Tom Prehn —
Axiom ... LP Sonet/Rune Grammafon (Norway), 1963. New Copy (reissue)...
One of the rarest free jazz albums of the European 60s scene – a set that was originally intended for release by Sonet Records, pressed up in test records for the musicians, then denied release because they felt that they'd already moved past the performance! Yet in the space of over 50 years, the music still sounds remarkably fresh – an early, striking, and stunning example of the way that the European avant jazz scene was not only overtaking the American one, but also providing the kind of energy that would be a key inspiration for artists like Albert Ayler or Cecil Taylor! Pianist Tom Prehn offers up a lot of the latter here – boundless piano lines that leap forward into space with a frenzied, yet tuneful approach – followed by tremendous tenor from Frits Krogh, a player we don't know at all – but who blows powerfully and soulfully, at a level that maybe even prefaces some of John Coltrane's more outside material to come. The rest of the group features Poul Ehlers on bass and Finn Slumstrup on drums – and the album features the full "Axiom (parts 1 & 2)" performance from the Sonet album! LP, Vinyl record album
Seminal Swedish recordings from George Russell – mid 60s material that's quite different than his American albums of a few years before – and proof that his time overseas really helped to unlock his creativity! The centerpiece of the album is an early version of "Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature" – a tune recorded often by Russell, but done here in a stunning 60 minute version that really opens up wonderfully – a flurry of horn parts played by a larger group that includes Lennart Aberg on tenor and soprano, Arne Domnerus on alto and clarinet, Jan Garbarek on tenor, Berndt Egerbladh on vibes, Bengt Hallberg on piano, and Terje Rypdal on guitar – all key Scandinavian modernists, really given sharp focus here by Russell! The "sonata" got a romping, rhythmic pulse that really holds things together – even when the horns get a bit free – and it's followed by the equally great "Now & Then", which echoes a bit of the main theme, then goes way off into left field! The 2LP set also features "Concerto For Self-Accompanied Guitar", played by Rune Gustaffson. LP, Vinyl record album
Incredible work from one of the greatest groups of the New York avant scene of the 60s! The group features Shepp, Don Cherry, John Tchicai, Don Moore, and JC Moses – and the work ranks with some of Shepp's best-ever, and has that dark well-managed "new thing" sound of his best early work on Impulse. This single LP set features the second volume of material the group recorded in Copenhagen in 1963 – with tracks that include "Emotions", "Consequences", "Trio", and "Wo Wo". LP, Vinyl record album
Funky fusion from Finnish guitarist and keyboardist Jukka Tolonen – mostly full-on tracks with a fierce jamming approach, but handled with a nice bit of funk in the drums! The tunes have that mixture of jazz and rock playing that you'll find in a lot of the European fusion albums from the time – with angular soprano sax cutting out most of the riffs, followed by keyboards and guitar. Titles include "Hysterica", "Tiger", "Northern Lights", and "Windermere Avenue". LP, Vinyl record album
(US pressing on Janus. Cover has a small corner cut.)
Sonny Stitt with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers —
In Walked Sonny ... LP Sonet, 1975. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of Sonny Stitt's best albums of straight jazz from the 70s – and an album that reunites him with Art Blakey, in their first meeting since the pair recorded in the early 60s for Impulse! Blakey's working here with an unusual version of the Jazz Messengers – one that features older players Walter Davis Jr on piano and Bill Hardman on trumpet, plus youthful tenor work from David Schnitter. The format's a bit looser than the usual Jazz Messengers set, and like the Stitt/Blakey album for Impulse, has a bit more of a focus on the strong tenor solos in the lead. Titles include "Blues March", "Birdlike", "I Can't Get Started", and "Ronnie's A Dynamite Lady". LP, Vinyl record album
One of two great records that Cherry cut for the Sonet label while working in Sweden. The album features Cherry in the company of Swedish players like Bernt Rosengren, Agneta Arnstrom, and Bengt Berger – all of whom play in a very world jazz vibe, adding in lots of strange percussion, gongs, pianos, and other percussive instruments to the mix. Cherry even vocalizes a bit on one track, and he plays no trumpet at all on the recording – which shows an even greater commitment to exploring new modes of expression than you might expect. Titles include "Tibet", "Moving Pictures For The Ear", "Love Train", and "Gamla Stan – The Old Town By Night". LP, Vinyl record album
A unique Italian recording from bossa poet Vinicius De Moraes – a record that stands both as a verbal and musical tribute to his genius! The songs here feature sublime arrangements from Luiz Bacalov – who offers up his own interpretation of the 60s bossa style – almost an Elenco Records mode, but filtered through a bit of Italian soundtrack melancholy in a perfect way, to really make the tunes sound special for the recording. And a few other numbers also feature some spoken bits, without any music – providing a compelling Italian language setting for the performance. Translations of the lyrics were handled by Sergio Bardotti, and Giuseppe Ungaretti translated the poetry – and vocals are sung by Sergio Endrigo. Titles include "Perche", "Serenata Dell'Addio", "Samba Delle Benedizioni", "Felicita", "Sonetto Dell'Amore Totale", "La Casa", and "Il Giorno Della Creazione". LP, Vinyl record album
(Hand-numbered limited edition of 1000 – on orange vinyl!)