31 March 2008


Cecil McBee for Strata East from 1974
First posted at OIR 09/06.
Here is my last post on Strata East for the moment and it's the great Cecil McBee I have so many albums with him as a sideman I thought it was fitting that this solo album by him should be posted.This features the terrific "Tulsa Black" track that was compiled by Soul Jazz some years ago for their Strata East cd.
I have lifted this review from the always excellent and eminently readable Daily Jazz Blogspot-Jazz reviews and comment from one man with an unfeasibly large record collection.

The bass has always been an essential component of the jazz rhythm section, simultaneously holding down the groove while marking out the changes. Bassists of the hard-bop era often got little in the way of solo space (they were too important to be allowed to wander off by themselves) but throughout the 1960s and 70s, perhaps thanks to the gargantuan presence of Charles Mingus, they began to take a more prominent role. Several highly influential figures appeared, like Ron Carter and Dave Holland along with many others. Cecil McBee is perhaps less well-known, but equally talented, having played on seminal works by the likes of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders.
This album finds him firmly placed as leader of an avant-garde group with a distinctly spiritual edge. Mutima is the key to the spirit and culture of black Africa, according to the sleevenote; McBee's compositions certainly evoke that spirit. The music is at times inspirational. The opening "From Within" is a bass solo with McBee playing two acoustic basses simultaneously. The idea of an 11-plus minute bass solo may terrify some, but this is riveting. Not only does he play the basses, but for a section he plays the feedback created by the amplification of both instruments. The sounds he creates are otherworldly and exciting, and not always easy to identify as being produced by an upright bass. "Life Waves" is an ensemble piece, but with McBee taking a prominent melodic role, and demonstrating enormous technical skill with some very fast lines.
The other standout track is "Mutima" itself, which is virtually indistinguishable from some of the work McBee undertook with Pharoah Sanders a few years earlier. Most Strata East recordings are pretty hard to come by, but thankfully this one has been made available as a reissue in recent years as a cd in japan vinyl in u.s.Hunt 'em down.
ONAJE ALLEN GUMBS; acoustic and electric piano
GEORGE ADAMS; tenor and soprano sax
CECIL McBEE Jr; electric bass
MICHAEL CARVIN; gong and misc. percussion
JABOLI BILLY HART; cymbals and misc. percussion
TEX ALLEN; trumpet & flugelhorn
ART WEBB; flute

30 March 2008


Shamek Farrah and Sonelius Smith for Strata East from 1977
First posted at OIR September 06.
Another great session of spiritual soul jazz and one of the rarest albums on Strata East from 1976. Shamek Farrah's soulful alto is matched with the free spiritual piano of Sonelius Smith, for a totally memorable session that virtually defines the essence of the Strata East sound. The music is free, but not too free; lyrical, but never indulgent; and always turning over with a fresh sense of imagination, and a strident groove that's very much in the classic Strata East mode.The highlight of this lp is the latin romp of the 10 minute title tune a real banger of the first order.(David Murray also cut a fantastic version of this with his big band on "South of the Border" which i will post some day).
This rip is from the original vinyl @320 but it did actually make a cd release in Japan on Bomba which I think is now deleted.


Shamek Farrah for Strata East from 1974.
First posted at OIR in September 06.
As Strata East got rolling one of the admirable things it was able to do was offer a platform to some more obscure artists who weren’t being heard elsewise, folks like Billy Parker’s Fourth World (including DeeDee, Ronald, and Cecil Bridgewater); the Washington, DC ensemble Juju (who evolved
from an Art Ensemble knock-off into the great jazz-funk band Oneness of Juju by the mid-70s); and alto sax player Shamek Farrah. I don’t really know too much about Shamek except that he made two great albums of spiritual jazz for Strata in 1974 and ’77 (the second and half of the first in collaboration with pianist Sonelius Smith). Both are way cool, but my favorite is probably this one, recorded with 2 slightly different ensembles but consistent in style: largely dark, minor-mode pieces w/a drone implied or explicit and executed w/plenty of edge. The playing is chunky, heavy, and group-minded; Farrah emits a glorious wail on alto sax that takes the lead on most cuts but still leaves plenty of elbow room for everybody else. The most “out” cut is the opener, Meterologically Tuned (titled perhaps for the bracingly out-of-tune trumpet & sax on the intro & outro unison melodies), skirling horns and percussive piano and a rhythm that moves in and out of focus throughout; while the album closer, First Impressions, hovers like fog above a loping bassline digging a moody jazz-funk furrow so deep it’s hard to see up over the edge (no surprise it was sampled by Tribe Called Quest some years back). One of those obscure gems that dot the catalog and are really deserving of proper CD reissue (there are relatively inexpensive vinyl copies making the LP-reissue rounds periodically; I am uncertain as to legality of parentage on those & so will resist exhorting their purchase).
Kevin Moist on the case again for this review.
Alto Sax: - Shamek Farrah
Bass: - Milton Suggs
Conga: - Calvert "Bo" Satter-White
Drums: - Ron Warwell
Percussion: - Kenny Harper
Piano: - Sonelius Smith
Trumpet: - Norman Person
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl.


Charles Rouse for Strata East from 1974.
First posted at O.I.R. 09/06.

The album "Two is One" was recorded in 1974 for Strata East and was Charlie Rouse's first date as both producer and leader.He pulled an interesting mix of players together for this date-Airto-Percussion,Azzedin Weston-Congas,Calo Scott-Cello,David Lee-Drums,Stanley Clarke-Bass, Paul Mitzki and George Davis on Guitars.
"Bitchin'" opens the lp on a cool funky groove which flows along and then gets blown out of the window by the savage break beat battery of "Hopscotch".Joe Chambers wrote it-had to be a drummer,didn't it-and David Lee's funky drum patterns combine with Stan the Mans rumbling bottom end bass lock down to produce a monstrous proto-broken beat tour de force.This is followed by"In a Funky Way"which does exactly what it says in the title.
"Two is One"is divided into two parts-one is two?- and is an incredible sucession of different rhythms.In the first part Rouse plays in 3/4 and is accompanied by Clarke's bass which plays in 9/8 while the drums go 3/4.In the second part he improvises in 4/4 backed by cello while the rhythm section hits it at 7/8.The album wraps up with the fragmented yet building "In his Presence Searching"which leaves Rouse(on bass clarinet as well as tenor) free to improvise without the same harmonic safety net he was used to with Monk.
This was re-issued by Charly in the 90s but seems to have disappeared again-there was also a vinyl re-issue floating around a few years ago which surfaces from time to time-seek and you will find!
Ripped @320 from the Charly cd reissue.


Music Inc. for Strata East from 1971.
First posted at O.I.R. September 2006.
Tuba and Baritone Sax:HOWARD JOHNSON

This was the first release from Strata-EastRecords, the label created in 1971 by Music Inc.'s co-leaders, Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell. For the debut, the two lead an advanced, hard bop session of their own compositions arranged for a quartet augmented by a 13-member brass and wind orchestra. The writing has an affinity with McCoy Tyner's modal hard bop from this same period, e.g Tyner's Extensions (Blue Note). Similarly, Cowell's playing shares with Tyner's a powerful technique, effective use of rippling two-handed arpeggios, and an ability to make its presence felt in a large group. Jimmy Hopps (drums) and Cecil McBee (bass) round out the core quartet. Hopps' blend of muscular drive and nuance is akin to Louis Hayes or Freddie Waits. McBee's technical command and slabs of fat, earthy tone are captured wonderfully. The orchestra includes trumpeters Richard Williams and Virgil Jones, reed players Jimmy Heath and Clifford Jordan, and trombonists Garnett Brown and Curtis Fuller. The music moves seamlessly from trio and quartet configurations to full orchestration. The centerpiece is Tolliver's "On the Nile," which evokes a majestic procession of ancient Egyptian nobility sailing the broad Nile, the blue and silver waters sprayed with sunlight. Like one of the pharoah's prized falcons, the pure tone of Tolliver's flugel horn soars overhead buoyed by the orchestra's rich chords. Cowell's "Brilliant Corners" is equal to "On the Nile" in elegance and class, while his "Departure" and "Abscretions" are in a more funky vein. Tolliver's "Ruthie's Heart" alternates stripped-down statements from the quartet with sections of full on punch from the horns. His "Household of Saud" is the most purely hard bop of the six tracks. As the launch release for a new label, this was a bold debut. Tolliver and Cowell were presenting vital new pieces that had a direct lineage with the large-scale works of Ellington, Monk, and Mingus.
Ripped @320 from German Bellaphon cd reissue-now deleted.


Charles Tolliver for Strata East from 1988.
Charles Tolliver - Trumpet ;Alain Jean - Marie - Piano ;Ugonna Okegwo - Bass ;Ralph Van Duncan - Drums

check this out from Charles Tolliver:
Tolliver is joined by a trio of remarkably proficient, European-based musicians on this recording because, as he notes, his usual group experienced transportation problems. After only one rehearsal, Guadaloupean-born Alain Jean Marie(piano), British-born/West Germany-reared Ugonna Okegwo(bass), and American ex-patriate Ralph Van Duncan (drums) were able to play Tolliver's music with exceptional expertise. Four of Tolliver's distinctive compositions are given extended treatment, allowing each musician to exhibit his improvisational expertise. Once again we have aural evidence of the existence of musicians outside of the USA who can play this music and play it skillfully as their American brothers. Tolliver's bright, well-rounded trumpet sound is front and center here, to remind listeners that the horn can be played with a kind of controlled fury, while at the same time bursting forth with the dynamic lyricism that marked the playing of Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan.
Ripped @320 from the German Bellaphon cd issue which is-guess what? Deleted!


Hats off to Ish over at Ile Oxumare who has got big love for Strata East and just to prove that love he's started The Strata East Fan Club Blog.
It's a work in progress treaure trove full of great info,links and even merchandising so what better way to celebrate the mighty Strata East than to bring back a few choice crackers from the early days of O.I.R. when I ran the "Orgy In Rhythm Loves Strata East" series of posts.These were all at Rapidshare.de so the links have been dead and buried for a long time.
I'm kicking it off with one that I didn't post at the time and I can't say I have ever seen it anywhere else in blogland so comin' up :
Charles Tolliver At The Quasimodo Vol.2

29 March 2008


Gary Bartz for Prestige from 1973.
Gary Bartz-Synthesizer, Clarinet, Harmonica, Percussion, Harmonium, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Vocals;Hector Centeno-Guitar;Howard King-Drums;Hubert Eaves III-Piano, Clavinet;James Benjamin-Bass, Bass (Electric);Kenneth Nash-Percussion;Maynard Parker-Bass, Guitar

One for ish.
Dusty Groove says it like it is:
One of the last Gary Bartz albums for Prestige and a really unique session with a different feel than some of his earlier work! Gary's still got plenty of angular funk in his sound here thanks to some edgey keyboards from Hubert Eaves but he's also tightened things up a bit without smoothing them out cutting down on the longer jams in favor of a more focused approach, and singing himself on many cuts, taking on the quirky lyrical role that used to be held by Andy Bey! Bartz also produced the record himself, but Larry Mizell handled the final mix giving the record a slightly spacier Mizell-inflected groove, but one that's not as full as on other Bartz/Mizell collaborations. The vocals here are all pretty great, and the album's filled with oddly-grooving tunes that really have a heck of a lot of charm including the call-response track "Dozens", plus "I Don't Care", "Lady Love", "St Felix Street", "Nation Time", and "Blind Man".

Ripped from the original vinyl @320

28 March 2008


Cal Tjader for Fantasy from 1973
Arranged and Conducted by Charlie Palmieri and Tito Puente.
Total bomb from the Big Three-Cal,Charlie,Tito.
Jose Merino-Trumpet, Louis Laurita-Trumpet, Jack Jeffers-Trombone,Tuba, Bobby Nelson-Tenor, Charlie Palmieri-Keyboards, Bobby Rodriguez-Bass, Enrique Davila-Timbales, Tito Puente-Timbales, Ismael Quintana-Percussion,Vocal, Victor Aviles-Vocal, Victor Velasquez-Vocal, William Rodriguez-Bongos, Luis Rodriguez-Conga.

Dusty Groove love it:
A really hard-hitting set from Cal Tjader and one that's done with a good dose of 60s Latin Soul as well! The album was recorded in the early 70s, but it's really got a late 60s New York flavor thanks to arrangers Charlie Palmieri and Tito Puente who cook up a groove that's sockingly soulful, and much more outta site than some of Tjader's other work from the time! The style here is more Fania than Fantasy Records and Cal jumps right in with some great work on vibes ringing out in a tight, Joe Cuba-esque mode on cuts that include great covers of "El Watusi" and "Bang Bang" plus "Gringo City", "Vibe Mambo", and "Mambo Show". Proof that Latin Soul was alive and well in the 70s if you knew where to look!

And so does Scott Yanow!:
This lp brings back one of Cal Tjader's best late-period recordings and finds the vibraphonist adapting his 1950s Latin jazz concept to the 1970s without losing any vitality. Tjader is joined by four horns, the legendary keyboardist Charlie Palmieri, electric bassist Bobby Rodriguez, and six percussionists; Tito Puente (who plays timbales on Mario Bauza's "Tanga") and Palmieri provided the heated arrangements.Highly recommended to collectors of Latin jazz.

And so do I !!!!
Ripped @ 320 from the original vinyl.

26 March 2008


Sabu Martinez for SMC from 1960.

Fuentes-Guiro;Vibes-Unknown Astronautas

Thom Jurek on the case again:
In the aftermath of the success of Sabu Martinez's Jazz Espagnole, he took the band out on the road. It fell apart after only a few months because of Sabu's inability to control his own destructive urges. Hence, Martinez picked up whomever he could find to try and re-create the music on Jazz Espagnole -- usually with disastrous results. However, a couple of those bands stayed together long enough to record a pair of albums for the SMC label in late 1960, the Astronautas de la Pachangas. Shrouded in mystery, with the name of the vibraphonist not even known and only Martinez credited with both his names -- the rest have names like Raynaldo, Del Valle, etc. -- the set while, not having the stunning character of Jazz Espangnole, is nonetheless an accomplished bit of recorded wizardry, and the cats came a long way from that first gig. Whoever the vibraphonist is, he doesn't have a hint of Cal Tjader's West Coast-style in him, and is, indeed, the star of the sextet. The arrangements are not as complex or as interesting as those on the earlier set, but there is plenty here to be grateful for, and the playing is nearly flawless, even if it does lean a bit more heavily on the "Latin" in Latin jazz. The album's best cuts are the explosive vibes/piano interplay that takes place on "Descarga Atomica," and the "Pancho-Pachanga," with its killer timbales solo. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

See the previous Sabu post for issue/reissue details.
Ripped @320 from the Lazarus vinyl reissue of 1997.If you would like an original SMC Pressing check Popsike for some prices- hold on tight 'tho!

25 March 2008


Stone Alliance for PM Records from 1977.
Three in a row for Gene Perla and Don Alias here at Orgy In Rhythm.

Steve Grossman Tenor Saxophone/Gene Perla Bass, Keyboards and Guitar/Don Alias Drums, Congas, Guitar and Percussion/Santiago Giacobbe Piano/José Maria Loriente Congas, Bongos and Percussion
Daniel Binelli Bandoneon/Roberto Valencia Percussion
Recorded at Studio Netto,Buenos Aries by Jorge Da Silva/Produced by Nano Herrera and Gene Perla.

The result of a State Department funded trip down thru South America this album has an even stronger latin influenced sound and features guest artists from Argentina.There's a great percussion workout on "Amigos" with Don Alias doing what he did best,the lovely sound of the Bandoneon is introduced on "I'll Tell You Tomorrow" and,of course,the raw latin funk of Steve Grossman's "Graciela".
Stone Alliance never put a foot wrong for me,eschewing the commercial jazz funk of the day and producing a hard fusion of latin,funk and jazz which was always....All Killer,No Filler !!!
This made a pricey Japanese reissue on cd now out of print.
This post is ripped @ 320 from the original vinyl.


Elvin Jones for Blue Note from 1971.

Frank Foster (ts, afl, acl)Joe Farrell, Dave Liebman (ts, ss)Gene Perla (b, el-b) Elvin Jones (d)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood
Cliffs, NJ, February 12, 1971
Steve Grossman,Dave Liebman (ts, ss)Joe Farrell (ts, ss, fl, picc)Pepper Adams (bars) Chick Corea,
Jan Hammer (p, el-p)Yoshiaki Masuo (g)Gene Perla (b, el-b) Elvin Jones (d)Don Alias (cga, glockenspiel,oriental bells)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood
Cliffs, NJ, December 16, 1971
Keeping the Stone Alliance connection going here's Elvin Jones featuring Gene Perla on Bass & Don Alias on Congas and Percussion.This lp was recorded shortly before Kikuchi's Hollow Out session with Jones and Perla but that is where the similarity ends.Interestingly enough the Japanese guitarist Yoshiaki Masuo(on this set) had been playing with Sadao Watanabe and had impressed Elvin and Gene Perla sufficiently to bring him back to New York to record with this line up.
Here's a fairly low key view of the album by Scott Yanow:personally I think it's pretty good :

The music is generally quite worthwhile, if a bit eclectic with the personnel changes throughout the session. The great drummer Elvin Jones is joined by the reeds of David Liebman, Steve Grossman and Joe Farrell; baritonist Pepper Adams is also on two numbers, keyboardists Chick Corea and Jan Hammer generally alternate (although they both appear on a few tunes together), guitarist Yoshiaki Masuo has guest appearances on two songs, and most selections include bassist Gene Perla and percussionist Don Alias. The group mostly plays concise versions of band originals, including Corea's classic "La Fiesta." An interesting set, but Elvin Jones has recorded many more rewarding albums. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Reissued on cd as part of The Blue Note Mosaic Box Set which is long out of print-this is ripped from the original vinyl @320.

24 March 2008


Stone Alliance for PM Records from 1980.
Don Alias-Drums, Congas, Percussion, Voice;Gene Perla-Bass, Acoustic Piano, Voice;Kenny Kirkland-Keyboards;Bob Mintzer-Tenor Saxophone;Jan Hammer-Keyboards;Michael Brecker-Tenor Saxophone;Alex Acuna-Drums;Robert Piltch-Guitar;David Liebman-Soprano Saxophone;Randy Brecker-Fluglehorn;Alan Rubin-Cornet;Jim Pugh-Trombone;Bob Smith-Trombone
Produced by Gene Perla

Gene Perla and Don Alias reformed Stone Alliance for this cracking slab of break heavy funky fusion in 1980.Alias,Perla,Bob Mintzer and Kenny Kirkland are the principal soloists and the rest of the band make up the ensemble playing.Perla and Alias knocked out all the tunes with the exception of Toninho Horta's "Pedro Da Lua" and Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez's "Para Los Papinos",a typically heavy percussion driven piece.
Check out the PM Records sight here-it's well worth a visit.
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-there's a cd reissue available from Mambo Maniacs.

23 March 2008


From time to time I have had contributions and shares left in the comments at this blog by various visitors .I am conscious that these do not always get the full exposure they deserve and feel they need to be given a higher profile.I am hesitant to post them at Orgy In Rhythm as I have always promoted the site as a one man (chimp?)affair which scrupulously draws its posts from my own lp and cd collection.
So I decided it's time for a second Orgy In Rhythm site for the contributions made by you generous rippers out there.I will also be posting material there myself which does not fall into the remit I set for my original Orgy In Rhythm concept.
Credit will be given to all contributors and if you can't supply details I'll try and hook it all up.Format is up to you(mp3s,flacs etc) but if you can keep them at 192 and above it would be appreciated.Just leave your contributions in the comments boxes(I get all comments emailed to me so I shouldn't miss any of your efforts)and I'll post 'em up.And last but not least please please please NO hijacking other peoples links unless they give express permission.
Here we go then ....OIR CONTRIBUTIONS & SHARES is linked under my Places and Spaces Blogroll otherwise find the bastard offspring of Orgy in Rhythm HERE.

20 March 2008


Sabu Martinez for SMC (Spanish Music Centre) from 1960.
Sabu Martinez: conga
Irez: piano, organ
Rios: piano
Del Valle: bass
Reynaldo: timbales
Fuentes: guiro

Here is a very brief synopsis about this LP from hipwax.
As is often the case with great artists, Sabu's finest hour was something of an accident. Returning from California in 1960, Sabu was offered a chance to record with Al Santiago of Alegre Records. But first Sabu needed a band, and a chance meeting with Louie Ramirez led to the famed Jazz Espagnole session.
Sabu's Jazz Espagnole was and is a masterpiece of modern Latin jazz. Most of the credit is due to ensemble founders Marty Sheller and Louie Ramirez, however. As Lasse Mattsson puts it in the liner notes to Groovin' with Sabu, Sabu usually creates an avalanche of sound. Had he truly initiated the work (instead of joining the band in-progress), he might have created a sound more like his previous Afro-Latin, Afro-Cuban bop, and exotic jazz records.
Fortunately, the record was a success, although success seems to have caught up with Sabu. The band dissolved after only a few months of missed dates and unreliability. But this was not the same band that had played on the Alegre recording. Sabu had had the unenviable task of finding new players, teaching them the repertoire (which he may have failed to do), and coping with new success in New York's Spanish Harlem (El Barrio) -- which was as much a mecca for Latin music as Harlem was for jazz.
The In Orbit and Astronautas de la Pachanga sessions were recorded November 15, 1960 in the wake of Jazz Espagnole. (Gabriel Oller and his recording studio, New York's Spanish Music Center, merit another chapter in the history of Latin jazz.) The musicians this time were either unknowns or listed under pseudonyms, although there is suspicion that the vibes player was Louie Ramirez. In any case, we are lucky to have two more works by the master. And once again, they sound like almost nothing else-Hipwax

And here's a nice review from Thom Jurek(although I'm not sure what he had been taking to get the penultimate sentence together but I'd like some before I write my reviews !):
After his Astronautas de la Pachangas band, Sabu utilized the same anonymous group of musicians, minus his more mysterious vibes player, and concentrated on a more Latin sounding jazz ensemble driven more by the Hammond B# and the piano. Using a three-piece percussion section, a double bass, two pianos, and an organ, the band cut four tunes. Three of them burn as salsa originals and move along the high wire of the lounge jazz/exotica phenomenon. "Libido Blues," however," holds to the same Latin and pop jazz pairing that was making such a mark in that magical 1960 year for Tim Jobim. In fact, there are traces of "Girl From Impanema"'s melody in the harmonic bridges in the tune. Here, too, while the arrangements of these four tracks don't quite get to the genius that Louie Ramirez's did for Jazz Espagnole, recorded earlier that year, they do get to the heart of the great cipher of Latin jazz, where rhythm and harmonic conception, as well as melodic architecture, build a road to another world, full of darkness and light, passion and pathos. A wonderful recording. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

This was reissued in 1997 as part of a double lp package by Lazarus Audio Products which also includes the Astronautas De La Pachanga sessions.The vinyl is now long out of print and one went on ebay for over $80 last week.I snapped mine up in New York the week it was reissued for $15 -I knew nothing about the album and thought I had died and gone to heaven when I saw it in Rocket Scientist! An original as shown in the top photo(in a generic SMC sleeve) will knock you back $600 or more-take a look at popsike.
Lazarus also put this out in cd format which also looks to be difficult to get hold of now.
I've ripped this from the Lazarus vinyl issue @320 which means that you lucky people(katonah are you out there?) will also get a rip of the Astronautas session at a later date!

19 March 2008


Neil Ardley for Decca from 1979.
What better way to celebrate a birthday than with this great piece of British jazz by Neil Ardley?
Neil Ardley:Synthesizers;John Martyn:Guitars;Billy Kristian:bass;Geoff Castle:Piano,Minimoog;Richard Burgess:Drums;Trevor Tomkins:Percussion;Barbara Thompson:Flute,Soprano Sax;Tony Coe:Clarinet,Soprano Sax;Ian Carr:Trumpet,Flugelhorn;Pepi Lemer,Norma Winstone:Voices (What a line up !!!)
Highly Recommended.
I lifted this write up from the Neil Ardley site:
Neil Ardley based this 1978 album on the ancient idea of the Harmony of the Spheres, the idea that each planet produces a musical note related to its orbit. It was reasoned that, as everything in the heavens is perfect, the notes must sound together to produce a perfect harmony. Neil Ardley synthesized the actual harmony of the spheres, deriving the frequencies of the notes from the orbital periods of the planets. It can be heard in the all-synthesizer track Soft Stillness and the Night, and it is appropriately mysterious and dramatic.
The album features John Martyn on guitar over a rich orchestral sound mixing electronic with acoustic instruments and voices. Harmony of the Spheres was the subject of a 30-minute film directed by Peter Walker and shown on ITV's The South Bank Show in 1979.

AMG:The British composer Neil Ardley did a great deal of work with his country's best modern jazz musicians. His arrangements and compositions involve aspects of classical music's ambitious compositional outlook somewhat differently than the better-known third stream efforts of American jazzmen such as John Lewis or George Russell. Ardley graduated from Bristol University in the late '50s and went on to study arranging and composition with Raymond Premru and Bill Russo. By 1964, the one-on-one sessions with these theorists were several years behind him and he was directing an ensemble called the New Jazz Orchestra. The idea in this band was to assemble a group of good players and improvisers who would also want to contribute their own compositions to the repertoire.
The lineup of names in this group could pass for someone's collection of British jazz: Harry Beckett, Jack Bruce, Ian Carr, Mike Gibbs, Jon Hiseman, Barbara Thompson, and Norma Winstone, to name a few. Eventually, Ardley began leading an orchestra under his own name as well, with so many musicians overlapping from the initial orchestra that the two groups became mixed up with each other, as well as being mixed up with the sometimes surreal compositions they wound up performing. Ardley's creative activity between 1969 and 1981 included Kaleidoscope of Rainbows, a work in many movements that the Gull label put out on vinyl in 1976, and Harmony of the Spheres followed a few years later. In the '80s, writing about music took up a great deal of Ardley's time, including the 1986 publication of the brilliant Music: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Compositions from Ardley's later periods also involve the combination of electronic music with traditional instruments from the jazz lineup. As a player, Ardley shows up on a vintage Nucleus album. Ardley continued to explore and became interested in choral music in the 2000's. He passed away in February of 2004, shortly after completing a new choral composition. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-reissued on cd in Japan in 2000 which now has been long deleted.


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17 March 2008


Al Foster for Laurie Records from 1977.
Al Foster:Drums,Piano;Masabumi Kikuchi:Piano,Organ;Teo Macero:Piano;T.M.Stevens:Bass;Jeff Berlin:Bass;Ron McClure:Bass;Mike Brecker:Sax Solos;Paul Metze:Guitar;Bob Mintzer:Sax;Sam Morrison:Sax;Jim Clouse:Flute,Sax.
Produced By Teo Macero.
There's a rear cover scan in the d/load to identify personel by track or look here.
Paid a tenner for this in London last week on the back of a comment left on the Hollow Out post by dka and what did I get? A nice piece of funky fusion with some abrasive choppy guitar and aggressive riffing from the ensemble.I guess the nearest comparison might be some of the material recorded on PM records mixed with some obvious later stage Miles Davis ensemble influences.However,"Dark Magus"it aint!
Kikuchi,Foster and Morrison had previously played with Davis and this session was cut with Macero on production duties prior to the aborted 78 Davis comeback session featuring Larry Coryell and T.M.Stevens (More about this here).
Guts of Darkness reviewed the album but with my schoolboy french I can only surmise they didn't think a lot of it.However,it's an interesting document of the times and there's a few stonking good cuts on it including Foster's "Double Stuff","Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde", Kikuchi's "El Cielo Verde" ,and Macero's closing "Soft Distant".
Hey,what the hell I enjoyed it all anyway-see what you think!And thanks to dka whoever you are!
Ripped from the original vinyl @320-reissued in Japan with different cover art (it sure needed it) in 1998 but now long deleted.

15 March 2008


Marcos Ariel and Grupo Usina for Paladar Brasil from 1983.
100 mph samba fusion from one of the great exponents of the genre,Marcos Ariel.
This was recorded a couple of years after "Bambu"(posted here 3/07 -the download is still active)and is similar in style with some frantic fusion workouts and encompassing the influences of Chick Corea,Hermeto Pascoal,A.C.Jobim,Pixinguinha and Mozart(!)
Only ever available on vinyl this is ripped from the original Brazilian pressing @320-no reissues.

Here's a bit more about him from myspace.com:
Marcos Ariel is in the forefront of contemporary Brazilian music. His musical style is purely Carioca (one who is a native of Rio de Janeiro) splashed with a passion for Classical and Jazz. His enthusiasm as a pianist, flutist and composer is inspiring. As a musician, he is swift and precise transcending genuine warmth that can only be Marcos Ariel............... In his home of Rio de Janeiro, music flourished. His father encouraged him to listen and absorb the masters: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. He later developed an admiration for fellow countryman, Hermeto Pascoal and American contemporary Jazzman Chick Corea.................... At a tender age of seven he began studying piano and by 1971 he was studying the flute in the School of Music of the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra. He was also a professional actor with the Guanabara Youth Theatre. He eventually returned to music performing with a group of musicians and singers playing a Brazilian music style called Choro or Chorinho............................. In 1978 Marcos Ariel formed his own band Grupo Usina playing his compositions and performing live to various audiences in Brazil with great success. He recorded his first independent record Bambu which was simultaneously released in France, and again re-released in 2004 by www.whatmusic.com............................. In 1986 Marcos released another independent album called Cenas Brasileiras and was invited to perform at the FREE JAZZ FESTIVAL in Sao Paulo. Marcos Ariel opened up that evening for the world famous David Sanborn and Stanley Jordan. Marcos took the standing room only audience by surprise, receiving one of the most enthusiastic ovations on that memorable Brazilian night............................ With such incredible success he was invited to perform at the 1987 FREE JAZZ FESTIVAL, this time in Rio de Janeiro. His high energy group was among the most acclaimed attractions of the festival. This pleased Marcos immensely, being that Rio is his hometown...................... In the next decade, Marcos began to develop his bi-coastal career (Rio de Janeiro/Los Angeles) releasing a series of albums that made his popularity even stronger in both Brazil and the U.S...................................... The first album released in the USA was Terra do Indio on WEA, and soon thereafter it broke national radio ground in 1989. Other releases followed; Zil (Polygram), Rhapsody in Rio and Hand Dance (Nova Records), Soul Song (Tonga Productions), My Only Passion and Magic Eyes (Paras Recordings)..................................... Marcos Ariels history and discography have always shown a forward thinking and desire to blend the eclectic approach to the numerous indigenous rhythms of his homeland with American Jazz


Louie Ramirez for Fania from 1971.

Louie Ramirez Timbales/Elio Osacar Piano/Larry Spencer Trumpet/Demereado Alberto Trumpet/Bobby Valentin Trumpet/Hector de Leon Trumpet/Manuel Gonzalez Trombone
Victor David Perez Bass/Bobby Rodriguez Bass/Victor Allende Conga/John Rodriguez Jr. Bongo & Bell
Arrangements: Louie Ramirez
Here's Bobby Marin's sleeve notes to the Fania CD reissue:
When Louie Ramirez signed his first contract with Fania Records in 1971, Fania President Jerry Masucci, who was also a lawyer, decided to release Louie’s first album using the pseudonym Ali Baba to avoid any possible legal repercussions from his previous recording commitment.
Even before Salsa’s evolution began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Louie Ramirez was at the forefront of the New York Latin Mambo sound. His flare for creating electrifying, danceable musical arrangements was embraced by top band leaders of the era. From Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez to the flourishing Boogaloo bands of that time, Louie was sought after for his musical talents, professionalism and attention to intricate detail—not to mention his charisma and ability to make others feel at ease.
This album features a wonderful blend of the New York Boogaloo sound of the early 1970’s (which reached its peak during this decade) as well as some early Salsa rhythms. Rudy Calzado does an extraordinary job on vocals. The harmonious sounds of “The Latin Chords” are used effectively on the Latin Soul and Boogaloo tunes.
Louie’s flair for composing and arranging music were comparable to his abilities as a percussionist, vibraharpist and pianist. Louie began playing vibes for the Joe Loco Band when Pete Terrace left in 1956 and subsequently rose to fame while writing and playing for the top orchestra leaders of the day. Louie later formed his own orchestra and became a successful recording artist in his own right.

Louie demonstrates his humorous side on this original composition. Trumpeter Larry Spencer steps out for a few solo licks. Both the Boogaloo and Latin influences prevail throughout this clever tune, which were written especially for this album.
Another Ramirez composition, El Titere, was originally recorded by Johnny Pacheco during the early Fania years. In this version, Louie solos on the timbales while his conjunto swings wildly. Check out Willie Torres’ duet with Rudy Calzado at the end of the song.
In this clever Boogaloo, Louie and Jimmy Sabater perform vocal renditions of percussion instruments during the breaks. However, at the end of the recording, one of the coristas erroneously utters “Deen Deen” instead of “Doon Doon” during the vocal/percussion segment, which is expertly picked up by Larry Spencer and sends Jimmy Sabater laughing.
The romantic side of Louie Ramirez emerges in this Latin soul ballad that evolves into a Boogaloo-blues sound. Louie often worked on cross-over composition/arrangements. Here you will hear the great Latin soul blends of Louie Ramirez, where Latin chords act as vocals.
A funky Son Montuno performed by Louie’s band with veteran Guarachero Rudy Calzado on vocals. Jimmy Sabater, Willie Torres and Bobby Marin sing the chorus. A very danceable number with a clever mambo arrangement.
Another one of Louie’s funny Boogaloo recordings, here Louie shows his expertise in writing for a small conjunto. Louie always said it was much easier to write for a large orchestra than a small group of musicians. Check out the banter produced by Bobby and Jimmy and Larry’s trumpet solo.
This ancient classic is treated delightfully by Louie with the expert vocal style of veteran Rudy Calzado. The tune kicks off as an uptempo rhumba then evolves into a New York-style son. Listen for Louie’s solo on the piano.
The Latin Chords, four guys from the Bronx who created harmony under the street lights, provide the vocals in this funky Boogaloo rendition. Louie provides melodic lines for the two trumpets during the mambos.
This clever descarga (or jam session) features Louie’s band. Frankie Malabe’s conga solo sparkles while the band kicks it into high gear. Larry Spencer solos into the fade. Louie again appears at the end of the album with his witticisms and expertly-contrived piano piece at the end. Enjoy!

320 cd rip.

12 March 2008


Esy Morales rocking the joint with "Jungle Fantasy" but not even a ball busting piano solo by Noro Morales can get Burt onto the floor to get it back together with his main squeeze.


Bobby Paunetto for RSVP from 1999.
Composed,Arranged,Conducted & Produced by Bobby Paunetto with many of the original members of the CTM Band:
Players:Bobby Vince Paunetto & The CTM Band: Bobby Vince Paunetto (conductor); Billy Drewes (soprano & alto saxophones, flute, drums); Todd Anderson (tenor saxophone, flute); Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Glenn Drewes (trumpet); Tom Harrell (flugelhorn); Larry Farrell (trombone); Bill O'Connell, Armen Donelian (piano, keyboards); Mike Richmond (acoustic bass); John Riley (drums).
Links will be in the comments from now on.
RECONSTITUTED" A Modern Jazz Swing CD With Latin Jazz Touches... "Is a potent and a attractive big band that Bobby Vince Paunetto leads...between the individuality of the outstanding soloists & the high level of original material by Paunetto, 12 compositions that range from reflective and graceful, to contours of phrasing that sweep forward with a great deal of honest passion" Johnny Adams ...And All That Jazz the Jazz Authority KNRY Radio Carmel Highlands, CA (50 Yrs.); "Very imaginative and creative writing and played by "New York's Finest", Jack Simpson-WFIT Melbourne,Fla. & WUCF-Orlando, Fla.; Let me say "wow what a line-up of great players" The CD is full of surprises! Jerry L. Atkins-KTXK Public Radio Texarkana, TX.; "Loved Your CD! Great stuff! It will get more airplay as we go" Melodious Mel! WDNA- Miami, Fla.;"Paunetto has a following of fans & Musicians who have supported his efforts for extended time. His talent appears to be wide spread. His compositions are lively jaunts with brisk melody lines and lyrical flow. All of the Music moves smartly under his direction, giving way to many soloists who excel during their up front. However, there is no question that the star of the show remains the compositions of Paunetto. They are played with verve and an obvious enthusiasm for the songs and the songwriter. Paunetto's Music has kept pace with the times, and the Musicians flawlessly render his challenging scores. This is a solid recording with a polished big band sound and a upbeat attitude", Frank Rubolino-CADENCE JAZZ Mag.; "His compositions reflect a dedication to melody and those harmonic qualities and textures which allow for substantial variety and surprise in the manner Paunetto arranges his compositions. His Music also allows for full freedom for each participant to fully express himself. In addition to the high quality of the Music and the Musicians, there are other features that make this album attractive. First, while modern in structure and theme, there's a symmetry about the music which avoids churlishness & harshness, traits often found in modern jazz. The second is the heavy reliance on acoustic, rather than electronic, instrumentation, giving the session authenticity and credibility. True, the Roland Keys are present, but are used very sparingly" Dave Nathan-ALL MUSIC GUIDE;

"Right off the bat i'll say that the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Bobby Vince Paunetto & the CTM Band look like the most promising prspects, but i'll spin them all..." Ken Dryden-Jazz Critic; "Bobby composed, arranged, conducted, produced and assembled this large ensemble for a dozen spirited songs. His Music is continuously fresh & rich with harmony. It is gentle & pleasing jazz fusion highlighted by "DIRT CHEAP MEETS DIRT", "EMOTIONAL CURRENCY" with the big band feel and the racy title track. Strong solos from TOM HARRELL(Fluegel Horn), BILL O'CONNELL(p) & TODD ANDERSON (Sax) accentuate the program. It's enjoyable listening" D.Oscar Groomes-O' Place Jazz Newletter-Maplewood, N.J.;
320 rip from the cd issue.

6 March 2008


Stanley Cowell
for Galaxy from 1979.
One of my favourite Cowell lps - well,how can you go wrong with support from the great Cecil McBee and the mighty Roy Haynes! Produced by Ed Michel.
Highly Recommended.
Pianist Stanley Cowell introduced his most famous composition "Equipoise" on this trio set with bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Roy Haynes. Actually the entire LP (which is unfortunately out-of-print) is a fine all-round showcase for Cowell who also plays three of his other lesser-known originals, McBee's "Lady Blue" and Jackie McLean's "Dr. Jackle." Cowell has long had an original style within the modern mainstream and his interplay with his notable sidemen on this program always holds one's interest. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl.

2 March 2008


Art Blakey
for Prestige from 1972.
Tracks 1&2:Art Blakey-Drums;Woody Shaw-Trumpet;Ramon Morris-Tenor;George Cables-Piano;Stanley Clarke-Bass;Ray Mantilla-Congas;Manny Boysd-Flute.
Track 3:Add Micky Bass-Bass;Buddy Terry-Soprano;John Hicks-E.Piano;Nathaniel Bettis,Sonny Morgan,Pablo Landrum,Emmanuel Rahim-Percussion,Congas.Drop:Cables,Mantilla.
Track 4:Blakey,Shaw,Cables,Clarke
Stanley Clarke's "Song For A Lonely Woman" is,of course,"500 Miles High" which was to be recorded a few months later on the seminal Return To Forever - Light As A Feather album and credited to Chick Corea in that instance.

In 1972 Art Blakey signed a long-term exclusive recording contract with Prestige Records for a series of LP's. Child's Dance (Prestige 10047) was the first album for the label.
After several years of few recordings, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers re-emerged with totally new personnel on this Prestige LP. The strongest performance is a quartet feature for the great trumpeter Woody Shaw on "I Can't Get Started," but the other three selections (which include such musicians as George Cables or John Hicks on keyboards, bassist Stanley Clarke and Ramon Morris on reeds) are also worth hearing and sound surprisingly "contemporary" for the time. An interesting set. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl.


Art Blakey for Prestige from 1973.
Woody Shaw (tp)Carter Jefferson(ts)Cedar Walton(p)Michel Howell(g)Mickey Bass(b)Art Blakey(d)Tony Waters(cga)Steve Turre(Tb)
Much in the same vein as "Buhaina" and in fact recorded at the same session at Fantasy Studios Berkley and produced by Orrin Keepnews.So we get more Woody,Cedar,Carter and the gang and more hard bop with 70 fusion influences in the mix.Great version of Shaw's "Love:For The One You Can't Have" and the title track is another jazz dance classic pioneered by Paul Murphy in the ealy 80s.
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl.


Art Blakey
for Prestige from 1973.
Woody Shaw (tp)Carter Jefferson(ts)Cedar Walton(p)Michel Howell(g)Mickey Bass(b)Art Blakey(d)Tony Waters(cga)Jon Hendricks(vcl)
More Woody on this underrated 70s session from Blakey and co."Mission Eternal" was a big dance cut for those with elastic legs back in the day at the Electric Ballroom and if that's your bag then make sure you check out "A Chant For Bu" and "One For Trane" which both move into similar fusion territory.
During the decade of the 1970s, American audiences abandoned acoustic jazz, and Blakey struggled to retain first-class musicians and the support of record labels and club owners in the U.S. Setting aside his neo-bop classicism, which he pioneered, Blakey took in band members whose tastes were decidedly more pop than jazz. Chuck Mangione's little-known stay in the Messengers's trumpet chair was perhaps the ultimate reflection of the breakdown in the cultural concensus about the elements of authentic jazz. Yet for Blakey afficianados, the 1970s have much to offer, as this and his two other lps on Prestige demonstrate. Maybe a cut below Blakey's best recordings of the 1960s, these albums nevertheless show an awareness of the avant-garde, a taste for Latin beats and inspired performances by strong sidemen. Cedar Walton anchors the group on piano and contributes some strong compositions, notably Mission Eternal. Carter Jefferson, an inventive saxophonist who deserves wider appreciation, strikes a good balance between fidelity to standards and the inevitable search for new sounds. His solo on "Gertrude's Bounce" is brutish yet melodic. Vocalist Jon Hendricks, who joins the group on two cuts, is mesmerizing on the jazz standard "Moanin'" and ghostly on "Along Came Betty," an original by Benny Golson that Hendricks put lyrics to. And conga player Tony Waters is steady throughout, no small achievement given Blakey's commanding presence on drums.
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl.