then rudely interrupted by a howling trumpet that comes in from nowhere and transforms the song into a noisy beast. This is certainly the most aggressive track on the album and moves along quickly like a thrash metal song until its untimely end where the trumpet fades back out into the darkness. The first of the untitled tracks is a minimalist interval that serves the purpose of bringing the tracks together, whether it is successful is up to debate, but it is by no means unpleasant and is over soon enough. It consists of a heartbeat followed by speedy tapping on the cymbals and a moaning, creaking bass in the background.
The third track on the album called Zakir, begins with a serene bass playing by itself and is joined by a marching snare that is then soon accompanied by Aymeric's trumpet that plays in unison with Francesco's drums. The bass soon joins in the march and a siren then sounds announcing the start of an unexpected bass solo where Joachim's groove is embellished with tiny guitar-like effects and ghostly howls from the trumpet. The rest of the band then joins in and they play a wonderful , distorted, mid-paced groove together that eventually evolves into a into a blistering tempo that really makes the heart pump and then back into a quiet section with the bass thumping quietly while the trumpet plays a soft tune. The song ultimately regains its momentum and then ends with a stylish thud.
After another untitled track very similar to the first, the band performs Airbus. This is the real standout track on the album, by means of its incredible groovyness and suberb angular melodies. It launches with a groove (there's that word again!) in which all three instruments participate, and melts into a subdued free jazz-esque section until the Joachim announces the return of the marvelous math rocky rhythm that dominates much of the song with the pounding of a drumstick on his stand up bass. They continue of this super sweet groove until the trumpet plays a kind of rolling circular pattern where the music comes into a sort of free-jazz section. The drums play and the bass pulses as they build into a running start as the trumpet screams over top of them, shouting into the mic. The swinging groove returns and becomes faster and ever faster and frantically runs to the finish line, ending in a noisy mess of muddled sound.
Tranche is another terrific track that blends heavy riffs and intense jazz into a wonderful combination. The beginning is a heap of different sounds floating in and out as the bass is bowed in a steady fashion. The track progresses to a pulsating rhythm and gets really cooking about midway through, where the trumpet pumps out more guitar riffs and the the drummer constantly pounds on the snares. This song is Aymeric's finest as his trumpet soars above the constantly shifting backing rhythms.
Chasseurs En Transe is started with the marching of the snare drum and the track is set in motion by a constantly thumping bass drum. The song rolls along at a good pace with the horn screeching and wailing all over the place. This section is a real thumper that moves into one of the most swinginest sections on the album before making room for one of the free jazz-like parts of it. The track ends with the return of the original melody and a bass that fades out.
Another untitled and then the finale of the album, a song called Kasams. A song that starts with several loud bangs that shifts into a rapid tempo. The bass throbs and the trumpet plays, sounding like many, as the song then dissolves into a pulsating bass where the drums cease and eerie noises creep in and out. The tune builds back up and the drums return with a flurry of notes and beats that takes the tune to even greater heights. The band continues on a scorching pace, deconstructs it, only to build it back up again. They conclude it with a huge breakdown, a few minutes of silence, a solo trumpet and then a bass solo as an afterthought to thank the listener.
Jean Louis's debut is nothing short of spectacular and is one of the finest RIO/Avant-prog albums to be found anywhere. The band is definitely not one to be missed, with their great interplay and undeniably weighty grooves and will appeal to jazz, noise, and math rock fans. This album is an absolutely essential one for any serious collector of avant-garde music and to any prog fan in general.
:::Review by Evolutionary Sleeper:::

Jean Louis - Jean Louis (2008)

1. Tourlac (6:57)
2. Maximator (2:31)
3. ... (1:10)
4. Zakir (9:31)
5. ... (0:50)
6. Airbus (7:00)
7. Tranche (6:17)
8. Chasseurs En Transe (5:44)
9. ... (0:43)
10. Kasams (8:45)

- Aymeric Avice / trumpet
- Joachim Florent / double bass
- Francesco Pastacaldi / drums


Posted: Friday, 26 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

GUIDO MANUSARDI. Born on December 3, 1935 in Chiavenna. In his very early days Guido moves to Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Denmark and, finally, ends up in Sweden where he lives for 5 years. It is in Stockholm that Guido meets the great Red Mitchell, with whom he will establish a deep friendship and musical collaboration.
In 1967 Guido moves to Bucharest and finally comes back to Italy after 7 years. His live album "Live recorded at the Lubiana Jazz Festival", wins the annual Italian "Premio della Critica Discografica". In 1977 his solo album 'Delirium' wins once again the same prize and Guido is recognized "Musician of the Year' and in October of the same year he is invited with his quartet al the Jamboree Jazz Festival In Varsavia. In July 1978 he his invited at the Montreux Jazz Festival: Guido is the first Italian Jazzman who participates at the festival.
Guido has performed and recorded with many jazz artists: Roy Eldridge, Bobby Hackett, Art Farmer, Don Byas, Dexter Gordon, Al Heath, Slide Hampton, Johnny Griffin, Red Mitchell, Lee Konitz, Jimmy Cobb, Jerry Bergonzi, Victor Lewis, Billy Higgins, Cecil Payne, Shelly Manne, Booker Ervin, Joe Venuti, Curtis Fuller, Kay Winding, Jimmy Owens, Lou Donaldson, Joe Morello, Art Taylor, Hal Singer, Sture Nordin, Bjorne Alke, Lennart Aborg, Petur Ostlund Island, Zbigniew Namyslowsky, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen. In July 2000 Guido was invited, from the Art Director of MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), in Los Angeles to have a performance at the Museum with Billy Higgins and Trevor Ware and during his permanence in L.A. he played with Billy even at World Stage - Hot Spot and here he recorded a CD - Live at the Hot Spot. Guido Manusardi is one of the few Italians lo be included by Leonard Feather in his "Jazz Encyclopedia".
:::Review from theblues-thatjazz.com:::

Guido Manusardi Quartet feat. Zbigniew Namysłowski - Namymanu (1977)

Side A

Planetarium Suite:
a) The Silent Sound of Space
b) Exploration
c) Song of the Spheres
d) Creation
e) Reaction
f) Back in Silence

Side B

1) Ballad for Eve
2) From the Bottom to the Top
3) Namymanu

Guido Manusardi - piano
Zbigniew Namysłowski - alto sax
Peter Guidi - soprano sax (Side A only)
Lucio Terzano - bass (Side A & B2)
Gianni Cazzola - drums (Side A & B2)

:::50th Birthday Celebration Vol.12:::

Posted: Thursday, 25 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

The "version" of Painkiller John Zorn assembled for this performance in his month-long 50th birthday celebration at Tonic included Bill Laswell from the original incarnation and drummer Hamid Drake as well as vocalist Mike Patton. While Patton is no Yamantaka Eye, Drake is far more compelling as a drummer than Mick Harris. The insert on the set correctly claims that this unit is something completely different. Not only does this band play a less free version of jazz, punk, and rock, it also plays free of many of the dub trappings it had engaged in an earlier incarnation. This is a deeply groove-oriented set of vanguard funk, jazz, and rock. There are three tracks here, and all of them are driven by the bedrock of Laswell's dirty funk playing and Drake's propulsive kit work. Zorn is out front playing snake-wise, melding everything from hard bop, free jazz, soul-oriented groove lines, and his own unclassifiable sonic palette. Patton's vocals are heavily treated yowls and screams combined with rhythmic breath work and moans. Tape delays are employed here as well, making the entire set a compelling, singular workout that is exciting, harsh, intense, and compelling.
:::Review by Thom Jurek:::

Painkiller - 50th Birthday Celebration Vol.12 (2005)

1. Your Inviolable Freedoms (20:29)
2. DPM (16:24)
3. Prophethood Of Chaos (6:24)

- Bill Laswell / bass
- John Zorn / saxophone
- Hamid Drake / drums

Special Guest

- Mike Patton / voice

:::At The Mountains of Madness:::

Posted: Wednesday, 24 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , ,

This, second album from John Zorn's Electric Masada project, was recorded during two concerts in Ljubljana and Moscow somewhere in the end of their European tour. All musicians are the same as on project's debut, and all they are great musicians!
Double set is quite long release, but you wouldn't be bored. Zorn's use there his best techniques - combines all possible and impossible music components in hot eclectic mix. What means if you don't like spacey electronic loops of Ikue Mori on the front of the sound, in very few moments they will be changed by hardcore Marc Ribot electric rocking guitars, and you will forget about them.
All concert long this scheme is used, and it works perfectly. Unpredictable changes of sound, genres and rhythms will keep your attention till the very end.
In all, this music is quite characteristic for Zorn mix of punk-jazz hardcore, klezmer world fusion, electronic avant and very melodic and easy accessible avant-pop, strongly flavoured by free jazz techniques.
Many times listened to Zorn's Masada series albums, I was attracted, but missed some electric sound and energy in acoustic hot klezmer/free jazz mix. And I got it there, in Electric Masada, where classic Masada's music is strongly mixed with Naked City's hard core energy and electric guitar sound, excellent electric keyboards passages, electronic noise of Hemophiliac and plenty of jazzy sounds from Bar Kokhba. And all the mix is prepared in very inspired, energetic live version, with enough space for long improvs.
As old fan of Zorn's music, I am often asked by newbies, how to find the right key to Zorn's music. The answer isn't easy, but possibly really good answer is - start from this album! Not because this work is Zorn's best ( I think it possibly isn't), but because there Zorn demonstrates in the best possible form almost everything he played for few decades. OK, there are not presented some his interesting series (as movies/soundtracks music, or neo-classical music), but you will find there his hardcore, free jazz, klezmer and free-jazz moments in their best.
If you are new to Zorn, and you want to have his only album, possibly this one is the best choice!
:::Review by snobb:::

Electric Masada - At The Mountains of Madness (2005)

CD 1
1. Lilin (16:14)
2. Metal Tov (5:35)
3. Karaim (16:15)
4. Hath-Arob (5:17)
5. Abidan (8:09)
6. Idalah-Abal (6:33)
7. Kedem (15:41)
8. Yatzar (6:05)

CD 2 
1. Tekufah (17:59)
2. Hath-Arob (6:55)
3. Abidan (9:59)
4. Metal Tov (5:52)
5. Karaim (15:15)
6. Idalah-Abal (6:08)
7. Kedem (14:47)

- Marc Ribot / guitars
- Joey Baron / drums
- Cyro Baptista / percussion
- Trevor Dunn / bass
- Ikue Mori / electronics
- Kenny Wollesen / drums
- Jamie Saft / keyboards
- John Zorn / alto saxophone


Posted: Tuesday, 23 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , ,

Named after an extinct Hawaiian bird, O'o is the charming follow up to the self-titled debut of composer John Zorn's most accessible project, The Dreamers. Culled from Zorn's inner circle of longstanding collaborators, this all-star sextet of Downtown veterans explores his most tuneful compositions, threading aspects of easy listening, exotica, film soundtracks, surf, and world music into an evocative panorama.
Zorn's recent forays into conventional song forms and traditional structures reveal a softening approach to composition. Though no stranger to melody or harmony, Zorn's musical statements have become more cohesive and predictable over the past few years—the polar opposite of his seminal game pieces, like Cobra, and his most revered band, Naked City. Although the mercurial improvisations of his early game pieces still drive the furious Electric Masada, and Moonchild continues on its nineties-inspired path of metallic destruction, his neo-classical chamber music writing, acoustic Masada projects and ensembles like the recent piano trio featured on Alhambra Love Songs (Tzadik, 2009) offer a more introspective view. Since the dissolution of Naked City in the early nineties, each of Zorn's various ensembles has adopted a distinct identity; Masada has become the standard bearer, while The Dreamers are the yin to Moonchild's yang.
With a mix of wistful nostalgia and cinematic ambience, The Dreamers brings Zorn's fondness for Post-War exotica to life, invoking the buoyant surf of The Astronauts ("Laughing Owl"), the celluloid drama of Ennio Morricone ("Archaeopteryx") and Nino Rota ("Miller's Crake"), and the enchanted island sounds of Martin Denny ("Po'o'uli") and Les Baxter ("Solitaire"). Marc Ribot's singular guitar dominates, particularly on the scorching "Little Bittern," while Kenny Wollesen's effervescent vibes and Jamie Saft's percolating keyboard filigrees provide an array of kaleidoscopic euphony. Trevor Dunn's robust bass lines, Joey Baron's infectious drumming and Cyro Baptista's ingenious percussion accents provide the group with a solid rhythmic foundation that never wavers, lending the quicksilver tunes that dominate the album's final third a vivacious air.
Exploring a range of moods, the sextet invests these colorful miniatures with vibrant lyricism, elevating them beyond mere incidental music, making O'o a delightful, if unsurprising listen.
:::Review by Troy Collins:::

John Zorn - O'o (2009)

1. Miller's Crake (4:18)
2. Akialoa (4:47)
3. Po'o'uli (5:41)
4. Little Bittern (6:30)
5. Mysterious Starling (4:32)
6. Laughing Owl (4:45)
7. Archaeopteryx (5:06)
8. Solitaire (2:11)
9. Piopio (5:11)
10. Zapata Rail (2:53)
11. Kakawahie (4:14)
12. Magdalena (5:07)

- Cyro Baptista / percussion
- Joey Baron / drums
- Trevor Dunn / bass
- Marc Ribot / guitar
- Jamie Saft / piano, organ
- Kenny Wollesen / vibraphone

:::Ipos Book of Angels, Vol. 14 (The Dreamers):::

Posted: Monday, 22 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , ,

I waited for this album from its very first days of release, and now I am listening to it. Yes, it is what I expected: electric band of Zorn's most regular collaborator's play Masada variations, mixing them with some 60-s movies soundtrack melodies.
Most of all this album attracts me by rare possibility to hear Masada -based real electric guitar based fusion. Guitarist Marc Ribot is this album's hero for sure. Just imagine airy, vintage sound recordings full of electric guitar soloing, old keyboards, vibraphone - and all these machinery are used to play Middle East and Eastern European (or klezmer, what is possibly more correct) tunes based melancholic, even nostalgic music.
A bit minimalistic, this music will catch you not by its technique, but by unbelievable atmosphere you didn't ear by years.
In whole - Zorn's best team is playing simple and genial music, possibly their best work for years. It's only a bit pity - Zorn's trumpet could add that small ingredient this music needs to be named masterpiece.
:::Review by snobb:::

Masada - Ipos Book of Angels, Vol. 14 (The Dreamers) (2010)

1. Tirtael
2. Hashul
3. Galizur
4. Oriel
5. Zavebe
6. Qalbam
7. Hagai
8. Zortek
9. Ezriel
10. Kutiel

Cyro Baptista: Percussion
Joey Baron: Drums
Trevor Dunn: Bass
Marc Ribot: Guitar
Jamie Saft: Keyboards
Kenny Wollesen: Vibraphone

:::Shuffering And Shmiling:::

Posted: Wednesday, 17 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

After the 1977 police attack on Fela's Kalakuta Republic, where his mother and about 80 members of his entourage and band were injured and arrested, he set out to light a fire underneath the authority figures and his various other enemies that were causing him and, in his eyes, the people of Nigeria to suffer in the form of harassment, oppression, and economic devastation. Shuffering and Shmiling is one of those comments. While continuing along in his tradition of savvy instrumental innovation, "Shuffering and Shmiling" plays out with the same intensity and voracious soloing that mark other great Africa 70 performances like Confusion, Gentleman, and No Agreement; but the point of departure here is the outward remarks he makes on a touchy topic: religion. Fela had become increasingly concerned about the growing influence of non-traditional religions fracturing African countries. He believed that these divisions had created a population unable to unify and stand up for themselves and instead had them living in conditions that forced "them go pack themselves in like sardine (into a bus): Suffering and smiling," and without trying to change things he says they "Suffer suffer for world/Enjoy for heaven." Shuffering and Shmiling is another highly recommended Fela Kuti and Africa 70 release. [In 2000, MCA released Shuffering and Shmiling and No Agreement as a two-fer.]
:::Review by Sam Samuelson:::

Fela Kuti - Shuffering And Shmiling (1978)

1. Suffering And Smiling 21:31

Congas – Addo Nettey, Oladeinde Koffi, Shina Abiodun
Drums – Ladi (Tony) Alabi
Guitar, Bass – Leke Benson, Nweke Atifoh, Oghene Kologbo, Okalve Ojeah
Keyboards – Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Percussion [Marraccas] – Babajide Olaleye
Percussion [Sticks] – Ayoola Abayomi
Saxophone – Xtopher Uwaifor, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, L'Ekan Animashaun*
Trumpet – Nwokoma Ukem, Tunde Williams
Vocals – Fela Anikulapo Kuti


Posted: Tuesday, 16 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Hard to list the music of Azigza under a specific musical genre. Prog ? Not really but a highly original effort in any case. It's a mixture of progressive rock, classical music, folk with eastern influences and even some fusion. Some prog listeners will find it strange that there's no keyboards present in the line up but this is no problem at all. The songs are mainly driven by the voice and the stunning violin, viola and cello parts. But also the other instruments are handled very well. The electric guitars, mandolins, sitars are mainly used to support the excellent melodies and barely come to the front unlike the pumping bass lines. The line-up includes 3 percussionist who ad lots of variation in the percussion without getting the focus too much on the percussion. Unlike you could expect with a so many instruments around, the sound is not overblown by too many musical parts playing at the same time. The names of Lisa Gerard and even Toyah come to mind when hearing the gorgeous vocals of Cyoakha Grace but her voice is sounding a lot more eastern and is a delight to listen to especially when she reaches the higher tones. The music is very light and uplifting and suitable to be listened at on a beautiful summer morning. Most songs hold several changes in mood and atmosphere varying from esoteric or dreamy to sensual or even sharp in the up-tempo excerpts. The mysterious sounding tracks are compelling all the way. I suppose this will not be everyone's cup of tea. Sometimes their sound is reminiscent to Curved Air while the unledded album of Jimmy Page & Robert Plant comes to mind when hearing the magnificent cover version of "friends" a Led Zep track. These similarities are minor, for a first album, this sounds rather unique. If you like to listen to violin, lovely female vocals and you 've got an open mind to ethnic music then this album is something for you.
:::Review by Fishy:::

Azigza - Azigza (2002)

1. Glass (5:11)
2. Remember (5:24)
3. Petra (8:18)
4. Touch Moon Window (8:01)
5. Ratzinitza (3:55)
6. Distance (5:48)
7. Zaman (6:13)
8. Friends (6:22)
9. Edallah ya Rashidi (6:52)

- Kevin Evans / violin, viola, cello, harp, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar, mandolin
- Cyoakha Grace / vocals
- Stephan Junca / drums, djembe, doumbek, guiro, bongos, assorted percussion
- Pierce McDowell / bass, sitar, tamboura
- Raja / tabla, kanjeera, djembe, zils, drums assorted percussion
- Pedra Rivera / djembe, doumbek, conga, shakers, zils, assorted percussion

:::Get Up With It:::

Posted: Monday, 15 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get Up With It was Miles' last studio album before he took a long break, and shows him at the absolute apex of his mid-70s creativity. All the elements he had been experimenting with are here, crazy psychedelic guitars, Stockhausen influenced attempts to stretch time and space, futuristic polyrhythmic African grooves and bizarre, almost satirical de-constructionist takes on common blues, funk and rock licks all combine to make an album that was way ahead of it's time in the mid-70s, and still sounds modern to this day.
Songs like Rated X and Mtume stand out with their polyrhythmic wall of wah-wah guitars, percussion, bass and distorted organ recreating a futuristic psychedelic yet somewhat traditional African music. On Honky Tonk the band stretches common funk riffs into pointillist abstraction by slowing down the time and leaving a lot of space between their interactions. Maiysha opens with a loungey latin groove that becomes strangely unsettling and menacing before the song eventually breaks into a harsh blues riff played at a numbingly slow tempo while psychedelic guitar wizard Pete Cosey's solo sounds like it was recorded on a tape that was underwater and slipping badly, this is absolute de-constructed blues from beyond hell.
Another stand-out track is Calypso Frelimo, this song takes up side three as it winds itself through different sections before it ends with a chaotic, almost punkish, double-time African jam that has gutarists Cosey and Reggie Lucas trading harsh distorted psych-funk licks with weird repeated spaghetti western type melodies. This totally bizarre song always has something new to hear in it's thick collage of almost incongruos sounds.
Probably the best song on the album, and the most prophetic and forward looking, is He Loved Him Madly, a lengthy improvisation which takes up all of side one. On this cut Miles presents two guitars, flute, bass, drums and percussion playing a patient and slow unfolding of musical events that is part Stockhausen and part raga before the percussion kicks in. Anywhere from ten to twenty years ahead of it's time, this song would pre-date much of the ambient, new-age and trip-hop music that would follow in it's wake. Brian Eno has often praised this song for what an effect it had on his own musical direction.
It is really hard to describe this album and do it justice, words like rock and funk etc could apply to millions of albums, but there is no album like this one, fueled with a malicious sense of mischief, a dark sarcastic sense of humor and tempered with a deep love for music, and a love for those that feel as strongly about music as he does, Miles produced an absolute masterpiece, an album that never could, nor never will be repeated.
:::Review by js (Easy Money):::

Miles Davis - Get Up With It (1974)

Disc 1
1. He Loved Him Madly (32:20)
2. Maiysha (14:56)
3. Honky Tonk (5:57)
4. Rated X (6:53)

Disc 2
5. Calypso Frelimo (32:10)
6. Red China Blues (4:10)
7. Mtume (15:12)
8. Billy Preston (12:35)

1970 (3)
- Miles Davis / trumpet
- Steve Grossman / soprano saxophone
- John McLaughlin / electric guitar
- Keith Jarrett / electric piano
- Herbie Hancock / clavinet
- Michael Henderson / bass guitar
- Billy Cobham / drums
- Airto Moreira / percussion

1972 (4, 6, 8)
- Miles Davis / organ
- Cedric Lawson / electric piano
- Reggie Lucas / electric guitar
- Khalil Balakrishna / electric sitar
- Michael Henderson / bass guitar
- Al Foster / drums
- James Mtume Foreman / percussion
- Badal Roy / tabla
- Sonny Fortune / flute
- Carlos Garnett / soprano saxophone

1973 (5)
- Miles Davis / trumpet, electric piano, organ
- Dave Liebman / flute
- John Stubblefield / soprano saxophone
- Pete Cosey / electric guitar
- Reggie Lucas / electric guitar
- Michael Henderson / bass guitar
- Al Foster / drums
- James Mtume Foreman / percussion

1974 (1-2, 7)
- Miles Davis / trumpet, organ
- Dave Liebman / soprano saxophone, flute
- Sonny Fortune / flute
- Pete Cosey / electric guitar
- Dominique Gaumont / electric guitar
- Michael Henderson / bass guitar
- Al Foster / drums
- James Mtume Foreman / percussion

:::Out Of Focus:::

Posted: Saturday, 13 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

With an unchanged line-up, OOF focus progressed immensely from their psyched-out prog rock by adding a jazz dimension that will make itself present through Moran's newly developed sax playing. This added dimension will give OOF such a wider spectrum that their excellent debut album will be dwarfed by this monster follow-up. Strangely enough their jazzy impulses show in the Tull (This Was) or TYA (Ten Years After) mode, rather than a complete jazz-rock ala Mahavishnu or brassy rock ala Colosseum or Warm Dust. Charged with an awesome abstract artwork, this baby is again released with the now-legendary Kuckuck label.
The album starts energetically enough with the hard driving What Can a Poor Boy do, but where you expect a flute, Moran pulls out his new sax and blows one mean solo, having us wonder how he mastered it so easily so quickly. Indeed, even in the short stop and go section, he follows no problems and has enough guts to follow it with a last bravado before Wisheu's bass intervention change into a call and response between Drechsler's guitar first, than alternatively organ, sax and guitar before resuming the 100 mph rock driving rhythm. What a minor tour de force!! The absolutely delightful folk-laden (induced by a spellbinding guitar but also an enchanting flute) It's Your Life is an incredible joy to your eardrums, somehow reminding of Traffic's John Barleycorn. The 13-min+ slow-developing Whispering is a combination of explosion of sounds, from a propelling organ and discreet piano, a soaring & searing guitar, an very explorative bass, wild drumming and Moran's new saxophone madness. Again the jazz tonalities are really more in the TYA mode than the pure jazz-rock deal, but the whole thing is damn progressive and once again the band show their impressive talent at light improvisation and the tail end fade out is a pure bit of heaven.
Then flipside starts on the folky Blue Sunday Morning, starting on a mad drum march with a flute-and-organ unison and Moran's sinister voice being the master of ceremony. Behind all this, Drechsler's near satanic guitar arpeggios are what makes the track so spellbinding. The bass picks up late in the track and by that time the song has veered completely psychedelic and the tension is really palpable in the building crescendo leading to the surprisingly absent climax. Nevertheless, another minor tour de force. The next track is a linked up duo starting with Fly Bird Fly and a very Traffic-like flute leading to some superb Greenslade-like organ parts and sweet guitar lines slowly leading into the second part of track Television Program, which is plenty excellent as well and comes the album's apex with the depicting the boredom of the truckload of images breaking the floodgates from the cathode tube into your brains and wondering on the consequences. This last part can be reminiscent of their debut Wake Up album.
This band is a mystery on how they never made it big and they would have, had they been British or American. An absolute find, a must -hear, your musical education cannot be complete without having heard this group (I am slightly exaggerating on the last point but it is for the CAUSE), your life will definitely more complete and fulfilled if you know of them, your sexual impulses will be multiplied by a thousand if you have at least heard of them, you will live to 200 years of age if you are even aware of their existence - I've never been so serious in my life. LISTEN TO THIS, you progheads!!!!!!!!!!
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Out Of Focus - Out Of Focus (1971)

1. What Can a Poor Boy Do (5:52)
2. It's Your Life (4:31)
3. Whispering (13:34)
4. Blue Sunday Morning (8:20)
5. Fly Bird Fly (5:09)
6. Television Program (11:45)

- Remingius Drechsler / guitars, stylophone, tenor saxophone, flutes, voice
- Hennes Hering / organ, piano
- Moran Neumüller / soprano saxophone, vocals
- Klaus Spöri / drums
- Stephen Wishen / bass

:::Space Is The Place:::

Posted: Friday, 12 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Space Is the Place provides an excellent introduction to Sun Ra's vast and free-form jazz catalog. Typical of many Sun Ra recordings, the program is varied; earthbound songs, like the swing number "Images" and Egyptian exotica piece "Discipline," fit right in with more space-age cuts, like the tumultuous "Sea of Sounds" and the humorous "Rocket Number Nine." Sun Ra fuses many of these styles on the sprawling title cut, as interlocking harmonies, African percussion, manic synthesizer lines, and joyous ensemble blowing all jell into some sort of church revival of the cosmos. Throughout the recording, Sun Ra displays his typically wide-ranging talents on space organ and piano, reed players John Gilmore and Marshall Allen contribute incisive and intense solos, and June Tyson masterfully leads the Space Ethnic Voices on dreamy vocal flights. This is a fine recording and a must for Sun Ra fans.
:::Review by Stephen Cook:::

Sun Ra - Space Is The Place (1972)

1. Space Is The Place 21:14
2. Images 6:15
3 Discipline 4:50
4. Sea Of Sounds 7:42
5. Rocket Number Nine 2:50

Alto Saxophone – Danny Davis (tracks: 4), Marshall Allen (tracks: 4)
Art Direction – Hollis King
Baritone Saxophone – Danny Ray Thompson (tracks: 1), Pat Patrick (tracks: 4)
Bass Clarinet – Eloe Omoe (tracks: 1, 5)
Composed By, Arranged By – Sun Ra
Design [Graphic Design] – Senora Brown
Drums – Lex Humphries (tracks: 4)
Electric Bass – Pat Patrick (tracks: 1, 2)
Engineer – Baker Bigsby
Engineer [Assistant] – Dominic Lumetta, Jim Dolan, Mitch Hennes, Preston Wakeland, Steve Skinder
Flugelhorn – Akh Tal Ebah (tracks: 4)
Flute – Danny Davis (tracks: 3), Danny Ray Thompson (tracks: 3), Eloe Omoe (tracks: 3), Marshall Allen (tracks: 3)
Organ [Space (farfisa)] – Sun Ra (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 5)
Other [Poems From Original Liner Notes Bts-41] – Sun Ra
Percussion – Atakatune (tracks: 4), Odun (tracks: 4)
Photography – Jim Newman, Chuck Stewart
Piano – Sun Ra (tracks: 2)
Producer [Original Sessions] – Alton Abraham, Ed Michel
Reissue Producer – Ed Michel
Tenor Saxophone – John Gilmore (tracks: 2, 3, 4)
Trumpet – Akh Tal Ebah (tracks: 2), Kwame Hadi (tracks: 2, 4)
Vocals – Akh Tal Ebah (tracks: 1), Danny Ray Thompson (tracks: 5), John Gilmore (tracks: 1, 5), Pat Patrick (tracks: 5)
Vocals [Space Ethnic Voices] – Cheryl Banks (tracks: 1, 5), Judith Holton (tracks: 1, 5), June Tyson (tracks: 1, 5), Ruth Wright (tracks: 1, 5)

Recorded October 19 and 20 (Sea Of Sounds, Rocket Number Nine), 1972, at Streeterville Recording Studio, Chicago.
Mixed at The Village Recorder, Los Angeles.
The Arkestra and Space Ethnic Voices perform with permission from El Saturn Records.
"Note: Space Is The Place was originally released on Blue Thumb Records in 1973 as BTS-41. Impulse  producer Ed Michel supervised the recording session.

Impulse, then owned by ABC, was releasing many of Sun Ra's albums under a distribution agreement with Saturn Records during the same time. For these reasons Space In The Place has been returned to its rightful place on Impulse." In digipak case.
(P) 1988 MCA Records, Inc. & (C) 1972 MCA Records, Inc. & 1998 GRP Records, Inc.


Posted: Monday, 8 August 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Congratulations! With your purchase of a miRthkon Vehicle, you have joined the ranks of an elite class of enlightened consumer!
When a band starts their debut album such self-applauding dialogue, even cleverly masked as the faceless voice of a company called miRthkon congratulating you on the purchase of one of their products (a vehicle), that band better deliver! But by the time the first track has finished playing, slowly descending from the typical corporate jargon to cleverly implying that the miRthkon Vehicle is best enjoyed as the details slowly reveal themselves to you, and ultimately putting the fate of the universe (re: the band) in the listeners hands, they have proven their worth as entertainers. At the same time, they slowly build the intensity of the song, so that by the time that Flashbulb of Orgasm (whatever that means) explodes onto the scene, the listeners is (somewhat) prepared. As prepared as one could be the first that this jammy/ jazzy/ heavy/ chugging track bursts out through their speakers, anyways.
Again and again throughout the album, miRthkon impresses. Armed with very agressive reeds coming from Carolyn Walter, Jamison Smeltz as well as a small army of guests, the band rarely has to rely on the guitars to create a heavy sound, although the guitars often come through loud and crunchy. At the same time, the playfulness of the music is never absent, and the bands sense of humour arises again and again. Pretty much any dialogue on this album is guaranteed to elicit laughter, be they the ridiculous lyrics to Banana (he's got a banana, it looks like a gun, the other bananas are on the run), the amusing lyrics to Honey Key Jamboree (Here's a story about some bees that like to boogie), or the return of the corporate vocals at the end of The Black Fruit with perhaps the most cleverly biting attack on corporations I've heard in a while (A company that tells it's customers what it's customers tell the company it's customers want to hear).
All this is part of a massive concept that the music only hints at; the most direct insight being in the track, a Coven of Coyotes, which demonstrates the meeting of La Veldreaux and Kleighroi, two of the characters in the labyrinthine plot the band has devised. Coven of Coyotes also features back and forth dialogue more typical of a musical than of a rock and roll concept album, and I enjoy it immensely, especially given that the dialogue here is no less entertaining than anything else throughout the album.
Meanwhile, the music changes gear at the drop of a note, features some highly complex interactions between the instruments, and without getting so lost in showing off that there isn't something interesting for the user to grasp on to. (In fact, there are often various different aspects of the music that the listener could listen to an enjoy). It almost feels as if this is not miRthkon's debut; this feels more like their Close to the Edge than their Yes. A little research on the bands website reveals that this is partially true; music for this album has existed in various stages for ten years (looking at their early releases, miRthkon and Ruth-Bikula Phaze, one can see early versions of tracks such as Daddylonglegz and Coven of Coyotes dating as far back as '99) and this album was being recorded for about four years. So although this may be the bands first full album release, these ideas have existed and, presumably, been worked upon for ten years now.
And at the end of it all, it is we, the listener, who get to enjoy this medley of complex, hilarious, and entertaining music, all at the reasonable price of one disc. It can only lead us to hope two things: that it won't be ten years until the next album, and that miRthkon will be able to create something at least half as good as this was. If so, I know they'll have a lot of happy listeners.
Side note: The album art for this album is also superb, from an amusing page that includes the "history" of the letter R, to the detailed story hidden behind the disc in the jewel case (have a magnifying glass ready, that text is tiny but well worth the time to read!), the packaging has received as much love as the music contained within.
:::Review by TheGazzardian:::

miRthkon - Vehicle (2009)

1. Congratulations (1:09)
2. Flashbulb Of Orgasm (3:22)
3. Banana (3:01)
4. Automaton (4:15)
5. Zhagunk (6:23)
6. Kharms Way (6:49)
7. Daddylonglegz (5:17)
8. Coven Of Coyotes (4:46)
9. Johnny Yen (4:36)
10. Bappsciliophuaega (4:01)
11. Trishna (3:55)
12. Honey Key Jamboree (5:46)
13. The Black Fruit (6:35)
14. Camelopardalis (9:14)

- Wally Scharold / electric and acoustic guitars, singing, speech, keyboards, percussion, miRthkon virtual orchestra, sound design, conceptual and narrative design, art direction
- Rob Pumpelly / electric and acoustic guitars, clapping
- Nat Hawkes / Bass Guitar, Vocals
- Carolyn Walter / piccolo, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax
- Jamison Smeltz / alto sax, baritone sax, (tracks 3,4,6,8,10,12-14)
- Matt Guggemos / Drums- tracks 8, 12-14 (and some on track 4)
- Jarred McAdams- conceptual and narrative design, text and literary adaptation, speech, sound design, video

- Dickie Ogden / Drums (tracks 2-3, most of 4, 5-7, 9-11)
- Dave Raminick / Alto sax (tracks 5,7, 9, 11)
- Aram Shelton / Alto sax- track 2, Eb Clarinet- track 6
- Matt Lebofsky / Piano- track 6, Rhodes- track 10, fearless bass sub!
- Nick Peck / Hammond b3 organ- track 14
- Danny Shorago / Kleighroi vocals- track 8
- Robin Reynolds / Hive mind vocals- track 12

Releases information
Label: Altrock
includes all the songs off of "the illusion of joy" e.p.