In memory of Johnny Peret

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

Friday, January 4, 2013

WEIRD, HAUNTING AND BEAUTIFUL


STEVE BAUER ORCHESTRA – LIVING DREAMS
Hold Records (Private Label), Boston -1980.


Found this album –apparently a rather rare private pressing – while cratedigging in Brussels last week. And what a find it was: an obscure and strange modern big band by a group of mostly forgotten Berklee students / graduates.

No information whatsoever on the Net.  The only relevant info I managed to find was, sadly, an obituary for Steve Bauer.

It was Bauer’s sole album.  An Internet research confirmed that most of the participating musicians took teaching (at Berklee) or have faded into (semi)-obscurity.  How strange is destiny!

This record is weird, really: the 1’40” version of This Thing Called Love ranges among the most bizarre versions of this theme.
Spring is Here received a strange treatment also.

There is an haunting quality, difficult to define, in some tracks, e.g. the title track “Living Dreams” by guitar player Ken Taft (who’s now a very respected academic at Berklee).  
There is a sprinkling of electronic keyboards but don’t worry it ain’t no smooth jazz. 

The Last Straw starts as a fairly dissonant blues fanfare.  No wonder it had to be issued as a private pressing, it did not fit into any known mould.

On the whole it doesn’t sound like anything else.  One may hear some shades of Gil Evans, and some of the occasional pomposity of Kenton but it’s definitely Bauer, whatever that may mean.  I would label it Garage Big Band as it sounds as if it were recorded in someone’s garage.




With the benefit of hindsight, the sleeve notes appear completely off the mark.



All in all this is an auspicious recording debut for a musician whom I’m sure will be around the jazz scene for many years to come” 

How ironic as it was to be Bauer’s sole recording.




Steve Bauer (c. 1979)
First time in the blogworld I think?

18 comments:

  1. In WAV this time.
    Part 1 : http://www22.zippyshare.com/v/30849140/file.html

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  2. Part 2: http://www47.zippyshare.com/v/95832738/file.html

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  3. Awesome Boogieman!!! indeed weird hunting & beautifull...and more:
    special, wailing, meditative, joyous and so on [:-) THANKS for this gem, and ofcourse best wishes for 2013 to you too.
    peace, E-mile

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    1. Thanks E-mile, i hope you won't be the only one to discover this strange musical UFO. Not much reaction so far, Seems everybody still recuparating after the end of year parties!

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    3. Really weird and quite individual! It is a pity that this is Bauer's only recording - what could he've become...?

      Is this called irony in history?

      Thanks for posting this otherwise most likely never even mentioned anywhere 'spark in the darkness'.

      That's what makes a difference which is a difference - on Bauer's and his musicians side and on from your side Boogieman!

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  5. I absolutely love the unique, individual spirit and creativity this album embodies. There are some very accomplished arrangements here. It reminds me at times of Gary McFarland's "America The Beautiful", which is high praise indeed. I'm really happy that I got a chance to hear this extremely rare and entertaining big band album. Thank you Boogieman!

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  6. Wow. I've visited your blog after the mention in the Shake Keane posting on britjazz (for which thank you very much!) and I see there's a lot of exciting OP stuff here too. I've just harvested the Bauer here and gosh, that's good music! I shall be a regular visitor from now on.

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  7. a beautiful album , thank you!!

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  8. That is a really nice album, Boogieman! There are so many "lost" gems out there waiting to be found in used record stores, attics, basements, etc, it's heartbreaking for the musicians who made them.
    Thanks for unearthing this one!

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  9. f*cking awesome! downloaded it a long time ago and only today i had the chance to really listen to it. amazing music! thanks for the post, boogieman!

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  10. Replies
    1. Link ressurected here:
      Side A : http://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/0FYG2PSU/SBsideA.rar_links
      Side B:
      http://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/XECTAHEZ/SBsideb.rar_links

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  11. Steve Bauer was my neighbor in Boston, a friend, and fellow Berklee graduate. He was an incredible being with a great spirit, despite being in a debilitating car crash prior to his time at Berklee. His left forearm never healed and he always wore a removable cast, even while playing piano! His musical styling was unique and captivating. So much so, that Micheal Gibb took a personal interest in helping him record. I played trumpet on that album which was recorded live in a studio outside of Boston over a weekend. I remember driving to the studio with Steve in Micheal's tiny VW through the winding country roads of Massachusetts. Steve's life was too short.

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