28 September, 2011


Joe Henderson - Relaxin' at Camarillo (1979) (OJC)

Joe Henderson - Relaxin' at Camarillo (1979)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 260MB
Originally on Contemporary, this CD reissue teams the great tenor Joe Henderson with pianist Chick Corea, either Tony Dumas or Richard Davis on bass, and Peter Erskine or Tony Williams on drums. The repertoire includes two songs by Corea, Henderson's "Y Todavia la Quiero," the standard ballad "My One and Only Love," and Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo." This informal session has plenty of fine solos from the two principals and is recommended to fans of advanced hard bop.

-1. "Y Todavia la Quiero" - Henderson - 11:42
-2. "My One and Only Love" - Gershwin, Gershwin, Mellin, Wood - 9:59
-3. "Crimson Lake" - Corea - 5:26
-4. "Yes, My Dear" - Corea - 8:44
-5. "Relaxin' at Camarillo" - Parker - 9:21

* Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone)
* Chick Corea (piano)
* Tony Dumas, Richard Davis (bass)
* Peter Erskine, Tony Williams (drums)

26 September, 2011


Bobby Timmons - Easy Does It (1961)

Bobby Timmons - Easy Does It (1961)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 220MB
Pianist Bobby Timmons, who became famous for his funky originals and soulful playing, mostly sticks to more bop-oriented jazz on this trio set with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Jimmy Cobb. He provides three originals (none of which really caught on) and is in excellent form on five standards, with highlights including "Old Devil Moon," "I Thought About You," and "Groovin' High." The Riverside CD reissue shows that Timmons was a bit more versatile than his stereotype; in any case, the music is excellent.

-1. "Easy Does It" - 4:53
-2. "Old Devil Moon" (E.Y. Harburg, Burton Lane) - 4:38
-3. "A Little Busy" - 5:52
-4. "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You" (Bing Crosby, Ned Washington, V Young) - 4:54
-5. "Pretty Memory" - 3:32
-6. "If You Could See Me Now" (Tadd Dameron, Carl Sigman) - 6:31
-7. "I Thought About You" (Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen) - 5:01
-8. "Groovin' High" (Dizzy Gillespie) - 3:33
All compositions by Bobby Timmons except as inicated
Recorded in New York City on March 13, 1961.

* Bobby Timmons - piano
* Sam Jones - bass
* Jimmy Cobb - drums

22 September, 2011


Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez - Montreux III (1975)

Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez - Montreux III (1975)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 180MB
For this duet set from the 1975 Montreux Jazz Festival (a Fantasy date that has been reissued on CD under the OJC imprint), Bill Evans alternates between acoustic and electric pianos while Eddie Gómez offers alert support and some near-miraculous bass solos. The audience is attentive and appreciative -- as they should be, for the communication between the two masterful players (on such songs as "Milano," "Django," "I Love You," and their encore, "The Summer Knows") is quite special.

-1. "Elsa" (Earl Zindars) - 7:28
-2. "Milano" (John Lewis) - 4:40
-3. "Venutian Rhythm Dance" (Clive Stevens) - 4:27
-4. "Django" (Lewis) - 6:18
-5. "Minha (All Mine)" (Francis Hime) - 4:11
-6. "Driftin'" (Dan Haerle) - 5:12
-7. "I Love You" (Cole Porter) - 6:38
-8. "The Summer Knows" (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Michel Legrand) - 3:24
Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland on July 20, 1975.

* Bill Evans - piano, electric piano
* Eddie Gomez - bass


Bill Evans - Montreux II (1970)

Bill Evans - Montreux II (1970)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 235MB
Bill Evans' second recording at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970 was a highly anticipated concert, finding the pianist in peak form, accompanied by bassist Eddie Gómez and drummer Marty Morell. His originals include the rhapsodic "Very Early," the turbulent "34 Skidoo," and an aggressive rendition of "Peri's Scope." His introspective take of Burt Bacharach's "Alfie" is played at a leisurely tempo, while his take of Earl Zindars' "How My Heart Sings" simmers slowly to a boil. His driving setting of Johnny Carisi's "Israel" has an intense Eddie Gómez solo and a lively exchange with Morell as its centerpiece. While this is a terrific live performance, there are sound problems, including what sounds like bleeding of the stage monitors into the mix, and there are muddy spots in the recording as well, particularly during some of Gómez's solos. Master engineer Rudy Van Gelder tackled the remastering of this CTI LP, but there was only so much he could do with what was preserved on the original tape, so the CBS CD reissue, which strangely contains no bonus tracks, does not sound that much better than the original record.

-1. Introduction - 1:11
-2. "Very Early" - 5:27
-3. "Alfie" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 5:30
-4. "34 Skidoo" - 6:37
-5. "How My Heart Sings" (Earl Zindars) - 4:16
-6. "Israel" (John Carisi) - 4:14
-7. "I Hear a Rhapsody" (Jack Baker, George Fragos, Dick Gasparre) - 5:54
-8. "Peri's Scope" - 6:00
All compositions by Bill Evans except as indicated
Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Casino De Montreux, Switzerland on June 19 & 20, 1970.

* Bill Evans - piano
* Eddie Gomez - bass
* Marty Morell - drums


Bill Evans - At The Montreux Jazz Festival (1968)

Bill Evans - At The Montreux Jazz Festival (1968)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 330MB
Verve 827 844-2
Bill Evans, with bassist Eddie Gomez and his drummer of the period Jack DeJohnette (just prior to him joining Miles Davis), is in excellent form on this well-rounded CD reissue. Evans performs two of his originals (including "One for Helen" which was dedicated to his longtime manager Helen Keane), Denny Zeitlin's "Quiet Now," Earl Zindars' "Mother of Earl" and a few of his favorite standards, tunes that are generally ballads and harmonically rich. The interplay between Evans and Gomez was growing month-by-month (the bassist had been with him for almost two years at this point) and is the main reason to acquire this disc although DeJohnette does offer some stimulating support.

-01. "One for Helen" (Bill Evans) – 5:22
-02. "A Sleepin' Bee" (Harold Arlen, Truman Capote) – 6:05
-03. "Mother of Earl" (Earl Zindars) – 5:14
-04. "Nardis" (Miles Davis) – 8:23
-05. "I Loves You, Porgy" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) – 6:00
-06. "The Touch of Your Lips" (Ray Noble) – 4:45
-07. "Embraceable You" (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin) – 6:45
-08. "Some Day My Prince Will Come" (Frank Churchill, Larry Morey) – 6:08
-09. "Walkin' Up" (Evans) – 3:45
-10. "Quiet Now" (Denny Zeitlin) – 6:26

* Bill Evans - piano
* Eddie Gomez - double bass
* Jack DeJohnette - drums

20 September, 2011


Iva Bittova - Cikori (2001)

Iva Bittova - Cikori (2001)
avantgarde, contemporary | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 305MB
Iva Bittová does not release albums very often, making each one something to treasure. Cikori is her first major project since her critically acclaimed duet with Vladimír Václavek, the 1997 Bilé Inferno, and her first group effort since she left Dunaj. Cikori is actually both the title of the album and the name of this quintet, which is also comprised of Václavek (acoustic guitar), Frantisek Kucera (trumpet), Jaromír Honzák (double bass), and Milos Dvorácek (drums and percussion). The three new players already appeared as guests on selected tracks from Bilé Inferno. Basically, this opus develops more elaborate arrangements around the sound of the previous album. Václavek remains an essential part of the atmosphere, but the added instruments provide a wider palette for the singer. Songs like "Krídla" and "Zapísej" show the same attention to melodies, sparse arrangements, delicate build-ups, and charm. In "Jungle" and "První," the group adopts a quasi-Latin mood, which gives Bittová's very personal scats a new color. And who could resist her mischievous child tone when she meows in "Kocha"? Cikori may not be as gripping as Bilé Inferno, but it still represents a strong effort. It's full of beautiful, light, playful pop with an avant-garde twist. Recommended.

-1. "Kocka" - Bittova, David - 6:10
-2. "Mravencí Síla" - Bittova, David - 5:02
-3. "Krídla" - Bittova, David - 9:28
-4. "Jungle" - Bittova - 2:42
-5. "Prání" - Bittova, David - 5:11
-6. "První" - Bittova - 5:36
-7. "Polykacka Nozu" - Bittova, Kalisová - 6:55
-8. "Zapískej" - Bittova, Vaclavek - 8:07
-9. "Kazu" - Bittova - 2:13

* Iva Bittová - voice, violin
* Vladimír Václavek - guitar
* František Kučera - trumpet
* Jaromír Honzák - double bass
* Miloš Dvořáček - drums, percussion

19 September, 2011


Ella Fitzgerald - Ella a Nice (1971)

Ella Fitzgerald - Ella a Nice (1971)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 205MB
A 1971 live recording, from when Ella Fitzgerald was still at the peak of her vocal powers, Ella à Nice isn't one of the vocalist's all-time greatest live recordings, but it's a very nice set placing her in the company in which she felt most comfortable, a simple piano/bass/drums trio led by her longtime musical partner, Tommy Flanagan. Most of the set list's time is taken up by themed medleys such as "Aspects of Duke," "The Bossa Scene," and "The Many Faces of Cole Porter" that are perfectly nice but, as medleys tend to be, a little disappointing. One would rather hear Ella work her magic on the entirety of "The Girl From Ipanema" or "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me" than be teased with a verse and chorus. On the other hand, the opening "Night and Day" is simply outstanding. Opening slowly with an extended vamp by Flanagan and bassist Frank DeLaRosa, the song settles gracefully into a mellow groove, with Ella's patented scat solo a marvel of melodic improvisation. Though little in the following ten tracks reaches those heights (this was toward the end of that phase when Ella was unwisely covering pop hits of the day, and the set includes her takes on "Something" and "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," not to mention the actually entirely appropriate and well-done "Close to You"), Ella à Nice is an entirely pleasant diversion.

-01. "Night and Day" (Cole Porter) – 6:43
-02. "The Many Faces of Cole Porter: Get Out of Town, You'd Be So Easy to Love, You Do Something to Me" (Porter) – 5:22
-03. "The Ballad Medley: Body and Soul, The Man I Love, I Loves You Porgy (Frank Eyton, Johnny Green, Edward Heyman, Robert Sour)/(George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)/(G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin) – 4:42
-04. "The Bossa Scene: The Girl from Ipanema, Fly Me to the Moon, O Nosso Amor, Madalena, Agua de Beber" (Jobim, N Gimbel, V de Moraes)/(B Howard)/(Jobim, de Moraes)/(Jobim, R Monteiro de Souza)/(Jobim, de Moraes) – 5:35
-05. "Summertime" (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) – 2:36
-06. "They Can't Take That Away from Me" (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin) – 4:14
-07. "Aspects of Duke: Mood Indigo, Do Nothing till You Hear from Me, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" (Barney Bigard, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills)/(Ellington, Bob Russell)/(Ellington, Mills) – 7:16
-08. "Something" (George Harrison) – 3:33
-09. "St. Louis Blues" (W.C. Handy) – 2:59
-10. "Close to You" (Al Hoffman, Carl G. Lampl, Jerry Livingston) –2:45
-11. "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (Jackie DeShannon, Jimmy Holiday, Randy Myers) – 4:29
Recorded July 21, 1971, in Nice, France

* Ella Fitzgerald - Vocals
* Tommy Flanagan - Piano
* Frank DeLaRosa - Double Bass
* Ed Thigpen - drums


Captain Beefheart - Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978)

Captain Beefheart - Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978)
rock, avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 320MB
So titled because the original album, simply titled Bat Chain Puller, had to be ditched and rerecorded after a legal tuzzle involving Frank Zappa's manager, Shiny Beast turned out to be manna from heaven for those feeling Beefheart had lost his way on his two Mercury albums. Then again, what else could be assumed with a song titled "Tropical Hot Dog Night" that sounds like what happened when Beefheart encountered Miami disco and decided to make something of it? When it comes to singing, though, he's still the atypical growler, snarler and more of lore, conjuring up more wonderfully odd lyrical stories than can easily be measured, while the album as a whole gets steadily more and more bent. "You Know You're a Man" is at once straightforward and incredibly weird when it comes to love and gender, while other standouts include "Bat Chain Puller," a steady chugger that feels like a goofy death march, and the nervy freak of "Owed T'Alex." As for the Magic Band in general, keyboardist Eric Drew Feldman, guitarists Jeff Tepper and Richard Redus and drummer Robert Williams lay down the business with appropriately gone aplomb, as a listen to "Suction Prints" will demonstrate.

-01. "The Floppy Boot Stomp" – 3:51
-02. "Tropical Hot Dog Night" – 4:48
-03. "Ice Rose" – 3:37
-04. "Harry Irene" – 3:42
-05. "You Know You're a Man" – 3:14
-06. "Bat Chain Puller" – 5:27
-07. "When I See Mommy I Feel Like a Mummy" – 5:03
-08. "Owed t'Alex" – 4:06
-09. "Candle Mambo" – 3:24
-10. "Love Lies" – 5:03
-11. "Suction Prints" – 4:25
-12. "Apes-Ma" – 0:40
All lyrics and music by Don Van Vliet.

* Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) - vocals, harmonica, soprano sax, whistling
* Jeff Moris Tepper - slide guitar, guitar, spell guitar
* Bruce Lambourne Fowler - trombone, air bass
* Eric Drew Feldman - synthesizer, Rhodes piano, grand piano, bass
* Richard Redus - slide guitar, bottleneck guitar, guitar, accordion, fretless bass
* Robert Arthur Williams - drums, percussion
* Art Tripp III - marimba, additional percussion

16 September, 2011


Horace Parlan - Us Three (1960) (BN Connoiseur edition)

Horace Parlan - Us Three (1960)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 250MB
Blue Note Connoisseur Edition | 20-bit SBM
On this recording made in 1960 during his tenure with Lou Donaldson, pianist Horace Parlan is situated nicely alongside bassist George Tucker and drummer Al Harewood. The trio had its own gig on Sundays at Minton's in Harlem, and had established a repertoire and reputation for being able to lay down both hard bop and soul-jazz stylings with equal verve. (And yeah, that jazz/hip-hop group from the 1990s was named after this disc.) The proceedings here are straight-ahead with some cool soul-jazz touches. Parlan's "Wadin'" moves the off-minor key of "Wade in the Water" and funkifies the rhythm, paraphrasing and improvising as the rhythm section struts it out. On the title track, there is a gorgeous lilt in his playing that corresponds to a behind-the-beat walk by Tucker that makes Harewood slip and shimmy constantly on the cymbals with his brushes. There and on "I Want to Be Loved" as well as "Return Engagement" (another Parlan original), something else starts to creep into his playing: the spacy, spare feel of Ahmad Jamal, who Parlan cited as a contemporary influence. The economy of touch, which stands in stark contrast to the hard bop he played with Donaldson and the energetic music he played with Mingus, is in some ways more complex harmonically, and more emotionally satisfying. This is a fine effort from an underappreciated trio.

1. "Us Three" - 4:33
2. "I Want to Be Loved" (Savannah Churchill) - 4:50
3. "Come Rain or Come Shine" (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer) - 6:26
4. "Wadin'" - 5:52
5. "The Lady Is a Tramp" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) - 7:09
6. "Walkin'" (Richard Carpenter) - 7:06
7. "Return Engagement" - 4:48
All compositions by Horace Parlan except as indicated
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ on April 20, 1960

* Horace Parlan - piano
* George Tucker - bass
* Al Harewood - drums


Bill Frisell - Live in Montreal (2002) (music video)

Bill Frisell - Live in Montreal (2002)
jazz | DVD9 NTSC | PCM 2.0; DTS 5.1 | iso, cover | 8000MB
EmArcy | rel: 2009
The music on this concert recording is very laid back and groovy. The playing is highly collective - and the different instruments blend perfectly - yet with distinct and impressing solos, especially from Bill Frisell and Ron Miles. I first heard clips from the concert on You Tube and later on a TV-recording from som japanese station. This DVD is much better both with regard to audio and video quality and without mixing music and interviews. Highly recommended!

-01. lmprovisation #1
-02. What Do We Do?
-03. Improvisation #2
-04. Dream On
-05. Outlaws
-06. I'm So Lonesome l Could Cry
-07. Improvisation #3
-08. The Tractor
-09. Blues Dream
-10. Ron Carter
-11. BIues For Los AngeIes
-12. Keep Your Eyes Open
-13. That Was Then
-14. Egg Radio
-15. We're Not From Around Here
~93 mins

* Bill Frisell - guitar & loops
* Matt Chamberlain - drums
* Billy Drewes - alto sax
* Curtis Fowlkes - trombone
* Greg Leisz - steel guitars & mandolin
* Ron Miles - trumpet
* David Piltch - bass

14 September, 2011


Marianne Faithfull - A Secret Life (1995)

Marianne Faithfull - A Secret Life (1995)
rock | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 210MB
For her first studio album comprised of mostly original material in over a decade, Faithfull enlisted noted composer Angelo Badalamenti (who collaborated with David Lynch for the Twin Peaks TV soundtrack) to write music for her lyrics and produce. Faithfull is still in rippingly fine voice, and her words still penetrate. But while Badalamenti's densely orchestral arrangements can be effectively noirish, they can also create an inappropriately cold and detached ambience, despite standout tracks like "Flaming September" and "She."

-01. "Prologue" (Badalamenti, Dante Alighieri) – 2:03
-02. "Sleep" (Faithfull, Badalamenti, Frank McGuiness) – 3:43
-03. "Love in the Afternoon" (Faithfull, Badalamenti) – 3:30
-04. "Flaming September" (Faithfull, Badalamenti) – 5:01
-05. "She" (Faithfull, Badalamenti) – 3:24
-06. "Bored by Dreams" (Faithfull, Badalamenti) – 3:08
-07. "Losing" (Foreman, Levine, Badalamenti) – 3:52
-08. "Wedding" (Faithfull, Badalamenti, McGuiness) – 3:16
-09. "Stars Line Up" (Badalamenti, Faithfull) – 3:51
-10. "Epilogue" (Badalamenti, William Shakespeare) – 3:12
All music composed by Angelo Badalamenti. All lyrics written or co-written by Marianne Faithfull except "Prologue", taken from Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri, "Losing" qritten by D. Forman and D. Levine, and "Epilogue" taken from The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

* Marianne Faithfull – vocals
* Carmine D'Amico – guitar
* Vinnie Bell – guitar, mandolin
* Gene Orloff – violin
* Al Brown, Julien Barber, Lamar Alsop, Ann Barak, Mitsue Takayama, Kenneth Fricker, Juliet Haffner, Harry Zaratzian – viola
* Frederick Zlotkin, Clay Ruede, Beverely Lauridsen, Julie Green – cello
* Al Regni, Pamela Sklar, Lawrence Feldman – flute, alto flute
* Shelley Woodworth, Sherry Sylar – oboe, oboe d'amore
* Andre Badalamenti – clarinet
* Robert Carlisle – French horn
* Kinny Landrum, Angelo Badalamenti – keyboards
* Rufus Reid, Mark Egan - bass
* Sam Merendino, Gordon Gottlieb – drums, percussion

13 September, 2011


Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train (1961) (RVG)

Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train (1961)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 400MB
Blue Note | RVG 24-bit remaster 2007
Gravy Train is a fine, if not quite exceptional record from Lou Donaldson's initial soul-jazz phase of the early '60s. Actually, given the title and the period in which it was recorded, the album isn't quite as greasy and funky overall as one might expect; most of the repertoire is devoted to pop ballads and mid-tempo standards, the latter of which tends to bring out more of the bop elements in Donaldson's playing. That's not true for the entire album, though; the title cut is a laid-back, conga-tinged, bluesy groover in the classic Donaldson mold, even if it's a bit workmanlike. Donaldson's longtime pianist, Herman Foster, is allotted quite a bit of solo space here, and he concentrates more on thick, rippling chords than single-note lines. For his part, Donaldson's playing is pleasant, and the rest of the supporting group maintains a steady groove throughout. All of Donaldson's sessions from this period (Here 'Tis, The Natural Soul, Good Gracious) have enough worthwhile moments for devoted fans, and that's true of Gravy Train as well, though casual fans probably won't find it necessary enough to track down.

-1. "Gravy Train" - 8:14
-2. "South of the Border" (Michael Carr, Jimmy Kennedy) - 5:31
-3. "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" (Johnny Burke, James Van Heusen) - 4:59
-4. "Avalon" (Buddy DeSylva, Al Jolson, Vincent Rose) - 4:15
-5. "Candy" (Mack David, Alex Kramer, Joan Whitney) - 9:18
-6. "Twist Time" - 6:47
-7. "Glory of Love" (Billy Hill) - 4:04
-8. "Gravy Train" [alternate take] - 7:30 Bonus track on CD
-9. "Glory of Love" [alternate take] (Hill) - 3:49 Bonus track on CD
All compositions by Lou Donaldson except as indicated
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ on April 27, 1961.

* Lou Donaldson - alto saxophone
* Herman Foster - piano
* Ben Tucker - bass
* Dave Bailey - drums
* Alec Dorsey - congas (tracks 1, 2 & 4-9)

12 September, 2011


Red Garland - Groovy (1957) (20bitK2)

Red Garland - Groovy (1957)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 220MB
Prestige 20bitK2
Red Garland's third recording as a leader has him playing very well, somewhat energetic and more inclusive in his direction to span the mainstream jazz palate beyond the cool exterior he emanates. The title might be a bit deceptive, for this is not a project where soul-jazz or early boogaloo influences turned jazzmen into groovemeisters -- it's a swinging groove. With bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor, Garland has all the support he needs to wing it in a variety of directions. Recorded in that most legendary year of jazz, 1957, Garland is coming into his own in a more confident way, buoyed by his association at the time with Miles Davis. Chambers is flawless in his support role, and on this recording deserves a close listen, especially for students of the acoustic upright. They immediately dig in on the opener "C Jam Blues," with Garland at his heartiest during his bridge solo, they agree in the affirmative during the entirety of the hard bop take of "Will You Still Be Mine?," and repeat but modify the melody à la "Cool Blues" in an adept display of artistry for "Hey Now." Of course Garland has to play a ballad or two, as on "Willow Weep for Me," luscious with chord sequences, and really reflects the influence of Erroll Garner in that chiming, two-handed sustenato style for Garner's "Gone Again." It is said that by the third recording, most musicians should have their style down pat and begin attempting to take the music to a higher level. You really hear that in this recording, which was a springboard to making Red Garland one of the most revered and respected jazz pianists of the modern era.

-1. "C-Jam Blues" - Bigard, Ellington - 8:21
-2. "Gone Again" - Hamner, Hampton, Lewis, Redding, Rock - 6:46
-3. "Will You Still Be Mine?" - Adair, Dennis - 4:43
-4. "Willow Weep for Me" - Ronell - 9:35
-5. "What Can I Say (After I Say I'm Sorry?)" - Donaldson, Donaldson, Lyman, Lyman - 7:14
-6. "Hey Now" - Garland, Gordon - 3:41

* Red Garland - piano
* Paul Chambers - bass
* Arthur Taylor - drums

07 September, 2011


Julian Cope - Black Sheep (2008)

Julian Cope - Black Sheep (2008)
rock, alternative | 2cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 475MB
Head Heritage 23
Head Heritage:
BLACK SHEEP is Julian Cope’s new album for 2008CE, and is a musical exploration of what it is to be an outsider in modern Western Culture. Across 11 songs and one epic poem, Cope examines the idea of social outcasts and how they — through their sheer obstinacy and strength of personality — carve a path for themselves in the normal world, often changing society’s own concepts of normality in the process. On BLACK SHEEP, Cope attributes his personal descent into outsider-dom to his 9th birthday on which 116 children his own age died in the infamous Aberfan Disaster. Cope also asserts that the West has been rigorously directed towards the outsider concept, first by the rejected ‘Black Sheep’ prophet Jesus Christ, whose own people ignored his revelation, and secondly by St. Paul, another ‘Black Sheep’ whose singular take on Christianity has come down to us through the Roman Empire. Available on two half-hour-long CDs and later on gatefold double-vinyl, the 11 songs of BLACK SHEEP reveal Cope at a pinnacle of songwriting and feature sumptuous lashings of orchestral Mellotron, orchestral percussion and marching bass drums, plus oboe, wah guitar, rumbling synthesizers and gorgeous harmony vocals.

Disc 1: Return of the Native
-1. Come The Revolution
-2. It's Too Late To Turn Back Now
-3. These Things I Know
-4. Psychedelic Odin
-5. Blood Sacrifice
-6. The Shipwreck of St. Paul
Disc 2: Return of the Alternative
-1. All The Blowing-Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realise The Minute They Die That They Were Suckers)
-2. Feed My Rock'n'Roll
-3. Dhimmi is Blue
-4. The Black Sheep's Song
-5. I Can Remember This Life

06 September, 2011


Anthony Braxton - For Alto (1969)

Anthony Braxton - For Alto (1969)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 410MB
After issuing Anthony Braxton's Three Compositions of New Jazz in 1968, Chicago's Delmark Records took an enormous chance by issuing the first lengthy solo saxophone improvisation record in 1969 -- and as a double LP no less! And while it's true that hindsight is 20/20, For Alto is still, over 30 years later, a record that is ahead of its time. There is nothing tame or nostalgic about these blasts of jazz futurism from the young Braxton, who sounds here like he's trying to blow his way out of Chicago. Most of the pieces on this set are over nine minutes, and all are dedicated to various influences and friends in the saxophonist's circle. Perhaps the most frightening -- and enlightening -- improvisation here is "To Composer John Cage." Braxton attempts to literally change the entire tonal terrain on which the saxophone plays solo. His skittering skeins of cascading runs are interspersed with huge shouts and screeches all played at lightning speed with a deftness and angularity of approach that is far superior to most of his peers at the time, Messrs. Mitchell and Jarman included. Braxton was introducing tonal possibilities and deconstructions on this record; a solid listen to "Dedicated to Multi-Instrumentalist Leroy Jenkins," with its deep color palette and textural shifts and shapes, is enough to disorient one still. Also, the use of trills as interval markers in "To Artist Murray De Pillars" is remarkable -- especially now, as no one would follow this logic for such an extended period anymore. The reinvention of blues theory on this piece that becomes a kind of muted expressionism is truly remarkable. Many of the recordings from the magical period of the '60s and early-'70s creative movement sound dated now, quaint and diffuse from their original power. For Alto is not one of those records; it still has the literacy and vision to teach us about concentration, vision, emotional aesthetics, and even spiritual possibilities in the world of sound and how that world, that universe, interacts and dovetails with our lives. For Alto is one of the greatest solo saxophone records ever made, and maybe one of the greatest recordings ever issued, period.

-1. "Dedicated to Multi-Instrumentalist Jack Gell" – 0:42
-2. "To Composer John Cage" – 9:30
-3. "To Artist Murray dePillars" – 4:17
-4. "To Pianist Cecil Taylor" – 5:18
-5. "Dedicated to Ann and Peter Allen" – 12:54
-6. "Dedicated to Susan Axelrod" – 10:24
-7. "To My Friend Kenny McKenny" – 10:06
-8. "Dedicated to Multi-Instrumentalist Leroy Jenkins" – 19:47

05 September, 2011


Ornette Coleman - The Music Of Ornette Coleman: Something Else!!!! (1958)

Ornette Coleman - The Music Of Ornette Coleman: Something Else!!!! (1958)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 265MB
This 1958 debut recording by the Ornette Coleman Quintet, which featured Coleman on his trademark white plastic alto, Don Cherry on trumpet, Billy Higgins on drums, Walter Norris on piano, and Don Payne on bass, shook up the jazz world -- particularly those musicians and critics who had entered the hard bop era with such verve and were busy using the blues as a way of creating vast solo spaces inside tight and short melody lines. Something Else!!!! is anathema to that entire idea, and must have sounded like it came from outer space at the time. First, Coleman's interest was in pitch, not "being in tune." His use of pitch could take him all over -- and outside of -- a composition, as it does on "Invisible," which begins in D flat. The intervals are standard, but the melodic component of the tune -- despite its hard bop tempo -- is, for the most part, free. But what is most compelling is evident in abundance here and on the next two tunes, "The Blessing" and "Jayne": a revitalization of the blues as it expressed itself in jazz. Coleman refurbished the blues framework, threaded it through his jazz without getting rid of its folk-like, simplistic milieu. In other words, the groove Coleman was getting here was a people's groove that only confounded intellectuals at the time. Coleman restored blues to their "classic" beginnings in African music and unhooked their harmonies. Whether the key was D flat, A, G, whatever, Coleman revisited the 17- and 25-bar blues. There are normal signatures, however, such as "Chippie" in F and in eight-bar form, and "The Disguise" is in D, but in a strange 13-bar form where the first and the last change places, altering the talking-like voice inherent in the melodic line. But the most important thing about Something Else! was that, in its angular, almost totally oppositional way, it swung and still does; like a finger-poppin' daddy on a Saturday night, this record swings from the rafters of the human heart with the most unusually gifted, emotional, and lyrical line since Bill Evans first hit the scene.

-1. "Invisible" – 4:11
-2. "The Blessing" – 4:45
-3. "Jayne" – 7:17
-4. "Chippie" – 5:37
-5. "The Disguise" – 2:46
-6. "Angel Voice" – 4:19
-7. "Alpha" – 4:09
-8. "When Will the Blues Leave?" – 4:58
-9. "The Sphinx" – 4:13
All tracks composed by Ornette Coleman.

* Ornette Coleman – alto saxophone
* Don Cherry – cornet
* Walter Norris – piano
* Don Payne – double bass
* Billy Higgins – drums

02 September, 2011


The American Folk-Blues Festival - Volume Three 1962-69 (music video)

The American Folk-Blues Festival - Volume Three 1962-69
blues | DVD5 NTSC | PCM mono | iso, cover | 4000MB
Universal | rel: 2004
Street Date: 31 August 2004. The third video compilation in this series is arguably the weakest, but is nonetheless required viewing for all roots/blues fans. As in the previous two DVDs, the material is culled from professionally shot and recorded European television shows from 1965-1968. Only one tune dates from before that period (1962's closing group performance of Helen Humes' "The Blues Ain't Nothin' But a Woman"), making the titular years a bit misleading. Regardless, there is some powerful music here. Half of the tracks, nine out of 18, are taken from 1967's newly discovered Danish television footage. Unfortunately this material was not played in front of a live audience, and without that immediate feedback, the predominantly country blues tunes, while emotionally moving, lack the bite and tension that the artists were used to delivering for their typically more vocal stateside crowds. Much is made about this being the only known live video of Little Walter, but the detailed notes in the 24-page book recount how unhappy he was on this tour. His non-amplified harp backing on Hound Dog Taylor's "Wild About You" and Koko Taylor's classic "Wang Dang Doodle" is much more sedate than what most would expect for a man known the most riveting electrically enhanced harmonica player in blues. Sonny Terry, who joins partner Brownie McGhee for three 1967 tunes and shows up for the 1962 finale, is much more impressive on harmonica, spitting out machine gun notes with precision. Buddy Guy's funky, James Brown-styled "Out of Sight" isn't really blues, but it does capture the guitarist at his most animated. Three "bonus" closing tracks not from the American Folk Blues taping, but from the same time period, are revelatory. One features the incredible Earl Hooker (playing with his teeth on "Earl's Boogie" in 1969) and two catch 1968 stingers from Muddy Waters.

-01. Hound Dog - Big Mama Thornton
-02. Gulfport Boogie - Roosevelt Sykes
-03. Out of Sight - Buddy Guy
-04. Feel So Good - Dr. Isaiah Ross
-05. Flip, Flop & Fly - Big Joe Turner
-06. All Night Long - Skip James
-07. Crow Jane - Skip James
-08. Got Sick & Tired - Bukka White
-09. Death Letter Blues - Son House
-10. Wild About You - Hound Dog Taylor
-11. Wang Dang Doodle - Koko Taylor
-12. Stranger Blues - Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
-13. Burnt Child (Afraid Of Fire) - Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
-14. Gonna Move Across The River - Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
-15. The Blues Ain't Nothin' But a Woman - Helen Humes
bonus tracks:
-16. Earl's Boogie - Earl Hooker
-17. Long Distance Call - Muddy Waters
-18. I Got My Mojo Working - Muddy Waters
~70 mins

01 September, 2011


John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Elliott Sharp, Bobby Previte - Downtown Lullaby (1998)

John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Elliott Sharp, Bobby Previte - Downtown Lullaby (1998)
jazz, avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 285MB
Depth Of Field
By the time this was recorded, in 1998, the participants were virtual éminence grises of the downtown New York City scene, but this was the first occasion for the four of them to play together as a quartet (although all but Zorn had been members of Horvitz's band the President). The pieces derive their titles from the addresses of erstwhile performing spaces largely in the East Village and Soho, most of which had their heydays in the loft jazz explosion of the late '70s. All of the cuts are improvised by the group, and the perhaps surprising aspect is how much of the vibe is closer to late Miles Davis than to the free improv aesthetic practiced in the titles' points of reference. Horvitz's keyboard work, with its echoes of '70s ring modulators, sets the mood for many of the tracks, Sharp and Previte acting as the Pete Cosey and Al Foster of the band. Previte, in fact, would shortly begin his own overtly Miles-influenced jamming group. Zorn is in a bit of a square-peg situation here, as his trademark squeals and murmurs don't quite mesh with the tenor of the date, although one could argue that they also keep things from getting too comfortable. However, free improvisation has never been the real forte of any of these musicians; all seem more comfortable in structured surroundings, even if those structures are highly arcane and idiosyncratic. When they get into a groove, as on "Bleeker & Bowery," the listener gladly hops on board for an enjoyable ride, but several of the remaining pieces seem uncertain as to which side of the funk/free improv divide is most desirable and, unfortunately, there's no Miles Davis to show how well they could combine. Downtown Lullaby isn't a bad record but, given the personnel, one would have hoped for more.

-1 "484 Broome" - 5:42
-2 "500 West 52nd" - 6:15
-3 "Eighth Between B & C" - 6:11
-4 "77 White" - 3:57
-5 "228 West Broadway" - 9:07
-6 "Bleecker & Bowery" - 7:16
-7 "1 Morton St (Downtown Lullaby)" - 9:00
All compositions by Horovitz/Previte/Sharp/Zorn
Recorded at Avatar Recording Studios, New York on January 15, 1998

Elliott Sharp – electric guitars
Wayne Horvitz – keyboards, Hammond organ, piano
Bobby Previte – drums
John Zorn – alto


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