brownie

Norman Howard

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Anybody knows what happened to Norman Howard who played trumpet on one of Albert Ayler's first album 'Spirits' (also known as 'Witches and Devils')?

Howard was from Cleveland, same as Ayler. They were childhood friends.

The 'Witches' album seems to be Howard's only record appearance except for a November 1968 date he led for Homeboy Music and which obviously had very limited ditribution. It is mentioned in Tom Lord's Discography.

That Norman Howard session was recorded in Cleveland with local musicians.

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Great Question!!

Norman Howard's playing on "Witches and Devils" REALLY blows me away!Its otherworldly for me.Very unique.

I got Norman Howard's "Signals" from Chuck Nessa.Cool stuff!

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Thanks Trumpet Guy for the Chuck Nessa connection tip re Norman Howard Signals.

Wonder if this is still available from the Nessa camp?

Chuck? Chuck??

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I should say brownie, that Mr. Nessa made me a cassette copy out of the niceness of his heart.It isn't available commercially.

I believe it was a cassette only item on Homeboy Music label...

Where is Mr. Norman Howard?

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Thanks Trumpet Guy for the Chuck Nessa connection tip re Norman Howard Signals.

Wonder if this is still available from the Nessa camp?

Chuck?  Chuck??

some words on NORMAN HOWARD by roy morris

i first heard about Albert Ayler in 1964 and bought Spirits on Debut 146

later that year. this danish lp was sold by Collet's, the communist book-

store in London.

i loveed the music and was thrilled by Albert's highly original trumpeter,

Norman Howard.

around 1980, i read that George Coppens of Osmosis Records had been

in New York and discovered an unreleased session by Norman. but when

i contacted him, George had shelved his idea of releasing the music,

believing Norman's playing to be inept.

i had a cassette copy which i listened to frequently. in 1968 i was in a

position to buy the master tape. i produced 100 cassette copies and sold

it as SIGNALS on Homeboy music 1. the music was greated with ecstatic

reviews and great enthusiasm from those who bought it. With the proceeds

i purchased 2 more unmastered tapes i discovered Mr. Coppens owned.

these were massive 1/2" reels whose boxes bore Bernard Stollman's

writing and had clearly once "belonged" to ESP-DISK. i added this music

to Signals and put it out as side b of Homeboy music 2 cassette entitled

BURN, BABY, BURN in 1993. this time the plan was to distribute it via

William Parker's Stork Music set-up. Unfortunately this went out of

business, so i ended up giving the remaining copies to musicians i thought

might be interested.

this was hardly a commercial enterprise, but i was contacted by Henry

Rollins (ex. Black Flag) who thought the music was great, and wanted to

release it with "significant publicity" on his own 2.13.61 label. i happily

sold him the masters in 1997. since then, there has been only resounding

silence.

i was never able to contact Mr. Howard or find out what became of him.

no-one in Cleveland seemed to know. Joe Phillips converted to Islam,

becoming Yusef Mumin, and moved to Milwaukee. Norman also became a

Muslim in the early 80's, and may have followed Yusef there.

incidentally, Sunny Murray, recalling the Spirits session, remembered

Norman playing his own compositions, including Witches And Devils, for

two hours before demonstrating the music on Sunny's drums and then

switching to alto saxophone!

if any-one would like to hear Norman's music, send whatever you like to

me at 5 hill road, arbroath, angus dd11 1bx, scotland, uk

and i will be happy to make you a cassette copy of Burn, Baby, Burn.

maybe we can make something happen.

this music deserves to be heard.

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Thanks Berendes, fine post.

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Anybody knows what happened to Norman Howard who played trumpet on one of Albert Ayler's first album 'Spirits' (also known as 'Witches and Devils')?

Howard was from Cleveland, same as Ayler. They were childhood friends.

The 'Witches' album seems to be Howard's only record appearance except for a November 1968 date he led for Homeboy Music and which obviously had very limited ditribution. It is mentioned in Tom Lord's Discography.

That Norman Howard session was recorded in Cleveland with local musicians.

:) Norman Howard is my dad and I can forward messages to him. He still resides in Cleveland. contact info can be forwarded to email ngold@bww.com

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Great Question!!

Norman Howard's playing on "Witches and Devils" REALLY blows me away!Its otherworldly for me.Very unique.

I got Norman Howard's "Signals" from Chuck Nessa.Cool stuff!

Norman still resides in Cleveland, he's my dad. I can forward messages to him ngold@bww.com

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Thanks Trumpet Guy for the Chuck Nessa connection tip re Norman Howard Signals.

Wonder if this is still available from the Nessa camp?

Chuck?  Chuck??

some words on NORMAN HOWARD by roy morris

i first heard about Albert Ayler in 1964 and bought Spirits on Debut 146

later that year. this danish lp was sold by Collet's, the communist book-

store in London.

i loveed the music and was thrilled by Albert's highly original trumpeter,

Norman Howard.

around 1980, i read that George Coppens of Osmosis Records had been

in New York and discovered an unreleased session by Norman. but when

i contacted him, George had shelved his idea of releasing the music,

believing Norman's playing to be inept.

i had a cassette copy which i listened to frequently. in 1968 i was in a

position to buy the master tape. i produced 100 cassette copies and sold

it as SIGNALS on Homeboy music 1. the music was greated with ecstatic

reviews and great enthusiasm from those who bought it. With the proceeds

i purchased 2 more unmastered tapes i discovered Mr. Coppens owned.

these were massive 1/2" reels whose boxes bore Bernard Stollman's

writing and had clearly once "belonged" to ESP-DISK. i added this music

to Signals and put it out as side b of Homeboy music 2 cassette entitled

BURN, BABY, BURN in 1993. this time the plan was to distribute it via

William Parker's Stork Music set-up. Unfortunately this went out of

business, so i ended up giving the remaining copies to musicians i thought

might be interested.

this was hardly a commercial enterprise, but i was contacted by Henry

Rollins (ex. Black Flag) who thought the music was great, and wanted to

release it with "significant publicity" on his own 2.13.61 label. i happily

sold him the masters in 1997. since then, there has been only resounding

silence.

i was never able to contact Mr. Howard or find out what became of him.

no-one in Cleveland seemed to know. Joe Phillips converted to Islam,

becoming Yusef Mumin, and moved to Milwaukee. Norman also became a

Muslim in the early 80's, and may have followed Yusef there.

incidentally, Sunny Murray, recalling the Spirits session, remembered

Norman playing his own compositions, including Witches And Devils, for

two hours before demonstrating the music on Sunny's drums and then

switching to alto saxophone!

if any-one would like to hear Norman's music, send whatever you like to

me at 5 hill road, arbroath, angus dd11 1bx, scotland, uk

and i will be happy to make you a cassette copy of Burn, Baby, Burn.

maybe we can make something happen.

this music deserves to be heard.

Norman Howard is my dad and he still resides in Cleveland. Messages can be forwarded to him via email ngold@bww.com

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Anybody knows what happened to Norman Howard who played trumpet on one of Albert Ayler's first album 'Spirits' (also known as 'Witches and Devils')?

Howard was from Cleveland, same as Ayler. They were childhood friends.

The 'Witches' album seems to be Howard's only record appearance except for a November 1968 date he led for Homeboy Music and which obviously had very limited ditribution. It is mentioned in Tom Lord's Discography.

That Norman Howard session was recorded in Cleveland with local musicians.

:) Norman Howard is my dad and I can forward messages to him. He still resides in Cleveland. contact info can be forwarded to email ngold@bww.com

Welcome to this Board, normagold1! Glad to hear that your dad is still around.

Berendes generously provided me with a copy of the cassette with Howard's only date as a leader.

The music recorded that day is a hell of a date! One of those freejazz masterpieces.

Anybody interested in hearing this smashing music should get in touch with Berendes for a copy of the music.

Norman Howard shows on the date he was an incredible trumpet player and one of the best freejazz improviser!

Hope he is still making music!

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Yeah, I'm very curious about this stuff and about him. I'll be getting in touch with you, berendes, and with Norman shortly.

Thanks!!!

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This thread prompted me to relisten to Spirits/Witches & Devils; great record, great playing from all concerned including Norman Howard. Would be v. interested in hearing more from him. Would also like to see S/W&D reissued with the spirituals and other material recorded the same day (w/out Howard) for a fuller picture of one of Ayler's best days in the studio.

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Norman Howard Article

Here is something I recently wrote on Norman Howard and the Cleveland scene for this month's Paris Transatlantic. Probably wouldn't have happened without this thread!

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Excdellent article, Clifford! Good to see Norman Howard get some recognition :tup

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Excdellent article, Clifford! Good to see Norman Howard get some recognition :tup

I agree, my thanks too.

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Hopefully by some kismet he reads it, too!

Thanks for the input!

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It looks like ESP is putting out Burn Baby Burn this August!

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Yeah, and pre-orders are being taken, I believe.

(Don't say I told you, but Forced Exposure are selling it now, against ESP's wishes)

Great disc, whether you get it now or in a month!

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I just picked up a copy of Burn Baby Burn at my local B&M--the new Don Cherry ESP and the reissue of Here and Now (also new, apparently) were also there, but I didn't have the guts to pull the trigger on all of it at once. Anyhow,

Albums of this nature and histories this convoluted run the risk of getting fetishized, but Burn turns out to be an energetic and forceful--if rough--take on the Ayler habitus. I'm extremely impressed by just how forceful and directed this generally "unheard" ensemble comes across as.

Informative and articulate liners as always, Clifford, but I have to take issue with ESP's general jacket layout. These ESP reissues have been really mixed, sometimes extremely lacking, in the way of clarity and general "user friendliness". I didn't know what the hell was going on with the interior essay until the last two or three pages. Some essay signposting (separating the very dense "first half" from the "The Fire On the Cuyahoga" part, the latter of which--based on readability and penchant for sense--seems to comprise Clifford's contribution), some annotation--even brief--explaining how the first couple "interview" statements were taken from a Joe Phillips interview, would have been very helpful.

Very poor editing, I'll note. The grammatic continuity in these liners (barring, again, the apparent Clifford section) is just bewilderingly off. A lot of this stuff reads like an off-hand forum post, rather than liners for commercial use.

Now, for the ESP guys that will inevitably read this: I understand that the whole mystery and mythology thing is crucial to the ESP ethos, and I appreciate the label's attempts to maintain some sort of aesthetic continuity with the past, but for heaven's sake--is it so difficult to list composer credits, personnel, and session dates somewhere outside of passing mention in the liner essays?

I know I'm bitching here, but this music has awaited release for decades and it would be nice for this stuff to see the light of day in some intelligible manner. I mean, Jesus, the ZYX reissues did better with sessionography stats.

-Altogether different note, related to the matter of obscure 60's trumpet players: I just picked up Jacques Coursil's Clameurs--a strangely effective electronica/spoken word/creative music hybrid that's really difficult to describe. As it's only now seen release, I'll probably write something up about it--but, considering what I know of Coursil, it's both very much of a piece with history (the sound-based, AACM-esque BYG sessions) and really, really weird (shades of European film music, Zorn, and even the Michael Mantler/Jack Bruce collaborations).

Edited by ep1str0phy

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The cd cover for the Howard looks totally badass. Any photos of Norman Howard or any of the other members of his ensemble inside? Too bad about the production/editing of the notes and sessionography. It seems that the production of Frank Wright's Unity is pretty solid (great cover shot, recording notes clearly listed on the back and all-together decent essay by Rusto inside, plus photos). I guess that's the inconsistency of ESP.

That aside, I'm glad to hear the the Howard date is a good one. I've been looking foward to this one since I stumbled onto this thread. How's the Cherry?

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I have to take issue with ESP's general jacket layout. These ESP reissues have been really mixed, sometimes extremely lacking, in the way of clarity and general "user friendliness". I didn't know what the hell was going on with the interior essay until the last two or three pages. Some essay signposting (separating the very dense "first half" from the "The Fire On the Cuyahoga" part, the latter of which--based on readability and penchant for sense--seems to comprise Clifford's contribution), some annotation--even brief--explaining how the first couple "interview" statements were taken from a Joe Phillips interview, would have been very helpful.

Very poor editing, I'll note. The grammatic continuity in these liners (barring, again, the apparent Clifford section) is just bewilderingly off. A lot of this stuff reads like an off-hand forum post, rather than liners for commercial use.

Now, for the ESP guys that will inevitably read this: I understand that the whole mystery and mythology thing is crucial to the ESP ethos, and I appreciate the label's attempts to maintain some sort of aesthetic continuity with the past, but for heaven's sake--is it so difficult to list composer credits, personnel, and session dates somewhere outside of passing mention in the liner essays?

You're very right about that, and I've been thinking how to put it to Bernard and the crew. Maybe I'll just forward him this post... It's a mix of Joe Phillips, somebody else, and my article comes last. I don't really know what's going on...

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Re: Holy Ghost and Clifford--to be fair, again, the liner suckage of the new ESPs is not a hard-and-fast rule. I've had no real issues with both of the Frank Wright releases, although after "correctness" is achieved something a little more thoroughgoing would be nice (for example--and this goes for the Sonny Simmons album, too--some--even brief--commentary on the interview sections would be appreciated). I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the wellspring of new ESP stuff--just that a lot of this is fine music and in its own way deserves as thorough treatment as your much-ballyhooed BNs, Prestiges, etc.

Anyway, I'm sure there are a lot of fans and connoisseurs who would be more than willing to fact/grammar check the ESP liners for free, if only so that is what goes down for posterity.

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Re: Holy Ghost and Clifford--to be fair, again, the liner suckage of the new ESPs is not a hard-and-fast rule. I've had no real issues with both of the Frank Wright releases, although after "correctness" is achieved something a little more thoroughgoing would be nice (for example--and this goes for the Sonny Simmons album, too--some--even brief--commentary on the interview sections would be appreciated). I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the wellspring of new ESP stuff--just that a lot of this is fine music and in its own way deserves as thorough treatment as your much-ballyhooed BNs, Prestiges, etc.

Anyway, I'm sure there are a lot of fans and connoisseurs who would be more than willing to fact/grammar check the ESP liners for free, if only so that is what goes down for posterity.

I dig. The only ESP I have so far from the newly formed ESP company is Unity by Frank Wright, and I am very happy with it. Regardless, I will be plunking down for the Howard and the Cherry because all that really matters to me, bottom line, is the music. I will just overlook the editing issues with the notes/liners :blush:

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And, for posterity:

Norman Howard (tp)

Joe Phillips (as)

Walter Cliff (b)

Corney Milsap (d)

I think all but one of the tunes are Phillips'; don't have the disc with me right now.

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