Posted: Monday, 30 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,

This great Cuneiform album might just be the only recorded trace of SM ever being a quintet, down from a septet (as Nick Evans and Mark Charig both ex-Tippet boys had departed) before reducing to the quartet that will record the Third album (although Dobson will play a bit on it). These tapes are taken from a Jan 04, 1970 concert at Croydon just before one of their numerous tour de France and as opposed to a lot of live albums the quality of these recordings is excellent, probably thanks to Cuneiform even if they admit a bit of doodling about. Dobson still manages to make an impact on the others and is responsible for a scat/flute duo during Backwards. The repertoire they were playing by that time is lot closer to Third than the previous two albums of which only Hibou and We Did It Again are left (and greatly modified) as Wyatt was rather silent with the microphones. Even Moon In June bears no vocals, and the band was in top-notch form for a splendid night of semi improvised high-energy jazz-rock. This is maybe THE live album every SM fans was waiting for.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Soft Machine - Noisette (1970)

1. Eamonn Andrews (12:15)
2. Mousetrap (5:24)
3. Noisette (0:37)
4. Backwards (4:48)
5. Mousetrap(reprise) (0:26)
6. Hibou, Anemone And Bear (8:50)
7. Moon In June (6:55)
8. 12/8 Theme (11:25)
9. Esther's Nose Job (14:30)
10. We Did It Again (7:15)

- Elton Dean / alto sax , saxello
- Lyn Dobson / soprano sax, flute, vocals
- Hugh Hopper / bass
- Mike Ratledge / electric piano, organ
- Robert Wyatt / drums, vocals


Posted: Tuesday, 24 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , ,

Guitarist John Abercrombie was one of the stars of ECM in its early days. His playing on this trio set with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette is really beyond any simple categorization. Abercrombie's improvisations are sophisticated yet, because his sound is rockish and sometimes quite intense (particularly on the nearly 11-minute "Sorcery 1"), there is really no stylistic name for the music. Holland contributed four of the six originals while DeJohnette brought in the other two (one of which was co-written with Abercrombie). The interplay between the three musicians is quite impressive although listeners might find some of the music to be quite unsettling. It takes several listens for one to digest all that is going on, but it is worth the struggle.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette - Gateway (1975)

1. Back - Woods Song 7:51
2. Waiting 2:10
3. May Dance 11:01
4. Unshielded Desire 4:49
5. Jamala 4:47
6. Sorcery I 10:56

Bass – Dave Holland
Drums – Jack DeJohnette
Guitar – John Abercrombie

:::Open, to Love:::

Posted: Friday, 20 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Despite the fact that pianist and composer Paul Bley had been a renowned and innovative jazzman for nearly 20 years, 1973 saw the release of his most mature and visionary work, and one that to this day remains his opus. This is one of the most influential solo piano recordings in jazz history, and certainly one that defined the sound of the German label ECM. Consisting of seven tracks, five of which were composed by Carla Bley (his ex-wife) and Annette Peacock (soon to be his ex-wife), and two originals, Bley showcased his newfound penchant for the spatial pointillism and use of silence that came to define his mature work. In Carla Bley's "Ida Lupino," the pianist took the song's harmonics and unwound them from their source, deepening the blues elements, brushing the Errol Garnerish ostinato with pastoral shades and textures of timbral elegance, and reaching the tonic chords in the middle register just as he forced the improvisation just barely into the abstract with his right hand, percussively slipping in one or two extra notes to highlight the deep lyricism in the tune's body. On his own "Started," Bley illustrates brazenly the deep influences of the Second Viennese School on his sense of harmony and counterpoint. Recalling Arnold Schöenberg's solo piano pieces in their engagement of dissonance and glissando placement, it's still Bley playing jazz and improvising, vamping on his own theme while turning melody and timbre back on themselves for the purpose of complete tonal engagement in the middle register. And in Annette Peacock's "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway," which closes the album, Bley makes full use of an element he employs throughout the recording: space and its ability to create the notion of consonance or dissonance from the simplest of melodies. Here notes appear, related, but just barely, to one another in a more or less linear sequence, and Bley stretches that connection to the breaking point by using his sense of spatial relationship in harmony to silence. He elongates the tonal sustain and allows it to bleed into his next line just enough, as if it were a ghostlike trace of another melody, a another distant lyric, attempting to impose itself on the present one, though it had just since ceased to exist.
Ultimately, what Bley offers is jazz pianism as a new kind of aural poetics, one that treats the extension of the composer's line much as the poet treats the line as the extension of breath. Sheer brilliance.
:::Review by Thom Jurek:::

Paul Bley - Open, to Love (1972)

1. Closer 5:51
Composed By – Carla Bley
2. Ida Lupino 7:31
Composed By – Carla Bley
3. Started 5:13
Composed By – Paul Bley
4. Open, To Love 7:10
Composed By – Anette Peacock
5. Harlem 3:22
Composed By – Paul Bley
6. Seven 7:21
Composed By – Carla Bley
7. Nothing Ever Was, Anyway 6:02
Composed By – Anette Peacock

Artwork – Barbara Wojirsch
Engineer – Jan Erik Kongshaug
Photography By – Ib Skovgaard Petersen
Piano – Paul Bley
Producer – Manfred Eicher


Posted: Tuesday, 17 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , ,

Liner notes
The album you are holding was recorded in 2003 and its origins go back to a couple of days in July we spent together recording the soundtrack for the TV Theater show (Parasite, directed by Marcin Wrona). As long-time devoted fans of Andrzej Przybielski’s music, after having collaborated with him for a number of years, we remain constantly impressed by his working methods and the way he views life through the prism of improvisation. At the same time, we believe his music has never been fully presented. That is why we dared produce this disk and be his accompanying musicians during the recording sessions. Most of the music recorded here has been made with no previous rehearsals, preparations or agreements, which reflects Andrzej’s working methodology as well as his firm conviction that real music does not require declarations and if it is to come into being, it wilt do so without them – hence the comments made ad hoc in the studio right before recording a given track. In order to underline the rawness of this music we decided to record it using only three microphones, so that each instrument could fill the same portion of space and therefore be equally important as the other two. (Marcin & Bartlomiej Brat Oleś)

About the artists 
Trumpeter Andrzej Przybielski is a legend of Polish Jazz. Although he was probably the most recorded musician in history of Polish Jazz, during his life he has not recorded an album under his own name as a leader. He began performing on the cornet in 1960s, first playing traditional jazz in the band that included Zdzislaw Piernik and Jacek Bednarek. Since mid 60s he became fascinated with jazz avant-garde. In 1968 he was a winner of the first prize in two categories: as a soloist and as a composer, at the Jazz over Odra River Festival. He also won 2nd price in band category with a band called 'Trio Gdansk'. In 1969 he performed at 'Jazz Jamboree Festival' with Andrzej Kurylewicz's Formation of Contemporary Music. In the same year he performed at Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, and at Jazz Frankfurt composer's workshop in Darmstadt. Between 1969-1972 he was a regular member of Wanda Warska's 'Basement Club' band.
In 1972, at the Hybrydy Jazz Club, he cooperated with Helmut Nadolski, Wladyslaw Jagiello, and Andrzej Biezan creating first Polish cult free jazz band - Sesja 72. He partnered with Czeslaw Niemen for recording session of the legendary free-rock-fusion album 'Marionetki'. In 1970s he regularly performed in duo with bassist Helmut Nadolskim, and participated in variety of activities including poetry, recordings of music, theater and film. He also worked with a group SBB.
In the 1980's Przybielski was a leading figure in the blooming avant-garde movement that included Sesja 80, Free Cooperation, Acoustic Action and the Green Revolution. He partnered with Tomasz Stanko for a recording session of the legendary Witkacy-influenced Stanko's 'Peyotl' project. As freejazz-stef blogspot observed, Przybielski 'keeps his notes short, powerful, precise and implicitly rhythmic, with a sound as if he's playing in the same room as you and I, and in that respect almost the exact opposite of what his compatriot Tomasz Stanko does with the instrument'. Tomasz Stanko joked: '...from 'military' personal the one I admire the most is 'major' Andrzej Przybielski'. In this decade he also established his long-term cooperation with the theatre performer Piotr Dudzinski. He also cooperated with National Theatre (Teatr Narodowy), Performer Theatre from Zamosc, and with Scena Teatru Witkacego in Zakopane.
In the next decade (1990's) Przybielski found common language with the younger generation of musicians, including new wave in Polish Jaz: yass (Trupy, Maestro Trytony, Tymon Tymanski, NRD, Mazzoll & Arhythmic Perfection) as well as with rock bands (T-Love, Variete).
In 1997 he joined Tribute To Miles Orchestra, performing and recording with this super group and in many other configurations.
The new millennium was plentiful of various Przybielski's collaborations with all four generations of Polish Jazz scene, including recordings and concerts with Oles brothers, Sing Sing Penelope, Stanislaw Sojka, his own associations, and numerous performances in the larger (Holy Cross Orchestra) and chamber formations (duets, trios). Until the end of his life he has remained very active and creative, full of enthusiasm for the music, always ready for action, always open to all styles and genres.
Andrzej Przybielski passed away on February 9, 2011. His friend and long time collaborator, Wojtek Konikiewicz wrote in his remembrance: 'The memory of Andrzej Przybielski survives not only in music, but also numerous anecdotes and sayings, of which hundreds circulate in jazz environment. He was a man who lived modestly, without requesting privileges for himself, reflecting on his music entirely. Hiss passing is an irreparable loss for the Polish culture - left us the most outstanding Polish jazz trumpet player: a great artist, sensitive, warm and good man'.
Twin brothers Marcin and Bartlomiej Oles (Marcin - bass / Bartlomiej (Brat) - drums) are some the most unique and creative contemporary European musicians now. They are also an accomplished composers, producers and authors of theatrical and film music.
Their projects brake jazz stereotype of rhythmic section and prove that double bass and the drums are sufficient to create music so complete, full of energy and unusual sounds.
Oles brothers were born on the 4th of January 1973, In Sosnowiec (south of Poland) in musical family (father was a conductor). Since their first recording in 2000 they continuously compose, record and perform original music based on a jazz tradition.
Initially fascinated by jazz-rock and electronic music, in early 1990s their attention switched to acoustic jazz that resulted in creation of a formation Custom Quartet with repertoire consisted of jazz standards. After a year the band transformed into Custom Trio which played mainly music composed by Barlomiej. Custom Trio, with a line-up Krzysztof Kapel – sax, Marcin – double bass, Bartlomiej – drums, made its debut in 1999 with an album Mr. Nobody. One year later the group teamed up with legendary polish trumpet player Andrzej Przybielski and recorded their second album CT & Andrzej Przybielski Free Bop. The cooperation was concluded by an album Back Point in 2002.
In 2002 they worked together with Dionizy Piatkowski's festival Era Jazzu, at the international project, which expanded beyond jazz boundaries. The Contemporary Quintet was based on work of polish contemporary composers Grazyna Bacewicz, Witold Lutoslawki and Krzysztof Penderecki, played by German bass clarinet player Rudi Mahall, Romanian pianist Mircea Tiberian and American french horn player Mark Taylor.
Between 2001 and 2003 they cooperated with Mikolaj Trzaska, recording albums Danzinger Strassenmusik (with live street performance), Mikro Music, la Sketch up and Suite for trio + – with guest appearance French trumpet player Jean-Luc Cappozzo.
Marcin's double bass solo album examining, interpreting and saluting the work of Ornette Coleman (Ornette on bass) was released in 2003. Drum solo suite in 12 parts (FreeDrum Suite) by Bartlomiej followed in 2004.
In 2003 they established formation Oles | Jörgensmann | Oles with German clarinet virtuoso Theo Jörgensmann. The trio extensively performs and recorded number of albums for NotTwo, Fenomedia and Hat Hut labels.
In 2005 they invited Ken Vandermark into Michal Rosicki's Sonus Studio Lomianki, and together recorded album of free improvisations titled Ideas.
Their own label - Fenommedia Records, was formed together with Graphic Design Studio Fenommedia in 2005.
In 2007 a new project was created: Marcin & Bartlomiej Brat Oles Duo – one of the most original and unique in their career to date.
The first album by Duo was published in 2008 and new one is planned for 2011.
The music of Oles brothers is a sensation not only on Polish but also on international scale. Their limited to bare essential instrumentation keep their music in the center what has always been essential for jazz - rhythm. On the other hand, their music is composed to the much greater degree, and uses ideas and techniques closer to contemporary chamber music then jazz. Their improvisations are always engaging, their execution flawless. Their keep pushing boundaries of free and improvised music. 
:::Taken from www.polishjazz.com:::

I'm always on the look-out for new trumpet trios, and I found this great CD in the Polish Not Two catalogue, with Andrzej Przybielski on trumpet, Marcin Oles on bass and Bartlomiej Oles on drums. This is the kind of music I really enjoy : sober, creative, abstract without loosing the melody or the rhythm, improvized yet structured. I cannot sufficiently sing the praise of the Oles brothers, and I've done already done that in previous reviews, but Przybielski himself is also an superb musician. He keeps his notes short, powerful, precise and implicitly rhythmic, with a sound as if he's playing in the same room as you and I, and in that respect almost the exact opposite of what his compatriot Tomasz Stanko does with the instrument. Most pieces start with some instructions by the trumpet-player in Polish, and hence for me unfortunately impossible to understand, but according to the Oles brothers these are just part of his methodology : play the music as raw as possible, without rehearsing or clear agreements, yet some precise instructions at the beginning should suffice to get the music going. "Real music does not require declarations and if it is to come into being, it will do without them", says the comment in the liner notes. That's also the reason why the recording took place with only three mikes, one for each instrument (Jack DeJohnette should hear this : he uses five times as many only for his drumkit!). The result is a very direct, intimistic effect that fits perfectly with the compositions, which leave lots of open space, but also bring lots of warmth and musical tension, including a short ode to Don Cherry, with the aptly named title "Cherry", in which he borrows some pieces from Ornette Coleman's "Focus On Sanity". And the way in which the brothers Oles manage to complement the often unpredictable Przybielski, rhythmically, melodically and in terms of tone, is absolutely remarkable and half the fun. Great CD. Recommended. 
:::Review from freejazz-stef.blogspot:::

Andrzej Przybielski, Marcin Oleś, Bartłomiej Brat Oleś - Abstract (2003)

1. Openscat [04:44]
2. Ride [03:59]
3. Afroblue [04:25]
4. Skok [02:39]
5. Ballada [07:43]
6. Epitafium dla Jacka [06:31]
7. Cherry [05:00]
8. Afroblue II [04:14]
9. Final [04:10]

Andrzej Przybielski - trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet
Marcin Oleś - double bass
Bartłomiej Brat Oleś - drums, bells, gong

:::Zbigniew Namysłowski:::

Posted: Monday, 16 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

"We have known Zbigniew Namysłowski so far as a musician of a small ensemble. Indeed his groups had not for years exceeded the size of a quintet, and lately he has even been playing in a quartet. On this record, however, Namyslowski, by writing his pieces for quartet and orchestra, has created for himself and his remarkable colleagues a vast and colourful tonę background. The idea itself is not new; some major jazz and rock groups have been doing such recordings already. What's new in Namyslowski's approach is, I think the way he is treating here the orchestra. It is no longer restricted to play sweeping chords as merely a harmonic background. Being at once arranger and composer he has assigned the symphonic players an exacting task by writing for them the rhythmic patterns typical of contemporary jazz. And one must admit that they fulfil that task for the most part satisfactorily, thereby giving this recording an unusual expression and a refreshing quality of novelty. Julian Cannonball Adderley said on one occasion that Zbigniew Namyslowski was one of the greatest jazz musicians he had ever known. This recording, with its features of genius, made by Namyslowski on the twentieth anniversary of his activities, does confirm this opinion a hundred per cent."
:::Review from liner notes:::

Zbigniew Namysłowski (1977)

01. Pod dobrą godziną (At the Auspicious Hour)
02. Gdy zakwitnie miesiąc maj  (When May Is in  Flower)
03. Mango-boogie
04. Jasmine Flavoured
05. Upływ czasu (The Passage of Time)
06. Przejażdżka na UFO (Flight on an UFO)

Zbigniew Namysłowski Quartet:

Zbigniew Namysłowski  — alto saxophone,
Sławomir  Kulpowicz  —  piano,
Paweł Jarzębski  -  bass,
Janusz  Stefański  —  drums
Marek  Bliziński  —  guitar,
Józef Gawrych  —  percussion,
Wiesław  Kowalewski  —  percussion.

Orchestra conducted  by Zbigniew  Namysłowski.

Muza SX 1493

:::Spirit Sensitive:::

Posted: Friday, 6 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

Penguin's guide to jazz on CD correctly notes that Freeman was among the first of the avant-garde-leaning players who followed the "New Thing" wave of the '60s to fully embrace the need for tradition and structure. He was -- and remains -- fully capable of pushing the limits of his instrument , particularly on bass clarinet and tenor, but he's also a highly lyrical player and a superb interpreter of ballads. These qualities are strongly displayed in "Spirit Sensitive."
I have the original vinyl, which included six cuts, but I sprung for the CD reissue in order to get the four extra cuts, and it was worth it, particularly for two Coltrane originals Freeman performs (more on those in a minute.)
The album was recorded in 1979 when Freeman was in his 20s, so it's all the more surprising how gentle the sound on this release is, particularly if you are familiar with some of his fiery work from around this period with bassist Cecil McBee (who also appears here.)
From the opening "Autumn in New York" through "You Don't Have to Say You're Sorry," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Close to You Alone" and a superb reading of Horace Silver's "Peace," Freeman renders his material with care, staying close to melody and mood rather than technical showmanship.
Freeman best shows his power on interpretations of two Coltrane tunes, "Lonnie's Lament" and "Wise One." These were two of Coltrane's most introspective compositions and Chico retains their dark colors, but on "Lonnie's Lament," he turns loose on saxophone in a way that Coltrane himself did not on the original. It's a spirited and spirit-filled performance.
John Hicks' piano is a strong plus on "Spirit Sensitive," particularly on the ballads. His lyricism matches Freeman's and he is an attentive accompanist.
The half-star deduction comes about from the drumming. Billy Hart is obviously a fine drummer, but he didn't sound to me in top form on this album. Specifically, he plays a bit "busy" on the ballads; the two-song sequence of "Close to You Alone" and "It Never Entered My Mind" features superb interplay between Freeman and Hicks, but Billy fills up a lot of the space with more work than I thought was necessary, and it gets a little intrusive. By contrast, Don Moye appears on the last two cuts and fares much better, in my opinion, with molding his sound to the rest of the band's.
Although he is a restless spirit who occasionally records a date that doesn't quite connect, Freeman has continued to turn out fine work since this date. "Spirit Sensitive" is an important document of the development of a key modern jazz player.
:::Review by Tyler Smith:::

Chico Freeman - Spirit Sensitive (1979)

1. Autumn In New York 4:15
2. Peace 5:38
3. A Child Is Born 7:41
4. Lonnie's Lament 7:23
5. You Don't Have To Say You're Sorry 4:19
6. Wise One 6:59
7. It Never Entered My Mind 6:19
8. Close Tou You Alone 8:50
9. Carnival 7:35
10. Don't Get Around Much Anymore 4:19

Bass – Cecil McBee
Drums – Billy Hart, Don Moye (tracks: 9, 10)
Piano – John Hicks
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Chico Freeman
Vibraphone – Jay Hoggard (tracks: 9)

:::Gnu High:::

Posted: Thursday, 5 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

When Kenny Wheeler expatriated from his native Canada to England, it was not headline news. But upon the release of Gnu High, he became a contemporary jazz figure to be recognized, revered and admired. Playing the flugelhorn exclusively for this, his ECM label debut, Wheeler's mellifluous tones and wealth of ideas came to full fruition. Whether chosen in collaboration with label boss Manfred Eicher or by Wheeler alone, picking pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette was a stroke of genius.
They support the elongated and extended notions of Wheeler's in many real and important ways. What is also extant is a sense of self-indulgence, real for listeners with short attention spans. "Heyoke" is such a piece rife for this discussion at nearly 22 minutes.
This lilting waltz is at once atmospheric and soulful, a fairly fresh and inventive style turned more dramatic near the finish of this magnum opus. It's all fueled by the reinvented swing of DeJohnette. Jarrett's vocal whining is kept in check, as his pretty pianistics buoy Wheeler's notions in Zen inspired time and eventually no time improvisations. "Gnu Suite" is similarly rendered in an unforced 4/4 rhythm, but Wheeler is more animated. There's a plus-plus solo from Holland before the group merges into a floating and flowing discourse again in free time. The special track is "Smatter" and at just under six minutes works better, not only for radio airplay, but also in its concise melodic construct by means of the regal and happy persona Wheeler portrays. Pure melody and a repeated anchoring seven-note phrase insert sets this tune apart from the rest. It also clearly identifies the warm and cool stance only Wheeler wields, making seemingly simple music deep and profound. Certainly this was an auspicious starting point, albeit long winded, for a magical performer whose sound and smarts captured the imagination of so many fellow musicians and listeners from this point onward.
:::Review by Michael G. Nastos:::
Kenny Wheeler - Gnu High (1976)

1. Heyoke 21:49
2. 'Smatter 5:58
3. Gnu Suite 12:49

Bass – Dave Holland
Drums – Jack DeJohnette
Flugelhorn, Written-By – Kenny Wheeler
Piano – Keith Jarrett


Posted: Tuesday, 3 April 2012 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,

This experimental big band was lead by Gunnar Lindqvist and featured a huge cast of improvising musicians. Among jazz stars like Bernt Rosengren and Maffy Falay? we also find prominent Movement musicians like Ove Karlsson, Torsten Eckerman, Roland Keijser, Bosse Skoglund, Bengt Berger (all five of whom were in Arbete & Fritid)., Allan Olsson and Sune Spangerberg (both of Iskra) and Gunnar Bergsten (Flasket Brinner). The influence of G.L. Unit showed up in the music of later groups like Forkladd Gud, Lokomotiv Konkret and Iskra. Gunnar Lindqvist were also the producer for EMI acts Solar Plexus, Panta Rei, Energy and Storm.
:::Taken from Tobias Petterson's & Ulf Henningsson's "The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979" (c) 2007:::

GL Unit - Orangutang! (1970)

A1. Waves 5:35
A2. Experience X 6:25
A3. Orangutang 7:00
B1. Freedom - Equality - Brotherhood 16:06


Track 1,2 & 3
Peter Hennix, Torsten Eckerman, trumpet
Roland Keijser, clarinet
Alponso Dantzler, alto saxophone
Göran Freese, alto saxophone, flute
Gunnar Lindqvist, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano
Rune Stålspets, tenor & soprano saxophone, flute
Allan Olsson, baritone saxophone, flute
Åke Holmqvist, melodica, recorder
Allan Wajda, piano, recorder
Kjell Norlén, guitar,
Ivar Lindell, Göran Oskarsson, bass
Bampe Karlsson, Bosse Skoglund, drums (1,2)
Bengt "Frippe" Nordström, alto saxophone (2),
Sune Spångberg, drums (3)

Track 4
Peter Hennix, Maffy Falay, Torsten Eckerman, Lalle Svensson, trumpet
Bo Lindenstrand, alto saxophone
Gunnar Lindqvist, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet
Roland Keijser, Tommy Koverhult, tenor saxophone, flute
Bernt Rosengren, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet, oboe
Bengt "Frippe" Nordström, tenor saxophone
Gunnar Bergsten, Göran Freese, baritone saxophone
Allan Olsson, baritone saxophone,,flute
Ove Karlsson, Mats Hagström, cello
Björn Alke, bass, cello
Lennart Sandsjö, bass
Bampe Karlsson, Sven-Åke Johansson, Gunnar Nyberg, Bengt Berger, drums
Peter Smoliansky, bongos

All music composed by G.Lindqvist.
Track 1 - 3 recorded at Stockholmsterassen on March 19, 1969.
Track 4 recorded at EMI Studio, Stockholm on March 22, 1970.