Thursday, July 18, 2024

Archives of Oblivion: Brian Auger 85

Brian Auger & The Oblivion Express - Freedom Jazz Dance

I'm taking time out from the ear infection I've developed over the last week -- and the absurd atrocity that would make Voltaire vomit called American "for profit" medicine -- to bring you this milestone birthday.

This guy began in the 1960s first as a session organist (he plays the iconic part on The Yardbirds' For Your Love), and then as the leader of one of the most beguiling English groups, with a full-on chanteuse -- she ended up marrying another keyboard player -- out front casting her spells.
First it was called Steampacket, and then The Trinity.

When the Sixties turned to the Seventies he formed his most enduring group, entitled The Oblivion Express, which as far as I know still occasionally plays.

Perhaps the leading British Fusioneer keyboard player of his time, his music does it all but specializes in the Jazz-Funk and R&B flavors.

Anyways here's this funked up concert that's been circulating from defective, skippy digifiles since the reasonable version of it fell out of the trading circles 20 years ago.

Luckily I had a CDR with the original iteration of it, from back when those were a thing and dinosaurs roamed the Rotary Phone Earth that was covered with red plankton.

Luckily until I listened to it and found out it was likely mixed for FM radio by 100 monkeys with Neve consoles, that is.

Ah, but then that's what the Sound Forge channel converter tool is for, isn't it? It was in dire need of not having the drums in the Bering Strait east of Siberia and the bass in mile high, downtown Denver.

A little stereo reshuffling, a little this, a little that, and now it should be in at least the best shape of its somewhat checkered existence thusfar.

Did I mention it's the pre-broadcast tape? These Ebbets Field shows are many from 50 years ago and I'd sure like to be turned loose in the legendary Ebbets archive of awesome, I know that is right.

Someday, someday... when pigs fly and the first thing they ask you in the Urgent Care office isn't your credit card information, it will happen.

Brian Auger & The Oblivion Express
Ebbets Field
Denver, Colorado USA

01 introduction
02 Beginning Again
03 Don't Look Away
04 Freedom Jazz Dance
05 Happiness Is Just Around the Bend
06 Maiden Voyage
07 Compared to What/band introductions
08 Second Wind
09 Listen Here

Total time: 1:37:40
disc break goes after Track 06

Brian Auger - keyboards & vocals
Jack Mills - guitar & vocals
Barry Dean - bass & vocals
Alex Ligertwood - vocals & percussion
Steve Ferrone - drums

preFM reels of unknown origin, courtesy of agalli & mr. mags
edited and slightly repaired and remastered -- with channels rebalanced -- by EN, July 2024
402 MB FLAC/direct link

I have to chill for a minute and see what is happening with my ears, so I might be gone for a bit, I don't know. Or I might be able to keep on with the late great Steve Albini on Monday, not sure and I apologize but health comes first, last and always here in Falling Rome.

But never mind my miseries and just enjoy Brian Auger's 85th birthday today, born as he was this day in 1939.... why not? We're all headed for Oblivion anyway, right?--J.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Thread Brigades

Henry Threadgill Society Situation Dance Band - Dance Ghost, Dance

We'll kick off the weekend with this incredible facemelter of a concert -- it was taped 27 years ago today in The Hague -- and its anniversary.

I've been wanting to cover this aggregation since forever, but all the shows that circulate are missing the song titles, which in my obsessive, detail-driven approach to this stuff I loathe.

Case in point: this show circulated without the last tune for almost 20 years!

Thanks to that good old fashioned know-who, I was able to contact Jazzrita Jakob -- one of the superstars of the ROIO firmament -- whom I knew could supply the missing 10 minutes and 51 seconds of fun!

AFAIK this ensemble has toured twice... once in 1988 and again in 1997, from which this performance comes.

And what a performance it is. If I had to describe this music, I would brand it the crossroads of New Orleans Funk and the Albert Ayler-verse.

Particularly notable are violinist Leroy Jenkins and vocalist Aster Aweke, who shows up somewhere in the territory between Yoko Ono and Linda Sharrock on several of the songs.

Overall this is 67 minutes of mayhem that should get summer off to a sizzling start wherever you are.

Of course I've covered Henry Threadgill before as a part of his seminal trio Air, but this is so different from those guys that I figured let's do it.

So let's do it!

Henry Threadgill Society Situation Dance Band
North Sea Jazz Festival
Den Haag, The Netherlands 

01 Bell and Pounds
02 Last Mingo
03 Everybody Will Hang By the Leg
04 False Face
05 Dance Ghost, Dance

Total time: 1:07:11

Henry Threadgill - alto saxophone, flute & percussion
Ted Daniel - trumpet
Stanton Davis - trumpet
Osvaldo Melendez - trombone
Wayne Goodman - trombone
Bob Stewart - tuba
Rolando Briseno - alto + soprano saxophones & flute
Booker T. Williams - tenor saxophone
John Stubblefield - tenor saxophone
Leroy Jenkins - violin
Charles Burnham - violin
Jason Kao Hwang - violin & viola
Michelle Kinney - cello
Akua Dixon-Turre - cello
Tony Cedras - accordion & harmonium
Brandon Ross - guitar
Stomu Takeshi - bass
J.T. Lewis - drums
Roberto Maldonado - percussion
Aster Aweke - vocals (Tracks 03 & 04)

Tracks 01-04: ggln seed of a likely master off-air FM cassette
Track 05: Lewojazz's digital capture, likely of an off-air FM broadcast
retracked w/announcer eliminated/titles corrected, edited, denoised & slightly remastered by EN, July 2024
485 MB FLAC/direct link

I'll be back in a little less than a week with a tasty milestone birthday for one of the primary architects of Oblivion.

But in the interim, don't hesitate to implicate Mr. Threadgill and his orchestra into your weekend dance card!--J.

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

The Tribe of Horacee

Horacee Arnold Sextet - Captain Marvel

And just like that, we start a new month with an artist I never, ever, ever imagined I'd get to cover, yet somehow my looting of (you know where) has led me to pastures unknown once again.

It all happened because when I was appending the bonus track to the Herbie Mann post of 48 hours ago, and trying to scissor out the cloying, unctuous announcer voiceover, my husband came in and started talking to me, causing me to leave the end of the tape running longer than I would have.

That's when I turned back to the terminal, and annoying announcer dude said "And what about that Horacee Arnold set from earlier on?!"

That's when I froze and replied What Did He Just Say?

A quick search of You Know Where, and what had seemed as far removed from the realm of possibility as me being named Pope of the Roman Catholic Church was reality.

Once I confirmed it was one of those WV selections that has a spectral analysis that goes to 20 kHz, we were off and running into a spectacular, funky Soul/Spiritual Jazz set that makes a toppermost companion to this guy's only two known records as a leader, which were both made around this time 50 years ago.

Those two LPs -- Tales of the Exonerated Flea and Tribe, are as good as any 1970s Jazz platters and I command anyone unfamiliar to purchase them immediately.

As for Horacee Arnold, he eventually became a revered music teacher after drumming for a bunch of luniaries in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. He is still around and is 86 years young as of right now.

Look out for reeds & winds ace Joe "Moon Germs" Farrell, especially on soprano in the last tune, oh my.

All right, enough blather. It's 1973 and it's Showtime at the Apollo!

Horacee Arnold Sextet
Newport Jazz Festival
Apollo Theater
New York City, NY USA

01 introduction
02 Captain Marvel
03 band introductions & Horacee talk
04 Spain
05 Tribe
06 outro

Total time: 48:22

Horacee Arnold - drums & percussion
Joe Farrell - soprano saxophone, flute & piccolo
David Friedman - vibes
Steve Khan - guitar
George Mraz - bass
Don Alias - congas & percussion

320/48k audio streamed from Wolfgang's Vault
spectral analysis goes to 20 kHz, making this essentially equivalent to a preFM source
converted to 16/44 CD Audio, repaired, tracked & very slightly remastered by EN, June 2024
306 MB FLAC/direct link

OK, so I apologize for being unable to do Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson -- to me, the most ridiculously undersung member of the unfortunate 27 Club -- on his July 4th b'day, but it's just that all Canned Heat bootlegs from his time have the irritating Gorilla Man grunting and boogie-ing over mostly horrifyingly poor sound, and Alan only tiptoes out from behind that guy every so often to take center stage anyway. Maybe someday someone will excavate that unissued 1966 Takoma record of the Owl that his pal John Fahey made but never put out, with all the harmonica and guitar Blues ragas.

Anyway I shall return in 10 days with something tremendous, trust me. But make sure you check out what Horacee Arnold and his Tribe were up to at the Newport Festival 51 years ago today, it's sure to exonerate your fleas!--J.