Tuesday, November 17, 2009

television - arrow

I moved to New York in the spring of 1977, following a weekend jaunt which included a trip to CBGB for a first taste of live Television. Returning to Ohio, I spent a trial night in an apartment at The Plaza in Cleveland recently vacated by an aspiring Contortion. As I surveyed the frozen parking lot next morning to make sure my Studebaker was still there, I decided that if I was going to move someplace scary and bleak, I might as well think big. But by the time I got back to Manhattan, Richard Lloyd was in rehab in preparation for Television's European debut, so almost a year passed before I got the chance for a recharge. When show day finally came I hid my Nakamichi 550 in the bottom of a crumpled bag of thrift store shirts and set out for Long Island, where the expected fireworks ensued. A couple of years later a friend with a mail order record business (another big Television fan) suggested a bootleg of the big night. Most of them went to an exporter he worked with, but I would visit Bleecker Bob in the West Village a couple of times a week to sell to this notorious cheapskate, a pitiful few copies at a time. Although it was a steady seller in his shop, he refused to tie up his working capital. He always complained about the cover, too. At some point, Neil Cooper of ROIR decided to make a play for the cassette masters, advising my partner in crime that he intended to reissue with or without our cooperation. We eventually gave in, surprising Verlaine with a modest royalty payment the next time he came around to unload dispensables from his record collection - like the L'Intrepide Bavon Marie Marie LP I took home. Whenever our little project is mentioned, there's always a disclaimer that the original vinyl boot sounds better than the Blow Up reissue. Well, we tried. Disc mastering was done at an upper crust Hollywood establishment when Lindsey Buckingham had finally run out of coke and gone home for the day, the metal stampers came from Europadisk, the first high-end facility of its kind in the US. I also rejected test pressings from three boroughs plants before I found one in outer Jersey that could handle grooves narrowed by the twenty-five minutes per side running time. It was only as I was preparing this post that I discovered The Blow Up omits Poor Circulation, Arrow's rarest gem.

arrow (bootleg)
double exposure f-85 (1980)

01 Fire Engine 4.19
02 Poor Circulation 5.31
03 Little Johnny Jewel 14.44
04 Knockin' On Heaven's Door 8.07
05 Prove It 5.20
06 Friction 4.58
07 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction 7.11

recorded live @ My Father's Place, Roslyn, LI, NY 3/20/78

vinyl @320

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