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  1. Paul Bley before 1970

    Always nice to be on a huge Bley kick. Here is a PDF of Bley's '60s recordings from the wonderful Henk Kluck's detailed discography (from the PDF 2nd edition). Thought you would appreciate Henk's valuable work. BTW, the Lugano and Bremen concerts, which were not publicly released in 2007, were included in the Private Recordings section.
  2. Ran Blake

    +1 for Ran's new record. The project focuses on his early and lesser-known compositions. Of course, I'm biased but Looking Glass is a deep, lion-in-winter statement. Ran's piano has rarely been recorded better, full tonal gamut with great room ambience. You can really hear those strange resonances (he calls them "ghost tones") that come from his unique voicings, attack, and pedaling. There are moments they sound almost electronic or multi-tracked, though of course they're not. A cohesive, meditative statement. Listen too for Ran's own voice in a couple spots. Top of my favorite releases list this year.
  3. Anyone have a copy to sell? Or trade? Thanks.
  4. This release was made possible with Ran's direct input and the considerable effort of Aaron Hartley (Ran's aide-de-camp and NEC colleague) and his A-Side records. Danilo Perez and Dominique Eade contribute wonderful notes. The sound is pristine. I am biased, of course, but this is spectacular music, lovingly presented. Ran's illustrations throughout are a Braxtonian delight. Don't sleep on it.
  5. Roscoe Mitchell's "Ride the Wind"

    Thanks, Chuck, for another incredible release of Roscoe Mitchell's unique music. This one is a stunner. Mitchell reminds me of Boulez. Not that their musics sound alike but in that they seem to just go further, deeper — outside and inside — creating entirely new sound worlds. Mitchell is soulfully exploring quantum physics while most everyone else is sitting around waiting for an apple to drop. For those who may be intimidated by Mitchell's output, either its complexity or sheer size, do yourself a favor and take the plunge somewhere. I might recommend starting with some of Nessa's other releases (especially Old/Quartet Sessions — no one should die without having heard this half-hour "Oh Susanna" — and Before There Was Sound), then Sound on Delmark, next dip into the Art Ensemble catalog (Full Force perhaps, though People in Sorrow may be the most overlooked masterpiece I know of), Nonaah (also on Nessa), something from the Black Saint recordings (I like 3 x 4 Eye, ignore the cover "art"), Four Compositions (from 1987, which is a great segue into the current orchestrated work), Song for My Sister (with both Iyer and Taborn!), last year's Bells for the South Side, and now Ride the Wind. It's wonderful to witness a master like Mitchell finding full flower as he approaches 80. And thanks to Chuck for another labor of love. You deserve better praise than this for all you've done for this music over the last 50+ years!
  6. The Nessa Juggernaut rolls on

    Can't wait to hear this! Thanks, Chuck...
  7. Thanks, Jay. Let me know if you are ever interested in selling or trading, etc. Thanks, mjazzg, for this info. If anyone has any contact info or finds any more on these CDRs, please let me know.
  8. Thanks, Chuck. And MUCH appreciation for all your work on behalf of the AEC and other AACM musicians. "Ancient Guy...?" Ancient to the future, I say...
  9. This was from 1993, recorded live in Geneva. I believe it was initially a CDR and maybe (?) a commercial CD, though I'm not sure. Released on their own AECO label. Been trying to hunt down a copy for the last few years, without luck. Thanks...
  10. Pierre Boulez, dies at 90

    Was lucky enough to have been in Severance Hall for that 90th bday tribute (a year ago this Friday) -- and to have seen the maestro many times over the years in Cleveland and Chicago. One thing I can't stress enough is how incredible his own compositions sound live. The DG set of his oeuvre is spectacular but I would also encourage anyone who has an opportunity to hear his music performed live (and hopefully, well) to check it out. He was truly a "tone scientist" (as Mr. Ra might say) of the highest order. This and the loss of Paul Bley within a week is a shitty start to 2016...
  11. Paul Bley RIP

    A very consistent output. There was a joke in one of the Penguin guides on a statement that Bley had made about listening to only his own records -- the gist of which was, well there are enough of them. I might push that total closer to 100. In his valuable Bley discography, Henk Kluck wrote (in 1996) that there were "127 recording sessions (resulting in 459 issued records)". He added more in the 2006 second edition and of course there have been more since. For anyone with serious interest in Bley's work, the discography is a must read. Though I'm not sure if it's still available. Last time I was at Jazz Record Mart in Chicago they had one on their shelves...
  12. Paul Bley RIP

    One of the very greatest. How many other musicians could have played with Charlie Parker and Evan Parker? Not to mention Ornette, George Russell, Lester Young, Lee Konitz, Marshall Allen, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Giuffre, Jaco, and Chet Baker. His is one of the most fascinating bodies of work in all of jazz. As a sidenote, I've always been intrigued by how Mr. Bley could reinvent his personal appearance along with his music. Look at five photos from different years and he looks like five different men. A sad day. An amazing legacy.
  13. Rowles called Mraz "Bounce" -- because George was one bad Czech. I'd also add to the (already fine) recommendations the SUBTLE LEGEND Vols. 1 and 2:
  14. Roscoe Mitchell tribute to Fred Anderson

    Great record, Chuck. Thanks for all your efforts... Thought I'd relate a bite from my last conversation with Fred in 2010, a few months before he split. A friend and I had dropped into the (new) Velvet and I think Cory Wilkes was playing (could be wrong about that). Fred was at the door and we were chatting. There was some kind of scuffle outside at a nearby take-out place. After coming back inside, I asked Fred what he'd been listening to lately. He answered, "Do you know that record of Sonny Rollins playing Bird?" (Said I did.) His face lit up into a wide smile: "Man, that is really something," he said, "I'm studying and learning from it..." An 80-year old musical genius (IMO) and he was still studying, still learning. I miss him.
  15. Overlooked pianists

    I would second some of those already mentioned: Jimmy Rowles, Alan Broadbent, and Ran Blake. And I'll add a younger cat whose playing has really captivated my listening lately: Craig Taborn. His first records were with James Carter and some may have heard him with Chris Potter and Dave Holland's Prism group. He also plays on a fantastic record by guitarist Jakob Bro, December Song, with Lee Konitz and Bill Frisell. And his dates as a leader, from the wonderful, electronic-y Junk Magic to his more recent trio records -- and especially his solo disc on ECM -- are always engaging and enjoyable. Like Blake, he is a true tone scientist, seeming to be concerned with sounds and shapes, more than "music" and notes. Check out this clip, especially starting about the 12:00 mark (and be advised the audio/video hisses out after about a half hour). Hope to see him live in the near future.