Sunday, December 23, 2007

David S. Ware: Birth of a Being

David S. Ware
Birth of a Being

hat HUT W (LP)

1. Prayer [10:50]
2. Thematic Womb [16:35]
3. A Primary Piece #1 [13:45]
4. A Primary Piece #2 [11:45]

all comp. Ware

David S. Ware (tenor sax)
Gene Y. Ashton [aka Cooper-Moore] (piano)
Marc D. Edwards (drums)

#1, 3, 4 rec. April 14, 1977
#2 rec. April 15, 1977
CIRecording, Inc.
New York City
This was David S. Ware's first album as a band-leader. If one needs to make the case that Ware has been one of the most consistently excellent recording artists over the last three decades, this album definitely evidence.

Download Birth of a Being.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Claude Delcloo/Arthur Jones: Africanasia

1. Africanasia, part 1 (Claude Delcloo) [19:16]
2. Africanasia, part 2 (Claude Delcloo) [17:36]

Claude Delcloo (drums)
Arthur Jones (alto sax)
Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Kenneth Terroade (flutes)
Clifford Thornton (conga)
Malachi Favors (log-drum)
Earl Freeman (gong, bell, percussion)

Recorded August 22, 1969 at Studio Saravah, Paris, France

Released by BYG/Actuel, catalogue # 529306.

Absolutely gorgeous album that lives up to its title.

Download Africanasia

Monday, November 5, 2007

Yo Miles! Live at the Fillmore Auditorium March 4, 2000


1. Intro
2. Hollywuud-Big Fun
3. Moja-NNE
4. Duo: Wadada & Karl
5. Right Off (Funk Line)
6. Right Off (J.J. Shuffle Rhythm)
7. Yesternow
8. Corrado

1. Drums/Percussion Jam
2. Bitches Brew
3. Sax Quartet: Little Church/Sivad
4. Agharta Prelude
5. Calypso Frelimo
6. Star People
7. Calypso Frelimo

1. Jam
2. Miles Dewey Davis III - Great Ancestor
3. Improv Jam
4. Black Satin
5. Manring Solo/Nefertiti
6. Ife
7. Great Expectations
8. Maiysha
9. Ife
10. Wili (For Dave)


Wadada Leo Smith - Trumpet
Henry Kaiser - Guitar
Michael Manring - Bass
Chris Muir - Guitar
Steve Kimock - Guitar
Bruce Ackley - Sax
Steve Adams - Sax
Jon Raskin - Sax
Larry Ochs - Sax
Tom Coster - Keyboard
Steve Smith - Drums
Karl Perazzo - Congas

Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith started the Yo Miles! project as something of a one-off tribute to Miles Davis' late 1960s-mid 1970s electric era back in the late 1990s, that subsequently took on a life of its own. The first album was released in 1998 under their names with the simple title Yo Miles! and that album rocked the house. These cats also gigged around a bit from time to time, and went on to record some other studio albums under the Yo Miles! banner - Yo Miles!: Sky Garden (2004) and Yo Miles!: Upriver (2005). All of their studio recordings are double-CDs, so expect a lot of music.

Unlike a lot of tribute bands, these cats aren't merely copying the original artist's sound, but rather are using the compositions to go off into uncharted territory. They also have a tendency on their studio albums to perform their own original tunes, which though definitely Miles-inspired, are not likely to be mistaken for anything in the extensive Miles Davis canon.

These particular CDs document a live gig from March of 2000. The band is tight, energetic, inspired. If you're already a fan of Miles' 1970s work, you'll have an idea of what to expect. Mostly, these are covers with the occasional Kaiser & Smith originals thrown in for good measure. Personally, the tunes in these cats hands sound a bit less dense and less angry/more celebratory than The Prince of Darkness would have allowed during his peak years. There's still tons of fire, and provides evidence that jazz fusion can still be a vital, creative form when you get the right mix of artists involved.

If you like these sound files, please, please, please do yourself a favor and check out the Yo Miles! studio recordings that are currently available. You'll be glad you did.

Download Yo Miles! Live at the Fillmore Auditorium March 4 2000, CD1, CD2, and CD3.

I'll try to get these uploaded onto Sharebee as well in the next few days as time permits.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Joseph Jarman & Famoudou Don Moye: Black Paladins


1. Mama Marimba
2. In Memory of My Seasons
3. Humility in the Light of the Creator
4. Black Paladins
5. Ginger Song
6. Ode to Wilbur Ware


Henry Dumas - Poetry
Johnny Dyani - Bass, Piano, Tambourine, Vocals, Multi Instruments
Joseph Jarman - Flute, Clarinet (Bass), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor), Voices, Multi Instruments, Conch, Bamboo Flute, Sax (Soprano)
Famoudou Don Moye - Percussion, Drums, Multi Instruments
Isio Saba - Photography
Gigi Barbieri- Cover Art
Giancarlo Barigozzi - Engineer
Giovanni Bonandrini - Producer
Lee Jeske - Liner Notes

The review from AMG:
During the '70s, Art Ensemble of Chicago members Joseph Jarman and Famoudou Don Moye often performed outside the band as a duo, sometimes bringing in other musicians. Here, they made the inspired choice of the late, great South African bassist Johnny Dyani (founding member of the Blue Notes and long-time collaborator with musicians such as Abdullah Ibrahim and John Tchicai) resulting in a buoyant, joyful release. Dyani's opening "Mama Marimba," propelled by both his bass and voice, is an exceptionally infectious number and contrasts wonderfully with Jarman's ensuing "In Memory of My Seasons," a misty dirge featuring the composer's haunting flute work. Moye is ablaze throughout, notably backing Jarman's lovely sopranino on "Ginger Song," and Dyani's deep, throbbing bass is a joy. On the closing piece, "Ode to Wilbur Ware," the bass groove is as thick as honey, providing the framework for elaborate, coloristic percussion and plaintive bamboo flute, bringing the album to a rich, satisfying conclusion. Black Paladins was the Jarman/Moye duo's most successful effort, and one of the most rewarding projects either was involved with outside of the Art Ensemble. A delicious recording.
That it is. Hope y'all enjoy this one as much as I do.

Recorded December 19 & 20, 1979 and released in 1980.

Download Black Paladins, or on sharebee.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Franklin Kiermyer: In the House of My Fathers


1. For the Time Being
2. In the House of My Fathers
3. Kairos
4. Black Jack
5. For the Kindness of Strangers
6. The Julia Set
7. Peace on Earth
8. Shoes for People


Franklin Kiermyer - drums
Dave Douglas - trumpet
John Stubblefield - tenor & soprano sax
John Esposito - piano
Anthony Cox - bass
Drew Gress - bass
Chris Gekker - trumpet
John Rojak - trombone
Dan Grabois - horn
Dave Braynard - tuba
Tom Chess - guitar
Eric St. Laurent -guitar

Released 1993 on Konnex (cat. # 5052)

As I understand it, the title track comes from the invocation sung before reading from the Torah. This recording contains early versions of "Peace on Earth" (which would later appear on Solomon's Daughter - released on Evidence, 1994) and "Kairos" (from the album Kairos - released on Evidence, 1996). The vibe I get from the liner notes to his other albums, as well as from hearing the music itself, is that Kiermyer is very influenced by John Coltrane's Impulse!-era recordings. On Kiermyer's later albums, he works as part of a quartet that definitely touches on Trane's classic quartet. Of course the degrees of separation between Kiermyer and Trane are minimal to begin with - former Trane band mate, Pharoah Sanders, appears extensively on the album Solomon's Daughter.

As for the recordings on this album, the best reference point would be Trane's Africa/Brass sessions and A Love Supreme filtered through Hebrew and Tibetan Buddhist spirituality. It's a beautiful recording that deserves more recognition than it appears to have received. It also appears that Kiermyer has ceased recording jazz albums following his 1999 CD, Sanctification (released on his own Sunship label). Recordings on the Evidence and Sunship labels are still in print and worth picking up if you dig on classic quartet era Coltrane. Check out his website Mobility Music to see what he's been up to.

Download In the House of My Fathers

Grachan Moncur III: Echoes of a Prayer


1. Prologue
2. Angela's Angel 1
3. Right On 1
4. Right On 3


Carla Bley - Piano
Mark Elf - Guitar
Charlie Haden - Bass
Beaver Harris - Drums
Jack Jeffers - Trombone (Bass)
Leroy Jenkins - Violin
Cecil McBee - Bass
Grachan Moncur III - Trombone, Composer, Conductor, Vocals
Ngonia - Violin
Stafford Osborne - Trumpet
Pat Patrick - Flute
Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson - Trumpet
Janice Robinson - Trombone
Perry Robinson - Clarinet
Tawana Dance Ensemble - Orchestra
Carlos Ward - Flute, Sax (Alto)

A review from
Trombonist Grachan Moncur, one of the unsung heroes of the avant-garde, has recorded far too infrequently as a leader through the years. This obscure LP, his fourth major project, preceded a long period in obscurity. The Jazz Composers Orchestra commissioned the lengthy four-movement piece "Echoes of Prayer" from Moncur, and the all-star orchestra performs the work with its composer. Among the soloists during the many sections are Moncur, altoist Carlos Ward, both Cecil McBee and Charlie Haden on basses, Pat Patrick on flute, trumpeter Marvin Hannibal Peterson, violinist Leroy Jenkins and clarinetist Perry Robinson. Also on the album are a dance ensemble (who play percussion) and the voices of Jeanne Lee and Mervine Grady. The music is quite advanced, sometimes pretty dense, and will take a few listens to fully digest.
Probably the most accessible track on the album is Angela's Angel 1, followed by Right On 1 (which begins with the theme initially stated on Angela's Angel 1) and Right On 3 (which reprises Angela's Angel near the middle portion of the track). His work as a band leader on the Blue Note label during the 1960s (as well as a sideman for Jackie McLean's classic Blue Note recordings during the early to mid 1960s), and BYG around 1969-1970 were routinely excellent, and this album is no exception. It's a shame that this has yet to see a proper reissue.

Released on JCOA, April 11, 1974

Download Echoes of a Prayer

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wendell Harrison and the Tribe: An Evening With the Devil


1. Mary Had An Abortion
2. Where Am I ?
3. Vol II Angry Young Man Part I
4. Vol II Angry Young Man Part II
5. Consciousness
6. Rebirth


Wendell Harrison - tenor sax & miscellaneous instruments
Marcus Belgrave - flugel horn & miscellaneous instruments
Charles Moore - trumpet & miscellaneous instruments
Will Austin - bass
Charles Eubanks - electric piano & miscellaneous instruments
Ike Daney - drums & miscellaneous instruments
Phillip Ranelin - trombone & miscellaneous instruments
Black Messengers, Oba and Vajava - poetry

Released on TRIBE Records (PRSD-2212), November 30, 1972.

The liner notes (any typos are likely mine):
If you have observed the cover of this album then you definetely have concluded that it is rather unusual. This is specially true when you think of all the different kinds of designs, sketches and pictures that most record L.P.'s portray these days. The great majority of today´s record covers usually deal to very little or no relation to what's inside. Instead of spotlighting some facet of the music to be heard you generally get a picture of some sexy young lady, a very colorful picture of an abstract painting or maybe a psychadelic setting with a group of people displaying the latest in women's or men's apparel. Now these types of covers may look attractive and are nice conversation pieces to display around the house to friends and relatives who drop by to visit. But in the final analysis we, as listeners, must remember that the most important ingredient is the music. The musicians and the instruments are subordinate to it. This is apparent regardless of what type of music you enjoy listening to. However, there are some rare occasions when you find that the L.P. cover blends with the music inside of it and enables the listener to profit from that L.P. inside and outside. Tenor saxophonist, Wendell Harrison and his group, the Tribe, have achieved that goal with their latest offering "An Evening With The Devil".

Although the outer part of the cover is an astrological chart of Wendell you don't have to be a student of astrology to understand it. For you see my friends the struggle of man to try and balance the scales of justice within his society has been evident, like astrology, since man first appeared. I use the term justice rather than "law and order" because justice, in my mind´s eye, stands for man trying to improve his conditions and continue to grow in mind, body and spirit. While on the other hand, the term "law and order" coined by the Nixon administration, talks about restricting man and placing him into a setting whereby his behavior conforms to a particular standard and thereby his growth is stopped before it can nourish and develop properly.

In an enterview with Wendell about the album cover, the Tribe, and their music he has the following comments to make. "The album cover which was done by my wife Pat, represents two things. A man in the nude is kneeling with his head pointing downward and in one hand he is holding the head of a skull, while in the other hand he is holding the foot of the system or establishment that we live under in this country. One stands for the head of the system and the other stands for the foot of it. The skull represents the intellect and the skillful intellectual propaganda that's going down both internally and externally. Included in this category is the businessman on Wall Street who owns and operate all of the major corporations within the country. With their finances and influence they dictate the governmental policies which create the negative vibrations that are opressing, disabling, and killing millions of people in Viet Nam, Africa, Latin America, and America by means of war in the name of democracy. War is profitable from an economical stand point and therefore the economy of the country is dependent upon it to survive. You also have the cunning intellectual ways of the law, by way of its Supreme Courts that legislate against the true rights of the people and deny them an equal opportunity with smoke screen issues like housing, civil rights and busing. This is balanced on the other hand or scale by the foot of the system. This brings into play your police forces like STRESS (Stop The Robberies Enjoy Safe Streets) in Detroit, a special detachment, who harass black people without a justifiable cause. Then there's the total ripoffs that hapens within the prisions like Attica in N.Y. and the underground things like dope, prostitution, numbers racket and abortion. Actually what it is saying is that you have your upper and lower structure of the system. All these things are represented by the man in the nude and directly above him is the all-seeing eye that symbolizes the Creator of the planet observing all of these things that are taking place below. These life styles and forces are placed in the center of an astrological chart of myself wich is symbolic of every black person within the community trying to balance this hell of a monster.

"The Tribe is an extension of the tribes in the villages of Africa, our mother country. In Africa everyone had a talent to display. There were no superstars: just people and collectively all the people of the village played a vital role in shaping that culture. We see all black communities within this country as villages and the tribes are the people residing within them. The Tribe is composed of creative artists from the Metropolitan Detroit area who have travelled extensively with many well known musicians and have returned with the intention of sharing these experiences with our people in order to broaden the cultural base in this city. They are some of the most original and creative artists in the area. We hope to bring out points, situations and events that are happening in our communities by way of music, poetry, dance and rapping to the people. You see pure music must reflect the environment that we live in if it is to be educational and beneficial to our culture. It must portray our way of life. At this point in our history, harmony for the most part, is not reflected in our communities. There's a lot of rebellious tension and discord, even though we have some groovy or harmonious moments along the way. There are many people within this society, black and white, who don't understand what is happening in regards to the direction the black musicians are moving toward. Our music is reflecting more so than ever before the stress, tension and discord that is taking places within our communities along with the positive and harmonious things happening. This is evident when one listens to the music of composers like the late John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman and the late Albert Ayler. These guys understand the relationship between art and culture and they took the total vibrations, positive and negative, of the whole culture and served as amplifiers or speaker systems through the arts. You can not divorce art from its root culture and expect it to be relevant for both the artist and his culture.

"The compositions we play are reflective of the music of our times whereby we play Jazz, Funk and African music with its poly or many rhythms. I wrote all the tunes in this particular L.P. and it is written as a suite of 5 movements wich means that the music can be performed along with poetry and dancers. On our last L.P. 'Message From The Tribe', we featured the compositions of our very talented composer, arranger and trombonist Phil Ranelin. On one side of the L.P. he wrote all the compositions and on the flipside I wrote all the tunes. This album was produced by us on the Tribe record label. As far as the music in 'Evening With The Devil' is concerned it really speaks for itself. In addition to the music it features some relevant poetry by two very talented young poets named Oba and Vajava who are also members of a very excellent theater group in Detroit called the Black Messengers."

America's only original art form, commonly called Jazz, was created as a result of the enslavment of a people and their culture. Consequently it grew up as a child of poverty. Not unlike its people, suffering and indifference has marked its path every step of the way. Like its people, every time it has reached what was thought to be its low point, it has been revived by innovation. Wendell Harrison and the Tribe certainly provides us with another link to add on to the chain of the innovators. In their efforts to balance the scales of Justice they strive to elevate their listeners to a higher level of consciousness in mind, body and spirit through music. Their latest release, "An Evening With The Devil", is certainly one that you will enjoy, appreciate and love. The Tribe has a very heavy message for you beautiful people of the universe to hear. They are men of their times who are aware, concerned, dedicated and serious. If you are serious about what they have in store for you, you had better listen because as the late multi-reedist Albert Ayler once said "MUSIC IS THE HEALING FORCE OF THE UNIVERSE."
I'm pretty sure this has been circulating around the internet tubes for a while. Good music is always worth the additional exposure, and this recording is no exception. Some TRIBE offerings occasionally make their way to reissue (Marcus Belgrave's excellent Gemini comes readily to mind), and if you can purchase any TRIBE reissues, by all means do so.

Download An Evening With the Devil

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Colemans Hawkins: Wrapped Tight

1. Marcheta
2. Intermezzo
3. Wrapped Tight
4. Red Roses for a Blue Lady
5. She's Fit
6. Beautiful Girl
7. And I Still Love You
8. Bean's Place
9. Here's That Rainy Day
10. I Won't Dance
11. Indian Summer
12. Out of Nowhere

Colemans Hawkins - tenor sax
Bill Berry - trumpet (#1,2,3,7,8)
Snooky Young - trumpet (#4,5,6)
Urbie Green - trombone (#1,8)
Barry Harris - piano
Buddy Catlett - bass
Eddie Locke - drums
Bob Thiele - production

Recorded February 22 (1 thru 6) and March 1 (7 thru 12), 1965; released on Impulse!

The review:
Hawkins's last strong recording finds the veteran, 43 years after his recording debut with Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds, improvising creatively on a wide variety of material on this CD, ranging from "Intermezzo" and "Here's That Rainy Day" to "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" and "Indian Summer." Best is an adventurous version of "Out of Nowhere" that shows that the tenor-saxophonist was still coming up with new ideas in 1965.
This album is a good example of old dogs proving that they can learn new tricks. Hawk (also nicknamed "Bean") was about as old-school as jazzers got, having been on the scene almost from its beginnings and having weathered, and thrived in, the various changes that occurred over a four-decade career - from swing, to bebop, to bossa nova, to even just a hint of the jazz avant-garde.

My first exposure to his work was on some compilation album that just happened to have "Picasso" - a signature piece for Hawk, and apparently the very first solo sax recording ever. We take unaccompanied sax recordings - whether individual tunes or whole albums - for granted these days, but back in the late 1940s that must have been nothing short of revolutionary. Hawk was arguably the first influential tenor sax player in the jazz world and well worth getting to know.

This particular recording came right at the twilight of Hawk's career, and is considered by music critics to contain his last good recording sessions. As is fitting for an album recorded for the Impulse! label, there is a distinctive John Coltrane influence to be heard on these tunes. That said, there's still plenty of old-school bebop with just enough of an edge to get the listener's attention.

This one's been out of print for a while & CDs of Wrapped Tight seem to fetch between $25-$100 as of this writing. Hopefully the conglomerate that currently holds the Impulse! catalog will see fit to reissue this wonderful recording. Until then, if you're a working stiff like me, these mp3s will treat you right.

Get Wrapped Tight & enjoy the tunes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blast from the past: Frank Wright's "Kevin, My Dear Son"

The now-defunct church number nine (great jazz blog while it lasted) had this one up about a year ago. The cat who ran that blog was kind enough to rip a clean copy of that long-out-of-print album, realizing its title holds a very special place in my heart (my own son, and first child, is named Kevin). Needless to say, I will be forever grateful.

Let's just say that of the precious few rips of this album circulating the internet tubes, this one sounds nice top to bottom. The music fits in nicely with Wright's other albums for Sun Records.

The details:

Kevin, My Dear Son
Sun Records SEB 004

Side A
1. Odeon
2. No End To The Sun
3. November The First

Side B
1. Cowboys And Indians
2. Long Way From Home
3. Kevin, My Dear Son

Frank Wright: tenor sax & bass clarinet
Kamal Abdul Alim: trumpet
Georges Arvanitas: piano
Reggie Workman: bass
Philly Joe Jones: drums
Khalil Abdullah: percussion
Eddie Jefferson: vocal
Sebastien Bernard: producer
Elvin Campbell: engineer
Jean Pierre Pellissier: mix engineer

Recorded in October, 1978
Compositions by Frank Wright, except "Cowboys & Indians" (composed Bobby Few). All lyrics by Frank Wright.

Get Kevin, My Dear Son

If that doesn't work try downloading from sharebee.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Olatunji: Flaming Drums!

1. Abana
2. African Spiritual
3. Uhuru
4. Mystery Love
5. Adofo
6. Hail the King

Partial Personnel List:
Babatunde Olatunji - percussion
Robert Crowder - percussion
Stacy Evans - percussion
Gavin Masseaux - percussion
Montego Joe - percussion
Archie Lee - percussion
George Young - percussion
Scobby Stroman - trap drums
Aquasiba Derby - vocals
Delaora Pearson - vocals
Hosea Taylor - flute, sax, oboe
Clark Terry - trumpet
John Hammond - producer
Fred Carlin - arrangement and conduction
Dr. Akinsola Akiwowo - liner notes

Released as an LP on Columbia Records (CS-8666), 1962

I'm guessing that the album that most people associate with Babatunde Olatunji is Drums of Passion, his breakthrough album - released at the close of the 1950s and typically the sole album from his Columbia Records days to merit a reissue. Too bad, as it makes for pleasant listening. Flaming Drums! is a bit jazzier than his initial claim to fame, and serves as an early recording of afro-jazz.

Download Flaming Drums!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Miles Davis: The Lost Quintet

Here's some Bitches Brew-era Miles to enjoy.

1969 Miles:The Lost Quintet

November 3, 1969
SALLE PLEYEL, PARIS--ORTF radio broadcast (2 CD)First set
Directions (J. Zawinul) 8:00
Bitches Brew (M. Davis) 14:16
Paraphernalia (W. Shorter) 12:56
Riot (H. Hancock) 2:51
I Fall in Love Too Easily (S. Cahn-J. Styne) 2:07
Sanctuary (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 4:12
Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (M. Davis) 19:17
The Theme (M. Davis) (with applause) 0:47

November 3, 1969
SALLE PLEYEL, PARIS--ORTF radio broadcastSecond set
Introduction 00:09
Bitches Brew (M. Davis) 12:24 (incomplete)
Agitation (M. Davis) 9:02
I Fall in Love Too Easily (S. Cahn-J. Styne) 3:12
Sanctuary (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 4:00
Masqualero (W. Shorter) 12:41
It's About That Time (M. Davis) 14:49 (incomplete)

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Dave Holland (bass)
Wayne Shorter (Tenor and Soprano Sax)
Jack Dejohnette (Drums)
Chick Corea (keyboards)

Download The Lost Quintet CD 7, and The Lost Quintet CD 8.

Miles Davis: Live Chatelet March 5, 1982

These tracks are bootleg recordings of a live gig from Miles' post-retirement era. Although I'm not a big fan of a lot of his 1980s and early 1990s material, he could still bring down the house live. The vibe on this gig is definitely more laid-back than anything one would get from the 1970s. Fun compare and contrast: check out this gig's version of Ife, and then listen to recordings of Ife from the early to mid 1970s.

The tracks should fit on two CDs. I've broken this down into three parts in order to deal with Rapidshare's limitations.

Download Live Chatelet March 5, 1982: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Hooray For Miles Davis Volume 3

Looks like a bootleg from 1971.


1. Bwongo
2. Ananka (pt. 1)
3. Ananka (pt. 2)

Download Hooray For Miles Davis Volume 3

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I'm not dead yet

Sorry for the longer-than-expected hiatus. Computer mishaps abounded over the last several weeks that have put me way behind schedule. Fortunately thanks to the help of some friends, I have rebuilt a database of sorts, and should FINALLY be able to get some newish material uploaded over the next few weeks.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Miles on YouTube to tide you over

This is footage of Miles Davis and crew from the 1973 Montreux Festival. The early to mid 1970s studio and live recordings are among my personal favorites. If more fusion had been this intense, I might have liked fusion a bit more. Needless to say, during the 1970s you could consistently count on Miles and crew to rock the house. Enjoy.

Sorry about the lack of updates recently

I had a truckload of work to complete for the summer term at the university, and by the time I had finally cleared of some time the university decided to cut off electricity to the building where my office is located - I gather they're putting in new transformers or some such business. Needless to say, that means I have no access to my sound files for the foreseeable future. Between the power outage and the upcoming vacation, I don't expect to have any new sound file uploads until sometime the first full week of August. I'll try to highlight a few interesting jazz items from the road as time and internet access permit.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Music of Idris Ackamoor 1971-2004

idris ackamoor "music of idris ackamoor 1971-2004"

em (japan) #em 1062 cd

* two discs of material from the pyramids/idris ackamoor !!

disc one

* the collective - the shepherd's tune [1971] (16:59)*
* the pyramids - land of eternal song suite part 3 [1972] (10:51)*
* the pyramids - lalibela [1973] (6:02)
* the pyramids - masenko nights [1973] (3:00)
* the pyramids - ya a ya a [1973] (6:19)
* the pyramids - the river ganges [1973] (11:06)*
* the pyramids - mohgo naba [1974] (8:32)
* the pyramids - queen of the spirits part 3 [1974] (6:38)

disc two

* the pyramids - aomawa [1976] (5:36)
* the pyramids - birth/speed/merging [1976] (7:47)
* the pyramids - black man of the nile [1972] (18:39)*
* idris ackamoor & margaux simmons w/ king's drummers of tamale - africa [1973] (3:32)*
* idris ackamoor quartet - spiritual rebirth [1978] (5:52)*
* idris ackamoor quartet - topanga [1997] (6:02)
* idris ackamoor ensemble - centurian [2000] (8:06)
* idris ackamoor ensemble - cubana [2004] (11:28)

(* previously unissued recordings)

em press release...

2cd collection of the ex-leader of legendary deep & spiritual afro-jazz group from early '70s ohio (later in san francisco), the pyramids. their music is one of the most exotic attempts by african-americans, heavy & free sounds like art ensemble of chicago, early '70s miles, strata-east, aggressive performances like oneness of ju ju, albert ayler, john coltrane...but thier original form. perhaps every free jazz/funk listeners may agree it.

feat. 12 pieces of the pyramids taken from their three studio albums and unreleased recordings (included first live recording in holland!). notably the pyramids had ever stayed some african countries incl. morroco, ghana, kenya & etiopia and studied real african culture & music there in early 1970s. do you know other african-american jazz musicians who had done such a road trip in early 1970s??

also this 2cd set featured a never heard before pre-pyramids recording in pharoah sanders & strata east-ish style as the collective, and 4 pieces from late 1970s to receny 2000s recordings as idris ackamoor quartet/ensemble. ackamoor do owns all original master tapes (it's miracle!) and we checked them many & many and compiled their finest & best cuts. all digital re-mastered in excellent sound shapes.
Absolutely beautiful music that deserves a much wider audience. As it turns out the album is in print, I'll give y'all a sampler of the first six tracks. The sound quality is pristine.

Get my sampler here. If you like it, then buy the album direct from the artist's website! Let's just say if you dig on the first six tracks, you'd be crazy not to get the whole enchilada!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Miles Davis: Philly May 17, 1975

Don't know too much about this one, other than it's another 1975 Philly gig. Sounds like the standard spring 1975 live set with the usual personnel - sound quality seems considerably muffled, and of course there is a heckler who comes in louder than the music at times. Still, it gives an indication of the state of Miles' music circa 1975.


Miles Davis (tp, org); Sam Morrison (ss, ts, fl); Pete Cosey (g, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Foreman (cga, perc)


1. Funk
2. Ife
3. Untitled original 750505

Download it here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Miles Davis: Bottom Line July 11, 1975


101 Funk (Inc.)
102 Ife
103 Maiysha
104 Right Off - Conga Solo
106 Turnaroundphrase - Willie Nelson - Tune in 5 - For Dave
107 For Dave (Cont.)
108 Untitled Original

201 Turnaroundphrase - Willie Nelson
202 Tune in 5 - Turnaroundphrase - For Dave
203 Untitled Original
204 Funk
205 Funk Continued (3 gaps)
206 Ife
207 Maiysha
208 Right Off

301 Untitled Original
302 Right Off
303 Funk

I don't know much more about this one than the tunes. I'm assuming that the lineup is the one from the other 1975 gigs. Sound quality is actually pretty decent as live bootlegs go. If you like Miles' music from this era, you will not be disappointed.

Download Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Friday, May 4, 2007

Miles Davis - Another Unity

The Info:
Another Unity (Mega Disc (J) MD 0122)

Title: Another Unity
Label: Mega Disc (J) MD 0122
Number of Tracks: 6
Details: January 22, 1975
Note: Only tracks on which Davis is present are displayed below.

1. Funk (M. Davis) 21:13
2. Maiysha (M. Davis) 18:28
3. Ife (M. Davis) 18:28
4. Mtume (M. Davis) 3:59
5. Turnaroundphrase/Tune in 5 (M. Davis) 9:39
6. Untitled original 741106a (M. Davis) 9:52

Miles Davis (tpt, org); Sonny Fortune (ss, as, fl); Pete Cosey (g, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Foreman (cga, perc)
A review from One Final Note:
The fool’s-gold disk Another Unity turned out not to be the lost gospel of Miles, but just another concert document from another tour by a hardened corps of hard-working, creative musicians whose leader was ailing with multiple illnesses, mentally exhausted, and on more uppers ‘n’ downers than Rush Limbaugh riding The Thunderbolt at Coney Island. There’s a lot of rawness in the 1973 sets, which adds excitement to the already hyperactive brew, but what’s missing is the nuance and precision of the later concerts.By the time of the 1975 Japan tour, Miles had taught his ensemble to seemingly anticipate his thoughts and moods and directions, resulting in turn-on-a-dime changes of tempo, dynamics, and texture.

The first set mimics the first Agharta disc’s sequence of events, while the second recalls disc two of Pangaea, opening with “Ife”—only without Reggie Lucas’ fetching three-note guitar lick, and adding some far-out synthesizer yibbles from Pete Cosey. Then Miles pulls a fast one: After getting some fun out of “Ife”, he whips the band through an express-train medley of “Mtume”, “Turnaroundphrase”, and “Tune In 5”. Each clocks in at around five minutes—warp speed for this band to jump themes. “Turnaround” in particular is a proper horrorshow, with Lucas’ chainsaw-arm ripping staccato funk chords under Miles and saxist Sonny Fortune’s duet. Reggie Lucas hasn’t generated the cult status that his bandmate Cosey enjoys, which isn’t altogether fair. His rhythm work on all the live sessions plays a big part in whipping up the fervor, as well as adding an essential layer of color to Miles’ canvas. One can’t imagine the music without him. “Tune in 5” is overlaid with the riff from “Willie Nelson”, and Lucas grinds it out to introduce Fortune, who proceeds (badly amplified) with just synth, bass, and scattered percussion. Miles shakily offers a new riff, and an unidentified tune starts, described by bass and guitar harmonizing an 8th-note upandownphrase. This delightful bit chugs on for several minutes before the audience weighs in with a hurricane of handclaps.

At the end of this bootleg bout, we find the official concert recordings of the 1975 band—Agharta and Pangaea—still the champions of the electric Miles canon (they sport awesome covers, too). Simply put, those records are better recorded and better mixed (although no less than three different mixes on various CBS/Sony domestic and Japanese issues have been offered over the years, adding to the general confusion about this period). But the prime reason the official releases stand out is because the musicians knew that Columbia, in the person of Teo Macero, was rolling the tape, and that posterity might be standing in judgment someday. As Chris Murphy put it: “We had all worked hard on the Osaka recordings—Miles more than anyone—and had produced a great piece of art.”
Due to file size issues, I had to divide this recording into two separate Zip files. All sound files should fit comfortably on one CD. Download Another Unity (Pt. 1 & Pt. 2).

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Miles Davis: Philly May 12&17 1975

The Info:

Miles Davis - 12&17-5-75 - philadelphia - usa (just jazz)

12. - 17. May 1975
Just Jazz, Philadelphia, USA


Miles Davis (tp, org); Sam Morrison (ss, ts, fl); Pete Cosey (g, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Foreman (cga, perc)


1. Band warming up - 00:32
2. Funk [Prelude] (Part 1) - 19:37
3. Ife - 19:38
4. Untitled original 750505 - 03:42

Don't know much about this one other than that the recording is from May of 1975 right as Miles was getting ready to retire. The set is pretty much what one might expect to hear at a Miles gig around that time. Sound quality is a bit dodgy (as one would expect from a bootleg live recording), but gives a decent idea of how Miles and band were sounding at the time.

The untitled track that ends the recording serves as a harbinger of the kinder gentler Miles who would re-emerge in the early 1980s. That said, the performance of the tune has plenty of edge to it, unlike much of the 1980s material.


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Human Arts Ensemble - Streets of St. Louis

Human Arts Ensemble
Streets of St. Louis
Moers Music 1978

1. Streets of St. Louis (13:10)
2. Miles Beyond (10:05)

3. Entensity Big (11:39)
4. Hard Light (7:06)

Charles Bobo Shaw - drums
Lester Bowie - trumpet
Hamiet Bluiett - baritone sax
Julius Hemphill - alto sax
Joseph Bowie - trombone
Abdul Wadud - cello
Dominique Gaumont - guitar

Live at Studio Rivbea, NYC
September 6, 1974
Download Streets of St. Louis

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Okyerema Asante: Drum Message

Recorded June 3, 1976 & September 14, 1977 at Arrest Recording Studios in Washington DC.

Released on Black Fire Records (catalog # BF 19803)

Okyerema Asante: African Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Chants, Whistles, Bells
Plunky Branch: Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax, Shekere, Vocals, Flute
Muzi Branch: Electric Bass, Shekere
Brian Jackson: Piano
Andrea Thomas: Trap Drums
Judy Spears: Vocals
Iceman Ron Wallace: Vocals
Ras Mel Glover: Electric Guitar
Bilal Suni Ali: Flute
Timothy Hall: Piano, Synthesizer
Sister Tee: Violin
Simbo: Berimbeau, Congas
1. Drum Message
2. Asante Sana
3. Follow Me
4. Sabi
5. Mother Africa
6. Never Fly Away From the Funk
7. Play a Sweet Rhythm on Them Drums
8. Adowa
9. Sabi (Black Fire Mix)
10. Kazi's Awakening
11. To the Ancestors
If you're familiar with Plunky Branch's classic Oneness of Juju band from the mid to late 1970s, you will know what to expect. Sounds a bit like the classic African Rhythms album, but with much more emphasis on percussion. As far as I know, the album has never seen a proper reissue.

Download Drum Message

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Haitus Interruptus

At long last, I think I have some time to add some new material over the next week or so. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mea culpa

If you've been wondering where I've been, let's just say that my schedule's been tight since the end of December and doesn't look too likely to let up until the start of February. I do have some new material in the pipeline, so check back soon.