Chuck Nessa

The Nessa Juggernaut rolls on

625 posts in this topic

I finally allowed myself to buy some new music after taking a break for a long time and caught up on the recent Nessa releases.

I'm still amazed by the consistent quality release after release.

I give my highest recommendations to the new Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Eddie Johnson, Wadada Leo Smith and Von Freeman. Just great, great music.

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Thanks John.

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The Mitchell is outstanding Chuck. Really enjoying it. Thank you for putting this out.

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Just wanted to mention--I picked up both the Mitchell and the Freeman this past week. This is all spectacular music, and I'm glad we get to hear it even now, at the waning of the CD era. It isn't often this happens, but the Freeman reminded me of why I ever wanted to "just" play straight jazz in the first place--if it all sounded as free and wild as this, I might journey into that territory more often than I do.

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Gave the Mitchell a closer listening today...it's really a remarkable record, so glad that I picked it up.

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FWIW, Roscoe called late this afternoon to praise the "beautiful" new issue. He just returned from a 3 week residency in Florida and had a great time.

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Just got "Before There Was Sound" and am enjoying every bit of it. Glad Chuck stayed on this per the liner notes because this is fantastic stuff.

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Always nice to hear from the Captain. :)

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Had to fully decompress from baseball season before tackling any seriously serious new music.

Started with Before There Was Sound this morning & am now going to have to find a way to get away from it before moving on to anything else.

I will never be able to experience this music in the context of its time and place, but its so damn compelling, so damn strong now, 46 years later, that it still slaps one in the face with a refreshingly bracing WAKE UP that might mean something different now than it did then, but then again, WAKE UP is ultimately WAKE UP no matter where and when, right?

What's really fascinating to me is to hear how "traditional" the material & performances sounds. It still seems to be overtly/conscientiously at root "straight ahead" (albeit in an "advanced" way, the impact of Ornette - what we would now think of as "early Ornette", but which in 1965 was just Ornette, period - is definitely heard and felt) in a way that was just one piece of the overall picture by the time the rest of the world got to know the AACM, the AEC in particular . Here, it is the picture - everybody swinging their asses off, playing with supreme confidence and clarity using conventional timbres & textures & pulses almost exclusively. This is not a surprise in and of itself, anything but, but to be able to hear this much "detail" of this one facet of Roscoe's "thing" is...really cool! Can't say it any better than that - really cool!

At some point I'll get to the Braxton/McDonough & the Eddie Johnson that also arrived yesterday, but...Roscoe is going to be playing for a while longer. Love it when that happens!

Edited by JSngry

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Just now got around to looking at the booklet, and the picture of Roscoe wearing an Avis button cracked me up!

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Just now got around to looking at the booklet, and the picture of Roscoe wearing an Avis button cracked me up!

The photographer Bill Abernathy died early and I have never been able to find his wife Sylvia. He sold a bunch of interesting AACM pics to Down Beat in the '60s. The one on page 5 of the booklet still existed in the DB files. The others did not so I scanned them from the mag. I appreciate the help provided by Frank Alkyer and the Down Beat staff.

I agree the message of the photo was important.

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It's deadly funny and deadly serious at the same time...probably in such a way that they become the same thing, "funny" and "serious"...now that Lester & Malachi are no longer around to forcibly reinforce that point "in the marketplace", it becomes more than ever a personal responsibility on the part of the individual "listener" to remember that, and...sometimes shit gets too funky and the responsibility is not met.

It's a world gone wrong, but don't blame Roscoe Mitchell and/or the AACM. They might have been the last time the world went right, at least so right.

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I tend to agree with that, but you all (those thinking) thought that already,

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I had a chance to listen to the Von Freeman this week for the first time. In so many ways, I am just as blown away by this band as I am the Roscoe Mitchell! Seems to be a common thread with all of the Nessas that I own.

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Nice review of Before There Was Sound by Derek Taylor in DUSTED.

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DownBeat Review of Have No Fear:

BY AARON COHEN

Von Freeman, Have No Fear (Nessa)

This year, all of us at DownBeat were thrilled to hear that Von Freeman was officially invited to become part of America’s musical elite when the National Endowment for the Arts recognized him as a Jazz Master. It is the formal recognition of a superlative talent that Chicagoans have known about for decades, even during those years when this tenor saxophone legend had few opportunities to record. But one of those opportunities was provided by the city’s Nessa label in 1975, and the result, Have No Fear, has just been reissued. Freeman, who was 53 at the time, laid out everything that would give him the national recognition more than 35 years later: the joyful twists and harmonic extensions on Henry Mancini’s “Mr. Lucky,” the potent determination on Count Basie’s “Swinging The Blues,” an enveloping and personal warmth on a standard (“Polka Dots And Moonbeams”) and his own quiet strengths as a composer (“Have No Fear, Soul Is Here” and the bonus track, “Boomerang”). But what also makes this session stand out is that it illustrates how Freeman’s valuable, longtime sidemen understood his approach perfectly, like how pianist John Young and bassist David Shipp answer his unusual lines on “Polka Dots” and how drummer Wilbur Campbell brings an understated power to “Have No Fear.”

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Positive piece in the March Down Beat. A bit of unfortunate editing in the last paragraph. I'm not that ambitious! :unsure:

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Drove around Houston all day last Friday with Alvin and Kidd listening to Have No Fear. Fun times, great stories and an interesting comparison to Don Wilkerson arose (via Kidd) through Von's playing. More words to come.

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Positive piece in the March Down Beat.

I wonder if Roscoe still has those boots...

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The new issue of Cadence has reviews of Roscoe's Before There Was Sound and Von Freeman's Have No Fear. There is also a short interview with Roscoe. Not sure why they couldn't do a thorough one, unless RM declined.

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"Before There Was Sound" is wonderful!

I've given it a few spins by now, and I really love the music. It's poised, it has direction and purpose, and it's fresh and very much alive... I'm sure I'll enjoy listening many more times!

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Chuck's announcement of the impending Hal Russell and AEC reissues. Looking forward to those!

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I just finished the notes and all necessary info for the packaging of:

Art Ensemble

Early Combinations ncd-29

Roscoe Mitchell – alto, soprano, clarinet, flute

Joseph Jarman – alto, sopranino, clarinet, flute, bassoon

Lester Bowie – trumpet, flugelhorn

Malachi Favors – bass

Charles Clark – bass (track 1)

Thurman Barker – drums

1. A To Ericka 21:39

(Favors/Mitchell/Jarman)

2. Quintet 22:47

(Jarman)

Recorded by Terry Martin in the Bowie home

1 recorded September 2, 1967

2 recorded November 2, 1967

Digital transfer and mastering by Steve Wagner

Photography by Terry Martin and Bill Abernathy

Art Direction & Design: Carla Nessa

Produced by Chuck Nessa

This material first issued in The Art Ensemble 1967/68 box set.

And

Hal Russell NRG Ensemble ncd-21

1. Uncontrollable Rages 18:20

2. Kit Kat 5:40

3. Linda Jazz Princess 18:10

4. Seven Spheres 5:05

5. Lost Or? (previously unpublished) 11:50

6. C Melody Mania (previously unpublished) 13:05

All compositions by Hal Russell

Hal Russell – drums (1 & 4), vibes (2, 3 & 5), C melody sax, shenai, cornet, zither

Chuck Burdelik – tenor, alto, clarinet, flute

Brian Sandstrom – bass, trumpet, gong (1-4)

Curt Bley – bass

Steve Hunt – vibes (1 & 4), drums (2, 3, 5 & 6)

Recorded 5/11/81 (1-4) and 1/10/81 (5 & 6)

Solid Sound Studios

Engineer: Judd Sager

Digital transfer & mastering: Steve Wagner

Photos: Ann Nessa

Art Direction and Design: Carla Nessa

Produced by Chuck Nessa

The official release date is 10/16/12 which means I will have stock a couple of weeks earlier.

I will keep you informed.

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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