Ted Curson —
Pop Wine ... CD Futura (France), 1971. New Copy ...
Ted Curson at his finest – an incredible album that has him blowing hard, and with a wonderfully soulful style on the Paris scene of the early 70s! Curson's always been a hell of a trumpeter – but he's all-out, over-the-top on this amazing session from 1971 – working alongside the legendary trio of pianist George Arvanitas – who themselves really seem to hit a special sort of sound for the record! The tracks have a long, open-ended quality that offers a mix of modal grooving and hard spiritual soloing – perfect territory for Curson to show his stuff, over a groove that you'd hardly expect from Georges' group. Arvanitas' bassist Jacky Samson has this warm, round, wonderful tone that's a perfect foil for Curson's spirited blowing – and titles include "Quartier Latin", "Pop Wine", "LSD Takes A Holiday", and "Flip Top". CD
An interesting singer, with an approach that's definitely all her own – one that has Caroline Faber singing alongside just the guitar or Richard Bonnet and drums of Eric Dambrin – both players who can be abstract at some points, and nicely laid back at others! We like that second style the most – as the instrumentation creates this very spacious quality that let's Faber's vocals spread out and flower – almost with a post-jazz sort of mode that reminds us of 70s records on the ECM and Saravah label! One track does pick up a nice, but spare groove – a wickedly cool remake of Marlena Shaw's "Woman Of The Ghetto" – and other tracks include the originals "Psychotic", "J'En Sais Rien", and "Il Bat" – plus nice takes on "Feeling Good", "Cotidiano", and Serge Gainsbourg's "Black Trombone". CD
Michel Portal —
Alors!! ... CD Futura (France), 1970. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A landmark French avant session from the start of the 70s – and one of the most bracingly brilliant albums ever recorded by saxophonist Michel Portal! Portal's paired here with British reedman John Surman – and the duo play some amazingly complex lines on the date – very freewheeling, but not entirely without structure – as Portal handles alto sax and bass clarinet, and Surman blows soprano, baritone, and bass clarinet as well. Other group members include Barre Phillips on bass, Stu Martin on drums, and Jean-Pierre Drouet on percussion – and the use of two percussion players, without piano, makes for a very unique quality to the record. Titles include "Oo Bam Ba Deep", "Ca Boom?", "Undercurrent", "Yes, Oh Yes, You Wonderful Sun Kissed Maiden", and "Y En A Marre". CD
A wonderful session from the time when Mal Waldron was moving around the world a lot – having a profound influence on national jazz scenes in Italy, France, Japan, and elsewhere – and turning out great recordings like this! This set's got a groove that's a bit more soulful than some of Waldron's other trio dates from the time – which could sometimes get a bit outside – and although Mal's somewhat free on the keys of the piano at points, there's a bold sense of rhythm to the record, thanks to bass from Patrice Caratini and drums from Guy Hayat. Tracks are long and introspective, with almost a Randy Weston-ish style – and titles include "Down At The Gills", "La Petite Africaine", "My Funny Valentine", and "Blood & Guts". CD
One of the most striking albums ever from French experimentalist Jef Gilson – and one of the most outside as well! The album's from the same vintage as some of Gilson's world jazz experiments on the Palm label, but the overall feel here is much more free – with Jef working on a fuzzy Electra Hohner piano, which sounds very stark and trippy – alongside organ from Pierre Moret and drums from Jean Claude Pourtier – as well as other instrumentation from all three members of the trio! There's lots of percussion and extra elements that come into the mix – creating an organic feel that's different than other freer jazz work of the time – and Gilson's use of the electric keyboard is strongly resonant, with bold sounds that never overlap – but hang in the air nicely amidst the percussion. Claude Jeanmarie also plays prepared piano on one track – and titles include "Les Cigales", "Faut Qu'on", "Tournant Decisif", and "Le Massacre Du Printemps". CD
The other great Hal Singer album from his years on the French scene – and a record that we'd say is even better than his legendary Paris Soul Food set! Although Singer is often most associated with an older style of swing-based jazz, he's working here in a loose, free mode that's got plenty of 70s soulful touches – often funky at the best moments, but even more importantly openly rhythmic – with a progressively soulful style that's really outta site! The group features Art Taylor on drums, plus an assortment of European players led by Siegried Kessler – who plays some great piano and flute on the album, and also handled the arrangements. The album features Singer's wonderful tune "Malcolm X" – the kind of a track that we'd rank right up there with some of the most righteous soul jazz groovers of the time. Other highlights include the modal "Pour Stephanie", the jagged "Blues For Hal", and the groovy "It's My Thing". CD also includes the bonus track "Lina". CD
A great mix album where Krush revisits his classic tracks from the Mo Wax years in a non stop set that also features short vocal cameos from MCs, producers and graff writers like Stash, Futura 2000, Finsta Bundy, DJ Cam and Shawn J Period, and some nice turntable antics from Krush himself. Includes "Kemuri", "Bypath: Would YoU Take It?", "Dig This Vibe", "Duality", "Light (Can You See It?)" and lots more! CD
One of the first-ever albums to feature the tenor talents of Billy Harper as a leader – recorded at a time when the world was really awakening to his talents – thanks to work with Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Lee Morgan! The album features one of Harper's classic groups – with Everett Hollins on trumpet, Fred Hersch on piano, Louis "Mbiki" Spears on bass, and Horacee Arnold on drums – stretching out with a sense of joy, power, and righteousness that perfectly sum up Harper's contribution to jazz at the time – a new sort of spiritualism allowed by the previous presence of John Coltrane – yet voiced in a mode that's all Billy's own! The set was recorded during a great burst of creative energy on the French Futura label – at a time when they were recording other excellent American players like Ted Curson, Mal Waldron, and Chris Woods – all with an approach that makes them just the right match to capture Harper's early voice at its best. The record features a great version of "Soran Bushi B.H." – a soulful spiritual number that's one of Harper's best compositions – plus "The Awakening", and the super-long "Cry Of Hunger". CD