Pre-ESP Records work from the legendary Albert Ayler – and a really special set that definitely shows his strong ties to a previous legacy of African-American music! Ayler always clamed blues and other roots in his sound, but didn't always show them as clearly – given his free-thinking, forward-moving approach – yet this set has Albert really reworking an older influence, by taking older songs from gospel and secular sources, and using them as a completely compelling springboard for his new ideas on tenor and soprano sax! The album's the sort that David Murray might have cut in the mid 80s – but conceived by Ayler two decades before – and sadly unissued for years after its recording, possibly because it's a very sensitive, soulful set that's different than the frenetic power of later albums on ESP. A real treasure throughout – with work from Call Cobbs Jr on piano, Henry Grimes on bass, and Sonny Murray on drums – on titles that include "Swing Low Sweet Chariot", "Deep River", "Goin Home", "Ol Man River", "Down By The Riverside", and "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen". LP, Vinyl record album
One of a number of great small group sessions done by singer Teddi King for the Storyville label – nicely relaxed, with backing from a septet that features Billy Taylor on piano, Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, Nick Travis on trumpet, and Gene Quill on alto! The Storyville approach really brings out the best in Teddi's vocals – as the easy-going nature of the record has King sounding a bit more grown-up and adult than before – singing lines in a slightly sultry style, yet still with some of the bird-like notes heard on other albums. Taylor's piano adds a nice grounding to the record – and titles include "Old Folks", "Why Do You Suppose", "I'm In The Market For You", "You Hit The Spot", "Something To Live For", and "Like A Ship Without A Sail". CD
Lee Wiley & Ellis Larkins —
Duologue ... CD Storyville/Muzak (Japan), 1954. Used ...
A beautiful little concept for a beautiful little album – a "duologue" in which Lee Wiley sings one track, then Ellis Larkins plays the next, and so on – making for a split LP, but one with a lot of variety along the way! Wiley sings on about two thirds of the tracks on the set – working with a small combo that features Jimmy Jones on piano, Ruby Braff on trumpet, Jo Jones on drums, and Bill Pemberton on bass – all of whom provide gentle accompaniment to Lee's traditionally styled vocals. Ellis Larkins plays piano on the rest of the tracks – solo, with that wonderful late nite style of his – an approach that's more complicated than cocktail piano, but a bit more laidback than straighter jazz. Wiley numbers include "My Heart Stood Still", "Give It Back To The Indians", "My Romance", "You Took Advantage Of Me", and "My Funny Valentine". Larkins numbers include "Perfume & Rain", "By Myself", "Looking At You", and "Then I'll Be Tired Of You". CD
(2007 Japanese pressing – still sealed with obi. Shrink is intact but has a hole in one corner.)
A tremendous recording from the Art Ensemble Of Chicago – done during the same Paris stretch as their Great Black Music classics on the BYG/Actuel label – and a set that easily matches, if not tops, those classics! You can really hear the group finding their own space here – taking some of the free jazz explorations of the Chicago scene in the late 60s, and forging them with an even earthier use of both percussion, and the more offbeat sonic possibilities of their own instruments – often with a sense of surprise that you don't always get from some of their later albums. Titles include the side-long "The Spiritual" – plus "Toro", "Lori Song", and "That The Evening Sky Fell Through the Glass Wall and We Stood Alone Somewhere?" (And they wondered why they never got their songs on the radio!) CD features the bonus track – "Tthintthedalen (parts 1 & 2)". CD
A trio of fantastic recordings from Anthony Braxton – all of them at a pivotal time in his career, and each with his reed work in a very different setting! First up is the double-length album The Complete Braxton – a record that's something of a document of Anthony Braxton during his brief period with the group Circle – but a set that also offers up an expanded take on their new idea of freedoms in jazz! Braxton plays alto, soprano, clarinet, and bass clarinet – using his angular reedwork amidst his own fantastic "equation" compositions – which allow for plenty of improvisation from shifting lineups that include Chick Corea on piano, Dave Holland on bass and cello, and Barry Altschul on percussion! The tracks also feature the great Kenny Wheeler on trumpet and flugelhorn – playing mostly at moments when the piano of Corea drops out – and one tune also features the London Tuba Ensemble, who make for an especially bracing sound! Titles include "67M F-12", "R76", "JNK", and a bunch of those compositions that just have pictures for the title! Silence features Anthony Braxton, recorded in Paris at the end of the 60s – but in the company of two very familiar talents from his hometown – Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet and Leroy Jenkins on violin! Unlike some of Braxton's other Paris recordings, there's a very strong Chicago vibe going on here – as both of the album's long tracks unfold with thoughtful, almost gentle improvisation at times – a very different current of spiritualism than the post-Coltrane world, with all players picking up other instruments at times – in that mode-shifting way that made the early AACM so wonderfully creative! The set features two side-long titles – "Silence" and "Off The Top Of My Head". Time Zones is one of Anthony Braxton's most compelling albums of the 70s – a series of sonic explorations recorded with electronic music artist Richard Teitelbaum – whose work on a variety of moog synthesizers makes for a very groundbreaking accompaniment to Braxton's work on soprano, alto, and bass clarinet! The album features two long improvisations – "Crossing" and "Behemoth Dreams" – both of which are maybe more in the organic territory of the AACM than some of the later experiments that have electronics and improvisation – a really special space that the pair create together that's different from earlier electro-acoustic work, and even the sound of MEV or AMM – a completely fresh approach to electronics in improvisation – graced with some very interesting moments from Braxton as well. CD
A really great package – one that brings together three different albums on the Black Lion label, all of which were recorded during the same live sessions at the Cafe Montmartre in Copenhagen! Ben Webster's tone is wonderful here – that mature, mellow sound that he brought to some of his standout live dates – and which is captured here in the kind of relaxed, soloist-focused setting that always makes 60s recordings from the Cafe Montmartre so great! The group is a familiar one for the house – Kenny Drew on piano, Nils Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass, and Alex Riel on drums – but it's clear that Ben's the main star, and steps out on the kind of tenor solos really set him apart from the rest – on a record that's also one of his best from the decade! 2CD set features 21 tracks in all – and titles include "I Can't Get Started", "Londonderry Air", "My Romance", "Misty", "That's All", "Yesterdays", "Perdido", "Teach Me Tonight", "Friskin The Frog", "Stormy Weather", and "Blues For Herluf". CD
Some of the greatest work we've ever heard from Dutch singer Ann Burton – rare recordings presented here for the first time ever, and arguably even better than some of the commercially-issued material she cut back in the day! There's a light, swinging style to many of these tunes we really like – especially the 60s cuts that make up the first half of the record, which feature Ann in an ebullient, highly jazzy mode that recalls Blossom Dearie and some of our other favorites of the 60s. Lyrics are in English throughout, and backings are a variety of combos – and all the original recordings are from the archives of the Netherlands Institute of Sound & Vision. Titles include "Put On A Happy Face", "Once", "The Wildest Gal In Town", "Gypsy In My Soul", "Me Myself & I", "The End Of A Love Affair", "Round About", "Humpty Dumpty Heart", and "In The Wee Small Hours". CD
Incredible early work from vocalist Karin Krog – a mid 60s session, but one that already shows that she was thinking farther than most other singers of the time! The timings on the tunes are quite unusual – a bit like those used by Sheila Jordan in the 60s, but often even more personally pointed – in a way that makes even familiar tunes come across as if they're spontaneous expressions by Krog. Karin's working here with beautiful small combo backing from a quartet that includes Jan Garbarek on tenor, Kenny Drew on piano, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass, and Jon Christensen on drums – but the album's also arranged in a wonderful way that often has the vocals hanging out there alone, beautifully unsupported. Titles include "Body & Soul", "All Of You", "Dearly Beloved", "I Got Your Number", "Old Folks", "I Can't Get Started", and "Glad To Be Unhappy". CD
The first-ever album as a leader from tenorist Dewey Redman – a set that captures the rising musician at a level that's very full-formed, and which shows some of the roots of his years in Texas with a young Ornette Coleman! The vibe's different here than Coleman's music – at least in the early 60s – as Dewey would soon reunite with Ornette, and make some key sides in the second half of the decade. But there's definitely a similar sense of rhythmic pulse – with all the instruments leaping into the groove in a wonderful way – at times almost recalling some South African jazz modes, and at other moments maybe sparkling more with the best early 60s touches of the American underground! The rest of the combo features Jim Young on piano, Don Raphael Garrett on bass, and Eddie Moore on drums – an unusual grouping, but one that really makes some special magic here together – and in ways that give the record a very different sound than Redman's later, better-known albums. All titles are originals by Dewey – and tracks include "For Eldon", "Seven & One", "Look For The Black Star", "Of Love", and "Spur Of The Moment". CD
Grady Tate —
Dream Love ... CD Muzak/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Grady Tate made a wonderful comeback at the end of the 80s – finally getting a chance again to show off that magnificent vocal style that he brought to some key Skye Records releases years before – emerging here with a maturity that's wonderful, and which seems to transform each song in the set in a really great way! There's an easygoing vibe to the record – that almost-conversational style that makes Grady such a special singer – with backing from a small combo that features Bill Easly on saxophone and flute, Mike Renzi on piano, Peter Washington on bass, Lewis Nash on drums, and Errol Bennett on congas. Tracks include "Unforgettable", "Route 66", "But Beautiful", "In The Still Of The Night", and "As Time Goes By". CD
Brilliant early work by saxophonist John Tchicai – recorded in Denmark with a larger ensemble, in the years of his European exile after the dissolution of the New York Contemporary Five. Players include Karsten Vogel on alto and percussion, Max Bruel on baritone and piano, and Hugh Steinmetz on trumpet – and the tracks are a mixture of Dutch free jazz and some of the more contemplative scoring of Tchicai's earlier work – but always handled with that special sort of quality that makes Tchicai's work stand out so much, and which makes experiments like this such an important precursor to spiritual jazz projects in the 70s! Tracks ring out with a majesty and power that Tchicai rarely had in his later work – and titles include "Kirsten", "Orga Fleur Super Asam", "Lilanto Del Indio", and "Inside Thule". CD
A riveting batch of Sao Paulo avant noise and funky punk – from the No Wave early 80s and on through the decade – one of the most instantly exciting compilations on Soul Jazz in years! There's a richness to this previously somewhat buried scene that's not surprising, given all of the revolutionary music Brazil has produced over the past century or so, but it's incredible that the stylistic variety of post punk is deep as those of the UK or US in the decade! Many of the tracks skew to the No Wave, funk-steeped punk stuff that was born in NYC in the late 70s/early 80s, but there are also plenty of growling, hardcore-reverent guitar shrapnel, gutbuckety drums and percussion, piercing synths, and a healthy smattering Joy Division/Factory Records learned grooves! 18 tracks in all: "Inmigo" and "Panico" by As Mercenarias, "Sobre As Pernas" and "Eu Dirijo O Carro Bomba" by Akira S Et As Garotas Que Erraram, "Rock Europeu" by Fellini, "Jack Kerouac" by Gang 90, "For A Daqui" by Smack, "Ilha Urbana" by Muzak and more! CD
(Out of print.)
Tumult ... LP Superior Viaduct, 1983. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
Early genius from The Ex – a set recorded back in the early days when the Dutch group were a punk band first, and experimentalists second – working with energy that's almost reminiscent of the Leeds scene, especially material from Gang Of Four and the early version of The Mekons! There's plenty of politics and anger in the music – served up on these short, sharp shocks that are totally great – raw guitar riffs from Terrie X, and vocals from GW Sok that almost have a Mark E Riley sense of performances – all driven on by the intense drum work of Sabien – on titles that include "Bouquet Of Barbed Wire", "Fear", "Hunt The Hunters", "Red Muzak", "The Well-Known Soldier", "Same Old News", "FUNEIDY", and "Island Race". LP, Vinyl record album
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