In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Sunday, November 27, 2011

EXPO 67

MOE KOFFMAN QUARTET - Live at Expo 67
(Transcription Radio Canada LP, 1967)



Over the years, I've found LPs in some unlikely places. For instance, this LP was salvaged from the trash can of Radio Comores - a small archipelago in the South West Indian Ocean - in the late Nineties. It is a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Cortporation) transcription of a concert given by the Moe Koffman Quartet at the Montreal World Expo 1967. 
It was recorded at the Canadian Pavillon as part of a series of concerts showcasing the best of Canadian jazz (for more info on Montreal 67 Expo jazz concerts, click HERE).


There are some good solos by reed player Moe Koffman on this album but he was clearly trying to be "with it" by chasing trends of the era. The repertoire (which includes "Comin' Home Baby," "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Watermelon Man" and a remake of Koffman's big seller "Swinging Shepherd Blues") is dominated by jazz hits of the era and Koffman, who sometimes plays two tenors at once (sounding like a one-handed Rahsaan Roland Kirk!), also plays an electrified sax but is best on his flute. The Montreal-based organ-bass-drums rhythm section does their job well and there are enough worthwhile Koffman solos (particularly on the medium-up tempo "Spectacular" which is really "There Will Never Be Another You") to make this set worth picking up (...) (AMG).


Considering that the LP come from a pile of rubbish, it is a miracle that it was still in listenable condition.  I took it last week to Records Magician Paul D. who applied his wizardry to it and came up with a wonderfully clean sound which we are now offering you. Wow!  Couldn't believe that nice crisp sound - without scratches and other pops - came from my old battered LP. The Wizard did it again!  And there's more coming soon ... 


Warning: it's in WAV and it's a big file. Be patient and you won't regret it.


Credits and tracks:
Personnel: Moe Koffman (flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Art Ayre (organ), Gary Binsted (e-bass), Andy Cree (drums).


Trivia: 
Art Ayre was for a while the organist of Jack London & the Sparrows, which, after the arrival of  East-Germany born singer John Kay would eventually mutate into Steppenwolf.




n.b.: this is not the back cover of the LP. It's taken from the Web.  After all the hard work to make the old LP listenable we realised it had been re-issued on CD in 1999. Listen and then buy it here.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

VASTRAP


ROBBIE JANSEN – VASTRAP ISLAND (1991, South Africa)

 In the comments of a previous South African Jazz post (Cape Jazz – 24 Sept. 2011), a visitor (thejazzmd) wrote “Love SA Jazz, and there is so little Robbie Jansen out there- so thank you!”
Well, mate, this one is for you! Hope you’ll enjoy it.
It is Robbie Jansen’s first album as a leader and I reckon it is a bit of a mixed bag of afro-rock / smooth jazz / Cape Music, not entirely convincing (especially after hearing his contribution to the Sabenza album by Basil "Mannenberg" Coetzee) but even in such a context Robbie’s flute and alto are always a pleasure to the ears.  It is also a great party record that goes well with a few beers and a braai!

WARNING TO THE JAZZ AYATOLLAHS: Beware, I wouldn’t call this a “jazz” album, rather a Cape Music album with a jazzy tinge.

Credits :
Robbie Jansen : alto sax, flute, fife, leqd vocals, acoustic guitar, percussions
Drums: Jack Momple, Monty Weber
Electric guitar: Erol Dyers, Paul Peterson
Acoustic guitar: Erol Dyers
Electric keyboards: Hilton Schilder, Murray Anderson
Acoustic piano: Hilton Schilder
Bass: Stephen Erasmus

Ripped from a currently OOP CD.

p.s.: I'm not sure whether Sabenza has been posted  on a blog already.  It's a beautiful album that any fan of Cape Jazz should possess.  If there is a demand, I'll rip my LP when I'll get a chance.

03 Feb. 2012: somebody was faster than me ... listen to Sabenza HERE

Monday, November 14, 2011

A NIGHT IN TUNISIA



ERROL PARKER TENTET - A NIGHT IN TUNISIA
(Sahara Records, 1991)




 Algeria-born pianist/drummer /composer and arranger Ralph Schecroun (aka Errol Parker) ranks among the most underrated modern jazz creators.  He was a true original like Sun Ra and a few others, musicians who cannot be easily categorized and pigeonholed.
Mostly self-taught on piano, he moved to Paris in 1947 to study sculpture but was soon playing jazz. Parker (under his original name Raph Schecroun) recorded on sessions led by Kenny Clarke, James Moody, and Django Reinhardt, and played off and on with Don Byas during 1956-1958. He recorded some commercial music on organ in 1960 and then, to escape from an exclusive contract so as to record jazz versions of Top 40 material on piano, he used the pseudonym Errol Parker. The latter records sold so well that he permanently changed his name.  In 1963, Errol Parker was the victim of a car accident which let him badly injured and almost put a term to his career as a pianist due to a loss of dexterity and speed.  He didn’t give up music though.  In 1968, he emigrated to New York  and started experimenting with new musical forms.  Utilizing poly-tonality (playing in two keys at once), simultaneous soloing, and his own drumming (which achieves an African sound by substituting a conga for the snare drum), Parker's tentet sounded unlike any other group.  Although he kept on playing piano occasionally, especially electric piano, he became more and more interested in percussions and reconverted as a drummer, a bit out of necessity as he couldn’t find a drummer who could play his complex rhythmic structures.



 In 1982, while teaching at the Williamsburg Music Center, he formed a big band that eventually became his tentet. Due to the eight horns he utilized, Parker stopped playing piano except for solo engagements and stuck to drums. His recordings (which include a solo piano tribute to Thelonious Monk) utilized such sidemen as Robin Eubanks, Wallace Roney, Donald Harrison, Steve Coleman, Graham Haynes, Philip Harper, Byard Lancaster, and Jimmy Owens, among others. Parker died of liver cancer on June 2, 1998.
(Source: Scott Yarrow-AMG and Wikipedia and Errol Parker's autobiography).


Errol Parker Tentet - A Night in Tunisia (1991), OOP CD.



If you 're interested in knowing more about the life and career of Ralph Schecroun / Errol Parker, read his autobiography.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SWEDISH DELIGHT


BERT DAHLANDER
JAZZ WITH A SWEDISH ACCENT
(Everyday, 1976)

 Another very rare album from Paul D.'s mythical treasure vault. This time an LP recorded in 1971, in Sweden, by Swedish-born / US resident drummer Bert Dahlander.

The album was posted briefly on the FJD blog in non-downloadable format.  I copy its introduction to the album, I wouldn't write it better (I hope the FJD blog owner won’t mind): 
“Never judge a record by its cover. That's the lesson you'll learn if you ever get the chance to spin Swedish drummer Bert Dahlander's "Jazz With A Swedish Accent" (which you never will, because I'm the only one on earth who owns it). Despite looking straight out of the Fernwood Tonight show, this is is very swingin' jazz record with strong sax work, memorable compositions (by Dahlander himself) and, most suprising, a funky Hammond organ that wouldn't be out of place a the old Five Spot (…)

I wish to add just two comments
(i)                even more surprising than the funky Hammond, is Lill Magnus’ boppish accordion somewhat reminiscent of Matt Matthews or Art Van Damme.
(ii)             No mate, you're not the only one on earth owning this album, there are actually two people in the world owning a copy of this album : you and Paul D.

Tracks and credits: see sleeve. All composition by Bert Dahlander

Nils-Bertil Dahlander was born May 13, 1928 in Göteborg, Sweden to Nils and Engla Karlmark Dahlander.
As a young child he was given piano and violin lessons, but he loved rhythm and became an internationally acclaimed jazz drummer. When he was 14, his parents gave him a book on Picasso, which fueled his interest as an artist. In Sweden, he led a quartet and played in a radio band. After making some recordings with celebrated Swedish jazz musician Lars Gullin in 1951 and 1952, his interests turned to the United States. He came to New York in 1958, knowing no one and unable to speak English. He started playing at the Metropole, the “jazz center” of New York. As he built his reputation, he became friends with legendary jazz drummers Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. He also signed an endorsement with the drum maker Slingerland, supplying him with his drums. Bert eventually met and played with people such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Harry James, Dave Brubeck. He was a member of Chet Baker group, and was in a trio with Teddy Wilson.
Bert also had a love for painting. His paintings were inspired by his music and he named several of them after songs. He often painted after playing until two or three in the morning to relax. He never did like to sell his paintings because “You can never replace a painting.”
Bert died at the age of 83, on Monday, June 6, 2011, in Mesquite, Nevada.
(Source: obituary).


OOP album. Link in comments (WAV).


By the way, I haven't received much  comments - if any - on the recently posted albums.  If you download the music, just say Thanks, it will be appreciated.