:::Smells Like Tape Spirit:::

Posted: Tuesday, 31 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Wojtek Mazolewski, bass player, is frequent guest on my blog. I reviewed his "Monster of Jazz" (2010) and "Alchemia" (2008) recorded with excellent Pink Freud band plus "Freeyo" (2009) recorded in trio with Gos and Wojtczak. All these albums (and other not mentioned here) are simply very, very good and point to very important feature of Mazolewski's play: whether he flirts with avantgarde, mainstream, free jazz or ventures into rock or even pop territory he maintains this same uniquely his own voice. Always daring, creative and self-ironic, he is brilliant wherever he chooses to turn his attention. He is one of few, VERY few, musicians whose musical language appeal to both lovers of free and avantgarde music niche and can simultaneously be voted to be played on Polish most popular and famous chart (44th position on hit list by Trójka).
One of the explanations of the success of many Mazolewski projects is his ability to pick up right musicians who are not only among best in the country but more importantly share his artistic visions, his attitude toward art, his Boheme way of life (or better to say: image ;-). This time he is accompanied by Michał Bryndal on drums, and rhythm section they created is key to success of this album. It's trance-like, broken and angled line is simply breathtaking, among the most forward thinking and original in Polish music. These two rhythm wizards are often joined by excellent piano play by Joanna Duda and two expressive brass players: Marek Pospieszalski on saxophon and Oscar Torok (from Slovakia) on trumpet.
Many years ago Mazolewski was deeply involved in yass revolution in Poland and he has maintained this experimental attitude over the years, his Quintet being kind of test vehicle, for his ever-changing musical ideas. He recorded first album in this format in 2007 (issued 1 year later) with completely different staff and comprising totally different music. There is no continuity altogether although there is clearly development. So let me in the end ask this question: where Mazolewski is steering with this record?
In my opinion this record shows he is maturing quickly leaving behind himself all yass lack of seriousness, order, respect for tradition which was sometimes honestly speaking a nuisance for adult listener. Already excellent "Alchemia" album (2008) marked his evolution toward play as much creative as focused on quality, on beauty of sound which together with special kind of recording procedure used in this session (using tape and without many rehearsals) gave music rarely met spatiality, density and featherweightednes. Hopefully Mazolewski will stay on this track in future as well...
:::Review by polish-jazz.blogspot.com:::

Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet - Smells Like Tape Spirit (2011)

1. Newcomer 6:06
2. Planeta Guzików 4:37
3. Kaczeńce 6:20
4. Gwiazda z Pragi (O Owocach Ciał Nieziemskich) 5:18
5. Pożycz Stówę 1:05
6. Populacja Sikorek 4:35
7. Smells Like Tape Spirit 6:37
8. Księżniczka nr 9 i 10 4:19
9. Oberek 5:44
10. Jedynak 3:22
11. Newcomer (Sunny Take) 3:42

Oscar Torok – trumpet
Marek Pospieszalski – saxophone
Joanna Duda – piano
Wojtek Mazolewski – double bass
Michał Bryndal – drums

:::At Sunset:::

Posted: Sunday, 29 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

Jazz is no stranger to eclecticism. Musicians have been bending, breaking, reshaping, and reincorporating since the very beginning of jazz history. In fact, departing from jazz tradition might as well be the definition of jazz.
If that is indeed the case, guitarist Rob Price has, with his current release, At Sunset , marked himself as a classical jazz composer and player. Combining everything from free improvisation to country, blues, and California surf music, Price has made a truly multi-genre, decidedly entertaining album. From the Frank Black-meets-Charlie Hunter tune "Main Title" to the appropriately moody "Where it Snows," Price, with the aid of percussionist Joey Baron, saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, and bassist Trevor Dunn, brings each of the album's disparate compositions alive. Executed with restraint, the music is more about mood than overt musical dexterity, and the album benefits from this collected approach.
Highlights include the already mentioned "Where it Snows," on which Dunn contributes a highly atmospheric, extended solo, supported by Baron's distinctively hollow-toned, low key drum work; a 1950s cruise down Sunset Strip, "Night Vision"; and the brooding blues "At Sunset."
Price simultaneously takes his experimentations seriously enough to give them weight, and with enough humor to keep them free of awkward affectation. An enjoyable mix, this is an album for the gut as much as the brain.
:::Review by FRANZ A. MATZNER:::

Rob Price - At Sunset (2004)

1. 1600 Hours
2. Night Vision
3. Icicles
4. Main Title
5. Jack of Cats
6. Where It Snows
7. Mouse Game
8. At Sunset.

Rob Price: Guitar
Ellery Eskelin: Tenor Saxophone
Trevor Dunn: Bass
Joey Baron: Drums


Ralph Ellison once wrote a great essay in which he seemed to predict jazz's ultimate dependence on a music industry driven (and subsidized) bya star system. The irony, Ellison suggested, is that jazz is largely created by anonymous musicians, who because they are "devoted to an artwhich traditionally thrives on improvisation [...] very often have their most original ideas enter the public domain almost as rapidly as they are conceived to be quickly absorbed into the thought and technique of their fellows."
There is a bittersweet implication here—as if it's somehow nobler to be an unknown, poverty-stricken musician, and as if becoming a jazz celebrity inevitably involves selling out. But I don't know if you could convince trombonist and composer Grachan Moncur of either of these propositions. Though he may agree that the star system is a horrible invention, he recently had the opportunity to reestablish his own reputation, and I can almost hear him thanking [insert the deity of your choice here] for that.
After all, until this chance came along, Moncur was coming very close to total obscurity—and from what I can tell, he wasn't enjoying it, materially or philosophically. In the '60s, he had been a participant and leader in several stellar Blue Note sessions (now collected on a Mosaic box set), but he more or less hadn't been heard from again until, well, last year. Why? It could be that his (smart) impulse to control his own publishing rights got him blacklisted by the Blue Note big wigs. Or maybe that blacklisting had something to do with his turn toward the avant-garde. Or perhaps it was something else altogether— something even more painful (see Fred Jung's AAJ interview with Moncur for several moving allusions). In any case, here at last is one of the rewards of a jazz culture that has become downright curatorial in recent years (a fact sometimes too-quickly decried by those of us who prefer our music in the clubs): at least we're starting to value the contributions of lesser-known veterans.
To be sure, Moncur's new album, Exploration, is markedly different from his '60s output. Here, he is dealing with a much larger ensemble (an octet featuring such varied personages as Gary Smulyan, Billy Harper, and Andrew Cyrille), for which Mark Masters' compelling, dense arrangements are perfectly suited. True to its name, Exploration is not a simple repackaging of Moncur's work, but, rather, a sincere statement of artistic growth (a noble thing any age, but particularly when you're in your late 60s). A brief summary: "New Africa" is a gorgeous suite whose creation was apparently assisted by Moncur's wife, Tamam. "Sonny's Back" weighs in on the "almost-bop" side of things and is named after Moncur's friend, Sonny Rollins. And speaking of friends in high places, Moncur's signature tune ("Monk in Wonderland") is named after another fellow traveler (you-know-who), who I suspect is his biggest influence. (I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing alto solo on this tune, incidentally. Thanks, Gary Bartz.) "Love and Hate" is strangely named; it sounds like all love to me (slow, mellow, sweet). And for the hardcore fan, "Excursion" is a more or less totally free several minutes.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Bottom line: welcome back, Grachan. We missed you.
:::Review by Andrew Durkin:::

Grachan Moncur III - Exploration (2004)

1. Exploration
2. Monk in Wonderland
3. Love and Hate
4. New Africa
5. When?
6. Frankenstein
7. Excursion
8. Sonny's Back

Grachan Moncur III, trombone;
Mark Masters, arrangements;
Tim Hagans, trumpet;
John Clark, French Horn;
Dave Woodley, trombone;
Gary Bartz, alto sax;
Billy Harper, tenor sax;
Gary Smulyan, baritone sax;
Ray Drummond, bass;
Andrew Cyrille, drums

:::Optical Delusions:::

Posted: Thursday, 26 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Optical Delusions, the 2011 album from Spanish fusion outfit Planeta Imaginario, serves us rich jazz rock with constantly changing rhythmic structures that characterize Frank Zappa and the Canterbury scene. There is an excellent balance between the interplay of instruments, with none dominating the whole song or given the whole share of freedom within the phrasing of the song. While some sections are complex and tightly composed, other sections lay down a steady beat so that all of the instruments can jam and improvise.
Whenever the rhythm gets predictable on this album, there are layers added or there is a flourish that keeps you interested and moving. There is almost a big band sound that comes from the horns playing in harmony. The solo piano and horn interludes that are interspersed throughout the songs provide a relaxing break from the varied instrumentation and complex composition.
The first half of "Collective Action" quickly shows us the layered jazz jams and rich rhythms that are all throughout the album. After another piano interlude, however, there is a tightly composed section with constantly changing time signatures and rhythms which provides a satisfying rest before a steady drum, bass, and keyboard beat accompanies a horn solo. "The Garden of Happy Cows" distinguishes itself after the first few minutes when the band launches into a breakdown which slowly gains layers and complexity until the instruments can unite again with a melody that transitions into a piano interlude. "Hemangioma" and "The Sea...and Later the Sun...and the Reflection" are also noteworthy for their slowly building climaxes. "Xarramandusca" has a much larger number of free jazz sections which provide an atmosphere that breaks up the light upbeat feel of the rest of the album. The opening of "Angioma" shows the compositional characteristics of progressive rock, with changes that are unpredictable but go well with the song structure. "Sidewalk Licker" begins with a meditative piano solo which sets the mood perfectly for the beats to follow.
This album makes it clear that Planeta Imaginario has many influences all across the musical spectrum. Optical Delusions never loses your attention because of the amount of musical variety that is being showcased. Anybody that's a fan of energetic rhythms, rich composition, and layered instrumentation should find a lot to enjoy on this album.
:::Review by Sancho Panza:::

Planeta Imaginario - Optical Delusions (2011)

1- Acciò Col-lectiva (10:16)
2- El jardì de las vaques alegres (9:40)
3- Xarramandusca (11:36)
4- Bona sort, amic meu (1:45)

Preludis Clinics del Home-gos
5- Angioma (3:50)
6- Bisturí (0:45)
7- Hemangioma (3:09)

8- Introducció de Llepavoreres (2:37)
9- Llevaporeres (8:00)

Elements imperfectes sobre quartz vermell
10- Element de la puresa imperfecte (4:15)
11- Element del art pur i imperfect (6:21)
12- Element de la persuasió imperfecte (2:40)

13- El mar, i llavors sortí el sol. i el reflexe (13:18)

- Marc Capel / Hammond L100 organ, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Challen piano, Yamaha CS80 & Jen SX1000 synthesizers
- Dimitiris Bikos / fretless bass
- Natsuko Sugao / trumpet
- The-Hien Trinh / trombone
- Alfonso Muñoz / alto, soprano & baritone saxes, percussion
- Vasco Trilla Gomes dos Santos / drums, percussion

Guest musicians
- Sisu Corominas / tenor & alto saxes
- Pablo Selnik / flute (9-13)
- Guillem Serra Llorenc / French horn (1, 2, 5-7),
- Liba Villavecchia / tenor sax solos (1, 2)


Posted: Wednesday, 25 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

Jack Walrath (born May 5, 1946 in Stuart, Florida) is an American post-bop jazz trumpeter and musical arranger known for his work with Ray Charles, Gary Peacock, Charles Mingus and Glenn Ferris, among others.
Walrath began playing the trumpet at the age of nine in 1955 while living in the small town of Edgar, Montana. He attributes his wide range of musical appreciation to a “lack of negative peer pressure which so often happens in cities.” In 1964 Walrath graduated from Joliet High School and attended the Berklee College of Music. He pursued a composition diploma program instead of a full degree program so that he could concentrate specifically upon music classes. During his Berklee years he backed a number of R&B singers in the Boston and Cambridge areas and gigged with his fellow students. While in Boston he worked in the band Change with bassist Gary Peacock. Walrath graduated from the Berklee program in 1968.
In 1969 Walrath relocated to the West Coast and found work in Los Angeles’ jazz scene. Soon he was a member of the band Revival, with trombonist Glenn Ferris, and the West Coast Motown Orchestra. An opportunity soon arose to work with the legendary Ray Charles, with whom Walrath did one tour of the United States. By 1970 the openings for jazz musicians in Los Angeles began to dry up, and Walrath relocated again to New York City.
Walrath spent the next several years working with mainstream and Latin jazz bands.[3] In 1974 Walrath was working in the band of saxophonist Paul Jeffrey when the leader introduced him to bassist Charles Mingus, a pioneer of bebop and post-bop jazz who was experiencing a career resurgence. Baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett had recently left Mingus’ band, and Walrath was eager to fill the opening. He joined tenor saxophonist George Adams, pianist Don Pullen and drummer Dannie Richmond in the quintet, which was acclaimed as one of Mingus’ finest ensembles and broke new ground by leaning towards free jazz and non-chordal improvisations. Aside from Richmond, who had worked with Mingus off and on since the 1950s, Walrath enjoyed the longest unbroken tenure of any Mingus sideman. He made music with the bassist up until Mingus’ death in 1979. The primary albums of interest from Walrath’s tenure with Mingus are Changes One and Changes Two, both recorded for Atlantic Records in 1974. The latter album features Walrath’s composition “Black Bats and Poles” (originally entitled “Rats and Moles” until Mingus decided it needed a darker name). Walrath has extended the Mingus legacy through his work with Mingus Dynasty, a mid-sized tribute band, and the Charles Mingus Big Band coordinated by Mingus’ widow, Sue Graham Mingus.
Walrath has been a sideman for Muhal Richard Abrams, Ricky Ford, Sam Rivers, Joe Morello, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Ray Anderson, Craig Harris, Pete LaRoca, Mike Longo, Elvis Costello, Larry Willis, George Gruntz, Gunther Schuller, Hal Galper, Bobby Watson, Richie Cole and others. He has worked with the WDR Big Band, the Jazz Tribe and the Charli Persip Superband. Walrath's appeal was summed up by reviewer David Grogan: "Like Mingus, Walrath delights in rich melodic nuances and colors, with blue notes stretched amid bursts of rhythmic energy."
Ensembles under Walrath’s own leadership have included The Jack Walrath Group, Wholly Trinity, Hard Corps, The Masters of Suspense, and The Jack Walrath Quintet. In 1987 Walrath received a Grammy nomination for a cover of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (on the album Master of Suspense) featuring Willie Nelson. His compositions have been performed and recorded by Hamiet Bluiett, Red Rodney, Larry Willis, Mike Clark, Cecil Brooks III, Ray Mantilla, Hank Jones, Zé Eduardo, and the Manhattan New Music Project. His television scores include Homicide: Life on the Streets.
Walrath has received composition grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Composition Grant and the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and performance grants from the NEA and Quad City Arts. He has had compositions and arrangements commissioned for virtually every instrumental combination from symphony orchestra to solo piano. He has conducted seminars, master classes, music camps and clinics in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Israel, Finland and across the United States. Walrath has also written an instruction book, 20 Melodic Jazz Studies for Trumpet (published by Advance Music), and is currently working on an autobiography, CD and record guide.
:::bio from wikipedia:::

Jack Walrath & The Mastes Of Suspence - Hipgnosis (2006)

1. Sweet Hip Gnosis
2. Hip Gnosis
3. Trane Trip
4. Philosopher Stone
5. Mingus Piano
6. Blue Sinistra
7. Games
8. Baby Fat
9. Premature Optomism
10. Eclipse
11. Love Enough For Everybody

Jack Walrath (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals);
Dean Bowman (voice);
David Fiuczynski (guitar);
Hill Green (acoustic bass);
Cecil Brooks III (drums)

:::Electric Silence:::

Posted: Tuesday, 24 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Here is a fantastic and totally amazing album released by the 70s jazzy Krautrock band Dzyan. The music is very ambitious, unique and intense, combining a great diversity of genres from jazz rock, space/rock to world (eastern raga). This is ethnic jazz fusion at its very best, sometimes near to others German kraut/jazz formations as Embryo, but definitely freakier, drug inspired psychedelic music. Many tracks contain a delicate and a mystical oriental flavour combining sitar with prog passages, tremendous guitar base lines. All the compositions are perfectly executed, bringing enough convincing "weird" experimental effects and improvisations to reach the listener in a higher level of consciousness.
One of the most inventive release and a top krautrock band.
:::Review by philippe:::

Dzyan - Electric Silence (1975)

1. Back To Where We Come (8:57)
2. A Day In My Life (4:03)
3. The Road Not Taken (4:54)
4. Khali (4:55)
5. For Earthly Thinking (9:38)
6. Electric Silence (4:30)

- Peter Giger / drums, percussion
- Reinhard Karwatky / electric & double bass, superstring, Mellotrone, synthesizer
- Eddy Marron / guitars, sitar, Zaz, tambura, mellotrone, voice


Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

Guitarist Skopelitis' dustpan approach to world music sweeps various ethnic instrumental grit and grime into the whirling blades of co-producer Bill Laswell's shop-vac. Contributing to the unholy mess are Foday Musa Suso on kora, oudist/violinist Simon Shaheen, gospel organist Amina Claudine Myers, percussionists Zakir Hussain, Aiyb Dieng and Guilherme Franco, drummer Jaki Liebezeit, bassists Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble, and, consistently providing the most bracing moments, Bachir Attar (leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka) raising hell on the plague-of-locusts vernacular oboe, the rhaita. When Ekstasis's free-floating anxiety is at its peak, it could almost be the disc that Can fans have been waiting for since Ege Bamyasi.
:::Review by Bob Tarte:::

Nicky Skopelitis - Ekstasis (1993)

1. Tarab 7:19
Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Bass – Jah Wobble
Written-By – Laswell, Wobble
Drums [Loop] – Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste
Violin – Simon Shaheen
Harp [Doussongoni] – Foday Musa Suso
Tabla – Zakir Hussain

2. Meet Your Maker 5:57
Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Bass – Bill Laswell
Flute – Bachir Attar
Oud, Violin [Intro] – Simon Shaheen
Drums – Jaki Liebezeit
Cuica, Whistle, Other [Little Hammer] – Guilherme Franco
Organ [Hammond B-3] – Amina Claudine Myers

3. Ghost Of A Chance 5:06
Performer [Chatan] – Aiyb Dieng
Bass – Bill Laswell
Baglama, Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Berimbau [Electric], Cuica, Cowbell – Guilherme Franco
Drums – Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste
Organ [Hammond B-3] – Amina Claudine Myers

4. Proud Flesh 4:48
Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Bass – Jah Wobble
Kora – Foday Musa Suso
Drums – Jaki Liebezeit
Violin – Simon Shaheen
Tambourine – Guilherme Franco

5. Sanctuary 5:57
Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Bass – Jah Wobble
Oboe [Ghaita] – Bachir Attar
Written-By – Attar, Wobble
Drums – Jaki Liebezeit
Talking Drum – Aiyb Dieng
Organ [Hammond B-3] – Amina Claudine Myers

6. One Eye Open 4:41
Performer [Chatan] – Aiyb Dieng
Bass – Bill Laswell
Sitar [Coral], Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Written-By – Laswell
Drums – Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste
Violin – Simon Shaheen
Organ [Hammond B-3] – Amina Claudine Myers
Berimbau [Electric] – Guilherme Franco

7. Heresy 5:36
Written-By – Suso, Wobble
Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Bass – Jah Wobble
Drums – Jaki Liebezeit
Kora – Foday Musa Suso

8. Jubilee 4:39
Electric Guitar [12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Bass – Jah Wobble
Written-By – Suso, Wobble
Drums – Jaki Liebezeit
Talking Drum – Aiyb Dieng
Harp [Doussongoni] – Foday Musa Suso
Organ [Hammond B-3] – Amina Claudine Myers

9. Witness 7:34
Bass – Jah Wobble
Written-By – Wobble, Shaheen
Drums – Jaki Liebezeit
Violin – Simon Shaheen
Harp [Doussongoni] – Foday Musa Suso
Baglama, Guitar [Dobro], Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis

10. Telling Time 4:57
Organ [Hammond B-3] – Amina Claudine Myers
Electric Guitar [6 & 12 String] – Nicky Skopelitis
Bass – Bill Laswell
Drums – Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste
Congas – Guilherme Franco

Artwork By [Cover] – James Koehnline
Artwork By [Layout And Design] – Aldo Sampieri
Engineer – Bruce Calder, Martin Bisi, Bob Musso
Engineer [Assistant At Greenpoint] – Imad Mansour
Engineer [Assistant At Platinum Island] – Chris Flam
Engineer, Engineer [Mix For Velocity] – Oz Fritz
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Photography – Ira Cohen
Producer – Bill Laswell, Nicky Skopelitis
Technician [Equipment] – Artie Smith
Written-By – Skopelitis

:::Hallucination Engine:::

Posted: Friday, 20 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

This album remains my absolute favorite of all. It is finally, after many years of searching, exactly my kind of music. There is the purity of ambient synthesizers, there is the sophistication of polyrhthmic beats. There is big boom of bass, the improvisation of bebop, the integration of Eastern themes. All that and Arabic lyricism as well. I have been following two threads of this kind of music since the 80s. One of them culminated in the music around Adrian Sherwood and OnU and the other around Bill Laswell and Axiom. In the end, Laswell was the champion and his music explores all the dimensions of sound I find fascinating, compelling and majestic. His collaborations with everyone from Sly and Robbie and Peter Namlook to his recreations of Bob Marley and Miles Davis are stunning. But in my opinion, his greatest work to date can be found on this album. It is track number seven, entitled The Hidden Garden / Naima. Yes, that Naima. It is, in my opinion, better than Coltrane's original. This is the music I have played in rented cars through the streets of Brooklyn and Tampa and Houston with the windows rolled down, just trying to show how that big boom can carry so much sophistication and flavor. This is the music that carries the literal wit of William S. Burroughs about deals with the devil.
The odd thing is with this album is like so many others, I don't associate a name with the songs. I just know them. They occupy a nameless place in memory because there is no communicating them. It's like a secret knowledge, a fountain of inspiration that you try to share but the water slips through your hands as you attempt to remove it from the source. I can say 'Laswell' to a few that know him and then what? There's this, of course, but there is also the perfect Dub Chamber 3. There's also the extraordinary Panthalassa. I know a man named Benzon who once looked after my son. If there's a man who knows my mind perhaps he is the one. In music he understands the power it transduces through the brain. I look at him with library envy and wish I could explain. I'll tell him Laswell and he'll nod, then pick up his horn and play a stretch and hang on to a note mystical and forlorn. And I'll say yes after a moment and say how did you know. He'll shrug and ask me don't we all who listen for the flow? And I forget this epic trance was dreamed in God's own mind, as I just wrangle syllables interpolated for the purposes of explicating that which transpired without any sense of time as if binded to the blind.
:::Review by cobb:::

Material - Hallucination Engine (1993)

1. Black Light 7:33
Written-By – B. Laswell, W. Shorter
2. Mantra 8:44
Written-By – B. Laswell, Caroline, Shankar
3. Ruins (Submutation Dub) 8:54
Written-By – B. Laswell
4. Eternal Drift 7:35
Written-By – B. Laswell, N. Skopelitis
5. Words Of Advice 3:58
Written-By – B. Laswell, W. Burroughs
6. Cucumber Slumber (Fluxus Mix) 7:30
Written-By – A. Johnson, J. Zawinul
7. The Hidden Garden / Naima 13:00
Written-By – B. Laswell, N. Skopelitis, S. Shaheen
8. Shadow Of Paradise 9:45
Written-By – B. Laswell, N. Skopelitis, Shankar

Arranged By – Bill Laswell
Bass – Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Jonas Hellborg
Drums [Kit] – Sly Dunbar
Electric Piano, Organ [Hammond B-3] – Bernie Worrell
Ghatam – Vikku Vinayakram
Ghatam [Chatan], Congas, Percussion – Aiyb Dieng
Guitar, Sitar, Baglama – Nicky Skopelitis
Kanjira [Daff], Tambourine – Michael Baklouk
Ney – Jihad Racy
Oud – Simon Shaheen
Producer – Bill Laswell
Sampler, Programmed By [Beats, Loops] – Bill Laswell
Saxophone [Tenor, Soprano] – Wayne Shorter
Synthesizer – Jeff Bova, Nicky Skopelitis
Tabla – Trilok Gurtu, Zakir Hussain
Violin – Shankar, Simon Shaheen
Voice – Fahiem Dandan, Liu Sola, William S. Burroughs
Zither [Qanoum] – George Basil


Posted: Thursday, 19 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

“Vezhliviy Otkaz, which means “polite refusal” in English, is one of the most original and erratic rock bands in Russia. They have never gone for pop stardom or tried to establish themselves as an underground “cult” act. Around 1986, they did perform in ripped tuxedos and throw pieces of raw meat into the audience, but this was a passing, and nearly forgotten, stage in their career.”

“... the band is totally cool, intelligent and slightly enigmatic. They may be too strange to be embraced by rock masses, but everyone has full respect for the Refuseniks.”

“The band was formed in 1985 with a then-popular reggae/ska blend. Since then, they have gone through numerous stylistic changes, flirting with everything from free jazz to Russian folk. Their sound, however, has always been unique and immediately recognizable. Suslov’s rhythmic guitar work and unusual high-pitched vocals gives Polite Refusal’s music a precisely constructed, crystal-clear sound that is completely devoid of any of the extra noise so typical of rock-n-roll. The sound is so well organized that sounds almost academic.”

“In fact,” says Suslov, “we’ve always aimed at creating orchestral music, but guitars, piano and drums are the only instruments we have.”

“People usually label us as post-modernist, but we are not. All of our songs bear very little irony and are based on real-life experiences,”

Suslov says. "I’d rather call our work ‘naturalism’.”
:::Review by Artemy Troitsky, "Moscow Times":::

Вежливый отказ - Гуси-Лебеди (2010)

1. Марш 2:48
2. Дорожная 5:23
3. Мурка 4:48
4. Перевод 7:56
5. Страдания 3:33
6. Тикирика 4:42
7. Бурятская Морская 6:15
8. Блюз 5:54
9. Время 4:12
10. Lz 4:02
11. Этюд 3:44

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Producer, Mixed By – Роман Суслов
Bass, Contrabass, Vocals – Дмитрий Шумилов
Drums, Percussion – Михаил Митин
Piano, Flute, Violin, Vocals – Павел Карманов
Trumpet – Андрей Соловьев
Violin, Vocals – Сергей Рыженко

:::In Search Of The Miraculous:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

John's first real solo album of year 2010 (first 2010 release of Zorn's associated projects was Masada's "Mycale"). This work is real answer for those missing jazz in Zorn's works of some last years. This album is jazz.
Nothing from avant-garde. Nothing from klezmer, hard-core or electronics experiments. Nothing at all! This album is very tasteful, melodic, melancholic contemporary jazz music for piano and vibraphone, supported by rhythm section ( acoustic, electric bass and drums). Music is mid tempo, very elegant, pleasant to listen ( with very light post-bop influence). Each composition itself is almost masterpiece (even if not very complex technically). Main problem for me was the album as whole product: in fact John just used small perfect idea, and developed it till full album.
If separately each composition is almost excellent, there is very difficult to find a difference between compositions. In fact all album sounds a bit as one long song ( or album of remixes of same composition with very small difference between versions). At that point ( and remembering that Zorn declared he will release 12 albums in 2010) I for a first time feel some danger he will use just very small even genial idea for each this year's album just to fulfil his program. Still hope I am wrong in this...
Very pleasant and tasteful contemporary jazz album, just don't expect nothing experimental or unusual. Music (jazz) to enjoy.
:::Review by snobb:::

John Zorn - In Search Of The Miraculous (2010)

1. Prelude: From A Great Temple
2. Sacred Dance (Invocation)
3. The Book of Shadows
4. Affirmation
5. The Magus
6. Hymn for a New Millennium
7. Journey of the Magicians
8. Mythic Etude
9. Postlude: Prayers and Enchantment

Rob Burger: Piano, Organ
Greg Cohen: Acoustic Bass
Ben Perowsky: Drums
Kenny Wollesen: Vibraphone
Shanir Blumenkranz: Electric Bass


Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Don't be put off by the name. This is a high-energy album of fiery playing. An all-instrumental effort is what we have here from this California quartet's debut release. Five lengthy tracks, served up with some blistering guitar, sax and flute solos. While they "jam", they are in no way a "jam" band. There is a strong sense of melody present amongst all of the ripping. I'm hard pressed to say they sound like this or that, but if one were to make comparisons, one might say that they operate in the same area as Spaced Out sans the keyboards, although there is less of the fusion slant apparent. Maybe a less quirky version of Boud Deun, with sax and flute replacing the violin, would be a better starting point. I'm also reminded a little bit of later Kraan.
They kick the album off with a couple of stellar numbers, "Dragon Feed" and "Archemedes Tub". Both of these songs kick it into high gear right away showing that band has chops. The playing is tight and energetic all the way through both of these tracks.
They do take a breather here and there, like at the beginning of the third track "Oceania". Some nice rolling guitar and flute give way to a subtle intensity that builds up to a melodic guitar solo. The song finally breaks forth into mayhem and a nice guitar solo interspersed with sax flurries only to wind down into a nice percussive outro, featuring none other than Mr. Ambient himself, Steve Roach.
They close out the album with an 18-minute tune, "Path Of The Farwinds". This is another track that starts off with some nice guitar and flute interplay. Shades of Gong creep in with the addition of some glissando guitar work, though it soon breaks into the speedy breakneck pace that drives a lot of the album.
All in all, there is some great, tight playing, with enough variety to keep you interested for the duration of the disc's 60 or so minutes. I like it.
:::Review by Joe Fischer:::

Avant Garden - Maelstrom (2001)

1. Dragon Feed (10:03)
2. Archemedes Tub (9:14)
3. Oceania (12:32)
4. Into The Maelstrom (7:57)
5. Path Of The Farwind (18:25)

- Brian Gould / acoustic and electric guitars, e-bow, glissando
- Jason Kenney / drums and percussion
- Flamp Sorvari / Alto saxophone and flute
- Miles Gilster / bass

Guest artists
- Steve Roach / didgeridoo, spirit catcher, loops and percussion (3,5)
- J. D. Gardemeyer / percussion (3)
- Jesse Winn / percussion (3)
- Chris Dugan / percussion (3)

:::To Obscurity and Beyond:::

Posted: Wednesday, 18 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Afroskull is greasy persuasion and bad gris-gris. A New York City funk/rock collective by way of New Orleans, the ‘Skull is a sonic gumbo that is one part Funkadelic and one part Black Sabbath with generous helpings of Zappaesque runs and jazzoid horns. The interplay of their heady musicianship and fat bottomed grooves helps to keep les bon temps rouler all night long.
Born of saintly happenstance and house party jam sessions in The Big Easy, Afroskull has been intent on setting about the musical canvas with broad strokes and a menacing palette for more then a decade. Indulging in the sweet cross pollination of musical genres, they have created a hybrid sound they can call their very own. Taking their name from the perceived halo, that well worn LP fade, which framed the shrouded skull on the back cover of “Steppenwolf Live,” the band, in one word conceived a moniker that spoke to the heavy boogies they were cranking out on a regular basis.
Their early musical endeavors and growing reputation in and around New Orleans led the band; Joe Scatassa (guitar), Bill Richards (bass), Matt Barone (keyboards), Jason Isaac (drums) and a cadre of horn players, into the studio to cut their first album. Monster for the Masses, released in 2000, was received to critical praise. Although commercial success proved more elusive, the band’s stature, backed by their solid studio effort and high-powered shows, continued to grow even as they dealt with a multitude of changes.
Following band member departures, a brief hiatus, and a move back home to New York, Joe and Jason reconstituted Afroskull. With The Big Apple their backdrop and joined by Matt Iselin (keyboards), Dan Asher (bass) and Seth Moutal (percussion) the band was born anew, but with that same genre eschewing bend. Their live shows, a laboratory for their shifting provocative sound, were further enhanced by the solidification of the “Horns of Doom.”
Jeff Pierce (trumpet), Justin Flynn (tenor sax) and Rafi Malkiel (trombone) emerged from a rotating cast of horn players equipped with an individual swagger but firmly committed to the group dynamic. Tempted by their small yet loyal following and convinced by Joe’s intricate spiraling compositions Afroskull once again made for the studio.
The result, To Obscurity and Beyond, their first album in nine years, is a tempestuous marriage of rock, funk and jazz. Dripping with ecstatic elaborate arrangements, Joe Scatassa’s production and original compositions are hell bent on keeping you shaking your ass and banging your head.
Joined by Ronnie Cuber (baritone sax, bass clarinet), of Mingus Big Band and Frank Zappa fame, the lush brass orchestrations compliment and combat the underlying full throttle gonzo spunk. Punctuated by two spitfire vocal tracks, the mostly instrumental offering stampedes, but never tramples. To Obscurity and Beyond further separates Afroskull from the majority of their peers as it marks the return of their uniquely fierce and unrelenting voice to the scene.
:::Review from http://www.afroskull.com:::

Afroskull - To Obscurity and Beyond (2009)

1.…the launch (0:20)
2.Spyplane (6:20)
3.Waste Management (6:19)
4.Me & My TV (5:55)
5.Dance of the Wild Koba (7:26)
6.The Curse (7:38)
7.… could this be the end? (0:41)
8.Redemption (5:57)
9.Everything (5:55)
10.Zero Hour (6:22)
11.Escape From Rome (8:04)

Joe Scatassa – guitars
Matt Iselin – keyboards
Dan Asher – bass
Jason Isaac – drums
Seth Moutal – percussion
Ronnie Cuber – baritone sax
Jeff Pierce – trumpet
Justin Flynn – tenor sax
Rafi Malkiel – trombone

with special guest vocalist Michael Taylor

:::New Expensive Head:::

Posted: Tuesday, 17 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Jacek Kochan is a monster drummer. Born in Poland, he has been active in the musical scenes of Poland, USA, and Canada since the late 1970s. He is also an arranger, imaginative composer and music producer, but most of all - a superior drummer. His very distinctive modern drumming style is jam-packed and full of rhythmical gradations with stylistic references from the whole history of jazz. He is fully aware of versatile jazz and contemporary music traditions, but at the same time is completely immersed in contemporary fusion, funk, electronic and club beats. He is also very fluent in the language of free jazz, but in contrary to many others modern European drummers, he has no complex of avant-guard. He is a master of sound sampling, and has an exceptional gift of time and style. His smart and intelligent music is filled with nuances, full of space, with layers of acoustic and electronic sounds, and complex textures. As a drummer he does not over-emphasize the role of his instrument, but in contrary he focuses on collective sound, melodies, adventurous arrangements, original harmonies and rhythms.
Kochan's astonishing improvisational creativity makes him one of the most highly regarded and in-demand drummers on the Polish and European jazz scenes. His music engages the listeners, keeps them interested, sometimes puzzled, but always longing for more. Furthermore, Kochan excels in a recording studio environment, where he is able to masterfully utilize many wonders of the modern recording technologies, and at the same time able to restrain himself from the traps of artificial apparatus.
During the last decades, Kochan has played with many of the most important figures of American and European jazz : in early 80-ties he moved to New York. There he have played and recorded with jazz, funk and r&b bands and studied among the others.with Jaco Pastorius, Mike Clark, Robbie Gonzales.
By the mid 80's, Jacek moved to Montreal, where he further expanded his musical lexicon to include writing for choirs and orchestra (Tudor Singers, Repercussion) as well as playing and recording ethnic music (latin, african, balkan). There he worked with Michel Donato, Karen Young, Andrew Leroux, Yannick Rieu, Oliver Jones, Jean-Pierrre Zanella, Michel Cusson, Katleen Dyson, Helmut Lipsky, Lazaro Saucedo, Geoff Lapp, Johnny Scott and many others, perfoming at the clubs and jazz festivals.
In 1990, after moving to Toronto, he started to work as a leader and sideman in countless live and recording projects with artists like John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Pat Labarbera, Kenny Wheeler, Don Thompson, Mike Murley, Neil Swainson, Reggie Schwager, Lorne Lofsky, Bernie Senensky, John MacLeod, Dave Restivo and Brian Dickinson.
In 1995 he returned to Europe where he continues to compose, play, tour and record music with artists like Dave Liebman, Greg Osby, Marc Copland, Gary Thomas, Joey Calderazzo, Palle Mikkelborg, Eddie Henderson, Dave Tronzo, Briggan Krauss, Cuong Vu, Eric Vloeimans, Lars Danielsson, Dave Fiuczynski, Bo Stief, Christian Spering, Michel Benita, Furio DiCastri, Franz Hautzinger, Klaus Dickbauer , Eddie Schuller, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, Axel Dorner, Ernesto Molinari, Francois Corneloup, Krzysztof Knittel, Skerik, Tomas Stanko, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Adam Pieronczyk, Piotr Wojtasik, Assif Tsahar, Tomasz Szukalski, Maciej Sikala and Piotr Baron.
:::notes from www.polishjazz.com:::

Jacek Kochan - New Expensive Head (2003)

1. More (Kochan)
2. Part Time Vip (Kochan)
3. New Expensive Head (Kochan)
4. Less (Kochan)
5. Nott: Chain of Being (Kochan)
6. Lai-sien-kee (Kochan)
7. Mo Bu (Kochan)
8. Three Dollars Wiser (Kochan)
9. Faast (Kochan)
10. Scout's Inamorata (Kochan)

Jacek Kochan - drums, bass, keys, samplers, loops
Cuong Vu - trumpet, trumpet fxs
Skerik - tenor sax, sax fxs
Eivind Aarset - guitar, guitar fxs


Posted: Thursday, 12 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

By the end of the 90's, Wyatt had left rough Trade to join 60's legend Joe Boyd's label Hannibal records and this was good news for Wyatt, as he would produce some much more inventive records than OR or Dondestan. Recorded in Manzanera's studios with a batch of usual suspects, a few unknown newcomers, plus some surprising appearances such as Belgian JR/F guitarist Philip Catherine and The Jam's Paul Weller. With an Alfie booklet illustration throughout, the Sleep happens to be a delightful walk through the event of Wyatt's life at that moment.
And to say that Shleep had not started well, beginning with the album's weakest song, a Gabriel-esque tune, where Eno adds pop touches not really fitting Robert's personae. Much Wyatt-er is Duchess, filled with gurgling/bubbling/seesawing noises (courtesy of Eno), with Parker's (not Bird, you wisearse) difficult sax and Robert's unsettling piano. The album really starts with the mesmerizing Maryan, a superb Catherine-Wyatt composition, where Wyatt gives a Spanish twist with his trumpet, while Sato's violin is jerking tears from you. Emotions ala Rock Bottom; and it's not about to change with the poignant Was A Friend (Hopper co-writes with Robert). Past the strange intro, Wyatt's voice directly takes you to lands abandoned over two decades ago, with Robert playing all instruments. Last Straw is just around the bend, here!!! Awesome. The power of evocation is overwhelming, as you cannot help but thinking of RB in the lengthy sustained finale...The following Free Will & Testament didn't stand a chance matching the predecessor's dramatic greatness, but Paul Weller pulls a good Gilmour-ian guitar, while Wyatt contributes piano, organ and emotions.
Sept 9th is a mostly instrumental song with the returning Whitehead (remember RISTR?) and Parker adding dramatic horns to an already emotion-filled track. Again we are nearing the sublime of RB, with Whitehead's trombone wracking your guts out. Alien is again striking n the same area of your brains, Manzanera pulling a superb guitar solo over impeccable percussions and Merchan's fabulous bass. Wyatt's emotional voice again reminds of the poignant album resulting of that accident that put him a quarter a century ago in a wheelchair. The short Out Of Season has rob doing the whole instruments, except for Whitehead's trombone drones and is again aiming directly into your soul. Based on an Alfie visit to her parents in Spain, Sunday In Madrid has some stunning moments, with Eno's quiet synth underlines giving some excellent background tension (a bit reminiscent of Van Morroson's St Dominic's Preview), while Wyatt's constant wordy vocals is amazing. But nothing compared with his rap (that's right Robert raps superbly!!!!!) in the awesome Blues In Bob Minor. With Weller pulling some splendid guitar lines, if progheads ever had a problem with rap, BIBM might just be the key to open that door. A phenomenal bet successfully achieved, the album can only lets itself die out with the short Weller-penned instrumental Whole Point Of No Return, a dreamy drone where a trumpet evades to heaven.
Yes, Robert was on a creative high at this point, further help by the movie Little Red Robin Hood, produced by Italian enthusiasts DiLoretto and Bevilacqua, doing a documentary on Robert's activities. Shleep is definitely one of Wyatt's high point, the highest since Rock Bottom for sure and it'll take a complete miracle for him to top Shleep in terms of pure inventiveness. Sleep is just missing on the fifth star, because of a weak bonus track and a shaky start, but outside that, it's really a wonderful trip into Robert's brains.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Robert Wyatt - Shleep (1997)

1. Heaps of Sheeps (4:56)
2. The Duchess (4:18)
3. Maryan (6:11)
4. Was a Friend (6:09)
5. Free Will and Testament (4:13)
6. September the Ninth (6:41)
7. Alien (6:47)
8. Out of Season (2:32)
9. A Sunday in Madrid (4:41)
10. Blues in Bob Minor (5:46)
11. The Whole Point of No Return (1:25)

- Robert Wyatt / vocals, keyboards, trumpet, bass, percussion, violin

- Philip Catherine / guitar
- Brian Eno / syntheziser, back vocals
- Phil Manzanera / guitar
- Evan Parker / Soprano and Tenor saxophone
- Paul Weller / guitar, backing vocals
- Jamie Johnson / guitar
- Annie Whitehead / tabla
- Chikako Sato / violin
- Alfreda Benge / vocals
- Chucho Merchan / percussion
- Gary Adzukx / percussion

:::Debutantes And Centipedes:::

Posted: Wednesday, 11 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , ,

As if Mr. Bungle and at least a half-dozen more other projects were not enough, avant-bassist Trevor Dunn now leads his own Trio Convulsant.
This group mixes moody jazz with convulsive rock. Also in the trio is guitarist Adam Levy (Dan Hicks, Tracy Chapman, the Hot Club of San Francisco, etc.) and drummer Kenny Wollesen. This is a good album for people who like King Crimson and free jazz, for this album lies at the meeting point of hard, progressive rock and tough, jazz experimentalism.
:::Review by Tom Schulte:::

Trevor Dunn - Debutantes And Centipedes (1998)

1. Perfumed With Crime Dunn 4:08
2. An Attempt at Jealousy Dunn 6:31
3. Ann-Margret Dunn 7:25
4. Equation of the Found Object Dunn 6:22
5. I Remember Freakies Cereal Dunn 8:09
6. Premonitions Dunn 4:02
7. Echidna Dunn 4:50
8. Veiled Dunn 9:45
9. Aroma Therapy Dunn, F 4:17

Bass - Trevor Dunn
Drumms - Kenny Wollesen
Guitar - Adam Levy


Posted: Tuesday, 10 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Outback is the second of his dates for the CTI label, all of which are compelling, and some, like this one, are brilliant. Recording in a quartet setting with Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, and Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, Farrell, with his reeds and woodwinds, pushes the envelope not only of his own previous conceptualism in jazz, but the CTI label's envelope as well. For starters, this is not a funk, soul, or fusion date, but an adventurous, spacy tightrope-walking exercise between open-ended composition and improvisation. That said, there is plenty of soul in the playing, not only by Farrell, but by all the players -- and Corea never sounded less academic or pointillistic than he does here.
There are four compositions on Outback, all of which were arranged by Farrell. The opener is the humid and mysterious title track by John Scott.
Staged in a series of minor-key signatures, Farrell primarily uses his winds here, flutes and piccolos, to weave a spellbinding series of ascending melodies over the extended voicings provided by Corea -- not exactly in counterpoint, but in spacious contrast. Jones is his typically uncanny self, skipping over cymbals and using a set of sticks more softly than any man can and still drive a band. Airto is positively hypnotic with his hand-drum fills, rubs and shimmers, going through the beat, climbing on top of it, and playing accents in tandem with Farrell in the solo sections. "Sound Down" is a bit more up-tempo and features Farrell fully engaged on the soprano. Buster Williams lays down a short staccato bassline that keeps Jones' bass drum pumping. As Farrell moves from theme/variation/melody to improvisation, he brings Corea, who, uncharacteristically, vamps off the melody before offering a series of ostinato replies before Farrell clearly surprises everybody with the knottiness of his legato phrasing. Corea's "Bleeding Orchid" is a ballad played with augmented modes and continually shifting intervals that can be heard and mapped best by Williams' adherence to the changes, though his pizzicato fills provide a sharp contrast to Farrell's trills and columnar arpeggiattic meditations that come off as a cross between pastoral jazz classicism and Middle Eastern folk music. Finally, on the leader's own "November 6th," the stops are pulled out in a Latin jazz workout that invokes Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things," and Farrell digs deep into the tenor's middle register for a singing sound that brings to bear the Latin jazz howling of Gato Barbieri and the deep fire music of 'Trane, while being played through a gorgeously bluesy sophistication as the other players rally around and push through the tenor player's flights of near manic intensity. This is a stunner, an album that is at least as inspired as anything Farrell ever recorded, and perhaps more so.
:::Review by Thom Jurek:::

Joe Farrell - Outback (1971)

1. Outback (From The Motion Picture "Outback"), Composed By – J. Scott, 8:40
2. Sound Down, Composed By – G. Farrell, J. Farrell, 8:30
3. Bleeding Orchid, Composed By – C. Corea, 6:45
4. November 68th, Composed By – J. Farrell, 9:25

Bass – Buster Williams
Drums – Elvin Jones
Electric Piano – Chick Corea
Percussion – Airto Moreira
Saxophone [Soprano, Tenor], Flute, Flute [Alto, Piccolo] – Joe Farrell

:::Viva Boma:::

Posted: Monday, 9 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

With this second album, Cos still has half of Belgium laughing because of the artwork depicting Flemish grandmas. Although Loos was gone by this time, he is replaced by Marc Hollander (future Aksak Maboul) and Lonneux (ex-Recreation) takes the drum stool, but Dartsch still participates to the album. Then feeling is even more Canterbury-esque and the progression from the debut album is awesome. Marc Moulin (from the then-defunct Placebo) is the producer of the album and also contributes some killer Fender Rhodes on two tracks.
Opening electronic pulses will startle you if you were familiar with other Cos works, but this is a very brief moment, but another surprise awaits you on the following title track with its African percussions. Further Still (Nog Verder ) is a splendid slow Fender Rhodes-based track soon picking pace to end-up like a Weather Report-like funk. Boehme just funks along with sometimes-weird KB sounds startling you. The first side closes with the lenghty Flamboya, with Pascale Son making sweet love to Moulin's moog and Hollander's Rhodes, and soon the fuzzy keys send you flying across the channel to the Kent County. Clearly the first side's highlight, this track holds some of the best Wyatt-like scatting I have heard outside himself.
Son's opening Arabic influenced-vocals are a startling wake-up-and-pay-attention call especially when Schell pulls in one of those mystical Santana-like guitar solo just after it. The lenghty Idiot Leon is the cornerstone of the album with its fuzzy organ (David Sinclair-like) and weird quacking noises and a blistering Schell solo and wind instruments interventions. Closer Ixelles is a slow ode to the city where I was born some 13 years sooner and is probably my fave from the vinyl, but I can only be partial.
The four bonus tracks are excellent and great interest, especially a very different (and better) Nog Verder than the album version with its obvious Stella Vander-like vocals and Zeuhl-esque keyboards. A real touch of class!! But the other three were tracks that did not make the cut when the album was released. I can imagine how some choices can be painful.
The only regret I have is that Son's lyrics (actually Schell's) are not printed on the Musea first issue. As this album got a re-released from Musea in early 2006, one can hope that this will be amended. Nevermind the details, we are again looking at a splendid album that typifies the 70's Belgian scene much better than the mediocre Machiavel. Owning this album is one of the requisite to being a happy proghead and only the ones who do not know this cannot understand.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

CoS - Viva Boma (1976)

1. Perhaps next record (1:25)
2. Viva Boma (2:35)
3. Nog verder (4:32)
4. Boehme (3:17)
5. Flamboya (7:33)
6. In Lulu (4:08)
7. L'idiot Léon (10:48)
8. Ixelles (5:02)

Bonus tracks on CD release

9. Mon rebis (previously unreleased) (6:03)
10. Reine de la vallée (previously unreleased) (4:17)
11. Nog verder (demo version) (7:22)

- Pascale Son / vocals, oboe
- Alain Goutier / bass
- Daniel Schell / acoustic and electric guitars, alto and bass flutes, devices
- Guy Lonneux / drums
- Marc Hollander / keyboards, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, devices

- Bob Dartsch / drums, percussion
- Denis Van Hecke / cello
- Pipou, Jean-Louis Haesevoets / percussion
- Marc Mouli / Mini-Moog
- Roger Wollaert / drums
- Willy Masy or Jackey Mauer / drums, vocal improvisation

:::Chopin Impresje:::

Posted: Sunday, 8 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , ,

When in February 1993 Stanisław Sobóla of Polonia Records called me and offered cutting a record of Chopin music, I agreed to do so most readilly. But just as soon as I had hang up, panick took me over - Chopin a la jazz? Help me somebody!
Almost a year I hestitated before I got into the studio, since so much had taken to prepare myself mentally for the project. Mentally, which means not so much by way of practicing at the keyboard, as by thinking rather and careful listening to Chopin's music, as well as to some jazz pianists solo recordings. I felt that every concert I was playing during the period furthered me to the moment when I would sit at the piano and cut the record myself.
In the meantime Andrzej Jagodziński had recorded Chopin with his trio and I'd heard news about Benek Maseli fixing to do the same. It started getting crowded in the Chopin department anyway.
Finally the date was called for three days at the Warsaw's radio and TV studio at Woronicza Street. I invited the two greats - Stańko and Namysłowski - to join the session. It has all been a terrific experience and a fantastic lesson to me. I have discarded quite a few recorded pieces leaving only the most valuable in my opinion.
Generally speaking I wanted to stear clear of „remakes” of all sorts. Being an admirer of our great composer's genius myself, I knew that restyling Chopin „in a jazzy groove” would have been dealing trash and sacrilege. I tried to get out of his music things that I could use as a pretext for my own, personal playing. The Chopin's themes therefore often appear camouflaged, often marked rather than quoted. Whenever I was to quote Chopin - then I did it literally, after the original score.
The material includes two jazz standards: „My Secret Love”, where the left hand figure from Prelude in A flat major, adapted to the theme's harmony, has been employed in the accompaniment (the ending, however, is the original Chopin's prelude) and „Segments” by Charlie Parker, which - as far as harmony is concerned - strictly covers the opening of Etude in A minor Op. 25 Nr 4. You'll also discover quite a lot of easy playing, which is what I personally like the most, without holding on tight to an a priori settled harmony or from.Let me hope that you'll enjoy this record, those of you who know Chopin and love him as well as the jazzfans among you. I also hope that perhaps a few of the latter will find themselves motivated by it to get more familiar with his music.
Leszek Możdżer

P.S. My wholehearted thanks for Zbyszek Namysłowski and Tomasz Stańko. Also for my friends, especially Małgosia Rocławska for her invaluable help in making the record, Piotr Wojtasik for his good advices and my parents, to whom it is dedicated.
:::Review From original liner-notes 1994:::

Leszek Możdżer - Chopin Impresje (2005)

1. Mazurek C op. 24 nr 2
2. Nokturn F op. 15 nr 1
3. Etiuda Ges op. 25 nr 9
4. Nokturn G op. 15 Nr 3
5. Mazurek A op. 17 Nr 4
6. Preludium As Nr 26 (My Secret Love)
7. Preludium A nr 7
8. Etiuda A op. 25 Nr 4 (Segments)
9. Mazurek F. op. 68 Nr 3
10. Nokturn F op. 15 Nr 1 (2nd ver)
11. Nokturn Fis op. 48
12. Mazurek G op. 24

Leszek Możdżer - piano
Zbigniew Namysłowski - alto saxophone (12)
Tomasz Stańko - trumpet (10)

:::The Man Who Does Not Nod:::

Posted: Thursday, 5 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

I've seen a real avant-jazz band in Japan playing flexibly.
What a tensive and unequivocal but enjoyable and relaxed play they could give to us! Now the more and more I listen to the live work, the stronger and stronger my impression and amazement can be. At first listen to it! The sharp saxophone sounds can tell us all about the album.
Their music style is basically jazzy, funky, freaky, and free-formed one, with complex and improvisatory rhythm and play. Really...really we should be fallen into their battles with a saxophone, guitars, and percussion - especially the rhythm section can make all sounds twisted and sharp-edged but strict and steady...have the key role I consider! Indeed there are lots of 'big waves' with alternative beats (so difficult for the outfit to play, harmonize strictly and steadily), but on the stage they could build the songs up freely, naturally. Wanna say, you can't believe this work be of some of their live performances, can you? I'm sure this recording condition should be quite good with heavy and clear instrumental sounds and, on the other hand their skill of playing should be beyond expression. Their intention and purpose - they should kick the core or medulla of avant-jazz rock deeply into our brain - can move and blow us away without any stop.
Although we may not have notice this be a live album without applause between some songs, let me say that the audience should be an invisible (inaudible?) instrument and also the audience could make the songs with the band together. Otherwise, I guess this tension must not be born here.
Yes, this brilliant masterpiece could be born from the ground of the earth, without any artifacts or artifices.
:::Review by DamoXt7942:::

Tipographica - The Man Who Does Not Nod (1995)

1. Naked lunch (GOGO Version)
2. Tipographica's worst date
3. King's Golden Toilet
4. MC500 MC-500 in a ZEN room
5. The turf have disordered gravity
6. The man who does not nod
7. A smell of gunpowder, and a flavor of she

- Tsuneo Imahori / guitar
- Naruyoshi Kikuchi / saxophone
- Osamu Matsumoto / trombone
- Akira Minakami / keyboards
- Hiroaki Mizutani / bass
- Akira Sotoyama / drums


Posted: Wednesday, 4 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Excellent jazzy Krautrock
Rock session is another album consisting of material they recorded during sessions between 1971 and 1972. Actually the band was planning to release this stuff already in 1972. But their record company UA was not pleased by it, so they recorded first Father, Son & Holy Ghosts and the songs from these sessions have been used for this album here and Steig aus. The line-up is almost identical on these two albums, with the difference that Sigi Schwab was replacing Roman Bunka on guitar. But it's anything else than a bad album and rather a very interesting one who is deeply into typical jazz-rock in the Krautrock vein.
The opener A place to go is a very orientally influenced piece with marimbas, keys, electric guitar, percussion and very "kraut-ish" sounding vocals. Really great stuff and anyone loving this sub-genre will be fascinated by it. Entrances, the longest track is dominated by Schwab's excellent jazzy guitar before Hammond is taking over. The work of the rhythm section is as well just awesome. It's a highly jazzy piece on an album that is probably the most jazzy one of their three session records, no wonder since jazz pianist Mal Waldron was involved in three of the four tracks as a composer. In the last third of the track there is an excellent sax solo by Hofmann. This one is for sure the highlight of the album.
Second side of the record is the more relaxing and soaring one starting with Warm canto, a very soft and mellow track played on vibes, keys, violin and percussion plus electric guitar and piano by Waldron in its second half. Although being a rather quiet song in the beginning it's revealing a fascinating development in its course. Last one Dirge is starting as well with a highly soaring atmosphere with vibes, guitar and then violin and e-piano. As on the whole album the bass and drum work is again excellent. Also this song is developing after a while to a fascinating one.
As a SUMMARY this album might be in a way different from their excellent other ones like Father,Son... or Embryo's Rache, but nevertheless I would say it's an essential one by them and recommended to any lover of jazzy Krautrock.
:::Review by hdfisch:::

Embryo - Rocksession (1973)

1. A Place To Go (4:25)
2. Entrances (15:35)
3. Warm Canto (10:07)
4. Dirge (9:35)

- Christian Burchard / drums
- Jorg Evers / bass
- Edgar Hofmann / saxophone and violin
- Jimmy Jackson / organ
- Dave King / bass
- Siegfried Schwab / guitar
- Mal Waldron / electric piano

:::Almost Splendid:::

Posted: Tuesday, 3 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Four musicians, five instruments and countless inspirations from all over the world have brought about this quartet and their sound that is so hard to pin down to a genre. Is it avantgarde-jazz? Post-rock? Nu-jazz? Avant- pop? What you can be sure of is that with Jazzpospolita’s courage and conviction to push boundaries, whilst always respecting the traditions, they are always sure to head towards the unknown. Debuting in 2009, JAZZPOSPOLITA achieved great success in alternative music circles in Poland and toured extensively. They experienced a very positive reception to the release of their critically acclaimed EP, Almost Splendid, bringing about enviable comparisons to greats such as Cinematic Orchestra, Jaga Jazzist and Tortoise. Indeed, the opening track of the EP has been used on the brand new ‘Jazz Lounge Cinema 4’ compilation.

“Probably the finest polish nu-jazz stuff since Skalpel” – Michał Zagroba, PORCYS

“Surprisingly mature and of stunning composition - a figment of imagination" – Borys Dejnarowicz, PULP

“Difficult to categorize and compare to something, impossible to say: someone’s already played like that” – POLISZ MNIE
:::Review by www.myspace.com/jazzpospolita:::

Jazzpospolita - Almost Splendid (2010)

01. Laszló And Cousins
02. Fashion For Orient In The 70's
03. Oh!
04. Tribute To Aerobit
05. Polished Jazz
06. Insects
07. Looking Thru Ambient Breathing Thru Dub
08. Splendid
09. Sea,Panther,Shallow
10. Laszló And Sisters - Remix By Excessive Music Productions

Stefan Nowakowski - acoustic bass, bass guitar
Wojtek Oleksiak - drums
Michał Przerwa-Tetmajer - guitar
Michał Załęski - keyboards, synthetizers

:::Dark Magus Live:::

Posted: Monday, 2 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , ,

For those of you still looking for that ever elusive progressive rock album by Miles Davis, you have found it here. This is not jazz or jazz fusion, funk-rock or funky jazz, this is 100% psychedelic avant-garde hard rock totally devoid of any filler or useless by-products. On this album Miles writes out his old jazz credentials with a razor blade onto a jagged piece of metal, crumples it up and stuffs it down the throat of every critic who tried to tell him who he is and what kind of music he should play. If the jazz establishment thought Bitches Brew was tough, nothing could prepare them for this sonic onslaught. The best way to describe this album is equal parts Iggy Pop, Sun Ra, John Zorn, Stockhausen, MC5, Hendrix, Velvet Underground with John Cale and live King Crimson improvs.
I have always thought that Miles was heavily influenced by the early 70s Detroit rock scene during this phase of his career. The Detroit scene was particularly rough, as well as creative and featured bands like Iggy Pop and the Stooges, The MC5 and Funkadelic, long before Funkadelic gave up their psychedelic hard-rock roots to become a funk/dance band. These bands mixed hard proto-punk beats with bluesy funk and avant-garde noise and were light years ahead of many other American rock bands as far as the future of rock was oncerned.
Creative noisy hard rock is hardly the only influence on here. Dark Magus is similar to other 70s recordings by Miles in that he often breaks the beat down into free sections that are sometimes loud and busy, and other times quiet and ominous. These sections always show the usual Stockhausen and Sun Ra influences, but the difference on this record is that Miles has a bigger band and the sound collages are more dense and interesting. Some of my favorite moments happen when Mtume holds a cheap 70s drum machine up to the microphone and creates humanly impossible dense layers of rhythms while the other band members add electronic sounds and incidental percussion. There are some saxophone led hard funk-rock jams occaisonally, but these sections sound more like Crimson's Earthbound album or Band of Gypsys than 70s party music.
The star of this show is the incendiary avant-psychedelic guitar shaman Pete Cosey. Robert Fripp has referred to Cosey's guitar playing as 'wall paper shredding' and probably Fripp, and/or McLaughlin are the only guitarists I can think of that could possibly match this man's sonic outbursts. This isn't my personal favorite Miles album, but this is probably his best when it comes to creative avant-prog rock.
:::Review by Easy Money:::

Miles Davis - Dark Magus Live (1974)

01. Moja (Part 1) 12:28
02. Moja (Part 2) 12:40
03. Wili (Part 1) 14:20
04. Wili (Part 2) 10:44

01. Tatu (Part 1) 18:47
02. Tatu (Part 2) (''Calypso Frelimo'') 06:29
03. Nne (Part 1) (''Ife'') 15:19
04. Nne (Part 2) 10:11

Miles Davis - trumpet, organ
Dave Liebman - flute (2), soprano sax (1), tenor sax
Azar Lawrence - tenor sax
Reggie Lucas - guitar
Pete Cosey - guitar
Dominique Gaumont - guitar
Michael Henderson - electric bass
Al Foster - drums
Mtume - percussion

:::Seize The Rainbow:::

Posted: Sunday, 1 May 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

The follow-up to Sonny Sharrock's entirely solo comeback album, Guitar, Seize the Rainbow puts the guitarist at the helm of a rock-styled power trio featuring bassist Melvin Gibbs and Abe Speller and Pheeroan akLaff on drums (producer Bill Laswell also plays bass on one cut). The overall sound of the album is surprisingly straightforward, heavy metal-tinged jazz-rock, though the caliber and taste of the musicians makes it something far more than what rock guitar virtuosos of the period were recording. Still, there isn't too much way-out craziness, aside from some of Sharrock's trademark slide-guitar explorations on the spiritual title track and the riff-driven rockers "Dick Dogs" and "Sheraserhead's Hightop Sneakers." For the most part, Sharrock's playing on Seize the Rainbow is more concerned with melodic themes and traditional single-note solo lines than textural experiments. Fortunately, his tone is still gloriously skronky, and his playing is no less passionate. Bill Laswell's production is bright and immediate, and the rhythm section's agility breathes a spark into the straight-up rock rhythms they're often asked to play. Even if it isn't quite as evocative as the solo sound paintings of Guitar, Seize the Rainbow does place Sharrock's playing in one of its most accessible settings, and it's perhaps the best starting point for rock fans wondering what the fuss is about.
:::Review by Steve Huey:::

Sonny Sharrock - Seize The Rainbow (1987)

1. Dick Dogs 5:10
2. My Song 6:25
3. Fourteen 9:55
4. J.D. Shaa 5:37
5. Seize the Rainbow 4:32
6. The Past Adventures of Zydeco Honeycup 5:22
7. Sheraserhead's High-Top Sneakers 4:07

Bass – Melvin Gibbs
Co-producer – Bill Laswell
Drums – Abe Speller, Pheeroan Aklaff
Guitar – Sonny Sharrock
Mixed By – Robert Musso