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Pivotal Year In Jazz Icon John Coltrane’s Career Captured On New Impulse! Vinyl Collection "1963: New Directions" 5LP Box Set

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2018 10:51am | Post a Comment
 
For jazz great John Coltrane 1963 was both a prolific and a pivotal year; one that’s comprehensively captured on the new Impulse! must get box set collection John Coltrane 1963: New Directions [5LP Box Set] (also avail as a 3CD box set).  All recordings from throughout '63, presented in chronological order, the 30 song set rewinds back fifty five years ago to an artistically significant time in the career of the legandary jazz saxophonist. Ahead of his time on many levels, Coltrane truly made a major impact in his all too short 40 years on this earth that came to a premature halt in July 1967.  From a historical perspective 1963 is viewed as the key transformation period from ‘Trane’s earlier bebop and hard bop years into his free jazz and fully championing experimental, avant garde, genre-expanding jazz. It’s the iconic artist’s creative period that fell exactly two years after his American standards interpretive My Favorite Things and two years before his avant-garde and free jazz masterpiece  A Love Supreme.  Or as Impulse! Records so aptly noted in their pre-promotion of this box set; “In the brief, bright arc that is the career of John Coltrane, 1963 marks a point of transition between past jazz masterpieces and future work which would transcend the boundaries of the music itself.” 

As seen in the picture above this vinyl box set contains five albums, each numbered in chronological order of their recordings, plus additional content such as the lovingly presented 20 page booklet. Scroll down to see the full 30 track listing of the box set contents that features 1963 recordings of the albums Live at Birdland, Newport ‘63, Dear Old Stockholm, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, and the album that presumably inspired this box set;  Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album. Initially released six months ago, a full fifty five years after its recording, this literally “lost album” draws its title in part from the famous John Coltrane quote, “I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once.”

Pioneering Experimental Turntablist Jazz Trio Livehuman Celebrate "scratchBop" With March 16th Amoeba San Francisco In-Store

Posted by Billyjam, March 11, 2017 02:28pm | Post a Comment
Livehuman celebrate "scratchBop" with Amoeba SF in-store Thursday March 16th @ 6pm

San Francisco progressive jazz trio Livehuman have been together now for two full decades. In that time the turntablist/bass/percussion experimental ensemble, comprised of DJ Quest, Andrew
Kushin, and Albert Mathias, have performed countless concerts both locally and internationally including at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival and released a string of critically acclaimed albums. But it is only now with the recent release of their 2017 album scratchBop that these hard-working musical perfectionists feel that they've finally found their proverbial groove. They will celebrate the new album with an Amoeba San Francisco in-store Thursday March 16 at  6pm.
"Livehuman was born of an inspiration I had listening to Miles Davis' doo-bop record," percussionist Albert Mathias told the Amoeblog this week. Added the artist who cites among his other "jazz heroes"
as Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Sun Ra, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago, "That was a long time ago and for me scratchBop is what I dreamt might be possible….though I didn't realize it would take most of my adult life to achieve it." This insight by the gifted percussionist should not come as a total surprise to longtime fans of the band, familiar with such past album releases as Monostereosis: The New Victrola Method or Elefish Jellyphant, since scratchBop displays somewhat of a new musical chapter for the trio. Or as bassist Andrew Kushin calls it, "an uncovering" of sorts following years of tirelessly playing together and honing a distinct innovative jazz style. 

Rare Steve Lacy LP Shows Up In Hollywood

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 7, 2013 03:43pm | Post a Comment

Steve Lacy has always been one of my favorite horn players since I first hear him in the mid 70’s. He delivers a liquid, speech-like sound with his soprano saxophone which he plays exclusively.  Influenced by trad jazz players, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk and Gil Evans, Mr. Lacy composes and improvises with a quirky sense of melody unlike any other player around at the time or since, and his compositions reveal his very personal way of telling his stories. His staccato yet fluid attack, and almost vibrato-less legato stands out within the history of his axe. He has made many, many records (hundreds) and almost each one has its own individual sound and ultimate expression. Straight up swing to musique concrete to free improvisation are where Steve could be found at any moment, often simultaneously. His accompanists range from sitar duos to big band improv to sax/synthesizer/ drum outings, exploring all avenues of audible art. He also made many solo concerts, with just his soprano sax perhaps speaking the musical dialog about what was shaking at the moment. These concerts and recordings are a wonderful document of this artist’s creative depth.

I am fortunate to have met Steve when I had an in-store appearance with him while I was managing Rasputin’s Jazz and Soul record store in Berkeley, California in 1981. Steve is second from left, just to my right in this photo of that day (Rick Gillman far left, Lacy, Frystak, Michael Finney far right).

A kind and soft spoken personality belied his passionate, forward surging playing style.  His many bay-area fans that day were in heaven to be near this musical icon, myself included. He played later in the evening at U.C.Berkeley to a packed house. Steve passed in 2004 at age 69 years young, and I was fortunate to see him play multiple times, always searching and swinging in whatever context he found himself in.

Amoeba is fortunate to have acquired a copy of a rare, privately pressed recording of a 1974 FMP-produced workshop in Berlin with Steve, synthesist Richard Teitlebaum, electronic wizard and inventor Michel Waisvisz, drummer Han Bennink and Steve’s wife Irene Aebi on some wonderfully melodic and enchanting vocals. The record is called “Sideways”, on the Roaratorio label, and features a hand-painted cover by artist Judith Lindbloom, each cover being a unique art piece unto itself. The disc represents a wide reaching effort by all, and borders on 20th century classical music in its treatment of the possible sounds and expression. Lots of great playing by all involved, and a decent, nicely balanced live recording for the era. This LP is a rare one, and fine example of the way Steve looked at life and his art, and points to the influence he had on creative musicians then and to come. I miss Steve, and treasure my collection of his work.

Beaucoup Bins of Beautiful Boom

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 31, 2011 04:05pm | Post a Comment
Whazzup?! Tons of great records coming over our buying counter lately, much of it landing in "The Choice Bin," and circumnavigating my world. There's so much going on I don't where to start. Let's sample some of my choicest morsels of the past weeks and hope to nourish your auditory appetite!


Walt Dickerson

To My Queen
New Jazz NJ8283  1963 

A wonderful, somewhat neglected jazz music experience, with delicately grooving vibraphone and piano, gently singing over the percolating grooves of drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist George Tucker. Andrew Hill on piano takes the passenger's seat to Walt Dickerson's moves on this date, and the results are a nice, ethereal journey that always swings and keeps the fire burning while keeping each note sensitive and meaningful. Cyrille's versatility here is a treat, as I'm used to hearing him mostly with Cecil Taylor, and his bubbling, bopping percussion is exemplary. The photo of Walt's "queen" on the cover sets the tone for this marvelous journey.
 

Steve Lacy

Axieme Vol. 1
Red Record VPO 120 1977

Steve's sinewy, sweet solo soprano sax gig in Italy form the late '70s is an awe-inspiring display of mood, technique and worldly musical knowledge. This guy really got around in so many musical contexts, but his singular ability to sustain a whole concert with one single-note-capable instrument is a testament to chops and storytelling at it's most exotic and interesting. Sounds and melodies carry the ear into the heart and mind, as Steve's craft mesmerizes and blows the logical mind. Each solo concert Lacy did had its own special emotional thrust reflecting what was going on in his life, and this is one special moment. Very limited edition when it came out.


Mickey Hart/Airto Moreira/Flora Purim

Dafos
Reference Recordings RR12 1983

This sought-after, audiophile-quality LP has delighted me for years, and we just got another one in! Imagine pieces of the Apocalypse Now film's percussion soundtrack with more spooky ambience, yet floating on a cloud of Flora's echo-scat larynx vocalizations. Hart leaves his Dead cohorts and charts more new territory, and Airto does what he always has. Spacey home-made percussion pieces and sound worlds unique to these men's hand-picked and often hand-made kits. Single drum-cracks packing symphonic sonic wallop. Reverb to relax into. These excursions hold up to many listenings, and the sound is spectacular to boot. Timeless classic.


Karlheinz Stockhausen

Telemusik / Mixtur
Deutsche Grammophon 137012,1964-66

A major discovery of my youth getting into 20th century classical music, Telemusik jumped out at me immediately with its gorgeous multi-hued green cover (part of the famous Avant Garde series), and the title Telemusik triggered my science-fiction fantasies. Side one has Karlheinz in the NHK studios in Japan, creating one his most amazing electronic/musique concrete pieces that has stood the test of time so well. This piece seems to me to be a template for later pieces of this ilk, with its iconic processed sounds and synthesis in the classical style. Side two is a piece for ring-modulated full orchestra, with the electronics creating extra harmonics in addition to the symphony's tones. Dark sweeps of sound blocks and trickling bits of sensory stimuli make a unique audioscape of unusual intrigue. I'm a huge fan of this stuff, and this is one of the best.


Steve Reich and Musicians

Drumming/Music for Mallet Instruments Voices and Organ/Six Pianos
Deutsche Grammophon 1974.

This 3-LP box set is another monumental discovery of my tender age. When I heard this "Minimalism" style, I instantly fell in love with it, and it's because I heard this record as a first introduction. Three enchanting pieces, full of rhythm, harmony and energy, pulsating as if there's no tomorrow, yet flowing and morphing in the best of this style of New Music writing. Percussion and piano pieces sizzling with pulsating, shifting concurrence, notes beating against each other and thrusting the music forward. Early works of Reich deliver so much compositional and rhythmic density, an important feature of his own youth which has manifested itself into a more sensitive sparseness in his later years. THIS is the stuff of major careers in the making, with an individuality unmatched in other contemporaries lauded as equals. Great booklet in here, too!


Milt Hinton

East Coast Jazz #5
Bethlehem BCP1020 1955 

Very hip Jass session with a clarinet/piano/double bass/drums lineup, post-bop yet not Beebop in the strict sense; new chamber jazz but not "new music" or 3rd stream. This music is all about the bass style played by Hinton in its most "vocal" melodic effect, with the other musicians very subtly accompanying Milt, and his very melodic phrases and runs certainly making his name at moment in '55. The other cats make it like a tranquilized dixieland gig, with an echo-y studio sound that aids in the vibe. This is quite an interesting and unusually satisfying style, as the cool factor and chops of the musicians (Tony Scott, Dick Katz, Ossie Johnson) make this totally successful. I hadn't heard much of Hinton's own music, but his rep is huge in the bass world. Dig this!

All Enchanting Audio Artifacts Considered

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 2, 2011 01:02pm | Post a Comment
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  Welcome to The Choice Bin, where only thee most "choice" long-play records traded in over our magnificent buy counter in Hollyweird are considered and discussed as art and a most logical slab of entertainment and inspiration. Now and again a noteworthy compact disc or book will slide across the buy counter, blip my radar and fall into my orbit, but it's 2011, so O.K.  I'll be your host as we ponder the spectacular and the insane. And if we're really fortunate, and nobody's glommed the goods, most of these gems will be available in Amoeba's "Buy Stuff" section, 'cuz after all....we're also a store! Follow the linkage...


Michel Redolfi

Sonic Waters
Hat Art 2002
(2-LP)


Mr. Michel Redolfii is, among other things, an architect of wondrous underwater acoustic installations...sometimes pools, sometimes oceans. This is a 2-LP set on the Swiss Hat Art label in a sweet little cardboard box package with lots of notes that documents Michel's electronic compositions done on a Synclavier II in the studio, and then being performed in a heated pool and in an underwater aquatic parks. The studio recordings are broadcast under the water through underwater speakers, while hydrophone mics pick up the transformation through the liquid medium, and it's natural mixing with underwater natural sounds. The stuff is eerie, gelatinous sonic stew that totally delights me with every listen. He calls it an "aerodynamic and amphibian" music. Indeed, Sire!



Glass Orchestra

The Glass Orchestra

Music Gallery Editions 10


Here's a remarkable record of a Canadian group in the late '70s composing and performing music for beverage glasses, glass gamelans, glass tubes and pipes, and some other tidbits. Quite ethereal and harmonious in the waves of dissonant and heavenly frequencies that transpire here. Lots of variety, but leaning mostly towards the strange, sensational glass phonics as if you were rubbing the lips of 20 glasses and making a piece out of it. I was in a trance and realized I must turn the record over! A very special disc on clear, glass-like vinyl, with a booklet inside.

Check out the leader's stage set-ups and philosophy.



Marion Brown

In Sommerhausen

Calig CAL30605


Featuring Jeanne Lee, Gunter Hampel, Steve McCall and others, this very scarce record on the German Calig label documents a time in "jazz" music that has never been equaled. The late '60s is reflected here musically in much of the dynamics of the individual voices on the instrumental arrangements and improv. Percussion groups, swinging jazz ensemble and some discreet free blowing sum up the elements. Very much 20th century classical and sound texture, Marion Brown takes the gang away from what others were doing to make his own hybrid style here...similar to the Art Ensemble but with his own freaky integrity flying. Lee's voice adds a sensuousness to the group sound that's unlike anything else. Awesome live sound on this disc...top-drawer production, with a glossy black and white cover.



Guy Lafitte
GUY
Colombia France 10"
FP 1124


French jazz tenor man Guy Lafitte does the Don Byas dance on this poppy, straight up date from French Colombia on a cool 10" flip-back EP. This guy is good, and he plays the changes and rips his chords in and around the Legrand-ish arrangements. I haven't heard that much Lafitte, and I dug this whole project as it progressed. Lots of huge Euro jazz cats on the session. If you like Byas, Pres and Lucky, you'll really get into this guy. These original French 10" records are stone f'n rare, so jump on it if you can.



Mauricio Kagel
Heterophonie 1959/1961

Wergo  WER60043
Rundfunks Symph/Michel Gielen


Mauricio Kagel hands over a wonderfully mysterious, dense yet spacial piece (2-sides!) on this precision-made original German pressing from the iconic Wergo imprint. This company has provided me with hours, weeks, months and even years of audio excitement throughout my life. Whenever I see their generic, clean Euro-balanced cover designs pop up,  I run to see what title it is and if I have it already. This disc is no exception, as Kagel takes us on a 20th century orchestral (and organ, too) audio drama that has it all. Dissonance, beauty, darkness, peppy percussive pulses of storyline and activity. Tiny episodes of sound fit together to make the whole. Kagel is a master at arranging emotion, and covers lots of territory here. A New-Music must!



The Enchanted Tiki Room
Original Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise Soundtrack

Disneyland 3966


Yes, the original soundtracks from Disneyland. This is the record of what you hear when you go into the rides and then their soundtracks surround you. In the case of the Jungle Cruise, you get the narration too and have to imagine the mechanical tiger lunging out at you. The Tiki-Tiki-Tiki Room? Aw, heck... I have no problem blurting out in tears of sentimental nostalgia every time I hear this. The joy of those little  mechanical birds and the looks on the kid's faces in the seats slays me every time. Yes...enchanting!
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