Thursday, March 27, 2008

Archie Shepp - Jazz A Confronto

By request. This is THE Shepp Quintet, from a great period. Unfortunately, this was digitized from the LP, and from the file size, I'm guessing it was mono. I'm not sure why, but if I recall, the reason was something to do with my turntable outs malfunctioning. Anyway, here it is.

It's two long tunes, one soprano, one tenor. Then tenor cut, Lybia, is simply awesome. Shepp is in top form, wailing and crying with some of his fiercest energy on record. At one point early in Shepp's 14-minute solo, Cameron Brown actually drops out -- it burns that much. All the Horos are OOP, though some of them are available from old stock. I've queried the founder of Horo about the plausibility of any of this stuff being reissued on CD. He informed me that there were no plans to do that. Hopefully, someone will buy him out and do just that!

1. Lybia
2. My Heart Cries Out To Africa

Rome, Italy, September 28, 1975

Archie Shepp - tenor sax, soprano sax
Charles Majid Greenlee - trombone
Dave Burrell - piano
Cameron Brown - bass
Beaver Harris - drums

Sunday, March 9, 2008

George Adams/Don Pullen Quartet - Earth Beams

For this generally upbeat session -- recorded in Holland --
Adams is joined by co-leader and longtime colleague pianist Don Pullen, and is backed by drummer Dannie Richmond and bassist Cameron Brown. Richmond spurs the saxophonist on, while Brown strikes hard in support, resulting in some strong solos by Adams on tenor sax. Adams seems to glide effortlessly up and down his horn, his patented licks never tiresome. Most of the original tunes are blowing vehicles, which work well with the superb talent represented here. Pullen is more pensive than usual, but always effective. The lyrical flute work by Adams is a pleasure, but it lacks the verve of his saxophone playing. Some of the best moments come from the interaction between Pullen and Adams, whose legacies left an indelible imprint on late 20th century jazz. ~ Steven Loewy, All Music Guide

1. Earth Beams
2. Magnetic Love Field
3. Dionysus
4. Saturday Nite In The Cosmos
5. More Flowers
6. Sophisticated Alice

George Adams - tenor sax, flute
Don Pullen - piano
Cameron Brown - bass
Dannie Richmond - drums

Recorded August 3-5, 1980

George Adams Quintet - Paradise Space Shuttle

This was my first George Adams record, and from the first needle drop, I hated it. I wouldn't even give it a second chance. Then my father played it on his system and I heard it for the first time. Half the record is quirky to fair; half is outstanding. Adams fiery tenor receives admirable support from the highly underrated and under appreciated Rahn Burton (credited here as Ron Burton). Don Pate is on bass, and Al Foster has the same zing he carries on Abbey Lincoln's People In Me. Azzedin Weston rounds out the band with miscellaneous percussion. The opening track is a burner, and Adams sets the tone for the rest of the record. Track 2, Send in the Clowns, is one of the prettiest ballads I've ever heard Adams do. Track 3 is the first version of this tune I ever heard, it may be the first recorded version. Adams and Foster do the Coltrane and Elvin thing. The title track aims for Interstellar Space, but misses. City of Peace is Burton's contribution, and but for a few moments, seems to fill out the album's time requirements. The album's funky closer would be okay, but just lasts too damned long.

1. Intentions
2. Send In The Clowns
3. Metamorphosis For Mingus
4. Paradise Space Shuttle
5. Invisible Funk-a-Roonie-Peacock

George Adams - tenor sax, flute, vocals
Rahn Burton - piano
Don Pate - bass, electric bass
Al Foster - drums
Azzedin Weston - percussion

Recorded December 21, 1979

Abraham Burton/Yousuke Inoue - Drifting Inward

This is OOP. If you're unfamiliar with Burton, you need to fix that. James Carter is on three cuts here and Burton acquits himself
very well. says:
In 2000 Yosuke Inoue made a second album as a leader with Abraham Burton entitled Drifting Inward for M&I Records. Together, Burton and Inoue toured the world.

There is little about this record on the web. Little is needed. It's a strong outing, heavy on the young-lion sax work. Also recommended from Burton (and still in print) are Cause and Effect with Eric McPherson and Horace Tapscott's Aiee! The Phantom.

1. Pithecanthropus Erectus
2. Rio
3. Salsamba
4. Just The Two Of Us
5. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
6. Drifting Inward
7. On A Clear Day
8. A Song For My Teacher
9. Just Friends
10. Dad

Abraham Burton - alto sax, tenor sax
James Carter - ts (4, 5, 9)
James Hurt - p
Yousuke Inoue - b
Eric McPherson - dr

Recorded February 22-23, 1998