Monday, May 29, 2017

Jeanne Lee - 1975 - Conspiracy

Jeanne Lee 

01. Sundance 4:40
02. Yeh Come T' Be 7:05
03. Jamaica 6:05
04. Subway Couple 2:55
05. The Miracle 2:10
06. Your Ballad 6:40
07. Angel Chile 6:50
08. Conspiracy 11:55

Alto Clarinet – Mark Whitecage (tracks: B2)
Bass – Jack Gregg
Clarinet – Allan Praskin (tracks: B2), Perry Robinson (tracks: B2)
Design – Irene Kubota, Jeanne Lee
Drums – Steve McCall
Flute, Piano, Vibraphone, Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet – Gunter Hampel
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Sam Rivers
Trombone – Marty Cook (tracks: B2)

Ensemble tracks recorded by: George Klabin, Sound Ideas Studio, New York, February 1974.
Solo tracks and mix by: Jan Rathbun, Blue Rock Studio and Good Vibration Studio, April and May 1974.

"The Miracle"

The miracle is... that the layers continue
to be stripped away each time uncov'ring
a center more brilliant and revealing
than the one before.

Amazing... that this should be the way
our love our knowledge and our lives
leaving us constantly renewed.

Knowing you exist anywhere in this universe
makes my world that much larger
and that much more filled
with light.


no words,
only a feeling...
no questions only
a light
no sequence
only a
no journey/ only
a dance --

(a poem by Dr David Hazelton, Jeanne Lee's first husband, & the father of their child Naima Hazelton.)
"Subway Couple"

she drifted, indolently through the door;
while he bound up, arms and legs flying
onto the platform, nearly out of reach
of her quick touch
that appeared silently on his head,
wheeling him from left
to right in mid-motion
as I lost sight of them
behind the closing doors

Although there are two labels, Seeds 5 and Earthforms Records - 814, the vinyl pressing and covers are identical.

Jeanne Lee combines acrobatic vocal maneuvers with a deeply moving sound and quality that allows her to alternate between soaring, upper register flights and piercing, emotive interpretations. She's extremely precise and flexible, and moves from a song or solo's top end to its middle and bottom accompanying an instrument with a stunning ease. Though many critics have cited Lee as creating free jazz's most innovative vocal approach, she's done very little recording, almost none of it as a leader, and even less on American labels. She's best-known for her many sessions with Gunther Hampel. Lee studied dance rather than music at Bard College, but while a student there, she met Ran Blake. They formed a duo, and she did her first recordings with him, which excited many critics. They toured Europe in 1963. Lee moved to California in 1964 and worked with Ian Underwood and sound poet David Hazelton, whom she later married. She and Hampel established their musical relationship while Lee was in Europe in 1967, going on to record over 20 albums together. Lee also recorded with Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, and Hampel in the late '60s, and with Marion Brown, Anthony Braxton, Enrico Rava, and Andrew Cyrille in the '70s, while also working with Cecil Taylor. She began composing extensively in the '80s and began concentrating on performing her original material, which frequently included poetic and dance components. Most of her recordings have either been done for European labels or small independents. After living in New York in the mid-'90s, Lee taught at two music conservatories in Europe for several years. In 2000, Lee faced colon cancer without medical insurance. Some months after surgery, creative music lost a great voice. Benefit concerts (to help the family with expenses) were held by a number of jazz musicians, including Joseph Jarman, Gunter Hampel, Rashied Ali, Hamiet Bluiett, Abbey Lincoln, and many more.

Great revolutionary jazz singing , Jeanne Lee went even beyond that made certain emotional vertigo Patty Waters one of the most moving experience and strong creative matrix of the vocal jazz .

York January 29 , 1939 , Jeanne began to study dance at Bard College where he met Ran BlakeDestined to become one of the most popular pianists of the current ” third stream music ” that flourished around 1955 on the initiative of Gunther SchullerTended toward a language of synthesis between jazz and European classical music . With Blake , Lee formed a duo that produced the albums of absolute thickness ( among which “The Newest Sound Around”). The use of white space and sounds left to drift and an incredibly versatile voice and deeply visceral makes their duets one of the highest experiences of the jazz of the early sixties.

In 1964 , in California, they met Ian Underwood David Hazelton and the poet , with whom he sketched some collaborations . The most important meeting , however, after the one with Blake, is the one with the German vibraphonist Gunter Hampel with whom he recorded over 20 records, some of which will remain in time as absolute gems of the period. Initially engaged in a meaningful song , but ultimately, still largely conventional, Lee began to evolve a distinctive version of a very particular musical vocabulary , made up of vocalizations that mute , moving from one node to the “standard” , were gradually undergoing a process of abstraction, repeated and modulated voice with a clear sense of the joint .

This peak came his way with his first recording as a “soloist . ” E ‘ 1974 and ” Conspiracy ” comes like a bolt from the blue , dominating from the start as one of the great masterpieces of the jazz of the seventies. An empty space made of primal scream (but imploded ) that refer to Billie Holiday and excellent technique that make it a live issue even Sarah Vaughan. Arranged as a pagan ritual, her voice around the instruments are gathering now determined to do now with calm emotion.

” No words / only a feeling … no questions / light not only on sequences and only a / Being no journey / only to dance “. With these lines ( taken from a poem David Hazelton, her first husband ) the warm and charming voice of Lee opens the crooked dance free of ” Sundance ” , musically constructed around the tread of the bass and all”incrociarsi diagonal of the flute and soprano sax Hampel Rivers. Scatter rapid and uninhibited freedom of a heady , solidly perched on a dance step , to remain faithful to the earth, despite the star ahead. The poem ‘s meaning expanded beyond the game with a voice made of heights and relapses, and warbling nonsense .

” Yeh T’Be How “free speech hallucinations in a vacuum attacked by reflections and blurred hiss . Geometries irrational for solo voice . Dissemination of howling and wailing that makes it even more appalling silence and its surface rough , rough , cold dense. Aphasia is one of a cosmos that desertified and absence radical protester , incontrovertible , transcendent. Language reduced to a desperate prayer , on their way to make contact with the things that is thanks. In ” Jamaica ” , the words to do with choreography collect the loss of the tools that interact in a distracted and then, gradually , more and more structured . The second part is thematically related to the dancing of ” Sundance ” .

In the subsequent “Subway Couple , ” an effect of ” echoing “keeps the voice in a state of detachment from the swirling kaleidoscopic progression of an atonal free- jazz related to the furious piano excursions of Cecil Taylor. E ‘ apotheosis of freedom filiform , irrational , uncontrollable . turbulence Jagged piano ( Hampel ) , chilling screams and incendiary ( a crazy Sam Rivers and ” Ayler ” tenor sax ) , openess and systematically dissolved (the axis rhythmic Gregg / McCall) . An overall feeling of bewilderment and exhilaration. The free- jazz in the making and unmaking his emotions.

The subsequent “The Miracle Is You “is pure recited: essential dry. What more surprising in these lied annihilation is the sense of depth and nudity that takes the sound before the threatening presence of natural and almost – empty silence. If the magma emotional ramifications of his style are more fascinating developments in “Your Ballad ” fanfare resigned and melancholy , “Angel Chile ” provides an ‘ incredible crushing words , syllables, guttural sounds , breaths (Meredith Monk and Joan La Barbara are also in these grooves ). Again , it is the clash between sound and silence that voice – is erected an imaginary scenario of the soul , which collects the meaning “poetic “of disparate sensations (anxiety , horror , joy, disappointment ) by layering logs and apparently confluent styles to a single vanishing point, but in fact ready , each for his part , to follow your own. The final title track repeats this recital of the break , but to support him there are a shimmering vibraphone , wind whistling solo descent , flat fading , in a crunch continues. A jazz that has become very creative visionary (Sam Rivers and Gunter Hampel who share the task of gl ports to tradition, at that time already well -established ‘avant -jazz, synthesizing sounds and solutions both American and European ) in relation to the extraordinary ability of a single singer , able to deepen and suggests, as in the successive stages of its development , changes in harmonic , structural and emotional depth of a sound is a voice and a voice that is sound.

Yet , despite its evocative power and its spiritual charge half – time , ” Conspiracy ” still remains a forgotten masterpiece.
By Rake.



  2. Wonderful - too little of Lee is available and a sadly shortened life.