Friday, December 18, 2009

paul bley - mr. joy

There are worse-sounding jazz albums, like Curtis Counce's Exploring The Future, but that was made on the cheap for Dooto, a label known primarily for raunchy party records. This was recorded in Seattle on either side of a concert date at the University of Washington, so maybe The Sonics and Wailers had all the decent studios booked solid for their concept albums. Cover art clearly targets the underground rock market, with Bley's lover and in-house theme genie Annette Peacock featured on the inside of the trendy Unipak folder having her breasts massaged. Endless fiddling with the stereo to try to make this thing sound a little better could spoil the mood, though. It's never been reissued on CD, not even in Japan.

paul bley
mr. joy
limelight ls 86060 (1968)
01 Only Lovely 6.20
02 Kid Dynamite 3.10
03 Nothing Ever Was, Anyway 5.44
04 El Cordobes 6.04
05 Ramblin' 4.44
06 Touching 4.49
07 Blood 6.10
08 Mr. Joy 3.50

vinyl @320

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

kaloum star - syliphone 45s

Kaloum Star managed only three Syliphone singles before the military takeover ended Guinea's great socialist cultural experiment. If you like these, check out World Service for live tracks recorded for Dutch radio in 1987, as well as the demo tape that got them the job. Then peruse the comments for links to more. When I left an inquiry about the two Kaloum Star 45s I was missing, saintly aduna supplied a link the next day. Just another internet miracle.

kaloum star
complete syliphone 45s (1975)

01 Lalaba 6.06 (SYL 568a)
02 Donsoloufa 3.40 (SYL 568b)
03 Mansane Cisse 5.23 (SYL 569a)
04 Maliba 3.20 (SYL 569b)
05 Sanu Bakary 4.45 (SYL 570a)
06 Gbassikolo 3.35 (SYL 570b)

vinyl @320

lennie tristano sextet - wow

Live recording of Tristano with his gifted protégés, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh. Sound quality is a bit primitive, from tape or wire recorder or maybe tin cans and string. Marsh is one of the secret godheads of modern jazz - smoky and dreaming, drifting into the spaces between beats, deftly snaking his way into unmapped territory and then winding his way back. Konitz is a perfect foil, coaxing abstractions from his alto as Marsh explores the upper registers of his tenor. On their recordings together, I'm never absolutely sure which one I'm hearing in the first sax solo until Marsh steps forward, all smooth and smart and infinite. Listen to the two of them on the 1949 Capitol b-side Crosscurrent for an illustration, posted here along with its flip. Just another perfect single. For more, check out the Lennie Tristano Live At The Half Note clip on YouTube. Recorded in 1964 for a TV series on spirituality called Look Up And Live, now available to the entire universe just like Air Force Amy.

lennie tristano sextet
jazz records jr-9 cd

01 Wow 8.27
02 Remembrance 3.53
03 April Fool 9.51
04 Subconscious-Lee 3.51
05 Fugue In D Minor 1.04
06 Chord Interlude .27
07 Sound-Lee 7.52
08 Do The Things You Do 3.32
09 No Figs 7.42
10 Wow 3.19
11 Crosscurrent 2.48

1-9 recorded live circa 1950 New York City
10-11 recorded March 4, 1949 New York City, released as a Capitol Records single

cd @320

Monday, October 19, 2009

Iva Bittová / Dunaj

Iva Bittová was here at Mills College this past Thursday, so it seems like a good time to post this, which I've had ready for awhile. In the mid 90's the possibility arose of reissuing Dunaj's first album, from when they were Bittová's backing group. The principals involved decided that while the songs were good, they were not happy with the recording quality. Instead of reissuing the record, Bittová and original drummer, Pavel Fajt, joined with the then current lineup of Dunaj, the late Jiri Kolsovsky, Josef Ostransky, Vladimir Vaclavek and Pavel Koudelka, to re-record almost the entire album plus some additional tracks and release it under the monicker, Pustit Musis, the refrain lifted from the song Roztocena. Only Sen and Kobylky were not re-recorded, although by then Dunaj without Iva had already re-recorded the latter twice, for Rosol and IV. They then did a few gigs together. In the comments I will post links to Youtube clips of two songs which appear here.

The recording is a bit primitive in spots. I can understand why they were not satisfied with it and felt they could do better. Still, it shows a group fully formed, with excellent songs and arrangements and superb musicianship on their debut recording. The Dunaj stamp of emotionally charged minimalism, simple parts overlapping in rather surprising rhythmic patterns, is already apparent. We find them already collaborating with lyricists Karel David, and Vladimir Kokolia, who also did the cover art and worked with Vaclavek and Ostransky in E. For all its rather unsympathetic production, it was still one of 1988's most stunning rock albums. The Czech indie scene, which came into its own in the 1990's, begins here.

01. Ouvertura 1:31
02. Kase 2:31
03. Dunaj 3:07
04. V Bilem 4:39
05. Bumerang 2:59
06. Sen 2:37
07. Dvoka Svine 2:30
08. Zrcadlovy Sál 2:51
09. Kobylky 5:52
10. Rukama 3:24
11. Roztocena 3:54
12. V Cernem 3:39

Iva Bittová - Vocals, Percussion
Vladimir Vaclavek - Bass Guitar, Percussion, Guitar, Vocals
Pavel Fajt - Drums, Percussion
Jiri Kolsovsky - Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
Josef Ostransky - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Pavel Richter - Guitar
, Percussion, Vocals

Kobylky - Grass Hoppers

Like grass hoppers, like horses
like locusts, like mange
like cholera, and like a storm
I'll give it to you one day!

Look and seek
Listen and sniff
Pour water into holes
unleash blood/hounds

Like grass hoppers and like horses
like a pack of rats and like a stench
like a pale moon on the bottom of the sea
I'll give it to you one day!

-Pavel Fajt

download | Vinyl rip | mp3-320kpbs | 84 mb | Scans |

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kahondo Style - A Selection

When La Folie du Jour posted a selection from Kahondo Style's albums, Lucky expressed the desire to hear the whole of My Heart's in Motion. I didn't think I could better his rips, so I've only included the tracks he left out. The earlier rips included all but one of the tuneful tracks, so these are mostly the ones that betray the new music, improvisational roots of the band. Bassist, cellist Stuart Jones, had been in Gentle Fire with Hugh Davies and Richard Bernas, guitarist, bouzouki player, Peter Cusack and trombonist, Alan Tomlinson come out of the Bead Records circle of second generation improvisers, Clive Bell had worked with the Ritual Theatre and was nearly in Henry Cow, Sianed Jones went on to the superb Slant with Cris Cheek and Philip Jeck, instrument inventor, Max Eastley, had appeared on Eno's Obscure series and Kuzuko Hohki lead The Frank Chickens. I think KS is at its best on the song oriented work where their improv and arranging skills produce stunning results, but these tracks make for a more complete picture. The range of timbres available to these multi-instrumentalists is extraordinary. Check out, for instance, the showcase for Eastley's Musical Arc and Tomlinson's trombone, Ant by Ant Leaf by Leaf or the group improvisation of Games with the Lights. There is one tuneful ditty as well, Lonely Tear Drop, which puts the more experimental ones in context. If you've downloaded the LFdJ tracks and want to assemble a complete album, I've provided tracks 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 11 of the original 12.

In addition, I was going through some old cassettes and found one marked Kahondo Style, which I'd completely forgotten about. Two tracks I must have taped off KBOO in Portland that were recorded at the Knitting Factory on November 14, 1989, a concert at which I was present. The lineup is the same as appeared on their second album, Green Tea and Crocodiles, Bell, Cusack, Jones, Jones, Tomlinson, Steve Noble, only with Viv Corringham in place of Kazuko Hohki. These tracks show something of the spirit and energy of the live band, as Cusack introduces No More Gravity with an excellent Bouzouki solo. The humor and theater that Tomlinson brings to the proceedings have to be seen to be believed however. He's a bit like Lol Coxhill in that respect. The friend I was staying with found out from Stuart Jones that Tomlinson had no place to sleep while in New York, so he stayed with us during those few days of New Music America and I got to know him a little bit, a great guy.

Games with the Lights 9:40
Last Minute Jingle 1:13
Jaws of Glass 3:24
Lonely Tear Drop 3:13
Ant by Ant Leaf by Leaf 5:25
Mongoose 2:37
Programs on the Air 4:42

No More Gravity (Live) 8:02
Tokyo Ondo (Live) 5:12

download | Vinyl / Tape rips | mp3-320 kbps | 91 mb | Scan |

Friday, October 9, 2009

Voices of Matsulu

Intrigued by Chris Cutler's description of it in the catalog, as a startling, electronic document, or something to that effect, I obtained Voices of Matsulu from Recommended, along with Adio Kattalina by Oskorri, Feliu i Joan Albert and perhaps one or two other albums. Produced by Estonian Radio for the nature preserve, Voices of Matsulu was recorded by biologist Fred Jüssi between 1976-1979 and released on the Soviet Label, Melodiya in 1982.

This makes for an interesting contrast with the recording of birds in Venezuela, which was posted here by reservatory awhile back, but has its own beauty with moments of surprising drama. As I don't yet have scans, I've copied the English portion of the liner notes below. For more information see

Matsulu Bay is situated on the west coast of the Estonian SSR and it is one of the places richest in birdlife in the Baltic area. Observations of birds began to be made here already in 1870. The rich bird population is due to the existence of unique habitats. The more characteristic of these are reed-beds (3.000 ha), the water-meadows of the Kasari River (4.000 ha), coastal meadows and pastures, and islands in the sea.

For the protection of the peculiar nature of the area a state nature reserve was set up here in 1957. The Matsulu State Nature Reserve was included in Group A of ornitological reserves of all-European importance in 1962, and in 1975 it was accorded the status of a wetland of international significance (48,643 ha). 126 species of birds nest in the reserve and a total of 259 species had been observed here by the autumn of 1979. Matsulu as a whole is a veritable pearl of Estonian nature.

This record includes a selection of sound pictures typical of the reed-beds, water-meadows, seaside pastures, and islets of Matsulu. While making the recordings the author spent unforgettable days and nights under the skies of the nature reserve. Hence the wish to convey to the listener not only the sounds of Matsulu, but also something of its beauty.

1. Whooper Swans 1:36

2. Reed-beds 17:12
a. Midnight in the reed-beds (Spotted Crake, Bittern) 1:35
b. Great Reed Warbler (Tufted Duck, Redshank) 0:49
c. Reed Warbler 1:03
d. Sedge Warbler (Curlew) 1:17
e. Savi's Warbler 1:31
f. Reed Bunting 2:09
g. Black-headed Gull 2:13
h. Black Tern 1:06
i. Moorhen 1:22
j. Water Rail 2:08
k. Starling 1:41

3. Water-Meadows and Coastal Pastures 9:39
a. Midnight of Water-Meadows (Reed Warbler, Corncrake) 1:35
b. Corncrake 1:23
c. Marsh Warbler (Cuckoo, Garden Warbler) 2:13
d. River Warbler 0:47
e. Grasshopper Warbler 0:48
f. Barred Warbler (Blackbird, Thrush Nightingale, Corncrake) 1:51
g. Blacktailed Godwit 1:03

4. See Isles 6:38
a. Spring morning on See islet (Oystercatcher) 3:40
b. Caspian tern 1:04
c. Common Gull, herring gull 0:55
d. Greenfinch, Oystercatcher, Barnacle Goose, Redshank 0:57

5. Crane 2:32

download |Vinyl rip | .Flac | 162.3 MB

Friday, October 2, 2009

bembeya jazz sous la direction de diaoune hamidou

Bembeya's debut album somehow escaped reincarnation as a cheesy Syllart CD. Since all Syliphone master tapes seem now to be extinct (Sterns Africa's CD anthologies rely on borrowed vinyl), maybe Syllart had the same problem a decade before, skipping SLP4 because they were unable to come up with a clean copy to rip.

bembeya jazz national
sous la direction de diaoune hamidou
syliphone slp4 (1967)

01 Djanfamagni 4.17
02 Almamy Mamaren 3.40
03 Dembaty Galant 3.28
04 Guinée Hety Horémoun 4.31
05 Minuit 3.08
06 Bembeyako 3.04
07 Air-Guinée 3.22
08 Djamana Bara Sabati 3.32
09 Trafiquant 3.11
10 Loi-Cadre 3.55

vinyl @320

unwound - live in london ep

The flip side of Jimmy Webb, a swoon of dissonance as lush and dense and precise as Webb's sonority. Frontman Justin Trosper doesn't really wring chords or solos out of his guitar, concentrating on tone clusters and smeared chiming instead. From Tumwater, Washington, a few miles south of Olympia (exit I-5 @ ancestral Trosper Rd.), Unwound inspired cult worship throughout the nineties and beyond. A Portland friend dragged me outside to see them on their farewell tour, for which I am eternally grateful. This 12" finds our heroes playing for John Peel on May 20 1998. Call right now and you will receive bonus material including a perfect Unwound single from '96 as well as a compilation track by the Waydowns (a local teenage guitar-drum machine duo) released on Unwound bassist Vern Rumsey's Punk In My Vitamins label. Finally, a taste of Lifelikeweeds, a guitar duo featuring Eric Chenaux of Toronto's Rat Drifting collective, who appears to be in around sixty bands at any given time. Rat Drift for yourself @ eclectic grooves, then check out shiny grey monotone to see where I stole the shot of Unwound in flight.

live in london ep
loveletter lvlt 004 (1999)

01 Hexenszene 5.09
02 Side Effects Of Being Tired 6.28
03 Kantina / Were, are and was or is 9.46
04 Corpse Pose 3.05
05 Everything Is Weird 2.52
06 (Untitled) 2.31
07 The house is in between the porch and the barbeque on mouth speed 6.49

vinyl, cd and download @320

jimmy webb - cloudman demos 1972

Up Up And Away, By The Time I Get To Phoenix and MacArthur Park made Jimmy Webb a very wealthy young man. So he did what any happening 21 year old songwriter would do in 1968. He moved into the former Philippine Embassy in Hollywood and filled it with fifty of his closest friends, a green baby grand piano and (one imagines) drugs. Back then, I avoided The 5th Dimension and their flower power pep rally shtick like the plague, but MacArthur Park was harder to hate. Irish stage veteran Richard Harris, a singing King Arthur in the movie adaptation of Camelot, seemed an unlikely candidate for Top 40 appeal, and the overwrought seven minute epic he tackled after The Association turned it down was, well, slightly insane. But I always listened to the whole thing when it appeared on the car radio, unsure whether it was a psychedelic delusion or a brilliant hoax. In the early seventies, during a brief stint as a gofer (mole) in the LA music biz, I heard Joe Cocker's version of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and puzzlement turned to admiration overnight. Maybe it was sappy next to the Fun House and Faust Tapes I needed after ten hours in Studio A with Lon And Derek Van Eaton, but stately and heartfelt and flat-out beautiful as well. Webb knew his way around chord structure and melody like no one I'd ever been exposed to and filled a need I never knew I had. I kept the whole thing a secret for decades. These demos are straight to the point, just composer (in unusually good voice) and piano and some really good songs. Songs that, underneath all the pretty, are as fevered and deranged as Gary Wilson's 6.4 = Make Out, with Webb as Cloudman becoming vapor to haunt a beloved creature his obsession has driven away. I've also included When Can Brown Begin, from the Letters album for which these demos were intended. The title comes from a comment Sammy Davis Jr. made as he and Webb commiserated over cocktails one night in Vegas. Weary of the 'all-in-fun' racism his show biz pals routinely shoved in his face (clown of vengeance Jerry Lewis dragged him onto his live ABC TV variety fiasco in 1963 to ask about his recent triumph at the legendary Carnigger Hall), Sammy decreed it was time the world moved beyond black and white, to... brown?? Scatological implications aside, explaining how salt and pepper 'cook' together and fire and water make steam still seems like a dubious path to racial harmony. But there it is in all its glory, to musical accompaniment worthy of God's own choir. The coda features a smoky horn winding a path through one of Webb's immaculate chord progressions, which steps steadily skyward as violins saw away on a Möbius strip of ascending spirals that runs out of fretboard as it curls back for another run up the ladder. Avant MOR. He's here, he's air, get used to it.

jimmy webb
cloudman demos 1972
rhino handmade rhm2 7820 (2004)

01 Saturday Suit 3.01
02 Cloudman 3.44
03 Fingerpaint Me 3.53
04 Mr. Shuck And Jive 3.30
05 Simile 3.31
06 Piano 4.08
07 When Can Brown Begin 4.16

How much do I love you?
Just as far as I can reach you now
But the floor feels cold this morning
Yes, I feel there's nothing left to teach you now
Soon, sweet lady, you will walk away from me
Into your own reality
But just remember air
Air is everywhere
The cloudman always sees it there
And waits to paint you pictures on the wind around you
Please recall the days when love found you
When the tide breeze rustling curtains in the summer evening
Bears the imprint of some distant twinkling chimes
Think about the cloudman sometimes
Think about me sometime.

cd @320

Monday, September 21, 2009

Les I - Dans L'Hemisphere Nord

With their second album, Les I came into their own. The oblique, deceptive themes are more assured, the play where they ain't arrangements more finely etched, the melodies more hooky, the textures thicker and edgier and the instrumental interplay more incisive. Feuillet's wordy texts are woven deftly through the tunes with a rhythmic precision reminiscent of those on Etron Fou's Les Sillons de la Terre, recorded the same year. Christiane Cohade takes slap bass to eccentric lengths of attack and timbre, putting her playing beyond funk and venturing into spring loaded Colin Hodgkinson territory, without the latter's blues licks. Dominique Lentin, having the greatest pedigree, his percussion credits extending back to the early 70's cult recordings by Fille Qui Mousse, employs the crisp, scrabbly, propulsive style that went on to grace albums with L'Empire des Sons, Ferdinand et les Philosophes, Best Before, as well as duets with Violinist Takumi Fukushima. Bruni Meillier, here called Maillo, has already developed his lyrical style, which seems to owe something to Braxton. Some may recall his showcase piece here, Larvaire et Latent, from the EFL Live in Cleveland tape posted some time ago. Unfortunately I ran into some terrible distortion problems on this track, which I was unable to completely solve, but it's as clean as I could get it. The writing credits are spread pretty equally among the band members and the disc was recorded at THC in Switzerland with engineer Michel Engeli, and was self produced, with Ferdinand Richard being credited as artistic director. How that differs from producer, I'm not certain.

01. Dans L'Hemisphere Nord 3:44
02. Graffiti 3:23
03. Par Un Beau Jour d'Ete 4:57
04. Dansk (Tu Dis) 4:02
05. Zukini 2:45
06. Bombe 0:31
07. Wagons-Lit 3:44
08. Le Secret du Volcan 4:22
09. Larvaire et Latent 2:56
10. A.B.C. T. 3:49
11. La Fin de la Faim de L'Ogre 2:34

download | Vinyl rip | mp3-320 kbps | 78 mb | Scans |

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Les I

Sometimes erroneously identified as an offshoot of Etron Fou, Les I actually began in 1979, three years before Bruni Meillier's stint in EFL. Musically, though you can hear similarities, their sound is a distilled funk lyricism, at some remove from EFL's fast and furious swapping of traditional instrumental roles. I once saw a concert of Leroy Jenkin's electric band Sting, which despite the obvious differences in approach, style and instrumentation, evidenced a similar detailed and nuanced funky delicacy, reminiscent of Les I. It seems Les I's primary similarity With EFL is in the chanson vocal style, but here again, this is a bit misleading. It may well be that Marc Feuillet's arch vocal style influenced Ferdinand rather than the other way round, as Richard's singing morphed from the roaring, joyous blunt quality characteristic of the first three EFL recordings and his solo album, En Forme, to an increasingly subtle lampoon of chanson styles and stylists over their final three recordings and his second solo, En Avant. Smack dab in the middle of this shift in perspective we find him producing the first record of Les I in 1981.

A1 Plus Une Minute À Perdre 2:47
A2 Hypnose 3:29
A3 Moi, Grand Sorcier 3:59
A4 Robots, Fusées ... 4:39
A5 Côte D'Azur 3:25
B1 125 Battements De Cœur 3:03
B2 Les Jeux Sonts Faits 3:37
B3 Recto 3:39
B4 Turbulences 2:13
B5 Looping Formica 4:11
B6 Science Tenante 1:27

Christiane Cohade - Bass
Dominique Lentin - Drums
Yves Ranchon - Guitar
Bruni Maillo* - Alto & Tenor Saxophone
Marc Feuillet - Voice, Harmonica, Trumpet

Producer - Ferdinand Richard
Engineer - François Riether

* aka Bruno Meillier

Download | vinyl rip | mp3-320 kbps | 77.5 mb | Scan |

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The first self titled release by Bruniferd from 1986. In Andrew Jones' Plunderphonics, 'Pataphysics & Pop Mechanics, Ferdinand has this to say about the Bruniferd project.

If a note is there, it is because it has to be there. Our music is very concentrated. As such it is not a spectacle, it's not a show. Bruniferd is very powerful as it is trying to give a maximum of things with a minimum of element. Just one bass, no effects, one saxophone, no effects, and some poesie. We could eventually play with no PA; we could play in your bathroom.

Elsewhere he wrote that "we don't send our shoes into the piano". Someone who had seen them at Mimi, told me she thought they were a little too dry, but I think that matter of fact approach is part of what I like so much about Richard's projects.

01. Tiens Tonton 3:39
02. Pipolaire 2:58
03. Cap Frehel 4:23
04. Chronology 3:51
05. Regrets des Bruits 4:34
06. Traditionnel Syldave 2:41
07. Rompre Les Armes 2:42
08. Tu M'as Seduit 6:22
Sorry about the image, my little scanner can't handle album covers and that was all I could find on the web. I'll get the cover scanned and swap out the jpg, but in the meantime, here is the music.

download | vinyl rip | mp3-320kbps | 66 mb |

A Tasty Assortment

This is a curiosity. A Japanese group, released early 80's on Heat Heart Records and the label contains the equal sign, as in the cut out on the cardboard cover. No personnel are listed, no track titles. Sonically, its non-Reggae dub mixing, wordless female vocals and variety of styles suggests a somewhat less developed Wha Ha Ha. If anyone knows anything more about this, I'd be keen to hear it.

With Lejonet av Ljuga, the Zamlaz tackle Reggae, sort of. Clearly the references to Rastaman, Haile Selassie and the spliff smoking lion on the cover suggest that more than the form is involved with Jamaica, but the Residential vocal harmonies make one doubt that it's intended very seriously. The flip is the Zamlaz in spirited folkloric mood. This is a brilliant single. I've never understood why this wasn't added to the reissue of Familjesprickor or Schlagern's Mystik. Perhaps, because it came out on the Finnish Love Records Label rather than Silence, but I'm certain they could have licensed it. Was this included in the massive Japanese box set of Samlas / Zamlaz and related material, does anyone know? The Zamlaz were probably the only group of the 70's, that for sheer musical breadth, could give Henry Cow a run for their money. Lars Hollmer is greatly missed.

Both of these songs are on Enclume, but these are obviously earlier demo like versions and thus worth hearing if you're a fan. Les Belles Images seems to be imagery derived from famous paintings, while Une Bonne Correction is Ferdinand's fulfillment of David Thomas' provocative question "Is hyperbole man's best rhetorical friend?". A man enraged by the noise of a passing fighter jet, which has awakened his baby, runs out into the street armed with a crowbar and a small knife to confront it. A comically absurd image gives way to the hero's battle with a hideous flying beast of myth. Quite a satisfying song for those of us lacking in respect for aerial death machines.

Not too much to say about this one. Heiner Goebbels with Chris Cutler and Christoph Anders, done around the same time as the first Cassiber recording, Man or Monkey.

Both of these songs appear on the first Caveman Shoestore recording, Master Cylinder. There is no guitar on this record. All the fuzzed out sturm und drang is performed on bass guitar. Fred Chalenor and Henry Franzoni began working together in the late 70's in a group called Face Ditch. Fred is one of the great unsung bass innovators, while Henry is a master of complex polyrhythms. Fred was the first person I ever saw use an ebow and slides on a bass, do two hand tapping or play heavily distorted power chords. CS was formed late 80's, or perhaps 1990, as a duo which improvised along broad conceptual or generic frameworks. Then they brought in singer / keyboardist Elaine di Falco, presently with Thinking Plague, and began crafting real songs.

The other group from northeastern Ohio, known today primarily for being the band which loosed Ralph Carney upon the world. They had a brief brush with major label success with their Robert Wyatt inspired arrangement of I'm a Believer and the subsequent Contents Dislodged During Shipment album, which featured one, if not both of these songs. Unfortunately, the AOR production job drained all the charm out of the music. This mono single released in '78 is much more organic sounding and sympathetic to their eccentricities. Listening to Robert Takes the Road to Lieber Nawash, one wonders if it is some sort of homage to Wyatt, as the imagery appears to allude to Rock Bottom and the accident, when all of a sudden they break into a jam clearly derived from Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road, erasing all doubts. They released one other single or ep around this time, but I've never seen it.

This one sided single with an etching on the reverse came, if I recall correctly, as a subscription item with Recommended's reissue of Slapp Happy - Sort Of. In the mid 80's my friend sonimage had moved to New York and arranged to have dinner with Peter Blegvad and talk to him about his work. He'd sold all his albums before moving, so I spent four hours on the phone reading Peter's lyrics to him as he wrote them down, so as to be prepared for the meeting. I have cassettes somewhere of their conversation. He asked Peter about Alcohol, and essentially his response was, Chris Cutler has weird taste. He said, again if I'm remembering correctly, that this was done while camping in Germany with a tape recorder in the boot of the car. I guess I have weird taste as well, because I like it a lot.

01. Equals - Side A 6:41
02. Equals - Side B 7:26
03. Zamla Mammaz Manna - Lejonet av Ljuga 3:37
04. Zamla Mammaz Manna - Ryssland Island varför är väl inge a va rädd för 2:32
05. Ferdinand et les Philosophes - Les Belles Images Du Temps Passe 4:50
06. Ferdinand et les Philosophes - Une Bonne Correction 3:50
07. Heiner Goebbels - Die Letzte Buche 2:30
08. Heiner Goebbels - So Wird der Schrecken ohne Ende langsam normales Leben 3:43
09. Caveman Shoestore - An Angel Flew By 2:40
10. Caveman Shoestore - Spill 2:08
11. Tin Huey - Robert Takes the Road to Lieber Nawash 4:05
12. Tin Huey - Squirm You Worm 2:45
13. Peter Blegvad - Alcohol 2:52

These are the first vinyl rips I've ever done, hope you enjoy some of it and sorry about the pops and surface noise, as some of these are in better shape than others.

Note: there was a problem with track one, Equals Side A. The link to the fixed track may be found in the comments.

download | 7# vinyl rips | mp3-320 kbps | 126 mb | Scans |

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Frigg - Brecht

At Lucky's request here is the final album by Frigg, featuring guest vocalists Phil Minton and Meira Asher and co-produced by Elliott Sharp. Despite the title, these are self penned songs by Bert Wrede and not settings of Brecht, though something of his sensibility appears to be in residence.

01. Introduction 1:21
02. Sailors Song 6:44
03. Liebeslied 4:28
04. Anne Smith Relates the Conquest of America 12:18
05. Tahiti 5:27
06. Interlude 3:34
07. Die Welt Gefällt Mir Nicht Mehr 1# 5:30
08. The Shipwrecked Man's Report 5:37
09. Matrosensong 4:31
10. Die Welt Gefällt Mir Nicht Mehr 2# 3:50

Download CD Rip | mp3 - 320 kbps | 114 mb | Scans|

[Lucky notes 11/2009:
Isn't it a Tango (1994) + Døenerfressing Wøman (1995) here,
Dust Diary (1997) @ Downtown Music.]

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Honeymoons - Laughing Myth

As requested by Lucky, The Honeymoons were a more stripped down offshoot of Mizutama Shobodan (The Polka Dot Fire Brigade), featuring only the duo of Tenko and Kamura. Laughing Myth was recorded in July 1982, produced by Ken-Ichi Takeda and The Honeymoons and issued on the label they, or Tenko ran, Kinniku-Bijo (Muscular Woman). The track titles are either in Kanji or not legible on the scanned insert, apart from track 6, which is in English, 21st Century Game. If anyone knows additional track titles, or any other pertinent information, add the information to the comments. Thanks to sonimage for the digitization.

download [Vinyl rip | mp3- 320kbps | Scan | 82 mb]

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In An Autumn Garden - Toru Takemitsu - Tokyo Gakuso Orchestra

Despite his ambivalence about his own culture, some of Toru Takemitsu's most evocative work is for traditional Japanese instruments. Deutsche Grammophon released two lps of work for biwas, shakuhachi and Gagaku in the mid 70's, which were reissued as In An Autumn Garden a few years ago. These are not those recordings, but rather the complete piece for Gagaku, which was excerpted on one of the albums. This was recorded May 3 & 4, 1980. Gagaku is the Japanese Imperial Court Orchestra, whose history and repertoire dates back well over one thousand years. Many good recordings are available and come recommended.

In the late 60's the National Theater of Japan decided to commission new works for Gagaku and composers like Mayazumi took on the challenge. Takemitsu's first effort was what appears here as the fourth movement, and it was that which was recorded for DG. In contrast to traditional tonalities, Takemitsu employs Dorian Mode without a fixed tonal center. The notes for a recent performance of the work likened the harmonic results to Gamelan and noted, that certain dense polyphonic eruptions which occur, may make one think of Charles Ives. In his book, Confronting Silence, there's an excerpt from Takemitsu's diary for 1962, in which he writes about hearing a performance of Gagaku:
... my impression of gagaku was that of a music that challenges measurable time. The western method of capturing time in graphic form (using measured notation) and that of gagaku are completely different in their nature.

Gagaku lacks the concept of a beat in Western terms. Of course, a certain rhythm is present, woven by specific percussion instruments--namely, kakko, taiko--and the sho [mouth organ]. However, they serve only to embroider the gossamer curtain of intricate sound. The symbols suggest a rhythm, but it is certainly far removed from the human pulse. As a pattern it is static. Occasionally it shoots sharply toward heaven like an arrow, as if to show the direction of the spirit. In this arena of sound even the basic primitive character of the instruments contributes to the creation of a mysterious harmony, resembling in this way nature's own workings.
He goes on to note its Buddhist qualities, refers to it as anachronistic and says that while he wouldn't want to promote a revival of it, he does want to consider its implications for contemporary music. More about Gagaku may be found here:

and here:

In casting around to make certain this was out of print, I found a Sony Japan issued CD, but it's credited to another ensemble, Reigakusha, so I think it can also be safely assumed to be a different recording.


[CD rip | mp3 - 320 kbps | Scans | 93.6 MB | Varese Sarabande]

Monday, July 27, 2009

dêti z havel 2. - a most mysterious rhythm

During the encore of her concert with The Bang on a Can All-Stars, which appears on the highly recommended DVD, Superchameleon, Iva Bittová had them singing a round which went

“Smetaná, Dvorak and Janacek are the most famous composers of the Czech Republic, they often write to a most mysterious rhythm”.
It’s been noted that odd time signatures come very naturally to the Czechs. Oddly, though, this collection may be a bit more straight forward, has more rock-y pieces included, but the stretched forms are still prevalent. Someone once suggested to me that the Czech scene must be drawing on King Crimson. To which my response was, well, Robert Fripp was drawing on Bartok, and the Czechs probably drew on both Bartok and his folkloric sources, not to mention the composers noted above. They had no need to go through an English rock filter to reach their own traditions. An indication of this is Iva Bittová’s disc with her sister Dorothea Kellerová of Bartok’s 44 Duets for Two Violins, in which they add extemporaneous singing to his string writing, in effect, making obvious the link between the concert hall and the village origins of the music. A couple brief excerpts from this disc are found in this compilation. Like the prior collection, I made this for a CD swap group to which I belong. Unlike the other one, I never sent it out, as I was already sending two other unrelated mixes at the same time and it just seemed a bit much to expect them to be able to digest. Last evening I listened through it and opted to swap out a couple of pieces and rearrange the order slightly. I could only draw on recordings I have of course, and while I have quite a few discs from the Czech Republic, they tend to be multiple albums by the same small group of people, rather than a large varied pool of artists. There’s a lot more to be discovered there, and I hope these collections prompt people to delve further. I wrote notes for this collection, but I can’t find them so I will re-write them on the fly.

01. Paranoid Like Me - Sing Sing (5:03)
02. Nebojím Sa - Dogma (4:20)
03. La Vie Prochaine - Boo (4:15)
04. Mali - Klar (2:29)
05. Vysocka Stolicka - Z Kopce / Osklid (3:14)
06. Nemilovany Svet - Uz Jsme Doma (2:52)
07. Azpak - Uz Jsme Doma (5:36)
08. Flandaci - MCH Band (3:38)
09. Widze Widze - Tara Fuki (3:25)
10. Niagara - Slede, Zive Slede (2:16)
11. Moondance - Rale (4:03)
12. Dunaj (The Danube) III. Allegro - Brno Philharmonic Orchestra [Janacek] (3:07)
13. Krasobruslar - Filip Topol & The Agon Orchestra (4:11)
14. Kazani na Hore / The Sermon on the Mount - The Plastic People of the Universe & The Agon Orchestra (6:54)
15. Moravian Folk Song - Iva Bittová, Skampa Quartet (3:56)
16. Slovakian Song - Iva Bittová, Dorothea Kellerová [Bartok] (0:50)
17. Slovakian Song II. - Iva Bittová, Dorothea Kellerová [Bartok] (0:53)
18. Nemám Jen Oci Krásné - Vaclavek, Ostransky, Suzanna Jelínková (2:01)
19. Bitevní Pole - Domáci Kapela (4:40)
20. I Sweep But Don't Clean - Pulnoc (6:53)
21. Wondering - Klar (3:49)

download [CD rips | mp3 - 320 kbps | 164 MB]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

dêti z havel 1. - moravian soul beat

dêti z havel (dyetyi zh havel - children (out) of Havel) the impetus for the title and compilation was a quote from Vaclav Havel's liner notes for Pulnoc's 1991 recording City of Hysteria, an unsuccessful attempt by Arista to break them in the US. Pulnoc was an offshoot of The Plastic People, looking back to their rockier roots ala Velvet Underground. These notes were actually written in 1984, which accounts for references which were already part of the past in 1991, but were and are still relevant, I think. Note: the original text was all lower case and I have maintained that here.

"the plastics live in prague. in czechoslovakia. in central europe. their spiritual home is this ethnically, culturally and historically diverse focus of european history. traditionally, this has been the first battleground and the first victim in struggles which begin as european struggles, and end up as something worldwide. it is a crossroads of both european ideas and european armies, the inevitable object of geopolitical interests and a target of modern weapons, impending dangers always seem to be felt here first, and more urgently than elsewhere. it is a great reservoir of differences and a great gene pool of ideas that emanate from it, ideas that are often bizarre and difficult to fathom and yet which sometimes prove to be surprisingly farsighted. prague - that "magical city" built on a medieval town plan - lies at the very centre of this central europe, and though from a distance it may seem no more than the artificially ornate capital of an artificially ornate soviet satellite, it breathes its own irrepressible breath, which is continually bursting to the surface, and imparting its own qualities to imported structures.

prague teenagers don't need to read meyrink, kafka, musil, hasek, klima or hrabal, and they don't need to listen to schoenberg or webern, they don't need to know much history - and still, they will be central european in their sensibilities, their black humor, their grotesque fantasy, their mistrust of inflated rhetoric, their feeling that a generalized threat hangs over them, and the defenses they adopt against it, as well as the disgust they feel with the world - these will always betray their origins.

... some highly specific information about the existential fine tuning of people who find themselves in a place where the knots of history are tied and unraveled."

I took this as emblematic not only of Prague or Bohemia, but the entire country, of the generation contemporaneous with the Plastics and the next one that followed after them. This first collection is centered in and around Brno in Moravia, a solarized picture of which serves as the image, though certain bands are based in Prague or elsewhere within the borders.

moravian soul beat

01. Flageolety - Pavel Fajt & Pluto (4:52)
02. Sinfonietta 1. Allegretto - Leos Janacek - Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra (2:14)
03. Kocka - Iva Bittová & Cikori (6:11)
04. .. A Dny Jak Padli Andele Prsty Ryji Hlinu - Vladimir Vaclavek (4:52)
05. Baba Aga - Jablkon (2:13)
06. Krajina Ró - Jablkon & Sveceny (7:39)
07. Giordano Bruno - MCH Band (5:34)
08. Krasobruslar - Psi Vojaci (3:17)
09. Na Jih - Southwards - Dunaj (4:40)
10. Tango - Tara Fuki (2:53)
11. I'm Going - Rale (4:05)
12. Popí Rondo - Jablkon & Sveceny (3:04)
13. Bare - Vladimir Vaclavek (2:59)
14. Samson - The Plastic People (5:17)
15. Dr. Feigelstock - Mikolás Chadima & Pavel Fajt (2:53)
16. Za Nasím - Iva Bittová & Pavel Fajt (0:58)
17. Bozí Dárek - Iva Bittová & Pavel Fajt (2:31)
18. Padá Rosa Studená - Vaclavek, Ostransky, Suzanna Jelínková (2:23)
19. Hluboko Pod Zemí - Dunaj (4:51)
20. Masopust - Pluto (3:37)
21. Zpivá (Sings) - The Plastic People (3:18)

download [CD rips | mp3 - 320 kbps | 165 MB]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

mars - live @ irving plaza august 4 1978

I saw Sumner Crane as the savant of no wave. He didn't seem to be chasing rock stardom or a Soho art career. Mars terrorized lower Manhattan for about two years, committing 32 minutes of themselves to tape for the ages. Bassist Mark Cunningham writes in his liner notes to Mars - The Complete Studio Recordings: NYC 1977-1978 (G3G/Spooky Sound), "As Sumner once described it, it was a regression from ten to one, and so we reached an end." Crane, who died in 2003, told me he started listening to jazz as a kid, and that jazz, cool or chaotic, always felt like something humans had built piece by piece - the drums go here, this part is added to that. But his first encounter with Jerry Lee Lewis left him dumbfounded and disoriented. Here was something that seemed to have arrived fully formed from outer space. Mars were an alien force as well, with mangled pop hooks and gallows humor percolating through a stumbling, relentless urban squall. I got to see them once, at Max's Kansas City December '78, which seems to have been their final show. Clearly they had completed the mission and were moving on, with Crane spending much of the set blowing a battered trumpet from a battered chair.

live @ irving plaza august 4 1978

01 Outside Africa 2.30
02 Puerto Rican Ghost 1.36
03 Hairwaves 3.50
04 Fractions 3.12
05 Ich Bin Squat 3.20
06 N.N.End* 14.29
07 Eno's Autograph Session .40

Sumner Crane / Connie Burg / Mark Cunningham / Nancy Arlen
*and Rudolph Grey
Recorded live @ Irving Plaza NYC by Brian Eno (on safari) August 4 1978

cassette @320

super boiro band - niaissa & sa trompette

First album by another great Guinean regional orchestra, this one made up of Camp Boiro prison guards. Since Super Boiro were not releasing singles at this point, the best stuff was not being siphoned off, making this one of the better Syliphone long players. Note: original download was missing tracks two and three, link has been corrected as of 07/23. Believe me, you need the whole enchilada.

super boiro band
niaissa & sa trompette
syliphone slp 32 (1972)

01 Mariama (tentemba) 7.45
02 P.D.G. (bolon-rumba) 3.45
03 Kankou (yankadi) 4.38
04 Donsoke (soko-son) 4.32
05 Dioulou Maloyara (yankadi) 4.40
06 Yarabi Kani (rumba-guinée) 4.38
07 Singa (merengué) 3.02
08 Super Boiro Band (yankadi) 4.00
09 M'Ma Wouyama (merengué) 4.30
10 Sokho Yo (tentemba) 4.30

vinyl @320

steve reich: live / electric music

Steve Reich was one of the early musicians that fell into the loose genre eventually known as "minimalism", which may be a bit of an unfortunate name, but it will do. There can be considerable argument as to the origin of this type of music, and it could easily be said that numerous Asian cultures have been using drone-like musics for millennia. Certainly, Terry Riley started in the very early 1960s, and his contemporary LaMonte Young brought a great deal of force to this movement when he involved powerhouses such as the young John Cale and Tony Conrad in New York in 1964. But these were musicians playing instruments.

Steve Reich loved his tape machine. His earliest works, Come Out and It's Gonna Rain both employed spoken word with multiple copies repeated continuously at ever-so-slightly different speeds and allowed to run in and out of phase with each other. Come Out uses the simple phrase "come out to show them" and runs it for 10 minutes or so. It's Gonna Rain has 2 parts of about that length, the first uses the simple "it's gonna rain" while part 2 utilizes at least half a dozen fragments of a few words each, and weaves them all over each other. Magnificent! It takes up the entire album side of a Columbia Masterworks LP. While Come Out is often cited because it is simpler and was released first, I favor It's Gonna Rain because of its greater depth and complexity.

The other side of the vinyl LP Live/Electric Music is Violin Phase featuring Paul Zukofsky. I love this piece and consider it one of the towering masterpieces in all of minimalist music. It is grand, stately, and a perfect meditative tempo. Tragically and unconscionably, when the CD was released, the piece was re-recorded at a hyper-frantic tempo! It sounds ridiculous, and I cannot forgive Reich for utterly ruining one of his masterpieces! It sounds like he took the original 33rpm and played it, not at 45rpm, but at 78rpm. Heinous!
-i wish i was your catfish @ eBay guides

steve reich
live / electric music
violin phase / it's gonna rain
columbia masterworks ms 7265 (1968)
01 Violin Phase 23.37 w/ Paul Zukofsky 1967
02 It's Gonna Rain 17.35 w/ Brother Walter 1965

vinyl @ 320

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Two Foot Yard - Lugano 2009.03.16

Another fake cover from an imaginary label catalog.

You can find the first "issue" [Steve Lacy in wuppertal] on InconstantSol.

Two Foot Yard

Carla Kihlstedt (violin, voice, percussion),
Marika Hughes (cello, voice),
Shahzad Ismaily (drums, guitar).

Recorded at Studio 2/ RSI Lugano" (Switzerland)

March 16, 2009.

01 RTSI Radio Intro

02 Rootin For The Shy Librarian_Drizzle

03 Spinney

04 Unidentified Track

05 Unidentified Track

06 Untitled Instrumental

07 Unidentified Track

08 Crisis

09 Seven Houses

10 Unidentified Track

11 Unidentified Track.

12 Unidentified Track

13 Red-Rag & Pink Flag

14 Unidentified Track

15 Museum Of Tears.

16 50 Miles

17 Borrowed Arms

When Lucky gently invited me to post in this blog (about one month ago?) I had no great doubt about what would have been my first post: for sure it will be Carla Kihlstedt's "2 Foot Yard" radio date.

I've discovered Carla Kihlstedt in those same days and listened a lot to four dates of this astonishing trio (at least to my ears!): two radio broadcast from an european tour (the other is from Cologne) and two official recordings. Really dont' know well, and can't clearly explain, why I suddenly fell in love with 2FY's trio music. I discovered Fred Frith first, than the Tin Hat Trio and finally Carla Kihlstedt's 2FY.

I've never listened so much to rock, pop or electrical blues, never loved the timbrical, rhythmical and structural aspects of those musics. This seems to be, and is described as, a rock-pop song band. But for me it's true in the same way in wich we can describe Naked City (with Fred Frith again) as a rock band.

Highly original music, very "listeneable" and "easy", played by three master musicians; music that uses the external shape of pop-rock, blues and folk in a song form as a comfortable shied, but Luckily! is another thing so far away from those almost boring (at least to my ears, brain and feel) places.

What astonishes me is the wide musicality and open mind of the 2FY: as in Fred Frith music in any moment You feel like everything can happen in the next track or in the next second .

Three musicians that many times become six: Carla plays the violin and sings, Marika do the same with the cello and Shahzad plays guitar with arms and drums with legs. Everything happens with simplicity and naturally most important never as a technical dexterity demonstration but always to reach a clear musical end. Fred Frith, Leroy Jenkins, Steve Lacy work on song, european classical music, blues, folk, rock and art song this seems to me some of the musical sources of this fresh trio.


Two Foot Yard
from their website is

"1) a very small urban garden in which things grew organically, both feeding off of and defying their greater context.
2) a short-changed context

2 foot yard is a trio that explores the boundaries between art song and pop song, using distinct elements of both, formally and aesthetically. The instrumentation includes violin, cello voice and drums, which alternately evoke the intimacy and warmth of chamber music, and the raw and visceral expression of rock. 2 foot yard navigates through a social and aesthetic cross-section, creating a very personal vocabulary that references various musical genres, but comfortably avoids letting down anchor. 2fy is as likely to couch a text such as an e e cummings poem in the context of a pop song, as they are to sorround observant narratives with more esoteric or avant-garde compositions.

Monday, June 22, 2009

prae-kraut kindergarten

"THE SHAGGYS... Ah, the band that started it all! It was the irresistible charm of kindergarten bands like Rene & The 10 Less 5, Ric & The Skyliners, Magic Herbs and Wildcats that pushed us to share the results of our vinyl archaeology with the rest of the world. The Shaggys' first 45 was always top of the bill. Rumours of a second single gave us quite a hard time until we finally tracked it down. Like the Ragged Men record, it came out on Patria, formerly known as the R&B label. (R&B stands for whatever you like, but definitely not Rhythm and Blues.) "I'm Shy" features the immortal line, "You know it's hard to say, because I'm many shy". How can they say there's no German sense of humor?"
-original liner notes

Seventy-nine minutes of personal favorites from the (no longer) defunct twenty-some volume Prae-Kraut and Electrick Loosers series, concentrating on the very weediest. To misquote the immortal Rhythm Checkers, I know a dog when I find it; to paraphrase Captain Beefheart, They couldn't have done this if they knew what they were doing.

prae-kraut kindergarten
german beat group compilation

01 The Starfighters - I Like Trouble 2.42
02 The Slaves - Shut Up 2.15
03 The Skins - It's Too Late 2.13
04 The Rhythm Checkers - Theme Of The Rhythm Checkers 3.25
05 The Red Devils - Little By Little 2.02
06 Gesine Darieux & The Chosen Few - Crazy, Crazy 2.02
07 The Slaves - Get Out Of My Way 3.07
08 The Ragged Men - Love Is A Fight 2.52
09 The Candidates - Bad Bad Baby 1.43
10 The Slaves - You're The Only One 2.22
11 The Loosers - Understand 2.42
12 The Pralins - Jumpin' Run 2.30
13 The Wildcats - All Right 3.01
14 The Bats - Got A Girl 2.01
15 The Shaggys - I'm Shy 2.14
16 The Party Brothers - Every Night 2.38
17 The Retreads - You You You 2.01
18 The Robots - Soldier Beat 2.12
19 Time Out - Babe 2.01
20 The Shaggys - I Need You So 2.39
21 The Shaggys - Only An Hour 2.12
22 The Venture 5 - Yes Pretty Baby 2.19
23 The Slaves - Panic 2.01
24 The Slaves - Slaves Time 2.22
25 The Party Brothers - Our Love Is Gone 3.19
26 The Pontiacs - You Know Me 2.36
27 The Venture 5 - What's Your Name? 1.42
28 The Robots - It's Hard To Say 3.20
29 The Skins - What To Do 3.35
30 The Roadrunners - Little Ruby 2.27
31 The Rhythm Checkers - On Your Way Down The Drain 1.57
32 The Loosers - Sensitive 2.14

Germany, Switzerland, Austria 1964-69

mp3 downloads

paul bley trio - (canada)

I started listening to Paul Bley in the sixties and never heard of this until a big money eBay listing appeared a few years back. I finally located a seller in Montreal with a reasonably priced copy, which arrived at my address broken in half. Eventually another one turned up, with a Peter Dunn Vinyl Museum Toronto inner sleeve. Bley seems a little more intense than usual here, the muscular rhythm section keeping him on the move. In the coming months, Bley would unleash his controversial (+/- Annette Peacock) Synthesizer Show.

paul bley trio
radio canada international 305 (1969)

01 Blood 8.00
02 Nothing Ever Was Anyway 8.30
03 Paul 9.05
04 Pigfoot 8.55
05 Touching 11.50

Paul Bley / Mario Pavone / Barry Altschul
Montreal December 1968

vinyl @320

Monday, June 1, 2009

horoya band national - savane profonde

Here's another national orchestra from Guinea's golden age of authenticité. Horoya, from Kankan, were not as prolific as comrades Bembeya Jazz, Balla et ses Balladins, Keletigui et ses Tambourinis and Super Boiro. This was their only full-length Syliphone LP, although the label did release nine Horoya Band 45s, including a five-single sequence (SYL 557-561) from early 1974. Available where??

horoya band national
savane profonde
syliphone slp 41 (1973)

01 Zoumana (tentemba) 10.36
02 Konimba (rumba savane) 5.18
03 Paya Paya (rumba savane) 6.28
04 La Guinee Horoya (rumba savane) 4.17
05 Touraman (rumba son) 7.27
06 Djama Ba Labo (rumba savane) 3.55
07 N'Fala Dyamana (morna) 6.49

vinyl @320

ornette coleman - the great london concert

Ornette Coleman arrived in London in August 1965 as a tourist, for he was far too dubious a commercial proposition for any British promoter to risk engaging his trio. However Coleman did want to appear in public, so he simply became his own promoter; he persuaded me to organize a concert for him, and financed the whole operation himself. Within three weeks of his arrival, his European premiere had given him his first taste of unqualified acclaim from listeners and reviewers; the impact was so profound that Coleman was elected "Musician of the Year" and Izenzon "New Star of the Year" in the 1965 Melody Maker Critics' Poll (their first-ever poll victory) on the strength of just the one solitary performance, and later the Melody Maker remarked that, "The concert has already assumed almost legendary status".
- Alan Bates liner note

Scheduled for US release on the short-lived Arista/Freedom imprint in 1975, legal threats resulted in its cancellation after promotional copies had been sent out, banishing this historic document to obscurity in Coleman's homeland. Released on International Polydor as An Evening With Ornette Coleman and on Freedom and Black Lion as Ornette Coleman In Europe Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, it seems to have successfully eluded many fans there as well.

ornette coleman
the great london concert
arista/freedom al 1900 (1975)

01 Forms And Sounds For Wind Quintet 24.55
02 Sadness 3.05
03 Clergyman's Dream 11.58
04 Falling Stars 7.37
05 Silence 9.00
06 Happy Fool 6.50
07 Ballad 5.00
08 Dough Nuts 5.53

Ornette Coleman / David Izenzon / Charles Moffett
live at Fairfield Hall, Croyden UK August 29, 1965
w/ the Virtuoso Ensemble

vinyl @320

Sunday, May 17, 2009

charles ives / john kirkpatrick - concord sonata

Wild and beautiful Ives treasure as interpreted by John Kirkpatrick, who, in 1939, gave the first public performance of the piece - which had been lying around unplayed since Ives finished it in 1915. Kirkpatrick spent years discussing the sonata with its composer. When asked about sections of Emerson and Hawthorne labeled "(prose)", Ives explained that it meant "not to be evenly played... the tempo is not precise... It is not intended that the metrical relation 2:1 be held too literally." When asked about the countless pencil revisions he'd added to the sonata's privately printed first edition in the years following his first heart attack in 1918, Ives said, "Do whatever seems natural or best to you, though not necessarily the same way each time." As for the variants he improvised every time he sat down to play it, Ives confessed, "I don't know as I ever shall write them out, as it may take away the daily pleasure of... seeing it grow." After Ives' death in 1954, Kirkpatrick became curator of the Charles Ives Archive at Yale, cataloguing thousands of pages of manuscripts, even piecing together fragments of torn pages. He was the first to record the sonata in 1945, returning to Columbia for its stereo debut in 1968. Of the three or four Concord recordings I've heard, this one seems most aligned with Ives' taste for gleeful insubordination, skewing conservatory-trained propriety with the elasticity of Thelonious Monk.

charles ives / john kirkpatrick
concord sonata
columbia masterworks ms 7192 (1968)

01 Emerson 13.35
02 Hawthorne 10.02
03 The Alcotts 4.37
04 Thoreau 9.43

vinyl @320

globe unity orchestra - jahrmarkt / local fair

Here we find bassist Peter Kowald's large ensemble investigating matters of an Ivesian nature. The first of the two side-long compositions involves the deployment of 15 musicians throughout a recording studio in various configurations playing some loosely organized thematic material, freely improvising and interspersing various canonical material from Sousa to Monk. It's an all-star cast that includes Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker and Peter Brotzmann and they kick up quite a storm from the raging Machine Gun-like opening salvo through some fleet trombone multiphonics (presumably from Albert Mangelsdorff) to a subdued gasp of an ending. For the second piece, Kowald opted to literally take it to the streets and apparently invited every musician in Wuppertal (as well as a number of non-musicians) to participate. So in addition to the regular Globe Unity personnel, we have a 17-piece brass band, a Greek bouzouki quartet and Wupperspatzen - a 30-piece accordion ensemble. Chaos ensues. Performed and recorded in the town square, one has the dizzying impression of wandering through a space where the local bureaucracy made a horrible error and no one wants to budge. So you have a schmaltzy brass band butting heads with free jazzers while sidestepping the advancing accordion army and trying to ignore that raucous Greek clarinet player. Loads of fun in the best tradition of free music wackiness.
- Brian Olewnick @ AMG

globe unity orchestra
jahrmarkt / local fair
po torch ptr / jwd 2 (1977)

01 Jahrmarkt 23.28
02 Local Fair 21.02

vinyl @320

bembeya jazz national - authenticite 73

Greetings! To further a personal crusade of mine, here's Bembeya Jazz National at their very best. This was the orchestra's second studio LP, released on Guinea's state-run Syliphone label. Here's some background from Graeme Counsel's invaluable liner notes from the Stern's Africa Authenticité compilation:
The story of the Syliphone label is a remarkable tale of music in an era of African independence and anti-imperialism. Since its independence from France in 1958, Guinea's artists were radicalised by an official cultural policy which sought to modernise the arts while still being faithful to traditional roots. It was a policy called authenticité, and music was its prime focus.
Under the policy, each region in Guinea, some 34 in total, were represented by artistic troupes. These consisted of an orchestra, a traditional music ensemble, a choir and a theatrical group. The government purchased musical instruments for the orchestras and encouraged them to sing about topics such as African nationalism, anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism. These regional orchestras were known as Orchestres Federaux, and together with Guinea's Orchestres Nationaux they were at the vanguard of musical production in Africa during the independence era.
The Syliphone label's fame grew from these orchestras and was elevated by the high calibre of the musicians who appeared on the recordings - artists such as Sékou "Diamond Fingers" Diabaté, Demba Camara, Kouyaté Sory Kandia and, from South Africa, Miriam Makeba. Guinea's musicians toured all over the continent as well as to Europe, the United States, Russia, Cuba and South America.
The Syliphone label thus captured a moment in African history, when a new nation asserted its voice and placed music at the forefront of its cultural identity.
Unfortunately, Authenticite 73 would be lead singer Demba Camara's last stand.
Arriving in Dakar for a series of concerts, several members of the group were transported from the airport in a chauffeur-driven car. En route their vehicle was involved in an accident, overturning and seriously injuring Demba Camara. Camara later died from his injuries, plunging Guinea into national mourning. His untimely death had a profound effect on the other members of the band, and for three years Bembeya Jazz neither toured or recorded.
But Bembeya did rise again, continuing to evolve into the early eighties, when the death of President Sékou Touré and subsequent military takeover signaled the end of the party for everyone involved.
An icon of Guinea's golden age of independence and authenticité.

bembeya jazz national
authenticite 73
syliphone slp 39 (1973)

01 Touraman (Rumba Lente) 6.49
02 Moussogbe (Mamaya) 7.07
03 Dia (Tentemba) 6.06
04 Demba (Mamaya) 5.58
05 Paya Paya (Rumba Guineé) 5.43
06 Sou (Morna) 5.15
07 Senero (Rumba) 4.08
08 N'Gnamakoro (Tentemba) 10.50

cd @320