Jan 17, 2014

Sadao Watanabe Quartet – live in France


Motherlode! 

Not here, but over at Private Press, where Katonah has just posted some outstanding live (TV studio) footage of the Sadao Watanabe Quartet shot in France.

With him he's got Takehiro Honda on piano, Yoshio Suzuki on bass, and Fumio Watanabe on drums. They're all really on fire, especially Honda.

Katonah reckons it's from 1970. I think it's later, maybe 1973, since that was the time he was first recording with those other three. Plus Intersection (the third piece they play) wasn't recorded till that year (on Open Road). There's more on this over on Sadao's official site here…

That's probably my all-time favourite period in J-jazz, which makes it extra special. But whatever the year, it's brilliant. 

So what are you waiting for? It's over here…

And apparently there's more to come. I for one can't wait.

Dec 25, 2013

Shibuya Jazz Classics - Sleep Walker collection


barabara sounds sez: 
Just in time for Christmas, another bundle of tip-top J-jazz, all culled from the excellent label that was Columbia-Takt. This compilation was put together by the guys of Sleep Walker. Eleven gems for the holiday season. Not the first time it's been seen in the blogosphere I believe, but too good not to post.

Enjoy! And best wishes to one and all for the holiday season!

tracks: 
Toshiko Akiyoshi - Phrygian Waterfall; Hino-Kikuchi Quintet - H.G. and pretty; Eddie Daniels - This is new; Norio Maeda - Alpha ray; Tadayuki Harada & His Group - Cinnamon and clove; George Otsuka Trio - Blues by five; Sadao Watanabe - Mas que nada; Hiroshi Suzuki-Masahiko Togashi Quintet - Castle cats; Sadao & Charlie - Palisades; Hiroshi Okazaki & His Stargazers - Flamenco sketch; Kazuo Yashiro Trio - The black nag





Dec 18, 2013

Horace Silver - the Tokyo Blues



Damn. And blessings. 
It seems it was a hoax. 
Great news to wake up to.
And glad to keep this up as a post...

Happy Blues from Tokyo…



And lots more about this great album over here…



Nov 19, 2013

Doug Hammond - Spaces


barabara sounds sez: 
More excavated Tribe sounds. It's been over 20 years since Disk Union brought this out here – and it was originally recorded ten years before that, back in 1982. But – like the David Durrah/qpsm album I posted – it kind of fell through the crack into the abyss of oblivion, at least it did on these shores. And that is really too bad. Because like everything else the Tribe tribe and their offshoots have created, it shines with its own distinctive brilliance.

allmusic.com sez
Drummer Doug Hammond leads an odd ensemble of drums, two alto saxes (Steve Coleman and Byard Lancaster, who doubles on flute), occasional piano (Kirk Lightsey), and cello (Muneer Abdul Fataah). Steve Coleman contributes four of the 11 oppositions, including the brief but powerful "Uhren," which a few years later would lead off the Dave Holland Quintet's Seeds of Time album. Hammond was practically a sixth member of Holland's group of the time, contributing a number of fine compositions. "Figit Time," which ends this session and also Holland's 1987 classic The Razor's Edge, is a good example. There's a marked Dolphy-esque flavor to this band, with their alto/flute/cello constellation bringing Out There to mind on occasion. But the heady rhythmic concepts of Hammond and Steve Coleman were a whole new thing.


personnel:
Doug Hammond drums, voice; Steve Coleman alto sax; Byard Lancaster alto sax, flute; Muneer Abdul Fataah cello; Kirk Lightsey piano

tracks:
Spaces and Things (suite) 1) Lopin'; 2)  Water Moves; 3) Spell Dance − Meno Mosso; To My FamilyCüd Ba-Rith; Snakepit Strut; Mini Ensemble; Rizz Biz; Uhren; Murdxas; Figit Time



Doug Hammond's website has a whole lot more info about his work and albums.

Oct 30, 2013

Elvin Jones "Special Quartet" - Tribute To John Coltrane: "A Love Supreme"



barabara sounds sez: 
Elvin Jones played a lot in Japan, but this live session from 1992 (recorded at Shinjuku Pit Inn) was a little bit special: a) because it featured a version of the full Love Supreme suite; b) because instead of sax the lead instrument was a trumpet; and c) it was Wynton Marsulis. And he really blows beautifully! 

As for the rest of the album, it's a mixed bag: another Trane composition; a birthday jam on the Happy Birthday riff; and a blues. But the album is worth it entirely for those opening 47 minutes.

Delfeayo Marsulis sez (in the liner notes)
This recording is a tribute to two legends in modern American music [Coltrane and Jones]… Elvin Jones refuses to offer inadequate performances of any composer's music. His force as the premiere modern drummer is immediately recognized, yet his endless spirit and determination are seldom (if ever) discussed by the critical community… he continues to develop as a musician and a man. His improvisations are unparalleled…

Elvin Jones sez (also in the liner notes):
This recording is one of my most valuable musical experiences… To have John's music interpreted by a master virtuoso such as trumpeter Winton Marsulis. Marcus Roberts and Reginald Veal provided impeccable support which created an atmosphere of unique quality. 

personnel:
Elvin Jones drums; Reginald Veal bass; Marcus Roberts piano; Wynton Marsulis trumpet

tracks:
A Love Supreme (Parts I, II, III); Dear Lord; Happy Birthday for Yuka; Blues for Veen



Sep 30, 2013

qpsm*unit - great symbolisms



barabara sounds sez: 
Time to get spiritual with an album that that emerged from the Tribe/Ra stable a few years back (4 to be precise). It barely raised a ripple in the general consciousness over here [UPDATE: or anywhere, going from the comments so far]. Time to rectify that a bit...

As a member of the Tribe crew from back in the day, David Durrah should need little introduction.* Nor of course does the Sun Ra connection. But I have to say I know little or nothing about his cohorts on this well-under-the-radar album which was released by P-Vine here as part of its Black Ark series. 

There are some lovely slinky, funky, modal, meandering, chaotic, chanting, spiritual space jams here, especially the title track — my favoritePlus the reworking of the old track "venus flytrap" which Durrah first recorded with Doug Hammond. But it's all good. 

And too good not to share.

*Katonah posted his classic Sea of Numen over at Private Press here…

And should you wish to go to the source, there's a bit more info on the qpsm site here…


tracks:
great symbolism; angelic streams; silent inferno; that's how I feel, ra; orion nebula; venus fly trap; that's how I feel, ra (retrack)




Sep 24, 2013

John Coltrane on Open Culture



Open Culture sez:
The great jazz saxophone player John Coltrane was born 88 years ago today. To mark the occasion we present this rare document… Coltrane's handwritten outline of his groundbreaking jazz composition, A Love Supreme…


Lewis Porter (author of JC: His Life and Music) sez:
This is something very unusual. It's not the way he usually improvises. It's not really improvised. It's something that he's doing… He ends up playing this little "Love Supreme" theme in all 12 possible keys…


barabara sounds sez: 
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself over to www.openculture.com. Besides that rare artifact (the manuscript above), there's also a link to the NPR interview with Porter that I took that extract from. Plus down the bottom, some other previous nifty Coltrane posts.

I was late getting to the party that is Open Culture. Just in case anyone else isn't aware of this brilliant resource, there are some wicked jazz-related posts. Such as this one: The Universal Mind of Bill Evans...