Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Back by popular demand #2



Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land.
Recorded live in Hamburg, Germany 1969/1970.

Been saving the best till last, with this Dynamite set from Bobby Hutcherson.
Four tracks from 2 different dates. Infomation for these is a little hard to come by, with the pianists changing from Hal Galper on the '69 set, to Stanley Cowell on the 1970 set.

Oleo 11:58
Four 10:39
Recorded 5th May 1969.

Same Shame/Blow up 36:00
Oleo 7:17
Recorded 19th August 1970.

The recording is not as polished as the previous Hutcherson posts, and for me, all the better for it. Needless to say, all 4 tracks are incredible, but you need to hear Same Shame. 36 Minutes of of pure jazz heaven.

Forgot to mention, the excellent artwork is by that man Greg again.

Stone Cold, Solid Gold!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Back by popular demand #1


Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land.
Recorded live at the Jaun les Pins Jazz Festival, Antibes, 26th July 1969.

Same Shame
Spiral
The Peacemaker

Not just rare, impossible to find!
Another top notch Cover design from Greg
Thanks as ever.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Arthur Verocai : Killer track


Authur Verocai S/T from 1972

What an album, what a tune !!!!
Sylvia
Info and Bio @

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Wayne Shorter (Bomb!)


De Pois do Amor, O Vazio (After Love, Emptiness)

Taken from Odyssey of Iska.
Blue Note King GXK 8080 (Japanese Press)

Recorded at A&R Studios, New York, 26th August 1970.
Produced by Duke Pearson.

Quite possibly, my all time favourite track. Eleven and a half minutes of pure heaven from an incredible line-up. The whole album is breathtaking, with both Ron Carter and Cecil McBee on basses, Dave Friedman on vibes, Gene Bertoncini guitar plus more. But, and from the liner notes "The three percussionists also were delegated to special roles. The regular drum part was played by by Al Mouzon, whose celebration of life brings De Pois do Amor, O Vazio to a mind-shaking climax."

If you've never heard this .... well.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Jazz in the Classroom #2



Another beautiful track lifted from this pretty rare private press album out of Boston from 1972. It's called Events and features Salvatore Spicola on tenor.

From the liner notes;

Events finds Sal Spicola, tenor sax, offering both the original melody and the jazz solo. The melodic foundation for this piece comes from the simple intervallic relationship of: down a 4th, then, up a 2nd; and is heard throughout. The rubato section with Richie Caruso, soprano sax, and Al Ulanowsky, piano, demonstrates Jack's (Jaxon Stock) gentle side.

Heaven

Friday, 18 November 2011

Worlds : As Time Flows On.



Worlds : As Time Flows On.
World Production Label, J-World-BSE-2.
Recorded in Boston, February 1977.
Released Roxbury, Massachusetts 1980.

The follow up to the ultra rare World's Experience Orchestra-The beginning of a new birth lp (World Productions BSE-1) This features a smaller line-up than the previous album, with Roy Hall (vocalist/percussionist) being the only musician added to the group.

For my part, this one takes a few listens following the expectations of the first killer album release. However, it's a fine album which grows with time, or as time flows on . . . .

01 : Rain
02 : 9 Degrees Black Women Liberation
03 : Black Woman
04 : To do nothing is to move backwards
05 : It's all in the mind

Super rare spiritual jazz.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Dizzy Gillespie : Video



Another supreme and super rare video from "that" secret source. Supported by Mike Longo, Red Mitchell and David Lee and recorded in France in 1970. Audio-visual loveliness abounds ...

Show the man some love and drop a comment by.

Special

Thursday, 20 October 2011

John Coltrane



John Coltrane : Transition
Impulse

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studios, June 1965.

To serve as a brief distraction from the constant pursuit of the ultimate spiritual jazz, privately pressed holy grails, possibly my personal favourite Coltrane gears. Surely the inspiration for all the spiritual offerings to follow. Powerful, beautiful perfection from the Master with McCoy, Jimmy and Elvin at their heights.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Joe Marillo Quartet :1978


Affectionately known around town as the “Godfather of Jazz,” Joe Marillo has made his living for the past 29 years playing and teaching jazz in San Diego, a city that challenges the arts at every turn. Leading a life devoted to jazz is an impressive feat, especially so in the context of a place that, for example, allowed its symphony orchestra to disband without even a firm plan for its rebirth. In this city, jazz venues appear and quickly disappear, excellent jazz musicians get discouraged and move away, and jazz stars live in the area for the weather, but most often perform in other cities, countries, and continents.

Joe Marillo, described to me personally as a “genius” by another musician/teacher, excels on tenor saxophone as a master of improvisation. He travels between mainstream, bebop, ballads, and funky blues with ease, his haunting tone expressing his soul through the medium of his beloved jazz. In addition to the tenor, he plays alto saxophone, flute, and piano; he sings and composes as well.

Joe estimates that he has taught over 500 students over the years, with lessons in improvisation on the tenor and alto saxophones, flute, piano, bass, guitar, and voice. In addition to his teaching, Joe is compiling a book that presents his original method for playing jazz piano for the novice. Presently, his students range in age from 6 to 87. He continually acquires new students (mostly by word of mouth), and former students frequently call and visit. A tremendous love is evident between Joe and his students (and often their families as well).

Joe is unique in many ways. The first is the sheer beauty of the music he creates, with his inventive improvisation, his rich tone, and his inspired interplay with other musicians. As a leader of countless groups, he soars when playing with others of his calibre, yet is patient with the many beginning or less-experienced musicians he hires or invites to sit in. The second is Joe’s lack of ego involvement in the making of music. His generosity and non-competitive disposition lead him to share his substantial knowledge and experience with everyone. To Joe, the music is what is important; music politics and personality advancement do not interest him. The third quality is that of Joe’s devotion to bringing jazz to San Diego. In addition to his teaching, playing gigs, and serving as a jazz DJ, Joe founded the San Diego Society for the Preservation of Jazz, a non-profit organization designed to support the hiring of nationally known jazz artists. Serving as a booking agent, Joe hired and sat in with such notables as Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, and Sonny Stitt. Noting the success of the program, management of the venue, a local hotel, dismissed Joe, tried to continue the program itself, and not surprisingly caused the program’s quick demise, as the hotel personnel “lacked Joe’s personal touch,” according to a newspaper account which named him its “Only the Strong Survive” award winner. Through the Society, funds were raised to purchase guitars for San Diego schoolchildren, whose music programs continue to dwindle.

Joe Marillo has received a number of honors in his career, but the one he is most proud of was awarded to him by the NAACP for his efforts in hiring African-American musicians. Joe is well aware of the origins of jazz and the debt owed to those who went before, including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker, some of his personal heroes.

Despite incredibly positive feedback from others-”musicians and fans alike” he remains modest about his gifts. Stan Getz’s son Steve (a friend and admirer) booked Joe’s quartet into the jazz festival at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in the summer of 1997. After the concert the festival organizer told Joe that their performance was one of the best that the festival had experienced in its 12 years of featuring national and international stars. The audience, which had remained from the heat of the afternoon to the very cool of the evening, was equally enthusiastic, with many concertgoers of all ages dancing to the last selection, a wild rendition of Dizzy Gillespie’s “School Days,”with Joe on vocals.

Although Joe no longer plays the saxophone while swinging on a trapeze (as he did nightly in his younger days in Atlantic City), he has retained his robust sense of humor and an amazing level of vitality in his playing, studying, and teaching. When asked why this is so, he credits the fact that he is doing what he loves. Despite advice from others to broaden his base and play other types of music, Joe’s understanding of his true nature has led him to avoid non-jazz situations because of their draining effect on him.

As a jazz enthusiast since 1955, I had virtually given up on finding great live jazz in San Diego, where the commercial “jazz” radio station formerly boasted “Jazz for People Who Don’t Like Jazz.” When fate, in the form of a longtime friend and jazz fan, led me to hear Joe perform one night, I marveled at his playing, which is the equal of the best jazz performers anywhere.

Joe’s playing of original compositions and standards on his four recent CDs reflect the distillation of his life experience into sound that reflects his respect for the masters, his love of jazz, his musicality, and his celebration of the life of the spirit. Joe Marillo was called by one writer “the city’s best jazz musician;” as such, his music deserves the maximum exposure possible.

Darcy Abrahams, San Diego, 1998/2000/2003

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Heaven



Have fallen head over heals in love with this in a big way. Here's 2 choice examples of percussion perfection from the coolest jazz-cats ever.

Attention : Call and response.
Jihad Es Mort.


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Bobby Hutcherson : More live!


Bobby Hutcherson and Herbie Hancock live!

Super rare gears abound!! Big 18 minute plus version of Wayne Shorter's Footprints plus a long, but super tight Little B's Poem. There's an interview with Bobby Hutcherson in there as well.

Sublime

Monday, 29 August 2011

Musicians from the Summer Program for Youthful Musicians



Brougham.
Lightin' Records written by Reginald Hall, produced by Bubbha Thomas.

Lifted from the Gilles Peterson comp, Digs America 2. Big ticket item, posted for Eric the Viking.

From the liner notes;
This ultra rare slice of psychedelic soul jazz business, was recorded in either 1973 (or 74, Thomas was not exactly sure) and released on 7" single only in almost non-existent quantities on the Lightin' Records label. Since the early 1970's, at the Summer Jazz Workshop, Thomas and a dedicated staff of seasoned musicians offer students from all over the world the opportunity to learn the rudiments of jazz. The workshop has been credited with producing professional educators, and musicians and individuals from over 8000 teenagers including notables like Joe Carmouche, Jason Moran, Brandon Lee, Horace A Young, Frank Lacy and Eric Harland.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Roy Brooks and the Improvisational Sphere




Roy Brooks and the Improvisational Sphere.

Recorded live with:

Ray Mantilla
Claudine Myers.

Special

Monday, 8 August 2011

Toshiko Mariano Quartet



Toshiko Mariano Quartet.
Little "T"

One of the most beautiful pieces of music you'll ever hear. Picked this up in California for peanuts.
Heaven.

For all the romanticism of the theme, the playing is virile and often shoutingly joyful. Little T was written by Charlie some six weeks before this recording and was dedicated to his wife. As in serveral pieces by Miles Davis and Bill Evans, the piece is developed modally, thereby allowing for freer melodic development in the long improvised passages. Actually, it can be called polymodal since several modes can be played on the scale that is it's core. Toshiko, the scholar of the two, terms that scale an E Mixolydian harmonized as an A Dorian scale. Charlie simply refers to it as a G scale (the Mixolydian mode consists of the white noteson the piano from G to G) It begins with a yearning theme, played rubato, first by Charlie who is soon joined bowed bass and is followed by Toshiko. The jazz choruses then begin in tempo. The tune goes out in reverse. After the melody is restated, Toshiko plays a rubato epilogue and the tune ends with Mariano and Cherico. Throughout , as in the album as a whole, the quartet plays with a flowing organic wholeness of feeling and time out of which come Mariano's penetrating solos with their pervasive "cry" of jazz and Toshiko's burningly intense, complementary improvisations.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Andre Ceccarelli




Andre Ceccarelli : Rhytmes.
De Wolfe.

1976

Been meaning to post this track ever since G.Raf lent me some of his vinyl a couple of months back now. Tucked away amongst some fairly mundane numbers of a Russ Dewbury compilation called jazz bizniz, was this absolute gem. The whole album is out there in the websphere, but here's the pick of this library lp containing approx 30 short breaks.

Gang Progress ....

If this baby doesn't move you, you got no soul !


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Bobby Hutcherson : Video



Bobby Hutcherson : Herzog (video)

Super rare footage of the "MAN" supported by Stanley Cowell, Joe Chambers and Harold Land. It's all here in beautiful monochrome loveliness, complete with Bobby sporting the killer neckerchief ! The year looks around 1970, maybe earlier, and this one's super cool. Land drops a heavy tone but Hutcherson's solo soars. The finest film of Hutch i've ever come across and secretly supplied by someone who wishes to remain nameless. Thanks must abound, there's more in the pipeline ... killer, KILLER GEARS !!!!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Eric Hochberg & Andy Potter




Eric Hochberg and Andy Potter.
World Thing.

Recorded at Acme Studios, Chicago 1976.
HoPo HP111 Records.

The utterly beautiful title track from this fairly obscure private press album from Chicago. All the artwork with all the listings information is over at Justjazzart. Think Ensemble Al-Salaam with a touch more soul ...

Real sweet

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Woody Shaw (live!) at last




Woody Shaw live.
Recorded in 1977

with;
Carter Jefferson, Larry Willis, Stafford James, Victor Lewis.

2 of my all-time favourite Woody Shaw tunes, fully extended and live. Love Dance and Why which is taken from the Muse lp, The Rise of Atlantis by Carter Jefferson.

Dig the super long artwork!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Don Rendell Five



Don Rendell Five : SET 2
Recorded live at the Woolwich Public Hall, 18th June 1979 Greenwich Festival.

This was a complete surprise to me. The cover art, the year, the location all seem to suggest a fairly safe, straight maybe even mediocre live set. How wrong i was!. This one's right up there with Space Walk imo, and could pass for an early 70's west coast session. Assisted by Alan Wakeman on tenor, Pete Saberton keys, Paul Bridge bass and Trevor Tomkins on drums.

Picked this one up in the record store formerly known as Berigans in Berkeley CA and owned by the very knowledgeable Rick Ballard. Be warned, if you decide to drop by, there's some seriously tempting big ticket items hidden away in there.

Becclesology.
To appease any irate Beccles citizens, any connection between the Suffolk town and the music is unintended bar the fact that it was there that the piece was written - in 1976. Alan Wakeman solos first.

Monday, 27 June 2011

(some) Bobby Hutcherson


Bobby Hutcherson : Live 1977.
Now!

If you've ever been here before, the chances are you'll know that i'm an obsessive fan of Bobby Hutcherson. The guy has never put a foot wrong, and has the touch, and finesse, class and style of a pure genius. Never more so was this evident, than on the album, Blue Note Meets the L.A Philharmonic. Arranged by Dale Oehler, responsible for among others, the killer album Waiting, and includes all the players from that gem. Eddie Marshall, Manny Boyd, Bobbye Porter Hall, George Cables and James Leary who wrote my all time favourite track, Prime Thought.

These 4 live tracks are all sublime, but for me, Bobby's solo in Slow Change, is simply prefect. If you've never heard these, go get it, now!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Elysian Spring



Super rare, and of holy grail proportions, here is Glass Flowers. Beautifully remastered and digitized for enhanced sonic pleasures.

Wise words from Re-release :

The history of Elysian Spring is as eclectic and unusual as the music they made. When the summer of love was gripping the west coast, the group was busy creating a sound based on pure improvisation. The members were inspired by the classic jazz of Brubeck and Adderley, and also sound of early new age music from Rainer’s trip to Berkeley. They quite literally would practice in the fields in Western MA. This openness helped the group evolve while keeping it separate from the frequently stale and clinical school-based jazz in the surrounding.

The original liner notes by Andy Haigh are striking in their honesty. Like good jazz, they ask more questions than they give solid answers. For the sound of Elysian Spring is in questioning, considering, and evaluating possibilities. This must be a meaningful album, because nearly 40 years later the music is still startlingly fresh.


Trickles of classic Blue Note bop can be heard throughout “Glass Flowers – a solid-grooving soul-jazz feel predominates “2 & 2” – but overall the album is full of the kind of deft choices that only happen when musicians give themselves over to improvisation. This experimentation is most papable on the Gilles Peterson favorite “Blue Sands,” a modal song in 4/4. The theme is carried by the guitar in an unusual way for the late 60s, and is the audio equivalent of a soothing balm.


“Lotus” is another song that stands out for its unusual instrumentation of two flutes. To achieve the tones he desired, Bertrams frequently disassembled his flute mid-performance and used his hand as an extension of the instrument. This track is to be included on a recent compilation on BBE Records called Super Heavy Jazz, but the only place to get the full album is right here.


Musicians


Rainer Bertrams – Piano, vibraphone, flute

Bruce Krasin – Saxophone, flute

Lenny Ezbicki – Drums, guitar

Jim Bridges – Guitar, bass


Merliani – Trumpet/flugelhorn, bass

Costello – Guitar on “7th Sea”


Notes


The self-titled album was here retitled “Glass Flowers” by Rainer Bertrams to more accurately reflect the music’s true nature.

Engineered by Art McLain

Recorded by John Wojciak

Photos by Ric Steliga


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Graham Collier Sextet




Graham Collier : Bass
Harry Beckett : Flugelhorn
Stan Sulzmann : Alto Tenor
Nick Evans : Trombone
Karl Jenkins : Oboe and Piano
John Marshall : Drums

Recorded in London March 1969.

A total stormer.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Wendell Harrison



Wendell Harrison & the Clarinet Ensemble.
Rush and Hustle. Wenha.

Another artist that can do no wrong in my book. This beautiful tune is lifted from the the Cd Rush and Hustle and is titled Pamela's Holiday.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Gil Scott Heron. RIP



A fitting tribute has been compiled by Blackclassical.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Thom Mason



Thom Mason : Be Do Have.
Affinity Records. 1980.

Properly rare private press business from Thom Mason. The whole thing is all killer no filler as Bacoso might say. Here's the title track, let me know if this rocks your world as well as mine.



Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Elephant Trot Dance


The Elephant Trot Dance.
Nilva Records.
NQ3404.

Recorded at Minot Studios, White Plains, NY 18th June 1975.
(Tracks 1 and 5)

Recorded at Platinum Factory, Brooklyn, NY 8th March 1979.
(Tracks 2, 3 and 4)

1 : The Elephant Trot Dance
2 : Sweet Eve
3 : Sunset in Venus
4 : Malcolm, the Call
5 : Libra

Re-upped by Request

Monday, 16 May 2011

Jazz in the Classroom. Volume XIII



Jazz in the Classroom Volume XIII.
featuring the works of Jaxon Stock and Hal Crook.

Berklee Press Publications.
Recorded 1973.

This is such a beautiful album.

Snaggin' Song:
Hal Crook trombone, is show cased on this gently driving , medium tempo chart. The use of the Db Aeolian Mode, the straight eighth rhythm, plus the subtle drone quality of the back up, combine to give a hint of "eastern" flavor.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Killer Duke


Mad, the comments have just disappeared. Can't remember what i wrote now. Basically, these 2 tracks were lifted from an album entitled Pacific jazz. Foosh is a killer funky tune that imo would not have looked out of place on the excellent Inner Source lp. (MPS) Heavy support from Dick Berg on drums and John Heard on bass who steps up with a super tasty solo. The second track is called Adonis and sounds more like an early blue note session. The liner notes describe these tracks as previously unreleased, so theres a chance you may not have heard these. This version of Foosh is quite different and better to the one found on The Aura will Prevail also on MPS. Addictive.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

David Hurley



David Hurley.
Outer Nebula Inner Nebula.
Porter

David Hurley Interview

Interview by: M. William Pino SPEAKS OUT HIS MIND!

It started with an advertisement for Porter Records in an issue of Waxpoetics. Along with recordings by older greats like Byard Lancaster and Rashid Ali, Porter advertised a CD by drummer David Hurley. I was intrigued and ordered a copy. I’m glad I did, as Outer Nebula Inner Nebula is a really cool CD, full of great, percussive improvised group music and spacey solo pieces by Hurley. It’s a fun listen. I really enjoy the way Hurley plays within an improvising group, and wanted to ask him a few questions about his influences, his processes, and what his plans for the near future are. Thankfully, he agreed to do a short interview. Read on and be inspired!

You are based in San Diego. Is this the area that you grew up in?

Yes! Born and raised and at the moment based in SD.

What were some of your formative musical experiences?

Having the chance to see Ornette Coleman still bring it at age 78… He really impressed me.

As a musician I’d have to say playing (sax and traps) on the streets or “busking” if you will… I can honestly say this has made me a stronger and more conscious musician. Playing down town on the busy street corner, I find myself in a position where I’m able to freely bounce ideas off an unsuspecting audience, which naturally reflects consistent honest (sometimes too honest) feedback. After doing this for a few years I’ve found it has greatly helped me as a creative improviser to be comfortable and confident improvising freely while keeping the ball rolling and thus keeping things interesting. You start to be aware of things like attention spans as you play off of your audience… When you have one. The club situation offers this but not nearly as raw and intense as the streets. It’s much easier to consciously or subconsciously disconnect yourself from the audience on stage and in the comfort of a venue.

I get formative musical experiences off youtube all the time.

Most recently I had the opportunity to record and play music with Elliott Levin. It was an amazing experience thanks to Luke at Porter Records. To be connected by some thin branch in the same jazz family tree as Cecil Taylor and so many other great players is an indescribable feeling.

On Outer Nebula Inner Nebula you play horns, flutes, and keys along with percussion. Did you play in school bands, church bands, etc? How about teenage years? Did you play in Punk or garage bands?

Never played in school “band” bands. I started playing drums in a punk band at age 16 in high school. Punk is and always will be at my roots. The interest in other instruments came partially natural. I try to think in melody and colors with rhythms. I do remember someone explaining to me early on that if I wanted to be a great drummer I should learn other instruments. I took that to heart.

You also play a lot of percussion from various parts of the world. Have you played in any kind of ensembles, e.g. a Gamelan or Taiko group?

I wish!!! The closest Gamelan ensemble I know of is at UCLA. I’ve always wanted look into it. My Gamelan instrumentation came about with a good run on ebay with some pot-gongs and hours of youtubing/listening to Balinese Gamelan and Ketjak. I obsessively listen to world music for inspiration. Just recently I spent some time in Cuba studying conga drums.

Did you take trap lessons? Any teachers/elders that had a great effect on you in your personal life?

I didn’t take lessons for the traps. I often wish I did… About the time I discovered Elvin Jones’s magical drumming I was really into Fugazi’s drummer Brendan Canty and music of that genre. Elvin stumped me. I knew if I just listened hard enough I’d understand. That’s how Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, and Christian Vander worked their way into my head. Not to mention a huge appreciation for all of their music.

You dedicate Outer Nebula Inner Nebula to Elvin Jones. Clearly you have a high amount of reverence for him and his music. Can you talk about this, or any other great musicians from history that inspire you?

Well, Elvin has this enormous heart and soul that emanates from his drumming. He is one of the most honest drummers I have ever heard. You can actually hear him feel the music and lift it up on his shoulders. He was a reflection of Coltrane and vice versa which made him even stronger during the time of that synergy. He completely absorbed the moment! Other great drummers are takers of the moment like Tony (who I love). Tony was a lot of flash and talent. But I always come back to Elvin. Christian Vander is just straight up entertaining… Elvin on acid and steroids . I love the way Christian looks with his iced over eyes rolled up in his head behind his Gretsch bebop spaceship… A huge inspiration!

Were improvised music or Jazz styles that you heard in your house as a child?

No! My mom did listen to Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson when she was my age. Sadly her LPs were long gone by the time she had me. Jazz and Improvised music came much later.

The ensembles on Outer Nebula Inner Nebula feature a lot of percussion and not too much of the more traditional instrumentation. What were some of the factors that lead you to organize groups like this?

I wanted a sense of balance between the sounds and instrumentation. Percussion is a given, however, I specifically chose the djimbe and djun djun to provide the high highs and low lows so the alto and the drums (two mid range instruments) could weave in and out freely and comfortably. It takes a lot of consideration to make a group or ensemble really work. Also I’m fortunate to make music with such talented musicians.

Can you talk a bit about the members of the ensembles on Outer Nebula Inner Nebula? Are these men all part of and improvised music scene in the San Diego area? Do you play in any of their groups?

Leonard Mack and I are cousins and grew up together. The funny thing is we both found the drums independently of each other. He is a member of a folkloric African drum and dance ensemble with Ousmane Toure. The Nebula sessions are only the second time we had played together. I felt an intense visceral/familial connection to his drumming, which I feel came across nicely on the album. Preston Swirnoff is a close friend and multi-talented producer of dub, psych and experimental music. We have worked on several projects together over the years. Most notably Seesaw Ensemble and Habitat Sound System. Brian Ellis is one of my musical heroes. He makes anything he picks up sound good. I don’t think he had that violin more than a week before he recorded solar wind drone. He is the lead guitarist in ASTRA, a psychedelic neo-prog group I am honored to be a part of. Google or youtube him… He’s making an impressive mark. Zuri Waters is foremost an artist and was my faithful street companion and horn player in Seesaw Ensemble. Needless to say we know how to listen to each other very well in an improvised situation. He’s now studying art at RISD.

One of the things that I love about the CD is the way in which you leave lots of space in your playing. Can you talk a bit about your approach to percussion/trap set playing within an improvising group?

If you can listen harder than you are playing you can count on being in a good place to make music interesting.
Studying congas has given me a new sensitivity to the traps. Sometimes I’d rather be playing them with my hands (sometimes I do). On the album the drums almost gel like some sort of swinging language at the best moments, which created a more African vibe than a jazz vibe. I kept from riding the cymbals too much which also helped the drum set become more African.

Outer Nebula Inner Nebula features four tracks that are solo pieces. How do you go about with this process?

Hard to say… Cosmic Moon March was actually the first song I recorded for the album and coincidentally the first thing I ever recorded with my computer in my living room all by lonesome. Funny how it’s also one of my favorite songs on the album. When I was researching mics and preamps I wanted to have just enough to make a “Van Gelder” style recording using dynamic mic and focusing on placement to absorb the room sounds. I haven’t quite mastered this yet!!! With the tracked songs I approached the music as if it were improvised. Making a simple rhythm or bass line, which inspired the next rhythm or sound and eventually it would take shape and I’d know where it was going and how I wanted it to get there. I have a house full of collected musical instruments from all over at my disposal. Sometimes I just set them all up and try to find the best combinations of sounds and rhythm.

The track Solar Wind Drone is quite intriguing to me. It’s under a minute long, but there sounds like so much is going on within it. If you’d like to, please describe the process of composing/recording this amazing piece.

Ha, it actually was part (the very end) of a much longer piece, which I liked very much. My computer farted and most of the songs tracks were lost in a spit second. When the album was nearly finished I had this thought of using some of Ellis’s violin and my moog from the remaining tracks and thus Solar Wind Drone was reincarnated… This time as a forty second vamp. It works in so many ways in contrast with the rest of the album and with the order of the songs as a bridge from one style of recording to another. I’m glad you like it.

What kind of drum set did you use on Outer Nebula Inner Nebula? How about cymbals?

It was custom made for me by Hard Bop Drums out of Arizona. My graduation present to myself. I use Zildjan K Constantinople hi-hat and ride cymbals and a Meinl Jazz ride.

Do you have a favorite non-trap set instrument?

Congas are my first love lately. I’ve also been giving the cuica and flute a lot of attention.

Do you have any plans to tour in the near future? It would be great to hear you at the Elbow Room in S.F. or 21 Grand in Oakland!

I don’t have any solid dates at the moment; however, sometime in May I’ll be in SF with Khan Jamal and Byard Lancaster and members of Seesaw Ensemble for a Porter Records tour. I should be headed your way with ASTRA soon as well. It would likely be in February or March. My most recent project is an all percussion ensemble. It’s taking shape quite nicely at the moment. We ought to make something happen in SF soon. Until then, Cheers.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Babatunde Lea and Phenomena



Babatunde Lea and Phenomena.
Levels of Conciousness.

Theresa : 1979.

A killer tune from from this widely available cd. Thailand Stick includes special guests Julian Priester and Eddie Henderson among others. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Smiley Winters



Smiley Winters : Smiley Etc.
Arhoolie 8004/5.

Recorded at Sierra Sound Studios, Berkeley, California. March 1969.

The final, and possibly finest instalment from G.Raf. For now anyway, apparently there's more where this came from. Maybe some generous comments could make all the difference.

This is power jazz @ 200mph. Born in St Louis, and father of ten, William Richard takes charge of this heavy session. Connected to many of the Bay area jazz giants including Phaorah Sanders, John Handy and Roy Porter to name a few. He is joined by Bert Wilson on Sax, Barbara Donald Trumpet and Chris Amberger on Bass. It's a double lp, so there'll be 2 files. Check out "Two Trains" Dynamite !

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Howard Hanger Trio



Howard Hanger Trio : A Child is Born.
Stereo. Trav Label.

More obscure bible friendly business via the vaults of G.Raf again. Originals, carols, contemporary folk songs and cover versions combine to produce an album with a distinctly dark undertone.

The album is produced by TRAV, (Television, Radio and Audio-Visual Division) of the Presbyterian Church of the United States.

Rare, and recommended.
Enjoy, then give thanks and praises to G.Raf.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Oliver Nelson Orchestra



Oliver Nelson Orchestra.
Impressions of Phaedra.

1962 United Artists. Monaural UAJ 14019

Another super-rare special provided by G.Raf. Carried out some google research, but to little avail. For me, the first track, Phaedra Love theme is just superb and far to short. Ripped from the mono vinyl @ 320.

Some info about the film:

Phaedra was a 1962 motion picture directed by Jules Dassin as a vehicle for his wife Melina Mercouri, after her world-wide hit Never on Sunday.

The film was the fourth collaboration between Dassin and Mercouri, who took the title role. Greek writer Margarita Lymberaki adapted Euripides'Hippolytus into a melodrama concerning the rich society of ship owners and their families, but still containing some of the tragic elements of the ancient drama. The film is set in Paris, London, and especially on the Greek island of Hydra.

Phaedra, second wife of shipping tycoon Thanos (Raf Vallone), falls in love with her husband's son from his first marriage, Alexis (Anthony Perkins). The love is doomed from the very beginning but they are unable to control their feelings.

The movie hit the cinemas in 1962, was a hit in Europe, but a box-office failure in the USA. Although Mercouri and Perkins became friends during the filming, the magazines, and especially Esquire magazine, attacked the film, because of Perkins's vulnerability. Phaedra was the first of several films that teamed Perkins with notable older female stars.

The music was created by Mikis Theodorakis. In the soundtrack, Melina Mercouri sang two songs. The first one was written by Nikos Gatsos, a major Greek poet, and was sung by Mercouri and Perkins after their love scene in Paris. The other one was heard in the film as the main love theme. Both of the songs are popular in Greece and they have been performed by hundreds of singers and actors.


Monday, 14 March 2011

Belair



Belair
Relax, You're soaking in it. pp 1980.

More super rare, private press business out of California via the vaults of G.Raf. Eddie Guthman on basses, Tucker Crosby on Guitars, David Balakrishnan -violin, Frederic Wetterau -Flute and saxes and Michael Belair in Guitar. This one leans towards the folk/jazz side of things and as always is highly recommended.

Much more to follow, so show G.raf some love

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Forefront



The Forefront : Incantation.
AFI Records, Chicago.
1973.

Trumpets Trumpets Trumpets !!
Big Brass ...

Breaks all over the options on this track, Frump Trump. Another private press affair out of Chicago. Bobby Lewis, George Bean, Art Hoyle, Russ Iverson, Rufus Reid and Jerry Coleman make the line-up.

Bob Mover



Bob Mover featuring Tom Harrell.
On the Move.

Choice.

As so often seems to happen, someone points you in the direction of an album, and you just gotta have a copy. This time, it's that man Quimsy who highlighted this little gem (many thanks) a month or 2 ago. So i got on e-bay and cherry-picked up a copy for peanuts. Tom Harrell and Mike Nock are in there, together with Jay Clayton of Byron Morris's Blow thru you Mind fame.

Shit track title, top tune.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Charlie Mariano and Toshiko Akiyoshi



Charlie Mariano and Toshiko Akiyoshi.
East and West.

RCA RVL-5518.

Very very special album recorded in March 1963, once again provided by that man G.Raf. Ms Toshiko Akiyoshi performance is totally sublime, and supports Mariano beautifully. Haru-No-Umi is simply breathtaking.

Comments welcomed

Prince Lasha Ensemble



Prince Lasha : Insight.

Here's Nuttin' out Jones with Stan Tracey on Piano, Rick Laird on Bass and David Snell on Harp. Early Lasha, but quality all the same.

G.Raf

Danny Zeitlin



Danny Zeitlin live at the Trident.
Recorded March 1965.

Beautiful version of Ornette Coleman's Lonely Woman. Charlie haden on Bass, Jerry Granelli on Drums. G.Raf business.

The Girl from Ipanema



The Girl from Ipanema.
Jimmy Davis and Norma Lee.

Wyncote records.

Killer club track, Jasmine again from G.Raf. Beautiful tune.


Johnny Almond Music Machine



Johnny Almond Music Machine.
Hollywood Blues.

More goodness from the vaults of G.Raf. Plenty of heavy hitters included here, Charles Kynard and Hadley Caliman. Top top tune, Agadir Sunset.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Jack McDuff



Jack McDuff.
Lift every voice and Sing.
JAM Records, Washington DC.

Produced by Esmond Edwards, here's the choice cut from this mid eighties album, Naima. Easy does it, Smooooothness all the way via the vinyl of G.Raf.

Bob Miles : Windstorm


Bob Miles ; Windstorm.
Recorded in Atlanta 1986. Golden Boy Jazz

Here's another excellent track lifted from the vinyl @ 320 (G.Raf again)
I tried uploading the appalling cover artwork, but my computer spat it back out at me.

Shit cover, top tune.

Enjoy

Monday, 28 February 2011

Milt Jackson



Milt Jackson and The Hip String Quartet.

All star line up includes Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, Mickey Roker, James Moody, Hubert Laws, the list goes on. The Morning After is cherry picked from this vinyl provided by G.Raf.

Tasty

Friday, 25 February 2011

Hal Singer.



Hal Singer.
Blues and News. Recorded 1971.

Another cd that's out there to buy, so here's the choice cut, Malcolm X, again brought to us by G.Raf.

Dustygrooves views;

The other great Hal Singer album from his years on the French scene – and a record that we'd say is even better than his legendary Paris Soul Food set! Although Singer is often most associated with an older style of swing-based jazz, he's working here in a loose, free mode that's got plenty of 70s soulful touches – often funky at the best moments, but even more importantly openly rhythmic – with a progressively soulful style that's really outta site! The group features Art Taylor on drums, plus an assortment of European players led by Siegried Kessler – who plays some great piano and flute on the album, and also handled the arrangements. The album features Singer's wonderful tune "Malcolm X" – the kind of a track that we'd rank right up there with some of the most righteous soul jazz groovers of the time. Other highlights include the modal "Pour Stephanie", the jagged "Blues For Hal", and the groovy "It's My Thing". CD also includes the bonus track "Lina".

The New Composer's Ensemble



The New Composer's Ensemble.
54rd Street Ghost.

Oracle Music Co, Chicago.

Sadly, this highly prized cd is available to purchase out there on the webasphere. Would have been another top presentation from G.Raf but heres a track to give you guys the general taste. Hot vibes from Paris Smith, spiritual jazz all the way on this one.

Dusty's take;

A killer batch of modern spiritual soul jazz – with a classic sound that reminds us a lot of the 70s work on labels like Tribe or Strata East! The New Composers Ensemble is led by vibist Paris Smith, an underground Chicago jazz artist who cut a few very enigmatic albums on his own – and he's working here with a group that includes guitar, piano, percussion, and bass. All the tracks on the CD are originals written by the players on the record – and most of them are strong modal grooves, with a spiraling strident sound that's filled with joy and life, but also a hint of darkness. The interplay of the instruments is unlike anything we've heard elsewhere, and it's the kind of underground treasure that you'd die to find on a rare 70s album – somehow even cooler that it's cut by an obscure group who are working in our generation! A few tracks have a vocalist that's a bit off-beat – and she also reminds us of some of the more spiritual contraltos that would show up on the Strata sets from the 70s – but her contribution to the record also kind of grows on you nicely after a while. Titles include "Tommy Tones", "Sonny's Song", "Lilith Came", "Introspection", "Psalm 37", and "53rd Street Ghost", dedicated to the street where Dusty Groove used to have its headquarters.



Monday, 21 February 2011

Happiness is ..Takin' care of Natural Business ... DIG?!


The Al Tanner Quintet ; Featuring William "Smiley" Winters.

Super rare gears provided by G.Raf. Watch out over the coming weeks, cause there's plenty more where this came from. We need some thanks in the comments btw ...

Introduction
Baltanica
The Magi
Kuba!
Poor me
Bronson's Blues
Lobby Lizards
Rolon's Groove

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Blackclassical



SOUNDS RING LIKE AN ECHO IN THE WOODS.


Blackclassicals been beavering away again, collating another cosmic spiritual-jazz suite. Improve your life and expand your mind here ...