Tuesday, September 12, 2017

ALAIN BOUHEY – La Voie Scriptorale (Self-Released - tribulation III-I/LP-1988)




Label: Alain Bouhey Self-Released ‎– tribulation III-I
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1988
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded At – Studio Adam, 1988. Mastered At – Top Master, France
Composed By – Yochk'o Seffer
Photography By – Roger Norymberg
Recorded By, Mixed By – Philippe Beaucamp
Sleeve, Concept By, Liner Notes, Producer – Alain Bouhey
Printed By – Glory / Pressed By – MPO
Includes 16-page booklet and poster
Matrix / Runout (runout side A, hand etched): MPO III 1 A1
Matrix / Runout (runout side B, hand etched): MPO III-1 B

A1 - Self-System .............................................................................................................. 5:15
         Piano – Yochk'o Seffer / Tenor Saxophone – Alain Bouhey
A2 - Trabla-Air ................................................................................................................. 4:30
         Piano – Yochk'o Seffer / Soprano Saxophone – Alain Bouhey
A3 - Techouba (Hommage A John Coltrane) .................................................................. 7:20
         Bass Clarinet, Woodwind [Trabla] – Yochk'o Seffer
         Tenor Saxophone – Alain Bouhey
B  -  Szerkezet I, Szoñata .............................................................................................. 19:21
    1     Allegro Vivo (6:03)
            Alto Saxophone – Alain Bouhey / Piano – Carol Lipkind
    2     Cadence (6:30)
            Alto Saxophone – Alain Bouhey / Piano [Improvisé] – Yochk'o Seffer
    3     Largo Et Presto (6:43)
            Alto Saxophone – Alain Bouhey / Piano – Carol Lipkind

Personnel:
Alain Bouhey – alto, tenor, soprano saxophones
Yochk’o Seffer – piano, bass clarinet, woodwind [trabla]
Carol Lipkind – piano (B-1 / B-3)

Avant garde jazz recorded in the 80's by the French sax player Alain Bouhey with Yochk'o Seffer and Carol Lipkind.
Limited private pressing by Alain Bouhey with book, flyer and poster included.





Alain Bouhey is a pedagogist, author of several books on saxophone techniques. He was teacher in Senegal during the 1970s and is teaching saxophone in Rennes and Paris since the 1980s. This vinyl oddity is dedicated to Leopold Sédar Senghor, the poet and Senegal’s president from [1966 to 198?], himself a music lover and organizer of the 1st Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres (Black Arts Festival) in Dakar, 1966 (the LP from this festival is itself a strange thing).
On ‘La Voie Scriptorale’, Alain Bouhey’s saxophone playing is highly enjoyable, without the shrieking sounds or violent demonstration from other free jazz horn blowers. Magma’s multi-instrumentalist Yochk’o Seffer shows muscular abilities in his keyboard ostinatos and arpegiatos, but he’s mixed a little behind Bouhey so that the music is allowed to breathe. The A side has 3 delightful duets with written sax parts and piano improvisation, except Techouba, a saxophone+bass clarinet duet. The B-side is a piano+saxophone sonata with Bartok and atonal reminiscences courtesy of Seffer himself, though it is probably partly improvised rather than written down.
The LP comes with a 16-pp LP-sized booklet of writings and technical diagrams by Alain Bouhey.



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

GLEN HALL – The Book Of The Heart (Sonora – SA-101 / LP-1979)




Label: Sonora – SA-101
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded May 5, 1979, Generation Sound, New York.
Cover Design – Glen Hall
Photography / Cover Art – Guntram Porps
Engineer – Tony May
Mixed at Sierra Pacific Studio, Studio City, California
Mixing engineers - Ian Gardiner, Reed Stanley
Mastered at Lacquer Channel - Toronto
Production By – Glen Hall
Matrix / Runout (Side A, etched): WRC-1-934 SA-101-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B, etched): WRC-1-934 SA-101-B

A1 - Orchid Opening Downwards ......................................................................... 7:15
A2 - Kitab Al Qalb (The Book Of The Heart) ........................................................ 3:14
A3 - El Borrado ..................................................................................................... 1:54
A4 - For Marianne ................................................................................................ 7:00
B1 - Blue Seven .................................................................................................... 6:23
B2 - Iris ................................................................................................................. 9:20

Personnel:
Glen Hall – tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, percussion
Joanne Brackeen – piano
Cecil McBee – bass
Billy Hart – drums, percussion
Joshua Breakstone – guitar (A4)

The expression "I trust myself" means different things to different people, but mainly means to believe in my creativity. In Glen Hall's case it means "I am almost unknown, but for my first record I want as sidemen Cecil McBee, Billy Hart and Joanne Brackeen". It was more than just a brave decision because these three musicians are artists with abilities at so high a point that they could (because of that) overpower the leader. The final result that came out of this record proved that Hall was not just flying in the clouds, but his choice of personnel of the group had been established on the basics of dynamics that he believed were contained in his work.



The record opens with a Hall original, "Orchid Opening Downwards", a piece of great suspense and beauty, taken at a slow breathing speed, building in a deliberate decentralized way, around solos from Hall and Brackeen and non-directional rhythm, to a lovely McBee bowed solo. Slow waves of crescendoing beauty on a piece rare in its combination of naturalness of composition and instant composition. "Kitab al Qalb", another Hall original, show some Dolphy roots with Hall playing a talking double time solo backed by Hart and McBee over Brackeen's free comping.
"El Borrado" is the last of the three Hall originals, a piece featuring the leader in asolos role, sqeezing out, in slow motion, forced blown and invertedly blown sax-sounding like overmiked amplifier feedback-it works, it moves. Manfred Schoof's "For Marianne" ends side one and has guitarist Joshua Breakstone in attendance for this one track. Breakstone has the first solo on this loping almost waltz time piece; he reminds me somewhat of Pat Martino.
Hall also solos on it nicely. Rollins' "Blue Seven" opens side two and rather than go head on with Sonny's original power, the theme is boldly stated by bowed bass and bass clarinet in unison: very effective. Everyone free forms behind the solos that drift in and out from Hall, McBee and Brackeen. Great balance, great execution, great freedom. Side two closes with Wayne Shorter's "Iris", this free floats but without the focus, strength and interplay that the rest of the record maintains. A recording that must sit well with all invlolved. Did everything just manage to work right-magic in the studio? Or is Hall a master organizer and catalyst? 

Gutsy music strongly recommended.



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

KOICHI MATSUKAZE TRIO – At The Room 427 (ALM Records / LP-1976)




Label: ALM Records – AL-3002
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Chuo University Hakumonsai on November 21, 1975.
Design By – Yoshimasa Matsuda
Photography By – Masashi Masashiro
Recorded By – Keisuke Yoshida
Record Company – Kojima Recordings, Inc.
Matrix / Runout (Side A matrix): AL-3002-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B matrix): AL-3002-B

A1 - Acoustic Chicken .......................................................................................... 20:02
        Written-By – Ryojiro Furusawa
A2 - Theme Of Seikatsu Kojyo Iinkai .................................................................... 7:44
        Written-By – Koichi Matsukaze
B1 - Little Drummer .............................................................................................. 11:31
        Written-By – Koichi Matsukaze
B2 - Lover Man ..................................................................................................... 10:40
        Written-By – David, Sherman, Ramirez
B3 - Theme Of Seikatsu Kojyo Iinkai .................................................................... 1:96
        Written-By – Koichi Matsukaze

Personnel:
Koichi Matsukaze – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Kouichi Yamazaki – bass
Ryojiro Furusawa – drums, percussion




Original rare pressing from 1976 on the highly collectible ALM label, which was also responsible for releasing those Abe Kaoru LP-s and East Bionic Symphonia amongst others. ALM stuff is completely elusive and so hard to find these days, especially those lesser know deities that appeared on the label. Recorded on November 21st 1975, the trio which consists out of Matsukaze Koichi - on alto sax, tenor; Yamazaki Kouichi on bass and Furusawa Ryojiro on drums – make it clear from the start that they are an unrelenting force to be reckoned with. The album dwells into free-jazzing melodic areas similar to the Art Ensemble and middle period Classic Quartet Coltrane as far as the rhythm section is concerned. The opening track has some excellent Elvin Jones’ styles drum and snare ruffings that underscore Matsukaze’s swirling sax lines. Quite intoxicating in its approach, the tune immediately sets the tone for the remainder of the album to unveil itself in. Melodic, yet free and stuffed to bursting with state of the art improvisational interplay of the highest echelon. The trio certainly demonstrates that they fully master their instruments and that they are fully jacked into the current state of free improvisational interplay, which baffles me why they had so little exposure because they were a top class act. The whole LP was recorded live before a small audience in – as the title already suggests – in Room 427, a class room of the Chuo University where Matsukaze and Furusawa were once students. But not let the location fool you, the sound quality is of the highest level and that is all thanks to Mr. Kojima who is a kick ass recording engineer, giving the record a feel like you were sitting on the first bench of the class room. For me personally, this is one of those unsung great free jazz albums to seep out of Japan, a LP that failed to gain any attention, which is so sad. This is brilliantly executed music with a great vibe resonating throughout it, melodic, free, yet at the same time filled with emotion and spine-chilling vaudevillian aesthetic. Limited one time pressing of way back in 1976.



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, August 18, 2017

ITABASHI FUMIO TRIO – Toh (Frasco – FS-7011 / LP-1976)




Label: Frasco – FS-7011
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Post Bop
Recorded live at Daichi Seimei Hall, 1st March, 1976.
Design [Cover Design] – Ishikawa Hideomi
Photography By – Uchida Takumi
Engineer [Recording Engineering] – Miyasaka Tsuyoshi
Producer – Honmura Ryohnosuke, Kitazawa Yasutaka
Management [Promoting Staff] – Shimabukuro Akira, Asano Keiko, Itoh Yohichi
Typography [Title Lettering] – Ueda Tadao
Matrix / Runout: (Side A runout, stamped) FS7011A +
Matrix / Runout: (Side B runout, stamped) FS7011B

A1 - Alligator Dance ......................................................................................... 10:49
A2 - Good-Bye ................................................................................................... 9:15
B  -  Toh ........................................................................................................... 19:53

Personnel:
Fumio Itabashi  –  piano
Okada Tsutomu  –  bass
Kusumoto Takuji  –  drums, percussion

Press: NIPPON PHONOGRAM JAPAN 1976 (FS-7011)
Presented by Pitt Inn Music / 1976 Printed in Japan JASRAC




We recently met pianist Fumio Itabashi in "Flush Up" - TAKEO MORIYAMA QUARTET and "Wheel Stone - Live In Nemuro" - TERUMASA HINO (SEPTET). Today I present his album "Toh", the first author project (all compositions written by Fumio Itabashi), released by Frasco Records [FS-7011]. The other two musicians on this LP are superb bassist Okada Tsutomu and excellent drummer Kusumoto Takuji.

Believe me in the word, another extraordinary Japanese ride.



If you find it, buy this album!

MITSUAKI KANNO ORCHESTRA – 武将 [Busho] (LP-1973 / Re-RCA - LP-1976)




Label: RCA – RVL-5506
Series: 日本のJazz 1500 –
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Modal
Recorded in 1970. Originally released by RCA Victor (JRS762) 1973.
RCA - Japan 2nd Pressing – 1976.
Cover Photo & Album Design – Keijiro Kubota
Producer by – Hiroshi Isaka
Engineer by – Tatsuo Umezu
Matrix / Runout (Side A Stamped): JRS-7264-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B Stamped): JRS-7264-B

A1 - 武将 [Busho] ......................................................................................... 14:17
A2 - くもの糸 [Kumo No Ito] ........................................................................ 14:40
B1 - 寂光 [Jakko] ............................................................................................ 8:12
B2 - 詩仙堂の秋 [Shisendo No Aki] .............................................................. 11:45

Mitsuaki Kanno 9/8 Orchestra:
菅野光亮      Mitsuaki Kanno  –  piano
羽尾知也      Tomoya Haneo  –  trumpet, flugelhorn
尾山修          Osamu Oyama  –  soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
山川裕之      Hiroyuki Yamakawa  –  tenor saxophone
稲森康利      Yasutoshi Inamori  –  flute / sinobu
光井靖          Yasushi Mitsui  –  guitar
橋本静雄      Shizuo Hashimoto  –  bass
朝倉正展      Masashi Asakura  –  cello, bass
三戸部純一  Junichi Mitobe  –  drums, percussion

Enchanting Japanese jazz album with a spiritual vibe and some freer parts as well, listen to the beautiful "Kumo No Ito" (A2) and "Busho" (A1). Recorded in 1970 and originally released in 1973 as "Shisendo No Aki". This is the rare Japanese 2nd pressing from 1976 (RVL-5506), retitled in "Busho" and with different cover art with OBI and insert.



An interesting story was written in the liner and it was said that it was produced in a bad environment such as: unrecognized record company executives, low budget recording at studio free time, etc...etc. However, the completed music was of high purity which I could hardly believe was created in Japan in 70 years. It seems that it treats "Waka Jazz" cult style like "Busho", "Kumo No Ito", "Jakko", "Shisendo No Aki", only the part of remnantness and restraint that makes me think of the music as a Japanese music, but of course actually, while playing the free & new jazz, the sense of urgency that springs from its inner side is wonderful. There are also impressions such as intellectual avant-garde orchestra / jazz like WATT early Carla Bley. Even though it was almost 50 years ago, realistic sound quality as if it was recorded in the 21st century is amazing.



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, August 11, 2017

DOLLAR BRAND - Underground In Africa (LP-1974 / Re-The Sun Records-LP-1979)




Label: The Sun – SRK 786 143
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, 2nd pressing / Country: South Africa / Released: 1979
Original Release: MANDLA ‎– KRS 114 (LP-1974)
Style: Soul-Jazz, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Gallo Studios in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, March, 1974.
Painting [Cover] – Hargrawes Nlukwana
Producer – Rashid Vally, Independant Records
Publisher – EKAPA
Composed By – Dollar Brand
Matrix / Runout (Side A, Etched): SRK 786143-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B, Etched): SRK 786143-B

A mega rare and original SOUTH AFRICAN lp release / The Sun pressing!

A  -  Kalahari ....................................................................................................... 23:25
B1 - Ornettes Cornet (In Tribute To Ornette Coleman) ......................................... 5:28
B2 - All Day & All Night Long ............................................................................... 5:30
B3 - Gwidza (In Memory Of Campbel Gwidza) .................................................... 4:50

Personnel:
Dollar Brand – piano, flute
Robbie Jansen – alto saxophone
Basil Coetzee – tenor saxophone [1st], flute
Arthur Jacobs – tenor saxophone [2nd]
[unknown] Special Purpose Artist – marimba
Lionel Beukes – bass [Fender]
Nazier Kapdi – drums, percussion



It's easily my favorite Dollar Brand album. Most of his albums fall into a few different categories. You've got your solo piano albums, your friendly Cape Jazz albums, and some collaborations that could at times go way farther than Brand would go on his own (see his albums with Gato Barbieri, Max Roach, or Archie Shepp). But there are a very rare few where he played with an electric jazz band, and this is one of them. Kalahari's bass groove is massive, and its twenty three minutes are spent in an almost Kraut-y trance of cosmic, serene peace jazz that, and I can't stress enough how important this is, never once gets cheesy or friendly or anything of the sort. It is a blissful, righteous side-long trip.
The other three are a droney meditative piece, a funky jazz groove banger with some more killer bass, and a solo piano piece that spends a great deal of time in an impossibly fast permutation of 9/8.

Keep your spirits up and enter Dollar Brands a masterpiece "Kalahari", taken from his supa rare "Underground In Africa" LP. Mr Brand delivers an epic 23 min long afro jazz monster that from beginning to end sets you in a musical trance.



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, July 14, 2017

SADAO WATANABE VS TERUMASA HINO (Rec.1969/1970 - Canyon/LP-1980)




Label: Canyon – C20R0034 C
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Japan / Released: 1980
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Jazz Funk, Free Jazz
(A1, A2) Recorded in January 1969.
( B ) Recorded at Upsurge Studio, New York City, March 1970.
Engineer – Kennichi Handa (A1, A2)
Engineer – Tom Di Pietro ( B )
Remix, Edited By – Kennichi Handa
Cover Design – Mitsuru Yamada
Made By – Canyon Records, Inc.
Matrix / Runout: Side 1 C20R0034 C -A
Matrix / Runout: Side 2 C20R0034 C -B

A1 - Sadao Watanabe Quartet Pastoral ................................................................ 15:00
A2 - Sadao Watanabe Quartet Round Trip [Coming] ............................................ 10:11
           Sadao Watanabe – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
           Yoshiaki Masuo – guitar
           Yoshio Suzuki – acoustic bass, electric bass
           Hirotami Tsunoda – drums, percussion
           guest: Kazuo Yashiro – electric piano, piano

B  -  Terumasa Hino Journey To Air 1 ................................................................... 24:20
           Terumasa Hino – flugelhorn, trumpet 
           Steve Grossman – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, flute 
           Pete Yellin – alto saxophone, flute  
           Gary Pribec – alto saxophone   
           David Liebman – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone  
           Olu Dara – trumpet 
           Mike Garson – piano, electric piano
           Dave Holland – bass, Fender bass
           Lanny Fields – bass, contrabass 
           Teruo Nakamura – bass, contrabass 
           Motohiko Hino – drums, handclaps
           Bobby Moses – drums

It is the 80's planning LP, that coupled the past performances of Japanese jazz pioneer saxophonist Sadao Watanabe and Japan's leading jazz trumpet player Terumasa Hino. Sadao Watanabe in quartet formation, contents that compared the recording work by Terumasa Hino '70 recording work with combo formation.




Japan's jazz where idyllic atmosphere drifts like the title as "Pastoral". "PASTORAL" which became the first album of '69 CBS Sony transferring as organized by Sadao Watanabe, Yoshiaki Masuo , Yoshio Suzuki and Hiro Tsunoda, famous song "Pastoral" which told the opening of the new era, and there is also incredibly goodJazz Funk number "Round Trip [Coming] ".
Terumasa Hino, with the chosen company, saxophone players Steve Grossman, David Liebman, genius trumpeter Ola Dara, pianist Mike Garson, three bassists including Dave Holland, two drummers Motohiko Hino and Bobby Moses will lead us through 24-minute deep free jazz "Journey To Air 1" recorded at Upsurge Studio in New York. (See LP: Group Everything Everything Everything ‎– Hino's "Journey To Air" - Love Records ‎– TP-103).

Very intriguing music. Highly recommended.



If you find it, buy this album!

TERUMASA HINO – Wheel Stone - Live In Nemuro (East Wind / LP-1979)




Label: East Wind – 15PJ-1002
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1979
Style: Avant-garde, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded live, April 8, 1975 at the Nemuro-Shi Kohmikan.
Design [Album Design] – Heyqlow Kobayashi
Album Director – Hiroshi Mitsuka, Nobuo Kondoh
Photography By [Back-Cover] – Masakatsu Sasaki
Photography By [Cover] – Fumio Tomita
Engineer – Masayoshi Ohkawa, Toshiaki Kanazawa
Executive-Producer – Toshinari Koinuma
Producer – Kiyoshi Itoh
Liner Notes – Shun-ichi Morita
Matrix / Runout (side A): EW-8065-A 15PJ-1002 - 1
Matrix / Runout (side B): EW-8065-B 15PJ-1002 - 2

A - Mocco .................................................................................................... 21:24
B - In The Darkness .................................................................................... 15:35

Written-By – Terumasa Hino

Personnel:
Terumasa Hino – trumpet, flugelhorn
Hideo Miyata – tenor saxophone
Fumio Itabashi – piano, electric piano
Kiyoshi Sugimoto – electric guitar
Tsutomu Okada – bass
Motohiko Hino – drums
Yuhji Imamura – percussion

A live recording that brought the legendary playing style of Terumasa Hino before he embarked on a national tour 1975. There are two original long tracks in front of us, rhythmic embodiment in the thrilling " Mokko" and "Into the Darkness," recorded in the " live -in-the- concert," format.



A searing performance from this brilliant Japanese trumpeter – working here at the height of his stretched-out, open-ended powers – but with a style that's a bit more inside than some of his work from the start of the 70s! Hino really shows himself to be a great leader here – working with a group that includes Hideo Miyata on tenor, Kiyoshi Sugimoto on guitar, and Fumio Itabashi on some especially great Fender Rhodes and piano – a wonderful player who really gives the album a solid grounding, which then allows the horn players to really soar! Hino's really finding his voice here – growing into one of the best trumpet talents of his generation – and this is his first volume of two, recorded at Nemuro-Shi Kohmikan.



If you find it, buy this album!

TAKEO MORIYAMA QUARTET – Flush Up (LP-1977 / Union Records - Re-1982)




Label: Union Jazz – KUL-5021, Union Records – KUL-5021
Series: Union Jazz 1500 Series – 2nd pressing
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue / Country: Japan / Released: 1982
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded Live at Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo, in March 1 and 2, 1977.
Originally release 1977 (Teichiku Records ‎– GM-5008)
Made By – Teichiku Records Co., Ltd.
Engineer – Shinichi Kikuchi
Mastered By – Shuji Sakaguchi
Executive-Producer – Toshio Imai
Matrix / side A, Runout: LS - 5333 X1
Matrix / side B, Runout: LS - 5333 X2

A  -  Flush Up .................................................................................................. 18:13
         (Fumio Itabashi)
B1 - Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise .............................................................. 14:59
         (O. Hammerstein II, S. Romberg)
B2 - Yellow Bear ............................................................................................... 8:09
         (Fumio Itabashi)

Personnel:
Takeo Moriyama – drums, percussion
Fumio Itabashi – piano
Tomoki Takahashi – tenor saxophone, sopranino saxophone
Hideaki Mochizuki – bass

Note:
"Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" is a song with music by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II from the 1928 operetta The New Moon.




Drummer Takeo Moriyama recorded a live album in 1977, 1 and 2 March at Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo, the first after the end work with the Yosuke Yamashita Trio.

"Flush Up" and "Yellow Bear" the original songs of Fumio Itabashi who played a musical staff at Takeo Moriyama Quartet during this period. The quartet consists of: drummer Takeo Moriyama, saxophonist Tomoki Takahashi, jazz pianist Fumio Itabashi and bass player Hideaki Mochizuki.
"FLUSH UP" is alongside "HUSH-A-BYE", LP where can fully enjoy the talented masterful performances based on the powerful druming of Moriyama full-length.

A masterpiece of Japanese spiritual jazz.



If you find it, buy this album!