Paul Bley —
Closer ... LP ESP, 1966. New Copy (reissue)...
Possibly the first true moment of genius from Paul Bley – a key indie standout after a few years working for bigger American labels! By the time of this early ESP album, Paul Bley was no stranger to the American scene – having recorded a few records for different labels in the 50s, and making some surprise appearances on other sessions in the early part of the 60s. But by the time of this mid 60s set, Bley was really coming into his own – working in a style that would have a huge influence on the style of jazz piano for the next few decades, and which was one of the first strong statements of modernism from the Canadian scene. Here, he's working with Steve Swallow on bass and Barry Altschul on percussion in a trio format, working through a great batch of tracks by then wife Carla – like "Ida", "Start", "Closer", "Batterie", and "Sideways In Mexico" – as well as versions of OrnetteColeman's "Crossroads", Annette Peacock's "Cartoon", and his own "Figfoot". LP, Vinyl record album
A beautiful meeting of two major talents from the left end of jazz – recorded in the early 60's when both were working for Atlantic! Despite the "avant garde" title, this set is straighter than you'd expect – very much in the spirit of Coltrane's work for the label, but with perhaps some of the more angular styles that Cherry was laying down with OrnetteColeman at the time. The session has Coltrane joining Ornette's group of Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell – save for a few numbers that feature Percy Heath on bass instead of Haden. The set includes great readings of Ornette's "The Blessing", "The Invisible", and "Focus On Sanity", and Coltrane plays both soprano sax and tenor! LP, Vinyl record album
Friends & Neighbors come on even stronger here than on their previous record – with a blistering array of sharp-edged notes that really live up to the OrnetteColeman legacy that inspired their name! The group's incredibly deft – free, but never unstructured – able to turn on a dime, and draw the best from each individual member – while never making it feel like the quintet is being overshadowed by a larger ego or two. There's a sympathy between the players that you don't always get on records like this – and although the performances are quite free, they have an intrinsic logic that makes them extremely powerful. Group features Andre Roligheten on tenor and clarinet, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums – and titles include "Fool Pay", "Duality", "Nokken", "Melting Snow", "Friends", and "Jaguar". LP, Vinyl record album
A group with a wonderfully rich dynamic range – not the full orchestra that you'd guess from their name, but instead a quartet that maybe plays with an equal amount of power! The lineup is a beautiful mix of freedom and pulse – a piano-less combo that features Pauli Lyytinen on tenor and soprano, Verneri Pohjola on trumpet, Eero Tikkanen on bass, and Mike Kallio on drums – all working in a style that's kind of post-Ornette – that is, it's got the similar sense of rhythm and searing solos to the Coleman albums on Atlantic in the early 60s – but also maybe explodes in so many other directions as well! Despite the unassuming cover of the set, there's an energy here that rivals some of the best Scandinavian modern jazz albums of previous decades – on titles that include "Triangulum", "Village Fool", "Lubljana", and "Lonesome Dreamer's Dance". LP, Vinyl record album
One of the first bold statements to come from Chicago's AACM underground of the 60s – a tremendous debut effort from the young Roscoe Mitchell! The album's got a "sense of the new" feel that's as gripping as anything recorded by ESP or Impulse around the same time – a rule-breaking, freely-creative approach to jazz that builds strongly off the changes already wrought by Cecil Taylor, OrnetteColeman, and Archie Shepp! The format is somewhat like the Art Ensemble Of Chicago at times – with measured horn work from Mitchell on alto, clarinet, and recorder, Maurice McIntyre on tenor, Lester Bowie on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Lester Lashley on trombone (as well as a bit of cello). Some tracks – like the brilliant "Sound" – offer a slow-building exploration of tones and textures – while others, like the blues-joke "Little Suite", or the harmelodic "Ornette", show a wry sense of humor that would become a Chicago avant hallmark as the years went on! LP, Vinyl record album
Yoko's stunning Plastic Ono Band LP – utilizing the same incredible group of players from John Lennon's same-titled effort – and an out there masterpiece that could be argued as one of the benchmark noise rock albums of all time! As with John's Plastic Ono Band LP, this one features guitars by the Walrus himself, drums by Ringo, bass by Klauss Voorman, plus additional bass by David Izenzon, Charles Haden, and trumpet by none other than OrnetteColeman – but Yoko's brutal banshee vocal improvisation is far and away the lead instrument here. Amazing, amazing, amazing – try to even imagine contempory noise rock without it! Original LP tracks include "Why", "Why Not", "Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage. . .", "AOS", "Touch Me" and "Paper Shoes". LP, Vinyl record album
Never heard music from Don Cherry's important time in Sweden – two different live recordings that explode with righteous power right from the very first note! Cherry really took off musically during his time in Sweden – exploring rich new ideas that had never come up in his music with OrnetteColeman, nor on his own American sides as well – really organic improvisations that blended together elements of the American underground with the new European free jazz, and some deeper ethnic touches as well! The first set of work here really showcases that mixture – as it features live material from 1968 with very freewheeling work by Cherry on pocket trumpet, flutes, and piano – plus Maffy Falay on trumpet and flutes, Bernt Rosengren and Tommy Koverhult on tenor and flute, Torbjorn Hulcrantz on bass, and Leif Wennerstrom on drums. The first part of the work is more all-out improv, but the second brings in some Turkish folk melodies supplied by Falay, which makes for some nice exotic elements. These are continued on "Another Dome Session", recorded in 1971 – material that has more of the Organic Music Society mix of collaborative acoustic elements, often with strongly spiritual currents. Cherry plays pocket trumpet, flutes, and piano again – and is joined by Maffy Falay on trumpet and flute, Tommy Koverhult on flute, and Okay Temiz on drums and percussion. Great package, with lots of music and notes on this time in Cherry's life! LP, Vinyl record album
Don Cherry really breaks out here on his classic Mu sessions from France – using the new freedoms of post-68 Paris to explore themes at a level that would set the tone for generations to come! The album's very spare, and very improvised – with Cherry on pocket trumpet, piano, and wooden flute – plus a bit of percussion too – alongside drummer Ed Blackwell, who's equally unbridled – showing a huge evolution since the time both he and Don spent in the group of OrnetteColeman! There's a few echoes of the global elements that Cherry would later embrace more strongly in the 70s – but the core energy here is mostly improvised jazz, handled at a level that really makes a lot better use of the freedom than some of Don's contemporaries. First part of the sessions feature the tracks "Total Vibration", "Sun Of The East", "Brilliant Action", and "Terrestrial Beings". LP, Vinyl record album
Don Cherry really breaks out here on his classic Mu sessions from France – using the new freedoms of post-68 Paris to explore themes at a level that would set the tone for generations to come! The album's very spare, and very improvised – with Cherry on pocket trumpet, piano, and wooden flute – plus a bit of percussion too – alongside drummer Ed Blackwell, who's equally unbridled – showing a huge evolution since the time both he and Don spent in the group of OrnetteColeman! There's a few echoes of the global elements that Cherry would later embrace more strongly in the 70s – but the core energy here is mostly improvised jazz, handled at a level that really makes a lot better use of the freedom than some of Don's contemporaries. Titles on this second part include "Bamboo Night", "The Mysticism Of My Sound", "Psycho Drama", "Smiling Faces Going Places", "Teo Teo Can", and "Dollar Brand/Spontaneous Composing/Exert Man On The Moon". LP, Vinyl record album
Albert Mangelsdorff —
One Tension ... LP CBS/Be! (Germany), 1963. New Copy Tri-fold (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
Incredible early work from one of Germany's greatest modernists – one of the key records that showed the world that German jazz was way more than just a rehashing of American modes in the postwar years! This rare 1963 recording features the quintet of trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff – a groundbreaking unit that includes tenorist Heinz Sauer, altoist Gunter Kronberg, bassist Gunter Lenz, and drummer Ralf Hubner – a fantastic combo that comes together in a stark modernist groove that's right up there with the best work of OrnetteColeman or Joe Harriott from the time – very rhythmic, in ways that offset the freedom of the horn solos beautifully – letting the saxes and trombones soar, while the bass and drums lock into a tight groove. The no-piano, three-horn frontline is incredibly strong – bracing and powerful, but never in a way that's too cold or modern, thanks to an inherent sense of soul in allt he players. Titles include "Varie", "Ballade Fur Jessica Rose", "Club Trois", "Set Em Up", and "Tension". LP, Vinyl record album
(Beautiful tri-fold cover pressing – just like the original!)