Friday, June 30, 2023

Oregon Accumulator

Oregon - Waterwheel

Wow, I just sussed that those two pictures come from the same photo shoot. Lookit that 1970s vest!

Can a band sound like its name? When we were kids and hadn't yet been to "The Coast," our earliest impressions of what somewhere called Oregon might be like were extensively shaped by this music.

I lied, by the way, when I said yesterday there are only two bands named after US states: I had Oregon & Alabama, but forgot Kansas. Carry on, my wayward son.

This Oregon bunch have been doing their thing, in one iteration or another, for over 50 years. You could even say they invented their own kind of musical genre, because the whole World Jazz agglomeration really blew up when they made the scene.
There were others, like Tony Scott and Joe Harriott before them, but this was the first all-star band to feature those sorts of hybrid sounds and take it to the masses.

They changed when their sitar-toting percussionist, Collin Walcott, passed away in 1984, so this show right here -- turning 40 today -- is kind of their last big concert from the radio before that, which features the original quartet.
NDR Workshop 181
Studio 10
Grosser Sendesaal des NDR Funkhauses
Hamburg, Germany

01 Blue Sun/Beacon/Along the Way
02 Travel By Night/There Was No Moon that Night/The Rapids
03 Waterwheel
04 Beside a Brook
05 Duette
06 Skyline
07 The Glide
08 Timeless

Total time: 2:00:09
disc break goes after Track 03

Ralph Towner - guitars, piano, synthesizer & trumpet
Collin Walcott - sitar, tabla & percussion
Glen Moore - bass & violin
Paul McCandless - soprano saxophone, oboe, English horn, flute & bass clarinet

pre-broadcast reels from the NDR archives
declipped and slightly retracked by EN, June 2023
626 MB FLAC/direct link

There are shirts of the album thumbnail, writ large, by the way. That's Seal Rock off the Oregon Coast.

That completes June, with Eugene, Oregon signing off for another month. I'll be back soon with July as we sail into summer, but do enjoy your two-hour, preFM (you can really hear the NDR $12,000 Neumann mics on this pristinely captured bad boy) vacation to the land of Oregon!--J.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Blast Exit

Radio Jazz Group Stuttgart - First Attack

I've been slacking, but I'm backloading June with two consecutive posts.

The first is this memorial to a saxophone destroyer who passed away last week, after a decades-deep career leveling recording studios and live venues armed only with several horn cases.

Probably one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices to come out of the 1960s Free Jazz explosion, it only takes one foghorn blast from the baritone to know who is doing the honking.

He began as a painter in the art collective Fluxus in the early 1960s, but once he got a tenor sax in his mouth there was no looking back.

Well past 50 albums later, he finally left this plane a week ago at the age of 82.

He's perhaps best known as 1/4 of the skronk-jazz supergroup Last Exit, alongside Bill Laswell, Ronald Shannon Jackson and the late great artillery-guitar molester Sonny Sharrock.

What I've always loved about him is the fact that like Sonny Sharrock, he was able to weave a whole tapestry of emotions into a very aggressive playing style, and still get the subtler shades of meaning across.

This ability to veer from the lyrical to the thermonuclear -- sometimes within a single passage -- are what made Peter Brötzmann as venerated and as imitated a saxophonist as almost any of our era.

Let's feature him in one of the innumerable ensembles of which he was a part, this time in a truly-all star conglomeration with trombone visionary Albert Mangelsdorff, Et Cetera piano deity Wolfgang Dauner and percussion wizard Han Bennink, all of whom would be worthy of being featured on this page in and of themselves.

Radio Jazz Group Stuttgart
Villa Berg
Stuttgart, Germany

01 First Attack
02 Sticks to Come
03 Dropsticks
04 Jetzt Stürzen Wir Wieder Ab

Total time: 57:49

Peter Brötzmann - baritone & tenor saxophones, clarinet & tarogato
Albert Mangelsdorff - trombone
Wolfgang Dauner - piano
Han Bennink - drums & percussion

pre-broadcast recording of indeterminate origin
400 MB FLAC/direct link

We did the requisite AI design to memorialize the man, which can be found over at the Teespring page.

I'll return within the next 24 hours to wrap up the June swoon with a spectacular 40th anniversary show from one of the few bands named after a US state.... and this one is named for the state in which I live.

But don't sleep on getting your honk on with Brötzmann, certainly one of the all-time flamethrowers no one could ever forget.--J.

3.6.1941 - 6.22.2023

Friday, June 09, 2023

Quickstep Transformer: Kenny Barron 80

Kenny Barron Trio - Autumn Leaves

We're back with a bad chest cold and a milestone trip around the sun for another formative pillar of the music of our epoch.

Today we have someone who's been a part of a zillion recordings and not too fewer many groups.

As both leader, sideman and organizer, he's on as many albums as almost anyone you could name.

Starting in the band of Dizzy Gillespie in the early 1960s, he's blazed quite a path in the 60 (!) years since.

Perhaps most acclaimed for his series of duets with Stan Getz in the late 1980s, AFAIK he is still out there and playing as he turns 80 today.

We'll tribute Kenny Barron -- piano Maestro of our lifetimes -- with two sweet radio segments from the 1980s: one solo and one with an all-star trio.

Kenny Barron
broadcasts, 1981-84

01 Misterioso
02 The Star-Crossed Lovers
03 Bud-Like
04 Autumn Leaves
                    05 There Is No Greater Love                    
06 FM outro

Total time: 58:28

Tracks 01-03: Kenny Barron - solo piano
Bibliothèque Nationale, Pianissimo Series  Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, Canada  6.29.1984 master FM cassette capture of a CBOF broadcast
Tracks 04-06: Kenny Barron - piano  Eddie Gomez - bass  Al Foster - drums
Paulson's  NYC, NY  2.8.1981 master FM cassette capture of an NPR "Jazz Alive!" segment
330 MB FLAC/direct link

We did some more merchandise, because I love playing with the AI generator just that much.

I'll be back around after this cold is gone and I'm not coughing the contents of my lungs all over the keyboard.

But don't bypass our birthday boy -- born this day in 1943 -- without pasting your ears to these sessions!--J.

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Cuba Mensch: Paquito D'Rivera 75

Paquito D'Rivera Quintet - Song to My Son

Let's inaugurate June with a milestone birthday that speaks to the sad, unavoidable fact that I just don't post enough Latin music whatsoever.

Today's special guest grew up in Castro's Cuba and defected in Spain as the 1980s began.

Before that he had been a driving force in one of the island's hottest groups, which is still beloved and influential to this day and was called Irakere.

People call him a gusano and whatever -- that's the Cuban worm term for those disloyal to Fidel -- but I personally don't give a fuck if he peed on Castro's cigars as long as the music is fire.

Disliking Paquito D'Rivera for not being sufficiently Communist enough would, for me, be like criticizing Steve Earle for not making concept albums about Leon Czolgosz and Eugene Debs.

Anyway in the 40 years since leaving, he's become a kind of ambassador for Afro-Cuban music all over the world, so there is that.

Born in 1948, he is 75 today so we'll fire up these two, half-hour Canadian radio segments that have him leading a pair of quintets in the mid-'80s.

Look out for the transcendent trumpet of Claudio Roditi, who just blows his brains out in both of these sets.

Paquito D'Rivera Quintets
Ottawa 1985 + Montréal 1987

01 Samba for Carmen McRae
02 Brussels In the Rain 
03 Seresta
04 Song to My Son
05 Paquito
06 interview

Total time: 59:36

Tracks 01-03: Opera House, National Arts Centre  Ottawa, Ontario Canada  likely Summer 1985
Paquito D’Rivera - alto saxophone & clarinet
Claudio Roditi - trumpet
Michel Camillo- piano
Sergio Brandão - bass
Portinho - drums

Tracks 04-06: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal  Le Spectrum de Montréal  Montréal, Québec Canada 7.4.1987
Paquito D’Rivera - alto saxophone & clarinet
Claudio Roditi - trumpet
Daniel Freiberg - piano
Lincoln Goines - bass
Akira Tana - drums

master off-air FM cassette captures
edited, retracked  -- with the two segments volume balanced & start of Track 01 slightly restored -- by EN, June 2023
372 MB FLAC/direct link

We made some AI-generated shirts and such too, in honor of the Maestro's big day.

I shall return next Friday with another indispensable Jazz hero's milestone b'day celebration.

Now hurry up and get your clave on for this treat from Paquito!--J.