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Updated: 2018-02-14T14:57:02.896-08:00


The Sounds of Life - Tom & Ellen [NYCAC 501]


The Sounds of LifeTom & EllenEllen Christi    -vocals, percussion, fluteTom Bruno    -drums, ashimba, bells, flute, pianoSide A1.Oriental Tale2.Moroccan Mode3.Piece to Jimmy AndersonSide A1.Spaced2.Dirge for James B. ChristersonNYCAC 501 - NYCAC Records1976In the not-exactly crowded field of recorded vocal - percussion duets , this record doesn't so much stand out, as stand alone.I can't think of anything that this sounds similar to.Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln come quickly to mind, but theirs was a dramatic, declamatory 'public' style. Quite different to this, which is largely personal, reflective, and intimate.Besides, Max and Abbey were quite recognisably "jazz" musicians, often drenched in the blues. Christi and Bruno almost totally avoid conventional jazz gestures here.Whilst 'ethnic themes' are the setup for pieces on side 1, and 20th century classical song may be informing part of the partly frantic Spaced, the impression you're left with is that Tom and Ellen are playing the music that they hear themselves - their music - and that's it.No story is ever quite that simple though - I'd be interested to hear how it sounds to others ...I'm not being accurate anyway in calling this purely a percussion-vocal duetBruno plays flute and piano on one section, and both Tom and Ellen duet on flutes for on the Dirge for James B. Christerson. This lament for the death of Christi's father is also the only piece that contains any actual sung words, in the opening of the piece.From there on though, the vocal improvisations are wordless and range from quiet and introspective meditations through to loud, impassioned and agile muti-note phrasing.Christi largely eschews the often heard 'primal scream' style of  free improvised vocals  - with its ululating, shrieks and big vocal scoops and slides.  Instead -whilst frequently clearly emotional - she tends to hit notes bang-on - and her pitch is really secure even in the more frantic passages.I really like the colour of her voice (she varies it to great effect in some passages), which anyone who listened to the earlier two NYAC records posted here will be familiar with.This duo LP predates those records - and was the first release on their newly established NYAC Records (New York City Artists' Collective). The And You Ain't Ready For This One Either LP followed it three years later in 1979, followed by the NYAC Plays Butch Morris in 1984.To my knowledge, these were the only 3 albums released on the NYCAC label [Edit: Wrong - 11 years after this LP, came the last NYCAC release - Star of Destiny - Ellen Christi (1987). Thanks to blogger farosanderson for pointing this out] .  For further details about the NYCAC, albeit meagre, please see either of the preceding posts.It seems kind of sad that this first LP has dedications for people who had died - both Ellen's father, and - as the liner notes explain - a composition/improvisation for a recently deceased friend .The next LP featured a dedication for members of Juan Quiñones' family that had perished in a fire.And the last record (and the first one posted here) was put up here anyway, in memoriam Butch Morris.Although Tom Bruno died in 2012, Ellen Christi is still very much alive and has had a long career and issued a bunch of albums along the way.  Please consider - if you've enjoyed any of these NYAC Bruno/Christi posts buying some in-print material of the artists in question.For Ellen Christi, you can visit her website.  There are a few MP3 samples there, although online stores may offer more in the way of sound samples. You will also find additional releases that Ellen hasn't included on her site's discography page.As always - 9GC advocates purchasing from artists you enjoy and respect !Tom Bruno plays what sounds like an African thumb piano at the beginning of the record - it is in fact an ashimba - struck with mallets, it's in fact more like an earthy xylophone. As the rear jacket notes, the ashimba was made by a gentleman in Leesburg, Virginia . The man in question M[...]

And You Ain't Ready For This One Either - New York City Artists' Collective [NYCAC 502]


Ellen Christi -vocalsJuan Quiñones-guitarJohn Shea -bassTom Bruno -drumsSide 11.The Children2.New BluesSide 21.Mystic Lover2.DeweyRecorded March 22, 1979, NYCDowntown SoundEngineered by Phil ClendeninnProduced by The New York City Artists' CollectiveNYAC RecordsNYAC 5021979The other day (well ok, it was 22 months ago) we posted the New York City Artists' Collective's 'Plays Butch Morris' LP.  This is following on from that record and that post..In fact, this record *preceded* the NYCAC Plays Butch Morris LP - straddling the line between the 70's and the 80's respectively - this one from 1979 being a more compact grouping of guitar, acoustic bass, drums and voice.  Ellen Christie (voc), Tom Bruno (drums) and Juan Quiñones (guitar) are the common musicians to both records, and the core of the NYCAC501 Canal St, near the Holland Tunnel entrance on the lower East Side of Manhattan was already well established as NYCAC headquarters, and is seen on the front cover here. A rehearsal and performance space, as well as residence for some (Bruno lived there), the NYCAC was a non-profit organization for the promotion of visual and performing arts.In its formative years (1974-80), the Collective presented a nine-month concert series produced by Tom Bruno and Ellen Christi. Artists such as David Murray, Ray Anderson, William Parker, Keshavan Maslak, Lefferts Brown, Gene Ashton, William Parker, Roy Campbell, Patricia Wilkinson, Juan Quinones and Dave Burrell were featured. These concerts, produced  in the storefront of 501 Canal Street, provided an alternative performance space. With  the success of these  concert series,  the Collective was able to expand, presenting concerts in  larger community based performance venues.  A few examples were galleries in Soho ( Artists’ House belonging to Ornette Coleman. The Prince Street location, under the name Artists House, became the site of various performances by Coleman and others over the next few years ), universities, churches, museums, lofts (Sunrise Studios) , and other community centers (Bronx Community Center with Machito). By  1976, a core group of N.Y.C.A.C. members  were invited to perform  throughout Northern Europe as a part of the “Sounds of Life” touring series. The need for documentation of these concerts was the first step in  founding  the New York City Artists’ Collective  recording label, N.Y.C. A.C. Records. While the Collective maintained its primary commitment to public performance, it also had an active role in documenting much of the concert work. Following the “Sounds of Life” recording, “And You Ain’t Ready for This One Either (1979) and New York City Artists’ Collective Plays Butch Morris (1984) were released on  the N.Y.C.A.C. recording  label. These recordings created  an additional medium through which to present the Collective’s music to the public.  - from Eclectic Arts Inc websiteThe  title of the record is presumably a wry response to the general reception of Christi and Bruno's previous Sounds of Life LP from a couple of years before.Although sounding almost nothing like the Plays Butch Morris LP, this is still not overtly 'jazzy music' - of a Free, or any other, jazz type or genre. For what must have been a budget-priced studio , I like the way Bruno’s drums are recorded.  In fact the whole group is recorded pretty well for what must have been a self-financed chunk of studio time.   Also, his liner notes on the back cover are worth reading.The Children is as uptempo as any of the 4 tunes here, with a mélange of cascading guitar figures, impassioned bass double-stopping and double-time single note playing. Bruno pushes and splashes from the drums as Christie wordlessly improvises over the top before dropping back for the 3 instrumentalists to solo – without actually obviously soloing at first, until Shea’s unaccompanied bass interlude cues Christie to return whilst the guitar reprises &nb[...]

So anyway ..


This blog just sort of stopped suddenly 22 months ago.  With no farewll message or ominous comment about "moving up to UCLA in the fall so less time to post" or whatever.
Just Pffft.
What happened? I have no idea other than the rather limp explanation that life just intervened.

There was an original plan - at the outset - which was to rip and post all the odd or interesting records in our collections - and *then* stop. Perhaps even stop with an announcement.
A guy who ran (briefly) the I Forgot Clifford blog should have got a prize for the way he did this routine a few years back: - suddenly he was ripping and posting all these great free-jazz records at an alarming, or exciting,  rate. As I remember it, he was largely running the blog to share his music collection with his son, who lived far away. Bam, bam, bam, all these wonderful album rips appearing, and then he was done, had achieved his goal - , he took down all the pages of his blog, posted a handful of popular downloads at Inconstant Sol and that was it - all over, and mission accomplished.  Nice style. You can still see his old  front door (locked) at

So back to here, there was a big stack of records to post - or a reasonable sized stack anyway - and we started and we made some posts. Hopefully even posts that people enjoyed.
After stopping, I've thought that all those remaining records in the stack are going to get posted by others on other blogs before too long, and sure enough, quite a few have in the last 2 years, which is great to see.  But not as many as I somehow imagined. Which means the original plan is unfulfilled - to get this out-of-print music out into the public arena and maybe talk about music a bit with people (which no-one really wants to do, the talking bit, but that's another subject).

It's tough to put a lot into ripping, posting and writing - and then get so many downloads but comparatively so little feedback. Of course it's the music blogger's constant moan - that they get so little back from those they give to - why should they bother? It's a total drag to read this (yet again) - sometimes you wish they *would* just stop rather than go on moaning about it again - (and I include myself moaning).   But if you haven't experienced it, it really can be very demoralising.
Imagine sitting at a card table near the street outside your house. On the card table you have a huge stack of things - CD's, cards, leaflets, whatever :- the huge stack is the album that you posted.  People file past taking 'em. Every 100 that are taken, someone says 'thanks' or 'nice!' or says something, anything at all.  The other 99 people say nothing at all - silent, just grab and go. After they've filed past, another 100 take their place - but the ratio of communication remains the same. The demoralising part of it is not that I want to be thanked by a larger percentage of visitors, the demoralising part of it is what that maybe says (it happens over and over again) about people in general. What, only 1 person in 100 is a nice/respectful/polite person ?   And the other 99 people are shits? - cant even be bothered with the effort of 'thanks'?  That's a bit of a demoralising thought about 'what people are like'.
So I sat at my imaginary card table, saddened and despondent about my fellow human beings. Just a little bit anyway.
God knows why I would want to do that again, but I think it's time. Time to try and finish the original idea - rip a few, post a few.  Maybe 'finishing' wont ever really happen - but worth a try.
Let's see how it goes.
More soon.

Borbetomagus and Friends-(Kowald,Honsinger,Kondo,Fine)Industrial Strength-1980


The all out inventive pure acrid belch ego less sensory assault produced almost unfailingly by long lived hard core free noise trio,Borbetomagus (who are still actively making music) , was an experience i cherished highly as a young man  , coming out of an adolescence largely musically informed and pervaded by heavy metal, hardcore and post punk, their more typical noise trio was probably as near to what we now recognize as classic free jazz, as i aurally ventured. in those fondly remembered far away, days.they were where a band like last exit  seemed to want to go in  their more blissed out freest moments, but never quite did, except Borbetomagus were there relentlessly all the time.i certainly heard their early records on Agaric before any incus or FMP album.The roots of their more typical trio sound though grounded in free jazz, also seems to draw equally on noisy concrete music, and the aggressive propulsion of , no wave garage rock...and has more in common with today's Japanese noise bands like  say,incapacitants.This Lp and the wonderful Borbeto Jam recorded in the same month of october in 1981, are about the most bucolic , spacious classic, plinky scratchy 'Euro' 'Free' these guys ever got.The Fact that their musical interlocutors here are Masters of free Improv in that sense probably mitigates what might be seen by some, though not me as their worst excesses..... anyway enough prattle Click on the cover...  you have 4 improvisations  untitled... byJim Sauter & Don Dietrich saxes, Donald Miller-G, Toshinori Kondo- trptPeter Kowald -db, Tristan Honsinger-VC, and Voice..& Milo Fine-Piano recorded in NYC, on the 18 oct 1981..Leo LR ,LP 113.the other record by this exact grouping, Borbeto Jam can still be seen on the Cadence Klompfoot catalog site, at least it could for as long as i can remember , maybe they have finally sold out... (worth checking!!)This one sadly (Cause its so good!!) is unlikely to be one which Leo resurrects in a hurry.Agaric BorbetosM's own label is reissuing systematically everything they have ever done as a trio.if one needed only one 'Snuff Jazz' , circa 1990 is a very fine example, i was going to write" a devastated, denuded mental topography full of demons in heat.... lots of kinky demonic ejaculations of pure sulfur". but that would obviously be a very personal psycho sexual interpretation which would be inappropriate...So lets just say, the most turbulant passages of Alan Silva's the seasons stretched out to 40 minutes, played by a trio of punk arsed hardcore dudes.Agaric Records @ Discogs (i,cant find their actual web page at the moment)Enjoy!!! [...]

Plays Butch Morris - New York City Artists' Collective [NYCAC 503]


So this is the 3rd tribute posting here for Butch Morris that had just been sitting unpublished for weeks, uploaded and all ready to go - pending saying something vaguely interesting or intelligent about it. The filehost link is going to expire, so here's the post and nevermind about 'interesting or intelligent'.Not a jazz record - nor is it really 'compositional' in the sense that the title implies.Is it 'downtown improv pop'? Someone tell me what to call it cause I don't know. New York City Artists' Collective was initiated in the mid 1970's by vocalist Ellen Christi and underground drummer Tom Bruno (underground drummer, literally - he spent much of his performing life in the NYC subway system).Check out the late Tom Bruno - member of TEST with Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen & Matthew Heyner - here. For some time he resided at 501 Canal Street (NYCAC 'headquarters') with 1970's outsider fellow travellers David S. Ware and Cooper-Moore. Jeanne Lee, Keshavan Maslak, Ray Anderson and drummer Jimmy Hopps amongst other musicians were making use of the rehearsal and/or available living spaces in the building.Check out the very much alive and underappreciated Ellen Christi at her website-  ellenchristi.comJuan Quiñones as far as I know, is still playing guitar in NYC . He played with with the NYAC on record again, with the legendary Arthur Rhames, informally and moved away from music altogether at at least one period.Lefferts Brown was a punky, pretty, synthy experimenter in the mid to late 1980's. By the time he drowned in 2005 he was 'a respected electronic music composer, sound designer and installation artist' with tenure at Long Island University in Brooklyn.Steve Buchanan is still playing saxophones & guitar in experimental styles and performing. He is very probably this youtube contributor I think.Of the 2 bass players, Rita Wood and Issac Falu, I know next to nothing . If anyone knows.. ?Website of the New York City Artists' CollectiveGo buy some music of  some unknown musician you vaguely like the sound of.Or buy the music of anyone mentioned above. Vale Butch Morris. And Vale Tom Bruno .---------------------------------------------------------------------Extra Note April 11th 2013My identification of who's who on the cover isBack Row [left to right] - Juan Quiñones, Isaac Falu, Rita Wood, Ellen Christi.Front Row [left to right] - Lefferts Brown, Tom Bruno, Steve BuchananFor Tom Bruno I meant to add, have a look at this CD release and read Thom Jurek's cogent summation - . For ten dollars, it's an absurdly cheap buy.I mentioned Ellen Christi's website. If you're of the vinyl persuasion and you enjoy her avant vocal stylings, a good (inexpensive) buy is Christi's Live at Irving Plaza LP. One of the seemingly least loved Soul Note releases (admittedly an uninspiring cover), copies can be found plenty of places for reasonable money. Her band on the record is 'Menage' - co-vocalist Lisa Sokolov with William Parker, Tom Bruno, and piano player Rahn Burton. The audio fidelity ain't great, but the music's real.If you're not vinyl obsessive, Christi's diverse back catalog of recordings (including Grateful Dead theme records[!]) can be seen summarised here - some of which are still readily available.I haven't heard, but am wanting to, Reconstruction of a Sound from - I think - 2000. Masahiko Kono's on there, the samples sound intriguing ...Side 11. Beyond2. Music For the Love of ItSide 23. Alexandre at 24. The Current and The Feather Butch Morris    -conductor, arranger, acoustic pianoEllen Christi    -vocalsLefferts Brown    -synthesizerTom Bruno    -drumsJuan Quiñones    -guitar, harmonicaSteve Buchanan    -alto saxophoneRita Wood    -electric bass on Music For the Love of It & The Current and The FeatherIssac Falu    -electric bass on B[...]

Current Trends in Racism in Nth America - Butch Morris [Sound Aspects SAS-4010]


Given the necessary discussion of 'conduction' in talking about the career of Butch Morris, and the repeated mention of conduction in obituaries of the man, it seems only fitting to add one of Morris' conduction albums to the earlier small-group post.This one was the first one - first conduction on record, and one of the first times  - if not the first - that he got up in front of an ensemble with a baton, blank-sheet-of-paper open mind and possibly a slight sense of trepidation. "Conduction No.1" as it says on the back jacket.The results are sometimes wildly successful and at other times less absorbing in terms of musical tension - an occupational hazard of the conduction method perhaps.Overall, it's a very worthwhile listen and Morris' ensemble largely do him proud.Nearly didn't post this - it's been out previously in blogland I'm sure, although possibly only at low-bitrate.Have just been made aware too, that the guys at Destination Out posted one piece off this [as well as the second side of the previous In Touch But Out of Reach].  So, looks like I can't be accused of originality of selection !  Coincidence - never mind.This here is the entire record.Sound Aspects - Pedro De Freitas' label - has its entire catalogue available only on the 2nd hand market these days, which is a pity. This album was issued on CD it seems - this is a vinyl rip however. The first piece runs to a side and a half long.Hopefully anticipating the intent of artist and producers, I have edited out the break that occurs due to the side break so that Part One is one continuous piece.Some tasty textures and some nice tumultuous sounds. Feel free to leave a comment, and enjoy .1. Current Trends in Racism in Modern America Part One2. Current Trends in Racism in Modern America Part TwoButch Morris -conductorFrank Lowe -tenor saxophoneJohn Zorn  -alto saxophone, game callsTom Cora -celloCurtis Clark -pianoBrandon Ross -guitarZeena Parkins -harpEli Fountain -vibraphoneThurman Barker -marimba, snare drum, tambourineChristian Marclay -turntablesYasunao Tone -voiceRecorded live at The Kitchen, NYC, 1st February 1985Sound Aspects sas4010   1986[...]

In Touch...But Out of Reach - Butch Morris [Kharma PK-9]


Butch Morris - Feb 10 1947 - Jan 29 2013In Touch...But Out of ReachButch MorrisButch Morris -cornetGrachan Moncur -tromboneCharles Eubanks -pianoWilbur Morris -bassBobby Battle -percussionSteve McCall -percussionSide 11. Irin Sun2. NarobiaSide 23.Lovers Existing On The Dunes / Lonely ThrillRecorded live at ENVIRON, NYC, 22nd & 23rd December 1978Kharma PK-9I would have first heard Butch Morris on one of David Murray records, can't remember which. Very memorably he played on Murray's incandescent 'Home' (1982) as well as Frank Lowe's wonderful 'Exotic Heartbreak' (1981).Butch played cornet - not trumpet.  Beautiful laconic style. Seeming always to be more interested in the sound & texture of *the ensemble* rather than simply blowing  hot on his own horn. And always - in his own improvising - that feeling of the blues.His development of and move toward Conduction produced an always-interesting string of records - some arguably more successful than others. Right now I am playing 'The Arkbank Conduction' of The Suleyman Erguner Ensemble - traditional Turkish musicians augmented with electric guitar, electronics, drum machine, harp, and Hugh Ragin on pocket trumpet - conducted by Butch Morris. It works - it's fantastic.By the early 90's - evidenced on Dust to Dust and the mammoth 10CD Conduction series on the New World label - Morris was playing much less cornet and focussed on developing his conduction, for wide varieties of ensembles in a wide variety of countries.That he could still return to small group playing on cornet and produce brilliant music can be heard on the terrifyingly good Burning Clouds on FMP from 1993.In Touch..But Out of Reach was recorded live in 1978 (though there is no audience noise).Even in 1978, Morris seems most interested in tones and textures he can produce from *the band* and not merely in head-solo-head arrangements or collective free improv. Rhythmically, he's included 2 drummers for a reason, and both Steve McCall and Bobby Battle play off one another as well as off the pitched instruments - even if the recording quality is not best placed to allow the processing of many of the details unfortunately.His other players however are damn monsters - those who know Moncur will relish the chance to hear more of him, Butch's brother Wilbur is a energetic and creative bass player, and Charles Eubanks is in no way outclassed by his colleagues.Anyone that followed the earlier INTERface/ENVIRON posts might be interested that this record was made at the Environ loft (2 days before Christmas 1978) Interesting LinksButch MorrisTestament: A Conduction Collection 10CD set by Lawrence Butch Morris - New World RecordsFarewell note and recordings at Nublu Records where Morris had a strong associationGrachan Moncur III Please please - if you derived enjoyment from this recording, visit Moncur's website, check it out and buy one of the recordings of this still living and grossly undervalued yet outstanding musician. Exploration from 2004 on Capri Records is superb.Charles EubanksCharles Eubanks (cousin of the well known Kevin and Robin) has recorded solo records for CIMP - as well as with Oliver Lake on Black Saint and Dewey Redman on ECMBobby BattleThe Offering - his record as a leader (w/ David Murray) on Mapleshadewith Don Pullen on Black SaintSteve McCallMcCall has appeared on many records... Under his own name (w/ Fred Anderson), there's Vintage Duets on Okkadisk. As a third of the trio Air, McCall plays superbly on - among others - Air Time (Nessa), Live Air, and Air Mail, Both Butch and Wilbur Morris and McCall played in David Murray's great octet of the early 80's. They made wonderful records like Ming, Murray's Steps and Home[...]

Live at the Village Vanguard - Noah Howard [Freedom FLP40127]


Here again - Earl Freeman playing bass. Fuzz-bass in fact, on part of 'Dedication (To Albert Ayler)'. Fuzz bass should probably be outlawed as just being awful and thoroughly bad. But this record isn't either of those. [And Earl thankfully stomps on his pedal to turn the distortion off after a few minutes.].  Sotise posted files from the (rather dodgy-looking, [bootleg?]) CD of this album a few years ago on Inconstant Sol. I was inspired to go and track down a LP copy at the time.  Those files he posted back then at IS. seem long gone, so I thought this vinyl rip could be timely.3 tunes.  One excellent solo saxophone number from Howard, one side-long congregationally wailing Ayler tribute, and one extended workout on a simple, even naive, bluesy riff (reminiscent of Schizophrenic Blues [FMP] and other simple themes of Howard's).Earlier in 1972, Noah's band had consisted of Freeman, drummer Art Lewis and Arthur Doyle.By August though, with a 2 month residency of Sundays at the Vanguard, Frank Lowe had replaced Doyle on tenor. This was 'young' Frank Lowe (he was 30) - who had already played in Alice Coltrane's group, but had yet to record the turbulent Black Beings for ESP or Duo Exchange with Rashied Ali - both to come, in 1973.Rashied Ali himself was a reported late sub for Art Lewis who couldn't make the gig.Piano player Bob Bruno has had a kaleidoscopic musical career - in the late 1960s he made 2 albums with Jerry Jeff Walker - be-hatted country music troubadour of 'Mr Bojangles' fame. By the early 70s he was playing free jazz piano. Since then he seems to have played all kinds of music, on all kinds of instruments as well as moving into visual computer art.Juma Sultan is of course the same percussionist that played with Hendrix and whose own Aboriginal Music Society played on the New York loft scene and was more recently the subject of the excellent 'Father of Origin' boxset from Eremite.These 6 guys make a big sound, the recording is a typical rough and ready club taping and in all honesty I have difficulty hearing Sultan at all in this.There's additional material that exists of Noah Howard's 1972 Vanguard residency - with a slightly different group - Art Lewis for Rashied Ali, another percussionist for Sultan, and  a French Horn player as well as Lowe, Bruno, Freeman and Howard. In addition, Noah Howard reportedly had extra taped material of this band that he would allow played on European radio.In terms of chronology of issued material of Howard's playing, Live at the Village Vanguard sits between Frank Wright's Uhuru Na Umoja and Church Number Nine, both featuring Howard and Wright’s twin saxophone frontline.Old hands will have this material and remain unexcited, although some might wish to upgrade their old 192kbps files.To others coming afresh to this, I hope you enjoy the sounds from these dynamic musicians .Interesting LinksNoah Howard's site, still maintained by his wife Lieve, a new recording available, older titles for sale - VISIT ! - Sultan's Archive - of Bob Bruno's many web pages - the front jacket - I don't think that the bass player pictured is Earl Freeman, nor the robed tenor player to be Frank Lowe.  Anyone ?[...]

Earl Freeman - Footage


By way of a follow up for anyone that was interested in the Earl Freeman / Sound Craft 75 post - 2 pieces of video footage of Earl Freeman playing. Interestingly, both from the same year - 1972.
Earl plays bass violin with Joachim Kuhn and Jacques Thollot for French TV.
Thanks to Adam for pointing this one out - a beautiful piece of footage
I find Earl's fingers fascinating.
Same uploader on Youtube has posted some outstanding other clips of Paul Bley, Howard Riley, Jeanne Lee with Ran Blake & Ted Curson.

Second clip is frustratingly without sound !  It's Noah Howard's 1972 group with Arthur Doyle, Art Lewis and Freeman on electric bass.  From Juma Sultan's archive site, which is fascinating - many of Juma's clips have yet to be matched to sound recordings. At Sam Rivers' Rivbea Studio, the band look like they're tearing it up and Freeman appears in a quite different light

Most of the video clips at Juma's site are fascinating even if a disproportionally high number of them suffer from a lack of audio - recommended.all the same.

Gil Melle-Tome VI (the Jazz Electronauts)-1968,


Gil Melle, somewhat unjustly remembered almost exclusively for creating the unique very effective Musique Concrete score to the Classic 1966 Science Fiction Film 'the Andromeda Strain"also Happened to be one the most adventurous and varied composer band leaders of the 50's and 60's , roughly working in the same territory as better known Contemporary Counterpartssuch as, Jimmy Guiffre, George Russell, Duane Tatro,Teddy Charles and others.. introducing textural, and Harmonic elements and Complex arrangments previously foreign to Jazz language.Quite apart from his innovative musical achievements, he was also  a painter, sculptor , graphic designer and instrument maker(the Tome VI being a primitive mini synth of his creation) who from the late 40's on created some of the most distinctive inventive record covers in History , Often Starkly Abstract they go a long way to making the records special, and in the case of his classic Monk covers for Prestige, or his own early Blue Note releases vividly underscoring ,almost embodying the mysterious 'ultra modernist' contents a lot of mostly white middle class educated Jazz musicians in the early Sixties Melle stopped making Records ,and opted for more lucrative studio and Film work ,largely as a Composer.This record, made 18 months or so after the Andromeda strain ,is the first jazz record to incorporate,an electro acoustic element, with additional live processing by all the musicians as they improvise, a practice which is now common place among European, and American free improvising musicians,notably Evan Parker, Barry Guy , Acid Birds and Many others.Musically its an effective fusion of Modal to free jazz,with some modest modish psych rock elements, quite good overall if not quite as fresh and urgent as his peak output from the 50's..(some of which is currently available on CD)This was reissued on CD (2007) in Japan in limited edition, but alas has long since disappeared...another  of his records in this vein from a few years later in 1970-1, 'waterbirds' never to my knowledge reissued can be found as MP3'S by googling.Tome-VI- 1968, the Jazz Electronauts-Verve Lp V68744Gil Melle-Soprano Saxophone, Effects Generator,ComposerForrest Westbrook-Piano, and ElectarBenfaral Mathews-bass , cello,and envalopeFred C.Stofflet-Percussion, Electric cymbal, From the Liner notes (Regarding the Electronic instruments used)the Electar"theoretically the operation of this instrument, approximates the fundamentals of stringed instrument playing,in that conditions are employed by the player through controls,to determine, pitch,decay and amplitude."the Envelope'tones heard through this instrument,are not electronically generated but are conventionally produced mutations, it is used in conjunction with bass and Cello,the overall effect being rhythmic"Doomsday Machine'Best described as a lower register Electronic Cymbal'Tome Vi"Transistorized oscillator/Modulator envelope, a hybrid instrument consisting of a subminiture system of transistorized circuitry, built into a conventional Soprano Sax"Effects Generator"A Console Device,capable of Producing arpeggiated passages of infinite variety and complexity,Polyrythmic patterns are also Possible"Green Safe 1and2"are used are used to convert,the electricity from the above mechanical Energy"Enjoy!!Melle-WikipediaMelle at IMDBMelle on AmazonNote although only his Prestige Sessions 'Primitive Modern","Quadrama'and the perennial "Gil s Guests" appear to be in print, there is a lot that can be purchased second handincluding some very reasonably priced , original lps of this very album! Seems that Zippyshare's free account Login Function is somewhat prone to Mal function , so in this instant i have uploaded as a non account holder,i can't guarantee the longevity of the upload , so fe[...]

Years End..


Another awesome year in the modern world.

If Christmas is your bag, have a fine one.
Happy New Year for 2013.
Dance your dance, sing your heart, play your tambourine.


Rumasuma - Sonny Simmons [Contemporary S7623]



Side A
Back To The Apple
Side B
For Posterity

Sonny Simmons - alto saxophone
Barbara Donald - trumpet
Mike Cohen - piano
Jerry Sealund - bass
Bill Pickens - bass
Billy Higgins - drums

Recorded Los Angeles - August 1969

So a copy of this just sold for $172 on Ebay - plus shipping .
Fucking Mad.

The $ figure of course is a reflection of it's out of print, desirable and 'colectable' status - and not it's musical worth.
Like crazy little creatures, we seem compelled [as a species really] to covet, collect, obsess and fetshize over that we dont have or is hard to obtain. I'm as guilty as anyone. Really though, all that 'desiring the object' and the burning need to to be in possesssion of a 'near mint rare legendary disc' is mostly about a different area of human psychology than that which relates to the inner joy that the best art brings us.
It's all bullshit and has nothing to do with the music in other words.
How does the artist feel - when recent releases struggle to sell 1000 copies worldwide, on tiny little profit margins?

If you were in the luxurious position of having $172 to spend -and you wanted some of the music of the exceptionally creative vibrant and beautiful alto saxophone and english horn player Sonny Simmons - I would go here to check out his in-print discography. And then spend the lot.

This is a great little session - dare I say it, quite 'boppish' in tone and feel. Sonny directly weaves a Bird phrase in to one of his tunes here, Contemporary's Lester Koenig produced, and ex-Dial records man Ross Russell wrote the liner notes.
It's a much more 'inside' record than the excellent Manhattan Egos from the same year - but thoroughly enjoyable on its own terms.

Hope you enjoy the music

This is for sotise - who has managed to eliminate 'desire of the object' from his psyche.(well, almost)

Sound Craft 75 - Fantasy for Orchestra
Earl Freeman / Universal Jazz Symphonette [Anima 1001]


Soundcraft 75 - Fantasy for OrchestraThe Universal Jazz SymphonetteSide A1. NemesisSide B1. Oreo2.AlphaEarl Freeman director, composerZane Massey tenor saxophoneDaniel Carter tenor saxophoneKappo Umezu tenor saxophoneErnest Washington tenor saxophoneRaphe Malik          trumpetJohn Marshall trumpetMalik Baraka trumpetDaniel Carter alto trumpetJohn Mingione flugelhornMichael Keith tromboneRichard Dunbar         french hornNancy Ancrum fluteArt Bennett         fluteAndrew Strasmech fluteHenry Warner clarinetJames Emory electric guitarMel Smith         electric guitarTyrone Nickens electric guitarWilliam Parker bassDave Wertman bassPaul Chambers Jr         fender bassBilly Bang         violinCharles Burnham violinWade Barnes percussionRoger Baird         percussionJulio Cesar         tablaAdeyeme(Philip Spigner) congasRobert Sardo grand organBarbra Blick         readingPatsy Wilkins (Patricia Nicholson) readingAnima Records AN10011975Earl FreemanThis LP is the brainchild and creation of Earl Freeman - the closest thing there is to a 'leader's date' in his small - but always interesting - discography of appearances on record.Earl Freeman was a talented, strange, sensitive artist who played acoustic bass, electric bass guitar - piano, flute, harp and percussion. He wrote poetry, and was a graphic designer - the unusual pen and ink contour-hatched illustration that takes up most of the front cover here is his.Originally from California, and later working with Sun Ra's band in Chicago, Freeman travelled to Paris in 1969 and ended up as part of the BYG/Actuel recording frenzy of American free jazz players in that year.Not so much a 'big name', as more of an outsider  -the word crops up again and again in descriptions of him - it was Kenneth Terroade the Jamaican tenor player who Freeman credited with an introduction to the Parisian scene.Kenneth Terroade (left) with Earl Freeman (right)Freeman appeared - memorably- on Terroade's great Love Rejoice LP (Actuel 22), as part of a two-bass lineup with Beb Guerin. He played bass on a bunch of Archie Shepp recordings from this time too,  as well as harp with Alan Silva's Celestrial Communications Orchestra and percussion instruments on a handful of BYG and 'America' LPs from around this time.He appears on the very first Gong LP (BYG/Actuel 5) and performed at the legendary Amougies Actuel Festival in October 69.left to right - frank zappa, philly joe jones, earl freeman, louis moholo, johnny dyani, grachan moncur, archie shepp. Amougies, Belgium october 1969 (foto - jacques bisceglia)The twin bass approach with Beb Guerin was again used on Clifford Thornton's Ketchaoua (Actuel 23), memorably on the wonderful last track - 'Speak With Your Echo (And Call This Dialogue)'.Both Freeman and Thornton were eventually barred from France as being undesirables with an overtly radical political stance. Freeman seems to have claimed that on his part - this was largely through misunderstanding and that he had no overt political stance.He did go on a North African 'back to the roots' trip with Archie Shepp, Steve McCall, Cal Massey and Don Byas - with Eldridge Cleaver acting as tourguide ![ Worth noting that Cal Massey's son Zane plays saxophone here on Soundcraft 75 ]Despite being persona non grata in France, and making jaunts to both Holland and Britain - he returned to Paris - living there clandestinely when Val Wilmer interviewed him in early 1972.By[...]

Olivier Messiaen-Visions de L'amen-1973(Yuji Takahashi-Peter Serkin)RCA ,ARL-0363 LP


A slight digression from the usual fare here at 9 Grey Chairs, this is repertoire I like to revisit often, this piece being rather special in that it was the first Messiaen piece i heard many years ago, having acquired many versions over the years , this superb performance by Master Pianist Peter Serkin and Yuji Takahashi (also known to exploratory music aficionados,as a master improviser) has always been a favourite, for one its much less impressionistic , and romantic in treatment than many lauded contemporary performances..(see the Martha Agerich-Alexandre Rabinovitch,version as a prime example of the latter)

 Olivier Messiaen -Visions De L'Amen, For Two Pianos         RCA Red Seal – ARL1-0363,1973          
 Visions De L'Amen 
A1  Amen De La Création
 A2  Amen Des Étoiles, De La Planète À L'Anneau
 A3  Amen De L'Agonie De Jésus
 B1  Amen Du Désir
B2  Amen Des Anges, Des Saints, Du Chant Des Oiseaux
  B3  Amen Du Jugement
  B4  Amen De La Consommation
Peter Serkin-Yuji Takahashi Pianos
No Processing of anykind employed, including superfluos track seperation!


6 x 1 = 10 Duos For A New Decade - John Fischer [ReEntry 004]


  w/ Lester Bowie, Charles Tyler, Arthur Blythe, Perry Robinson,  Mark Whitecage, Rick Kilburn6 x 1 = 10 Duos For a New DecadeJohn Fischer with Lester Bowie, Perry Robinson, Charles Tyler, Mark Whitecage, Arthur Blythe, Rick KilburnSide A1. Walking Ahead2. I Love You Mama3. What If?4. But Not For Me5. FebruarySide B1. 110th Street2. Bull Pop3. Squeal4. How Long Has This Been Going On?     John Fischer - Piano & Voice Lester Bowie - trumpetCharles Tyler - baritone saxophonePerry Robinson - clarinetMark Whitecage - alto saxophoneArthur Blythe - alto saxophoneRick Kilburn - bass     ReEntry Records RE-004   1980 Recorded 1977 / 1978 The final in a small sequence of records here from 1970's ENVIRON loft chief John Fischer - this time without his full group INTERface - but instead in duo performances with group members and others on the loft scene.The New Decade of the title was the dawning of the 1980s. How madly futuristic and post-post modern it sounded at the time - the year 1980. Wow.By 1980 - when this record was released, the New York jazz lofts were on the wane - many had fallen by the wayside.Fischer's ENVIRON first moved from it's original Broadway premises to a few blocks along the street. But ENVIRON was closed, or closing soon, by the time this LP was released.Perhaps significantly for a record looking forward to the new decade - the most recent piece is at least 2 years old (1978). According to the notes, all duets here were recorded 1977 / 1978.Also according to the notes - the tune 'What If' opens side B - which it doesn't ( it is on side A).Also according to the notes - Arthur Blythe is on 2 tracks - I have him on just 1   The order of the 2 Charles Tyler duets is also wrong - according to me.Basically, I think they made a mess with the track listing on Side B - and my corrected version appears here.If anyone has been following the INTERface 'thread' here - some elements here will be familiar - the tunes February and What If have appeared on earlier records (diff versions though) - and Fischer enlists Lester Bowie for one of his 'poum' vocal pieces (I Love You Mama).No one plays poorly and the record remains interesting throughout.For my money though, the 2 tracks with Charles Tyler are the absolute standouts and worth the price of admission.alone.The price of admission here in 2012 is of course - free. So that should work well for most people.Hope that some people get something out of this then.[...]

Wadada Leo Smith-Human Rights, 1985 Kabell/Gramm-lp 26


Wadada Leo Smith ,whom i believe Needs little introduction to fans of this music is surely one of the great Improviser Composers in the New Music of the last 40 years.He also has a very distinctive and unique trumpet sound which developed and extended the unorthodox techniques pioneered by Miles Davis & Don Cherry,Bill Dixon and others but which seems simultaneously to delve much further back in jazz history than most current revivalists, and yet remain singularly Modern.Somewhat of an oddity in many respects this lp was a co production between Smiths own Kabell label and the now little known Icelandic, Post Punk label Gramm who also have the Distinction of having released the first records by Icelandic experimental Punk band Kukl, Bjork's pre Sugar Cubes band (and they are real gems too as it happens)Human Rights also happens to be the Smith Album(Side a ,notably) that most features his own Voice and songs in settings that have emphatic Reggae and Afro groove elements,idiomatic features which  bare a strong thematic similarity to 1993's Kulture jazz (ECM-1862)the latter being in my view one of Smiths most accessible and underrated albums.Side B,is an entirely different Matter, A long Exploratory piece featuring, Peter Kowald ,Gunter Sommer and Koto Master Tadao Sawai..very rewarding listening to those Familiar with the great Touch the Earth -Break the Shells Cd on FMP (Now Currently Available for purchase as a Digital Down load on Destination Out, see link below)I'm not sure why this Wasn't reissued as part of the wonderful very essential Kabell years box tzadik-7610 ,perhaps simply because it was recorded after 79, a cooperative release with another label or perhaps given it was Smiths most explicitly Rastafarian record,something he now at least partially disavows.. one can only conjecture , its one of the few relatively rare and OOP releases from a large Oeuvre Spanning 40 years , and though perhaps not one of his finest , certainly well worth hearing ,side B is wonderful music ,precious...given how little official material exists of Smiths collaboration with Sommer and Kowald..Human Rights-1985 KabellSIDE A-1-Ethiopia/Africa2-Don't you remember3-Freedom Song #4-RastafariCollective personel (see insert for specifics)Wadada Leo Smith- tpt, Mbira, Voice, ComposerJames Emery-E.GuitarThurman Barker-percMichelle Navazio-Ac Guitar'Stanya'-guitar on freedom songrecorded in #Reykjavik 29-9,84 and 6-10-85and  in North Haven Connecticut 18-3-1985SIDE BHumanismo-toutamonda Muziko, Human Rights World MusicWadada L.Smith-Tpt, Perc, VoicePeter Kowald-db, Tuba, PercTadao Sawai-Koto, PercGunter 'Baby' Sommer-dr, percrecorded live to air by Tokyo Radio, Japan22-9-1982NOTE-this is a straight LP rip , no processing of any kind  has been employed other than some removal of clicks and popsEnjoy , Support Wadada Leo Smith, by buying as much as possible .... here are some links  of interest to those wishing to explore Smiths work, philosophy, methodology etcWadada Leo Smith Website-Wadada Leo Smith on Soul Note-Black Saint (available releases)Wadada Leo Smith on ECM-TzadikWadada Leo Smith at the Destination out-FMP store[...]

Self Titled - INTERface [Composers Collective CC-722]


INTERfaceINTERfaceJohn Fischer - Piano & VoicePerry Robinson - ClarinetMark Whitecage - ReedsArmen Halburian - PercussionRick Kilburn - bassOn 'Poum #16 (Out to Lunch)' - Halburian and Kilburn are replaced byJay Clayton - vocalJohn Shea - bassLaurence Cook - drumsSide A1. What If?2. Poum! #53. Temple Passion4. Short Pieces #3Side B1. Solo Poum!2. Short Pieces #23. Poum #16 (Out to Lunch)4. Sunday Afternoon5. Short Pieces #16. In Search of A WordComposers Collective Records CC-722Recorded 1975This is the group's first LP, from 1975.Recorded at John Fischer's Leonard Street loft - by the time the record was pressed and available, the new Environ performance loft had opened, with Fischer running the show. The liner notes make mention of 'the new performing facility for new jazz and new music in the heart of SOHO, New York City - ENVIRON'.  See earlier posts here for some brief background on the Environ loft.Here, the group is Fischer, Mark Whitecage, Perry Robinson and percussionist Armen Halburian.On one track, Fischer is joined by different personnel for one of his 'Poum' vocal compositions. These are all based around wordless vocal improvisations , trying to use alternative techniques and different methods of making 'body noise'.It's obviously something Fisher was dedicated to - 3 of the tracks here are in this vein, and his earlier album is simply called 'Poum!'.  If you’ve listened to any of the INTERface LPs previously posted, you know what to expect of the ‘Poum’ pieces.  As to the success, or longevity of the 'poum' method, I'll let the listener decide.  I wonder if in 1975, Fischer had heard Phil Minton. It seems unlikely, although it may have been salutary. .On one of these Poum pieces, Fischer double-tracks himself.  Better, is the track where he's joined by the exploratory singer Jay Clayton. [More of her here soon] .Also on this track are bass player John Shea, and Laurence Cook - a drummer many will know from his recording and performing with Alan Silva, Jemeel Moondoc, Bill Dixon (Dixon's 80's Soul Note gems like 'Thoughts', 'November 1981', 'Son of Sisyphus') - as well as with  'The Enigmatic' Michael Smith [more of him here soon]It's a one-off for this aggregation though - the rest of the pieces on the album feature INTERface stalwart & regular bass player Rick Kilburn and percussionist/drummer Armen Halburian. Halburian is credited with only percussion here, although he pretty clearly plays the regular trap kit as well on 2 pieces. An American of Estonian descent, some may recognise his name from Woody Shaw's Rosewood record or Miroslav Vitous' Arista Freedom LP. His career goes back to the mid 50's, playing drums in Marion McParland's trio, although for much of the 1970's, his meal-ticket and claim to fame was in the groups of Herbie Mann. He appears on many of Mann's records of the period. Armen Halburian died last March (2011), aged 77. Kilburn, mentioned in an earlier post, sounds great. Bass players always get talked about as 'muscular' 'solid' 'brawny' or 'sinewy'.  We must - on principle - avoid these tedious clichés , and simply say that Kilburn has great intonation, sounds full and forward on a not-particularly super-hifi recording and is a great musician.There's far less Mark Whitecage on this recording than the later records, more's the pity. As recompense we get to hear the wonderful Perry Robinson on clarinet - playing beautifully. His solo on the final track is funny, inspired and impassioned all at the same time.I think I referred earlier to the sound Fischer [...]

Glimpses - INTERface w/ Marion Brown [ReEntry 003]


The next INTERface release after This Time (below), and the last album from the 70's iteration of the group. (Fischer used the name again for a 1994 trio and a 1996 recording with Arthur Blythe and Wilber Morris).Rick Kilburn and Mark Whitecage are constants from the earlier albums, as is Phillip Wilson - although here 2 other drummers also appear.As none of the 3 sticksmen appear alongside any other on any track, I'd guess that it was a case of whoever could make the session on the day to fill the drummers chair. And Marion Brown appears with the group as a guest.On 'Solo', getting one track to himself for a solo alto saxophone performance which is maybe the simplest, plangent and moving moment of the record.But the alto duet with Whitecage is also good and he plays a strong pithy solo on 'Polka'.All the tunes seem to have pretty naff names, and this time round, I find some of Fischer's compositions -usually springboard themes for improvisation- less convincing than on the earlier records.Fisher himself gets all roccocco-ed up once or twice soloing on piano but is mostly solid in a ruminative, quietly spoken way.Kilburn is great, as per the earlier LPs. He appears to still be playing as well as producing - although seemingly without a website, he is easy to find info about as an active player over the years.I'm pretty sure it's Kilburn deputising on bass for Ray Drummond in a young John Zorn's 'Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet' group recorded live for Canadian TV in the mid 80's.The chamber music feel broadly continues throughout - it's subtle at times, but worth hearing: - there's some fine music making going on.Whitecage plays an uncredited bass clarinet on the first track.GlimpsesINTERface with Marion BrownSide A1. Polkanese2. Foxtrot3. P4/m3 (2 Altos)4. Loud & SoftSide B1. Birthday2. Polka3. Solo (M. Brown)4. Ticker PoumJohn Fischer - pianoMarion Brown- alto saxophoneMark Whitecage - saxophones & bass clarinetRick Kilburn - bassBobby Meyer - drumsThomas Whaley - drumsPhillip Wilson - drums ReEntry Records RE-003Recorded 1978 / 1979Mark Whitecage Site Fischer Recordings Site post for Lucky - who hopefully doesn't have 7 of the 8 tracks here ..[...]

This Time - INTERface [ReEntry 002]


This Time INTERfaceSide A1. Free Blues #22. State of the A3. 110th Street4. Stops & Starts #1Side B1. 4762. Foggy3. Patates Frites (Belgian Fries)John Fischer - pianoMark Whitecage - saxophonesRick Kilburn - bassPhillip Wilson - drumsReEntry Records 002Recorded 1978Back in March we posted Interface’s ‘Live at Environ’ recorded in 1977. This is the follow up album from Interface [or INTERface as John Fischer would have it], with this stripped-down quartet lineup - the most minimal of INTERface groups - consisting of just John Fischer, Mark Whitecage, Rick Kilburn and Phillip Wilson. As the founder and manager of the Environ loft performance space, Fischer had an important role, not just in his own improvising group [he is the leader and primary composer of INTERface] – but also more broadly in the ‘loft-jazz’ scene in 1970’s New York. Environ does not seem to get the modern-day press that other seminal NYC 1970s ‘loft’ venues do – like Sam Rivers’ Studio Rivbea, Rashied Ali’s Ali’s Alley, The Brook or Joe Lee Wilson’s Ladies Fort. This may be due to the lower profile of John Fischer as musician and proprietor – but Environ was a vital, and a major part of the ‘loft jazz scene’ in mid to late 70’s New York. Started by Fischer as a multi-discipline arts space, Environ presented modern dance, poetry, and was an art gallery as well. Fischer himself was, and is, a visual artist – with both painting and multimedia work. The cover of this LP is a Fischer painting. In later years, he became very involved in video, multi-media, and computer art. His bread sculptures and ‘electronic paintings’ have attracted attention and a book of Fischer’s poetry ‘Love Condition’ was published in 2010.The first lofts to open were Studio Rivbea (Rivers lived there from 1970, and held his first major music exposition there in 1972) – and Studio We, founded by James Duboise and Juma Sultan. [See Sultan’s new Aboriginal Music Society box set on Eremite for more information and music from Studio We.Fischer, moving in both art crowds and experimental jazz music circles, originally had his own Leonard St loft , making music with, amongst others, Perry Robinson (clarinet), Mario Pavone (bass), Jay Clayton (vocalist) and Laurence Cook (drums). Robinson hooked him up with 2 brothers that were happy to sub-lease a large part of their very capacious loft premises at 476 Broadway in Manhattan. The brothers were Chris and Danny Brubeck, sons of Dave. Perhaps not the hippest names as far as experimental arts were concerned but - already interested in establishing a music and meditation temple - they were keen to collaborate with Fischer in his performance space ideas . Fischer spent a few months renovating the 600 square metre loft and opened Environ with a first music concert in July 1975. Environ was on the 11th floor at 476 Broadway, and reportedly offered a purposely spare even minimal performance experience. Audiences would sit on rugs or on the floor and were encouraged to focus solely on the performance. Unlike venues like Ali’s Alley or Ladies’ Fort which were licensed nightclubs and sold liquor, Environ didn’t have a bar – the cash register, calls for drinks and general buzz around the bar being seen as detrimental to the performance experience. Although cider and wine were often available all the same apparently, for refreshment of its patrons.The fact that the very first 1975 performance was one by the great free/time drummer Andrew Cyrille gives a pretty clear indication that the new loft space wa[...]

Fuigo from a Different Dimension - Toshinori Kondo [Bellows 001]




Fuigo from a Different Dimension
Toshinori Kondo

Toshinori Kondo - trumpet, alto horn, mutes

Side A
1. Fuigo
2. Double
3. Cliff

Side B
1. Short-Ichi
2. Short-Ni
3. Alto
4. Slides Out
5. Buriki

Bellows Records 001

Every time I hear Kondo in something new to me, I’m invariably enthused anew by his invention, soul, and breadth of musical compass. This year, it’s been Death is Our Eternal Friend – a 1982 collaboration with Paul Lovens and Paul Lytton – and Protocol - posted below by Sotise – that have opened the ears (once again) to Kondo’s playing. Almost every time this happens, I ask why I don’t have more records of the guy. And I muse to myself that if I hadn’t gone through that phase in the early 90’s of collecting Lee Morgan and Hank Mobley LPs, I could have been picking up cheap copies of extraordinary albums by ….well, plenty of musicians, but particularly musicians like Kondo.
As it turned out, all those Morgan and Mobley LPs turned up widely available on CD in their time, with bonus tracks aplenty, whereas with musicians like Kondo – a significant amount of recorded documents have slipped through the cracks. . .

Fuigo From A Different Dimension is a solo trumpet album.. ‘Solo trumpet’ being not 100% accurate, as Kondo too plays Alto Horn – solo, and also simultaneously, with his “solo” trumpet.
There aren’t a hell of a lot of solo trumpet albums [or solo brass instruments of any sort]. Leo Smith, Bill Dixon, Axel Dorner and Lester Bowie immediately come to my mind. Stef at freejazz-stef has made a better roundup of solo trumpet albums here

This is Kondo’s first solo record – from 1979.
It’s inventive, imaginative, creative, concise, weird, wonderful, and – for me – quite cohesive as an album, and not a set of glorified practice exercises or a hot-chops demonstration.
This time round, I’m not going to recommend the felicities of each and every track - or gesture, mood or feel.
And instead I recommend to - Just listen.

It is weird – and things are never as far apart as they seem: - I was prompted to post this by the 2 Kondo records mentioned above – yet this LP is Bellows 001, and Billy Bang’s Changing Seasons [below] was the 4th LP on the same tiny Bellows label [Bellows 004].
As far as the label goes - the first and the last.

Anyway - hope you enjoy.

For onxidlib

Henry Kaiser -Toshinori Kondo- Andrea Centazzo,Metalanguage LP- ML 102-1978


An intriguing document by three Eccentric masters from the golden age where
free improvised sounds modelled on SME, were spreading World wide and becoming some sort of Lingua franca amongst adventurous souls,and disciples spreading the Gospel of Micro-Free non-conformity..

Nice Chewy listen ,even if perhaps it isnt the best work by these guys ,Henry was in the process of developing his own trademark almost orchestral,uniquely processed sound (evidenced to a degree on side b) , and fully realised on later records like the criminally out of print Aloha ,& Outside Pleasure...(here ,particularly on side one , he sounds largely in thrall to his great love of D.Bailey,and what guitarist playing free music isnt at some point?)

Kondo as usual sticks out whatever the context.. one of the most utterly distinctive brass voices of the Era or any Era ,a special PRESENCE,in whos phrasing and unique sense of time one can hear echoes of the outrageously Expressive, chimeric Miles Davis on such mid 70's masterpieces ,On the Corner, Agartha,& Panagea,

and of course Ictus boss, Centazzo is also quite a riveting ,magnetic presence as always.

a language taking shape .... nothing codified or formalised, enjoy!!

Line-up / Musicians
Electric Guitar [Gibson 355 Guitar, Acoustic 115 Amp.]- Henry Kaiser
Percussion [Premier Drum Set, Cheap Electronics, Ufip Cymbals & Gongs, Etc.], - Andrea Centazzo (tracks: B1 to B5)
Trumpet, Horn [Eb Alto] - Toshinori Kondo (tracks: A1 to A7)

Releases information
LP: Metalanguage ML 102 (US)

ps ... ive given this a light de crackle and click , the record is in a condition thats just this side of poor, servicable until the real thing in the form of a proper cd reissue comes along ... i guess, dont hold y'r breath!

New York Collage - Billy Bang's Survival Ensemble [Anima AN-1002]


New York CollageBilly Bang's Survival EnsembleBilly Bang - violin, poetry, bells, shaker, percussionBilal Abdur Rahman - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bull-horn, percussionHenry Warner - alto saxophone, bells, shaker, percussionWilliam Parker - bassKhuwana Fuller - congasRashid Bakr - drumsSide A1.Nobody Hear The Music The Same Way (Dedicated to John Coltrane) [Billy Bang]2.For Josie Part II [Billy Bang]Side B3.Illustration [Poetry - B Bang, Music - Bilal A Rahman]4.Subhanallah [B.A. Rahman]Anima Records A.N. 10021978[EDIT] - Feel free to read on for my ramblings re. this record - they still stand. In what is rather exciting news though, this HAS BEEN REISSUED ON CD, along with another HITHERTO UNRELEASED SURVIVAL ENSEMBLE RECORDING. Amazing and thrilling at the same time: - it's called Black man's Blues / New York Collage - 2CD, and LP. Label is NoBusiness, link here - to original tapes was apparently involved. This is good.Download link here for this is now pulled, and I'd urge people to consider this new reissue.Review here [or at least a few words] , as soon as I get my copy ..[/EDIT]This is the first Billy Bang record. The band, the Survival Ensemble, is a sextet - it's from 1978. The few reviews that will find of this record on the web will suggest to you that it's vaguely interesting in a historical sort of way but inessential musically - 'diverting juvenilia' in almost as many words.That - is crap. It's a great record.Of it's time sure - but revealing of the reality of Billy Bang's 1978 - a reality you can still smell and feel and that has grip and resonance even now - 33 years later in a world that bears little resemblance . . .The tunes are not complex, not the section-work razor-sharp - but it grooves and it crackles throughout with a totally unpretentious honesty and urgency. Both 'outside' and 'in' - a concept that will be familiar to longtime fans of Bang's. And some of the simple arranging, is quite beautiful. It's noticeable that Billy plays with a lighter bow and touch than he came to use later on, when he developed that *deep,deep* horsehair attack.'Illustration' is a spoken-word piece, a protest poem - engaging socially, politically, poetically - in a way that works (and still stands up) better than many more well-known famous poetic efforts of the era.'Subhanallah' is a concise 1/4 hour of grooving tear-it-on-down that's fantasticThe Coltrane dedication is in "Nobody Hear The Music The Same Way" - I don't hear the Coltrane in the music [explicitly I mean] but I love the *song* the band makes here'For Josie Part II' is driven through its atmospheric shapes by Rashid Bakr & Khuwana Fuller, but is a group performance of light and shade ... Henry Warner on alto - is still active in NYC, after some time reportedly away from public musicmaking in the 80s/90s. A veteran of the NYC lofts of the 70's, he's on Bang's 'Outline #12' record (1982), as well as on William Parker's first record . Warner's webpage, with contact email is at to to check out his Vibrational Therapists band. Bilal Abdur Rahman is a mystery and a cipher. Would love to know more about him. Anyone? ... This seems likely to be the only released recording he appears on.A tune of his called 'Know Your Enemy' was recorded by Bang a number of times on later albums. He is credited with both tunes on side 2 here. He generates a great head[...]

Untitled Gift - Billy Bang [Anima 3BG9]



1982 - Quartet music.

The instrumentation is violin, pocket trumpet, bass and drums. Plus some extra flute work from Don Cherry and Bang himself. The timbre of the unusual combination of instruments is absorbing - and the playing excellent.

Bang and Cherry are great.

But cop a big ear too, to Wilber Morris and Denis Charles - just LARGE talents, that couldn't be unmusical if they tried.
Who's Denis Charles? The guy on the early Cecil records who went off to be a 30 year junkie? Yeah - that guy BUT. . .
listen (for example) to Maat here. Powerful, beautiful, musical, wonderful approach It's Denis fucking Charles man! He's fantastic and [I think] a vastly under-rated player.

A really enjoyable record.

Sadly - all these 4 guys are now gone.

Billy Bang - violin, yokobue flute, congas, bells
Don Cherry - pocket trumpet, flute, bells
Wilber Morris - bass
Denis Charles - drums

Side A
Echovamp 1678 [B.Bang]
Night Sequence [O.Coleman]
The Kora Song [D.Cherry]

Side B
Maat [B.Bang]
Levitation for Santana [B.Bang]
Focus on Sanity [O.Coleman]

Anima Records Anima 3BG9

Buy The Recordings of The Musicians You Respect !!

Changing Seasons - Billy Bang [Bellows 004]


Gratifyingly, many of Billy Bang's recordings remain in- print and available. On Soul Note, Justin Time, Black Saint , CIMP, and a fistful of smaller labels. Even 'oddities' like the solo violin 'Commandment' on the tiny 'No More' label can be obtained with minimal searching. That so many of the records are so good, and in so many diverse settings and styles, is a testament to the musicianship of the man.Only a few things have slipped through the cracks and remain unavailable, with little likelihood of reissue. One of them was posted here, Feb 2009 (Live at Green Space with Charles Tyler).Here's another one.3 of the 4 tracks were recorded in trio with William Parker and the Japanese percussionist Toshi Tsuchitori. Then, a free-jazz avant-guardist, in the following decades Tsuchitori has explored worlds of ancient instruments, releasing a number of recordings including "“The Sounds of Prehistoric Painted Cave: Playing in the Cave of Cougnac, France”. For over 30 years he has collaborated on and off with British theatre and film director Peter BrookThe other Japanese musician on this record - on the 'Playful Spring' duet is trombonist Masahiko Kono. A determined experimentalist, in 1980 he would have been on a visit from Japan, having studied and worked there with Toshinori Kondo, tenor player Mototeru Takagi and violinist Takehisa Kosugi. Unlike Kondo, he moved to the USA permanently and has played extensively with groups led by Jemeel Moondoc, William Parker and William Hooker, as well as being a frequent member of Cecil Taylor's big band.It is likely redundant to mention William Parker in an introductory context. Suffice to say that both Parker and Bang debuted on record within a year of one another (Parker 1973, Bang 1974) and that their musical association goes back at least to this time. More than 2 decades after Changing Seasons was recorded, the two formed, with Hamid Drake, the Violin Trio, releasing the beautiful Scrapbook album on Thirsty Ear. In the interim, Parker played bass on outstanding Bang records like The Fire From Within (Soul Note, 1984), and Sextet - Live at Carlos 1 (Soul Note, 1986).The crickets (noted in the title of Track 1) are audible on all 3 of the 'Studio Henry' tracks - giving an evocative feel of a hot New York summer. The duo with Kono was recorded 2 days after Christmas of that year - at a guess, the 'Changing Seasons' of the title comes from the disparity between the 2 sessions (seasonally speaking).160 kbps MP3's of this have been available in blogland for quite some time. Anecdotally, membership of a stern Russian free-booty site would allow you to access MP3s at 320. Hell, bits of this album have even appeared on YouTube (accompanied by a static photo).But these are FLACs - from a clean LP copy and very low on the pop & crackle quotient.The sound is good.And the music is wonderful.Seriously, consider buying some fantastic in-print Billy Bang music - it would be a fitting respect and farewell to the man. If you don't know his String Trio of New York or Soul Note or Justin Time records - you need them ! Any of these will pay royalties on sales to his estate - he is survived by his daughters Hoshi and Chanyez, his sons Jay and Ghazal, - and his partner Maria.[...]

here's just 24 essential billy bang recordings...