Tuesday, April 5, 2016

La Retreta Mayor - 1976 - La Retreta Mayor

La Retreta Mayor 
La Retreta Mayor

01. Torta De Pan
02. La Fuga De Gumersindo
03. Y Pasa Todos Los Días
04. Camino Pedregoso
05. Zambo
06. Liquido Elemento
07. Algo Misterioso
08. Lerede
09. La Verdad

Guitars: Alex Rodríguez
Piano: Eduardo Cabrera
Bass: Oswaldo De La Rosa
Drums: Edgar Saume
Alto & Soprano Sax: Rolando Briceño
Tenor Sax: Nelson Hernández
Baritone Sax & Flute: Benjamín Brea
Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Lewis Vargas & José Díaz
Trombone: Rodrigo Barboza

Guest Musicians:
Tenor Sax: Carlos Morean (tracks 01, 06)
Piano: Alvaro Cordero (track 03)
Piano: Jesús "Chucho" Sanoja (track 06)
Drums: Alberto Naranjo (track 06)
Percussion: Carlos "Nene" Quintero (track 07)
Timbales: Luis Chacón Pérez (track 05)
Congas: Freddy Roldán (track 05)
Bongos: Cara 'e loco Segovia (track 05)
Cowbell: Jesús "Chu" Quintero (track 05)
Background Vocals: Anabella, Frank Quintero, Alejandro García,
                           Ofelinda García, Gonzalo Peña, Carlos Morean
                           Mari Cruz Quintero (track 01)
Violins: Alberto Flamini, Charles Sweers, Alejandro Ramírez,
           Grigorije Girovsky, Luciano Stecconi, Inocente Carreño,
           Sigfrido Chivas, Carmelo Russo, José Olmedo (track 09)
Violas: Francisco Molo, Julio Remersaro (track 09)
Cellos: Alberto Calzavara, Mario Arias (track 09)
Vocals – Anabella (tracks: B3), Carmelo Russo (tracks: B3)

These guys are probably the most famous and important fusion band Venezuela ever produced, They never managed to play live, and this record is the only testimony to their talent. Their guitar player Alex Rodriguez  released a solo album two years later that is also an absolute jewel. After which he concentrated on classical guitar playing and composing developing into one of the countries most important clasical composers, guitar players and teachers.

Blue Note - 1976 - Jazz

Blue Note 

01. Tema Blue Note 2:40
02. Marias 4:00
03. Igor 5:24
04. Kamazotz 6:45
05. La Niña de Los Ojos Verdes 3:55
06. Blues en terceras 9:45
07. El Mirlo 3:50

Eugenio Toussaint : Piano
Salvador Aguero : Percussion
Robert Aymes : Basses

Ramon Negrete : Sax
Adolph Sahun : Trumpet
Juan Ramon II : Drums

Released back in 1976 in extremely limited quantities. Playing 7 originals, virtuosos Eugenio Toussaint (Piano), Roberto Aymes on Bass (Leader) and Salvador Aguero on Sax.

Original mexican LP issued in 1976on Nueva Cultura, and released in Mexico only. The group is composed of some of the best musicians from the jazz and also funk Mexican scene (as you can see on the line-up below), who also participated to projects like the now famous "Rabbits & Carrots" and other underground gems. This record is a real jazz masterpiece, at the same level as Nil's Jazz Ensemble, Candeias etc...

Eugenio Toussaint Uhtohff (October 9, 1954 – February 8, 2011) was a Mexican composer, arranger and jazz musician. He began playing as a pianist in 1972 with the band "Odradek". In 1975, he took part in the jazz band "Blue Note" (which was also the name of his first album) and a year later he founded the Mexican band "Sacbé", one of the most important Mexican jazz bands. This band started October 2, 1976 and included brothers Enrique Toussaint on bass and Fernando Toussaint on drums, Mexican saxophone player Alejandro Campos was also part of the founding members of the band. In 1979 the band moved to the USA and did some work in Minneapolis with guitar player Will Sumner.

The Jazz Composer's Orchestra - 1968 - The Jazz Composer's Orchestra

The Jazz Composer's Orchestra
The Jazz Composer's Orchestra 

01. Communications #8     14:03
02. Communications #9     08:14
03. Communications #10   13:42
04. Preview   03:29
05. Communications #11 Part 1   15:32
06. Communications #11 Part 2   18:14

Recorded January, May, June 1968, RCA Victor's Studio B, New York City
Music composed and conducted by
Michael Mantler

Bass – Charlie Haden, Eddie Gomez, Reggie Workman, Ron Carter, Steve Swallow
Brass – Howard Johnson, Jimmy Knepper, Julius Watkins, Randy Brecker, Bob Northern
Cornet – Don Cherry
Drums – Andrew Cyrille, Beaver Harris
Guitar – Larry Coryell
Piano – Carla Bley, Cecil Taylor
Saxophone – Charles Davis, Frank Wess, Jimmy Lyons, Lew Tabackin, Steve Lacy
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri, Pharoah Sanders
Trombone – Roswell Rudd

Recorded January, May, June 1968, New York. Comes with a 24 page 12x12" b/w booklet of text and pictures. The box lid label is gray printing on silver foil

German-born composer/trumpeter Michael Mantler and his then-wife Carla Bley were instrumental in developing within jazz the idea of self-sufficiency and independence from established record companies. Their creation of the Jazz Composer's Orchestra, with recordings released on their own label, was the culmination of this endeavor, and the first recording was one of the masterpieces of creative music in the '60s. Mantler had come from the European avant-classical tradition and sought to provide an orchestral framework supporting some of the most advanced musicians in avant-garde jazz -- and he succeeded magnificently. His style tends toward the brooding and darkly romantic with harsh, cynical edges, a perfect foil for the robust, shackle-breaking improvisations found herein. The cloudy, roiling swirls that open "Communications #8," echoed by Bley's stabbing piano chords, lay the groundwork for inspired soloing by Don Cherry and the pre-Last Tango and still extremely fiery Gato Barbieri. Subsequent pieces include an amazing feedback showcase for Larry Coryell and a gorgeous, somber work featuring bassist Steve Swallow and trombonist Roswell Rudd. All of this is a preview for, well, "Preview," an utterly incendiary flight by Pharoah Sanders over a pounding rhythm by the orchestra, a piece that will leave the listener bruised, battered, and exhilarated. Except that the best is yet to come: a 34-minute, two-part composition, a concerto for Cecil Taylor and orchestra, that finds the pianist at the height of his powers, just beginning to enter the third phase of his development where he fused ultra-high energy playing with rigorous logic and heartbreaking beauty. The breadth of this piece, its expansiveness, and its tension between order and chaos is one of the single high watermarks of avant-garde jazz. Communications is a masterwork in and of itself and laid the basis for stunning work by others in decades hence, notably Barry Guy and his London Jazz Composer's Orchestra. It's an essential document for anyone interested in avant jazz and late-20th century creative music.

Don Cherry - 2009 - Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 3

Don Cherry
Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 3

01. Complete Communion 26:11
02. Remembrance 24:46

Bass – Bo Stief
Drums – Aldo Romano
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri
Trumpet, Composed By – Don Cherry
Vibraphone – Karl Berger

Recorded on March 3rd, 1966.
This is the third and final part of the recordings from Cherry's month-long engagement at Café Montmartre.

This third and final recording of the 1966 Don Cherry Quintet recorded at the Cafe Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark, is conclusive in many ways. On the two 20-plus-minute professed "suites" heard here, the bandmembers bring their collective sound together with every passing phrase. They seem to have a telepathy and single-minded sense of purpose that borders on alchemy. Historically, American-born Cherry is fronting an international group, perhaps the first of its kind, with German vibist Karl Berger, Italian drummer Aldo Romano, Danish bassist Bo Stief, and a young bold and fiery tenor saxophonist from Argentina, Gato Barbieri. Cherry has a bond with Barbieri that goes beyond symmetry or unity -- it's absolutely primal, unified and whole beyond imagination. The rhythm team, skilled and very familiar with how they play together, change themes and pacings at will -- an electrifying and dynamic duo. Berger's forceful, tuneful vibraphone playing has an orchestral quality, placed comfortably in the middle of this tornado of creative music, and knows just how to shade, accent, and push the harmonic content of this band ever onward. The best thing about these musicians is that they do not have to calculate, plot, or scheme to create this exciting music -- they just go! "Complete Communion" offers multiple themes, mostly in the hard bop realm, generally very fast but sometimes slowed in bluesy and soulful moods, in the main hypertensive, or at times even patient. Barbieri's tenor solos wail, or are corralled in singing unity with Cherry's approximate notation. During this piece, which was to become their magnum opus, they quote the melody from Antonio Carlos Jobim's "How Insensitive." A completely free intro thematically fires up the jumping melody to "Remembrance," starting as a bluesy bop swinger buoyed by Berger's shimmering and quick chords as Barbieri and Cherry convene on several shout choruses drenched in harmony far beyond the pale. The band startlingly changes colors and pace at will, the drama factor is high, and a rock & roll insert a bit staggering. The band wittily reprises Ray Brown's "Two Bass Hit," and Romano's drum solo is as tasty as his ensemble work. Clearly one of the great -- if not the greatest -- early creative post-bop bands of all time, it's wonderful to have three full volumes of this combo at the peak of its powers, recorded and reproduced very well so the balance of all instruments is sharply defined. If you are a fan of any of the participants, these are must-have issues that will last a lifetime.

Don Cherry - 2007 - Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 2

Don Cherry 
Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 2

01. Intro 0:23
02. Orfeu Negro 10:41
03. Suite For Albert Ayler 11:13
04. Spring Is Here 8:48
05. Remembrance 9:27
06. Elephantasy (Incomplete) 2:42
07. Complete Communion 22:29

Bass – Bo Stief
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri
Trumpet – Don Cherry
Vibraphone – Karl Berger

Recorded March 31, 1966.

Trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry has long been a somewhat enigmatic figure. His well known beginnings with saxophonist Ornette Coleman soon gave way to Cherry's increasing interest in world music, where he would become an important conduit between jazz and "world music" through his own multinational take on improvisatory musical forms. The second in a series of recordings culled from a month-long residency in Denmark, Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966 Volume Two sees Cherry honing the techniques and approaches that would become the signifiers of his career.

The residency, which occurred between the recordings of Cherry's first two albums, Complete Communion (Blue Note, 1965) and Symphony for Improvisers (Blue Note, 1966), sees him gathering an international array of musicians to work out his ideas. Argentinian saxophonist Gato Barbieri, who plays on both of Cherry's first dates, is joined by German vibraphonist Karl Berger, an important presence on Symphony for Improvisers as well as Cherry's important Eternal Rhythm (Saba, 1968). Danish bassist Bo Stief and Italian drummer Aldo Romano round out an impressive lineup whose potential for group interaction perfectly suited Cherry's techniques.

After a brief introduction, the unit opens with Brazilian composer Luis Bonfa's "Oafeu Negro," whose bossa nova rhythms are dissected in a spirited improvisation that stretches the piece's boundaries far beyond the musical terrain of its homeland. All members play with elastic ease, giving the work a near ceaseless momentum before Cherry and Barbieri turn it into a softly caressing ballad that Romano infuses with a near militaristic pulse. The following "Suite for Albert Ayler" opens with Ayler's famous "Ghosts," whose stop-start rhythms are well suited to this unit's undulating sense of time. Berger's solo and subsequent vibe work infuses the ensemble's sound with a weightlessness and sense of mobility as Cherry's own "Awake Nu," later to be played on Where is Brooklyn? (Blue Note, 1966), appears midway before a return to Ayler's melody.

"Spring is Here" explores a variety of jazz standards and Coleman compositions. The group's ability to take non-original material and infuse it with its own sound is remarkable; not once does the group subside into mere "cover" band territory. The musicianship is far too capable and the group too resilient for that. "Remembrance," the final movement of Complete Communion, is explored with this same sense of communal interplay, in which each musician is equally in tune with the others. No one member is ever relegated to a backup role, providing these wonderful melodies with a vibrancy and life distinct from their studio versions. This is also the case with the incomplete recording of "Elephantasy" and the closing "Complete Communion," the longest excursion on the disc. Hearing the interlocking horn lines of Barbieri and Cherry, both of whom had already had ample opportunity to explore the piece, is as much a pleasure here as it was on the studio album, while the increased group size gives it a richness all its own.

1966 was a fruitful year for Cherry, and Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966 Volume Two endures as one of its major achievements. The unit plays with the rare ease afforded them by their lengthy booking, making the album one of great importance in Cherry's catalog. That the recordings sound as lively today as they did when they were made is testament to the strength of Cherry's musical character and his accomplices' sympathetic musicianship.

Don Cherry - 2007 - Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 1

Don Cherry
Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 1

01. Intro 0:36
02. Cocktail Piece 13:11
03. Neopolitan Suite: Dios E Diablo 7:26
04. Complete Communion 13:20
05. Free Improvisation: Music Now 10:46
06. Cocktail Piece (End) 2:28

Bass – Bo Stief
Cornet – Don Cherry
Drums – Aldo Romano
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri
Vibraphone – Karlhans Berger

"Montmartre Jazz Hus", Copenhagen, March 17, 1966.

A little over a year after trumpeter/composer Don Cherry debuted his European quintet in Rome and Paris, resulting in a brief return to New York and the beginning of a short-lived Blue Note recording contract, he reconvened his multi-national ensemble for a tour resulting in this Copenhagen concert, recorded live at the famed Jazzhus Montmartre.

The composition of the group is essentially the same as that which produced the album Togetherness (Durium, 1965, later reissued on Inner City), featuring Leandro "Gato Barbieri on tenor saxophone, Karl Berger on vibraphone, Aldo Romano on drums, and Danish bassist Bo Stief replacing Frenchman Jean-Francois Jenny-Clarke. The band runs through a series of medleys and themes related to those found on Cherry's Blue Notes, including "Complete Communion, as well as several "Cocktail pieces that mine similar thematic territory.

Cherry's troubadour-like qualities informed heavily what would otherwise be "merely a crack five-piece improvisational jazz unit. Thematic material from North Africa, India, and throughout Europe, as well as pop tunes of the day, fed into the suites the group played. Unlike an Ellingtonian medley, Cherry's "Togetherness pieces are often culled from things he personally hears (say, on his ubiquitous transistor radio) and the group follows or complements the melodies at a moment's notice—whether or not they know the tunes.

Hence, it's key that Cherry picked such an empathetic ensemble to share in this musical journey. Barbieri is an excellent foil for Cherry, and it's possible that their melodic statements hold together better than the trumpeter's work with Ornette Coleman. At this point in his young career, Barbieri was a tenor firebrand building a language up from John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins towards a defiantly humanistic cry. Though more well-known for later, pop-jazz "fusion records, let it not be said that his own project of embracing both free jazz and South American folk music isn't without precedent in this band.

Rhythmically, this version of the quintet operates somewhat differently from the New York variant, which had Ed Blackwell in the drum chair and bassist Henry Grimes. Romano combines a loose, chattery swing out of the Kenny Clarke bag, interspersed with free-time action playing (allowing soloists a "rug-less format) and a decidedly competitive, contra-rhythmic approach of stabs and inversions. It's a weird amalgam of support, motion and counteraction that gives the music a decidedly raw, unwieldy edge.

Stief is somewhat under-miked here; he's usually associated, along with drummer Alex Riel, with providing rhythmic support for expatriate US hard bop musicians in the 1970s, though he did work in a 1966 Steve Lacy aggregation as well. Jenny-Clarke was probably the bassist most in tune with this music, but Stief provides able grounding and drive for the ensemble's flights. Berger's vibes are metallic barbs, piercing the ensemble at odd moments, and operating more as melodic ornament and counterpoint than in a chordal role. At times, it does seem as though he's saddled with reigning in the banshee-like wails, as on the outset of "Music Now. Comping is entertained as an idea, but Cherry, Romano and Stief are off at a run, and Berger thus gives a bit of hot white pastel to the edges of the hornmen's highs.

It's probably unnecessary to recount where the various thematic fragments come from, and on what other of Cherry's records they might reappear—the point is that this music is but one snapshot of a continually evolving group music, and one which did not end after the dissolution of this quintet. Cherry's music affirms unity among cultures and their art, and gets to the heart of music's ability to communicate the most basic of human feelings. For that, Cherry's tunes will always be "Togetherness.

Don Cherry - 1969 - Where Is Brooklyn

Don Cherry
Where Is Brooklyn

01. Awake Nu
02. Taste Maker
03. The Thing
04. There Is the Bomb
05. Unite

Don Cherry Cornet, Trumpet (Pocket)
Pharoah Sanders Sax (Tenor), Piccolo
Henry Grimes Bass
Ed Blackwell Drums

Recorded on November 11, 1966.
Recorded At – Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Where Is Brooklyn was Don Cherry's final album for Blue Note, and it returned to the quartet format of Complete Communion, this time featuring Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax along with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ed Blackwell. Here, Cherry abandons his concept of recording all the album's compositions as side-long medleys; rather, each is treated separately, with spaces in between the tracks. There wasn't a need to integrate the compositions by periodically returning to their themes, so perhaps that's why Cherry doesn't really focus as much on bringing out his compositions this time around. Where Is Brooklyn is much more about energy and thoughtful group interaction than memorable themes, and so there's just a little something missing in comparison to Cherry's prior albums, even though they did also emphasize the qualities on display here. Nonetheless, it's still a fine record for what it does concentrate on; Sanders is in typically passionate form, and the rest of the ensemble members have already honed their interplay to a pretty sharp edge. It's worth hearing, even if it isn't as essential as Complete Communion or Symphony for Improvisers.

Don Cherry - 1969 - Mu (First and Second Parts)

Don Cherry 
Mu (First and Second Parts)

"Mu" First Part
01. Brilliant Action
02. Omejelo
03. Total Vibration (Part 1)
04. Total Vibration (Part 2)
05. Sun Of The East
06. Terrestrial Beings

"Mu" Second Part
07. The Mysticism Of My Sound
08. Medley
a. Dollar Brand
b. Spontaneous Composing
c. Exert, Man On The Moon
09. Bamboo Night
10. Teo-Teo-Can
11. Smiling Faces Going Places
12. Psycho-Drama
13. Medley
a. Theme Albert Heath
b. Theme Dollar Brand
c. Baby Rest, Time For...

Drums – Ed Blackwell
Trumpet, Piano, Flute – Don Cherry

Recorded August 22, 1969, Studio Saravah, Paris

This classic pair of recordings, reissued as a single CD, captures Don Cherry near the height of his global quest to absorb as much music as possible from different cultures and funnel it back through his jazz sensibility. It's one of the earliest, and most successful, experiments in what would later come to be known as world music. He wisely chose his fellow Ornette Coleman cohort Ed Blackwell -- a drummer steeped in the traditions of New Orleans, African music, and free jazz -- for his partner. Despite his reputation as a trumpeter, Cherry spends a great deal of time here on piano, flutes, and vocals. His piano playing, while relatively simple, is fluid and melodic, owing a good deal to Abdullah Ibrahim (who is represented here with a couple of his themes). Likewise, his singing -- heavily influenced by Indian karnatic song -- is endearingly bright, heartfelt, and lovely. But, above all, his trumpet playing is stellar. When Cherry hits his ringing, clarion passages, he projects a purity of sound that few other trumpeters could match. Blackwell matches him sound for sound, with rolling West African-derived rhythms, Basin Street marches, and the most overtly musical tone of any drummer this side of Max Roach. The Mu sessions have long held legendary status and it's not difficult to hear why. Highly recommended.

Don Cherry - 1968 - Eternal Rhythm

Don Cherry
Eternal Rhythm

01. Pt. 1: 17:53
a. Baby's Breath
b. "Sonny Sharrock"
c. Turkish Prayer
d. Crystal Clear (Exposition)
e. Endless Beginnings
f. Baby's Breath (Unaccompanied)
02. Pt. 2: 23:40
a. Autumn Melody
b. Lanoo
c. Crystal Clear (Development)
d. Screaming J
e. Always Beginnings

Don Cherry — Flute, Trumpet, Cornet
Bernt Rosengren — Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Sax (Tenor)
Albert Mangelsdorff — Trombone
Eje Thelin — Trombone
Sonny Sharrock — Guitar
Karl Berger — Piano, Gamelan, Vibraphone, Gender Barung
Joachim Kuhn — Piano, Prepared Piano
Arild Andersen — Bass
Jacques Thollot — Drums, Gong, Voices, Gamelan, Bells, Saron

Don Cherry's Eternal Rhythm Group was organised and recorded in collaboration with the Berlin Jazz Festival, Nov 11th and 12th 1968.
Gamelan instruments by courtesy of the Indonesian Embassy, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany.

Eternal Rhythm is a masterpiece on several levels. It was one of the earliest major examples of the idea that it was possible for any and all musical cultures to exist simultaneously, a philosophy that rejected any innate musical hierarchy and had no trouble placing the earthiest blues alongside the most delicate gamelan. It was also a summit meeting between representatives of the American and European jazz avant-garde, black and white, dismissing as meaningless both the cautious attitude of American jazz musicians toward Europeans edging onto their turf and the tentative stance of Europeans playing a music that was not "theirs." More importantly, Eternal Rhythm exists as an utterly spectacular, movingly beautiful musical performance, one of the rare occasions where the listener has a visceral sense of borders falling and vast expanses of territory being revealed for the first time. Cherry balanced compositional clarity, wild free improvisation, and a totally inclusive musical consciousness in a manner seldom achieved, resulting in a cohesive, spellbinding session. His own playing throughout on both trumpet and flute is at his highest levels, but the contributions of his fellow musicians are just as amazing. Special mention should be made of guitarist Sonny Sharrock, whose "glass shards" approach is in full bloom here, and vibraphonist/pianist Karl Berger, who throws himself with sublime abandon into both the gamelan and blues aspects of the piece. If only the pallid "world music" of the succeeding decades had followed this model! Eternal Rhythm is Don Cherry's masterwork and one of the single finest recordings from the jazz avant-garde of the '60s. It is required listening."