Monday, May 29, 2017

Marvin Peterson & The Soulmasters - 1969 - In Concert

Marvin Peterson & The Soulmasters 
In Concert

01 Groove For Otis
02 Five Foot Even
03 Conversation
04 Our Groove
05 Summertime
06 I Can't Stand It

Alto Saxophone – Mike Campbell
Bass – Eugene "Spare Time" Murray, Richard "Dick" Thompson
Drums – Emry "Wild Child" Thomas
Organ, Tambourine – Eugene "Gov" Carrier
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flute – Tim Peterson
Trombone – Cleveland Gay
Trumpet, Vocals – Marvin Peterson

Recorded in concert live at the Burning Bush, Denton, Texas, November 1968.

Original 1968 sound recording owned by Hannibal Lokumbe, under license to Jazzman Records Ltd.

Of all the Holy Grail LPs that we've posted so far, this is quite possibly the rarest of the rare, with a miniscule 50 copies of the original album having been pressed up 40 or so years ago. It's a miracle that any copies at all have survived since then, but we've jumped through hoops to ensure that not only have we faithfully reproduced the original, but we've done it with a quality that cannot be rivaled! Marvin Hannibal Peterson will be a familiar name to '70s jazz enthusiasts, but his career started with the Soulmasters in Texas back in the '60s. As bandleader and trumpeter, they were a popular outfit around the Texas nightclub circuit with their own brand of funky jazz, soul ballads and RnB showmanship. This album manages to squeeze in all three, including the extended funky jazz workout Our Groove, the haunting ballad Five Foot Even and finishing off with a cracking version of James Brown's I Can't Stand It. For lovers of soul, jazz, funk and all things in between, this album is for you.

Marvin Hannibal Peterson & The Sunrise Orchestra - 1974 - Children of the Fire

Marvin Hannibal Peterson & The Sunrise Orchestra
Children of the Fire 

Movement 1. 9:02
01. Forest Sunrise
02. Rhythm Ritual
03. Song Of Life
Movement 2. 3:10
The Bombing
04. Prelude
Movement 3. 4:50
05. Prayer
Movement 4. 17:30
06. The Ascending Of The Soul
Movement 5. 1:50
07. Finale

Bass – Richard Davis
Cello – Diedre Murray
Conductor – David Amram
Congas, Percussion [Bell Tree] – Lawrence Killian
Drums – Billy Hart (Jabali)
Percussion – Barbara Burton, Marvin Tuten
Piano – Michael Cochran
Piccolo Flute – Art Webb
Sitar – Marvin Tuten
Timpani, Drums – Barbara Burton
Trumpet, Koto – Hannibal
Viola – Judith Graves, Julius Miller
Violin – Myung Hi Kim, Rynae Rocha, Stanley Hunte
Violin [Solo] – John Blake
Vocals – Alpha Johnson

Trumpet and koto player Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson has led a reclusive career in jazz since the early '70s, when he first started making albums. A free jazz player in the style of Don Cherry with the metallic tone of Freddie Hubbard, Peterson is widely unknown even to the most diehard jazz fans. His low profile is strange given that he played with popular artists like Pharoah Sanders and Elvin Jones and was a regular member of Gil Evans' big band from '72 to '81.
On his recently reissued first album, Children of the Fire (Sunrise, 1974), Peterson takes his Sunrise Orchestra deep into jazz-classical territory, making his music sound like the Third Stream of Charles Mingus and Gil Evans.

Children of the Fire is a suite in five movements, beginning with "Forest Sunrise," a magical segment of bird-sounding whistles and string arrangements in front of a percussion backdrop. The second part of the movement, "Rhythm Ritual," starts off with the orchestra but then breaks into a straight-ahead but funky rhythm by drummer Billy Hart, bassist Richard Davis and pianist Michael Cochrane. Peterson then enters with a fiery blues solo that recalls the big fusion band sound of electric Miles.

Peterson composed all of the music on Children of the Fire, including the poetry on the spiritual hymn "Song of Life," sung by Waheeda Massey. The music and poems on the album were dedicated to the children of Vietnam during the tail end of the war in Southeast Asia. The highlight of the album is the fourth movement, "The Aftermath," which has a rapid and colorful drum solo by Billy Hart and a long free bop solo by Peterson that is encouraged by the spontaneous trio of Hart, Davis, and Cochrane.

Children of the Fire is an excellent snapshot of where fusion was headed during the early '70s. Electric jazz-rock, injected with heavy doses of classicism, was made popular by the Mahavishnu Orchestra during this time. But the underground Sunrise Orchestra delivers the goods, mixing hard bop and abstract jazz with a Far Eastern spirituality.

Marvin Hannibal Peterson - 1977 - Hannibal In Antibes

Marvin Hannibal Peterson 
Hannibal In Antibes

01. Ro 19:16
02. Swing Low Sweet Chariot 20:25

Bass – Steve Neil
Cello – Diedre Murray
Drums – Makaya Ntshoko
Tenor Saxophone – George Adams
Trumpet – Hannibal

Recorded live at the Antibes Jazz Festival on July 20th, 1977.

An exciting, serpentine solo maker in the mold of Don Cherry -- Peterson has chops but leaves precision to the wind in favor of spontaneous eruptions of melody. Peterson has a more well-rounded technique than Cherry, however, and plays with greater force. Unlike many contemporary free jazz players, Peterson is adept at older styles; he's played under such adventurous yet tradition-bound bandleaders as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gil Evans, and Elvin Jones, and with such dyed-in-the-wool avant-gardists as Roswell Rudd, Ken McIntyre, and Deidre Murray.

As a youth, Peterson learned drums and cornet. He attended North Texas State University from 1967-1969 before moving to New York in 1970. That year, he toured the East Coast with Kirk; the next, he joined Evans' orchestra, with which he would continue to play into the '80s. In the early '70s he performed and recorded with a variety of big-name leaders, including Pharoah Sanders, Roy Haynes, and the aforementioned Jones. He also led and played trumpet and koto with the Sunrise Orchestra, a group that included the cellist Murray. Tenor saxophonist George Adams was a frequent collaborator. Peterson has led recording sessions infrequently; his first album was called Children of the Fire, for the defunct Sunrise label (1974). He recorded subsequently for Enja, MPS, and Inner City. Though as a performer he's kept something of a low profile over the years, Peterson -- now known simply as Hannibal -- emerged in the mid-'90s having composed the monumental African Portraits, an orchestral piece that incorporated a jazz quartet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (conducted by the eminent composer/conductor Daniel Barenboim), the Morgan State University Choir, the Kennedy-King College Community Chorus, the Doris Ward Workshop Chorale, four operatic singers, various traditional African musicians, and a handful of African-American vocalists. The meticulously composed (and critically hailed) piece differed greatly form the small jazz ensemble contexts with which he had made his professional name. A recorded version was issued by the Teldec label.

Hannibal In Antibes starts off really very badly, so much so that you’re almost tempted to give up on the thing. The problem is it starts with about a three minute drum solo. I mean drum solos are bad enough anywhere on a record, but to start an album with one is just madness. I suppose at least they have started the album with the lowest point on there, so in theory it should only get better from that point on, unless of course you love drum solos. When the other instruments initially kick-in you’re like thank god for that, but then it all starts going a bit pear-shaped and all Tom & Jerry ish. But after about four and a half minutes the bass kicks in, then a cello reveals itself, Hannibal starts blowing the most intense horn work you could ask for, and from that point on you are blessed with a full-on aural pleasure fest for the rest of the album. 

This album is two very long tunes that seem to be dominated by solos throughout. Luckily the drum solo is the only bad one here, and as I already pointed out, they got rid of it at the start. All the rest of the solos respectfully work with the rhythm section and never over reach or go too far out. The rhythm section, which also consists of a cello on here, really seems to control the main instruments of trumpet, tenor sax and flute, and make sure they behave themselves. At one point the sax goes a little over the top, but the rhythm section is like calm down will you you’re spoiling the flow, and brings it back into line. The musicians on here are Marvin “Hannibal” Peterson on trumpet, George Adams on flute and tenor sax, Diedre Murray on cello, Steve Neil on Bass and Makaya Ntshoko on drums, and man can this guy can play those drums. 

The overall feel of the music is very much in that Impulse spiritual and haunting approach, but with a bit more rock element in there. Imagine the latter Pharoah Sanders recordings for Impulse, like Village Of The Pahroahs and Live At The East, but with a trumpet thrown in, and you’ll kind of get the picture. I also like the use of a string instrument, this is where the rock feel comes from; it kind of adds a slight early Velvet Underground (when John Cale was a member) feel to the thing. In addition to that there’s a kind of eastern feel, but not like Middle Eastern, more sort of eastern European feel. Basically it's a real fusion of styles that all work perfectly, so if you imagine a Russian Velvet Underground without guitars covering a Pharoah Sanders' album, you're almost there. 

Both tracks are winners, but side two is a total killer, it’s a twenty plus minute version of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” that literally abducts you for its entire duration. The drum/bass/cello combination on here is like an all consuming driving riff that just never lets up. I was so taken by this record that I spent the whole twenty minutes just not wanting it to end. I love those times when you've just got an album, but you know absolutely nothing about it and it ends up being one of the best things you've ever heard. If you love all that hypnotic stuff, and strong rhythm sections, then I cannot recommend this album to you enough. Just be warned, it is seriously addictive. The only thing that stops this getting top whack is the drum solo, and that’s just a personal thing, I hate drum solos.

John Hicks - 1978 - Hells Bells

John Hicks
Hells Bells

01. Hell's Bells 9:50
02. Avojca 8:17
03. Yemenja 10:53
04. Angie's Tune 9:50

Bass – Clint Houston
Drums – Cliff Barbaro
Piano – John Hicks

Recorded: May 21, 1975, London, England

A longtime fixture of the New York City jazz landscape, pianist John Hicks was an artist of uncommon versatility, moving effortlessly from pop standards to the avant-garde while retaining the dense physicality and intense energy that were the hallmarks of his approach. Born December 12, 1941, in Atlanta, Hicks was still an infant when his preacher father relocated the family to Los Angeles. He spent the better part of his teen years in St. Louis, and counted among his classmates there the young Lester Bowie. Hicks' mother was his first piano teacher, and after a stint at Lincoln University in Missouri he attended the Berklee School of Music and the Juilliard School; he later cited influences spanning from Fats Waller to Thelonious Monk to Methodist church hymns, and his catholic listening tastes were instrumental in shaping his far-ranging skills as a player. After touring in support of bluesman Albert King and hard bop tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, Hicks backed singer Della Reese during a 1963 New York club residency, and the city remained his home for the rest of his life. In the wake of stints with Kenny Dorham and Joe Henderson, Hicks joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1964, collaborating alongside the likes of trumpeters Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard. Two years later, he signed on with singer Betty Carter, like Blakey a keen judge of emerging talent. Upon exiting Carter's band in 1968, Hicks spent the remainder of the decade with Woody Herman and entered the decade to follow as a first-call sideman. He also moonlighted as an educator, and during the early '70s taught jazz and improvisation at Southern Illinois University.

After backing Carter on her 1976 date Now It's My Turn, Hicks returned to her backing group full-time. The exposure vaulted him to new renown, and in 1979 he finally led his own studio effort, After the Morning. With 1981's Some Other Time, cut with bassist Walter Booker and drummer Idris Muhammad, Hicks also emerged as a gifted composer, writing his best-known effort, "Naima's Love Song," in honor of his young daughter. He recorded prolifically in the years to follow, concentrating on solo and small ensemble work including stints as member of the Power Trio and the Keystone Trio. He also served as the regular pianist with the Mingus Dynasty Band and for a time led his own big band. Hicks enjoyed his greatest commercial success with a series of tribute LPs celebrating the music of his mentors and influences, highlighted by 1998's Something to Live For (a collection of Billy Strayhorn compositions), 2000's Impressions of Mary Lou (Williams, of course), and 2003's Fatha's Day (honoring Earl Hines). Hicks' longest and most rewarding collaboration was his partnership with flutist Elise Wood, which launched in 1983 and after several studio sessions and tours culminated in marriage in 2001, around the time of the release of their duo recording Beautiful Friendship. Hicks died suddenly on May 10, 2006. Just three days earlier, he delivered his final performance at Harlem's St. Mark's United Methodist Church, where his father served as a minister prior to his own death. Hicks was 64 years old.

 Hells Bells, the very first session recorded as a bandleader by the late pianist and former St. Louisan John Hicks. Hells Bells—spelled without the apostrophe on the album cover (pictured), but sometimes with it in other references—was recorded in 1975 for trumpeter Charles Tolliver's Strata-East label, though it wasn't issued until 1978.

There was a CD reissue of the album in 2000 by the Charly label, which now is out of print. As of this writing, the one new copy that could be found for sale online has an asking price of $90, with used copies commanding nearly $30.

John Gordon - 1976 - Erotica Suite

John Gordon 
Erotica Suite 

01. 1st Movement - Desire 6:54
02. 2nd Movement - Fulfillment 6:13
03. 3rd Movement - Aftermath 1:28
04. 4th Movement - Consequences 8:06
05. Ora Lee Tingle 4:26
06. Neleh 6:30
07. Blue Na 8:19

Bass – Lyle Atkinson
Drums – Frank Derrick III
Piano – John Miller
Saxophone – James Spaulding
Trombone – John Gordon
Trumpet – Waymond Reed

Gordon began playing trombone as a child and later studied formally at the Juilliard School Of Music in New York. He played professionally with various bands including several in the blues idiom and was also with Buddy Johnson. When he was 22 he joined Lionel Hampton where he remained for a year, then returned to his studies. For seven years he was with R&B star Lloyd Price whose musical director at the time was Slide Hampton. In 1962 he began a 20-year stint in Broadway pit bands, appearing also on many recordings on Motown Records. He found time for jazz engagements during this period, including spells with Clark Terry, Count Basie, Howard McGhee, Frank Foster and Lionel Hampton. He was a founder member of Trombones Incorporated (later known as Trombones Unlimited) and he also worked with Al Grey’s Trombone Summit. In the early 90s he played in bands led by Illinois Jacquet and he also toured and recorded with a trombone trio alongside Slide Hampton and Joshua Roseman. At this time Gordon was also an occasional member of Nancie Banks’ big band and of a trio, which included Curtis Fuller. An extremely gifted technician, Gordon plays with drive and enthusiasm and his work with other trombonists has helped improve the instrument’s following in the post-bop era after some years of neglect as a front-line jazz voice.

John Gordon - 1975 - Step By Step

John Gordon
Step By Step

01. Step By Step 10:45
02. P & G Inc. 4:52
03. Dance Of The Ymas 5:10
04. No Tricks / No Gimmicks 5:30
05. Making Memories 8:04
06. Activity 5:46

Bass – Lisle Atkinson
Drums – Andrew Cyrille
Flute, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Roland Alexander
Piano – Stanley Cowell
Trumpet – Charles Tolliver
Trombone - John Gordon

Recorded and mixed at Sound Ideas Studios, New York City, September 22, 1975.
Strata-East Records Incorporated, 156 Fifth Avenue, N.Y.,10010. Printed in U.S.A.

John Gordon's trombone style and sound reflect such masters as Bill Harris and Lawrence Brown. He employs a breadth of conception and a clarity of sound that have more in common with the great trombonists who preceded himby two generations than with the tight phrases and dry tone of the beboppers. The brilliance of his top notes and the sweep of his ideas on Making Memories are bound to remind the listener of Harris. Like his older contemporary, Roswell Rudd, Gordon seems to have studied Harris, and the influence extends into the freest piece of the album, Activity.
The title of one of Gordon's compositions; No Tricks / No Gimmicks, applies to the overall approach. This is unpretentious music firmly rooted in the post-bop era but embracing the harmonic and metric adventurousness nurtured by the Free Jazz movement.
P+G, Incorporated a bright Gordon composition of calypso heritage, one of the happiest pieces of music in years .
All of Gordon's compositions here are attractive, and his arranging for the three horns results in an expansive ensemble sound. He is a talented young man, and his further adventures will be followed with great interest.
Doug Ramsey
Radio Free Jazz - May 1977 - Page 17

Gunter Hampel - 1969 - The 8th of July 1969

Gunter Hampel 
The 8th of July 1969

01. (No. 35) We Move 8:15
02. (No. 30) Morning Song 18:30
03. (No. 37) Crepuscule 25:25
04. (No. 38) The 8th Of July 1969 1:20

Bonus tracks on CD
05. (No. 35) We Move, Take 1 6:59
06. (No. 35) We Move, Take 2 6:21
07. (No. 38) The 8th Of July 1969, Take 1 0:32

Alto Saxophone, Contrabass Clarinet, Sopranino Saxophone – Anthony Braxton
Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone – Willem Breuker
Bass, Bass Guitar – Arjen Gorter
Drums – Steve McCall
Piano, Vibraphone, Bass Clarinet – Gunter Hampel
Voice – Jeanne Lee

Recorded on July 8, 1969, Studio Andre Van De Water, Nederhorst, Holland.

Something of a landmark in late-'60s free jazz and an early collaboration between American members of the AACM (as represented by Braxton and McCall) and the European jazz avant-garde, the album issued under Gunter Hampel's name holds up quite well in retrospect. Despite his nominal affiliation with free jazz, Hampel never abandoned melody, and the opening track, "We Move," is a rollicking affair that features -- as does much of the record -- the superbly evocative vocals of the late Jeanne Lee. "Morning Song" develops into a more ferocious piece, with Braxton tearing things up in overdrive mode, propelled by the incendiary rhythm team of McCall and Gorter. The long Crepuscule," in contrast, is quietly brooding, opening with a subdued, grumbling bass clarinet trio and generally staying within sonic areas involving soft breaths, sighs, and moans. Though it works up a strong head of steam in its latter third, this stirring performance points out the fallacy of free jazzers doing nothing but screaming and hollering, and nods in the direction of "quiet improv" experiments of 20 to 30 years hence. A fascinating and important historical document and a fine listen in its own right, The 8th of July 1969 is a date to remember.

Andrew Cyrille, Jeanne Lee, Jimmy Lyons - 1979 - Nuba

Andrew Cyrille, Jeanne Lee, Jimmy Lyons 

01. Nuba 1 7:27
02. Cornbread Picnic (Maize) 4:58
03. The One Before Zero 5:23
04. JJ&A 5:12
05. In These Last Days 7:35
06. Sorry 6:58
07. Nuba 2 7:50

Alto Saxophone – Jimmy Lyons
Drums, Percussion – Andrew Cyrille
Voice – Jeanne Lee

Recorded in June 1979 at Fontana Studio 7, Milano.

Drummer Andrew Cyrille and alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons developed an impressive chemistry during their years with Cecil Taylor. Cyrille's array of percussion instruments and mastery of multiple styles, from hard bop to Afro-Latin, enabled him to play rippling rhythms or light, tinkling lines, attack, or lay back. Lyons' alto solos were alternately driving and soft, sometimes searing in their intensity, sometimes more laid-back and introspective. Those seeking a standard trio or straight jazz date are advised to look elsewhere; there was nothing conventional or predictable about this one.

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.

Gunter Hampel, Jeanne Lee, Toni Marcus - 1972 - Waltz For 3 Universes In A Corridor

Gunter Hampel, Jeanne Lee, Toni Marcus
Waltz For 3 Universes In A Corridor

01. (104) Unified
02. Waltz For 3 Universes In A Corridor
03. Galaxie Sun Dance
04. (103) Tu Aimes Ma Musique?

Vibraphone, Bass Clarinet, Composed By, Flute, Ocarina, Piano – Gunter Hampel
Violin, Viola – Toni Marcus
Voice – Jeanne Lee

Excerpts from a "live" radio performance at WKCR, New York, June 20th, 1972

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Anthony Braxton, Gunter Hampel, Jeanne Lee - 1972 - Familie

Anthony Braxton, Gunter Hampel,  Jeanne Lee 

01. Familie
02. Familie (continued)

Alto Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Clarinet [Bb Contrabass], Sopranino Saxophone – Anthony Braxton
Bass Clarinet, Flute, Vibraphone [Vibes], Soprano Saxophone – Gunter Hampel
Voice – Jeanne Lee

Recorded live April 1, 1972, Theatre du Mouffetard, Paris. Collective composition: Anthony Braxton - Gunter Hampel - Jeanne Lee.

Perhaps Hampel has chosen not to reissue this on the grounds that the original recording is so flat and one dimensional. None the less the music is quite exceptional, a largely free improvised set ..its all more or less one free floating piece. Great to hear Anthony Braxton on contra bass clarinet especially this vintage and setting... spine chilling stuff. There is an ethereal quality to this wonderfully spacious set ..that could perhaps (heresy of heresie's) have used the slightly reverby ,crisp production values of a Manfred Eicher.

Gunter Hampel Group + Jeanne Lee - 1969 - Gunter Hampel Group + Jeanne Lee

Gunter Hampel Group + Jeanne Lee 
Gunter Hampel Group + Jeanne Lee

01. Leoni Antoinette 9:40
02. O, Western Wind 6:00
03. The Capacity Of This Room 5:45
04. The Four Elements (11:01)
05. Lazy Afternoon 9:57

Recorded: April 1968
Studio: André Van De Water, Soest (Holland)

Bass, Harmonium – Arjen Gorter
Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Willem Breuker
Percussion – Pierre Courbois
Vibraphone, Flute, Bass Clarinet – Gunter Hampel
Voice – Jeanne Lee

German multi-instrumentalist Gunter Hampel (1937), originally a vibraphonist, was credited with starting the free-jazz scene in continental Europe in 1964 when he formed a quintet with trumpeter Manfred Schoof and pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach that recorded Heartplants (january 1965). Hampel played vibraphone, flute and bass clarinet (that would remain his three main instruments), but composed only one of the five titles. The quartet of Assemblage (december 1966), with Willem Breuker on several saxophones and clarinets, was a far more decisive unit, and Hampel stepped up as a composer with the 22-minute Assemblage and the eleven-minute Heroicredolphysiognomystery.
Relocating to Europe in 1967, the American black vocalist Jeanne Lee joined Hampel's and Breuker's quartet on Gunter Hampel Group + Jeanne Lee (april 1968). Hampel's growing confidence as a leader/composer and Lee's acrobatic vocals highlighted The 8th of July 1969 (july 1969), that also added American saxophonist Anthony Braxton to the Hampel-Breuker-Lee quintet and contained the 18-minute Morning Song and the 25-minute Crepuscule. The magic combination of Hampel's conduction and Lee's decoration permeated Ballet-Symphony (january 197O) for a quintet with Hampel, Lee, cello, bass and drums; People Symphony (march 1970), that added Breuker on clarinet and tenor sax as well as Willem van Manen on trombone; Out Of New York (july 1971), for a quartet with clarinetist Perry Robison and a bassist performing Hampel's seventh and eight symphonies; Spirits (august 1971), a trio with Robinson; Familie (april 1972), a spectacular trio with Braxton, Waltz For 11 Universes In A Corridor (june 1972), a trio with violinist Toni Marcus containing Waltz for 3 Universes in a Corridor and Galaxie Sun Dance. Most of these albums were taken up by lengthy eponymous improvisations, that Hampel painstakingly numbered according to the conventions of classical music.

Hampel and Lee then formed the Galaxie Dream Band, still a nine-piece unit on the colossal jam Angel (may 1972), but, after I Love Being With You (july 1972), the imposing Broadway (july 1972), Unity Dance (june 1973), and Out From Under (january 1974), the first collection of shorter pieces, expanded to an eleven-piece ensemble for Journey to the Song Within (february 1974), that contained Bolero. The Galaxie Dream Band shrank back to an octet for the double-LP Celebrations (june 1974) and to a sextet for Ruomi (october 1974), that did not feature Lee, and then expanded again to an octet (with Lee and Braxton) for Enfant Terrible (september 1975). Transformation (september 1976), by a classic line-up featuring Lee, Robinson, Schoof and flutist Thomas Keyserling, and All Is Real (november 1978), by a quintet with Lee, Robinson, Keyserling and a percussionist, marked a return to the extended format. Despite being reduced to a quartet (with Robinson, Keyserling and a percussionist), the combo was still called Galaxie Dream Band on Vogelfrei (october 1976).

The collaborations with Lee went beyond the Galaxie Dream Band: Cosmic Dancer (september 1975) for a quartet with Lee, Robinson and drummer Steve McCall, and especially Freedom Of The Universe (june 1978), that contained another lengthy meditation, and the double-LP Oasis (july 1978), that contains the 20-minute Oasis.

Hampel resurrected the Galaxie Dream Band (now a sextet with Lee) for the album-long improvisation of All the Things You Could Be If Charles Mingus Was Your Daddy (july 1980), and (as a quartet with Lee and Keyserling) for the shorter pieces of A Place To Be With Us (january 1981), and (as a quintet with Lee, Robinson and Keyserling) for Life On This Planet (july 1981), that contained the side-long Infinite Transparencies.

Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee - 1995 - In Stockholm 1966 Free Standards

Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee 
In Stockholm 1966 Free Standards

01. Ticket To Ride 1:44
02. Kind' A Sweet 2:56
03. Corcovado: Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars 2:16
04. Let's Go 2:59
05. Ja-da 2:09
06. Bombastica ! 2:40
07. Lydiana: People Of This World 2:22
08. Crystal Trip 1:29
09. A Taste Of Honey 2:37
10. Night And Day 4:00
11. I Can Tell 2:15
12. Take The "A" Train 3:15
13. Living Up To Life 3:00
14. A Hard Day's Night 2:07
15. The Girl From Impanema 2:42
16. Vanguard 3:31
17. Glaziation 0:30
18. You Stepped Out Of A Dream 5:28
19. I Can Tell More 4:15
20. Desafinado & One Note Samba 4:20
21. Stars Fell On Alabama 2:29
22. Just Friends 3:33
23. Free Standards 4:05
24. I'll Remember April 2:53
25. Honeysuckle Rose 2:38

Piano – Ran Blake
Vocals – Jeanne Lee

Recorded In Stockholm November 8, 1966 at Borgarskolan studio.

"In 1961 singer Jeanne Lee (1939-2000) and pianist Ran Blake (born 1935) emerged as one of the most innovative duos on the New York jazz scene. Presenting an almost freely improvised reading of standard and original melodies, they blended voice and piano in a manner seemingly without any boundaries except those imposed by their individual disciplines. It was a stunning combination, but aside from a few concerts, a local television show, a praised RCA Victor album, and an appearance at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival, they found little work in the US.
In Europe, however, it was a different story. There the duo’s subtlety, daring and wit, along with Lee’s warmth and precision and Blake’s inventiveness, were immediately appreciated. They opened a series of well-received North-European concerts in 1963 at Stockholm’s Golden Circle and returned there three years later, when these examples of their unique artistry were captured in a studio recording session. In combination they pass, blend, meld, and move around each other in a manner both delicately nuanced and vaguely disconcerting, demanding attention in a way no other group of this kind has done."
(Back cover notes)

Jeanne Lee With Ran Blake - 1962 - The Newest Sound Around

Jeanne Lee With Ran Blake
The Newest Sound Around

01. Laura 5:06
02. Blue Monk 4:40
03. Church On Russell Street 3:12
04. Where Flamingos Fly 4:17
05. Season In The Sun 2:25
06. Summertime 3:30
07. Lover Man 5:00
08. Evil Blues 3:04
09. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child 2:37
10. When Sunny Gets Blue 4:51
11. Love Isn't Everything 1:20

Piano – Ran Blake
Vocals – Jeanne Lee

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.

Third stream pianist and music educator Ran Blake has recorded a number of unique, often solo, jazz albums since the early '60s that showcase his dramatic contrasts of silence and "outbursts" and fresh reinventions of older standards. He has also made his mark on music by influencing music students for many decades at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music.
He was born in Springfield, MA, on April 20, 1935, and eventually got his degree from Bard College, in addition to studying at Columbia University and at the School of Jazz in his home state. In 1957, Blake began collaborating with vocalist Jeanne Lee, and the duo went on a European tour in 1963. His debut album, The Newest Sound Around, was awarded the RCA Album First Prize in Germany in 1963. The follow-up to his debut, Ran Blake Plays Solo Piano, was released on ESP in 1965. Two years later, Blake began teaching jazz at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music. Thirty years later, Blake was still educating students at N.E.C., and also served as chairman of the school's contemporary improvisation department.
Blake is the recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the NEA. His recording has been sporadic and, most often, solo. His discography includes Blue Potato (Milestone, 1969); Third Stream Today (Golden Crest, 1977); Film Noir (Novus, 1980); Duke Dreams (Soul Note, 1981); a double-disc journey through jazz standards and international folk music alike called Painted Rhythms: The Complete Ran Blake (GMRecordings, 1985); one of his duos with Anthony Braxton, A Memory of Vienna (Hatology, 1988); and his duo with Clifford Jordan, Masters From Different Worlds
He recorded even less during the 1990s, but did create, among others: a tribute to Sarah Vaughan, Unmarked Van (Soul Note, 1995), and a revisiting of film noir material and other tunes in a duo with flügelhorn player and trumpeter Enrico Rava, entitled Duo en Noir (2000), recorded for composer Franz Koglmann's new label, Between the Lines. Other labels that have released Blake albums over the decades include the Owl, Horo, Crest, RCA, and Arista labels. In addition to his previously mentioned collaborators, Blake has also worked with Oscar Peterson, Jaki Byard, Mary Lou Williams, Mal Waldron, Houston Person, William Russo, Gunther Schuller, Kate Wolf, and Ricky Ford.

"Third stream" may have been the bandied term, but this unjustly ignored 1962 duet set, the debut for pianist Blake and singer Lee, who worked up their act while studying at Bard College, plays blissfully free of the lumbering lugubriousness and Big Mac-thick philosophizing that mar so much of that music. The eeriness, the mystery, and the sweetness lie always in the deceptive simplicity, never more so than on the opener, "Laura," sketched by Johnny Mercer as a hazy image of loveliness, always out of reach and perhaps not even real, and she flickers in and out of existence with the strike and fade of Blake's figures, the attack and decay of Lee's intonation, now husky, now fruity, but as exacting as Miles Davis' muted trumpet. "Church on Russell Street" is Blake's alone, a gospel show for solo piano late at night, or early in the morning, when everyone but the pianist and maybe the Lord has gone home. "Where Flamingos Fly," from which Van Morrison peeled a few leaves years later, finds Lee a mournful anti-siren, losing her lover and a few members of the animal kingdom to an island that may be Aruba, Iceland, or even Alcatraz; Blake tests single notes like water drops, rumbles chords for incoming tide, stabs boldly at the not quite in tune top octave on his keyboard. "Season in the Sun" (nowhere near Terry Jacks) injects levity with bassist George Duvivier sitting in (as he does on "Evil Blues," the second dash of comic relief) and Lee dryly, slyly insinuating the brevity of her bikini. "If there's going to be an enduring 'new wave' in jazz styling...this voice, this piano may well be the beginning," reads an uncredited blurb on the cover. The record started no revolution, probably because no other two performers had such chemistry or such a distinctive reaction. As jazz styling, though, it endures unsurprisingly. You hear the set in less than one hour
You spend decades wandering inside the sound, as you might inside a sonic Stonehenge, savoring each new vantage point discovered, and the impossibility of discovering them all.

Recorded in 1961, "The Newest Sound Around" still is. One thing you can say for sure about singer Jeanne Lee's and pianist Ran Blake's mutual debut album is that it didn't trigger an avalanche of imitators. In his book, "Jazz: A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings," Ben Ratliff describes "The Newest Sound Around" as an "outsider-art work." He certainly got that right. Today, Patricia Barber is the only "main stream" artist I can think of who sometimes sounds even a little like what Ms Lee and Mr Blake were doing almost 50 years ago.

To my ears, Ms Lee has an extremely pleasing, smokey, flexible voice. There's no place in a song that she can't navigate with ease - and when she improvises, you're left thinking, "Why didn't the composer think of that?" Mr Blake can just flat play. He never shows off, but if you are one of the handful of people who have listened to his piano playing over the years, you know he's got "chops" and then some.

"The Newest Sound Around" is a mix of standards, film music, a Monk tune and some originals by Mr Blake. If you're into "avant garde," "third stream," or just plain "lovely and mysterious" jazz, this album is for you. Half a century after it was recorded, it still sounds like tomorrow's music.

Out of print for many years, "Newest Sound Around" is a unique interpretation of piano and vocal jazz duets. I first heard one of the best tracks on the album, "Laura," on a Smithsonian-sponsored collection of third-stream jazz, circa 1976, and it stayed with me. "Laura" was the only vocal performance in the avant-garde/third stream compilation. Fortunately, I managed to get a copy of the Smithsonian record (also long out of print) and have listened periodically to "Laura" over the years, but always wondered about the rest of "Newest Sound Around." I never did locate a copy of the LP. Now the whole CD is available!

Why is this record so memorable, and why do I like it so much? 3 reasons: 1) Jeanne Lee's vocal stylings - warm and traditional while avant-garde at the same time - a rare combination of strengths; 2) Ran Blake's piano - like ice tinkling in a glass, discordant yet perfectly complimentary to the vocals. As an example, the chords of the familiar "Blue Monk" are transformed into something so different that the listener can hardly believe it's the same blues song performed so often by Monk himself; 3) The choice of repertoire - an interesting mix of styles, each of which is turned inside out and performed in a new way.

Jazz Contemporaries - 1972 - Reasons in Tonality

Jazz Contemporaries 
Reasons in Tonality 

01 Reasons In Tonality  24:00
02 3-M. B.  22:45

recorded live at the Village Vanguard, NYC Feb. 13, 1972

Bass – Larry Ridley
Drums – Keno Duke
French Horn – Julius Watkins
Piano – Harold Mabern
Saxophone [Tenor] – Clifford Jordan, George Coleman

Rare original spiritual jazz LP on the much sought after STRATA EAST label. Sounds very much like it could be a lost session for some classic Coltrane album: the easy gait of the brass, the levitation pull of the bright block chords staggering over on the right end of the piano, the band playing perfectly in unison.  amazing how something can sound at once so casual and so spirited!

Jayne Cortez - 1974 - Celebrations and Solitudes

Jayne Cortez 
Celebrations and Solitudes

01. Lead
02. How Long Has Trane Been Gone
03. Essence Of Rose Solitude
04. Song For Kwame
05. Forreal
06. Festivals And Funerals
07. Solo
08. I Am New York City
09. Under The Edge Of February
10. Lynch Fragment
11. Ife Night
12. Homicide
13. 3 Day New York Blues
14. Remembrance
15. Do You Think
16. Making It
17. So Long
18. Lexington/96 Street Stop
19. I Won't Forget It

Jayne Cortez: poetry reading, poetry, producer
Richard Davis: bass, music

Jayne Cortez was born Sallie Jayne Richardson on the Army base at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, on May 10, 1934. Her father was a career soldier who would serve in both world wars; her mother was a secretary.

At the age of seven, she moved to Los Angeles, where she grew up in the Watts district. Young Jayne Richardson reveled in the jazz and Latin recordings that her parents collected. She studied art, music and drama in high school and later attended Compton Community College. She took the surname Cortez, the maiden name of her maternal grandmother, early in her artistic career.

In 1954, Cortez married jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman when she was 18 years old. Their son Denardo, born in 1956, began drumming with his father while still a child and devoted his adult life to collaborating with both parents in their respective careers. In 1964, Cortez divorced Coleman and founded the Watts Repertory Theater Company, of which she served as artistic director until 1970. Active in the struggle for Civil Rights, she strongly advocated using art as a vehicle to push political causes, with her work being used to register black voters in Mississippi in the early 1960s. She traveled through Europe and Africa, and moved to New York City in 1967.

In 1969 her first collection, Pissstained Stairs and the Monkey Man's Wares, was published and Cortez went on to become the author of 11 other books of poems, and performed her poetry with music on nine recordings. Most of her work was issued under the auspices of Bola Press, a publishing company she founded in 1971. She presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. Her poems have been translated into 28 languages and widely published in anthologies, journals and magazines, including Postmodern American Poetry, Daughters of Africa, Poems for the Millennium, Mother Jones, and The Jazz Poetry Anthology.

In 1975 she married sculptor, sculptor and printmaker Melvin Edwards, and they lived in Dakar, Senegal, and New York City. His work appeared in her publications as well as on some of her album covers. Cortez and Edwards she maintained two residences, one in New York City and one in Dakar, Senegal, which she said "really feels like home."

Jayne Cortez wrote and performed with an uncompromising intensity all her own. Acerbic, hard-hitting, unsentimental and scathingly honest, her take on reality is so potent – and even pungent – that many poets may seem benign, or even superficial, by comparison.

The musicians with whom Jayne Cortez aligned herself reflected the sociopolitical and cultural elements to which she attached the greatest importance. Born in Fort Huachuca, Arizona in 1934, she grew up near Los Angeles under the spell of her parents' jazz and blues record collection, which also included examples of Latin American dance bands and field recordings of indigenous American music. Early exposure to the recordings of Bessie Smith instilled in Cortez a deeply etched sense of female identity, which, combined with a strong will, shaped her into an uncommonly outspoken individual. She became transformed by the sounds of Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and no-nonsense vocalist Dinah Washington, whose visceral approach to self-expression clearly encouraged the poet not to pull any punches.

Cortez, who respected the memory of independent performing artist Josephine Baker, preferred to name inspirations rather than influences, especially when discussing writers. Those with whom she identified included Langston Hughes, Aimé Césaire, Léon Damas, Christopher Okigbo, Henry Dumas, Amiri Baraka, and Richard Wright. Parallels with the ugly/beautiful poetics of Federico García Lorca also suggest themselves. Her words were usually written, chanted, and spoken in rhythmic repetition that resembled the intricate, tactile language of African and Caribbean drumming.

Most of her work from the early 1970s onwards was issued by Bola Press, the publishing company she founded. She cut her first album, Celebrations and Solitudes, at White Plains, New York, in 1974. A set of duets with bassist Richard Davis, it was released on the Strata-East label. The first Bola Press recording, taped in October 1979, was called Unsubmissive Blues and included a piece "For the Brave Young Students in Soweto." Cortez delivered her poetry backed by an electro-funk modern jazz group called the Firespitters, built around a core of guitarist Bern Nix, bassist Al McDowell, and drummer Denardo Coleman. For years, the Firespitters and Ornette Coleman's Prime Time coexisted with Denardo as the axis and various players participating in both units.

During the summer of 1982, Cortez delivered There It Is, an earthshaking album containing several pieces that truly define her artistry. These include: "I See Chano Pozo," a joyously evocative salute to Dizzy Gillespie's legendary Cuban percussionist; a searing indictment of patriarchal violence called "If the Drum Is a Woman"; and, "US/Nigerian Relations," which consists of the sentence "They want the oil/but they don't want the people" chanted dervish-like over an escalating, electrified free jazz blowout. Recorded in 1986, her next album, Maintain Control, is especially memorable for Ornette Coleman's profoundly emotive saxophone on "No Simple Explanations," the unsettling "Deadly Radiation Blues," and the harshly gyrating "Economic Love Song," which is another of her tantrum-like repetition rituals, this time built around the words "Military spending, huge profits and death." Among several subsequent albums Cheerful & Optimistic (1994) stands out for the use of an African kora player and poignant currents of wistfulness during "Sacred Trees" and "I Wonder Who." Additionally, this album contains a convincing ode to anti-militarism in "War Devoted to War" and the close-to-the-marrow mini-manifestos "Samba Is Power" and "Find Your Own Voice." In 1996, her album Taking the Blues Back Home was released on Harmolodic/Verve; Borders of Disorderly Time, which appeared in 2002, featured guest artists Bobby Bradford, Ron Carter, and James Blood Ulmer.

She appeared on screen in the films Women in Jazz and Poetry in Motion by Ron Mann.

Her impact upon the development of spoken-word performance art during the late 20th century has yet to be intelligently recognized. In some ways her confrontational political outspokenness and dead-serious cathartic performance technique place Cortez in league with Judith Malina and The Living Theater. According to the online African-American Registry, " her ability to push the acceptable limits of expression to address issues of race, sex and homophobia place her in a category that few other women occupy."

Heath Brothers - 1975 - Marchin' On!

Heath Brothers 
Marchin' On!

01. Warm Valley 2:29
02. Tafadhali 3:54
03. The Watergate Blues 5:54
04. Maimoun (From "Illusion Suite") 8:02
05. Smilin' Billy Suite
Part I 6:04
Part II 4:23
Part III 3:28
Part IV 4:35

Bass [Baby Bass], Violin [Bass Violin] – Percy Heath
Drums – Albert Heath
Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Jimmy Heath
Piano [Acoustic], Mbira – Stanley Cowell

Recorded at Talent Studios, Oslo, Norway 10/22/75.

If you only listened to the A-side of this album, you'd find it to be a quite pleasant, straight-ahead jazz LP, with the warm flute tootings of Jimmy Heath, rich bassline strumming of Percy Heath and Stanley Cowell cameoing on piano and mbira. "Maimoun" is just a gorgeous, mellow song closing out the first side and their cover of "Watergate Blues" isn't bad either. But add on the four part "Smilin' Billy Suite" and you have the makings of one of Strata-East's greatest albums. Sure, it helps that Q-Tip sampled "Suite II" for Nas' "One Love", thereby introducing the album to the rest of the world but like Monty Alexander's "Love and Happiness", the sum of the song is far greater than the sample. By this time, most folks have heard "Suite II" in some fashion or other - Redman used 16 bars of the song on "Supaman Lova Pt. 3" for chrissake. Cowell's use of the mbira thumb piano is just fantastic, giving the whole song a different vibe from traditional jazz instrumentation. But it's always surprised me how little love "Suite I" receives. While almost all the suites use the same basic melodic riff as a common anchor, "Suite I" focuses mostly on Percy Heath's basslines before his brother Jimmy's relaxed flute drifts in. "Suite III" is also pretty solid - much more dramatic and dissonant, largely thanks to Albert Heath's playing of an African double reed woodwind. "Suite IV" brings back the major refrain once more, this time on sax, with a lighter, more upbeat feel than the previous three Suites. All in all, an undeniable masterpiece of the soul jazz era. 

Haki R Madhubuti & Nation - 1974 - Rise Vision Comin

Haki R Madhubuti & Nation 
Rise Vision Comin

01. We Are A Nation
02. Talking Stick
03. The Family
04. Black Woman
05. Walk The Way Of The New World
06. Collectivity
07. Rise,Vision,Comin
08. Black Man
09. We Wound Each Other

Bass – Clarence Seay
Drums – Reed Tuckson
Guitar – Byron Harrison
Percussion – Aiedo Mamadi
Piano – Rufus Wright
Trumpet – Wallace Roney
Vocals – Haki R Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)

Born Don L. Lee in Little Rock, Arkansas, poet and essayist Haki Madhubuti was raised in Detroit, Michigan. His father deserted the family when Madhubuti was very young, and his mother died when he was sixteen. An unstable family life created hardship and forced Madhubuti to seek employment and overall self-reliance at an early age. Of the place of poetry in his childhood, Madhubuti commented that "poetry in my home was almost as strange as money."

In the late 1950s Madhubuti attended a vocational high school in Chicago. He joined the U.S. Army for three years beginning in 1960. From 1963 to 1967, while an apprentice curator at the DuSable Museum of African History, Madhubuti held jobs as a clerk in department stores and at the U.S. post office. During these years he also worked toward his associate degree at Chicago City College. Two decades later he received a master of fine arts from the University of Iowa.

WWith the publication of Think Black! (1967), Black Pride (1968), and Don't Cry, Scream (1969), Madhubuti quickly established himself as a leading poetic voice among his generation of black artists in America. His poetry generated critical acclaim, particularly among African-American commentators associated with the maturing Black Arts movement of the 1960s and early 1970s (the first major black artistic movement since the Harlem Renaissance).

His early literary criticism, including in Dynamite Voices (1971), was one of the first overviews of the new black poetry of the 1960s. In this volume Madhubuti insists on the essential connection between the African-American experience and black art and concludes with a call to black nation building. In his own poetry Madhubuti makes extensive use of black cultural forms, such as street talk and jazz music. His poetry also draws its inspiration from the work of Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), the most influential black arts practitioner of the 1960s.

Judging simply by sales within the black community, no black poet in the black arts movement was more popular than Madhubuti. In the last few years of the 1960s, for instance, Madhubuti's slim paperbound books of poetry—each issued by the black publishing house Broadside Press—sold a remarkable one hundred thousand copies each without the benefit of a national distributor. His popularity and artistic promise made him a frequent writer-in-residence during this period at American universities such as Cornell and Howard.

In 1973 the poet rejected his "slave name" by changing it from Don L. Lee to the Swahili name Haki R. Madhubuti (which means "precise justice"). In the same year he published two collections, From Plan to Planet and Book of Life. These volumes of essays and poetry illustrate his commitment to black cultural nationalism, a philosophy that combines political activism with cultural preservation in the drive toward racial awareness and black unity.

Although his artistic production declined during the mid- to late 1970s, the publication of another volume of essays and poetry, Earthquakes and Sun Rise Missions (1984), renewed Madhubuti's advocacy of black nationalism. The poet's most recent collection, Killing Memory, Seeking Ancestors (1987), speaks to the reader who loves and understands black vernacular

Like his literary compatriots in the black arts movement, Madhubuti attempts to create an artistic form and content that best represents the black community, speaks to their needs, and promotes cultural institutions that serve the coming of the black nation. He eschews Western notions of individualism in favor of collective self-sufficiency among blacks within the United States and throughout the world.

In 1978, when the author published Enemies: The Clash of the Races —a scathing critique of racism within white left as well as right political circles—Madhubuti was (what he calls) "whitelisted" and, as a result, lost anticipated income. Such experiences reinforced his commitment to black self-reliance. As founding editor of Third World Press and a founding member of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) Writers Workshop (which includes black literary figures such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Carolyn Rodgers), Madhubuti continues to be active in Chicago-based organizations. He is also cofounder and director of the Institute of Positive Education in Chicago, an organization committed to black nation building through independent black institutions in areas such as education and publishing.

In 1990 Madhubuti published Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous? The Afrikan American Family in Transition, which addressed issues raised by the author's grass-roots activism over the previous quarter century. Essays in this collection speak specifically to black men, offering analyses and guidance on topics ranging from fatherhood to AIDS. The first printing of the book (7,500 copies) sold out within a month and reconfirmed Madhubuti's popularity within a sizable portion of the black literary community in America and elsewhere.

Madhubuti teaches at Chicago State University. He published Tough Notes: A Healing Call for Creating Exceptional Black Men in 2002, and Run Toward Fear in 2004.

Excellent! Deep afro-centric indy label spiritual jazz from 1974 that is simply an essential purchase for any fan of the Strata East/Tribe sound! Very highly recommended! As featured in the "Freedom, Rhythm and Sound" book!

Enrico Rava - 1973 - Katcharpari

Enrico Rava 

01. Bunny's Pie 2:00
02. Trial N. 5 6:10
03. Dimenticare Stanca 9:07
04. Katcharpari 4:02
05. Fluid Connection 5:40
06. Cheerin' Cherry 9:27
07. Peace 1:30

Enrico Rava - Trumpet, Vocals, Bells
John Abercrombie - Electric Guitar
Bruce Johnson - Bass  
Chip "Superfly" White - Drums  

Cover - Ariel Soulé  

Recorded: Milan, January 10th 1973.
Yellow Label With Classic BASF Logo On Centre Right.

I like the more subtle spacier cuts on this one such as the fantastic opening waltz, the opening phrases of "Diamenticare Stanca" and the gorgeous, but short closing track "Peace". Rava is great with his trumpet and combines both the subtle phrasing and sharp angularities of Miles' sound during these years. The mean gonzo-funk does slog on a few these longer tracks which cools me down slightly, but generally you'll win more than lose with this one.