In memory of Johnny Peret

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

DANISH PASTRIES


Niels Jorgen Steen’s Beatkapel Plays Jazz
(Denmark, 1976)


An album of good time Jazz found last year in Brussels.  I must confess that I was totally unfamiliar with these musicians but the album looked OK the track list had a few hard swinging favorites (Gee and Hey Lock to name a couple). It was pretty cheap (found in a second-hand bookshop that had a few LPs, not a specialist shop), I decided to pick it up and was pleasantly surprised.  It is middle-jazz but of the very swinging variety. 

It seems that the Beatkapel was a very popular band in the 70s in Denmark. These guys are swinging like there was no tomorrow and the interplay between the musicians are quite enjoyable and something special.

I could not find much info on the Net  in any language I know.  I found some info on Niels Jorgen Steen on the Danish version of Wikipedia.  Here is what I could make out of it: 

Niels Jorgn Steen (born 1939) is a Danish pianist and band leader, active in Jazz since the late fifties.  He played regularly with the Arnvid Meyers Orchestra,  a dance / jazz band which had occasionally guests of the caliber of Ben Webster or Harry Edison.  During the Seventies, he led the Beatkapel and, for a while, the Danish Radio Big Band.  As from 1987 he became part of the A-Team,  an informal big band featuring the cream of the Danish Jazz musicians, such as Peter Thorup and Bobo Moreno.

Info in English on tenor sax Jesper Thilo can be found  here.



Niels Jørgen Steen's Beatkapel plays Jazz - RCA (S) YDLP1-716

Musicians
Jesper Thilo (ts) Niels Jørgen Steen (p) Torben Munk (g) Hugo Rasmussen (b) Ove Rex (d) Asger Rosenberg (vcl-1)
Copenhagen, August   1976







Tracks
Cherokee 
How high the moon-
Gee
Wait around 
I cried for you (1)
Lang Kedelig blues
Hey Lock 
Cotton tail 
Ghost of a chance
Flat foot floogie

It is very hard not to get in a damn good mood listening to the music on this album.

Note : the entire session was re-issued on CD with bonus tracks on Music Mecca (DK) CD1010-2. Get it if you can!



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Très rare ! Another extremely rare Belgian LP


THE CLOUDS
Nederlandse Pocketplaat - NPP 6006, Belgium – 1966


“Très très rare.  Un guitariste à découvrir sur ce disque introuvable, des compositions très intéressantes.  Fortement recommandé.” (website of Paris Jazz Corner)

An album I found some 40 years ago on Brussels’ Vieux Marché (Flea Market).  The Clouds (not to be confused with the UK prog-folk band that recorded a couple of LPs on Island) was an off-shoot of the BRT Jazz Orkest.  They recorded this obscure LP and an even rarer 45 rpm EP

This LP sees the band exploring a repertoire of traditional Flemish and Afrikaans folksongs and re-arranging them for jazz interpretation.  It could be called Chamber Jazz but some arrangements are fairly advanced and the result is strangely compelling.  It doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard.  Frans L’Eglise displays a strong influence of Paul Desmond but then a song like “Nooi van die velde” (an Afrikkans traditional song) would not be out of place on a compilation of obscure spiritual jazz.  In a country – and time – that produced records such as those of the Brussels Art Quintet, Babs Robert & the Love Planet or Raphael, everything was possible.

Brussels ' s Flea Market - Place du Jeu de Balles / Vossenplein

And then, there is the great Freddy Sunder on guitar, another unsung hero of Belgian Jazz, better known as a TV variety shows entertainer in the 60s and a pioneer of Belgian novelty Boogie / pre-Rock & Roll in the 50s (on the legendary Ronnex label).

Freddy Sunder

Probably because of his rarity outside of Belgium, this record seems to have escaped the radar of most collectors.  Is it because all the titles are in Dutch or Afrikaans?
Be adventurous and give this strange but beautiful album a listen. 

Tracks
A1.  Cecilia
A2.  Schoon lief
A3.  Twee koningskinderen
A4.  Nooi van die velde
B1.  Vier weverkens
B2.  Sneewwit vogeltje
B3.  Island bedroefde kust
B4.  Heer Halewijn

Muzikanten:
Armand Van De Walle (drums, klokkenspel)
Clem De Maeyer (contrabas)
Frans L'Eglise (altsaxofoon)
Freddy Sunder (gitaar)
Jean Evans (piano)
Johnny Scott (fluit)

Techniek / opname: Paul Leponce

The Clouds discography:
The Clouds - Vinyl LP album – 1966 - Nederlandse Pocketplaat - NPP 6006
The Clouds EP - Vinyl 7'' EP – Year ? - BRT - 10 136

n.b. the personnel is slightly different on the EP :

Armand Van De Walle (drums)
Charlie Knegtel (trompet)
Clem De Maeyer (contrabas)
Freddy Sunder (gitaar)
Herman Sandy (trompet)
Willy Albimoor (klavecimbel)

If anyone has this EP, I’d be very interested in getting and posting a rip

(info on the EP comes from here)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

HITTIN’ THE ROAD AGAIN


RED HOLLOWAY – HITTIN’ THE ROAD AGAIN
(JAM 014, 1982 - USA)


Red Holloway died February 25, 2012, one month after Etta James and Johnny Otis, with whom he had worked extensively.  He was 84 and his discreet departure for the Great Cosmic Jam Session went almost unnoticed.  Obituaries here.

On this rather obscure LP, his first set as a leader since the 1960s, Red Holloway is heard on tenor, alto and baritone, in addition to taking a good-natured blues vocal on "Sylvia Is Her Name." Holloway wrote five of the six songs, none of which caught on, and used L.A.-based musicians (keyboardist Dwight Dickerson, guitarist Shuggie Otis, bassist Richard Reid and either Gerryck King or Jimmy Smith on drums) for this likable but obscure straight-ahead outing, which has not yet been reissued on CD.

Side A starts with the dispensable “No Tears (Over You)” which verges dangerously towards smooth jazz  although Red’s playing is quite enjoyable (I don't like the synthetic keyboard). “Sylvia is her name” is a typical West Coast blues shuffle enhanced by the presence of guitar-legend Shuggie Otis.  The serious things start with track 3 (Russel Square) which is straight-ahead, no-nonsense jazz.  It continues in the same vein with “Swiftly” on side B - showcasing Red's mastery of the baryton - followed by a beautiful ballad with Ben Websterian accents (Red Holloway was always excellent on slow, bluesy ballads)  The record ends with the title track, a funky soul jazz track featuring Shuggie Otis again.  I wish Shuggie had recorded more in that vein, he’s good at it. Overall, not a bad record, get it if you can find it.  Found my copy in Brussels a couple of years ago for about 5 €.  No point of paying ridiculous amount on “specialized” websites, just be patient.


Side 1:  No Tears (Over You); Sylvia Is Her Name; Russel Square. 
Side 2:  Swifty (aka Stacos); Music For Making Love; Hittin' The Road Again.

My favourite spot in the house


sone recent additions to the collection

Friday, September 21, 2012

SOK … it to me, baby !


SOK  "feat. Anders - Forsthoff - Gumpert - Sommer"
Germany, 1971-73  (AHO CD 1019)

Another obscurity (to me at least) from the vault of onxidlib! As he wrote “It's Jazz but with a decidedly Rock attitude” or is it Rock with a decidedly Jazz attitude?  The 1971 tracks are in the vein of the best Horn Rock bands but with a level of musicianship way above your average Horn Rock Band (in that sense , SOK could be seen as a German equivalent to Chase, Dreams or BS&T, all horn rock bands that were composed of seasoned jazz musicians).

By1973 their horn rock had become more progressive / fusion oriented. The track Liebeslied sounds almost like Nucleus featuring a violin.   There are a few tracks with vocals in German.  It does not really work in that context. German language is OK for romantic lieders or Wagnerian operas but jazzrock is a no-go area … at least IMHO.

Here is some background:

SOK was founded in 1971 as a spin-off of the Klaus Lenz Big Band. In 1972 they were invited for the "Jazz in der Kammer" series. The same year they collaborated in a stage production of "Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.". at the German Theatre in East-Berlin. 
(It was Ulrich Plenzdorf's play and not Goethe's famous novel. It adapted Goethe's novel to the then contemporary situation in the DDR. Later an adaption of the play as a novel [by Plenzdorf himself] became quite famous in the western part of Germany. A subsequent film adaption followed which was well received well in West-Germany  ... as you can see the Boogieman and onxidlib cater for your brain as much as for your ears!).

At the end of 1973 Gumpert and Sommer quit playing in SOK, re-started as a duo and later formed Synopsis with Conny Bauer and Klaus Koch. They were replaced by Jochen Gleichmann (tp, flügelh, harp) and Rainer Riedel (dr).  At times Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky or Hans-Joachim Grasswurm were invited as guest-musicians.
The mid-seventies saw the disintegration of SOK.

All the music is by Gumpert except "Modifikation" which is from Hermann Anders and "Geh' Vorbei", co-written byAnders and Gerlach. "Du lebst in einer großen Stadt" and "Strandgut" are by Gumpert/Nieblich.
The trumpet player Robert Tornev most probably does not play on the last three pieces on the (now OOP) CD. He had left SOK for the Theo Schuhmann Combo

Sources of info: onxidlib and "Melodie und Rhythmus" (issue 4/1972).

Musicians
Hans-Joachim Grasswurm, trumpet (1-3)
Rainer Gäbler, alto saxophone, flute (1-3)
Konrad Körner, tenor saxophone (1-3)
Jochen Gleichmann, trumpet, harmonica, percussion (4-11)
Robert Tornev, trumpet, violin (4-11)
Helmut Forsthoff, tenor saxophone, flute (4-11)
Hermann Anders, trombone
Ulrich Gumpert, piano, organ, electric piano, vocals
Günter Dobrowolsky, guitar
Gert Lübke, bass-guitar
Günter Sommer, drums
Barbara Volz, vocal

Tracks
01. Sok-Rock                         4:57
02. Modifikation                     3:14
03. Fenster Auf                      5:13
04. Geh' Vorbei                      2:48
05. Sok-Oriental                     3:09
06. Du Lebst In Einer Großen Stadt   4:39
07. Impossible                       6:38
08. Strandgut                        7:44
09. Bruder John                      4:53
10. Liebeslied                       9:39
11. Der Grüne Vogel                  6:09

Recorded at "Rundfunk der DDR" Studios, Berlin by Klaus Kühne; 
Tr.1/2 > 24.02.1971; Tr.3 > 14.03.1971; Tr.4-6 > 26/27.05.1971;
Tr.7/8 > 06/07.12.1971; Tr.9 > 29.01.1973; Tr.10/11 > 03.09.1973.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

DDR JAZZ

MODERN JAZZ STUDIO NR.1
var. artists (AMIGA 8 50 023 (Mono - 1964), DDR)


And here is a who's who of DDR (and Eastern European) Jazz, thanks to onxidlib.
The first volume of Modern Jazz Studio series on AMIGA.  I have already located vol. 4 for the near future.  If someone has vol. 2 and 3, and is willing to share, leave a message.

You will find our old friend Helmut Brandt again, a blog regular!, and  other familiar names such as Klaus Lenz, Bora Rokovic, Gustav Brom, and  Joachim Kuhn.


MODERN JAZZ STUDIO NR.1

A1. Sweet Georgia Brown (Casey/Pinkard)  2:56

Johannes Rediske Quintett:
Johannes Rediske, guitar
Lothar Noack, tenor saxophone, clarinet
Alex Spychalski, piano
Manfred Behrendt, bass
Heinz Niemeyer, drums

Rec.: 14.05.1957

A 2. Moonlight In Vermont (Suessdorf/Blackburn)  3:04

see A1
add Ingrid Werner, vocal

Rec.: 15.05.1957

A3. Der Blues Ist Der König (Lenz)  2:16

Quintett 61:
Klaus Lenz, trumpet
Peter Baptist, trombone
Heinz Schröter, tenor saxophone
Gert Lübke, bass 
Udo Reichel, drums

Rec.: 03.04.1962

A4. St. Louis Blues (Handy)  4:55

Dresdner Tanzsinfoniker:
Günter Hörig, piano, leader
Günter Karpa, Gerd Wolf, Walter Göpfert, Helmut Kästner, trumpet 
Willy Baumgärtel, valve-trombone
Dieter Walter, french-horn
Friwi Sternberg, clarinet, alto saxophone
Heinz Holek, al, tenor saxophone
Helmut Vietze, baritone saxophone
Hans Hempel, guitar
Lothar Spiller, bass
Siegfried Ludwig, drums
Ruth Hohmann, vocal

Rec.: 30.05.1963

A5. Undecided (Shavers)  2:56

Helmut Brandt Combo:
Helmut Brandt, baritone saxophone
Conny Jackel, trumpet
Ludwig Ebert, piano
Klaus Gernhuber, bass
Hans-Dieter Taubert, drums

Rec.: 28.02.1957

A6. Lullaby Of Birdland (Shearing/Hyams)  2:36

Gustav Brom und seine Solisten:
Gustav Brom, leader
Jaromir Hnilicka, Stanislav Veselý, trumpet
Jan Kulišek, french-horn
Emil Janacek, tuba
František Narratil, alto saxophone
Dr. Miroslav Rücker, tenor saxophone
Josef Hruška, baritone saxophone
František Malát, piano
Ludek Hulan, bass
Ivan Dominák, drums
Gery Scott, vocal

Rec.: 07.03.1957

A7. Short Stop (Rogers)  3:17

see A6

B1. Esquire Bounce (Basie)  3:05

Helmut Weglinski Quintett
Helmut Weglinski, violin
Flip Gehring, vibes
Bora Rokovic, piano
Branko Pejakovic, bass
Hans Hiotz, drums

Rec.: 01.12.1956

B2. Love Me Or Leave Me (Donaldson/Khan)  2:43

see A6

B3. Tag, Dieter! (Brandt/Ohlsen)  3:17

see A5

B4. How High The Moon (Lewis/Hamilton)  5:46

see A4

Rec.: 26.03.1963

B5. Grog (Kühn)  5:41

Werner Pfüller Quintett
Werner Pfüller, trumpet
Helmut Meyenberg, tenor saxophone
Joachim Kühn, piano
Klaus Koch, bass
Wolfgang Henschel, drums

Rec.: 09.01.1963

B6. Minority (Gryce)  2:49

see A3

All music recorded in Berlin; probably at the Studios of the GDR Broadcast Station.

AMIGA 8 50 023 (Mono - 1964) [re-issued as MODERN JAZZ STUDIO Nr 1/2 Amiga 8 50 849 - 1986]  (Ripped from the first edition).
Don't forget to thank onxidlib.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

AU REVOIR, JEAN !


A small tribute to Jean Fanis (25/06/1924 – 03/09/2012).


Jean Fanis (Collection Bruynoghe)
The sad news fell two days ago. A message from my friend Claude of the Sweet & Hot Jazz Club saying simply:  
Je viens d'apprendre la mort de Jean Fanis!

Une autre grande figure discrète qui s'en est allée..

and  a link to an short obituary on the Website of the Belgian RTBF radio.
Jean Fanis had often played with Johnny Peret - to whom this blog is dedicated.


Here are two rare photos of the small combo led by Johnny Peret c. 1970, playing at hôtel des Colonies in Brussesls, with Jean Fanis on piano.  
Constant Letellier (cl & ts), Johnny Peret (vibes), Jean Fanis (p),  Ferry Devos (bass),  Jacques Tricot (drums).


Jean Fanis - during the same concerrt
(merci a Claude H.)

For those of you who do not read french, here is a more detailed biography taken from the Lundis d'Hortense Website:


Belgian bop pianist JEAN FANIS  has been active as a pianist on the Belgian jazz scene of the post World War II era.  An illustrator of the be-bop tradition, he was also an experienced accompanist. 
He played with Mickey Bunner and his Orchestra, a.o with Jean Robert.
He had a long association with saxophone player Jack Sels and appears with him on the legendary LP "Jazz in Little Belgium" (Decca).

In 1959, he appears (as "Jack" Fanis) on a four track EP with  Jack Sels and his American colleague Lucky Thompson,  Sadi, Ghana M’Bow, Benoît Quersin & Ado Broodboom  



He played with his small bands as well as his big bands, in the company a.o. Charlie Knetgel, Herman Sandy, Christian Kellens, Francy Boland, André Coel, Alex Scorier, Roger Asselberghs,  Rudy Frankel, Nick Fissette, Jay Cameron Jean Warland, Freddy Rottier, Etienne Verschueren etc...

He also appeared with Jack Sels' Saxorama, with a sax section composed of Jack Sels, Emile Chantrain, Franz L'Eglise, Benny Couroyer, Pros Creado, Guy Dossche.
He appears on the 2 LP compilation "The complete Jack Sels" (Vogel records 101AS & 102 AS), with Philip Catherine, etc...
Between 1953 and 1957 he was the house pianist at the Brussels "Rose Noire" and had the opportunity to play there with many US and European soloists, a.o. Clifford Brown...
In the 60’s, he played and recorded with the quartet of Sadi and was during many years the pianist of the Al Jones Trio, with Roger Vanhaverbeke on bass. With that trio, he accompanied numerous prestigious US soloists, such as Milt Jackson, Clark Terry, etc...


Jean Fanis (p), Vanha (b), Sadi (vib) & Al Jones (dms)

He also played at the Brussels Blue Note, again with many well known soloists, such as Ben Webster, Stuff Smith, etc...

The photo above  (a postcard that was probably used as a promo for the band) is the SADI QUARTET  feat. Jean Fanis (p), Reger Vanhaverbeke (b), Sadi (vib) et Al Jones (dms).
It was taken at the Blue Note, Galerie des Princes in Brussels (where the bookshop  Tropismes is now located).
(with thanks to Claude for this rare postcard).

Other albums on which he appears :

LP "Jazz in Little belgium" (Decca 123.259) with the Jack Sels Quartet, with Jean Warland and Rudy Frankel.
"The complete Jack Sels" (Vogel records 101AS & 102 AS), with Philip Catherine, Al Jones Trio, Saxorama, etc...
CD "50 years of Belgian jazz" (Tauro) with Jack Sels
Herman Sandy "The talent of Herman Sandy (Jazz Club LP J.C. 6010)
Jacques Pelzer Modern Jazz Sextet : with Jacques Pelzer, alto sax, Herman Sandy, trumpet, René Tomas, guitar, Paul Dubois, double bass and Rudy Frankel on drums
Sadi : LP "More vibes" (Jazz Club) 


Fanis' entry in the "Dictionnaire du Jazz à Bruxelles et en Wallonie "(éd. Mardaga/Liège, 1991).



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

BOOTLEG (2)


KENNY CLARKE, JOE HARRIS, SAHIB SHIHAB, FRANCY BOLAND ( ... and SADI !)
(LP I Giganti del Jazz 37 / Europa Jazz, 196?)


One of the more enjoyable aspects of jazz blogging is the collaboration / contribution from / with fellow bloggers and  jazz fans across the world.  It’s a real pleasure when an unknown blogger / visitor sends me a message saying how (s)he likes the blog (more often guys than gals, hélas!) and would I be interested in posting some obscure, long OOP record from his/her collection. So thank you Peter – wherever you are (UK I gather) - for sending me – via onxidlib – this Kenny Clarke –Francy Boland bootleg, originally issued  as volume 37 of I Giganti del Jazz on the Italian “pirate” label Curcio.  


The Italian publishing company Armando Curcio Editore released, under the record label Curcio, a 100 volume jazz collection entitled I Giganti Del Jazz.  Many were live recording from various often poorly documented sources (radio broadcast, concerts ?), some were sometimes awkward bootleg compilations of tracks pinched from undisclosed sources. (sometimes copied from the original LPs).  Several of these albums are worth looking for, they used to be commonly found in discount bins, thrift stores and boot sales at ridiculously cheap prices but unfortunately it is no longer the case.  Some of these albums have become valuable collector’s items.  Here is a comprehensive list of the 100 albums.

Discographical information is somewhat patchy and confusing.  

KENNY CLARKE - FRANCY BOLAND [Sextet]  

Credits
Sahib Shihab (flute - 02, 03, 04, baritone sax - 01, 05, and lead vocal - 04), Francy Boland (piano), probably Jimmy Woode (bass), Kenny Clarke (drums), Joe Harris (timbales, conga, backing vocal on 04), "Fats" Sadi (vibes, bongos, backing vocal on 04),
Unknown date and location; live recording, probably for radio, probably 1963-65

Tracks
01 Set-Up (Clarke, 3:15) 
02 Tin Tin Deo (Gillespie/Pozo, 5:50)
03 Night Lady (Boland, 10:20) 
04 Yah-Yah Blues (Shihab, 12:00) 
05 Jay-Jay (Clarke, 6:12) 

Released as KENNY CLARKE JOE HARRIS SAHIB SHIHAB FRANCY BOLAND by Curcio (Italy) -  I Giganti Del Jazz 37.   Also released (with exactly the same title, covers and notes - by the same company?) as Europa Jazz (Italy) EJ-1030

On these records, "Set-Up" is misheard as "The Top", "Tin Tin Deo" as "Tin Tin Daeo", "Yah-Yah Blues" as "Ya Ya Blues" The record title omits "Fats" Sadi, who has the longest solo space on the record, and instead oddly includes Joe Harris, who plays additional percussion. The record details also omit a bassist, clearly audible on the recording, and call the group a "Quintet"! They insist on giving Sahib Shihab the main name "Edmund Gregory" - a name he had not used since the 1940s. It identifies the year (with no other details but "live recording") as 1961: which seems unlikely, as Shihab joined Clarke-Boland towards the end of 1961, whereas this Sextet was an occasional working group (an offshoot from the Big Band) in 1963-1965, with a fixed repertoire and some variations such as the tracks played at this session.  

Especially the first two tracks of the session - with their loose starts, technical errors and rather uncoordinated interplay of instruments in places - argue some unfamiliarity with the material (or arrangements), and might therefore suggest 1963 or 1964. Alternatively, they might either indicate tiredness, or a "warm-up" (in front of an invited audience) for a more definitive concert/recording (such as in February 1965?).
Recording details are based closely on Clarke-Boland Discography by Michael Frohne, Duisburg

Doug Payne's discography is unreliable on this date: it largely accepts the unreliable details of the Italian release. (See above)

Walter Bruyninckx lists it as Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Quintet : Sahib Shihab (fl,bar,vcl-1) Fats Sadi (vib-2,vcl-1) Francy Boland (p) Kenny Clarke (d) Joe Harris (perc,vcl-1) omitting the clearly audible bass player (I can’t see this small group playing without a bassplayer!).  The recording place and dates are given as Live recording, Cologne, prob. 1964, a date which is more probable than 1961 as stated on the record sleeve.

Thanks to Peter, onxidlib and Paul D (for W. Bruynincks info).

Enjoy the music and don't forget to thank Peter, he may have other obscurities to share with us!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PHOTON IN A PAPER WORLD


STANLEY COWELL TRIO 
BLUES FOR THE VIET CONG
LP Polydor (UK), 1969

This one had proven rather elusive. I’ve scanned the web for it but never came across it.


It’s a long time I wanted to listen to Stanley Cowell‘s first album.  It is significant to note that Cowell’s first date as a leader was recorded in UK on a “major” (Polydor), an opportunity that probably would not be conceivable in the States.  It is therefore understandable that later on, Cowell (and Tolliver) decided to set up their own independent label, to provide an outlet for creative Afro-American artists neglected by the recording industry in the US.

The European re-issue on CD (as Travelin' Man – on Black Lion in 1992) has been long OOP and from what I’ve read the sound quality wasn't that good (the re-edition of Brillant Circles was dreadful).  Arista/Polydor does not seem to have any defined re-issue programme (who does it belong to, now?).  
According to Discogs there was a  re-issue in Japan in 1988 but good luck to find it.

Now, the obvious thing to do was to ask the man who has everything or almost ...  And yes, Paul D. had it, not the crappy European CD re-issue, not even the expensive Japanese … no, Paul has the original UK release on Polydor, bought some 40+ years ago when the LP was released!  This bloke knows his stuff and has known it for a long time.  In 69, I was still listening to British blues!


So here it is, ripped from the original LP, with the sound quality we’ve come to expect from the Belgian Wizard.

I could not find much info on the album on the Web.  Probably one of Cowell’s least known work.

Ohio-born and classically-trained pianist Stanley Cowell (1941), who relocated to New York in 1966 and played with Marion Brown (1966-67), Max Roach (1967-70), Bobby Hutcherson (1968-71) and Charles Tolliver (1969-71), crafted cerebral and occasionally romantic compositions that straddled the border between hard bop and free jazz on Blues for the Viet Cong (June 1969), in a trio, such as the seven-minute Departure, the eight-minute The Shuttle and the nine-minute Photon In A Paper World, (…) (Source: http://www.scaruffi.com/jazz/cowell.html).

This is what I found on AMG : Stanley Cowell's debut as a leader features his piano (and on two selections rare early outings on electric keyboards) with a trio also including bassist Steve Novosel and drummer Jimmy Hopps. Cowell's style at the time was often modal and already quite powerful
Then Scott Yanow adds “After hearing seven of his often-somber pieces, Cowell's stride version of "You Took Advantage of Me" (inspired by Art Tatum) is a welcome change of pace”.  One could wonder whether he has ever heard the records.  I would not qualify most tracks as “somber”.  As for “You took advantage of Me”, it’s the fourth track (the last on Side A of the LP), so it does not come after seven often somber pieces.  Interestingly, “You Took Advantage of Me” may bring to mind Jaki Byard, another great modern pianist who would occasionally dwell into older styles such as Stride (or even ragtime).  And by the way, both Byard and Cowell worked with Rashaan Roland Kirk, a musical genius whose concept of jazz was all encompassing, from the original field holler, the blues and to gospel to hard bop, funk and free.  But his music never lost touch with the very essence of jazz: swing and joy!

Tracks:
A1 Departure 7:08
A2 Sweet Song 3:02
A3 The Shuttle 8:07
A4 You Took Advantage Of Me 4:47
B1 Blues For The Viet Cong 4:18
B2 Wedding March 2:49
B3 Photon In A Paper World 9:03
B4 Travellin' Man 3:43

Piano, Electric Piano, Written-By – Stanley Cowell
Bass – Steve Novosel
Drums – Jimmy Hopps
Engineer – Carlos Olms / Producer – Alan Bates, Chris Whent
Recorded in London on June 5, 1969

Saturday, September 1, 2012

LIVE & GROOVY !


MIKE CARR & his Trio
feat. JIM MULLEN & HAROLD SMITH
LIVE @ RONNIE SCOTT’S   (Spotlite SPJ 517, UK, 1979)

Every record in my collection has a story.  I remember where I bought / got everyone of them.  This one was found on a small brocante Place Schweitzer in Berchem Ste Agathe (Brussels) in the Nineties, on a greyish autumn Saturday.  The brocante took place once a month.  I was always looking for the same guy with crates of LPs at 100 FB (2.5 €), all mixed up but I knew that  there was always a diamond hidden among the dross.  That’s where I found this LP – a test pressing (no label on the record). And also the Andre Condouant LP posted earlier, The Norma Green Pierre Cavalli LP (that I'll post soon, a double album of the Art Ensemble of Chicago on BYG (re-issued) and another one on ECM, Neil Ardley’s Kaleidoscope of Rainbow, some Billy May on Capitol (that's Bachelor's Pad kinda music, but very enjoyable nevertheless) and quite a few other oddities (a couple of Command LP, a whole set of Tangerine Dream and some other kraut /space rock).  As a matter of fact, few people were interested in that kind of music in the early Nineties in Brussels. Jazz collectors were into straight jazz (Blue Note, Prestige …), baby boomers were into classic rock and, blues but few were interested in European jazz.  The trend would come a few years later thanks to Gilles Peterson’s compilations. 

The funny thing is that the photo on the back sleeve was taken, not at Ronnie Scott’s, but at the (now defunct) Brussels Jazz Club (actually i forgot to scan the sleeve, the picture above is taken from the web.  I won't be home for a while so you'll have to wait for the back photo).

I hope you'll enjoy this excellent live set.  It’s an energetic set and the musicans have a lot of room to stretch. I don’t think these guys need any introduction.  Mike Carr’s work on the bass pedals is impressive, it takes a lot of stamina to play like that.  Jim Mullen is outstanding (his solo in It’s Impossible is a tour de force) and Trinidad-born Harold Smith is an efficient drummer. 

TRACKS
1. Claremont Avenue
2. Teach me tonight
3. Shaw 'nuff
4. It's impossible
5. Footloose

MUSICIANS
Mike Carr e. piano, organ
Jim Mullen guitar
Harold Smith drums & vocals

Recorded on Friday Aug 30, 1979