Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Boo! Let us close out the month of October in the appropriate style, with a 40th anniversary Halloween concert guaranteed to make your hair stand up without the use of product.
This one does the trick for sheer, riveting and 100% sincere weirdness, and I've optimized it a bit to deliver it in its finest fetter.
It was taped in a tiny club in Philadelphia on Halloween night of 1978. What I'd have given to have been there, but I was only 12.
Two of the tracks were, at one time long ago, issued on vinyl. One found its way onto a compilation a few years ago, but the other is still sadly missing in the digital era.
I'm just grateful that this tape exists, given that this period of Sun Ra, with its warped-to-the-power-of-disturbed forays into funk and disco, is my personal preferred.
Just Sonny's ridonkulous declamations that bookend the set are worth the price of admission alone, but the whole 45 minutes of this little event are must-hear-radio.
I took the liberty of declicking the more egregious LP sizzle on the first track, which is a vital slice of the concert and comes from one of the man's most out-there records, still never reissued after 40 years.
I also added, as a bonus cut, the A-side of an obscure single that I'm almost completely certain was recorded at this gig, which I feel really rounds the thing out.
All in all this is a tape that can't be described in words, except to say that the music contained herein could not be more better suited to today's festivities.
Sun Ra & his Arkestra
Grendel's Lair
Philadelphia, PA

01 The Sound Mirror/Mayan Temples
02 Halloween In Harlem
03 The Shadow World/Dave Gold announcement
04 Strange World/Black Myth
05 UFO
06 Door of the Cosmos
07 We Travel the Spaceways
08 On Jupiter/Cosmo Drama (Prophetika 1)*

Total time: 44:47
*A-side of a 1982 Saturn label single, likely recorded at this show in 1978

Sun Ra - keyboards, vocals 
Marshall Allen - alto saxophone, oboe, vocals 
Danny Ray Thompson - baritone saxophone, vocals 
Eloe Omoe - bass clarinet, vocals 
Ben Henderson (Jaribu Shahid) - bass, vocals
Stanley Morgan (Atakatune) - congas
James Jacson - Ancient Infinity Drum, vocals
Luqman Ali - drums
Richard Williams - electric bass 
Dale Williams - electric guitar
John Gilmore - tenor saxophone, vocals
Eddie Gale - trumpet , vocals 
Michael Ray - trumpet, vocals 
June Tyson - vocals, percussion
Craig Harris - trombone
Vincent Chancey - French horn
Oscar “Bobo” Brown - bass

master cassette, sourced from ESP Radio's Sun Ra tribute
This comes from Michael D. Anderson's exquisite "ESP Radio" Ra podcast, and little more is known about it except the date and venue. I pieced together the personnel from our friend, the internet.
That about does it from me for October... I hope I passed the audition. See you all in November with yet more autumnals for your thumbnails, and be sure to save some candy for tomorrow! 
But before you get down to the sugar orgy, be sure to roll up this Blount I have posted and let it freak your treats real sweet! The heliocentric power of Sun Ra commands you!--J.
5.22.1914 - 5.30.1993

Friday, October 26, 2018

Inca Roads Scholarship

The fifth anniversary party concludes with the first post of Year Six.
This one is a first in itself, in that it features not one but two essential concerts recorded on the very same date -- today's -- five years apart.
I've blogged Frank Zappa probably more than any other artist in the half decade I've been doing this, but I've never done these shows so here we go.
The first one -- taped 50 years ago in the iconic Olympia in Paris -- is a vintage Mothers romp and finds the Jazz-Rock direction FZ would explore at the turn of the 1970s really starting to come to the fore.
The second set -- recorded five years to the day later -- comes from the equally-as-legendary Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas and chronicles the advent of the band that made Roxy & Elsewhere coming together and bubbling up.
I've zipped them up separately but you're welcome to get both, one or neither, which in and of itself is galaxies more democratic than the whole of US elections since Citizens' United.
Frank Zappa/Mothers
October 26

Paris, France

01 Improvisations
02 King Kong
03 Plastic People
04 tune-up & Hungry Freaks preamble
05 Hungry Freaks, Daddy
06 Green Genes preamble
07 Son of Mr. Green Genes

Total time: 50:41

Frank Zappa - guitar & vocals
Roy Estrada - bass & vocals
Jimmy Carl Black - drums, percussion & vocals
Art Tripp - drums, percussion & vocals
Ian Underwood - alto saxophone, keyboards, percussion & vocals
Don Preston - synthesizer & keyboards
Bunk Gardner - reeds & woodwinds
Motorhead Sherwood - saxophones, percussion & vocals

1st gen cassette from the soundboard master
329 MB FLAC here

Armadillo World Headquarters 
Austin, TX 

01 FZ introduction
02 Cosmik Debris
03 Inca Roads
04 Pygmy Twylyte 
05 The Idiot Bastard Son
06 Cheepnis
07 Big Swifty 
08 FZ introduction
09 Dickie’s Such an Asshole
10 Farther Oblivion 
11 Son of Mr. Green Genes/King Kong/Chunga’s Revenge medley

Total time 1:19:30

Frank Zappa - guitar & vocals 
Napoleon Murphy Brock - tenor saxophone, percussion & vocals
George Duke - keyboards, percussion & vocals
Ruth Underwood - marimba & percussion
Bruce Fowler - trombone
Tom Fowler - bass
Ralph Humphrey - drums & percussion
Chester Thompson - drums & percussion

2nd gen soundboard master cassette
tape flip smoothed and dead air trimmed slightly to fit a single CD by EN, October 2018
531 MB/October 2018 archive link
So there it is, the Five Years theme writ large. I shall return on Halloween with one last spooky blast for October.
I will post again at the start of Zappadan -- on the 25th anniversary of his passing-- in December. But for now, you can listen to your Mothers and enjoy these two ridiculously entertaining sets!--J.
12.21.1940 - 12.4.1993

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Supreme Quartet Hearing

Well, we have made it to five years of this page, and 52 years of life in general. When I started this thing I thought it would last a month, maybe two. And then there's the blog.
Today is special so we have something fairly special, from someone lots of folks feel is the singlemost important musician of our lifetimes.
I realize that's a bold statement, but he made many in just shy of 41 years on Earth.
To mark the occasion, we've got a concert that's even older than I am. Hard to fathom, I know, but stay with me here.
There's a million boot silver CDs of this set, recorded 55 years ago and in no danger of losing any of its punch or historical significance. It's a somewhat rough recording, but it's rough and ready, trust me.
 I worked on it to get it sounding more unified and less narrow -- the first tune was in mono and the second in some strangely disturbing faux stereo configuration, with the rest a pretty basic and balanced stereo endeavor -- and to give it back a bit of high end where some was sorely lacking. 
It'll never be perfect -- even if the pre-FM reels do someday surface -- but it's still an ultrapowerful document of Mr. John Coltrane in action at the absolute pinnacle of both his abilities, and of The Classic Quartet's ability to supply the sympathetic and dynamic background necessary for Sri Ohnedaruth to get into the nitro zone only he could approach.
John Coltrane Quartet
Tivolis Koncertsal
Copenhagen, Denmark

01 Mr. P.C.
02 Impressions

01 The Promise
02 Afro-Blue
03 Naima
04 My Favorite Things

Total time: 1:27:59

John Coltrane - tenor & soprano saxophones
McCoy Tyner - piano
Jimmy Garrison - bass
Elvin Jones - drums

unofficial silver CDs on the Magnetic label, of unknown gen off-air FM captures from Danish Radio;
remastered, to an extent, by EN (October 2018)
I've got a lot of stuff to do today and some of it might even be fun, so I will keep this brief... but not so brief that I fail to thank everyone and anyone who has read and enjoyed my page these last five years, which have gone so fast it seems.
I'll return to conclude the anniversary celebrations tomorrow with some truly wild fare from two different concerts of legend, but for now you best get on the 'Trane and arrive safely at your destination!--J.
9.23.1926 - 7.17.1967

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

That Darn Catalyst: Odean Pope 80

I am back from lunch with another milestone birthday musing, this time about yet another undersung hero who is, thankfully, still with us on his big day.
You may not know him, but he's led some pretty central ensembles, and he's played on some pretty badass platters.
He started with Jimmy McGriff in the Sixties, moved on to Max Roach's group, then branched out both on his own and in one of the greatest '70s fusion outfits, Catalyst.
He began recording under his own name in the early 1980s, and hasn't stopped since.
One of a ton of seminal jazz players that hail from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Odean Pope plays one note or one phrase and you hear boundaries being pushed as only he can push them.
Some players have that never-the-same-way-once aesthetic, yet still manage to perfectly transmit the ancient data of The Blues, and this guy is definitely one of them.
I dunno what you'd even call his music... Jazz doesn't cover it somehow. I guess the term Free Funk would apply, but he isn't all skronk, scream & skitter either.
I guess that's how we're supposed to tell the true individuals from the terminally derivative: they get out of bed in the morning uncategorizable and become even less easy to pigeonhole as the day goes on.
We'll celebrate the auspicious occasion -- of someone older who I don't have to put the obit-dates at the bottom for, which I love not having to do -- by sharing this concert I worked on from 1991's Willisau Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
This one was full of digital clipping, but I utilized some Sound Forge Clipped Peak Restoration faerie dust on it and those issues have now been dialed back to somewhere shy of eardrum-shattering.
There isn't much to say about this performance other than all three of them just go entirely, outlandishly bonkers in it. Odean splits reeds at 10 paces, the drummer seemingly never quits propulsing, and the bass player.... well, you're just gonna have to get the show to hear what he's laying down.
Odean Pope Trio
Willisau Jazz Festival
Willisau, Switzerland

01 Neapolitan Minor
02 bass solo
03 Spanish Love Theme
04 The Garden of Happiness
05 Saxophone Shop, Part 2
06 drum solo
07 band introductions
08 Mwalimu
09 9/4 Going 4/4 Ways 

Total time: 1:17:08

Odean Pope - tenor & soprano saxophones, vocals
David Gibson - drums  
Gerald Veasley - bass, vocals

master cassette capture of a DRS Radio FM broadcast, remastered by EN
I shall return tomorrow with a real whopper, in celebration of the five-year anniversary of this page, and then again Friday with additional ear-crushing mayhem. 
For now, let's give it up for the iconoclastic saxophonist of the hour, Odean Pope... born this day in 1938 and never far from blowing the panels off my roof here.--J.