29 June 2007

JOE HARRIOTT QUINTET - FREE FORM

























Joe Harriott for Jazzland Records in 1961.
The few recordings of Jamaican born saxophonist Joe Harriott have been hard to come by since they were initially released in the early '60s. One of the most famous is Free Form, recorded in London and released in 1960. Comparable to Ornette Coleman's recordings of the period, these eight pieces incorporate Harriott's hard bop influence, cutting through adventurous compositions including "Abstract," "Straight Lines," and "Impression." When listening to Free Form (or early Coleman for that matter) with a 21st century perspective, it's hard to imagine that this music was often considered intolerable upon release. It's unfortunate that Harriott and trumpeter/fl├╝gelhornist Shane Keane missed out on being as widely lauded as Coleman and Don Cherry finally became. In 1999 tenor saxophonist Ken Vandermark attempted to spotlight that ill-fated situation by releasing a disc of Harriott compositions, including three from Free Form, on his 1999 release Straight Lines. ~ Al Campbell, All Music Guide
Ripped @320 from the deleted Redial cd from 1998

28 June 2007

JOE HARRIOTT - SOUTHERN HORIZONS






















WOW.....Heads up everyone.
Jazz-Neko contributes to the superb CALL IT ANYTHING blog and he has just posted a nice rip of the original vinyl of Joe Harriott's fantastic and very rare "Southern Horizons".This has never appeared anywhere else on the net(to the best of my knowledge)and it's a real treat.
Coincidentally I have just finished reading "Joe Harriott: Fire In His Soul" by Alan Robertson and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Jazz.A fascinating read on this neglected genius and the evolution of British Jazz in the 50s and 60s.

24 June 2007

MCCOY TYNER - ENLIGHTENMENT





















The mighty McCoy Tyner for Milestone live at Montreux from 1973.
The cover picture of Tyner's face streaming with rivers of sweat sums up this double lp well-an unremitting intense whirlwind of sound with the Quartet playing at full force through out.

McCoy Tyner, piano, percussion; Azar Lawrence, soprano sax, tenor sax; Joony Booth, bass; Alphonse Mouzon, drums

Ripped at 320 from the original vinyl so 2 files - one and two.

This is one of the great McCoy Tyner recordings. The powerful, percussive, and highly influential pianist sounds quite inspired throughout his appearance at the ~1973 Montreux Jazz Festival. Azar Lawrence (on tenor and soprano) is also quite noteworthy and there is plenty of interplay with bassist Juney Booth and drummer Alphonse Mouzon. But Tyner is the main star, whether it be on his three-part "Enlightenment Suite," "Presence," "Nebula," or the 25-minute "Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit."
- Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

HAROLD LAND QUINTET - THE PEACE-MAKER
























After a number of requests I am reposting this for the FOURTH time so grab it now if you haven't had it before.I've ripped it from the original Vinyl @320 this time.Here's my original post:

A fantastically beautiful record that stands as the first meeting between Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land and it's an album that's possibly even better than the more famous Blue Note work by the pair! This is one of those "once in a lifetime" jazz sessions filled with magical interplay that's made the record a favorite with collectors for years, and done with a sound that's as lyrically graceful as it is soulful and righteous. Hutcherson's vibes are at their warmest 60s mode, but still have some of the angularity of his more modern sides for Blue Note. However Land is the real discovery here as he steps out with a fluidity that surpasses any of his earlier hardbop albums, a flowing exploratory style expressed on both flute and tenor with a mode that's years ahead of its time, and sounds a lot more like work on labels like Strata East or Muse from the 70s. Tracks are nearly all originals by Land, and are the kind of thoughtful jazz compositions that show up on a rare few records from the 60s - all of them are great, and sparkle with creativity and a subdued sense of righteousness(Dusty Groove)

Pretty tough to track down on vinyl its been overlooked for cd release until very recently and even now it's a Japanese issue only in a card sleeve -this is ripped from the original vinyl on the mighty Cadet label.

21 June 2007

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - TOTAL ECLIPSE























This is the last of my Hutcherson posts for the time being but there will be more in the future.Total Eclipse is pretty hard to find nowadays and I don't think it ever made a cd issue.I first posted it in September last year but I have ripped it again from the original vinyl @320.
Total Eclipse was Bobby Hutcherson's first recording session with tenor saxophonist Harold Land, who became one of his major collaborators (and a quintet co-leader) during the late '60s. Land's rounded, echoing tone is a nice contrast for the coolly cerebral post-bop that fills Total Eclipse. Hutcherson contributes four of the five compositions (the other, "Matrix," is by pianist Chick Corea), and he's in a mood to intellectually challenge himself and the rest of the quintet, which also includes bassist Reggie Johnson and longtime drummer Joe Chambers. The results are full of the sort of skillful musicianship one would naturally expect of Hutcherson's '60s-era Blue Notes. Land's solo lines are fluid and lengthy, assimilating some of Coltrane's innovations while remaining accessibly soulful. Though they're all pretty strong, "Pompeian" is the most ambitious piece; it opens with a happy-go-lucky, waltz-time flute melody, and after a bit of foreboding, Hutcherson expands upon it with a tinkling bell solo. Toward the end of the piece, the whole group builds to a chaotic eruption, with Hutcherson switching to marimba (as he often did when he wanted a darker tone and high-tempo articulation); the pretty flute theme is then repeated as the dust settles and the piece ends. Overall, though, the album foreshadows Hutcherson's move away from his explicit avant-garde leanings and into a still-advanced but more structured modernist framework. For some reason, Total Eclipse was the only post-bop-styled album Hutcherson and Land recorded together that was released at the time; though they're all high-quality, this remains perhaps the best of the lot. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide Francis Wolff Producer Michael Cuscuna Producer Bobby Hutcherson Vibes Reggie Johnson Bass Duke Pearson Producer Chick Corea Piano Harold Land Flute, Sax Joe Chambers Drums

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - STICK UP

























One of my favourite Hutcherson lps and another repost from the early days of OIR this time from July 2006.I've ripped it from the original vinyl again but @320 this time.

One of Bobby Hutcherson's best albums, Stick-Up! was also his first official release not to feature drummer Joe Chambers, who was a major part of Hutcherson's outside leanings. Instead, Stick-Up! stakes out the middle ground between hard bop and the avant-garde, offering a set of structured yet advanced modal pieces indebted particularly to Coltrane. Hutcherson's originals (five out of six selections) show him at the top of his game as a composer, and the ensemble's playing is tight and focused throughout, but what really lifts Stick-Up! to the top tier of Hutcherson's discography is its crackling energy. It's quite possibly the hardest-swinging album he ever cut, and part of the credit has to go to the stellar rhythm section of McCoy Tyner on piano, Herbie Lewis on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums, who lay down a driving, pulsating foundation that really pushes Hutcherson and tenorist Joe Henderson. Tyner in particular is a standout, charging relentlessly forward on the intricate modal "8/4 Beat" and "Black Circle" and lending a Coltrane-ish flavor to the spiritually searching "Verse." The lone non-Hutcherson piece, Ornette Coleman's sometimes overlooked "Una Muy Bonita," is given a fantastic, rollicking treatment as catchy as it is progressive, proving that the piece is a classic regardless of whether it's interpreted freely or with a steady groove and tonal center. Hutcherson's originals are uniformly strong and memorable enough to sit very well next to it, and that -- coupled with the energetic performances -- ranks Stick-Up! with Dialogue and Components as the finest work of Hutcherson's tenure at Blue Note.

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - CIRRUS























This was my very first Bobby Hutcherson post here at OIR back in may 2006.It was ripped from vinyl @192 in those days-I've reupped it @320 this time and ripped it from the Mosaic Select box set.Here's my original narrative:

Cirrus finds Bobby Hutcherson resuming his partnership with tenor saxophonist Harold Land, and the results are marvellous. The pair work with pianist Bill Henderson, trumpeter Woody Shaw, bassist Ray Drummond, drummer Larry Hancock, saxophonist/flautist Emmanuel Boyd and percussionist Kenneth Nash on this set of originals.The album starts with a great version of Woody Shaw's "Rosewood" while the rest of the set is written by Hutcherson and includes "Even Later".Highlight of the lp for me is the atmospheric and brooding "Zuri Dance" - what a corker !

20 June 2007

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - CONCEPTION:THE GIFT OF LOVE


























Bobby Hutcherson for Columbia from 1979 on which he is joined by a 13 piece horn section and the Leary/Marshall rhythm section from his late Blue Notes.Cedar Walton produced it and contributed one tune while the rest of the writing credits are split between Hutcherson,Cables,Leary and Marshall.

NO SIREE BOB/CLOCKWISE/REMEMBER TO SMILE/DARK SIDE, LIGHT SIDE/HOLD MY HAND/DREAMIN'/QUIET FIRE
Just as a matter of interest “No Siree Bob” originally appeares as “Anton’s Bail” on Live at Montreux (1973)although that album had been released in Europe & Japan only when Conception was released.
George Cables (p); Jon Faddis(tp); Urbie Green (tenor trb);Hubert Laws (fl); Lenny Hambro(as); Bill Summers (perc); Kenneth Nash (perc); Eddie Marshall (d);Robert Alexander (tenor trb); JohnGale (tenor trb); Earl Gardner (tp);Bobby Hutcherson (vib); JamesLeary (b); Anthony Tooley (tp);Daniel Trimboli (ts); Frank Wess(ts); Joseph B. Wilder (tp); DannyMoore (tp); Romeo Pinque (bs,bass clar)
15-16 Mar 79
Englewood Cliffs, NJ

No reissues - ripped from the original vinyl @ 320

18 June 2007

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - UN POCO LOCO
























Bobby Hutcherson for Columbia from 1979.
Musicians: Bobby Hutcherson (vibes & marimba), John Abercrombie (acoustic & electric guitars), George Cables (electric & acoustic pianos), Chuck Domanico (electric & acoustic basses), Peter Erskine (drums & percussion).
Here's a positive write up from J. Levinson (Media, PA USA)


The presence of George Cables electric piano, Chuck Domanico's electric bass, and John Abercrombie's electric guitar defines this set as late 70's fusion. Along with Bobby's elegant vibes and Peter Erskine's progressive drum approach, the preponderance of eclectric instruments produce a controlled dynamic that glides along very smoothly, even as the solos display advanced technique. The title track, one of Bud Powell's greatest bop compositions, sounds perfectly modern with this treatment, as if it were written just today. This excellent set has enough harmonic complexity to satisfy mainstream jazz listeners, yet is refined enough to have appeal to smooth jazz and fusion fans as well. At under 40 minutes, the recording time seems brief by modern standards, as it always seems to end too fast whenever I listen to it.
And here's a fairly dismissive review from Jazzreview.com

The late 1970s and early 1980s were a problematic time for jazz recordings, particularly those released on the so-called major labels. The Fusion steamroller was still flattening the recording careers of scores of mainstream musicians, with the big boys like Columbia, Polydor, Warner Bros., and RCA Victor seemingly always on the prowl for the next Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, or Weather Report. Disco had reared its over-coifed head, and more than a few creative players hauled out the polyester and gold chains to pay the rent. Even the gritty and sour-sweet Jackie McLean momentarily tumbled into the chasm with 1979’s ill-advised Monuments.
Vibraphone and marimba player Bobby Hutcherson had cut his swan song for the floundering Blue Note Records with 1977’s Knucklebean. He moved on to Columbia with the syrupy Highway One (featuring large string and horn sections) in 1978, and the even blander Conception: The Gift of Love (with a 13-piece horn section) in 1979. His third album, Un Poco Loco – originally Columbia 36402 – released in 1980, was a notch or two more inspired than the preceding pair, but pretty insipid compared to the classic Blue Notes from the 1960s.
Part of the difficulty lies in the choice of instrumentation and the quality of the engineering. The combination of vibes or marimba with electric piano, electric guitar, and electric bass is a tad too tinkly for comfort. There’s precious little bottom in the recorded sound, and Domanico’s bass – particularly the electric – has little presence; even when he switches to the stand-up there’s no air, no wood, no resonance in the reproduction. Perhaps the dreaded direct-feed is to blame. Engineers seemed to have no clue how to correctly record the rich overtones of strings during this period. Hutcherson’s instruments fare a little better, but there’s none of the richly detailed ring and hanging-in-air timbre so commonplace on the Blue Notes. Abercrombie tends to concentrate most of his attention on the treble range of the guitars as well, and the engineer emasculates Erskine’s kick and toms, leaving a wash of ill-defined snare and cymbals. Things pick up considerably when Cables switches to the acoustic piano, but it’s a case of too little, too late. The session cries out for instrumentation with real heft, or at least an engineer who could translate bass and drums to recording tape with the bite and balls of Rudy Van Gelder.
Highlights include the limber Bud Powell title cut, with Cables on acoustic and Hutcherson taking a tasty marimba solo, Bobby’s catchy “I Wanna Stand Over There” – which is reminiscent of “500 Miles High” – with a fluid Cables acoustic solo and relatively adventurous Hutcherson on vibes, and a brief but gutsy Abercrombie acoustic solo – replete with guttural vocal exclamations – on Jack DeJohnette’s lovely “Silver Hollow.”

Reissued but now deleted on cd and tough to find-this is ripped from the original vinyl @320

16 June 2007

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - HIGHWAY ONE

























Bobby Hutcherson for Columbia from 1978.
James Leary Bass,Cedar Walton Piano,Bobby Hutcherson Vibraphone,Kenneth Nash Percussion,Freddie Hubbard Flugelhorn,George Cables Piano (Electric),Eddie Marshall Drums, Jessica Cleaves Vocals,Hubert Laws Flute,Todd Barkan Producer.
With keyboardist George Cables and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson contributing all of the compositions, it is not too surprising that this LP has plenty of strong melodies. Hutcherson is heard backed by string and horn sections on one selection apiece but they add to rather than detract from the melodic but not simplistic music. Freddie Hubbard drops by for a cameo on one ballad and flutist Hubert Laws is heard from in spots. A fine (if not overly adventurous) outing. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
Ripped from original vinyl @320-no reissues.

11 June 2007

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - INNER GLOW




























Bobby Hutcherson for Blue Note Japan from 1975.
Oscar Brashear (tp) Thurman Green (tb) Harold Land (ts) Bobby Hutcherson (vib) Dwight Dickenson (p) Kent Brinkley (b) Larry Hancock (d)
United Artists Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA, March 25, 1975
BN [J] GXF 3073; MS-026

Been after this for about 20 years but could never afford it then let alone now.Big big bucks for the Japanese original vinyl these days so thank God for the ever wonderful Mosaic and their Select Series.I bought the recent three cd box set although I have it all on vinyl-except for this !
So here it is - the Holy Grail of the Hutcherson catalogue - Inner Glow.
Ripped @320 from Mosaic Select 26 .

10 June 2007

LUIS GASCA - COLLAGE


























Luis Gasca for Fantasy Records from 1974 featuring Bobby Hutcherson,produced by Orrin Keepnews with strings and horns arranged by Don Menza.
PersonnelLuis Gasca (tr, flug, synth el-tr, voice); Don Menza (al-fl, fl, English horn, b-cl, ss, ts, cond, arr); Hadley Caliman (al-fl, fl, as); Frank Rosolino (trb; bari-horn); Ray Draper (tu); Bobby Hutcherson (vib); Ralph Walsh (g); Joachim Young, Patrice Rushen, (el-p); Joe Gallardo (p); Richard Kermode (p, el-p); Pat O'Hearn, Peter Barshay (b); Darrell Clayborn (el-b); Harvey Mason (d); Victor Pantoja (perc); Robert Sushel, Stanley Plummer, Marvin Limonick, Gerald Vinci (vln); David Schwartz, Allan Harshman (vla); Edgar Lustgarten, Frederick Sekoya (cello).
Here's a great interview with the enigmatic Luis Gasca from Jazzreview.com :
Spring 2002 - “I’m gonna tell you one thing; life is beautiful, and we’re hanging out listening to Miles Davis. Hey! how about the Sugar Time Lounge, mama?” I peer to my left out the car window and see a windowless bar on a curved street. It's the middle of the day, East side. I look at him, then look at the clock on the car radio. 2pm. We settle on the Moose lounge instead.
It's red in the Moose Lounge and rednecks and cowboys line the bar. A picture of John Wayne hangs above the door. On the jukebox a Ray Charles tune is playing. The bartender introduces herself as Francine and asks Gasca his name. “Johnny Spade,” he answers. She eyes him cautiously then turns to get our drinks. He looks at me, “This is why no one can find me; I don’t want to be found.”
Luis Gasca hasn’t always been so inconspicuous. This dude knows his way around a map having toured with some of the biggest names in music. Whatever your cup of tea; Jazz, Latin, or Rock and Roll, Luis has had his hand in it. Between 1954 and today, Gasca has worked with countless musicians from Count Basie and Woody Herman to Mongo Santamaria, Herbie Hancock, Janis Joplin and Santana. A trumpet player, composer and conductor, Luis is not indefinable. However, he is often enigmatic. A self-proclaimed wilderbeast, centaur, minotaur and part gypsy, Luis is all about freedom and music.
It all began with the study of the trumpet and the lure of the east coast. A student of the famed Berklee School of Music in Boston, he prides himself on his eastern education, but will tell you more about the nights he spent going out to see some of the most influential musicians of jazz in the bars, clubs and dance halls of New York City. “It exposed me to the best. On any given night you could go out and hear John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Willy Bobo, Machito, Richard Maulbey from the Roseland Ballroom.” He remembers hearing Maulbey on the radio when he was a kid in Houston, Texas. That was when he decided he was going to be a New York trumpet player.
That was ‘59 and the early sixties when Afro-Cuban jazz caught on as one of the most popular jazz styles. A mix of bop with Latin percussion, the integration of Latin rhythms into jazz was fairly new. About ten years before, Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo persuaded Latin bandleader Machito to use jazz soloists. About the same time Stan Kenton and Dizzy Gillespie were doing the same thing, and there was the rising popularity of Tito Puente and Cal Tjader, two bandleaders Gasca eventually worked with. Cool Jazz had been around a few years by then. It was a viable and popular style, experimental in nature, that hinted at classical music. This inspired Gasca though by the late '50s hard bop from the East Coast had succeeded cool jazz.
“I had the chance to experience New York City in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s before New York changed. Because of marital problems or whatever I left New York City and split to Mexico. Then I wound up in San Francisco. San Francisco is a tiny little mecca -- a little gem,” he says. “Everyone should have two favorite cities; their own and San Francisco.”
It was in San Francisco that Gasca says he discovered what he calls “that hippie thing; freedom.” Between ‘67 to ‘74 he noticed women weren’t too hung up with somebody opening their door for them. “They weren’t so analytical. You didn’t have to see their psychiatrist before you took them out for dinner. They were free. They were getting rid of panties and bra’s and everything. They wanted to screw. They wanted to have a good time.” Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it was within that same time period in which Gasca found himself most productive. He played with the Perez Prado orchestra eventually touring Japan, and when he returned to California he landed a gig with the Stan Kenton band playing flugelhorn on the celebrated “Adventures in Time” album. After working with the orchestras of Maynard Ferguson and Lionel Hampton, Gasca spent a couple of years playing with different bands in Mexico City and Acapulco. After that, he toured Europe with the Woody Herman Herd, only to return to the States for another tour, this time with acclaimed Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria. Gasca seemed to lead what jazz writer Leonard Feather described as “a double life in jazz and various forms of Latin music.”
Gasca admits, however, if it weren't for all the touring he would have never left San Francisco. “San Francisco had everything I needed. It had women, it had drugs, it had music, it had Miles Davis and John Coltrane, it had Mongo Santamaria. There was nothing else for me.” But freedom is double-edged. He also admits to being strung out all that time, and psychologically addicted to cocaine. “When I had a lot of money that’s all I used to do -- buy women and cocaine, and I was a terrible alcoholic so I had two demons right there, a devil on the right side and a devil on the left.”
In ‘69 Gasca became musical director for the horn section of Big Brother and the Holding Company, which featured Janis Joplin. They did a tour of Europe, and after returning to San Francisco Gasca says he stayed for a little while, but was "mostly sick." “I stopped (playing) because I was self destructive. I was burned out. By then San Francisco had gone down, Patty Hearst came in and she was the most popular figure for two years. It wasn’t the Grateful Dead or Santana and Van Morrison. Van Morrison had already burned out, Sly Stone had coked out, Janis had died. Patty Hearst was the queen bee. Music was gone. San Francisco and all the hippies and runaways wound up in Height Ashbury along with heroin and everything else. It got funky. That’s when I knew it was time for me to go.”
Gasca wandered around for twenty years. California, Texas, Mexico and Hawaii. For twenty years Gasca hardly played a note, “...but I was able to observe people,” he points out. He compares his drifting existence to that of Jesus Christ. “You know what I like the most about Jesus Christ?” he asks, “...for a long time nobody knew who he really was, and by not knowing who he was he was able to get down and really observe people without people going, ‘...aye man, that’s Jesus Christ! Let’s go get his autograph,’ you know. ‘Aye Jesus Christ, what was it like being down in Woodstock,’ that type of trip. He could walk around unobserved.” How else could he know how to talk to sinful women, burglars and thieves?”
The way Gasca dropped out of sight, many believed he was probably dead. In the recent biography of Carlos Santana,“Soul Sacrifice”, it’s mentioned that Luis had died in Hawaii. “It took me many years to recover,” he admits, “and I’m just thankful to be alive.”
We're driving down Broadway now, headed to a temporary mailbox he uses in a strip mall. “para-pa-para-pa-parararaleedeedeedata... that is a Clifford Brown solo verbatim note for note. That’s just a piece of a masterpiece. That’s a trumpet solo. Now how can I recite a complete trumpet solo had I not studied Clifford Brown? And he’s just one of the many great trumpet players. You’ve got Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, the great Freddie Hubbard. You have the excellent Clark Terry, Bobbie Hacket, Louis Armstrong, Henry “Red” Allen, Harry Sweets Edison, Cat Anderson... you know what I’m talking about? Of course innovators like Miles Davis and Dizzy 'learned differently,'" he says, "in that they were creators in the field." Others, like himself, relied on intense and serious study of the instrument. In order for a musician to create his own musical identity Gasca believes he must always surround himself with musicians and he must open himself up to all forms of music, which involves the act of humbling oneself. Any good musician who is inventive and creative has to search persistently before coming to their own musical identity.
Gasca recalls the long and tedious process of studying and deciphering solos by listening to records. “If you wanted to study the trumpet you had to actually get the record and take out para-pa-para-pa-parararaleedeedeedata. You had a record that went round and round, and then you had to pick up the needle and find that place again. It’s not that you were gonna play that, it’s that you knew the way that this guy was gonna attack, execute and interpret a particular passage or note.”
In the car we listen to Miles Davis again. “This is highly arranged and you don’t see Mile’s doing his brooding. He’s playing a part -- he does not have the freedom,” Gasca says. “All creative musicians need to go through a freedom trip and they need to do things that are highly arranged, highly sophisticated like the “Collage” album.
Few recognize the serious and meditative jazzman in Gasca. You’d have to take a step back and listen to the work he did on his own albums in the late 60s and early 70s; Little Giant, Collage, Born to Love You and For Those Who Chant. An eloquent fusion of jazz and Afro-Cuban influences, Gasca boasts of recording with some of the greatest musicians in the world on these albums. “This is what I'm really about,” he says. Music that he describes as highly arranged and sophisticated. It’s unfortunate that this collection of work has largely gone unnoticed having taken the back seat to his other well-known accomplishments like recording with Santana, Janis Joplin or Van Morrison.
“Most people say to me, ‘well, I like the other one, Luis.’ “...sure you do... sure you do. You like things that are down and funky because you refuse to extend yourself into things that are more sophisticated. If it isn’t pabulum music -- like a little kid who has to have strained peaches instead of real potatoes -- you freak out. If you don’t have pureed music -- pureed jazz -- you freak out. Musicians should explore different artistic outlets, those that require discipline in order to break out of that embryonic musical stage.”
“This is all discipline on Mile’s part,” he points out speaking of the solo. “He got freer as he went along, he didn’t need anybody else. This is all arranged, there’s nothing free about it. It’s only free in its freedom of expressiveness and execution but it’s planned.” “How can it be free and planned?” I ask. “Because you have to be free to plan things, and you have to have plan to be free. Does that make sense?” “Yeah,” I say, quite convinced. “One of these days write that down ‘cause that sounds interesting.”
Those twenty years of wandering the map have done something to change the man who has, in the past, been described as part circus barker, ex-junkie, alcoholic, and woman-abusing con. Gasca says he has very little regret. When asked about his future plans he says he expects to do something he’s been wanting to do for years; get in his motor home and head for the pyramids of Mexico -- Chichen Itza, Palenque and the Mayan corridor. When the time is right, perhaps a Best of Compilation will materialize. “If it’s coming my way, I’ll be there,” he says, “I don’t manipulate it.”
San Francisco, Baja, and a tiny beach outside of Cancun await him. A new chance to earn some bread and play some music. Maps of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. lay sprawled across the table in his old R.V. “This is the closest I’ve been to really, really being free, so I’m happy. As I’ve gotten farther away from all that I talk about it less. I’m that close to driving off into the sunset with my horn.”
No reissues-this is ripped from the original vinyl @320.
If you like this Happy As A Fat Rat In A Cheese Factory has posted another great Luis Gasca album "Born To Love You."

7 June 2007

THE AQUARIANS - JUNGLE GRASS
















Finally got my hands on a copy of this great lp masterminded by Vladimir Vassilieff and featuring Bobby Hutcherson.It has been posted in blogland but had a couple of tracks missing and was at a lower bit rate-192 .So I've ripped my vinyl copy at 320 and here it is in it's entirety.This one really grows on you and comes highly recommended with the OIR seal of approval.
And by the way who thinks Stereolab sound like they've had a good listen to The Gemini Twins vocals on The Aquarians ?

Musicians are:... Joe Pass (Guitar), Dave MacKay (Vocals), The Aquarians (Main Performer), Francisco Aguabella (Conga drums & Percussion), Stanley Gilbert (Bass), Carl Lott (Drums), Joe Roccisano (flute, alto flute & sax (Alto)), Vladimir Vassilieff (Piano), The Gemini Twins-(vocal) Vicky Hamilton (voice on 1, 6 & 7) Lynn Blessing(on 2 & 10)-(vibes); Stan Gilbert, Al Mckibbon(on 2 & 10)-(bass);
Recorded at Sunwest Recording Studio and Whitney Recording Studio in Hollywood, January 1969.

Part of the strange California zodiac pop funk scene, the Aquarians took astrology rock in several interesting and generally unexplored directions. While primarily the brainchild of composer, arranger, and pianist Vladimir Vassilieff, the Aquarians were actually a supergroup of talented jazz musicians. Featuring Stan Gilbert, a much in-demand bassist at the time, and the incomparable Afro-Cuban percussion of Francisco Aguabella, the Aquarians blended a one love hippie philosophy with smooth, Latin-tinged jazz. Their first, and only, album, Jungle Grass sounds close to related astrology rockers Friends of Distinction (which also featured Stan Gilbert) and the 5th Dimension. While evidencing a nominal interest in astrology, the tracks on Jungle Grass are, at the core, jazz with a heavy Afro-Cuban (evident in the percussion), and possibly a Brazilian Tropicalia (evident in the vocals), influence. On an album packed with talent, there are few solos and no showboating -- the performance of each member is subservient to the groove. On the opener, "Bayu-Bayu," Aguabella lays down several beautiful fills over the sing-song vocal. "Batakum" features nice sax work by Joe Roccisano playing under the sign of Pharoh Sanders. A solid but not explosive album, Jungle Grass is definitely an under appreciated effort and is currently sought after by certain DJs for its little sampled piano flourishes and percussion breaks. ~ Brian Whitener, All Music Guide

6 June 2007

EDDIE PALMIERI - HARLEM RIVER DRIVE



















Hey you lucky people Radiorebelde over at Revolucion,No? has reupped my vinyl rip of this latin funk bomb-here's the original post.
Eddie Palmieri's supergroup Harlem River Drive was the first group to really merge black and Latin styles and musicians, resulting in a free-form brew of salsa, funk, soul, jazz, and fusion. Though it was led by pianist Palmieri, the group also included excellent players from both the Latin community (his brother Charlie, Victor Venegas, Andy GonZalez) and the black world (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Ronnie Cuber). Named as an ironic reference to the New York City street which allowed predominantly suburban drivers to bypass East Harlem entirely on their way to lower Manhattan, Harlem River Drive released their groundbreaking debut album in 1970 on Roulette, including Latin and underground club hits like the title track and "Seeds of Life." Unfortunately, Harlem River Drive was their only album, though the group did appear co-billed on Eddie Palmieri's two-part 1972 release, Live at Sing Sing, Vols. 1-2.
The reason this record is "legendary" is because it marks the first recorded performances, in 1970, of Eddie and Charlie Palmieri as bandleaders. The reason it should be a near mythical recording (it has never been available in the U.S. on CD, and was long out of print on LP before CDs made the scene), is for its musical quality and innovation. The Palmieris formed a band of themselves, a couple of Latinos that included Andy Gonzales, jazz-funk great -- even then -- Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, and some white guys and taught them how to play a music that was equal parts Cuban mambo, American soul via Stax/Volt, blues, Funkadelic-style rock, pop-jazz, and harmonic and instrumental arrangements every bit as sophisticated as Burt Bacharach's or Henry Mancini's or even Stan Kenton's. One can hear in "Harlem River Drive (Theme)" and "Idle Hands" a sound akin to War's on World Is a Ghetto. Guess where War got it? "If (We Had Peace)" was even a model for Lee Oskar's "City, Country, City." And as much as War modeled their later sound on this one record, as great as they were, they never reached this peak artistically. But there's so much here: the amazing vocals (Jimmy Norman was in this band), the multi-dimensional percussion section, the tight, brass-heavy horn section, and the spaced-out guitar and keyboard work (give a listen to "Broken Home") where vocal lines trade with a soprano saxophone and a guitar as snaky keyboards create their own mystical effect. One can bet that Chick Corea heard in Eddie's piano playing a stylistic possibility for Return to Forever's Light As a Feather and Romantic Warrior albums. The band seems endless, as if there are dozens of musicians playing seamlessly together live -- dig the percussion styling of Manny Oquendo on the cowbell and conga and the choral work of Marilyn Hirscher and Allan Taylor behind Norman. Harlem River Drive is a classic because after 30-plus years, it still sounds as if listeners are the ones catching up to it.
This rip is from a piece of pristine japanese vinyl from Toshiba EMI.I bit the bullet and paid top dollar for it years ago as it was still cheaper than an original but it was then bootlegged and now has had an official re-issue.Still it was worth it - see what you think!!

2 June 2007

JACK MCDUFF - THE HEATIN' SYSTEM

























Brother Jack McDuff's The Heatin' System from 1972 on the mighty Cadet label.This has never made it to cd despite most of the tracks appearing on compilation after compilation over the years,and it's also been sampled and remains a big groove heavy dj friendly slab of jazz funk in the truest sense of the genre.In other words-IT ROCKS!!!
Ripped @320 this time round so two files to grab- PART 1 & PART 2
Here's a review from the Soul Strut site:
"Jack McDuff's playing was best known for its bluesy influences, and that's highlighted on the title track, Heatin System, a long 12 minute plus track, which starts off in the Blues, but then picks up in the middle and turns to some James Brown influenced funk. The Prophet and Pressure Gauge are long groovers, with the latter having a nice guitar breakdown in the middle by Phil Upchurch who was a Cadet studio musician at the time. McDuff finishes off this double LP with two mellow songs that have their moments. 1st is a cover of Ain't No Sunshine which has a little Beatles melody in the middle, but which lacks the drum break, and then Radiation, which has a nice horn beginning."
This is a repost from August 2006 - ripped from the original vinyl @320.

TITO PUENTE - TAMBO























Is it exotica ? Is it afro cuban ? Is it a total percussion rinse out ? YES YES AND YES !!!
Indeed, these 12 compositions will wake up even the sleepiest of listeners. On the opening track, "Dance of the Headhunters," Tito Puente's brass section comes in screeching with the full force of an express train . Supported by Puente's writhing percussion troupe, the trumpets smash right through to the upper stratosphere; rarely does one hear brass players hit so many high notes with this kind of ease. (Of course, trumpet virtuoso Doc Severinsen is at the helm here.) Puente himself takes the lead on "Rumba Timbales," a tune that is comprised of one long, raging timbale solo. Several layers of rhythms are piled on top of one another for this track, leaving the listener to discern between the various tempos that are superimposed over one another. "Witch Doctor's Nightmare" moves in a different direction, embracing the smooth-toned, jazzy stylings of tenor saxophonist Rafael Palau. For anybody wishing to better understand real, unbridled Afro-Cuban jazz, Tambo is the perfect listen. Not only are these performances filled with great virtuosity, Puente's compositions and arrangements underscore the very roots of the genre.
Reposted from April 2006-ripped @320 from the long deleted cd reissue.

AZAR LAWRENCE - BRIDGE INTO THE NEW AGE

















Julian Priester (tb), Woody Shaw (trumpet), Azar Lawrence (ss) (tenor sax), Hadley Caliman (fl), Arthur Blythe (alto sax), Joe Bonner (piano), John Heard or Woody Murray, Clint Houston (bass), Billy Hart (drum), Leon Chancler, Mtume or Kenneth Nash (percusion), Jean Carn (voc)
How can you go wrong with a line up like that ?! Fantastic session on Prestige from 1974 which features the furious jazz dance cut "Forces of Nature ".
Reposted from April 2006 - ripped from the original vinyl @320.

JOHNNY HAMMOND - GEARS

























A monster of an album from the Mizell brothers! Johnny "Hammond" Smith began his career as a simple soul jazz organist but by the time of this album, he'd teamed up with the mighty Larry Mizell, the genius arranger/producer who'd breathed new life into the careers of Donald Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey. Mizell works with Hammond in the same way he does with other jazz artists by taking a groove that works best with their solo style, and slowly layering other instrumentation and effects on top of it, so that when the solo kicks in, it's supported on waves and waves of funky sounds and soulful grooves. Mizell and his brother Fonce both play keyboards on the record, and the rest of the group includes great fusion players like Harvey Mason, Roger Glenn, Hadley Caliman, and Jerry Peters. The real treat is Johnny, though as his solos are heavenly, the best of his 70s work, stripped mean and lean, laid in at just the right points.
Ripped from the original (well hammered)vinyl @320.
Reposted from April 2006

MAT MARUCCI - WHO DO VOO DOO




















Mat Marucci's debut lp for his own lable Marco Records recorded in 1979.
Another drummer led session with some nice kit battering going on-check the explosive tenor and drums battle on "Who Do Voo Doo" - whew!!!!
Larry Klein on bass pre his stint with Freddie Hubbard,Dave Benoit on piano
(don't think he did anything much cop apart from "Life is Like A Samba"),Bill Caruso on Guitar,Mike Butera and Plas Johnson on saxes and Ron Barrows on Trumpet.
Long deleted this still comes up on ebay from time to time but needless to say it's never made it to cd.Ripped from original vinyl @320.