Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Elvin Jones Jazz Machine - 1978 - Live in Japan 1978

Elvin Jones Jazz Machine
Live in Japan 1978

101. E.J. Blues 15:27
102. House That Love Built 10:25
103. A Love Supreme 26:45

201. Keiko's Birthday March 15:28
202. Bessie's Blues 4:37
203. Antigua 15:38
204. E.J. Blues 6:50

Bass – Andy McCloud
Drums – Elvin Jones
Guitar – Roland Prince
Tenor Saxophone – Frank Foster
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Pat LaBarbera

Recorded live at Yomiuri Hall, Tokyo, April 8 & 9, 1978.

A smoking live set from Elvin Jones' Jazz Machine group – a very powerful quintet that's driven by a two-saxophone engine! The reeds here are handled by Frank Foster and Pat Labarbera – both of whom help Jones work out some post-Coltrane energy – but not in a way that seeks to just copy The Great One! Instead, the combo build wonderfully on the spirit left behind by the late Trane – playing long tracks that stretch out with searing solos from both saxophonists, build on piano-less rhythm from Roland Prince's guitar and the bass of Andy McCloud. The set was recorded live, but with wonderful clarity – and titles include Foster's great "House That Love Built", plus "EJ Blues" and a take on "Love Supreme".

Don Pullen - 1977 - Tomorrow's Promises

Don Pullen 
Tomorrow's Promises

01. Big Alice 10:52
02. Autumn Song 5:15
03. Poodie Pie 6:38
04. Kadji 8:18
05. Last Year's Lies and Tomorrow's Promises 5:42
06. Let's Be Friends 7:33

Don Pullen: piano, electric piano, Clavinet, composer
George Adams: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, flute, composer
Michal Urbaniak violin
Randy Brecker: trumpet
Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson: trumpet
Sterling Magee: guitar
Roland Prince: guitar
John Flippin: electric bass
Alex Blake: bass
Rita DaCosta: vocals
Ray Mantilla: drums, percussion
Tyronne Walker: drums, percussion
Bobby Battle: drums, percussion

Offering healthy doses of the avant garde but grounded in a blend of hard bop and R&B (60s groove and 70s funk), this set opens with a hard-driving 10+ minute Pullen original called “Big Alice,” George Adams on alto, Michael Urbaniak on electric violin, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Pullen on piano, each getting time for solos as the rhythm section (bass plus three percussionists) keeps the sound powering along, a fairly funky freight train bouncing down the line.  After the reflective post bop of “Autumn Song,” the side picks up the pace again, closing with “Poodie Pie” (Pullen, Morgan Burton, Sterling ” Satan” Magee), Mr. Satan’s guitar work more pronounced and helping carve out the groove, the cut featuring Pullen on clavinet, producer Mimaroglu with electronic tracks. While the groove moves through various tempos and moods, it never completely forgets where it started.

The second side opens with another stand-out Pullen original called “Kadji,” this number featuring an almost hip-shaking tempo but sounding like it owes something to Coltrane’s explorations of the African continent.  After a free-form duet with Pullen and Adams, the set closes with a vocal cut, a reflective message song called “Let’s Be Friends” featuring the pipes of Rita DaCosta.  While this set doesn’t end as strong as it opens, it remains interesting and enjoyable, moving through moods and tempos to create a totality of effect.  There’s certainly enough solid material to make this recommended listening.

Roland Prince - 1977 - Free Spirit

Roland Prince
Free Spirit

01. Señorita 8:40
02. Alone Again, Naturally 9:50
03. People's Song 9:00
04. Mushroom Alley 7:19
05. Free Spirit 7:33

Bass – Bob Cranshaw (tracks: A1, A2, B2, B3), David Williams (tracks: B1)
Drums – Al Foster (tracks: B2), Michael Carvin (tracks: B1), Mickey Roker (tracks: A1, A2, B3)
Flute – Frank Wiss
Guitar – Roland Prince
Percussion – Al Chalk (tracks: B2)
Piano – Kenny Barron
Soprano Saxophone – Carter Jefferson (tracks: B1)
Tenor Saxophone – Frank Foster (tracks: B2), Frank Wiss (tracks: A1, B3)
Trombone – Clifford Adams (tracks: B1)
Trumpet – Virgil Jones (tracks: B2)

Free Spirit is five lengthy instrumental jams, with Prince’s (not that one) jazz guitar licks weaving their way over some funky easy-listening lounge music. Think Murph & The Magictones from The Blues Brothers – but probably without the red mohair suits and the amps with pink shag carpeting.

Really nice jazz guitar. A little funky/fusion-y, a product of its time. Mellow, but not slow in tempo. Quite enjoyable, will play again soon.

Roland Prince - 1976 - Color Visions

Roland Prince 
Color Visions

01. Samba De Unity 5:08
02. Iron Band Dance 7:17
03. Red Pearl 8:15
04. Giant Steps 4:16
05. Aldon B. 5:59
06. Eddie A. 6:47
07. Genevieve 11:24

Bass – Bob Cranshaw (tracks: A2 to B3) Buster Williams (track A1)
Drums – Al Foster (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B2), Eddie Moore (tracks: A2, A4, B3)
Guitar – Roland Prince
Keyboards – Kenny Barron (tracks: A1, A3 to B3)
Percussion – Al Chalk (tracks: A2 to B3), Thomas Nicholas (tracks: A1)
Saxophone – Frank Foster (tracks: B3 to B3)
Trumpet – Virgil Jones (tracks: A3, B1 to B3), Randy Brecker (tracks: A2)
Flute - Joe Farrell (tracks: A1)
Piano - John Hicks (tracks: A2)
Steel Drum - Al Jardine (tracks: A2)

“Things came sharply into focus one night. The Roland Prince Quartet was riffing on Thelonius Monk, and she was enjoying it, the wind brushing her face as she stood outside under the stars on a break.”  (excerpted from Dancing Nude in the Moonlight by Joanne C. Hillhouse)

I don’t claim to be an authority on jazz, Elvin Jones, or even Roland, though I did enjoy his music Song of Roland and have had the opportunity to interview him and his wife, Calypso Val, whose music he produced. The first interview was about his extensive journeying as a jazz man and on hearing of his untimely, much too early at age 69, passing on July 16th 2016, I tried to dig it up so that I could share it here with you. But it was at least two computer crashes in the rear view and, unless I can dig through the Daily Observer archives for a hard copy, lost to me. I interviewed him for part of a series of interviews with Antiguan and Barbudan artistic masters that I called Vintage – his sister Althea Prince was also included in that series.

I say all of that to say that Roland is gone and I feel inadequate to the task of documenting why his art and life mattered – feeling keenly the absence of Tim Hector’s encyclopedic awareness of such things; people think of him and his Fan the Flame column as political commentary but for me what was particularly appealing about it was his coverage and insight as related to Antiguan and Barbudan art and culture. I do what I can here and have in other places I’ve written but there was a knowledge-base stored in Tim’s head that I don’t have.

Roland Prince (born January 1st 1946) was a jazz soloist, sideman, and ultimately bandleader – if you’ve been to Antigua, and dined at places like Russell’s and O.J.’s you’ve heard him play with Val, with the Roland Prince Quartet. The last time I heard him play live was a couple of years ago at the Watch Night dinner – Watch Night, on the eve of August Monday, right in the heat of Carnival, is the night set aside to honour the ancestors, symbolically, on the night they stepped from bondage to freedom in 1834. Roland lectured, I don’t know how else to think of it, as he played, and I remember being struck by his mastery of his instrument – he was on the keyboard that night – and his well-deep knowledge of music history.

It hits me, not for the first time, thinking of this, how under-utilized he (many of our master artistes, because I’m thinking master classes, really) are by the powers that be – how unheralded by them and us, to some degree, even in death.

Roland’s wikepedia discography lists 1977’s Color Vision with Frank Foster, Kenny Barron, Al Foster, Bob Cranshaw and others – whose names I’m dropping by the way because the jazz folk will know who they are; 1972’s Senyah with Roy Haynes and Lean on Me with Shirley Scott; 1991’s Black & Black with David Murray; 1973’s Life is Round with Columbia Records jazz fusion ensemble Compost; and 1971’s Awareness with Buddy Terry. Then, of course, there is his extensive list of recordings with Elvin Jones:

New Agenda (Vanguard, 1975)
Mr. Thunder (EastWest, 1975)
Summit Meeting (Vanguard, 1976) with James Moody, Clark Terry and Bunky Green
Remembrance (MPS, 1978)
Elvin Jones Music Machine (Mark Levison, 1978)
Live in Japan 1978: Dear John C. (Trio (Japan), 1978)
Elvin Jones Jazz Machine Live in Japan Vol. 2 (Trio (Japan), 1978)

Roland was one of a small handful of Antiguan and Barbudan musicians whose musicianship landed them a place with world class bands – the short list of these I’ve been fortunate to interview includes people like Dell Richardson of Osibisa, Calvin Fuzz Samuels who played with Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Rico Anthony who was the original drummer for Arrow’s multinational band, and, of course, Roland who played with Elvin Jones’ band.

(Most of this was shamelessly copied from HERE

Eric Gale - 1980 - Touch Of Silk

Eric Gale 
Touch Of Silk

01. You Got My Life In Your Hands 4:44
02. Touch Of Silk 5:07
03. War Paint 4:22
04. Once In A Smile 4:34
05. With You I'm Born Again 6:33
06. Au Private 8:42
07. Live To Love 4:44

Bass – David Barard
Drums – Idris Muhammad (tracks: B1,B2), James Black
Guitar – Eric Gale
Keyboards – Allen R. Toussaint, Robert Dabon (tracks: A4)
Organ – Charles Earland (tracks: B1,B2)
Percussion – Kenneth Williams
Saxophone – Arthur Blythe (tracks: B2), Gary Brown (tracks: A1), Grover Washington, Jr. (tracks: B1), Harold Vick (tracks: B2)

In 1980, guitarist and composer Eric Gale came off the commercial success of 1979's Part of You (produced by Ralph MacDonald) and didn't do the obvious thing. Rather than make another record that swung for the smooth jazz fences, he made a darker, deeper, funkier, and bluesier album with legendary New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint. The sessions included the cream of the Crescent City's jazz-funk crop as well as mates Charlie Earland, Grover Washington, Jr., and Idris Muhammad, three of soul-jazz's greatest lights -- with special guest Arthur Blythe on the Charlie Parker nugget "Au Privave" as a curve ball. Toussaint wrote four of the album's seven tracks, and they range from the murky blue soul-jazz of "You Got My Life in Your Hands" to the sweet, boudoir-perfect urban-styled title track. Gale is a consummate soloist, full of lilting and biting grooves, with stunning phrasing that maximizes the rhythmic effect of his high strings (such as on "War Paint"), and he never plays an extra note. The beautiful ballad "With You I'm Born Again" has Washington playing some of his most haunting soprano, and the wildly funked-up "Au Privave," a holdover from the bop generation that keeps its original flavor despite the three-instrument front line of Earland's B-3, Blythe's alto, and Gale's chunky bottom strings (which are accented in his comping through the changes), is nothing short of astonishing. This is one of the great versions of the tune, especially in this modern context, and offers solid proof of Gale's bebop roots. This is an even better side available in the U.S., but only as an expensive Japanese import.

Eric Gale - 1979 - Part Of You

Eric Gale 
Part Of You

01. Let-Me-Slip-It-To-You 5:20
02. Part Of You 6:14
03. Trio 6:18
04. Lookin' Good 6:58
05. Nezumi 5:40
06. Holding On To Love 5:14

Bass – Anthony Jackson (tracks: A1), Eric Gale (tracks: A2, B1 to B3), Neil Jason (tracks: B1)
Drums – Harvey Mason (tracks: A2, B1), Idris Muhammad (tracks: A3), Steve Gadd (tracks: A1, B2, B3)
Guitar – Eric Gale
Horns – Alan Rubin, David Tofani, David Taylor, Eddie Daniels, George Opalisky, John Clark , Jon Faddis, Peter Gordon, Ronald Cuber, Virgil Jones
Organ – Charles Earland (tracks: A3)
Percussion – Ralph MacDonald
Piano – Bernadette Randle (tracks: A2), Dave Grusin (tracks: B1), Richard Tee (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B3)
Strings – Al Brown, Charles Veal, David Nadien, Harry Lookofsky, Kermit Moore, Lucy Stoltzman, Margaret Ross, Marvin Morgenstern, Matthew Raimondi, Maureen Gallagher, Paul Gershman, Richard Locker, Selwart Clarke
Tenor Saxophone – Grover Washington, Jr. (tracks: B1)

One has to hand it to the Japanese for caring for the United States jazz tradition in all its guises better than people in the U.S. do. Consider this 1979 album by Eric Gale. While the funky rubric of soul-jazz was deeply informed by disco in the late '70s, that didn't mean the music being created was without considerable merit. This disc is a case in point -- and it cannot be had in the United States. Teamed with the funk-jazz mafia of Richard Tee, Harvey Mason, Steve Gadd, Ralph MacDonald, Dave Grusin, and Grover Washington, Jr., as well as Charles Earland and Idris Muhammad on the stellar groove jam "Trio" (the album's highlight), Gale offers up six midrange tunes that run the gamut from deeply funky (and somewhat dated-sounding due to early synth drums) cuts such as "Let-Me-Slip-It-to-You" and Gale's own "Nezumi" to sweet soulful balladic numbers like "Part of You" and "Holding On to Love," which is informed as much by Stax-Volt R&B as by the late-'70s urban music scene. It's no wonder this music was played so much on the radio; it feels good. This is wonderfully arranged, played, and produced music destined to give pleasure, and Gale, with his tight, stinging lines that come directly from B.B. King's blues book, does just that.

Eric Gale - 1977 - Multiplication

Eric Gale 

01. Oh! Mary Don't You Weep 7:20
02. Thumper 5:50
03. Multiplication 5:20
04. Morning Glory 8:25
05. Gypsy Jello 4:50
06. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child 5:21

Eric Gale - guitar
Bob James - Fender Rhodes, Oberheim Polyphonic, clavinet
Richard Tee - organ
Grover Washington, Jr. (#3-5), Hank Crawford (#6) - saxophone solo
Willie Weeks (#1,2,5,6), Alphonso Johnson (#3,4) - bass
Anthony Jackson - additional bass (#3,4)
Steve Gadd - drums
Andrew Smith - additional drums (#3)
Ralph MacDonald - percussion
Marvin Stamm, Lew Soloff, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis - trumpet
David Taylor - bass trombone
Wayne Andre, Paul Faulise - trombone
Eddie Daniels - tenor saxophone
Jerry Dodgion - alto saxophone
David Nadien - concertmaster
David Nadien, Max Pollikoff, Marvin Morgenstern, Harry Lookofsky, Matthew Raimondi, Max Ellen, LaMar Alsop, Harold Kohon, Harry Cykman - violin
Emanuel Vardi, Barry Finclair - viola
Richard Locker, Charles McCraken - cello

Recorded at Sound Mixers and Media Sound, New York.
Strings and horns recorded at Columbia Recording Studio, New York.

Guitarist Eric Gale made his reputation as a session guitarist during the late 60's and 70's for a host of different artists, as well as being a key member of the jazz/funk group Stuff. As part of Sony's Contemporary Masters series, they've put two of Eric Gale's best solo albums together on one CD. "Gingeng Woman" released in 1977 and it's 1978 follow up "Multiplication" were both produced by Bob James and feature excellent support players like Steve Gadd, Ralph McDonald, Grover Washington, Jr., Anthony Jackson, and Richard Tee. Standout tracks from "Ginseng Woman" include "Red Ground", and his cover of Hall & Oates "Sara Smile". "Multiplication's" best cuts include his cover of Lee Ritenour's "Morning Glory" and the traditional "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child". His later work in the 80's and early 90's occasionally matched the peak he reached with these two albums. Sadly he passed away in 1994 and much of his solo output is out of print. But fortunately these two albums are available, and are most definitely worth checking out.

Eric Gale - 1977 - Gingseng Woman

Eric Gale 
Gingseng Woman

01. Ginseng Woman 7:41
02. Red Ground 3:50
03. Sara Smile 6:19
04. De Rabbit 6:15
05. She Is My Lady 6:10
06. East End, West End 6:07

Bass – Anthony Jackson (tracks: A1, B1), Gary King (tracks: A2, A3, B2, B3)
Cello – Alan Shulman, Charles McCraken*
Clavinet – Bob James (tracks: A3)
Drums – Andrew Smith (4) (tracks: A2, A3, B2), Steve Gadd (tracks: A1, A3)
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Bob James
Guitar – Eric Gale
Organ – Richard Tee (tracks: A3)
Percussion – Ralph MacDonald
Piano – Richard Tee (tracks: A1, B1 to B3)
Saxophone – Eddie Daniels, George Young (2), Mike Brecker*
Saxophone [Solo] – George Young (2) (tracks: B2), Grover Washington, Jr. (tracks: A1, B3)
Steel Drums [Electric] – Bob James (tracks: B1)
Synthesizer – Bob James (tracks: A1, A3)
Tin Whistle – Grover Washington, Jr. (tracks: A2)
Trombone – Dave Taylor*, Wayne Andre
Trumpet – Alan Rubin, Jon Faddis, Lou Soloff*, Randy Brecker
Viola – Emanuel Vardi, Lamarr Alsop*
Violin – David Nadien, Diane Halprin*, Harold Kohon, Harry Cykman, Harry Glickman, Marvin Morgenstern, Max Ellen, Max Pollikoff, Paul Gershman
Vocals – Lani Groves, Patti Austin, Ray Simpson, Vivian Cherry, Bill Eaton*, Zack Sanders

Good fusion, light jazz, and instrumental pop/R&B session from a talented guitarist who's made his living by carefully editing his solos and plugging into funk dates. Gale doesn't cut loose, but shows enough to hold interest, while the arrangements and production are geared for Urban and Adult Contemporary outlets and audiences.

Eric Gale - 1975 - Negril

Eric Gale

01.East Side West Side
02.Negril Sea Sunset
03.I Shot The Sheriff
07.Red Ground Funk
08.Honey Coral Rock

Eric Gale - guitar, producer, arranger
Cedric Brooks - saxophone, percussion
Richard Tee, Keith Sterling - piano
Leslie Butler - synthesizer, organ
Peter Tosh - rhythm guitar
Aston Barrett - bass guitar
Paul Douglas - drums
Sparrow Martin - drums
Uziah Thompson - perc.
Joe Higgins - percussion

Negril is an instrumental album originally released in 1975 from a session produced, arranged and mostly composed by Eric Gale, and including some of Jamaica’s best-known musicians. It bears the name of an impoverished Jamaican seaside village which, in 1975, was yet to become a popular tourist destination and had unsophisticated accommodations, but a splendid beach and natural beauty which inspired Gale to memorialize it.

Negril was recorded at the Harry J Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. It was originally released in Jamaica by Micron Music Ltd. and in England by Klik Records (KLP9005). The album is now out of print and sellers demand high prices for used copies.

Though Peter Tosh is not widely known for his guitar skills, he’s got ’em, and they are on full display in this track ‘East Side West Side’, a stupid, super-sick, stank skank tune with tons of wicked guitars and a ridiculous vibe to go with it. This album was re-released in 1997 under the title ‘Peter Tosh and Friends – Negril.‘

In my opinion, this album almost matches ‘Legalize It’ as my favorite Tosh album. …..

For some reggae connoisseurs this is one of the greatest record you never heard.
Eric Gale was home in Negril wailing on his guitar behind some serious lambs bred. This album was recorded in Jamaica before Eric Gale went back to New York to become one of the most in-demand East Coast session guitarists. The music is laid-back instrumental Reggae.

This album is some of the most musically advanced reggae you can find. The tracks are all sizzling with dancing groove energy that is the perfect mix of soul and reggae. Paints a perfect picture of the beaches of Negril in Jamaica. If you like reggae and James Brown and Marvin Gaye and Phish, you should give this album a try.
Have a look at the list of the involved musicians and you get an idea of the quality

Eric Gale - 1973 - Forecast

Eric Gale

01. Killing Me Softly With His Song 3:35
02. Cleopatra 4:47
03. Dindi 7:22
04. White Moth 5:50
05. Tonsue Corte 4:19
06. Forecast 7:48

Eric Gale – guitar
Bob James – organ, electric piano, synthesizer, marimba, director, arranger
Pepper Adams – baritone saxophone
Jerry Dodgion – alto & tenor saxophone
Joe Farrell – tenor saxophone, flute
Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Marvin Stamm, John Frosk, Victor Paz – trumpet
Garnett Brown, Alan Raph – trombone
Tony Studd - baritone trombone
Hubert Laws, George Marge – flute
Bill Salter, Gordon Edwards – bass
Ralph MacDonald – percussion
Arthur Jenkins – conga, tambourine
Idris Muhammad, Rick Marotta – drums

Eric Gale's 1973 Forecast album on the Kudu label is one of his most varied texturally. Produced by Kudu label boss Creed Taylor, the rhythm tracks were arranged by Gale, and the horns and strings by Bob James. Taylor surrounded Gale with the cream-of-the-crop of the current session players: jazz's most soulful drummer, Idris Muhammad, was in the house for most of the album, and Rick Marotta filled out the rest. Saxophonists included Joe Farrell, Pepper Adams, and Jerry Dodgion (an underrated ace who made his name with Curtis Amy on his Pacific jazz sides in the early '60s), and trumpeters included Randy Brecker and Jon Faddis. Hubert Laws and George Marge sat in the flute chairs, and James played piano and synths. Gale, for his part, was blended into a meticulously arranged and gorgeously orchestrated set of mixed tempo originals, and a pair of carefully chosen covers: "Killing Me Softly," by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, and Antonio Carlos Jobim's and Aloysio de Oliviera's deeply moving "Dindi." Gale's single string lines bite harder than some of the Brazilian counterparts, but because his blues inflection is so pronounced against the lush strings, keyboards, and horns, it works wonderfully. Gale's own grooved out "Cleopatra," and the otherworldly funk and blues feel of "White Moth," are just off-kilter enough to add a labyrinthine dimension to the album. Gale was a tear when he was on Kudu, and this album is the first example of his particular brand of street tough yet bedroom romantic soul-jazz for the label.

Buddy Terry - 1972 - Pure Dynamite

Buddy Terry
Pure Dynamite

01. Quiet Afternoon 10:09
02. Paranoia 10:45
03. Baba Hengates 17:07

Bass – Mchezaji, Stanley Clarke
Drums – Billy Hart, Lenny White
Electric Piano, Piano – Joanne Brackeen
Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Eddie Henderson
Flute, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Buddy Terry
Percussion – Airto Moreira
Percussion [African] – Mtume
Piano – Kenny Barron
Trumpet – Woody Shaw

An overlooked gem from the early 70s, Buddy Terry’s “Pure Dynamite” mixes post bop and fusion in a style somewhat similar to what Freddie Hubbard and Sonny Rollins were doing at the same time, but Terry also dips into some psychedelic sounds and ensemble freedom that pushes his music a little closer to Herbie Hancock’s excellent Sextet. The connection to the Sextet is furthered by the appearance of the Sextet’s Eddie Henderson and Billy Hart. Meanwhile, the new Return to Forever was also playing with post bop that bordered on the avant-garde on their first album, so its no big surprise to see RTF’s Lenny White, Airto and Stanley Clarke on here as well. The rest of this album’s all-star cast also includes Joanne Brackeen, Mtume, Woody Shaw and Kenny Barron, its hard to go wrong with a cast like that and there is certainly very little wrong with this album.

The album opens with “Quiet Afternoon”, which starts off like a mellow psychedelic fusion version of “All Blues”, before Stanley kicks the bass line into double time and the soloists unleash their fire. All through this album the soloists don’t necessarily go it alone as other players might add counter melodies or even occasional competing solos. This busy complicated texture is pushed further with occasional tape echo and a rich tapestry of percussion and sound effects. The early 70s was a very creative time in music and this album is very much a product of that culture. If you enjoy post bop that borders on fusion and the avant-garde, you probably will not be disappointed by this one. Buddy Terry certainly deserves way more recognition than he has received.

Buddy Terry - 1972 - Lean on Him

Buddy Terry 
Lean on Him

01. Lean On Me (Lean On Him) 5:46
02. Holy Holy Holy 5:29
03. Climbing Higher Mountains 3:07
04. Amazing Grace 4:42
05. Inner Peace 10:14
06. Precious Lord, Take My Hand 5:36
07. Love Offering 7:24

Bass – Wilbur Bascomb
Drums – Bernard Purdie
Electric Piano, Piano – Larry Willis
Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Eddie Henderson
Flute, Saxophone [Soprano, Tenor] – Buddy Terry
Guitar – Jay Berliner
Organ – Ernie Hayes
Percussion – Lawrence Killian
Vocals – Alphonse Mouzon, Dee Dee Bridgewater

According to Terry, this album was an attempt to mold jazz with gospel. He starts off with a cover of "Lean On Me" played just a little faster than the original. It doesn’t get interesting until two drum breaks/breakdowns featuring Purdie in the middle. Purdie lets loose with another drum break at the beginning of "Holy, Holy, Holy", a soulful gospel tune with singing by Dee Dee Bridgewater. "Inner Peace" starts off with some spacey sounds. Once the song gets going it fluctuates between a mellow rhythm and a funkier one that features several drum break by Purdie. (Review courtesy of Soul Strut)

Terry did a couple of Avant Garde-ish albums on Mainstream before he released Lean On Him. Which makes this kind of a strange (and not entirely successful) album for him. But the 10 minute "Inner Peace" sure is a killer tune. Pure dancefloor jazz! And the rhythm section is hard to beat: "Bad" Wilbur Bascomb and Bernard Purdie with Lawrence Killian on percussion. Top notch!"

Buddy Terry - 1971 - Awareness

Buddy Terry 

01. Awareness (Suite) (10:49)
Humility (Trio ForTwo Bassists And Tenor)
02. Kamili 8:00
03. Stealin' Gold 7:04
04. Sodom And Gomorrah 12:06
05. Abscretions 4:49

Buddy Terry - tenor sax, soprano sax, flute, percussion
Cecil Bridgewater - trumpet, percussion
Stanley Cowell - acoustic piano, Fender electric piano
Buster Williams - acoustic bass, electric bass
Victor Gaskin - acoustic bass, electric bass, percussion
Mickey Roker - drums
Mtume - conga drums
Roland Prince - electric guitar

Awareness teams Buddy Terry with an all-star cast including trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, pianist Stanley Cowell and percussionist Mtume to forge a far-reaching, audaciously free spiritual jazz suite far removed from the signature Mainstream label aesthetic. Terry moves from soprano to tenor to flute and back again, exemplifying the soul-searching restlessness of his music--at the same time, the individual players fuse seamlessly, channeling the righteous fury of Terry's vision to create a coherent, deeply righteous whole.

Buddy Terry - 1968 - Natural Soul Natural Woman

Buddy Terry 
Natural Soul Natural Woman

01. A Natural Woman 3:30
02. Natural Soul 6:00
03. Pedro, The One Arm Bandit 5:37
04. Don't Be So Mean 5:35
05. The Revealing Time 12:35
06. Quiet Days And Lonely Nights 7:35

Buddy Terry - Tenor Sax & Flute
Larry Young - Organ & Piano
Eddie Gladden - Drums

Woody Shaw - Trumpet & Flugelhorn on A2,A4,B1
Joe Thomas - Tenor Sax & Flute on A1,A3
Robbie Porter - Baritone Sax on A1,A2
Wally Richardson - Guitar on A1,A2
Jiggs Chase - Organ on A1
Jimmy Lewis - Fender Bass on A1,A3,B2
The Terry Girls - Vocals on A1

Recorded - [not listed on sleeve, but according to major Prestige discographies - November 15, 1967, Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ]

It seems I'm not done with this blog or Prestige just this yet! Here's another monster soul jazz rarity - Buddy Terry's Natural Soul! This legendary ultra rare lost side has been mostly sought after by cratediggers for the quality of sidemen involved - Larry Young and Woody Shaw! Terry is the leader on tenor and he plays well, but fortunately, Young is all over this side with his organ... fantastic! Shaw is only on three tracks, however.

Acquired this unique vintage Prestige licensed MPS white label promo pressing for the princely sum of 5 Euros from a German dealer. Of course the original cover was lost, so hence the bargain (above courtesy Google images ) . So, just average fidelity off this foreign pressing, but the music is essential and deserves to be heard again. Back to my break.

Buddy Terry - 1967 - Electric Soul

Buddy Terry
Electric Soul

01. Electric Soul 6:50
02. Alfie 4:45
03. Hey, Nellie 4:35
04. Everything Is Everything 4:35
05. The Ubangi That Got Away 7:15
06. Jimmy 5:15
07. The Band Bandit 6:40

Buddy Terry - Tenor Sax & Varitone
Jimmy Owens - Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Harold Mabern jr - Electric Piano
Ron Carter - Bass
Freddie Waits - Drums

Recorded - [not listed on sleeve, but according to major Prestige discographies - February 23, 1967,
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ]

Produced by Cal Lampley
Recording: Rudy Van Gelder
Cover Design/Photo - Don Schlitten

Released - July 29, 1967

Back again with another monster Prestige Soul Jazz rarity/gem - Buddy Terry's debut side Electric Soul! This lost side doesn't have quite the collector-cratedigger cachet of Terry's follow up Natural Soul which many of you have been enjoying lately, but I feel this side is the superior effort. Terry feels like more of a leader here. His originals are more engaging, and the sidemen play well together.
Harold Mabern has some nice stylings on the electric piano, almost proto-fusion like.
Jimmy Owens contributes some nice licks on the trumpet/flugehorn. Finally, the legendary Ron Carter on loan from Miles at the time, holds everything up with his bass.

Of course, the varitone/electric saxophone is a bit of divisive issue in jazz. I happen to love it, but jazz purists/ square hard boppers hate it.... This side is most often compared to Eddie Harris' well known and very commercially successful 'The Electrifying Eddie Harris'. However, Electric Soulwas cut in February 67, several months before Electrifying in April 67. So, Terry was a bit of pioneer with the varitone in jazz/fusion, but this interesting fact has been lost to history. Another bargain acquisition for 5$, however, this time excellent fidelity off the original and beautiful condition Prestige mono vinyl.

Archie Shepp - 1972 - The Cry Of My People

Archie Shepp 
The Cry Of My People

01. Rest Enough (Song To Mother) 4:38
02. A Prayer 6:29
03. All God's Children Got A Home In The Universe 2:57
04. The Lady 5:28
05. The Cry Of My People 5:43
06. African Drum Suite, Part 1 0:35
07. African Drum Suite, Part 2 7:32
08. Come Sunday 9:30

Bass – Jimmy Garrison (tracks: A2, A4 to B4)
Bass [Fender] – Ron Carter (tracks: A1, A3, B1)
Cello – Esther Mellon (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B3, B4), Pat Dixon (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B3, B4)
Drums – Beaver Harris (tracks: A3 to B1), Bernard Purdie (tracks: A1, A2)
Guitar – Cornell Dupree (tracks: A1, A3)
Percussion – Nene DeFense (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B4)
Piano – Dave Burrell (tracks: B2. B3), Harold Mabern (tracks: A1 to B1, B4)
Soprano Saxophone – Archie Shepp (tracks: A2, A4, B3)
Tambourine – Nene DeFense (tracks: A1, A3)
Tenor Saxophone – Archie Shepp (tracks: A3, A4, B1, B4)
Trombone – Charles Greenlee (tracks: A2 to B3), Charles Stephens (tracks: A2 to B1, B4)
Trumpet – Charles McGhee (tracks: A2 to B1, B3, B4)
Violin – Gayle Dixon (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B3, B4), Jerry Little (tracks: A4, B3, B4), John Blake (tracks: A2, B1), Leroy Jenkins (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B3, B4), Lois Siessinger (tracks: A2, B1), Noel DaCosta (tracks: A4, B3, B4)
Vocals – Andre Franklin (tracks: A2, A3, B1, B3), Patterson Singers (tracks: A2, A3, B1, B3)
Vocals – Joe Lee Wilson

Black center labels with neon Impulse! logo beside white ABC logo.

Recorded September 25-27, 1972, at Allegro Sound Studios, New York City. Mixed at The Village Recorder, Los Angeles.

This is a truly stupendous album from Mr. Shepp, which masterfully brings together all genres of African American music (up to the early 70's). The album is akin to "Attica Blues" and features many of the same musicians, including Joe Lee Wilson's incredible vocals. It also features more compositions by Cal Massey, a man who worked wonders alongside Shepp. Where this album differs from "Attica Blues" is that it features slightly less funk and free jazz, and has more of a gospel influence which permeates throughout.

Compositional credits include two songs by Archie Shepp, two by Cal Massey, two by Beaver Harris, one by Ford and one by Ellington. Having come to love "Attica Blues" before purchasing this disc, my favourite songs are those by Shepp and Massey. To my ears they've got the most swing and emotional colouring, though "The Lady" is quite stunning (particularly Wilson's vocals), and "Come Sunday" makes for a great closer. The album ebbs and flows in all the right places, and seems to have a perfect inner logic. It takes the listener along on a journey, and establishes a mood and headspace which are simply infectious once the disc starts spinning. While the album really works as a whole, there are some sections that really stand out and make you take notice: The astounding gospel-inflected vocals and horn parts on "All God's Children got a Home in the Universe", the latin-flavoured swing section (and incredible bass playing therein) on "A Prayer", and both the tempo change and haunting final vocal note of "The Lady" (which still sends shivers every time I hear it).

In all, I would highly recommend this album to anyone with an interest in the ouevre of Mr. Shepp, or in the eclectic nature of "jazz" music in the 1970's. If you like "Attica Blues" and are looking for a next album to turn to, this is definitely it. I know there are others from this era, but they are unfortunately out of print or in a state of flux. Enjoy this aural lesson in African American musical identity, and let it move you.

Archie Shepp - 1972 - Attica Blues

Archie Shepp 
Attica Blues

01. Attica Blues 4:49
02. Invocation: Attica Blues 0:18
03. Steam, Part 1 5:08
04. Invocation To Mr. Parker 3:17
05. Steam, Part 2 5:10
06. Blues For Brother George Jackson 4:00
07. Invocation: Ballad For A Child 0:30
08. Ballad For A Child 3:37
09. Good Bye Sweet Pops 4:23
10. Quiet Dawn 6:12

Backing Vocals – Albertine Robinson (tracks: A1), Joshie Armstead (tracks: A1)
Bass – Jimmy Garrison (tracks: A3, A4, A5, B4, B5)
Bass [Fender] – Jerry Jemmott (tracks: A1), Roland Wilson (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B1, B3)
Cello – Calo Scott (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B3, B4, B5), Ronald Lipscomb (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B3, B4, B5)
Conductor – Romulus Franceschini (tracks: B4, B5)
Cornet – Clifford Thornton (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5)
Drums – Beaver Harris (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B1, B3), Billy Higgins (tracks: B4, B5)
Euphonium – Hakim Jami (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5)
Flugelhorn – Cal Massey (tracks: B5)
Flute – Marion Brown (tracks: A4)
Flute [Bamboo] – Marion Brown (tracks: A3, A5)
Guitar – Cornell Dupree (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B3)
Narrator – Bartholomew Gray (tracks: A4), William Kunstler (tracks: A2, B2)
Percussion – Juma Sutan (tracks: A1, B1, B5), Marion Brown (tracks: A3, A4, A5), Nene DeFense (tracks: A1, B1, B5), Ollie Anderson (tracks: A1, B1, B5)
Piano – Walter Davis Jr. (tracks: B1, B3, B4, B5)
Piano [Electric] – Dave Burrell (tracks: A3, A5), Walter Davis Jr. (tracks: A1, B1)
Saxophone [Alto] – Clarence White (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5), Marion Brown (tracks: A1, B1)
Saxophone [Baritone] – James Ware (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5)
Saxophone [Soprano] – Archie Shepp (tracks: A3, A5, B4)
Saxophone [Tenor] – Archie Shepp (tracks: A1, B1, B3, B5), Billy Robinson (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5), Roland Alexander (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5)
Trombone – Charles Greenlee (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5), Charles Stephens (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5), Kiane Zawadi (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5)
Trumpet – Charles McGhee (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5), Michael Ridley (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5), Roy Burrowes (tracks: A1, B1, B4, B5)
Violin – John Blake (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B3, B4, B5), Leroy Jenkins (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B3, B4, B5), Shankar (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B3, B4, B5)
Vocals – Henry Hull (tracks: A1, B3), Joe Lee Wilson (tracks: A3, A5), Waheeda Massey (tracks: B5)

Recorded January 24, 25, and 26, 1972, at A&R Recording, New York. Engineering by Tony May, assisted by Eddie Sepanski.

Attica: a cultural context

The album title  references the Attica prison riots and dedicates another track “Blues for Brother George Jackson” to George Jackson, a petty criminal turned Marxist revolutionary whose death in San Quentin prison in controversial circumstances allegedly sparked the Attica riots. From this distance in time and geography these read to me like events elevated for their cultural symbolic value, high above their moral tide mark, but such is the power of the narrative. They have provided rich material for Hollywood screenwriters and protest singers like Bob Dylan and John Lennon, and here, Archie Shepp. (Lennon might not have appreciated the irony that Mark Chapman, his assassin, went on to serve his sentence in Attica)

This is a beautiful album that has a variety of influences in Duke Ellington, Sly and the Family Stone, John Coltrane, and early 70's R&B, but ultimately, this has album has its own unique voice.

It opens up with the fiery funk-and-gospel number, "Attica Blues", written in response to the Attica Prison massacre, which contains a plea for equality repeated over and over again ("If I had the chance to make the decision, every man could walk this earth in equal condition...") with some great blues soloing by Shepp and others (too far in the back of the mix for my taste) over a funk rhythm section with big band horns. It is an explosive and effective opener.

Next up is "Steam", which I remember reading somewhere is a tribute to Shepp's 15-year old cousin whom was murdered. It is a very strange track. It is simultaneously beautiful and hard-edged. It sounds like Kenny G on acid with a good dose of soulfulness and talent added in. While strings often = commercialism, on this song this is not the case at all. The strings' intonation is off (probably on purpose), the vocals quickly contrast between harshness and smoothness, and Shepp's soprano goes between hard-edged, lyrical, and somewhere between the two, creating a song that quickly transitions from mournful, to ugly, to soaring. It's power lies mostly in its contrasts, which are all effective.

After the two parts of "Steam", with a little beat poetry about Charlie Parker over some cool Jimmy Garrison bass playing in between the two parts, is the great "Blues for Brother George Jackson", a tribute to the "Soledad Brother". This has some more great soloing that stretches the blues, especially by Shepp.

Next there's the most traditionally beautiful track on the album, "Ballad for a Child", which has some very nice R&B/Gospel styled vocals, some touching lyrics about the miracle of human life, and tasteful playing by the instrumentalists.

After that is what I consider to be the highlight of the album, "Good Bye Sweet Pops", a tribute to the recently deceased Louis Armstrong. On it is beautiful and anguished playing by Shepp on soprano and a gorgeous and rich arrangement by the song's composer, the underrated composer, arranger, and trumpeter Cal Massey.

The last song is another Massey contribution, "Quiet Dawn". It is another piece where questionable intonation is used to create an edge to an otherwise beautiful song in the form of the lead vocals by Massey's young daughter. It also features a little flugelhorn by the under-recorded Massey as he doubles the melody with his daughter, possibly to help lead her through the song.

Like the times it was recorded in, this album is ugly, confused, and beautiful. It is a great example of the idea that out of great tragedy is born great art.

Archie Shepp - 1971 - Things Have Got To Change

Archie Shepp 
Things Have Got To Change

01. Money Blues (Part One) 5:51
02. Money Blues (Part Two) 5:45
03. Money Blues (Part Three) 6:37
04. Dr. King, The Peaceful Warrior 2:29
05. Things Have Got To Change (Part One) 8:15
06. Things Have Got To Change (Part Two) 7:57

Electric Piano – Cal Massey
Cello – Calo Scott
Violin – Leroy Jenkins
Backing Vocals – Anita Branham (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Anita Shepp (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Barbara Parsons (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Claudette Brown (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Ernestina Parsons (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Jody Shayne (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Johnny Shepp (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Sharon Shepp (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Bass – Roland Wilson (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Drums – Beaver Harris (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Electric Piano – Dave Burrell (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Guitar – Billy Butler (3) (tracks: A1 to A3), David Spinozza (tracks: A1 to A3)
Percussion – Calo Scott (tracks: A1 to A3), Hetty 'Bunchy' Fox (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Juma Sutan* (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Ollie Anderson (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Saxophone [Alto], Flute [Piccolo] – James Spaulding (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Saxophone [Baritone] – Howard Johnson (3) (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Saxophone [Tenor, Soprano] – Archie Shepp
Trombone – Charles Greenlee (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Grechan Moncur III* (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Trumpet – Roy Burrowes (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3), Ted Daniel (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Vocals – Joe Lee Wilson (tracks: A1 to A3)

Recorded 17th May, 1971 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.

Archie Shepp had the knack of simultaneously sounding nothing like anything he'd done before, but at the same time sounding totally familiar. So it is with this classic impulse! session from 1971, precursor of the following year's more well known 'Attica Blues'.

The lineup is extensive, being a who's who of the players Shepp had worked with over the previous few years. That might lead you to expect more outside playing, but the emphasis here is much more rhythmic, with a strong soul/R&B flavour. It's the free-jazz album Stevie Wonder would have made in 1971, had he put his mind to it.

The theme is the Blues, of course - it always is in Shepp's music. Oppression, poverty, violence; it's all here, Shepp's socially conscious vision telling it like it is with great passion. Standout track here is the title cut; an extended jam that begins quietly with some early electronica, providing a backdrop to a tune you could hum and a steady increase in intensity, culminating in the choir's mantra "Goddammit! Things Got To Change!". From there the improvisers are unleashed, with Shepp serving up one of his characteristically savage solos, railing against the oppression of his people. Contrast this with the neat and tidy playing of "Dr. King", a duet between Shepp and Cal Massey on rhodes that manages to be tender, yet incisive at the same time, setting the listener up nicely for the main event that follows.

And 'Money Blues' - "I work all day, I don't get paid, Money, Money, Money" - not only the root of all evil but also the root of much misery. Someone pay the man (but make sure he keeps on singing).

Alice Clark - 1972 - Alice Clark

Alice Clark 
Alice Clark

01. I Keep It Hid 3:27
02. Looking At Life 3:10
03. Don't Wonder Why 3:22
04. Maybe This Time (From The Motion Picture "Cabaret") 3:18
05. Never Did I Stop Loving You 2:34
06. Charms Of The Arms Of Love 2:38
07. Don't You Care 2:49
08. It Takes Too Long To Learn To Live Alone 3:34
09. Hard Hard Promises 3:05
10. Hey Girl 3:16

Ted Dumbar: Gtr

This is an amazing soul album that’s highly prized among hardcore soul enthusiasts!
Share in the secret and find out why this album is so highly regarded!

This is an incredible album from the early 1970s. She’s kind of a soul belter but with a groovy jazz sensibility and a bluesy wistfulness. If you like any of James Brown’s women: Lynn Collins, for instance, you’ll love this.

There weren’t many vocal albums on the Mainstream label during the early 70s, and this rare soul side is a real overlooked gem! Alice Clark has a rich soulful voice, with a style that sounds a bit like Esther Marrow, mixed with some of the lead vocalists in Voices Of East Harlem — a really right-on sort of sound that’s totally great, and way hipper than most 70s chart soul! Arrangements are by Ernie Wilkins, who brings in a touch of jazz — but again, with a much hipper feel than most of his other backings — and most of the tracks are quite obscure, well-written tunes — of the sort of material you might expect to hear sung by Gil Scott-Heron or Donny Hathaway.

The self-titled 1972 disc from Alice Clark has more than stood the test of time, it is a sublime masterpiece of R&B/pop from the house of Bob Shad, the jazz producer who founded Mainstream Records, the original home for this superior project. Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that Clark’s repertoire is exactly the kind of material Janis Joplin would pick up on in her days after Big Brother & the Holding Company, as this was also the first imprint that Joplin & the Holding Company recorded for professionally. Jimmy Webb’s “I Keep It Hid” starts things off, one of the singles released from this original package and a nugget from another soul masterpiece, Supremes Arranged and Produced by Jimmy Webb, when Webb oversaw the post-Diana Ross girl group the same year as this release. A rendition of Fred Ebb and John Kander’s tune, “Maybe This Time” from the motion picture Cabaret, is included along with three compositions from “Sunny” author Bobby Hebb. The collection of material from Webb, Ebb, and Hebb is actually genius A&R because all of it is a perfect fit. Northern soul fans and R&B critics are aware of this hidden treasure, but the buildup in this review of all the magnificent trappings shouldn’t overshadow the fact that Alice Clark delivers the goods from start to finish. Some call it acid jazz, but truth be told, beyond the cult niches of space age bachelor pad and Northern soul — the base that keeps obscure gems such as this bubbling on a variety of radar screens — this is some of the best R&B you’ve probably never heard. The trifecta of Bobby Hebb songs include “Don’t You Care” and “Hard, Hard Promises“, two titles Hebb has yet to release on his own.

The third is an up-tempo version of “The Charms of the Arms of Love” which concluded his 1970 album Love Games. Clark rips apart “It Takes Too Long to Learn to Live Alone” in wonderful fashion with tasteful guitar, chirping horns, and restrained vibraphone. Juanita Fleming’s “Never Did I Stop Loving You” is just brilliant as the vocals take off into different dimensions inside and between the unique melody. The final track,”Hey Girl“, is not the famous Carole King/Freddy Scott hit — it’s a true find originally covered by Donny Hathaway and written by Hathaway’s percussion player, Earl DeRouen. Here Clark changes it to “Hey Boy” in a lively, jazz-heavy jaunt which concludes the Toshiba/EMI version of this dynamite set of recordings that should have made Alice Clark a superstar.