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Preview: Eliminate Fear Of The Unknown Safely, Quickly and Effectively!

Eliminate Fear Of The Unknown Safely, Quickly and Effectively!

Updated: 2018-03-07T12:09:33.318-08:00


Let's Warm Things Up Around Here!



Well, the frost covering the ground here in the mornings is definitely showing that the icy tendrils of Winter are creeping in. What better way to overcome that than a little bit of "Hot Lotta?" I really like this album, but found it impossible to find any reviews or information outside of the line-up credits while perusing the Internet. With an all-star line-up led by Edward Vesala and including Peter Brotzmann and Peter Kowald (unfortnately I can't say I am altogether that much of a fan of the fourth, Aaltonen, and his flute work...) it is kind of a surprise that this has fallen by the wayside. This session reminds me a lot of watching a fire. Sometimes there are concentrated little bursts of energy bouncing around for brief moments, sometimes it just smolders with an underlying intensity and sometimes it catches with a burst into a roaring inferno. Actually for the time period, Brotzmann sounds fairly restrained here at times and there aren't any complete sonic assaults here, but he does bring his trademark energy and sound. Anyways, I think this will be well-enjoyed, despite its mysterious two star rating on AMG (How can they rate something without a review? Odd...) so check it out!

Oh, on a personal note, in the last month and a haIf I have built a horse shed and paddock, and my wife and I pruned our roses and planted all of our bulbs for the spring. Things continue to look better and better around our new house. For you horse fans out there, my wife has a 15.2 hand Appaloosa and we have a little mule named Georgia Lee after the song on the Tom Waits album "Mule Variations." It has been a beautiful Fall here in Idaho (US), so it has been nice to be outside working!

(Gratuitous thanks go to Sambeck2001 for scanning the back cover and emailing it to me. Right on!)

Hot Lotta
Edward Vesala
April 19, 1973
Blue Master #306
AAC Files (this is also comes from fairly clean vinyl)

Juhani Aaltonen - Flute, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Peter Brötzmann - Saxophone
Peter Kowald - Bass
Edward Vesala - Drums, Vocals


Back in the Saddle...


Things have been rather tumultuous lately, but after a busy summer of traveling moving and settling in to our new home, hopefully I will have the chance now and then to to keep up with blogging. I am sure that with whatever I get the chance to share, people won't complain much, or at least the people who are the rare music aficionados! Anyways, for this post I thought I would put up Clifford Thornton's "Ketchaoua" album from BYG-Actuel. I first got turned on to Thornton's music through one of his other albums, "Freedom and Unity." I have to admit that this was only a couple of years ago (Freedom and Unity is still available on CD--I actually found it while browsing through a music store in Santa Cruz, CA), but I have been furiously collecting anything that I can get my hands on related to him since. Now if only the sound on "Freedom and Unity" was a little crisper at times... Oh well--I can definitely manage!As for "Ketchaoua," it basically is a star-studded line-up including such greats as Archie Shepp (Thornton also appeared on some Shepp albums around the time including "Attica Blues" and "Blasé/Live at the Pan-African Festival"), Grachan Moncur, Dave Burrell and Sunny Murray. For some reason, I don't really feel like summing the music up right now, so I think I will let Brandon Burke from do it for me, lazy you-know-what that I am:"Clifford Thornton's only Actuel date as a leader is, like many of the others in this BYG series, an all-star blowing session highly indicative of the times. For some, it will be difficult to tell whether taking credit for composing these pieces is a lost cause. This is some very free music and, save for a handful of scored passages, almost wholly improvised. A number of the scene's top players make appearances here in different groups. On the large ensemble pieces Thornton is joined by Grachan Moncur III, Archie Shepp (on soprano sax), Arthur Jones, Dave Burrell, Beb Guerin, Earl Freeman, and Sunny Murray. Otherwise, "Brotherhood," a piece for quintet, is performed by Thornton, Jones, Guerin, Freeman, and this time, drummer Claude Delcloo, while on "Speak With Your Echo" only the two bassists (Guerin and Freeman) accompany Thornton's cornet. This piece in particular is especially enjoyable and reminiscent perhaps of Arthur Jones' fantastic ballad, "Brother B," from his own Actuel LP, Scorpio. At times the ensemble pieces sound like a Pan-African Morton Feldman, and at others, hazy, psychedelic post bop. Fans of brooding and contemplative improvised music will find a great deal to enjoy here. In fact, many would argue that this is the best LP under Thornton's leadership."Pretty nice stuff, even if it can get a little bogged down at times, and something I haven't seen posted on any blogs yet. Kind of surprising considering the wide variety of rare albums being posted out there... Clifford ThorntonKetchaouaRecorded Aug 18, 1969BYG-ActuellAAC Files - iTunes ready (m4a file extension)Line-up:Dave Burrell - Piano, BellsClaude Delcloo - DrumsEarl Freeman - Bass, Percussion, Conga, GongBeb Guérin - BassArthur Jones - Sax (Alto)Grachan Moncur III - TromboneSunny Murray - DrumsArchie Shepp - Sax (Soprano)Clifford Thornton - Percussion, Trombone, Trumpet, Conga, CornetTracks (split into Side A and Side B, but labeled)1. Ketchaoua (Thornton)- 12:352. Pan-African Festival (Thornton) - 7:503. Brotherhood (Thornton) -10:404. Speak With Your Echo (And Call This a Dialogue) (Thornton) - 9:15Two choices for the same file (Sharebee is a mess right now):*Updated links*--the original zip file was corrupt--sorry! Did I mention how much I like "Freedom and Unity?" Oh yeah, well, I couldn't resist throwing up a track here--track 7, "O.C.T." Go find yourself a copy of it if you don't have one already![...]

The Spoils of the Hunt


A few months ago I was meandering around the Internet and came upon the Zebulon Cafe Concert site. For those of you who haven't checked it out (, it has a really slick design and interface--definitelly one of the places on my list to check out on my next trip to New York. While I was browsing, I noticed this infectious flute track playing in the background of the site (playing in Flash?) and found myself returning ot the site the next day just so I could hear the track again. I tried to contact the Zebulon about the name of the track, but ended up getting a generic email back thanking me for visiting the site. Feeling a bit manic, I then decided to try and track down the people who designed the site (The Artbox). They were very helpful and friendly, but could only tell my that someone at the Zebulon had sent them the track a few years back for the site and that they couldn't remember the name of it. Not to be stopped (borderline compulsive now), I tried contacting the people at the Zebulon again with far better results. I finally got an email back from them with the info about this great group from Chicago (I hadn't heard of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble before) and the track info, only to find that the album in question was out of print! Thoroughly obsessed, I went on eBay and eventually found a used copy for a pretty good price. Was it all worth it? You had better believe it!The music itself is phenomenal, but after a little research I found out why. Kahil El'Zabar, one of the founding members, was fresh from the AACM school when the group was formed. That would make a good start, right? Early on, the group also played with such notables as Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre and then just recently with Corey Wilkes (you might recognize his name as the trumpet player who stood in for Lester Bowie in the AEC after his passing). El'Zabar has also worked outside of the Ensemble with Pharoah Sanders, Billy Bang, David Murray, Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors--the list goes on and on. How I hadn't heard of this group (or El'Zabar) I will never know, but they sure crossed paths with quite a few people I follow. El'Zabar feels like one of those people who you can go on and on about and still not do them justice.The album itself has some great tracks. The thing that probably stood out the most to me after first hearing it was the amazing African rhythms that these guys knock out. It almost reminded me of certain Don Cherry projects, but this definitely has its own feel. The tracks "Jam for the Babas" (the flute track that I originally obsessed over from the Zebulon site) and "Great Black Music" are probably my favorites (funny how they cap the album), but the rest of the stuff also provides plenty of great listening. The use of the traditional African instruments also adds to the ethnic vibe, but the group still maintains a forward-thinking edge This stuff just feels so natural and fluid, and it all just pulls you right in. It grooves--you'll see!Ethnic Heritage EnsembleKa-Real2000Silkheart128 Rate AAC files (Equivelent to 192 rate MP3 files)Line-up:Joseph Bowie - Percussion, Trombone, Conga, Djembe, PhotographyErnest Dawkins - Flute, Percussion, Soprano, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)Kahil El'Zabar - Percussion, Drums, Mixing, SanzaAtu Harold Murray - Flute, DrumsTracks:1. Great Black Music (El'Zabar) - 11:332. Sweet Meat (El'Zabar) - 5:523. Ka-Real (Bowie) - 7:494. Hang Tough (El'Zabar) - 9:425. Kampfumo Shuffle (Dawkins) - 9:156. The Christening (El'Zabar) - 7:337. Jam for the Babas (Murray) - 10:34Here's some more links to related information: (El'Zabar's website) (More info about the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and FREE audio samples!)[...]

Brandon Evans Solo Recording


Positive events keep unfurling through this blog--this site now has another regular contributor involved! A little while back, Caos contacted me about lending some obscurities from his own collection. A true gentleman and scholar (with fantastic tastes in music to boot), Caos sent along this recording from Brandon Evans. If the name Brandon Evans sounds familiar but you can't quite place it (don't feel bad--it happened to me as well), you might remember him from a Sonny Simmons post over at Church #9 a little while back. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful to Caos not only for this wonderful recording, but for the background information as well.On to the disc--Evans switches between clarinet and tenor, with great results. He has a very lyrical sound at times, but is obviously capable of stretching his instruments out to fit his creativity as well. I had to keep in mind that this was all coming from a 25 year old musician (at the time of the recording). After listening to this album, I was surprised that Evans wasn't a bigger name on the jazz scene. Fortunately, Caos was there to help explain the situation:"Indeed Evans is an interesting musician, but he pretty much fell completely out of the scene in 2004 or so. He used to run Parallactic Records, a label that put out over 30 recordings by him, Braxton, Simmons, and others from the Middletown, CT/New York City scene(the Wesleyen school of players surrounding Braxton). An insider of the scene who I spoke to suggested that personal/lifestyle problems caused him to stop doing the music thing (hopefully temporarily but who knows),which is odd and kind of tragic, considering the artistic heights he was attaining in such a short amount of time. The liner notes he's written in some of his recordings and the innovations he made in notation and approaching improvisation bespeak someone of incredible depth. Braxton himself has also spoken very highly of Brandon, and even gave him a lucrative role in the performance of his major opera Trillium R."The core of his output centered on a series of recordings of his Ellipsis/Elliptical Axis compositions, based on two invented notation systems of the same names. In his words, "[these] are systems that define a world of sound as a kaleidoscope of sound alignments, sound cycles, sound configurations; a platform for a 'global improvisational axis point'". Other things in his liner notes are almost impossible to understand, especially the more in-depth discussion on these notation systems and how they are approached."The Parallactic records homepage and, an mp3 store that Evans opened both fell off the face of the earth last year and disappeared without a trace, so clearly some stuff has been going down with him, but who really knows? Damnedhorrible shame if he doesn't rejoin the scene eventually."Caos also found this biographical snippet from the web to lend a little more info about Evans:"New York-based multi-instrumentalist Brandon Evans wasborn in San Francisco in 1972. He began playing musicas a teenager while a student at the San Francisco ArtInstitute, and later began studying and performingwith jazz saxophonist Sonny Simmons. Eventually, Evansrelocated to Connecticut to study composition withAnthony Braxton at Wesleyan University. Even aftermoving to New York in 1994, Evans continued to workclosely with Braxton: he has appeared on a number ofBraxton's recordings, and he often performed withBraxton as a member of his Ghost Trance Ensemble.After arriving in New York, Evans and Andre Vida alsofounded the Creative Trans-Informational Alliance(CTIA), which organized concerts featuring prominentavant-garde jazz musicians. Evans' own music, oftenissued on his own Parallactic label, explores acombination of improvisation and composition, forwhich he has developed a new system of notation,called the "'Ellipsis & Elliptical Axis NotationSystem." In addition to a number of solo recordings,Evans has also appeared on disc with Simmons, Se[...]

Hell's Kitchen mixes up a true delicacy


When I first purchased this album, it was mainly due to my interest in Brotzmann and Cherry tracks. Little did I know, Odean Pope can really get it going! I think the first track, his Improvisation 1, has become my overall favorite from this disc. He really establishes a solid groove to explore from. I shamefully admit that despite how much I enjoy this track, I have not gone in search of any of his other efforts. Can anybody shed some light on this guy? Is he worth checking out?About the Brotzmann track, it doesn't disappoint either (despite the fact that it is quite an adjustment from the first song). About halfway through it, I could have sworn I heard some hints at "Lonely Woman" mixed in there. Things get back to some chaos and then again, at about the ten minute mark, Brotzmann grinds through the first couple notes of it. I could be wrong (I REALLY like "Lonely Woman"--maybe it was just wishful listening?), but I thought it was pretty cool anyways. For a true version of Brotz wrenching out LW, I'll have to post the track from his 14 Love Songs album. A very powerful interpretation! (Wait, is anything he puts out not powerful?)The next two tracks from Brackeen and Blackwell are fine, but nothing really to write home about in my opinion. Which leaves me with the Don Cherry tracks, actually recorded in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (US).(That's actually him on the front of the album with his spelunker hat on) Art and caves have been linked for some time now (the above picture even has a stick-guy with a drum--I thought it was fitting) but Cherry really brings it to the next level. This is some creative and earthy stuff. The reverberations and echoes from the stalagtites (the ones on the ground, right?) throughout the cave provide a powerfully haunting vibe. This is definitely something to listen to late at night when the lights are low and everything is quiet. His flute music on the sixth track is brief and not all that ground-breaking, but you can hear the running (dripping?) water in the background if you listen carefully. What I would have given to have been there! The following is from the liner notes (by Ann Mayo -reprinted from the Village Voice, November 13 1976) and describes much of the experience:"On a morning in early October I watched the great free jazzman Don Cherry as he scaled a ledge high on the sheer wall of the Longest Cave in the World and played rocks like a xylophone. Far below, our guide had fired up two kerosen lantersns so that we were able to doff our miner's hats."Cherry, on the ledge, gave off vibes of the leopard-spirit of the Ngbe tribe as he improvised a roller-coaster of sound."Throughout Cherry's performance, producer Verna Gillis sat on the cave floor, at one with her Stellavox tape recorder, earphones like a ceremonial headress, flashback to Wild Cave Woman taking part in the first of the lost Adena Indians who inhabited proto-Kentucky a thousand years ago."Adjusting the AKG mircophone, in overalls with wispy hair and beatific smile, a hippie farmer, was sculptor Bradford Graves."Cherry darted from one rock to another, striking them with two hickory branches he'd brought along at the guide's suggestion."The Cherry/GIllis expedition guide, Joe McGown, realls, "Some people are just scared of caves." Grraves had been spelunking in the cave for many years and gave Gillis the idea for this unique expidition and it had taken Gillis two years to wheelde permission for his happening from the National Park Service. Gillis has been interested in silence as the other side of sound since she was 16 years old. "Here in the cave, Don is playing a kind of duet between himself and the echo.""When Cherry played the rocks, he'd made a stronger human statement than anyone else. He also drew out an ancient Taos Indian block flut that he had borrowed from the Dartmouth College Museum and translated his breath into its sound."The flute/whistle sound seemed imprisoned in the cave, ca[...]

Let's end this day on a postive note!


A while back when I posted "For Don Cherry," Flux'us expressed some interest in some more Mats Gustafsson. Here is an album that is definitely out of print and fairly hard to find, "One to (Two)." Gunter Christmann really matches the style of Gustafsson well, and the album swirls with punctuated twists and turns. Gustafsson also manages to get some seriously strange and amazing noises out of his horn (Christmann does as well out of his cello and trombone for that matter). My wife and I have a green-cheeked conure (parrot) and one night it was making some very odd squawking noises. I went out to the living room and put select parts of this album on for my wife and she couldn't believe how organic and similar to the parrot this sounded at times. Art imitating life or life imitating (mimicking?) art? I'd like to think that soon our parrot will start imitating all kinds of wild jazz--it sure would save me a bundle on album expenses! Either way, we both had a good laugh about it. Seriously though, this album is way more than just that. If you are in the mood for something different, definitely check this out--you won't be disappointed. There are some intense spurts of unbridled fury on this album as well--it definitely runs the gamut. Here's a review I snagged from the Okka website giving a bit more of a detailed description:"Rarely heard German provocateur Günter Christmann plays cello on twelve of eighteen freely improvised duos with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. On the other six, he is heard on the trombone, for which is he is better known. It all works exceedingly well, as Christmann ruptures more than a few bastions of complacency with percussive scratches and highly infectious scurried patches of pulverized explosions, while Gustafsson continues to impress with his perfectly drawn puffs, pants, and snorts. Together, their intense, puckered chops rip through stereotypical tediousness and blast charmed lines of unending fascination. Often quiet, swift, and supple, almost like lizards darting in the desert eve, these two intertwine magnificently, with little percussive sounds predominating, and breathy snorts meeting scratched ruffles. On trombone, Christmann is Gustafsson’s equal, never grandstanding, while both tweak uncharted skies. The trombonist favors muted forays, with intense, yet quiet blats the predominant focus. Both Christmann and Gustafsson can be hard-core, and the saxophonist enjoys energetic bursts to startle and surprise. Mostly, though, this is music that challenges as it subverts, its highly esoteric, yet disarmingly attractive lines an attractive hook. Highly ambitious, subtly exciting, and always formidable, Christmann and Gustafsson make a delightfully revolutionary pair. Not easy listening, but rewarding listening, and continuously challenging listening, these guys shake the heavens with heartfelt cries of mercy. There are no liner notes but what could be said? Powerful stuff, but you have to look below the surface."— Steven A. Loewy, Cadence, May 1999One to (Two)Günter Christmann — cello, trombone Mats Gustafsson — saxophonesOkka DiskRecorded at the Kesselhaus in Hanover, Germany, August 15 (during live concert) & 16, 1997128 Rate AAC Files (Equivalent to 192 rate MP3)Track List:1. One to... (3:30)2. Two to... (4:07)3. Three to... (1:07)4. Four to... (3:29)5. Five to... (4:54)6. Six to... (2:26)7. Seven to... (1:38)8. Eight to... (5:32)9. Nine to... (1:51)10. Ten to... (3:41)11. Eleven to... (3:34)12. Twelve to... (3:42)13. Thirteen to... (2:44)14. Fourteen to... (5:01)15. Fifteen to... (3:48)16. Sixteen to... (2:25)17. Seventeen to... (1:16)18. Eighteen to... (7:07)Total Time: 62:01[...]

Bummer of a day...



What a sad Thursday it has been. The creative collective lost a huge contributor today when Kurt Vonnegut passed away at the ripe young age of 84. I don't know why, but he always just seemed like one of those people who would carry on forever. Maybe that was just wishful thinking. Vonnegut's crass, wry wit made me an instant fan and I chewed threw his entire library the summer after high school. I had planned in my mind to someday meet him (or at least hear him speak), but it seemed that money or life always got in the way. Whatever the situation, I couldn't believe when I heard of his passing. His sometimes ascerbic viewpoint, brutal honesty and humor will be sorely missed. If only the earth could once again be graced with the smell of mustard gas and roses. Ahhh, as he would say, "So it goes."

As a FAR less tragic side, it appears that this site was "trolled" (I think that is what it is referred to as). None of the links on the front page work, but I am working to remedy that. Hopefully I will have this situation fixed by this weekend. I plan on using RapidSafe as an alternate after doing a little snooping around. It won't be quite as simple as before, but I don't think this will happen again. Anyone else have any better services/ideas? I am more than open to suggestions!

Oh, one last thing to tie these two situations together. Before his tragic passing, Mr. Vonnegut was actually able to quickly sketch the person who trashed the links. The sketch looked like this:


Hi, ho!

UPDATE!: Well, that sure went surprisingly fast... Try the new RapidSafe links for each post--when you reach the link page just click the middle (Download) button and you should be good to go. This works fine even if you have a premium account. Enjoy!

Some more Blythe by request


Photo copyright Michael Romanos (

Here it is by request from Centrifuge, the great album from Arthur Blythe, "Lenox Avenue Breakdown." How this ever managed to go out of print I will never know. This recording sports a truly dynamic line-up that shares a tremendous amount of chemistry. I remember reading that the group had only been together for a short while before this was recorded, but there aren't any hints in the music to suggest that. Simply stunning. The opening track, "Down San Diego Way" has a real exuberance about it, and it swings with some great ethnic melodies and lyricism. My wife usually isn't a huge fan of the music I listen to, but she really digs this tune when I put it on. It just feels like San Diego itself--sunny, active and vibrant. Or at least the more pleasant aspects of San Diego...)

There are two things that I also really enjoy about this disc that set it apart. First of all it showcases some tuba, and I can't think of too many other albums that make that work. Not just any old tuba work, either--Stewart really gets a lot out of his uberhorn! Secondly, this album also has some great contributions from James Blood Ulmer. If you have been keeping track of this blog and the comments associated, you might have already read that I wasn't always a huge fan of guitar in jazz. This was one of the albums that got me thinking differently about all of that.
What else can I say? Really give this one a chance to sink in--highly interesting and entertaining, cohesive and it never seems to get stale!


Lenox Avenue Breakdown
Arthur Blythe
128 Rate AAC files (Equivalent to 192 rate Mp3 files)

Arthur Blythe - Sax (Alto), Mixing
Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Guilherme Franco - Percussion
Cecil McBee - Bass, Guitar
James Newton - Flute
Bob Stewart - Tuba
James Blood Ulmer - Guitar

1 Down San Diego Way Blythe - 7:44
2 Lenox Avenue Breakdown Blythe - 13:11
3 Slidin' Through Blythe - 9:33
4 Odessa Blythe - 9:30

Air-in' it Out!



Well, here's a little bit extra due to some interest over at Church Number 9. I am sure Atanase already has his hands full with everything else that has been posted there lately (absolutely amazing music, by the way) and I thought I would throw this up for everyone to enjoy.

Yup, this album definitely lives up to the hype. Imagine ragtime jazz gone free, and that pretty much sums this up. It has some fantastic swinging moments, mixed up with the creative inflections of Hopkins, McCall and Threadgill. I think the thing that stands out the most that really drags you in to the music is the infectious sense of fun created here. Quite a session, and dang, I was going to try and single out a song to talk about, but it all jams. The folks over at Destination Out posted a couple tracks and some interesting information about Buddy Bolden, the book Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje (highly recommended--very vivid), and another version of "Buddy Bolden's Blues" by Jelly Roll Morton. Needless to say, an amazing post and I haven't been able to listen to the song in the same way since. Here's the link if you are interested (you should be):

Unfortunately the tracks there are dead, but the important stuff you can get here...Enjoy! As Flux'us said, part of the Air "Holy Trinity"!

Air Lore
128 Rate AAC Files (Equivalent to 192 MP3)

Fred Hopkins - Bass
Steve McCall - Drums
Henry Threadgill - Sax (Alto)

1. Ragtime Dance - 9:20
2. Buddy Bolden Blues - 9:27
3. King Porter Stomp - 3:48
4. Paille Street - 2:19
5. Weeping Willow Rag - 11:35

A Little Bit O' Bowie



(photo : Damien Lafargue / GetThePicture)

I apologize for not getting this post up last week, but with the weather taking a nice turn here, sitting in front of a computer was the last thing on my mind. On to the album...

Lester Bowie stood out as one of the truly interesting, entertaining and enlightening personalities in the jazz world. His sense of humor always seemed to find its way out in whatever he did (just check out this photo above--this guy was one eclectic individual), yet he took his music very seriously. I was just watching an Art Ensemble of Chicago DVD last weekend with our 5 year-old, and it really made me realize just how talented Bowie was. He had a definite showman's air about him, but he was very much in tune and focused into what was being created on the stage. He energized his work with so much soul and feeling, it would seem impossible to not get into it. Oh yeah, our little guy was fascinated with the amount of instruments on the stage as well (About Don Moye at one point, "How many different drums is that going to try and play?")and was totally into it. What kind of effect will this have on him? Positive, of course! :)

While I admit that my favorite Lester Bowie stuff was recorded with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, this album definitely has its great moments. Here he is paired with his AEC buddy Malachi Favors and manages to put together a pretty decent session. Kind of cool that a younger Arthur Blythe appears on this album as well. This definitely has its hard blowing moments, but much of it is more laid back--as always, very creative. Enjoy!


The 5th Power
Lester Bowie
128 Rate AAC Files (Equivalent to 192 MP3)

Arthur Blythe Sax (Alto)
Lester Bowie Trumpet
Malachi Favors Bass
Amina Claudine Myers Piano, Vocals
Giacomo Pellicciotti Producer
Phillip Wilson Drums

1 Sardegna Amore (New Is Full of Lonely People) Bowie 6:20
2 3 in 1 (Three in One) Bowie 9:32
3 BBB [Duet] Blythe, Myers 5:52
4 God Has Smiled on Me (Traditional Gospel) Bowie, Myers 18:02
5 The 5th Power (Finale) Bowie 4:58

(Link Removed)

Who would it be?


Well, if you haven't already noticed, things around here are starting to take on a different appearance. There have been some sites that I have been meaning to add to the link section, I didn't like the look of the layout and the title was just lacking. Hopefully these changes are a step in a positive direction.

On to another thought I wanted to discuss here. One of my favorite parts of creating my own blog (besides sharing some of my obscure tunes) is the open discussion that has gone on here. I really appreciate the people who have taken the time to write down their own opinions of things (good or bad), give suggestions or recommendations for music that might follow a similar vein, and even post some of their own stuff here. There are many interesting and fascinating things going on around us, why not share your favs with others around? It's always cool finding something fresh to enjoy, or at least forming a new opinion. Exploration.

Okay, enough of all of that philosophising. Down to the meat and potatoes for this post--a hypothetical situation. If you were isolated somewhere for a year (hokey and overused I know, but bear with me here) and could only take one musical artist's complete discography (as leader and sideman) with you, who would it be? I don't know what spurred this question in my head, but I probably have spent too much time thinking about it lately (Perhaps a lull at work?). As the idea progressed, I realized that I would want someone who has a wide variety of recorded music under his or her belt. Too much of one style would burn me out. Big time names floated in and out until finally it hit me. The man pictured above. Max Roach. Who else could it be? Let's start off with all of his classic albums with Bird and Diz, or the Massey Hall date. In the mood for some trumpet? How about all of his recordings with Clifford Brown. Hmmm, too mellow and straight ahead you might think. Turn to 70's Max. The one who recorded with Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and Archie Shepp. "Force" and "The Long March" (with Shepp) are two of my all-time favorites, and that "Historic Concerts" disc with CT is just something else entirely. No shortage of creativity there. Heck, I even like (thoroughly) his Paris concert recerded with Dizzy (1989), despite the somewhat mixed reactions. And those are just some of the standout albums that come to mind immediately.

To sum it up simply: Max Roach. The most talented individual? Definitely up there, but obviosuly not. Am I way off base here by choosing him? Who would you pick? What would be the defining factors in your choice? Inquiring minds want to know!

Here's an interesting link to a BBC site that follows along similar lines:

p.s. For all of you album junkies, I'll try and put up some Lester Bowie later this week...

His momma called him Leo...


I was up in the Pacific Northwest just recently on a bit of a road trip, and with a bit of driving ahead of me I decided to plug my iPod into the deck and listen to Wadada Leo Smith's box "Kabell Years: 1971-1979." Fantastic! This guy is an amazing trumpet player, the music is very interesting and imaginative and the set (at least for me) just seemed so easy to get into. It ranks very high on my recommendation list--if you don't have it already I suggest checking it out! Fortunately, it is in print and very easy to find, two thinks which would nix it from my blog.

Alternatively, I decided to throw on another of his albums, Smith's 1978 recording for ECM "Divine Love," which, based on its used prices on and, seems to be out of print. This album has an all-star cast, including Charlie Haden on bass and even an appearance by Lester Bowie and Kenny Wheeler. Things on this album really seem to mesh, despite a less than stunning review at If you haven't heard it already, I suggest you give it a listen and then go buy the Kabell box!

Divine Love
Wadada Leo Smith
Released 1978
128 Rate AAC Files

Dwight Andrews Flute, Clarinet (Bass), Sax (Tenor), Triangle
Lester Bowie Trumpet
Charlie Haden Bass
Bobby Naughton Marimba, Bells, Vibraphone
Wadada Leo Smith Percussion, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Gong
Kenny Wheeler Trumpet

Track List:
1 Divine Love Smith 21:47
2 Tastalun Smith 6:38
3 Spirituals: Language of Love Smith 15:28

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How Swede it is!


So, basically this little Swedish gem (helped back into reissue by none other than Mats Gustafsson) is truly impressive. What ever happened to these guys? As far as I know, this is the only album that got released from the group. There is some great energy on this album, with some true blowout moments mixed in with some nice rhythms and melodies. Their version of Ornette's "Ramblin'" really jams and Orinoco has a wonderful ominous beginning and Holmstrom really gets into it. I can't remember how I even learned about this album, but it is definitely a keeper--its a shame this is the only recorded version of their work. This one is a little less abstract than the last post, and a great overall listen. Enjoy!

Mount Everest Trio
"Waves from Albert Ayler"
Recorded in 1975
128 Rate AAC Files

Gilbert Holmstrom Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Kjell Jansson Bass
Conny Sjokvist Drums

1 Spirits 4:26
2 Ramblin' 5:54
3 Orinoco 7:05
4 Bananas Oas 4:13
5 No Hip Shit 7:26
6 Elf 3:15
7 Eritrea Libre 3:46
8 People's Dance 6:55
9 101 W. 80th Street 6:25
10 Consolation 5:29
11 Ode to Albert Ayler 5:25

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Gustafsson/Drake Masterpiece


Apologies to the people over at Okka (and Susie Jae of WKCR) where I got this review, but I couldn't put it any better:

"Rhythmic virtuoso Hamid Drake and reeds innovator Mats Gustafsson deliver a jaw-dropping and all-too-brief set recorded in Chicago on Oct. 19, 1995, the day of Don Cherry’s death. One of the few live records to make this listener earnestly wish she’d been in attendance, Drake and Gustafsson’s meeting is a perfect example of the phenomenal synergy possible between two musicians. The two in question are an ideal match; both temper the muscularity of their playing with sensitivity and musical sophistication. Neither artist allows the other the option of sitting on his heels at any point; this recording is challenging, intense, and enjoyable from start to finish.

Plus, it seems like they’re having fun; have a listen to the frenetic, playful second piece, wherein Gustafsson presumably forgoes his saxophones for a bit to yelp and whoop in response to Drake’s inspired djembe playing. Gustafsson, frequently touted as a "rising star" of European jazz, is in my opinion rarely matched among powerhouse reedsmen in creativity. Meanwhile, the tireless and infallible Drake delievers one of the more visceral and thrilling percussion solos to make it to records. This is improvisation, and it rocks, to boot; my favorite live record of the year. Only 600 copies entered the world, so you know what that means."

- Susie Jae, ON AIR magazine, WKCR 89.9 FM (New York)

This one took some serious time to track down. I am happy to say that I wasn't let down at all by the final results. Drake and Gustafsson are perfectly suited together and they really build off of one other. SIMPLY AMAZING!


For Don Cherry
Recorded at Urbis Orbis, Chicago, IL, October 19, 1995
128 AAC Files

Hamid Drake — percussion
Mats Gustafsson — reeds

1. (4:53)
2. (6:28)
3. (17:30)
4. (11:09)

Total time: 40:02

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A big thank you and a little something else...


Well, this blog has already surpassed what I had imagined it would become. Thanks to Boromir (many thanks!) for some great music, and thanks to you all for the encouraging comments. I feel guilty for not putting up something new for a whole week. That is about to change, and how! I thought it would be nice to post an early Andrew Cyrille album here. I haven't been to too many live shows, but I did get the chance to see Mr. Cyrille in southern California a couple of years ago. He is one of my musical heroes (mainly due to the album associated with this post), and he stuck around after the gig to talk to everybody around the stage. Pretty cool, but he disappeared before I could thank him for his amazing music. As I was walking out of the auditorium, I caught him coming back and actually got a chance to talk to him for about five minutes. I have never been so star-struck in my life! He probably thought I was a little bit out there, but was a real class act and quick to talk about his different projects. Very cool. It's always nice when you get to meet a personal hero and they turn out to be that much more amazing.
Anyways, on to the music. Andrew Cyrille's Metamusicians' Stomp is flat out incredible. I found a copy of it on Amazon and never looked back. The first track has a catchy intro (and a young David S. Ware's smoky sax burns through it all) and it just gets better and better all the way through the last track. Speaking of the last track (Spiegelgasse), there is a point where Ted Daniel's trumpet sounds absolutely other-worldly--just some ethereal trumput floating over it all. If you hear it, you will probably know what I am talking about. Disappointments regarding the album? It's not that long (less than 40 minutes), leaving you wishing they had recorded more! Just listen to it!

Metamusicians' Stomp (1978)
Andrew Cyrille & Maono
Andrew Cyrille: Percussion, Drums, Performer
Ted Daniel: Flute, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Multi Instruments
Nick DiGeronimo: Bass
David S. Ware: Flute, Sax (Tenor)
128 Rate AAC files

1 Metamusicians' Stomp Cyrille 6:41
2 My Ship Gershwin, Weill 7:05
3 5-4-3-2 Cyrille 4:54
4 Spiegelgasse 14: Reflections + Restaurants/The Park/Flight Cyrille 21:44

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How about some hard to find Ornette?


Here is an out-of-print Ornette album that he made with Charlie Haden. This stuff is pretty nice and I am actually suprised that it has gone by the wayside. The two perform fantastically together, which is amazing considering how much time had passed when they actually recorded this. What more can I say? I'll let the tunes do the talking.


Ornette Colemen/Charlie Haden
Soapsuds, Soapsuds
128 Rate AAC files

1 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Coleman) 7:45
2 Human Being (Coleman) 7:49
3 Soap Suds (Coleman) 5:17
4 Sex Spy (Coleman) 9:59
5 Some Day (Coleman) 7:34

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Back to the Roots (of my obsession?)


I figured it was about time to post some music that is in my humble opinion truly amazing. There is also a story behind this one as well. Right around 2001, I finally had enough money to actually purchase my own computer (a Mac by the way). A little bit after that I actually was connected to the Internet and started to enjoy all of the streaming radio stations I could find on iTunes. One day was listening to, and suddenly a track from Evan Parker and Eddie Prevost came on. At the time, I had never heard of either one (I was "safe" in the realm of Mingus, Ornette and Coltrane) and I just stopped what I was doing at the time and listened. I can't say I was immediately of the mindset of "Wow, that is just the best stuff I have ever heard!," but I was really floored. I had never heard anything like they were playing, with its mysteriousness and creative power. When the track finally finished, all I could think of was how I wished I could have heard it again--and soon! All thanks for the track information streamed along with the station--I immediately wrote it down and began my first real search for a hard-to-find album. I ended up finding a used copy on eBay for about 15 bucks if I remember correctly, but that whole double album completely changed my outlook on music. I still have the postcard photo of Parker with his soprano that came with the liner notes pinned to my fridge. None of my friends could understand what I was so excited about (I wasn't even sure if I knew either, or for that matter still know...), but that album set off something in me that has yet to be quenched. Even though I have found other albums that I like perhaps even better from Parker (still haven't heard anything else by Prevost), this set still gives me the chills. To each their own, but try listening to this by yourself when you are otherwise unoccupied and in an introspective frame of mind. I'm not saying you are going to like it, but give it a chance and you never know what might happen...


Most Materiall
Evan Parker, saxophones; Eddie Prévost, percussion
128 Rate AAC Files
(Read if this disappoints you)

Disc 1:

Double truth (of reason and revelation) (19.51)
Knowledge is power (13.36)
Rejecting simple enumeration (13.46)
That more might have been done, or sooner (29.00)

Disc 2:
Nil novum (12.01)
Skill gave rise to chance, and chance to skill (09.26)
Not so much for the sake of arguing as for the sake of living (12.24)
Let us attend to present business (11.19)
Chastise me, but listen (16.42)

Recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston, England on 23 February 1997 (CD A and B1) and 13 April 1997 (other tracks).
Front cover painting (reproduced above) Djebel nefousa by Brenda Mayo, 1993.

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Some music to share...


Well, if you manage to drift this way and if you like John Zorn, and if you are okay with AAC files (just download iTunes), you should give this a try. I posted it over at the Crabbit and Daft discussion boards, but I will post it here as well. All of the information should be imbedded in the files. Good stuff! This was actually the first time I tried uploading something to a file-sharing network. If you have any comments or advice, please let me know! If not, just enjoy this stuff anyways! Hopefully now that I have figured out how easy it is to do this, I'll be able to put up some more of my obscure (yet still AAC) stuff. Otherwise I would have to dig my original copies out of boxes at the moment, and that might not be so much fun. Besides, I think it sounds great--someday we will have to do a blind audio test for the bitrate snobs to see if there really is a detectable difference.

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Enjoy! for the album art...

Practice by Doing


So, I guess rather than just sit here at the blank screen and try to think up something perfect, I might as well just get to typin'. As you can see from my profile pic I am a huge fan of Jim Woodring. If you are at all into graphic art and all things strange and wonderful, you really need to check out his "Frank" work. I am also really into (basically a borderline unhealthy addiction) free/avant jazz. Well, maybe just not free jazz, but creative sounds Some of my favorites include Ornette Coleman, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp--hmmmm, maybe I will have to revisit this idea later and give my favs for each instrument before this post turns into a complete name-dropping session. An example of my favorite albums? Perhaps also for a later discussion, but this last weekend I was listening to Archie Shepp's and Max Roach's duo double album set "The Long March" and was in absolute musical bliss.
Well, hopefully as time allows I'll be able to add some more stuff to this site. Somewhat ego-centric I know, but maybe somebody will actually have read some of this and take the time to leave some of their own opinions.