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Roger Farbey

The new Vocalions are out!

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And they include a double Harry Beckett (Warm Smiles/Themes for Fega); New Jazz Orchestra (Western Reunion - 1st ever issue in stereo) and Michael Garrick (Home Stretch Blues). There's also a John Surman (How Many Clouds) but that was reissued previously about 5-6 yrs ago by Universal (when they were still Polygram)

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Who's in the lineup on the NJO album? I'm only somewhat familiar with the ensemble, but I recall several 'faces' in the group (Carr, Lowther, Heckstall-Smith...?).

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Who's in the lineup on the NJO album? I'm only somewhat familiar with the ensemble, but I recall several 'faces' in the group (Carr, Lowther, Heckstall-Smith...?).

THE NEW JAZZ ORCHESTRA WESTERN REUNION LONDON 1965

ORIGINAL DECCA LP LK 4690 (1965) FIRST TIME IN STEREO

Big P (Heath)

Shades of Blue (Ardley)

So What (Davis arr Carter; Rutherford)

If You Could See Me Now*

Tiny’s Blues (T & A Kahn arr Gelly)

Milestones (Davis arr Carter)

Django (Lewis arr Ardley)

Maria (Bernstein arr Carter; Sondheim)

Western Reunion (Mulligan arr Ardley)

Full personnel:

Neil Ardley (leader)

Bob Leaper, Mike Phillipson, Tony Dudley (trumpets)

Ian Carr (trumpet, flügelhorn)

Mick Palmer (French horn)

John Mumford, Paul Rutherford (trombones)

Peter Harvey (bass trombone)

Dick Hart (tuba)

Les Carter (flute, alto flute)

Trevor Watts (alto sax, flute)

Barbara Thompson (alto sax)

Dave Gelly, Tom Harris (tenor saxes)

Sebastian Freudenberg (baritone sax)

Mike Barrett (piano)

Tony Reeves (bass)

John Hiseman (drums)

*Lionel Grigson (piano) replaces Mike Barrett

CDSML 8427

Looking forward to getting this one - and having it in stereo is a huge bonus, as the Decca vinyl original was only in mono. :tup

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That's almost the Colosseum rhythm section. How's Hiseman on this one (flexible enough?)?

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That's almost the Colosseum rhythm section. How's Hiseman on this one (flexible enough?)?

I've only heard snippets of this LP but the early Hiseman is very much jazz-grounded. He did some great work around this time, with Mike Taylor ('Trio' on Columbia Lansdowne) and Dick Heckstall -Smith.

Amazing to see Barbara Thompson also in the lineup back in 1965. She must have been pretty young (still a sudent, perhaps?).

Of all the Dutton Vocalion reissues, this is the one that is firing me up the most.. :tup

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Yeah, Jack Bruce was on the Mike Taylor (seen but not heard). Hiseman can be sorta rockish, and not always in the service of the music.

I'm excited, too (a great cast--and Rutherford, free improv doyen, is in the mix!).

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hiseman is pretty decent on peter lemer's ESP disc from 1966. reeves also on that one.

sidewinder-is "home stretch blues" better than "the heart is a lotus"? i didn't like that one, though i liked "troppo" a lot. "troppo" seemed more original to me, whereas "heart is a lotus" felt like part of it were forced and inauthenticly bluesy and ethnic. "troppo" was much more integrated.

i am very excited for these beckett discs. i really like "flare up" and imagine these two sound very much the same?

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hiseman is pretty decent on peter lemer's ESP disc from 1966. reeves also on that one.

sidewinder-is "home stretch blues" better than "the heart is a lotus"? i didn't like that one, though i liked "troppo" a lot. "troppo" seemed more original to me, whereas "heart is a lotus" felt like part of it were forced and inauthenticly bluesy and ethnic. "troppo" was much more integrated.

i am very excited for these beckett discs. i really like "flare up" and imagine these two sound very much the same?

I've never heard 'Home Stretch Blues' but I've heard great things about it - and the lineup with Don Rendell etc. looks really good. Will definitely pick that one up. 'Heart Is A Lotus' was a bit of a disappointment for me too, I'm afraid. Didn't really grab me (must have another listen). I believe that 'Heart Is a Lotus' sold the most LP copies of all the Garrick Argos and that was no more than about 800 I've heard - so that gives you an idea of how scarce these are in good condition.

Must pick up the CD of 'Troppo' before it disappears off the face of the Earth.. :unsure:

I have the Harry Beckett 'Warm Smiles' LP on RCA and really like it (quite spacy in parts). Haven't heard 'Themes For Fega' (Mongezi?) so will pick up the CD too to check that one out. Maybe Clifford can pipe in re: thoughts on the 'Fega'?

Edited by sidewinder

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Yeah, Jack Bruce was on the Mike Taylor (seen but not heard).

Still available on the 'Impressed Repressed' CD reissue (Universal). A gem !

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I'm a huge fan of Bruce, especially the first few solo albums (Songs for A Tailor, Harmony Row...)... but I'm extremely wary of his acoustic jazz material. I sometimes feel as if the arena rock thing winds up imprinting in the end--and, for the life of me, I have yet to hear an acoustic Bruce album where he doesn't sound like he's trying to pummel the instrument into the back rows. A sense of 'lightness' is important for a lot of modern improv contexts--not so much 'light toned,' though, as 'flexible'... it's something that doesn't always register for stadium-tested, electricity-driven bassists like Bruce (and a lot of guys who've had to cope with coming out of rock or jazz-rock contexts--post-Colosseum Hiseman, for sure... and look at post-Lifetime Tony Williams!). That's my two cents, anyway.

On the other hand, I do enjoy the Lemer ESP that Hiseman plays on (it sounds like a less groovy Andrew Hill), and there's something endearing about Things We Like. Maybe, then, I will check out the big band and the Mike Taylor...

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Roger is one of the double HARRY BECKETT CDs a LIVE recording?

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I'm a huge fan of Bruce, especially the first few solo albums (Songs for A Tailor, Harmony Row...)... but I'm extremely wary of his acoustic jazz material. I sometimes feel as if the arena rock thing winds up imprinting in the end--and, for the life of me, I have yet to hear an acoustic Bruce album where he doesn't sound like he's trying to pummel the instrument into the back rows. A sense of 'lightness' is important for a lot of modern improv contexts--not so much 'light toned,' though, as 'flexible'... it's something that doesn't always register for stadium-tested, electricity-driven bassists like Bruce (and a lot of guys who've had to cope with coming out of rock or jazz-rock contexts--post-Colosseum Hiseman, for sure... and look at post-Lifetime Tony Williams!). That's my two cents, anyway.

On the other hand, I do enjoy the Lemer ESP that Hiseman plays on (it sounds like a less groovy Andrew Hill), and there's something endearing about Things We Like. Maybe, then, I will check out the big band and the Mike Taylor...

Jon Hiseman is actually a jazz drummer who plays jazz rock. He shouldn't be underestimated for his style. He's a precisionist in the Rich vein but has his own style and technical is pretty much flawless. You should hear him on any of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble albums. Or on the NJO's Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe. Also Bruce is a jazz musician (Things We Like, Escalator Over the Hill, Turn it Over) who makes his money by playing rock. In much the same way Ginger Baker does. Except that Baker has made it clear he despises rock music. Hiuseman is more circumspect. Bruce and Hiseman have made substantial contributions to jazz.

Baker, Bruce, Hiseman, Heckstall-Smith and McLaughlin all cut their teeth with the Graham Bond Organisation which was a pivotal nexus between jazz and rock. Incidentally, although it is termpting to dismiss Colosseum as just another jazz rock band, I haven't heard many other (any actually) of these bands attempt to play Mike Gibbs Tanglewood '63 and do it that well.

Edited by Roger Farbey

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No, don't get me wrong--I'm well aware of Bruce, Baker, and Hiseman's respective histories, not least their contributions to British jazz as an institution. I think it's questionable, however, that any one of them should be characterized as a 'jazz' musician--especially because the three of them (apart and together) have spent as much time (probably more) performing and recording 'non-jazz' music as they have playing in jazz contexts. Ginger has had his African/Afrobeat/groove fixation--sometimes veering over into free jazz and modern free improv--Hiseman went full on rock with Colosseum II and now (there are interviews about this) practices a more beat-heavy, relatively sparse drum style (informed by Stevie Wonder, of all people), sometimes lapsing into the old 'fire and brimstone' routine, and Bruce has been all over the place--Latin/jazz-rock albums with Kip Hanrahan, early jazz-rock with Lifetime, pseudo-theatrical jazz-rock with Carla Bley and that How's Tricks band, straight-up free improv (I have an album of his where he plays with John Stevens, of all people), the 'golden oldies' route with Cream, and of course Bruce's patented, all-over-the-map solo style (been doin' it for ages now). Even if it is all jazz informed, there is certainly a cross-fertilization of styles in play that blurs the genres.

They're all great players and true individuals--but they're not 'pure' jazz players in the sense that, say Paul Chambers was... they're among a generation of musicians who took the music to very, very different places relative to where it was before. When they do come back inside, it's hard to think that they're really a part of that 'pure' world anymore (if they ever were). Jack Bruce, no matter what instrument he picks up, will always be 1/3rd of West, Bruce, and Laing--and it shows.

Right on you, though--this isn't to outright dismiss their chops. I just have issues with how well suited their styles are for more traditional, 'swinging' rhythmic contexts--and maybe it's just an abhorrence of difference showing, I don't know. But agreed: I can scarcely name another group who did what Colosseum did at that level and as well.

Edited by ep1str0phy

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I've wanted to get those Beckett LPs for years - this'll be the chance to finally have 'em in some form. I also look forward to the NJO.

Can't speak from a perspective of Colosseum familiarity w/r/t Hiseman, but he is on some excellent jazz records from the late '60s (add Howard Riley's Discussions on Opportunity) and plays excellently loose freebop in that context. I would patently disagree with Lemer as an Andrew Hill stylist; ambiguous, sure, but way more rhythmically left-field than most of Hill's work. Bley I would say is a closer connection. I really like that Local Colour LP a lot, and wish he'd recorded more with his own band.

I would like to hear the Mike Taylor - that'll be on my list too I suppose. The vinyl is rather scarce on that one!

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There are a few Bley compositions on the Lemer, right?

As far as the Lemer/Hill connection--I sense a sort of dramatic tension and fluidity to Lemer's work that reminds me of Hill's more aggressive Blue Note sides. There's that same sort of 'rush'--although I'm not sure as to the theoretical (read: structural) difference between the two musicians. Knowing the cats on the Lemer album, those guys could play just about anything. A special shout out to George Khan, saxist on the Lemer ESP album and member of the Battered Ornaments--one of my favorite (unsung) post-Ayler stylisits.

On Becketts--how do these stack up (stylistically)? He's all over the map in these days--Collier, the Brotherhood of Breath, Ray Russell...

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The vinyl is rather scarce on that one!

An understatement ! :crazy:

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There are a few Bley compositions on the Lemer, right?

Just "Ictus," which gets pretty far from the theme in the ensuing improvisations.

The LP is supposedly more "tuneful" than their live performances, which were apparently pretty far-out.

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No, don't get me wrong--I'm well aware of Bruce, Baker, and Hiseman's respective histories, not least their contributions to British jazz as an institution. I think it's questionable, however, that any one of them should be characterized as a 'jazz' musician--especially because the three of them (apart and together) have spent as much time (probably more) performing and recording 'non-jazz' music as they have playing in jazz contexts.

ep1str0phy - some said that very same thing about Miles! :g

Seriously though, I am ploughing my way through the first Beckett Vocalion (Warm Smiles) and find it so far very different to his first (Flare Up). I'll need to play it a couple more times to formulate any kind of opinion.

Edited by Roger Farbey

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I wasn't all that into Warm Smiles when I heard it a few years ago; Themes for Fega seems more interesting (no Mongezi connection; named, I believe, for a critic/writer whom Beckett respected). Will definitely pick up this set.

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wait..what the hell is going on here? why don't people like warm smiles? i have never heard it but was going to order it ASAP. it isn't so good?

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8430.gif

Just listening to the 'Warm Smiles' LP. I would say that anyone who liked 'Flare Up' will probably enjoy this one too. It has a typical early 70s vibe with John Taylor featured quite a bit on electric piano. Not the greatest of recordings though by RCA - a bit mushy.

Beckett is his typically lyrical self throughout. More 'mellow' though than on 'Flare Up'.

Edited by sidewinder

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8430.gif

Just listening to the 'Warm Smiles' LP. I would say that anyone who liked 'Flare Up' will probably enjoy this one too. It has a typical early 70s vibe with John Taylor featured quite a bit on electric piano. Not the greatest of recordings though by RCA - a bit mushy.

Beckett is his typically lyrical self throughout. More 'mellow' though than on 'Flare Up'.

Yes I'd go along with this - definitely worth getting but has a different, more laid-back feel than Flare Up.

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wait..what the hell is going on here? why don't people like warm smiles? i have never heard it but was going to order it ASAP. it isn't so good?

Check it out - you might like it. I just was expecting a more Graham Collier-feel and didn't quite get what I was hoping for.

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8430.gif

Just listening to the 'Warm Smiles' LP. I would say that anyone who liked 'Flare Up' will probably enjoy this one too. It has a typical early 70s vibe with John Taylor featured quite a bit on electric piano. Not the greatest of recordings though by RCA - a bit mushy.

Beckett is his typically lyrical self throughout. More 'mellow' though than on 'Flare Up'.

Yes I'd go along with this - definitely worth getting but has a different, more laid-back feel than Flare Up.

I'd go along with Clifford, was expecting more of an (early) Graham Collier but Warm Smiles is really growing on me now (3rd play). Gets better on every listen. Fega (1st cursory hearing) is interesting too.

This is a 'must have' two-fer.

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Not sure this is the best place, but just got me my shipping confirmation for a copy of "Child Song", finally! :excited:

Don't we all love them socks? :crazy:

61TRN77ZCQL.jpg

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