:::Eternal Rhythm:::

Posted: Saturday, 30 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , ,

Eternal Rhythm is a masterpiece on several levels. It was one of the earliest major examples of the idea that it was possible for any and all musical cultures to exist simultaneously, a philosophy that rejected any innate musical hierarchy and had no trouble placing the earthiest blues alongside the most delicate gamelan. It was also a summit meeting between representatives of the American and European jazz avant-garde, black and white, dismissing as meaningless both the cautious attitude of American jazz musicians toward Europeans edging onto their turf and the tentative stance of Europeans playing a music that was not "theirs." More importantly, Eternal Rhythm exists as an utterly spectacular, movingly beautiful musical performance, one of the rare occasions where the listener has a visceral sense of borders falling and vast expanses of territory being revealed for the first time. Cherry balanced compositional clarity, wild free improvisation, and a totally inclusive musical consciousness in a manner seldom achieved, resulting in a cohesive, spellbinding session. His own playing throughout on both trumpet and flute is at his highest levels, but the contributions of his fellow musicians are just as amazing. Special mention should be made of guitarist Sonny Sharrock, whose "glass shards" approach is in full bloom here, and vibraphonist/pianist Karl Berger, who throws himself with sublime abandon into both the gamelan and blues aspects of the piece. If only the pallid "world music" of the succeeding decades had followed this model! Eternal Rhythm is Don Cherry's masterwork and one of the single finest recordings from the jazz avant-garde of the '60s. It is required listening.
:::Review by Brian Olewnick:::

Don Cherry - Eternal Rhythm (1968)

1. Eternal Rhythm Part 1 17:45
2. Eternal Rhythm Part 2 23:37

Bass – Arild Andersen
Cornet, Gamelan [Gender, Saron], Flute [Bengali, Bamboo, Metal, Plastic], Performer [Haitian Guard], Composed By – Don Cherry
Drums, Gamelan [Saron], Gong, Bells, Voice – Jacques Thollot
Guitar – Sonny Sharrock
Piano, Piano [Prepared] – Joachim Kühn
Saxophone [Tenor], Oboe, Clarinet, Flute – Bernt Rosengren
Trombone – Albert Mangelsdorff, Eje Thelin
Vibraphone, Piano, Gamelan [Gender] – Karl Berger

:::Cozy Endings:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

With their alluring cover art and a bunch of song titles ("Open Up", "Geyser", "The Happy Minotaur") that might also double as the names of exotic sex positions, it might appear that Artanker Convoy are actively courting the swank bachelor pad market. It can also occasionally sound that way on Cozy Endings, the Brooklyn instrumental sextet's second album for Social Registry, but typically with a lot else going on besides.
Incorporating elements of jazz and dub, the eclectic group can recall some of the Beastie Boys' better homegrown funk instrumentals, as well as the dusky post-rock of Chicago's Tortoise / Isotope 217 contingent. Whatever it is they're up to, Artanker Convoy deliver it all with a laidback, cultured flair that seems specifically designed to complement your personal activities rather than compete with them.
Drummer/ band leader Artanker and bassist Joe Fiorentino played with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy in the short-lived Jimi Clambake Explosion, and their easy chemistry anchors Cozy Endings with a graceful, self-assured authority. The rest of the players-- most notably saxophonist Jake Oas and multi-instrumentalist Chris Seeds-- all display considerable chops as well, but the emphasis here is less on soloing or individual voices than it is on joint exploration. Though the Convoy's sound can point in the direction of the electric 70s grooves of Miles Davis or Herbie Hancock, there is a hazy sense of restraint here that keeps noisier commotion at bay, as the musicians concentrate their energies on servicing the album's hypnotic, understated melodies.
This strategy works to near perfection on the first track "Open Up", which builds with exquisite patience from an extended intro of glassy drones and fluttering percussion into a loose-limbed Krautrock stride, with narcotic guitar figures joining Oas' sax in midair for some tranquil dialogue. Less ambitious, but no less pleasant, are the more funk-oriented likes of "Geyser" or "Black Dauphin", whose smoky organ flourishes and organic rhythms ride with a relaxed, cocktail-hour motion. Sturdy though these performances are, however, there's little here that'll likely leave the listener with more than a few residual traces of perfume or second-hand smoke, and one can soon begin to wish that Artanker Convoy had taken a few more wild chances with their production or arrangements.
The only vocals to speak of are Artanker's indecipherable space-whispers on "Ejector", one of the few tracks here that threatens to come loose from its moorings. The addition of his voice does bring a welcome element of disorientation, with the song's trajectory aided by Jon Warren's extra percussion and an electronic shimmer that recalls the humid jazz-funk fusion of Herbie Hancock's Sextant. Even more surprising is the presence of pedal steel on "The Happy Minotaur"; a brief exercise that illustrates how much more intriguing Artanker Convoy can be when they alter just one or two ingredients in their formula. Cozy Endings comes packaged with an extra DVD of visuals supplied by the art and dance collective MUX, whose members have also frequently performed with Artanker Convoy in concert. And though the addition of these videos does greatly enhance the appeal of the album, they also serve to accentuate the impression that this music might be best appreciated when there's other sensual stimulation available at the same time.
:::Review by Matthew Murphy:::

Artanker Convoy - Cozy Endings (2007)

1. Open Up 12:03
2. Black Dauphin 6:35
3. Ejector 7:09
4. Rabbit 6:16
5. Geyser 5:14
6. The Happy Minotaur 2:04

Artanker (drums),
Joe Fiorentino (bass),
Chris Seeds (keyboard),
Art Lavis (guitar),
Jon Warren (percussion),
Jake Oas (sax)

:::Sun Ship:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Other than First Meditations, which was not released at the time, Sun Ship (reissued on CD by Impulse) was the final studio album by John Coltrane's classic quartet (with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones) before Pharoah Sanders joined the band on second tenor. At this point in time, Coltrane was using very short repetitive themes as jumping-off points for explosive improvisations, often centered around one chord and a very specific spiritual mood. Tyner sounds a bit conservative in comparison, but Jones keeps up with Trane's fire (especially on "Amen"). Even in the most intense sections (and much of this music is atonal), there is a logic and thoughtfulness about Coltrane's playing.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

John Coltrane - Sun Ship (1965)

1. Sun Ship 6:12
2. Dearly Beloved 6:27
3. Amen 8:16
4. Attaining 11:26
5. Ascent 10:10

Bass – Jimmy Garrison
Drums – Elvin Jones
Piano – McCoy Tyner
Tenor Saxophone – John Coltrane

:::Ghostwriter's Joke:::

Posted: Thursday, 21 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

This is a vibrating, colorful, sometimes film like, but in the next moment explosively intense jazz album from Poland. The Kapsa brothers, who earlier formed the legendary emo-hardcore band called Something Like Elvis, established originally the Contemporary Noise Quintet transformed afterwards into Sextet. Their debut album called “Pig Inside The Gentleman” was released in the autumn of 2006. The variety of sounds does not allow pigeonholing their music style unambiguously. Smooth and hard elements crossing over in a dense texture of colorful elements, it’s like kind of film music without movie and jazz music without being quit jazz, but still, very classy tunes and elements are perfectly built in into the improvising and sometimes quit jazz-rock fusion taste like music. There’s actually no “noise” in their music, but definitively this is absolutely contemporary, breathing and alive music with exciting turns, moods and charming pulse.
“Ghostwriter’s Joke” actually it’s like a dream or a journey into a moving, shifting, changing universe, like riding on a train and looking out through the window. It’s quit an exciting trip where Jewish and Eastern European musical roots joins together with pieces of jazz-rock, modern jazz and kind of ambiental contemporary music. Tomek Glazik (Kult, ex-4Syfon, Sing, Sing Penelope) proved to be quit an incredible saxophonist just like Wojtek Jahna (Sing, Sing Penelope, Mordy) is a great trumpet player, Kamil Pater knows to rock his guitar, but also plays nice and discrete parts and finally, but not at least, Patryk Weclawek pump his bass extraordinarily.
Their elegance, class and maturity still keeps something from the punk energy, the compositions are incredibly spacious but filled with ingenious solos and all kind of twists, turns and “happenings”, there’s a perfect balance between the superb rhythm combo and the brass section, colored with exciting guitar tunes. This is the kind of album that you can take it off from your CD player.
:::Review by brushvox:::

Contemporary Noise Sextet - Ghostwriter's Joke (2011)

1. Walk with Marylin (06:06)
2. Morning Ballet (06:43)
3. Is That Revolution Sad? (04:53)
4. Old Typewriter (06:43)
5. Chasing Rita (06:43)
6. Norman's Mother (09:13)
7. Kill the Seagull, Now! (04:29)

Kuba Kapsa - piano, Rhodes, synthesizer
Wojtek Jachna - trumpet
Tomek Glazik - tenor, baritone saxophones, syntezator
Kamil Pater - guitar, baritone guitar
Patryk Weclawek - bass, bass guitar
Bartek Kapsa - drums


Posted: Tuesday, 19 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , , ,

Kofi was extracted from some of last Blue Note sessions of the 1960s before Byrd's ventures into soul fusion territory. The playing here is no less than stellar, with seasoned veterans such as Ron Carter and Airto Moreira giving Byrd more than ample support to stretch out and soulfully foreshadow elements of future recordings. Lew Tabackin easily shares the spotlight with his beautiful flute passages on the title track, while Frank Foster and the rest of the supporting group complement Byrd's playing with a grace that emulates the early chemistry between the early Miles Davis groups of the early '60s. The subtle relaxed tones of this album make it truly one of the essential releases in Byrd's catalog, not only from a historical standpoint (his future collaborations with the Mizell brothers would take him to an entirely different plane of thought), but from a casual listening standpoint as well.
:::Review by Rob Theakston:::

Donald Byrd - Kofi (1969)

1. Kofi 9:30
2. Fufu 9:45
3. Perpetual Love 8:00
4. Elmina 8:30
5. The Loud Minority 10:00

Bass – Ron Carter
Drums – Mickey Roker
Drums, Percussion – Airto
Electric Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Electric Piano – Duke Pearson
Flute, Saxophone [Tenor] – Lew Tabackin
Guitar – Wally Richardson
Percussion – Dom Um Romao
Saxophone [Tenor] – Frank Foster
Trombone – Bill Campbell
Trumpet – Donald Byrd

:::High Energy:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

High Energy (1974): Freddie Hubbard left CTI Records in 1973, having become a much bigger star than most jazz players could ever hope to be, to sign a million-dollar contract with Columbia Records, long the home of Hubbard's hero and fellow trumpeter Miles Davis. In addition to the money, Hubbard sought more control of his music than CTI allowed him, and the opportunity to record with his own band rather than the all-star studio assemblages CTI forced upon him. For his first Columbia album, High Energy (1974), Hubbard did use his own band, a quintet that featured George Cables on piano and Junior Cook on tenor sax (both were also heard on Hubbard's final CTI album, Keep Your Soul Together), plus a collective sweetening of L.A. studio musicians, arranged with surprisingly minimal impact by Dale Oehler. There are two strong Hubbard originals here ("Baraka Sasa" and the album's single, "Crisis"), two excellent Cables originals (the Hubbard-like "Camel Rise," also arranged by Oehler for Bobby Hutcherson's 1975 album Montara, and the slightly well-known "Ebony Moonbeams," which Hubbard also covered on his Japanese-only live LP, Gleam, and Cables also performed on his 1975 solo debut as well as with Hutcherson on the vibist's 1979 album Un Poco Loco) and two Stevie Wonder tunes ("Too High" and the little-known "Black Maybe"). While the arrangements are more minimal than even those that Don Sebesky provided Hubbard at CTI, the electronics quotient is a little higher than usual here with Ian Underwood adding Headhunters-like synth effects (ala Patrick Gleeson), Hubbard employing echo effects and Cables on electric piano throughout. While Hubbard sounds especially strong here, very much in his element, the album never really rises above a genuinely engaging listening experience. But, in praise of the thing, it is a genuinely engaging listening experience.
:::Review by Douglas Payne:::

Freddie Hubbard - High Energy (1974)

A1. Camel Rise
Flute [Bass Flute] – Ernie Watts
Written-By – G. Cables 6:23
A2. Black Maybe
Drums – Harvey Mason
Written-By – S. Wonder 4:58
A3. Baraka Sasa
Written-By – F. Hubbard 10:29
B1. Crisis
Trombone – Dick Hyde
Drums – Harvey Mason
Written-By – F. Hubbard 5:44
B2. Ebony Moonbeams
Bass Clarinet – Pete Christleib
Soprano Saxophone – Ernie Watts
Written-By – G. Cables 6:55
B3. Too High
Tenor Saxophone – Junior Cook, Pete Christleib
Flute – Ernie Watts
Written-By – S. Wonder 6:37

Bass – Kent Brinkley
Clavinet, Organ – Joe Sample
Conductor, Arranged By – Dale Oehler
Congas – King Errisson
Drums – Ralph Penland
Electric Piano – George Cables
Flute, Tenor Saxophone – Junior Cook
Guitar – Dean Parks
Percussion – Victor Feldman
Synthesizer [Arp] – Ian Underwood
Timbales – Carmello Garcia
Trombone – Dick Hyde, George Bohanon
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Freddie Hubbard

:::The Original Sin:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Lump-in-throat jazz rock loveliness from this very under-recognized Finnish saxophonist, with an atmosphere as inviting as a warm bath. The rich and relaxed Canterbury-derived moves heard here exist in a direct lineage from Soft Machine's Third and early Nucleus and merits comparison with some of the other Euro units of the era that were carrying a flame forward for this sound, like France's Magma-associated Rhesus O and the related Belgian outfits Placebo and Solis Lacus.
:::Review by mutant-sounds.blogspot.com:::

Eero Koivistoinen - The Original Sin (1971)

A1. The Original Sin 10:05
A2. Rock & Roll 4:52
A3. Bye Bye / Hello 9:09
B1. Both & And 10:02
B2. Summersea 6:30
B3. Sinner 5:48

Bass – Pekka Sarmanto
Clarinet [Bass] – Unto Haapa-Aho
Drums – Esko Rosnell, Reino Laine
Guitar – Lance Gunderson
Piano – Eero Ojanen
Saxophone [Alto] – Eero Koivistoinen, Pekka Pöyry
Saxophone [Baritone] – Pentti Lahti
Saxophone [Soprano] – Eero Koivistoinen
Saxophone [Tenor] – Eero Koivistoinen, Pekka Pöyry
Trombone – Erkki Lipponen, Juhani Aalto
Trumpet – Tapani Luuppola


Posted: Saturday, 16 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , ,

Trumpeter Dave Douglas, continuing the innovative approach to tribute records he began in 1994 with the Booker Little homage In Our Lifetime, dedicates Stargazer to the great Wayne Shorter. Only three tracks, however, are Shorter compositions: "Pug Nose," "On the Milky Way Express," and "Diana." The rest are Douglas originals that are inspired by Shorter, although Douglas is far too clever to make the inspiration obvious.
Listeners will have to rely on their imaginations to make the Shorter/Douglas connection, which is as it should be with creativity on so high a level. "Goldfish," with its awe-inspiring, chant-like main riff, is the album's highlight. The fast, complex unison lines and free jazz episodes of "Stargazer," with solo spots by drummer Joey Baron and pianist Uri Caine, are also wonderful. Hard-swinging numbers like "Spring Ahead" and "Intuitive Science" contrast strikingly with the tension-filled dissonance of "Four Sleepers" and "Dark Sky." Douglas's writing and playing are highly unpredictable and emotionally rich. His remarkable sextet delivers every note with conviction and finesse. Along with Baron and Caine, bassist James Genus, tenor sax/clarinetist Chris Speed, and trombonist Josh Roseman join forces with Douglas to create music full of character and beauty.
:::Review by David R. Adler:::

Dave Douglas - Stargazer (1996)

1. Spring Ahead 4:25
2. Goldfish 10:33
3. Stargazer 6:42
4. Four Sleepers 10:26
5. On The Milky Way Express 4:14
6. Pug Nose 4:46
7. Dark Sky 5:55
8. Intuitive Science 8:55
9. Diana 4:33

Bass – James Genus
Drums – Joey Baron
Piano – Uri Caine
Saxophone [Tenor], Clarinet – Chris Speed
Trombone – Joshua Roseman
Trumpet, Producer, Arranged By – Dave Douglas
Written-By – Dave Douglas (tracks: 1 to 4, 7, 8), Wayne Shorter (tracks: 5, 6, 9)


For whatever reason, what Miles Davis accomplished with Bitches Brew - arguably the album that put fusion on the map - has never been matched and has rarely been emulated. Fusion and various forms of jazz-rock abound thanks to Miles and other pioneering artists, but the sounds and textures of Bitches Brew remain nearly unique - fusion artists took different directions and, for whatever reason, ended up sounding more directly derived from groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra than the free-form, spacious Bitches Brew-era Miles.
John Zorn's Electric Masada, here recorded at a gig in New York, is one of the few fusion groups that actually sounds a lot like Miles circa Bitches Brew. The group takes seven Masada compositions and turns them into raging, energetic beasts. "Idalah-abal", from Alef, here becomes a ferocious number with Marc Ribot's guitar jamming on an anchoring riff while Zorn flails away at his saxophone. "Hadasha" is the most Bitches Brew-like number, what with Ribot's wah-wah guitar, Zorn's more controlled blowing, and an open, spacious texture. The performances are inspired and inspiring; fitting for the occasion, part of Zorn's massive 50th birthday bash in New York.
Throughout it all, the percussion holds the group together and provides a consistently interesting and controlled backdrop to the sometimes chaotic improvisation (particularly by Zorn and electronics whiz Ikue Mori). With two drummers and a percussionist, the rhythms here are fascinating yet always groovy; for instance lending the last track, "Kisofim", a Latin shuffle kind of feel. With such a reliably interesting rhythm section, Zorn and his cohorts are free to jam into outer space. And jam they do.
If you enjoy fusion a la Bitches Brew - wide-open improvs anchored by a great groove and the occasionally rocking riff (and spiced up, once in a while, by an intensity that compares best to Naked City) - Electric Masada is one of the best things that's come along in the past decade. No exaggeration.
:::Review by Brandon Wu:::

Electric Masada - 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 4 (2004)

1. Tekufah (14:33)
2. Idalah-Abal (6:18)
3. Hadasha (13:48)
4. Hath-Arob (4:07)
5. Yatzar (9:20)
6. Lilin (15:41)
7. Kisofim (8:41)

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

:::Sleeping Beauty:::

Posted: Friday, 15 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is the great late-night Sun Ra chillout album you never knew about. The band had been working in a more groove-oriented setting off and on for over a year, as evidenced by the albums Lanquidity and On Jupiter, with both featuring prominent electric bass and electric guitar. Sleeping Beauty picks up right where On Jupiter left off, with the gentle, swaying "Springtime Again" echoing the same mellow vibe of "Seductive Fantasy" from On Jupiter. A skittering intro coalesces as different instruments pick up bits of the melody, which is then fully expressed by the horn section and ensemble vocals. It's a simple two-chord vamp, with beautiful solos that seem to embody the reawakening and rebirth of springtime. "The Door of the Cosmos" starts with a gospel-like chant and handclaps, with comments from Ra's electric piano and electric guitar. A strong bassline enters, very reminiscent of "A Love Supreme, Pt. 1: Acknowledgement," but the accompanying chant celebrates the mysteries of the unknown rather than the universal truth of A Love Supreme. This track builds in intensity, but never loses its groove or becomes nearly as raucous as the Arkestra is sometimes known for. "Sleeping Beauty" is the album centerpiece, taking up all of side two. Ra's beautiful electric piano gets things rolling, and the band falls into a peaceful groove before the vocals enter, led by the wonderful June Tyson. These songs are all built on the simplest of structures, and the playing from everyone is understated and sublime. Sleeping Beauty is truly a high point in an unwieldy discography, and something of an anomaly at the same time. There's a good reason copies of this album go for several hundred dollars on the collector's market, but it really deserves a proper release so more people can hear it. Outstanding.
:::Review by Sean Westergaard:::

Sun Ra - Sleeping Beauty (1979)

1. Springtime Again 9:17
2. Door of the Cosmos 8:58
3. Sleeping Beauty 11:52

Sun Ra (synth, organ vocals)
John Gilmore (tenor sax, percussion)
Marshall Allen (alto sax)
Danny Thompson (baritone sax, flute, percussion)
Michael Ray (trumpet)
Noel Scott (alto sax)
June Tyson (vocals)
Eloe Omoe (bass clarinet)
Craig Harris (trombone)
Tommy Hunter (drums)
Al Evans (flugelhorn)
Jarbu Shahid (bass)
Samarai Celestial (drums)
Vincent Chancey (french horn)
Francisco Mora, Tani Tabbal (percussion): Bright Moments (congas)
The Bell Brothers (bells)
John Ore (bass)
James Jackson (Ancient Egyptian Infinity Lightning Drum)

:::Bring Your Own:::

Posted: Wednesday, 13 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Writing about Led Bib's Mercury Prize-nominated album, the raucous and confrontational Sensible Shoes (Cuneiform, 2009), Britain's Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper—which speaks with as much authority about jazz as Murdoch's Fox News speaks about politics—declared: "Led Bib are the band bringing jazz back to contemporary music's cutting edge."
A slightly more measured response came from the Guardian's jazz critic, who described the album as "a gale of fresh air." All About Jazz observed that "the band continues its mission of taking jazz by the scruff of the neck [and] punching it in the face."
For all their faults, awards such as the Mercury Prize—which is riddled with weaknesses, beginning with a deplorable lack of transparency of process—do, at least, assist a band in extending its commercial reach. Along with the Sun review, Led Bib got, in 2009/10, a quantity of mass market print and broadcast exposure most bands can only dream about. But an award also presents a problem: how to follow it up. Dumb down and milk it? Or carry on following your muse regardless?
For Bring Your Own, Led Bib's fifth album and Sensible Shoes' follow-up, and another turbulent and in-your-face affair, the band has steered a middle course, carefully negotiating mammon while pursuing art. On the taking-care-of-business front, and in contrast to the first four albums, a producer with a rock track record has been involved: Head, who co-produced art rocker PJ Harvey's 2001 Mercury-winning, Island album, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, is credited as "recording" the disc. On the taking-care-of-the-muse front, Led Bib continues to scramble dense, high decibel skronk, power beats and ostinatos, futuristic electric keyboards and fierce, free-tinged, jousting alto saxophones. Most of the tunes, also as previously, were written by drummer/leader Mark Holub.
Head has trodden lightly among Led Bib's trademark motifs, his biggest influence (if it is his) being confined to a general shortening of track playing times. These now average a fraction over five minutes, curtailing extended improvisation on all but the longest tracks. But, as tenor saxophonist Ben Webster said: "if you can't dump your shit in two choruses, forget it." And as soloists, Leb Bib saxophonists Pete Grogan and Chris Williams—passionately engaged though they always are—benefit from a little enforced brevity. Less so, keyboardist Toby McLaren, a more harmonically and texturally adventurous improviser, whose relatively extended solo on the 6:44 "Little x" leaves you wanting much more.
The main caveat with Bring Your Own is the same as it was with Sensible Shoes: Leb Bib is undervaluing its considerable facility with lyrical, reflective material. There are even fewer such passages on the new album than there were on the last. A little more light and shade would be welcome.
But that is to tinker round the edges. Bring Your Own is another, benificent hurricane of fresh air.
:::Review by Chris May:::

Led Bib - Bring Your Own (2011)

1. Moth Dilemma 4:18
2. Is That A Woodblock? 4:45
3. Little X 6:44
4. Hollow Ponds 2:41
5. Power Walking 4:07
6. Service Stop Saviour 5:39
7. Engine Room 5:30
8. Shapes & Sizes 5:55
9. Walnuts 5:50
10. Winter 6:18

Alto Saxophone - Chris Williams, Pete Grogan
Bass - Liran Donin
Composed By - Chris Williams (tracks: 3), Mark Holub, Toby McLaren (tracks: 6)
Drums - Mark Holub
Piano - Toby McLaren

:::Septober Energy:::

Posted: Tuesday, 12 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , ,

This is a very unique and original record that mixes free jazz and avant-garde music with early 70s hippie jam freakouts and compositional variety. Although this record features a lot of musicians from King Crimson and Soft Machine, and occasionally sounds like either of those bands more "out" moments, a lot of this record has more in common with ultra-expressive jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler or Pharoh Sanders.
Part one mixes semi-Gregorian vocal drones with free jazz sections. Part two opens with a mellow string and soft percussion drone before heading into a bluesy funk jam that eventually slips into a free jazz jam. Part three is probably the most interesting with a long repeating string part backed with drums that is somewhat similar to Crimson's Devil's Triangle or something off of Lizards, especially when Nick Evans and the other horn players pile up chaotic solos on top of each other. This side ends with some layered vocal improvs similar to Cathy Berbarian's work with Luciano Berio. Part 4 is the least interesting, it mostly contains a very 60s sounding utopian socialist hippie chant that has not aged well.
The various soloists add what they can, but the purely instrumental sections on this album are far better than the sections with vocals.
Robert Fripp is the producer on this record and it is interesting to notice how much influence he picked up from working with Keith Tippet. Some of the Crimson cuts that show influence from this record include the quiet opening section on Larks Tounge, the vocal improvs on Formentara Lady, the bluesy funk jams that build into free jazz on Earthbound, and a lot of the improv music on Lizards and Poseidon.
This is a surprisingly good record and different from a lot of the free jazz that was coming out at this time because Tippet broke the improv sections up with unique composed sections that give the record variety in texture and volume. I highly recommend that you get this one on vinyl because the gatefold album cover art is incredible.

:::Review by Easy Money:::

Centipede - Septober Energy (1971)

Disc 1 (45:17)
1. Septober Energy - Part 1 (21:43)
2. Septober Energy - Part 2 (23:34)

Disc 2 (40:06)
1. Septober Energy - Part 3 (21:21)
2. Septober Energy - Part 4 (18:45)

- Wendy Treacher, John Trussler, Roddy Skeaping, Carol Slater, Louise Jopling, Garth Morton, Channa Salononson, Steve Rowlandson, Mica Gomberti, Colin Kitching, Philip Saudek, Esther Burgi / violins
- Wilf Gibson / lead violin, conductor
- Michael Hurwitz, Timothy Kramer, Suki Towb, John Reese-Jones, Katherine Thulborn, Catherine Finnis / cellos
- Peter Parkes, Mick Collins, Ian Carr, Momgesi Fesa, Mark Charig / trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet
- Elton Dean, Jan Steel, Ian MacDonald, Dudu Pukuwana / Alto saxophone, Flute, Soprano saxophone
- Larry Stabbins, Gary Windo, Brian Smith, Alan Skidmore / Tenor saxophone
- Dave White, Karl Jenkins, John Willimas / Baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, oboe, clarinet
- Nick Evans, Dave Amis, Dave Perrottet, Paul Rutherford / trombone
- John Marshall, Tony Fennell, Robert Wyatt / drums, percussion
- Brian Godding / guitars
- Brian Belshaw, Roy Babbington, Jill Lyons, Harry Miller, Jeff Clyne, Dave Markee / basses
- Maggie Nicholls, Julie Tippett, Mike Patto, Zoot Money, Boz / vocals
- Keith Tippett / piano
- Robert Fripp / produce


Posted: Monday, 11 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

If King Crimson had continued to become an improvising power trio, operating at a level of intensity several degrees above "Starless and Bible Black," it's possible they might have grown to achieve the power of Altered States. Led by Ground Zero guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi, this group, liberally augmented by a number of guest musicians on this recording, romps and lurches through rhythmically diverse, brutally strong instrumentals that recall King Crimson at their best, with a more than a dash of bands like Naked City and a dollop or two of funk thrown in for good measure. The level of communication is such that it's difficult to believe that most of the music is improvised; certainly some basic riffs were laid down. But it's just that freedom of interplay that breathes life into what could otherwise be a sterile exercise in math rock. The first ten tracks are all around five minutes in length and inhabit somewhat similar, propulsive territory, with the odd effect (like Koichi Makigami's lunatic vocals on "Issai-Kai-Ku") breaking the seriousness on occasion. The final track, the 30-minute-long "Suite Circle," is more expansiveness, though not much intensity is lost. As the title suggests, it's in a suite-like format, more ethereal sections abutting torrentially frenzied ones full of additional percussion, alongside psychedelia and abstract mutterings, with the basic trio expanded to 12 musicians. If it meanders a bit, it also illustrates the range of these musicians and the amount of ground they were able to cover. It's an altogether fine effort, highly recommendable not only to fans of the Japanese rock/improv axis, but also to adventurous rock fans looking for something with a bit more bite.
:::Review by Brian Olewnick:::

Altered States – Mosaic (1995)

1. Martzmer (4:20)
2. Emer (4:04)
3. Silly Old Bear (5:10)
4. Dan-go (3:26)
5. D*W*D (4:21)
6. Issai-kai-ku (4:41)
7. Billiken (5:37)
8. Motif A (3:00)
9. Sosukan (3:23)
10. Da Dou (5:18)
11. Suite "Circle" (28:12/1:04)

All music by Kazuhisa Uchihashi, except track 4 by Ned Rothenberg and Altered States, and track 11 by Altered States and the guest musicians

- Kazuhisa Uchihashi / guitar, effects
- Mitsuru Nasuno / bass
- Yasuhiro Yoshigaki / drums, percussion

- Kazutoki Umezu (10, 11) / alto sax, clarinet
- Shizuru Ohtaka / voice (11)
- Yuji Katsui (5, 11) / electric violin, ponchi
- Hiromichi Sakamoto / cello (1)
- Yuki Saga / voice (11)
- Kumiko Takara (11) / vibraphone, percussion
- Ned Rothenberg / alto sax (4)
- Ichiko Hashimoto (11) / piano, voice
- Junji Hirose / tenor sax (8, 11)
- Koichi Makigami / voice (6, 11)
- Yoshinori Motoki / tapes (9, 11)


Posted: Sunday, 10 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

This CD reissues what was arguably the finest of the John Coltrane-Pharoah Sanders collaborations. On five diverse but almost consistently intense movements ("The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost," "Compassion," "Love," "Consequences," and "Serenity"), the two tenor saxophonists, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and both Elvin Jones and Rashied Ali on drums create some powerful, dense, and emotional music. Unlike some of the live jams of 1966, the passionate performances never ramble on too long and the screams and screeches fit logically into the spiritual themes. This would be the last recording of Coltrane with Tyner and Jones.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

John Coltrane - Meditations (1965)

1. The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost 12:50
2. Compassion 6:50
3. Love 8:11
4. Consequences 9:10
5. Serenity 3:31

Bass - Jimmy Garrison
Drums - Elvin Jones, Rashied Ali
Engineer - Rudy Van Gelder
Producer - Bob Thiele
Saxophone [Tenor] - John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders
Piano - McCoy Tyner

:::Codename Dustsucker:::

Posted: Wednesday, 6 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

As the band who happened to be at the front of the queue when the Wire were distributing the latest batch of slightly grandstanding genre names, Bark Psychosis have gathered quite a reputation among post-rock fans. Sure, Hex may have come after Spiderland and Laughing Stock and Millions Now Living...but it was the album that finally booted the music press into action, and made them see a constellation in the diversity of different bands that were to fall under the term, however unwillingly.
This album is not Hex. It's better than Hex (ho ho ho), if less singular. It has a vibe of its own, and it is a vibe that hides very well the fact that mastermind Graham Sutton has spent the intervening near-decade making, of all things, tech-step. Perhaps it is the presence of Lee Harris in the drumstool, but Dustsucker is very much more in the shadow of Talk Talk than its predecessor. It is easy to forget what a great skinsman Harris actually is, a master of slow but busy grooves with lots of jazzy work on the cymbals and hats. (Most of dustsucker fairly crawls along, rumbling in the lower registers, with the only bright notes coming from those cymbals.)
And if Harris's turn here highlights how Talk Talk was more than Mark Hollis, Tim Friese-Green and a lot of heroin, the overall sound itself brings out the collaborative elements of the original line-up. Those famous dubby basslines have followed their creator off stage, replaced by intermittent threatening growls and a general focus on atmosphere rather than groove. The synths are almost gone, barring some very subtle atmospherics and a 10mph acid line on Miss Abuse.
So what we have is less Hex 2 than Laughing Stock '04. And that's no bad thing, really. It's odd, given how influential that record was, how little use has been made of its most interesting devices; schizoid instrumental performances, wild sweeps in dynamics, intervention of harsh noise in the most soporific possible way - all power Dustsucker magnificently. By turns gorgeous, tense and terrifying, no post-rocker should be without it.
:::Review by tragiclifestories:::

Bark Psychosis - Codename Dustsucker (2004)

1. From What Is Said To When It's Read (5:27)
2. The Black Meat (6:49)
3. Miss Abuse (6:10)
4. 400 Winters (5:48)
5. Dr. Innocuous/Retarded (1:04)
6. Burning The City (5:10)
7. Inqb8tr (7:59)
8. Shapeshifting (6:02)
9. Rose (5:49)

- Peter Beresford / vibraphone
- Colin Bradley / guitar
- Anja Buechele / vocals
- Del Crabtree / trumpet
- Rachel Dreyer / piano, vocals
- Lee Harris / percussion, drums
- Alice Kemp / guitar
- T.J. Mackenzie / trumpet
- David Panos / bass
- Silke Roch / vocals
- Mark Simnett / drums
- Graham Sutton / bass, guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals

:::Monster Of Jazz:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Over the years Pink Freud gained such a reputation on Polish jazz scene that their every record is impatiently awaited and immediately recognized. New Monster Of Jazz album that came to shops in May is no exception as it again totally surprises all admirers of Pink Freud's music and it proves that their creativity is truly unbounded.
What is really so unique as far as music on this album is concerned? Opposite to their last album titled Alchemia, which was purely acoustical venture in the field of fusion jazz, this album is using all kinds of electronic, experimental and recording tools to strengthen, enliven and stretch the body of modern version of fusion music in order to what? Yes, the idea is really breathtaking!. In order to contain in its language not only jazz but also rock, punk, nu jazz and other musical genres. This is in fact what Monster Of Jazz is all about: melting in one pot all music streams that musicians are dedicated to and draw out of this pot something new and unprecedented as far as jazz, as far as music is concerned. In this attitude towards jazz they are clearly traveling the razor's edge between courage similar in style to the one that was once displayed by Miles Davis and debauchery of such modern artist as Steven Bernstein and his colleagues from Sex Mob and other bands similar.
Because of such a ambiguity that is innate in this music which is both so creative and simultaneously so close to kitsch, I believe it must cause strong and diversified response from the listeners starting from shock and disgust and ending in awe and admiration. I am clearly on the other end and that is why I shall encourage you with all my heart to listen to this record. Before I present you a small sample of music from this CD let me add that when compared to their above mentioned Alchemia album two new musicians reinforced the band in persons of Adam Baron (flugelhorn, tenor horn, trombone) and Jerzy Rogiewicz (vibraphone). With this addition the personnel of the band amounted to six people matching the other Polish excellent new and young band Contemporary Noise Sextet, probably the only other one that should be and could be compared to Pink Freud in terms of artistic impact on Polish jazz scene and similarities of its style.
:::Review by Maciej Nowotny, KochamJazz.Blogspot:::

Pink Freud - Monster Of Jazz (2010)

1. Pink Fruits
2. Warsaw
3. Little Monster
4. Polanski
5. Bald Inquisitor
6. Red Eyes, Blue Sea and Sand
7. Pierun
8. Goz Quarter
9. Braxton
10. Diamond Way
11. Spreading the Sound of Emptiness
12. Monster of Jazz

Wojtek Mazolewski - bass
Tomek Duda - sax
Adam Milwiw-Baron - trumpet
Jerzy Rogiewicz - drums


Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Yuji Ohno is a Japanese jazz musician. Ohno is principally known for his musical scoring of Japanese anime television series, of which Lupin III, specifically the 1977 series 'Shin Rupan Sansei' and the feature film 'The Castle of Cagliostro' are his most well known works. Later anime series scored by Ohno include 'Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars' and the 1979 Toei series 'Captain Future'. He has composed scored for live-action films namely the Toei's Japanese tokusatsu series Seiun Kamen Machineman, his only work on this genre to date. Ohno is also a member of a jazz trio with Czech bassist Miroslav Vitous and American drummer Lenny White.
:::Review from wikipedia:::

Yuji Ohno - Cosmos (1981)

01. Prologue
02. Sunset
03. Living Satellite X of Jupiter
04. Sailing
05. Crystal Lullaby I
06. Take it to the Sky
07. Over the Galaxy
08. Saturn - Pierrot in the Heaven
09. Andromeda Smile
10. Landing on the Surface of Venus
11. Crystal Lullaby II
12. Epilogue - Sunrise

Yuji Ohno (keyboards)
Masami Nakagawa (flute)
Keiko Yamakawa (harp)
Jake H. Concepcion, Takeru Muraoka (saxophone)
Kobayashi Group (strings)
Isao Kaneyama (timpani)
Harumi Mita, Sumio Okada, Yasuo Hirauchi (trombone)
Shin Kasuhara, Toshio Araki, Yoshikazu Kishi (trumpet)
Hiroharu Yamanouchi, Michiru Maki (voice)
Tadaomi Anai (percussion)
Hideo Yamaki, Kiyoshi Tanaka, Yasushi Ichihara (drums)


Posted: Tuesday, 5 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Guitarist and composer Yoshie Fruchter is another of John Zorn's recent musical discoveries who works in the increasingly audible and visible world of Radical Jewish Culture. Like Koby Isrealite, Shanir Blumenkranz, Jamie Saft, Jon Madof & Rashanim, Eyal Maoz, and several others on the Tzadik roster, Fruchter's dynamic, highly original music is more aptly described as a sort of avant-garde instrumental rock that draws its inspiration from Jewish traditional themes and forms. Though artists such as Sonic Youth, Masada, Bill Laswell, and Frank Zappa are name-checked in Pitom's press packet, the actual result also bears some resemblance to the great mid-1970s Fripp / Bruford / David Cross / John Wetton incarnation of King Crimson that produced over-the-top prog classics such as Lark's Tongues In Aspic,  Red, USA, and Starless and Bible Black. Though the similarity is partly due to both groups having the same instrumental lineup, the overall sound concept of the two bands is also similar. Both Fruchter and bassist Shanir Blumenkranz like to play fast and loud, and both use a lot of fuzzy distortion. Violinist / violist Jeremy Brown like David Cross - prefers a very natural, effects-free tone. Unlike Cross, Brown plays his instruments like a mad Gypsy with his pants on fire. Kevin Zubek's flowing, jazzy, polyrhythmic drumming provides a palpable link to the world of modern jazz, much like Bill Bruford did for King Crimson. Finally, like mid-70s Crimson, Pitom's music is concise, hard-edged, tuneful, dynamic, and surprisingly free of the excesses often associated with experimental rock.
The CD kicks off in a lighthearted manner with the Judaeo-surf rocker Skin and Bones. On paper this looks improbable, but it works. 'Go Go Golem' is, as its name suggests, an ultra-heavy Crimsoid anthem replete with distorted guitars, pounding drums, and fuzz-bass. Blumenkranz gets a gloriously noisy solo in before Fruchter and Brown take the tune completely out into heavy-metal heaven. Like the other heavy-rockin' tracks - 'Minim' (Parts 1 & 2), and 'Robe of Priestly Proportions (Part 1)' 'Go Go Golem' is blessed with a strong melody, and an interesting non-linear structure. The fact that these guys are superb improvisers only adds to the excitement. Not content to be pigeonholed, Fruchter and his band delve into all sorts of other sounds and rhythms on itom.'Robe of Priestly Proportions (Part 2)' alternates lyrical Klezmer-like passages with holwling slabs of fuzzed sludge, and Zubek gets to flash his formidable jazz chops on 'Davita', a swift, jazzy, Masada-like tune with a bounding 6/8 meter. On the other end of the spectrum, both 'The Binding of Burning Books' and 'Shikora' have a super-chilled late-night vibe that wouldn't be out of place on one of Tom Verlaine's instrumental CDs. 'Minim (Parts 1 & 2)' explores a variety of rhythms and time signatures at breakneck skate-punk tempos the duet between Brown's violin and Fruchter's violently shredding guitar is refreshingly visceral. The CD's lone ballad, the bittersweet 'Sadie's Splinter' closes "Pitom" on a gentle, thoughtful note.
Pitom is a first-rate debut CD by an incredibly creative, remarkably capable, and gutsy band that takes musical risk-taking in stride. This CD is a must-have for Tzadik fans and fans of instrumental progressive rock, as well as for those who simply enjoy intense music in general.
:::Review by Dave Wayne:::

Yoshie Fruchter - Pitom (2008)

1. Skin And Bones 4:31
2. Go Go Golem 5:22
3. The Robe Of Priestly Proportions : Part I 5:10
4. The Robe Of Priestly Proportions : Part II 3:43
5. Freigel Rock 4:45
6. Lungs And Spleen 4:41
7. Shikora 5:05
8. Minim : Part I 1:02
9. Minim : Part II 2:47
10. The Dregs 4:51
11. The Binding Of The Burning Books 5:05
12. Davita 5:33
13. Sadie's Splinter 5:17

Arranged By - Pitom , Yoshie Fruchter
Bass - Shanir Blumenkranz
Drums - Kevin Zubek
Executive Producer - John Zorn
Guitar, Composed By, Producer - Yoshie Fruchter
Violin, Viola - Jeremy Brown


Posted: Saturday, 2 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

A first aural encounter with Elliot Bergman's transcultural NOMO ensemble from Ann Arbor, MI, will undoubtedly and correctly stir the soul and move the feet in the same direction as Fela Kuti's Afro-beat orchestra music of the 1960s-1980s. Bergman, the leader and composer, has assembled a large band around the sound of reeds and brass -- and the occasional woodwind -- and a myriad of percussion instruments from a trap kit to all manner of hand drums and small instruments. Also prevalent in the mix are B-3, Fender Rhodes, bass, guitar, and textural instruments like the harp. What it adds up to is a music that indeed uses Kuti's notions of rhythm and melody, but it certainly doesn't stop there. Over the course of these ten cuts, one can hear the deep resonance of the harmony employed in John Coltrane's Africa Brass sessions and the modal notions employed on the Olé Coltrane album as well. There's a deep dub reggae and funk here, too, where King Tubby meets the JB's. With Warn Defever in the producer's chair, Bergman makes sure it's not all dark bubbly groove and vibe -- though they are present on every selection. Bergman is a highly developed, sophisticated composer. His charts reveal a canny knowledge of song forms that come from jazz, soul, and blues and employ a keen, elegant sense of dynamic and texture. There isn't a weak moment on this set, but a couple of the true burners here do stand out. 
"Discontinued," with its spacey funk guitar line, minor groove horn charts coming at the mix deep dubwise, rough-and-ready Rhodes solo, fueled by a rippling, propulsive backbeat, opens the set cooking on high. "Better Than That," with its Afro-Cuban percussion intro and Yoruba-meets-Nigeria modality, is underscored by a knotty melody colored by African thumb piano and a driving B-3. "Moving in Circles" opens with a tough tenor and baritone horn line that gives way to a shimmering yet edgy funk tune with vocals that come out as a perfect, seamless meld of spaced-out soul, Afro-beat, and hard, mid-'70s groove wrapped in post-bop jazz. As the recording continues, it becomes slippery, moving through time while seemingly displacing it. The intoxicating brew of rhythms emerge and disappear only to be replaced with others that push beautifully constructed harmonics and melodic invention through the listener's space, engaging the body as well as the mind. This is one hell of a debut album that uses the past to push righteously into the future.
:::Review by Thom Jurek:::

Nomo - Nomo (2004)

1. Discontinued 8:03
2. Better Than That 6:31
3. Not Wisely ... 0:41
4. Moving In Circles 6:25
5. ... Too Well 2:03
6. Busy 8:42
7. Untitled 0:28
8. Hourglass 7:15
9. The Seams 2:41
10. La La La 3:25

Congas - Nicole Turney
Djembe, Drums [Kpanlogo] - Antoinette Kudoto
Drums, Percussion - Dan Piccolo , Mike Gabelman
Flute, Saxophone [Tenor] - Leah Paul
Guitar [Fuzz], Percussion - Fred Thomas
Harp - Chilali Hugo
Mixed By, Guitar - Erik Hall
Organ, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] - Alex Chadsey
Producer, Mixed By, Guitar [Wah] - Warn Defever
Saxophone [Alto, Tenor] - Dann Friedman
Saxophone [Baritone] - Dan Bennett
Saxophone [Tenor] - Michael Herbst
Trombone - G. Scott Jones
Trumpet - Ingrid Racine
Vocals, Bass - Jamie Register
Vocals, Composed By, Written By, Mixed By, Saxophone [Tenor], Piano [Electric Mbira], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] - Elliot Bergman
Written-By - Segun Bucknor (tracks: 10)


Posted: Friday, 1 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Pianist Nik Bärtsch's Ronin has traveled a long way since its formation in 2001, through its early albums on Ronin Rhythm Records, its signing with ECM, and the three discs that label has so far released. Mid-decade, the Swiss band was forging its reputation with a relentlessly beat-centric style which Bärtsch dubbed "Zen funk" and "ritual groove music"—a blend of minimalism and James Brown which gave P-funkster George Clinton's maxim "free your ass and your mind will follow" a new millennial spin. The beats are still present, but are tempered now by other dimensions.
The three ECM discs—Llyrìa follows Stoa (2006) and Holon (2008)—have tracked Ronin's music as, via a series of incremental changes, it has evolved into something richer in content. With Llyrìa, standalone melodic top lines—that is, melodies not generated by the layering of instruments—show signs of becoming almost as important as uplifting rhythms. And throughout the suite of tunes, Bärtsch demonstrates a deeper concern with the nuances of light and shade. The new emphases are welcome: even the most dedicated trance junkies can only surrender to repetitive rhythms, however sophisticated their execution, for a finite length of time, without being buried by them—something which Bärtsch, who intends his music as something other than narcotic, would find abhorrent.
What has remained constant throughout this evolution is Bärtsch's insistence on through-composition: practically every note Ronin plays has been written in advance, with only subtle interpretive deviations permitted to the musicians. We have to take Bärtsch's word for this, because the performances of drummer Kaspar Rast and reed player Sha, in particular, frequently sound so of-the-moment that you'd never guess they're not improvised.
The 2010 edition of Ronin's music is well described by the title of this album. The llyria is a recently discovered luminescent creature of the deep ocean.
The opening track, "Modul 48," captures the picture as vividly as any hi-tech deepwater camera, as exquisite little melodic fragments drift in and out of the frame. Passages like this reoccur throughout the disc. So too, rather less frequently, do the ensemble polyrhythms of the band's first releases—"Modul 52" and "Modul 4" keep the faith and will give Ronin's longtime followers a familiar shot in the arm.
Ronin's growth has been made possible as much by the group's stability as it has by Bärtsch's inquiring aesthetic. In October 2010, the band will play its 300th hometown performance, at the Zurich club where it has maintained a Monday night residency since 2004. Such commitment, to each other and to the demands of live performance, makes for a continuing engine of change. Ronin may have traveled a long way since 2001, but it's a near certainty that the journey is far from finished.
:::Review by Chris May:::

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin - Llyrìa (2010)

01. Modul 48
02. Modul 52
03. Modul 55
04. Modul 47
05. Modul 53
06. Modul 51
07. Modul 49_44

Nik Bärtsch - (piano)
Sha - (alto saxophone, bass clarinet)
Björn Meyer - (bass)
Kaspar Rast - (drums)
Andi Pupato - (percussion)