Free Parking for improvisation in multiple environments.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Julie Driscoll, Otis Redding and Loose Ends

One of the people talking more sense than most about "the digital music revolution" is Gerd Leonhard. His book The Future of Music is fairly well-written and offers a well- considered model of how the music biz is going work in the digital environment, and how artists, labels and multimedia conglomerates (Universal, SonyBMG etc...) can all make a living. Worth checking out...

Also worth checking out is the new Vitamin S website, the online home of improvised music in Auckland. Photos, gig guides, mailing lists and even our own theme song!

And for those who don't know, the mp3 blog the naughahyde life is now operating under the moniker "a bigger splash", so update your links brothers and sisters.

Julie Driscoll and the Brian Auger Trinity - Tramp
From A Kind of Love in 1967-1971: Raven RVCD189 [Buy]

Otis Redding - Tramp
From The Dock of the Bay The Definitive Collection: Atlantic 9548-31709-2 [Buy]

Julie Driscoll, definition of a retrobabe. She could sing too.

PS. Thanks to MKD for the Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger vinyl (the best dog-eared birthday present I got this year), and to Auntie Susan in the UK for the Otis Redding CD, (from many birthdays ago) which I am only now beginning to truly appreciate! Good things take time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Electric deJohnette

It's 1985. It's a video documentary about zebras by Japanese photographer Tadayuki Naito. The soundtrack is performed by one of the great living drummers - Jack deJohnette - playing a SIEL DK600 synthesizer. The great living drummer calls in an old mate of his from Chicago to play on the recording, some trumpet player called Lester Bowie. They play together. The tapes roll and record it all.

Unique electro-afro-ambient thingummywhatsits. Fela Kuti meets Jean Michel Jarre.

Jack deJohnette - Ntoro I
Jack deJohnette - Jongo
From Zebra: MCA Records MCAD- 42160 [Buy]

Jack deJohnette, not playing synthesizer

molo posted a track from this album a few months ago. But these are different tracks, and deserve to be heard.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Jeff Henderson: Darn Bureaucrats

New Zealand may seem like a couple of tiny, inauspicious islands to find interesting and inspiring improvised music, but there are lively enclaves of madness, bloody-mindedness and sheer tenacity in Wellington and Auckland. And if you play the "Six Degrees of Separation" game with the players in both cities, just about everything leads back to Wellington saxophonist Jeff Henderson.

Although Jeff's main WMD is an atomic-powered baritone sax, he is also heard on alto sax, bells, whistles and, increasingly, hilarious polylingual vocalisations. Jeff has been a member of comet-busting groups such as the Ortiz Funeral Directors, Syzygy and Birchville Cat Motel, and is the creative force behind progressive "freak magnet" performance venues in Wellington. Jeff has made an enormous contribution in the past decade to expanding free improv in NZ to the point where it is arguably a far more vital, populous and interesting scene than anything happening with our straightahead jazz community.

Jeff's solo performances are shock-and-awe projections of force into hostile territory. Fans of Peter Brötzmann will find a lot to like in these selections. All three mp3s are available for download under a Creative Commons license from Postmoderncore.

Jeff Henderson - fuck you you bureauratic fucks (parts 1 and 2)
Jeff Henderson - A

Don't mess with Mr Henderson

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Kriss Kross in the House

Everybody in the late 90's had a house music period, right?....right?.....well, OK maybe not. But for some of us, there was something about clubs with purple carpet on the walls and cheap Heinekens on Thursdays that gave some of these tunes at least temporary appeal. But the appeal never lasted long.

So, in the spirit of archaemusicology, here's Kriss Kross from 1992, remixed by Jason Nevins in 1999. And a clubbed-out version of Return of the Space Cowboy, perhaps most noteworthy for the sax solo at the end which revives all those Miami Vice memories....

Kriss Kross vs Jason Nevins - Jump
From Uni-Vs-Al: Epic/Sony 491968 [Buy]

Jamiroquai - Return of the Space Cowboy (Classic Dub Remix)
From Stillness in Time Single: Sony 6620256 [Buy on Vinyl]

Kriss Kross - they even had a game on Sega

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hung Up in Tokyo...again

Among Herbie Hancock's Japan-only releases from the 1970s, Directstep seems to be the hardest to get your hands on, even in Japan. I can't find it for sale online at all (Amazon says it's "currently unavailable"). I stumbled on my CD copy in Fnac Mulhouse (France) about four years ago, which proves that you never know where rarities will turn up.

Directstep was recorded in October 1978 at CBS/Sony Studios in Tokyo. Personnel are Herbie Hancock (keyboards), Webster Lewis (organ), Alphonse Mouzon (dr), Paul Jackson (b), Ray Obiedo (gt), Bennie Maupin (ts), Bill Summers (perc). And despite the fact it was 1978, the album is surprisingly listenable...

Herbie Hancock - Shiftless Shuffle
From Directstep: Sony Records SCRCS 9503 [OOP]

Alphonse Mouzon

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hung Up in Tokyo

In June 1975, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters travelled to Japan. Their concerts at Shibuya Konkaido and Nakano Sun Plaza were recorded by Columbia Japan, and subsequently released as the twin-vinyl Japan-only live LP Flood:Live in Japan.

Just one track today, because it’s nearly 20 minutes long, and comes with a 100% “This Will Funk Your World” Guarantee. Herbie Hancock (keyboards), Bennie Maupin (soprano sax), Blackbyrd McKnight (gt), Paul Jackson (b), Mike Clark (d), Bill Summers (perc).

Herbie Hancock – Hang Up Your Hang Ups (Live) – 19’54
From 洪水 Live In Japan: Columbia SCRS 9341 [Buy]

Merci à Dom chez PODvains pour son review de mon blog, meme si ma contribution au blogosphere n'est que modeste et flambante anglosaxonne - " le néo-zélandais de la bande qui cause français" Haha, c’est trop gentil..

And hello to Siggidóri at Skonrokk, who linked to etnobofin in Icelandic, and describes the contents as “Óhætt að mæla með þeirri eðal músík”. Skonrokk on ice is well worth a visit for some surprising music from Iceland – Reyjavik is very definitely in the house!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Don Ellis Treatment

molo (gunter likes frenchfries) posted a Dave Douglas tune in his recent Night Blend compilation which inspired thoughts of other trumpet players who pushed the envelope, and I dug out my vinyl copy (a Quadrophonic recording, no less!) of the Don Ellis Orchestra album Tears of Joy.

Recorded in San Francisco in May 1971, this particular incarnation of the Ellis band welded a "conventional" big band lineup to a string quartet and a woodwind quartet, and played a set often inspired Don Ellis' interest in non-"Western" musics and non-standard time signatures.

The piano solo on Blues in Elf (11/8) is by the band's Bulgarian pianist Milcho Leviev. Samba Bajada is a Hank Levy composition, and is described by Ellis as a "samba in 9".

Don Ellis Orchestra - Blues in Elf
Don Ellis Orchestra - Samba Bajada
From Tears of Joy: Columbia GQ 30927 [Buy]

Regarding last week's tragic events in London, there is very little I can add that hasn't been said already. Che Tibby provides a useful perspective from New Zealand, and I am ashamed to note that mosques in my own country were vandalised overnight. It is clear that our common enemy is irrational and indiscriminate hatred, regardless of the perpetrators and the victims.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Keith Jarrett: American Quartet Part IV

In the spring of 1976, the quartet toured Europe, and recorded the extraordinary The Survivors' Suite in Ludwigsburg in April. (Believe me, you need this disc in your life.)

Travelling south to Austria in May, the quartet's gig at the Theater am Kornmarkt in Bregenz was recorded and released in 1979 as Eyes of the Heart. The 3-part encore from that show sums up many different facets of the band, and serves as a fitting coda to this series.

Keith Jarrett described what it was like to play in this band in the liner notes to the record:

"Music is at its best when it carries you along at a level deeper than the music itself and forces you to live in its spaces as well as its notes.

"Improvisation is at its best when everyone involved in the music is aware of an intect greater then his own; therefore more his own."

Keith Jarrett - Encore (a-b-c) - 18mins
From Eyes of the Heart: ECM 1150 [Buy]

Despite the strength of the music, it was clear by 1976 that differences in lifestyle and philosophy were driving the band apart. Following a final 3 day recording session New York in October of the same year, Keith Jarrett's American Quartet ceased to be.

Keith Jarrett

Monday, July 04, 2005

Keith Jarrett: American Quartet Part III

One of the most remarkable aspects of Jarrett's American Quartet was the obvious breadth of their influences and capabilities. And while free jazz was a strong suit in their arsenal, there were other moments when this band was downright FUNKY.

Rhythm and blues, rock and gospel run wild across many of the Quartet's recordings, as exemplified by this pair of tunes. Guitarist Sam Brown plays on Take Me Back, as part of the quartet's only release on Columbia.

Keith Jarrett - Take Me Back*
From Expectations: Columbia KG 31580 [Buy]

Keith Jarrett - Le Mistral
From The Impulse Years 1973-1974: Impulse! IMPD5-237 [Buy]

Paul Motian

Worth a Visit: a comprehensive review of Bill Evan's versions of Stella by Starlight over at Xanax Taxi.

*Take Me Back is converted from an original copy on vinyl. I apologise for any moments substandard sound.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Changing Bandwagons

Well, changing blog templates, anyway. There's nothing like a new lick of paint to lift the spirits. I've also played around with the structure of my links.

And to celebrate, here's Beck from 1994 with his timeless critique of media culture...enjoy your weekends.

Beck - MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack
From Loser CD Single UK Edition - Geffen GFSTD 67 [Buy US Edition Here]

The Keith Jarrett American Quartet series will continue soon.