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  1. Two Don Cherry releases coming in June

    The Summer House Sessions (from 1968) Organic Music Theatre: Festival de jazz de Chateauvallon 1972
  2. Wow--came across mention of this interview while reading about Maria Golia's new book about Ornette. Somehow missed it when it was first posted to Ethan Iverson's Do The Math blog, as part of an in-depth two-part article. I'm about 20 minutes in--fascinating conversation! It was part of Gunther and Nat Hentoff's weekly WBAI "The Scope Of Jazz" program: Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry February 1960 radio interview with Gunther Schuller
  3. About Man On The Moon

    I wish to known what is the first pressing of the 7 inches record by Ornette Coleman MAN ON THE MOON: Is it: STATESIDE 2C 006-90643 M or: IMPULSE! 45 275? Again: someone suggest that Don Cherry doesn't plays on it. Is it correct that information? Greetings Luciano PS: Someone could write me the catalogue number of this CD: Ornette Coleman & Don Cherry Live in LA. Hillcrest Performance 1958, by the label: Master Classic Records?
  4. Paper sleeve. Listed in Japan as European. Listed at jazzmessengers as Japanese. Not on amazon. Gulp. Import Juba Lee Marion Brown Release Date: 28 Feb 2014 Import Consequences New York Contemporary Five Release Date: 28 Feb 2014 Import Rufus John Tchicai / Archie Shepp Release Date: 28 Feb 2014 Import Urge Ted Curson Release Date: 28 Feb 2014 Although you wept and fasted, wept and prayed....
  5. Albert Ayler: The Other Stuff

    I'm currently in the midst of an Albert Ayler listening binge--which is tantamount to jogging in quicksand, as far as I'm concerned. For me, spending time with some of Ayler's music means spending time with all of Ayler's music. I've heard the opinion that Spiritual Unity is the perfect, singular encapsulation of what made Ayler so special--and it certainly is his iconic recording--paradigmatic, in a sense--but far from the whole picture. Spiritual Unity is only the zenith of Ayler's music insofar as the Ayler of a certain juncture ('64-'64ish) was absolutely sui generis and, by virtue of its precedence and influence, the apex of its genre. But (other than the heroic album art, its place/historical ordering in the emergence of free jazz, the weird, ghastly test signal toward the end of the record--which reminds me a bit of the fetishized, conspicuous silence at the heart of Yoshihiro Nakamura's Fish Story) there's not much that makes Spiritual Unity in and of itself better than Prophecy, Spirits Rejoice, The Hilversum Session, or (my personal favorite) Vibrations/Ghosts. *(I will note that a close friend of mine--present for Ornette and Monk, respectively, at the Five Spot, Trane's stints at the Half Note and Village Gate, the NYAQ in Copenhagen--I have no idea how he was in so many interesting places in such a narrow span of time--noted that Spiritual Unity comes closest to how Ayler sounded live. I will admit that there's something really blunt and confrontational about the sound quality and balance on that album, and maybe it's that starkness that makes it the classic.) Even limiting things to the epochal '64-'65 recordings means that we miss the development of the "string band" (which really did sound different with each personnel change), the wild but occasionally rewarding later Impulse sessions, and the Fondation Maeght recordings. Stopping after Peacock leaves the band ignores the fact that Ayler's playing did go through futher, increasingly bizarre evolutions as the 60's wore on--that piercing altissimo that dominates the string band recordings, for one, and the hardcore/post-Lionel Hampton band chording/rasp that he achieves on the final Impulse sides for another. Throwing the door open, maybe we can talk about some of our favorite less celebrated Ayler recordings? A couple of my picks: The Copenhagen Tapes Straight up, Vibrations is my favorite Ayler and the Cherry quartet is my favorite Ayler band. I heard the stories about Dolphy joining up with this group, and had that quintet been a thing, it would have been unbeatable in that idiom. Talk about a freaking supergroup. Cherry at this historical juncture ('64 or so) is both an original player and a phenomenal mirror--someone who manages to frame other instrumentalists in interesting, revealing ways whilst retaining a very personal musical identity. What Cherry does in this quartet is amazing--he is Ayler's melodic equal but very distinct in terms of color and attack (mostly much lighter). The unison and collectively improvised (i.e., two horn) passages in this band are just ridiculous, because they're bebop-caliber tight--they manage to endow Ayler's lines with a sense of logic and inevitability that just isn't there on the trio recordings. I'm singling out the Copenhagen Music because they're bad to the damn bone. Ayler is operating at a technical level similar to, but maybe even more extreme than the Spiritual Unity/Prophecy stuff. The September 3 version of "Vibrations" is just fucked up--that's the sort of stuff that makes you jump out of your seat if you're not prepared for it. I don't think Ayler had quite reached the facility on upper register that he did/would with the string band, and that extra bit of effort expended on getting the notes out juuuust right gives the music this sheen of agony and power that is absolutely spine-tingling. June 30/July 1 1967, Newport - Albert Ayler Quintet -This one was on Disc 6 of the Holy Ghost box, and I think it may be the best of the recorded string band music. I've heard plenty of people complain about the fact that there's simply too much of this band to digest--on the epic Greenwich Village sides, Slug's Saloon, and on Discs 3-5 of Holy Ghost--and I might agree with that to an extent. I think the excess and insistency of this music is both its weakness and its strong point--it's almost a dance band, simplifying everything--motivic complexity (both in a global thematic sense and in terms of the tiny melodic cells that serve as transitions within the pieces--I once heard someone make the point that this is probably because of Donald Ayler's technical limitations, and I'm inclined to agree), improvisations (Ayler is at full tilt altissimo for almost all of his solos), and especially rhythm (whereas Murray was exaggeratedly dynamic, Beaver Harris and, to a lesser extent, Ronald Shannon Jackson are content to thrash). On the other hand, if Ayler's goal was to communicate--or, rather, to frame his talents in "intelligble" terms--this band comes closer than any of Ayler's music to striking a balance between complexity, simplicity, and virtuosity. The Newport set might be my favorite because it is intense, complex, manages to feature all of the band members to striking effect, and is short. It packs all of the intensity of the Slug's sides--plus Milford Graves--into under 25 minutes. The band wants to make it count. Michel Samson gets his chirping upper register interlude--and it's brief. Donald Ayler squeezes off a brief, effective barrage of limited range firepower. Albert plays one of the most blistering altissimo solos of his career, and he even manages to fit in some weird vocals ("Japan," which is the same song the Pharoah features on Tauhid) and some alto and soprano playing.
  6. Focusing mostly on Cherry's collaborations with others (Sonny Rollins, the NYC5, Albert Ayler) and several leader dates as well: Communion: Don Cherry In The 1960s