Mindblowing minimalism from the legendary Sandy Bull – an artist who might have had acoustic roots in folk music, but who was instantly turning his music into something else – drawing on modal styles of Eastern music, European generations of expression on guitar, jazz-based improvisation – and maybe even prefiguring work to come from composers like Terry Riley and La Monte Young! This album's one of Bull's first, and it's pure genius right from the start – with a side-long performance on the incredible "Blend", which features slight drums from jazz musician Billy Higgins – which Sandy extrapolates these long passages on acoustic guitar. Side two features the fantastic "Carmina Burana Fantasy" on banjo – a kind of trans-historical performance that's right up there with John Fahey's best of the decade – alongside equally mindblowing "Non Nobis Domine" and "Little Maggie" – and the closing electric guitar genius of "Gospel Tune". LP, Vinyl record album
Four slices of genius from this important German jazz festival of the 60s – one of the leading showcases for the best in avant garde and experimental music! The sounds here are as stunning as the lineup – maybe even more so, as there's some nicely-unfamiliar, surprisingly collaborative passages going on – all of which really illuminate the studio music by these groundbreaking artists! The set begins with "Andalusian Proverb" – a beautiful showcase for the dynamic vocals of Jeanne Lee, as she sings with Gunter Hampel on vibes, Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone, and Pierre Courbois on drums. "Cubis" features a sublime trio with Marion Brown on alto, Peter Kowald on bass, and John Stevens on drums – and that rhythm duo also supports "Jepa", which features Mangelsdorff on trombone and Evan Parker on soprano sax – and "Relationship", which also features Parker – as well as Don Cherry on trumpet and Buschi Niebergall on second bass. LP, Vinyl record album
A beautiful live performance by John Fahey – and one that's very much in the spirit of his key early albums on Takoma! The set was recorded live for radio, with excellent sound quality – and Fahey's sense of tone and flow are amazing – sounds that seem completely effortless, and very much at the top of his tuning creativity – moving from song to song as easily as breathing – even though any other guitarist might be hard-pressed to even come close to this brilliance! Titles include "Thus Krishna On The Battlefield", "Fare Forward Voyagers", "Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Philip XIV Of Spain", "Stomping Tonight On The Pennsylvania Alabama Border", and "Beverley". LP, Vinyl record album
The only album ever recorded by Satisfaction – a wonderful British group from the key jazz rock years of the scene, but one who have a sound that's maybe more personal and intimate than the rest! These guys are never too proggy, and are only just a sextet – one that's fronted by some excellent trumpet from Mike Cotton, who'd recorded some other great work on the UK mod scene of the mid 60s – evolved here into a style that's more rocking, but also has currents of soul and funk in just the right ways – with plenty of flute, trombone, alto, and tenor – alongside vocals that are often warmly harmonized by the group, which makes for a really great approach! The songs have plenty going on, but are also nice and tight – and tunes include "Gregory Shan't", "Love It Is", "Just Lay Back & Enjoy It", "She Follows The Band", "Call You Liar Liar", "Go Through Changes", and "Cold Summer". LP, Vinyl record album
Mal Waldron & Gary Peacock —
First Encounter ... LP Victor/AlternativeFox (UK), 1971. New Copy (reissue)...
Far-reaching and incredibly soulful work from Mal Waldron and Gary Peacock! Both players are at the height of their powers here, and have a warmth and sense of interplay that makes the session one of the best they did alone or together during the time. The group's a trio, with Hiroshi Murakami added in on bass – and the overall feel is similar to some of the best Japanese trio sessions of the early 70s, with great recording, long drawn-out introspective songs, and free unbridled playing that you don't always get on American sessions by the same players. Titles include "Walking Way", "What's That", "She Walks In Beauty", and "The Heart Of The Matter". LP, Vinyl record album
The mighty Weather Report were fusion legends in the studio – but somehow, they can sound even more amazing in a live setting – as you realize that all that complexity and razor-sharp performance in their music was never just an aspect of tricky tape work or editing, but the real deal from some of the greatest musicians of the 70s! This version of the group is a quartet – a killer lineup with Wayne Shorter on saxes, Joe Zawinul on keyboards, Jaco Pastorius on bass, and Peter Erskine on drums – really soaring out on a strong double-length performance, with versions of "Teen Town", "Birdland", "Scarlet Woman", "A Remark You Made", "Black Market", "Gibraltar", and a special "Keyboard Solo". LP, Vinyl record album
A fantastic live performance from Alice Coltrane – and one that features a very heavy-hitting group, one that features both Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp on tenor, in a spirit that's as strong and righteous as Alice's Ptah The El Daoud album! The set features one long track – a reading of the John Coltrane tune "Africa" – soaring, stretched out, and done in a very spiritual way by the whole group – building in intensity, but also with moments of more contemplative energy too. The lineup features two bassists – Jimmy Garrison and Cecil McBee – two drummers – Ed Blackwell and Clifford Jarvis – plus tambura from Tulsi and harmonium from Kumar Kramer – all laid out with both piano and harp from Alice Coltrane herself. LP, Vinyl record album
Joyce (1968) ... LP Philips/AlternativeFox (UK), 1968. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
The first album by Joyce – one of our favorite Brazilian singers ever! The album's a wonderfully lyrical batch of tracks – many written by Joyce herself, plus a few by Brazilian songwriters Jards Macale, Toninho Horta, and Marcos Valle – and the orchestrations are by Gaya, and played on a number of tracks by Dori Caymmi and his group. The style shows many elements of Joyce's later unique style, filtered through a more standard late bossa sound – light and breezy, but with a bit of a dark edge that's in a classic Jobim mode. Includes the track "Superego", which feels a lot like Joyce from the 70s – plus the lovely "Litoral", and the tracks "Me Disseram", "Nao Muda, Nao", "Cantiga De Procura", "Choro Chorado", "Bloco Do Eu Sozinho", and "Improvisado". LP, Vinyl record album
Very freewheeling live work from Miles Davis – captured here on a set of long tracks recorded in Berlin at the start of the 70s – all with an open vibe that maybe matches some of his famous concert dates from Japan! The overall sound is maybe a bit more spacious and slightly less noisy – and the group features Gary Bartz on alto, Keith Jarrett on electric piano and organ, Michael Henderson on bass, Ndugu Chancler on drums, and Don Alias and Mtume on percussion! There's no guitar in the group, which has the pulsing keyboards doing most of that work – and Gary Bartz is wonderful on his solos, playing with some of the rhythmic edge of his early 70s work on Milestone, and making a nice contrast to Miles. Titles include "Directions", "What I Say", "Honky Tonk", "Funky Tonk", "It's About That Time", and "Sanctuary". LP, Vinyl record album
Charles Mingus —
Shadows ... LP AlternativeFox (UK), 1959. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A great early moment for the legendary Charles Mingus – music that was used in the equally-legendary film Shadows – the first directorial effort from a young John Cassavetes! The album's worth it alone for the unusual piece "Untitled Percussion Composition" – one of the loosest, sparest Mingus moments ever – and a work that features Charles on both piano and percussion, alongside more percussion from Dannie Richmond, Horace Parlan, Jimmy Knepper, and Clarence Shaw – with a sublime flute solo from Shafi Hadi over the top! The rest of the tracks are more familiar moments from the key Mingus year of 1959 – played by groups with John Handy on alto, Booker Ervin and Shafi Hadi on tenor, and either Richard Wyands or Horace Parlan on piano – on the titles "Self Portrait In Three Colors", "Nostalgia In Times Square", and "Alice's Wonderland" – plus an "Untitled Percussion Composition". LP, Vinyl record album
(45 rpm pressing.)
Frank Ricotti & Mike De Albuquerque —
First Wind ... LP AlternativeFox (UK), 1971. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
A gem of a record from the key years when the British scene was effortlessly mixing up jazz and rock – and coming up with music that was a lot more sophisticated, cool, and groovy than you'd ever guess from the term "jazz rock"! The group's a core effort from vibist Frank Ricotti and vocalist Michael Albuquerque – a singer with a raspy style that's got a nice dose of soul at the core – which makes a very different setting for the sharply chromatic vibes of Ricotti – an artist we love from other records of this period, and who really stretches out in mighty nice ways – adding in a bit of alto sax and percussion too. The album's also got superb electric piano from John Taylor – another key British player of the time – plus Christ Lawrence on bass and Trevor Thompkins on drums. Taylor, Ricotti, and Robin Sylvester did the arrangements – and titles include "Ratsa", "Bobo's Party", "New York Windy Day", "Go Out & Get It", "The Wind Has No Love", and a great take on the tune "Give A Damn". LP, Vinyl record album
Archie Shepp —
Tradition ... LP Horo/AlternativeFox (UK), 1977. New Copy 2LP (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
One of Archie Shepp's most soulful records of the 70s – and proof that the Horo label could get amazing work out of any player! The record features Shepp in a spare trio setting – with Cameron Brown on bass and Clifford Jarvis on drums – and each of the four sides features an extended reading of more traditional jazz material, yet still done in a manner that's quite free, and extremely soulful. Side one features Shepp's "Hooray For Mal", side three features the excellent "Things Have Got to Change" by the great Cal Massey, and the remaining sides feature two great Ellington interpretations, "I Didn't Know About You" and "Sophisticated Lady". Great stuff all around – and a perfect bridge between two different modes of the music of Archie Shepp! LP, Vinyl record album
Jan Dukes De Grey —
Sorcerers ... LP AlternativeFox (UK), 1969. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
A really unusual record from the end of the 60s – and that's saying a lot, given how many unusual records were coming out at the time! Jan Dukes De Grey are here just a duo – Derek Noy on vocals and guitar, Michael Bairstow on reeds and other instruments – coming together on these very short songs that make for an unusual 18-track album – music that's folksy and acoustic, but which also has a knowledge of some of the proggier conceptions that were coming into play – a vibe that's maybe somewhere between the acid folk of the UK scene, and the earthy spirit of Jethro Tull's album Into The Woods – and we mean that in the best way possible. Titles include "City After 3am", "Yorkshire Indian Sitting In The Sun", "MSS", "Out Of The Eastern Hills", "High Priced Room", "Dragons", "Dominique", and "Ode To A Schoolgirl". LP, Vinyl record album
An early meeting of minimalist giants – as the album includes two long tracks that both feature Philip Glass and Steve Reich playing in the same ensemble! The set begins with a 1969 live recording of Reich's wonderful "Four Organs" – played by a group that features four musicians on the electric organ, including Reich and Glass – performing these stark, short passages that are stated again and again – while a spare rhythm on maracas percolates in the background. "Music In A Similar Motion" is by Glass – and features him on electric organ and Reich on electric harpsichord – plus two additional players on soprano sax. The album also includes an unusual take on Reich's "Drumming" – performed by percussionists from Ghana. LP, Vinyl record album