Free Parking for improvisation in multiple environments.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Keith Jarrett: American Quartet Part II

FREEDOM ! Or something close to it. Here are a couple of examples of the American Quartet heading towards their most liberal interpretations of melody and rhythm.

Piece for Ornette is an overt appropriation of Ornette Coleman's compositional style from the early 1960s. It is surely no coincidence that this band contains former Coleman sidemen Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden. We hear Keith Jarrett on soprano saxophone, with nary a piano within earshot.

Beaming in from somewhere else entirely is Redman's composition Pyramids Moving. It was recorded on the final day that the quartet worked together - October 16th, 1976, and released on the Impulse! album Bop-Be. Mr Redman plays chinese musette (illustrated below) instead of saxophone.

Keith Jarrett - Piece for Ornette (Long Version)
From El Juicio (The Judgement): Collectables COL-CD 6254 [Buy]

Keith Jarrett - Pyramids Moving
From Mysteries: The Impulse Years 1975-76: Impulse IMPD-4-189 [Buy]

Dewey Redman. Image Copyright Tony Rodgers

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Keith Jarrett: American Quartet Part I

A new series starts today, highlighting the work of Keith Jarrett's American Quartet.

"From 1971 to 1976, Jarrett led the American "Quartet", along with drummer Paul Motian, reedman Dewey Redman and bass player Charlie Haden. The group was often supplemented by one or two percussionists and recorded about a dozen albums for Atlantic Records, Columbia Records, Impulse! and ECM.... Jarrett's compositions and the strong musical identities of the group members gave this group a very distinct sound. The group's music was an interesting and exciting amalgam of free jazz, straight-ahead post-bop, gospel music, and exotic Middle-Eastern-sounding improvisations."
- from Wikipedia

And here are two tunes to accompany the small warmth provided by the winter sun over Auckland today. Birth dates from 1972, Everything that Lives Laments is from 1975: both tunes were recorded in New York.

Keith Jarrett Quartet - Birth
From Birth: Wounded Bird Records WOU 1612 [Buy]

Keith Jarrett Quartet - Everything that Lives Laments (Take 6) - 15mins
From Mysteries: The Impulse Years 1975-76: Impulse IMPD-4-189 [Buy]

Charlie Haden

Monday, June 20, 2005

one million dollars: energy state

one million dollars - City Getting Down
Demo Recorded in Auckland, NZ, first half of 2001.

This blog normally being dedicated to music of great beauty and significance, I try to avoid mentioning my own modest activities. However, I'm in a band, and today our album Energy State is released in Europe. For an obscure eleven piece funksouljazzwhatever band from New Zealand, this event is significant. So I will permit myself to briefly note the occasion here on etnobofin.

ATTENTION LIECHTENSTEIN: Look for this album cover in your shops

To celebrate I thought I'd share City Getting Down, an old lo-fi demo of a $1MD favourite from the early days of the band. In fact it's the only recording I could find that isn't licensed to some record label or other. It's so old I'm not even playing on it (I joined a few months after this recording). The lovely brothers responsible are Richie Setford (vox, gat), Amos Clarke (b), Martin Schreck (tp) and Jono Goss (d).

We don't play this song live any more, but it reminds me of those naive early days of the band, before we learnt about groupies and all-night video shoots and cramming 10 people into a van for that infamous 12 hour drive to Wellington.

Apparently the CD is going to be available most places - Virgin Megastores,, and citydisc in Switzerland should have it shortly, depending on the speed of distribution. even has some good quality audio samples of all the tracks.

Righto. Here endeth the self promotion. Next time, some real music.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Disposable Heroes of Acid Jazz Part III

Ronny Jordan - See the New
Ronny Jordan - So What
From The Antidote: Island 510883-2 [Buy]

This was the first "jazz" album I ever bought (and the second CD I ever bought after Beck's Mellow Gold, but that's another story). I don't listen to The Antidote much now, but I'm told it's a classic of its genre, at least according to Italian website

"Sono trascorsi ormai molti anni da quando ascoltammo il primo album di Ronny Jordan, e soprattutto la sua straordinaria cover di "So What" di Miles Davis.

Da allora Ronny Jordan, londinese con genitori giamaicani, tra l'altro nominato per i Grammy Awards nella categoria chitarristi jazz, e' stato considerato come uno dei fondatori del genere acid jazz soprattutto per la sua abilita' nel mescolare jazz, funk ed hip hop. Nel corso della sua attivita' rimangono celeberrime le sue collaborazioni con Guru e Dj Krush con i quali ha contribuito a creare sonorita' personalissime."

Ronny Jordan plays guitar and bunch of other stuff. Longsy D provides production an drum programming, and London rapper I.G. Culture raps on See the New.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Disposable Heroes of Acid Jazz Part II

Brooklyn Funk Essentials - Brooklyn Recycles
Brooklyn Funk Essentials - Stickman Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge
From Cool and Steady and Easy: Dorado DOR 022 CD [Buy]

BFE, one of the definitive American hip-hop-jazz crossover artists. Here's the collective from their debut long player from 1995. Featuring Joshua Roseman (tb), Paul Shapiro (sax), Bob Rockmann, (tp) Lati Kronlund (bass and drum programming) among others.

In 1995, their version of Pharoah Sanders' The Creator Has a Master Plan was an underground hit. In 2005, they're still going.

And while I'm here, a welcome to freeman as a new occasional audioblogger and constant provider of thought-food. Also check out iwasdoingalright, an ongoing and evolving account of the trials and joys of learning to play jazz trumpet. I can tell you that this site is very accurate. Ah, memories....

Monday, June 13, 2005

Disposable Heroes of Acid Jazz Part I

Courtney Pine - Oneness of Mind
From Underground: Antilles 537 745-2 [Buy]

Courtney Pine - Don't X'Plain (Roni Size Remix)
From Another Story: Antilles 536 928-2 [Buy]

In the 1990s, the term "Acid Jazz" was used to justify a multitude of sins, and took the sheen off many triumphant musical moments. Now we're in the 21st Century, perhaps we can bypass the hype.

Perhaps we can look back and pick out some of the great music to emerge from this grand meeting of dancehall head-nodders, rappers, Coltrane worshippers and Horace Silver tribute bands.

British saxophonist Courtney Pine probably needs little introduction. His albums, many featuring the cream of the crop of current straightahead players from the US, have sold remarkably well. Young, black and sharply dressed, Pine's debut disc, Journey to the Urge Within, went Top 40 in the UK in 1987. And Mr Pine has not looked back since.

So try out these two contrasting tracks. Mr Pine (ts) is joined by Nicholas Payton (tp), Jeff "Tain" Watts (d), Reginald Veal (b), Cyrus Chestnut (p) and DJ Pogo (turntables) on Oneness of Mind.

And then Roni Size messes with Mr Pine's version of Billie Holiday song Don't Explain, sung by Cassandra Wilson.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Grasping at Albert Ayler

Albert Ayler - Angels
Albert Ayler - Spiritual Rebirth
From Live in Greenwich Village - The Complete Impulse Recordings: Impulse! IMP 22732 [Buy]

I don't understand Albert Ayler. Listening to his music is like walking across Antarctica - no reference points to aid navigation. But every listen reveals more layers, more depth. The initial incomprehension disappears into the clarity of individual voices. Logic, structure and beauty begin to emerge.

Maybe I understand more than I think. Or maybe there is nothing to understand.

Albert Ayler and Michael Samson, 1967. Copyright Bill Smith

Angels was recorded at the Village Vanguard on December 18, 1966. Albert Ayler on alto sax, and probably Call Cobbs Jr on piano.

Spiritual Rebirth was recorded at the Village Theatre on February 26, 1967, and features the complete Ayler unit of that period - Albert Ayler (ts), Don Ayler (tp), Michael Samson (vl), Joel Freedman (cello), Bill Folwell and Alan Silva (b) and Beaver Harris (d).

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Jarrett Break

Keith Jarrett Quartet - Gypsy Moth
From El Juicio (The Judgement): Collectables COL-CD 6254 [Buy]

It's rapidly turning into another one of those weeks, so while I have a moment of calm, a track from Mr Jarrett's extraordinary American Quartet from the early 1970s - Charlie Haden (b), Dewey Redman (ts) and Paul Motian (d).

Right, now back to the chaos.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Deep Funk for Deep Throat

The J.B.s - You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks and I'll Be Straight
From Funky Good Time: The Anthology: Polydor 527 094-2 [Buy]

W. Mark Felt ("Deep Throat")

Klaus Doldinger: Die Blues auf Deutsch

NDR Jazz Workshop Band - Waltz of the Jive Cats
Etta James and Friends - Stormy Monday Blues
From Doldinger's Best: ACT9224-2 [Buy]

Born in Berlin, German musician Klaus Doldinger is probably best known for his "fusion" (what a yucky term) band Passport, which has been operating since 1971, and for his film scores for Das Boot and The Neverending Story/Die Unendliche Geschichte. Perhaps he is the polar opposite of his fellow countryman and reedman Peter Brötzmann?

Here he is blowing his way to a frenzy on his instrument of choice - firstly on his own composition Waltz of the Jive Cats with a German radio band featuring Johnny Griffin, Donald Byrd and the late Nils Henning Øersted-Pedersen (among others...) in 1964.

And then a live recording from the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival, with Etta James, David Newman (ss), Herbie Mann (fl), Brian Ray (g), Jeff Berlin (b), Richard Tee (p) and Steve Jordan (d).

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lee Morgan: Live at the Lighthouse, 1970

Lee Morgan Quintet - The Sidewinder
Lee Morgan Quintet - I Remember Britt
From Lee Morgan Live at The Lighthouse: Blue Note CDP 7243 8 35228 2 8 [Buy]

One of trumpeter Lee Morgan's classic bands caught in full flight at The Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach, California, in July 1970. Unrepentant, hard-blowing hard bop at a time when the winds of change were sweeping through the music. 18 months later, Lee Morgan was shot dead by his wife in New York, aged 33.

This is the BEST version of The Sidewinder available (in my opinion) - check Bennie Maupin's solo ! And the Harold Mabern tune I Remember Britt is a nod towards a style of soul-jazz that would dominate the coming decade.

The Spanish Bootleg Cover

The band is Lee Morgan (tp/flh), Bennie Maupin (ts/fl), Harold Mabern (p), Jymie Merritt (b), Mickey Roker (d). These recordings were unavailable for many years except as bootlegs, until Blue Note did a fine job assembling a 3-disc box set in 1995.

And congrats to Brother B. on his exciting new job.