Saturday, September 30, 2023

Marshall Drums

Soft Machine - Bundles

I've been cleaning up just a few of the too many deaths at the end of the month, so to that end we're gonna honor one of my favorite drum deities, whose life sadly ended just a couple of weeks ago.

Today's memorial honoree was a supremely underrated player if ever there was one, and was a part of a few linchpin bands at the blurring and energized borders of Jazz & Rock.

Of these, he is probably best remembered for having succeeded -- after Phil Howard manned the chair for a bit -- Robert Wyatt as the drummer in the beloved British Jazz-Rock band Soft Machine.

However, it's as the skinsman for bassist Eberhard Weber's seminal ECM group Colours -- alternating with the great Jon Christensen -- that many others know his name.

He also starred with guitar heroes John McLaughlin, John Abercrombie & Barney Kessel, the latter of which who'll be getting the centennial treatment here in October.

One of his crowning achievements took place when he restarted Soft Machine in the 21st Century, with a rotating, All-Star selection of different folks who had played in that group over the decades.

I covered that Soft Machine Legacy band a while back, so if you haven't grabbed that one it can be found right here.

To tribute the passing of drummer John Marshall, I've whipped up two shows: one from Soft Machine and one from Colours, and both from that 1970s peak period.

Soft Machine
Crouse College
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY USA

01 Hazard Profile Pt. 1
02 Hazard Profile Pt. 2
03 Hazard Profile Pt. 3
04 Hazard Profile Pt. 4
05 Hazard Profile Pt. 5
06 The Floating World
07 The Man Who Waved At Trains/Peff
08 The Man Who Waved At Trains Pt. 2
09 bass solo
10 Bundles
11 Four Gongs Two Drums (drum solo)

Total time: 1:03:18

Karl Jenkins - winds, reeds & horns
Roy Babbington - bass
John Marshall - drums & percussion
Allan Holdsworth - guitar
Mike Ratledge - keyboards

1st gen cassette copy of the original WAER-FM pre-broadcast reel
slightly remastered by EN, September 2023

Eberhard Weber's Colours
Amazing Grace
Evanston, Illinois USA

01 introduction
02 Eyes That Can See In the Dark
03 band introductions
04 Seriously Deep
05 Silent Feet 
06 Yellow Fields
07 The Colours of Chloë (bonus track)

Total time: 1:17:15

Eberhard Weber - bass
Rainer Bruninghaus - keyboards
Charlie Mariano - woodwinds & flutes
John Marshall - drums

Track 07 is a master off-air FM reel from Paramount Theater for the Performing Arts, Austin TX 3.2.1978
remastered by EN, September 2023

320/48K webstream captured from Wolfgang's Vault
the Evanston segment goes to 20 kHz and is equivalent to a preFM source
converted to 16/44 CD Audio, tracked, edited & remastered by EN, September 2023
327 MB & 448 MB FLAC respectively/direct link

In dressing up the 1978 show, I discovered that these 320/48k Wolfgang's Vault postings -- at least the one of this concert, anyway -- are structured to go all the way to 20 kHz losslessly, so I might go back to that well in the future, especially for bands like Colours that don't have any other ROIOs that sound worth half a shit qualitywise.

Anyhow that's it for September... hopefully it contained something to remember. Such as John Marshall, whom we remember today for his super-substantial contributions to the classic continuum.--J.

8.28.1941 - 9.16.2023

Monday, September 25, 2023

A Loft, Aloft: Sam Rivers 100

Sam Rivers Quartet - encore improvisation

Another day, another huge birthday for another formative figure.

I love the centennials. Almost no one lives that long, but it's a great number at which to enumerate someone's contributions to the continuum.

When I figured out it was gonna be his 100th birthday this month, I just about collapsed to the floor in astonishment because I thought for sure he was 20 years younger.

That's because the sounds that came out of him were that far ahead of their time. In some ways, they still are.

Strangely, he's almost as famous for being in Miles Davis' band for one record as he is for his entire career output.

His playing was deemed by Miles to be too avant garde and out there, but as the 1960s progressed and Jazz became crazier and freer, he really found his voice, both as a player and a composer.

As the Sixties became the Seventies and Jazz was being subsumed by the more lucrative and popular Rock stuff, he began a movement in New York City that became something of a pinnacle for him.

Stuck for places to play, he created a concert venue in his NYC loft space that turned into an entire revolution, which came to be called Loft Jazz.

His place -- christened Studio Rivbea by combining his and his wife Beatrice's names -- became the vanguard spot for musicians of all stripes to play, and was soon joined by other venues with a similar ethos, helping keep Jazz alive in the fallow 1970s Rockscape.

As his career progressed he moved into more orchestral sounds, fusing improvisation with the notation and arranging skills that were his forte.

He passed in 2011 at the age of 88, and today he'd have celebrated his centenary b'day.

One of the most skillful, melodic and tuneful players of the Avant Garde, the music of Sam Rivers will always be a step or three ahead.

We'll honor this most seminal figure with 2 1/2 hours featuring one of his most powerful groups in full flight in his 1970s heyday.

Sam Rivers Quartet
Brescia 1978/Hamburg 1979

01 Tides (Maree) Suite
02 encore improvisation
03 Blossoms, Parts I & II

Total time: 2:26:57
disc break goes after Track 01

Sam Rivers - tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, piano (Track 03 only), vocals & percussion
Joe Daley - tuba & euphonium
Dave Holland - bass & cello
Thurman Barker - drums & percussion

Tracks 01-02: Supercinema, Brescia IT 10.31.1978 FM
remastered by EN, September 2023
Track 03: Studio 10   Grosser Sendesaal des NDR Funkhauses, Hamburg DE 5.15.1979 FM
the first part of the Hamburg performance is available officially here
849 MB FLAC/direct link

What's so striking about this music -- aside from the fact that it's played by galaxy-class guys like Dave Holland and Thurman Barker -- is how seamlessly it shifts from Free outbursts to gentle, almost chamber-esque vibes, and then to some funky strut out of 1920s New Orleans.

But then, that's what makes monster Maestro musos like Sam Rivers so tremendous, right? Their music contains almost the whole history of sound in one song, played continuously, without repetition, for a lifetime.--J.

9.25.1923 - 12.26.2011

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Koller IDaunerfication

Free Sound & Super Brass - Ulla M.

We'll continue backloading September with more European things, this time drifting just across the border from Germany into Austria.

This one's celebrating its 47th anniversary today, and my oh my is this a band. If you were waiting for the stars to come out, well here you are.

In terms of the Euro Jazz & Fusion of the 1970s, there are no less than five players here that would be in the Hall Of Fame of such a category.

The other guys don't exactly suck either.

If I had to describe what these cats are up to in this show, I'd say that if there were such a genre as European Spiritual Jazz, this would be it.

Really this is a combination of two bands, so it's almost like 47 for the price of one. Or none, because your money's no good here and it's all on the house.

Co-led by reedmaster Hans Koller and keys deity Wolfgang Dauner, this is as lush, sonorous and free as this sort of music gets.

Topnotch playing from trumpet gurus Ack van Rooyen and Kenny Wheeler, as well as Albert Mangelsdorff manning the 'bone, is in abundance for the entire 80 minutes.

And as I said, the rest of the group cooks up to the standard of the marquee guys, especially the rhythm section, which steers the assembled aggregation into the intersection of Big Band grandeur and gritty cop-show-theme street funk, and with a ton of quiet and dynamic bits between.

So FFS already, let's hear the FS&SB get down at the peak of their game.

Free Sound & Super Brass
Wiener Konzerthaus
Vienna, Austria

01 introduction by Hans Koller
02 Opening
03 Ulla M.
04 Jenissai
05 Akt, eine Treppe hinabsteigend, Nr. 2
06 Song One
07 Yin
08 Dorffballade

Total time: 1:18:52

Hans Koller - soprano & sopranino saxophones
Wolfgang Dauner - keyboards
Robert Demmer, Ernst Lamprecht, Ack van Rooyen, Kenny Wheeler & Friedrich Hujer - trumpets
Herbert Joos & Robert Pollitzer - flugelhorns
Albert Mangelsdorff, Erich Kleinschuster, Robert Dodge, Rudolf Josel & Roy Deuvall - trombones
Jürgen Wuchner - bass
Janusz Stefanski - drums

256/48 mp2 file, from a 2018 rebroadcast on Austrian radio's "OE1 In Concert"
spectral analysis goes past 20 kHz, so although this is an off-air capture it is essentially equivalent to a preFM source
converted to 16/44 CD Audio & edited by Lewojazz in 2018
ending of Track 08 very slightly edited -- with volume increased +6 dB throughout -- by EN, September 2023
443 MB FLAC/direct link

I'll be back soon enough to round out the month with yet more fusionized and funkolicious fare, but stay in the moment and get your Koller ID Daunerized in the meantime, you know?--J.

12.30.1935 - 1.10.1920   2.12.1921 - 12.22.2003

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Cosmic Relief


Guru Guru - Spaceship

I know I took almost a month off this stuff, but I'll backload September to catch up for you.

We'll begin this flurry with a dose or two of music from Germany, starting with these guys, one of that country's most legendary bands.

One of the more beloved groups to come out of the late 1960s nascent Kosmische movement -- the less tasteful call it Krautrock -- they blazed across the 1970s with their particular brand of psychedelicized sludge rock.

Led by one of the truly visionary singing -- OK, shouting, intoning, occasionally singing -- drummers of the rock era, they helped shape a number of genres from Prog to Grunge.

Called Guru Guru, they are without doubt in the first line of the German bands of this era, alongside Can, Frumpy, Kraftwerk and a bunch of others.

Their bass player has a birthday coming up in a few days as well, so let's smash this 52nd anniversary concert from NDR radio, dating from 1971 when Guru Guru were making a huge splash with their Hinten LP.

Guru Guru
Gymnasium am Leipnitzplatz
Bremen, Germany

01 FM intro
02 Der LSD-Marsch
03 Bo Diddley
04 Spaceship/FM outro

Total time: 58:38

Mani Neumeier - drums & vocals
Axel 'Ax' Genrich - guitar
Uli Trepte - bass

pre-FM reels, presumably from the NDR archives
slightly remastered by EN, with repeating material in Track 04 removed, September 2023
359 MB FLAC/direct link

This one has circulated for years -- even pressed onto boot CDs!!! -- with part of the last song repeating, so I took that out and lightly juiced the high end to brighten your day.

I'll return very soon, with another Deutsche nugget for your Oktoberfest preview plans.

Actually it's Austrian, so forgive me but at least I was close. That'll be Saturday nonetheless.

Don't hesitate to consult your Guru Guru for enlightenment until then.--J.