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BLINDFOLD TEST #5 - answers

156 posts in this topic

The theme of the disk was of course found out within the first 5 or so reactions: I chose only music without chordal instruments (piano or guitar and I even excluded vibes and cellos and kept away from big bands as well), and it pushed me towards what I certainly find a more interesting side of my collection. I'm sorry some of you don't like it there; you can count yourselves lucky I didn't include the stuff from the real depths ;). As I wrote, this is a partial taste of what I like and sticking to the theme was as refreshing to me as it seems to have been to some of you.

I was expecting you all to find out about the majority of the tracks sooner than anyone else might have thought. The collective knowledge on this board is so immense that it's difficult to hide anything when it is in print; and most of the tracks I included ARE in print. This has the nice consequence that if you like it, you can actually buy it. Very thoughtful of me, I know... ;)

Enough of introductory blahblah, here is the moment you've all been waiting for, here are the ANSWERS:

Track 1: Serge Gainsbourg - Générique/Angoisse (Serge Gainsbourg)

Recorded 28 October 1959. Roger Guérin, trumpet; Raymond Guiot, flute; Georges Grenu, alto; William Boucaya, baritone; Alain Goraguer, piano & arrangements (not playing on this track obviously); Pierre Michelot, bass; Christian Garros, drums;

Music of the film "Les Loups Dans La Bergerie," originally released on Philips; available on CD in various incarnations.

I first heard this theme on a compilation disk of Serge Gainsbourg's jazz output and immediately fell in love with it (although I was sick as a dog that day). The disturbing sound of the tympani, the clarion call of the trumpet, the marching theme with the sad trumpet line; this is real expressive music. As film music, it should be of course. I have never seen the film, but with music like this, it cannot be too bad. Without solos, there still is a lot of individuality in the playing as well as in the - very European - writing. Trumpet player Guérin in particular made an eternal impression on me through this track.

There's some ambiguity with respect to the title. It is listed as "Générique" on the soundtrack and as "Angoisse" on the compilation. The latter title may well be generic itself (angoisse means unease or anxiety) and may simply be a translation of the objective of the music in the film: to express an uneasiness. It works incredibly well.

This track serves several purposes here. First of all, I think it is very functional musically as an introduction, an overture if you will. Secondly, in some ways "angoisse" expresses my ideas/fears/expectations of what was to come where reactions to my disk are concerned. It seems that for some this track has indeed been the calm before the storm. You can't say I didn't warn you! Then, it has that spy movie feeling (Some picked up on that), it tells you something mysterious, fishy, or dangerous is going to happen. Take your pick.

Gainsbourg later of course became famous through his flirts with big-breasted movie stars and his rather incredible and thoroughly French pop-output. Listening to his jazz stuff really makes you take notice of him in a new light. His texts are dead funny at times and the music is really good. And his voice, well it suits a disinterested "homme-fatal" with a large pokey nose and bad manners. I cannot but very heartily recommend the compilation disk "Du Jazz dans le Ravin." (Even if you don't understand a word he is singing, this is good stuff!!!)

Besides on this Compilation disk, this track - together with the rest of the music to this film - can found on the Jazz in Paris disk - Jazz et Cinéma Vol. 3.

Twelve points go to Vint with the Golden Arm for getting this one, the very first track, right in the very first reaction. :tup

Track 2: Max Roach - Petit Déjeuner (Julian Priester)

Recorded 1 March 1960. Tommy Turrentine, trumpet; Julian Priester, trombone; Stanley Turrentine, tenor; Bob Boswell, bass; Max Roach, drums;

Released on "Parisian Sketches" (Mercury) and available in the Jazz in Paris series (Gitanes/Universal)

Another one from the Jazz in Paris series, this song has a definitive Sonny Clark feel to it; even without Nica (aka Royal Flush) preceding it, as it does on the album. An interesting notion, considering the piano is not there. The légère/laid back way this group treats this music makes it a real pleasure to listen to it. Quite a feat, as some have pointed out, when considering the 5/4 metre. The voicings are full yet leave a lot of space, also because of a lack of piano of course. Furthermore, it is always a treat to hear the Turrentine brothers together.

Priester sets the mood for a series of real nice & easy solos. Tommy Turrentine must of course insert some dissonant notes somewhere. He has always struck me as a rather erratic player, but when he's on fire, he burns HOT and flies extremely high. His brother is usually there to pull him down safely from the stratosphere though. Here Tommy's playing is more subdued, but still very colourful. Maybe because he knew his brother wouldn't be bringing him back in. Oh, yeah: Max himself is Max and awesome.

A good start of the day with a petit déjeuner like this one, no? It must be a sunny day in early summer and there's no hang-over either. No sense of unease anywhere I think.

This is a very good album; get it while it's still readily available, it's cheap & more than just good value for money.

Track 3: Elvin Jones - Mr Jones (Keiko Jones)

Recorded 26 September 1969. Joe Farrell, George Coleman, tenor; Pepper Adams, baritone; Wilbur Little, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; Candido Camero, conga;

Released on "Polycurrents" (Blue Note)

The BN album Polycurrents is one of those great surprises I return to not often enough (that's why it remains a surprise every time I play it, duh!). And finally, now at last, we have that Eric Alexander clone George Coleman on tenor (and there was great rejoicing!). Coleman's name has been popping up in the previous BFT discussions even though he wasn't featured. He is now. You cannot complain that he goes on too long without sprouting enough fresh ideas to support that. This is the whole works. I dig this solo immensely and particularly the weirdness he wallows in just for a short while (around the 2:10 mark). This tenor solo made me select this track instead of any other one as Mike Weil suggested (although Mike seems to be referring to another album as well). The recognisable voice of Pepper Adams takes over in his patented fashion after the tenor solo and plays a totally foreseeable, but nevertheless thoroughly enjoyable solo. Overall, I like the vibe of the vamp and I like the solos.

EDIT: as it turns out, this is NOT Coleman we hear taking the tenor solo here, but Joe Farrell. A discussion on this can be found further below. Intruiging observation: many people (including myself <_< ) guessed Coleman to be featured on this track, when he actually isn't. In case of track 7, on which Coleman is heard, hardly anyone seems to have noticed. Anyhow, I have been fooled on my own BFT; ain't that something... :wacko:<_<

Another one that goes down rather easily with the public it seems, although some already start missing the piano... Jones really struck me as a nice guy on this one somehow, because he didn't play himself into the foreground on his own album. Listen to him go on the intro/theme statement, reverting to supporting with simple hi-hat cha-chicking and some meaty brobblopps in between. There's probably a WHOLE lot of effort and whatnot going into what sounds easy to layman's ears. I'm hoping the resident drummers (one of them told me he loves me!) would like to comment.

I believe this one is OOP, but still also available in the Jones Mosaic box (?).

And Mike Weil, please do give us your very long exposés about this and the preceding track/band.

Track 4: Albert Mangelsdorff - Three Jazz Moods (A. Mangelsdorff-R. Shankar)

Recorded 06/07 June 1964. Albert Mangelsdorff, trombone; Günter Kronberg, alto; Heinz Sauer, tenor (soprano on other tracks); Günter Lenz, bass; Ralf Hübner, drums;

Released (and available?) on "Now Jazz Ramwong" (CBS/Amiga).

Mangelsdorff's Now Jazz Ramwong is definitely among my all time favourites; the proverbial desert island stuff. Playing this album, and really sitting down and listening to it, regularly brings tears to my eyes (yes, THAT great?). I wanted to include the title track, but time limitations prevented that. I chose this one instead as it also features all the players prominently. Lenz (the bassist) swings like THE baddest badass mofo of 'em all and is pushing them all like a cattle driver, yet gently, forward and into uncharted territories. All of the horn players show a great love for melody without necessarily referring to the original theme.

The introduction by Mangelsdorff, Lenz, and Hübner is already of a most ethereal beauty, in spite of some very earthy sounds (and only those when Mangelsdorff makes some small pressing statement on his own around 0:40). Such contrasts (or rather dialectics) pervade the entire song. When Lenz starts his vibe (1:30), things really start happening of course; yet they happen without any urge; they just do. Somehow, the song really evolves into something bigger and bigger and bigger until it doesn't fit in you ears anymore and you have to let it out through some movement of the body or a prehistoric grunt. And although its beauty becomes almost unbearable (to me) at times, it doesn't "hurt," it never does, and that's really great. Just when a truly unbearable climax is threatening to be reached, the players tone down, even have a pause and we can inhale some fresh air, which we (well, I) definitely need because it (whatever it is) becomes even bigger even faster.

Sauer's tenor solo alone is worth his place in heaven. The way he starts it (1:36), the way he reaches his first truly, yet careful, climactic statement (2:30) and the way he finishes it off with that same figure (3:29), that's a whole lot of shivers down my spine. Lenz kicks in some of his reserves for the solo; what an AMAZING sound! Listen to the melodic function of his bass throughout the track: Very Ornette-Haden, but somehow very truly his own man. Kronberg will go for an attempt to lose himself in his music the moment he starts his solo; that much is clear. Mangelsdorff and Sauer tone things down in another beautiful passage when he and Lenz seem to become too mesmerised to find any ending on their own. I write "seem," because all this on the other hand seems like a written out part (there's them dialectics again). And that brings us to the end. Too early for my tastes. I always want more.

According to the liners,

"The "Three Jazz Moods" are based directly on a film music motive ("Panther Panchali" by the famous Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar), yet in their origin go back to a Bengal folk-tune. Albert Mangelsdorff introduces the original theme, which is based on an Indian raga. Sauer, Lenz, and Kronberg present their variations in individual "jazz-moods," finally ending in an excitingly dense collective improvisation. It's really astounding with what kind of finely tuned musicality and technical bravura Lenz tickles the typical melodic waves of the sitar out of his bass; creating an extremely stimulating atmosphere - always within the original context."
I guess that's another way of putting it... Anyhow, just as Jones gave the stage to Coleman and Adams on the previous track, Mangelsdorff is not too self-centred to leave the stage to Lenz it seems.

Through the way these guys fit great free stuff in a long European music tradition, whilst looking over the borders towards east and west, they show that (also) Europe was at the cutting edge of jazz in 1964. A lot of stuff simply fits here; listen for it in the theme statement, the bass parts, and the extremely well executed sax solos. It shows us that jazz above all is an open type of music and can therefore change to become unrecognisable, but can never die.

It seems that my public is rather divided on this one. Some people don't hear it happening, others must have played this track several times in sequence for shear excitement if I interpret the comments correctly. I was somewhat surprised to read that particularly many of the Europeans couldn't connect to this music. They all seem to want and/or expect more. So I've decided I'm gonna tell them off (with one of those winky things inserted right here of course ;) ): Guys, music is like the erotic art. The erotic art exists not in what it shows, but in what it doesn't show. If it shows all, it becomes tasteless. Art works through the imagination, not through the senses. There!

The album has been released on CD but is a bitch to find, although amazon lists it (? How's that all of a sudden?). I am sorry if it turns out it's indeed one of those situations where the clerk says: sorry, not for sale, like the Man with the Golden Arm fears. I am sure the clerk is willing to organise something in that case though ;) The album linked by Jsngry in the answers thread bears the same title but is a compilation that combines tracks from Now Jazz Ramwong and tracks from the album (One) Tension.

Track 5: Quartet Out - Days of Wine and Four Roses (Lyles West)

Recorded 13/14 January 1997. Pete Gallio, Jim Sangrey, tenors; Lyles West, bass; Dennis Durick, drums;

Released and available on "Welcome to the Party" (MusicaConCarne)

Another one I liked from the moment I first heard it and it proves that jazz is damn well alive and kicking. As Jim assures me, it's him (JSngry for the newbies) we're hearing play the solo here. No, his eloquence is NOT limited to his posts on this board! I find this truly beautiful stuff. The theme statement with the two saxes and the bass bouncing around underneath already promises a lot. This bass is not less prominently present here than on the previous track, although unlike Lenz, West (and Durick, the drummer, as well) pushes less but rather creates the waves for the lonely boat to be gently tossed around upon. And the bass waves are being eddied in their turn by the gently swaying saxes. The rapport between the players is definitely there (in the ZONE). No one is pushing anyone, they are all gently prodding, pulling, and teasing each other, and that makes for great music of a very different, though definitely not lesser (or better, IMHO) quality than the previous track. This track proves that these guys should be world famous. I did indeed edit it. There is a pre-historic outcry at the very beginning. I could never understand what was being yelled. Maybe Jim can enlighten. Anyhow, it sort of spoiled the flow I had going and so I yanked it; no offence meant, no artistic toes stepped on I hope.

The album is available from our resident Jsngry. If you don't have it yet, get it! (But be advised there's more "out" stuff on there as well.) If you DO have it, play it to your friends. If you don't have the second disk they did, get that one as well. (BTW: When's the next album coming up?) Maybe Jim would like to add some words on this song itself, the band, the recording, whatever. The stage is yours my friend.

At least I hope you can appreciate the place I gave you between master of melody Mangelsdorff and the following master of the tenor saxophone... :)

I asked Jim for permission before I included this track. He thought it would be cool to read the reactions and so he told me to go ahead. Well, howsitbeen? I found the reactions truly great, I didn't know you were from Scandinavian Europe; you could have damn well visited me by now and have some beers! Tom Storer pointing out he likes this better than track 3, which features George Coleman: priceless!

I sure do hope that the inclusion of this track serves as one more of those subliminal messages that says: SUPPORT JAZZ! BUY NOW! :g

Track 6: Lucky Thompson - Thin Ice (Eli "Lucky" Thompson)

Recorded 22 February 1956. Eli "Lucky" Thompson, tenor; Benoît Quersin, bass; Gérard "Dave" Pochonet, drums;

Released on Paris 1956 (Swing) and available in the Americans Swinging in Paris series (EMI).

For a while, when I heard the beginning of this one, I used to think it was Art Pepper (go figure; glad anyhow RDK seems to hear the same thing). It isn't of course. Lucky T is definitely one of my favourites. I really like the smooth swinging, blues-drenched sound he embraces you with. And always good humoured at that! Thompson is one of those guys who can go on and on and I will never be bored. It may not always be very exciting, but it's definitely NEVER bland.

This one is *very* exciting of course and has me yelling that bluesy Aaaah! a lot. You gotta love how he just keeps that dang horn in his mouth and keeps blowing it and blowing it in endless variations on the theme. No fancy soloing here, no straying way off the path; the theme remains recognisable throughout the track. I find that truly amazing, as it is probably much more difficult to achieve. The bass and drums are totally committed to Lucky T's sax and lay down a red carpet fit for queens and emperors.

This swings like mad. If anyone should ever ask you what swing means, play them this track.

And Lucky kicks major ass. If anyone should ever ask you what kicking ass means, play them this track again.

The sound quality on this one isn't very good. I made a wav file of each selection while compiling to try out the sequencing and do some level correction and noticed that this track (as well as track 10) is chopped off at the ends, resulting in what looks like block waves. Whoever did this didn't do a very good job by sacrificing quality for volume. :tdown

Track 7: Slide Hampton - Straight No Chaser (Thelonious Monk)

18 November 1962. Richard Williams, Nat Pavone, trumpet; Slide Hampton, Benjamin Jacobs-El, trombone; George Coleman, tenor; Jay Cameron, baritone; Butch Warren, bass; Vinnie Ruggiero, drums;

Released on "Exodus" (Philips) and available in the Jazz in Paris series (Gitanes/Universal).

Yet another one from the Jazz in Paris series, and yet another one that swings like a mofo. Don't get wise and ask me what the difference between swinging like mad like the previous track and swinging like a mofo is. It's both way good, dig? This one features Slide Hampton and his "small big band." There's some real fire works here, not only during the ensemble passages, but certainly also during the extended solos; first from Hampton, then from Coleman.

I thought I'd do two tracks with Coleman, he deserves it; especially after the "Eric Alexander mix-up" debacle. Interesting to see that people pick up on him on one of the tracks (#3) and do not on this one. There was no fooling Mr Sangrey of course. Nevertheless, it still sort of supports me in my idea that he is not as recognisable as people say he is and that I do not need to be ashamed for having difficulties identifying him. He simply still isn't a totally recognisable player for me; not someone I'd recognise after only a couple of notes. I do like his stuff though.

After starting with Au Privave (indeed), Slide takes the band into Straight no Chaser with his solo (cool huh?!). This band sure knows how to make a Monk tune swing like hell (or like a Parker tune) and have a lot of fun in the process. I would very much welcome some wise words from our resident musicians, also in light of the recent discussion (already buried) on the difficulties of playing Monk's music. Maybe you should simply play a Parker theme to start things off and only start playing Monk after that. :)

The drummer Vinnie Ruggiero is someone I do not know besides by this album. I love his playing on it though; it struck me while compiling this disk. People have been discussing his contribution and have pointed out other albums on which he is featured. I think there is more to be said about the guy, but I am not up to that. Maybe one of the resident drummers would like to share some observations. There is an album by the Mangione brothers on which Ruggiero performs. Mangione has surprised us once before on the previous BFT. I am curious about that album, as I am about the other albums mentioned on which Ruggiero plays. Does anybody know these?

Track 8: Dewey Redman - Joie De Vivre (Dewey Redman)

Recorded 09/10 September 1974. Dewey Redman, tenor; Sirone, bass; Eddie Moore, drums;

Originally released on "Coincide" (Impulse!) and available on the CD release of "The Ear of the Behearer" (Impulse!).

This tune is an oasis of silence to retreat to within its original (CD) album context of at times rather fierce free blowing (so it's not exactly the original LP context, but still...). Redman really makes clear that his own and any other free force blowing needs a basis to free oneself of. This is part of that basis it seems. For all those who still doubted it: the guy can play. I love the way Redman keeps developing new thematic ideas here. The bassist is really pulling the sax along, not prodding or pushing, not creating some gentle waves to be swayed upon, but pulling with all his might. Unlike others, I immensely like his contribution here. It needs some time to get used to, I'll admit, but once you get the part of him trying to pull the protagonist of the story out of the swamp, it all falls into place.

I hear a lot of sadness and disappointment and resignation here; only at the end, the utter beauty of life seems to be accepted as a fact and only then, the title starts to make sense. The protagonist of the story still has a hard time putting one foot in front of the other though. Very expressive and very beautiful.

I could of course have included a track from the original, and in my opinion rather great, Ear of the Behearer album. It would have put off some and made it too easy for others.

After I got the Ear of the Behearer CD, I never troubled myself to check out Redman in more detail. It probably has to do with my free jazz listening time being rather limited since I met my wife ;), and the Behearer album somehow got filed away in my brain with that "heavy-duty" free jazz marker. Listening to it again, I find it much more accessible than that; though admittedly it would still surprise me if our former Gene Harris Fanatic would ever be raving about it :g

Only recently, after I compiled this BFT disk, I got a copy of Redman's "Choices" album on Enja, which he did together with his son Joshua. There is some truly great stuff on that one; much more in the vein of Joie de Vivre than anything on the Behearer CD. I would very much welcome some recommendations.

Track 9: Romano/Sclavis/Texier - Vol (Romano-Sclavis-Texier)

Recorded in 1995. Louis Sclavis, bass clarinet; Henri Texier, bass; Aldo Romano, drums;

Released and available on "Carnet de Routes" (Label Bleu)

I felt it was time for some fireworks after all this seriousness. The bass / clarinet opening is fabulous, really tight how these guys pull this off and mix the sounds of their instruments. The drummer then lays down this very cool rock vamp together with the bassist and Sclavis has a field day throwing notes around like candy, slowly moving into more and more exciting territories. I'm sorry some didn't like the rubbery bass sound. I find it goes rather well with the clarinet / soprano; it's an electric upright I believe.

There's a lot more where this came from, probably better at that. This track does stand out somewhat among the little music I know by these guys. Judging from what I do know, much of their music shows a distinct Northern African influence and besides that, there are some wild, wild free jazz selections where rhythm and melody function on one level. I selected this particular track for its fierceness, its unbridled commitment to energy if you will. It gets better every time I listen to it and it fits well with what follows too. I'll have a modest HELLYEAH! please, thankyouverymuch.

On other tracks, you can hear Sclavis supporting Texier during his bass solos. The rhythmic function of the bass is taken over by the clarinet whilst the bass plays melody. The transition between these supportive and principle roles is very organic in both directions.

Not much of that on this track I am afraid, but there's more to a BFT than the "best of" IMHO and this one is very functional both in showcasing Sclavis and, to some extent, Texier, as well as in the overall sequencing of the disk. How else do you suppose, should I have rolled out the carpet for the next track?

Track 10: Art Ensemble of Chicago - Thème de Yoyo (Beasley-Bowie-Favors-Mitchell)

Recorded 22 July 1970. Fontella Bass, piano & vocals; Lester Bowie, trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion; Roscoe Mitchell, alto, soprano, flute, percussion; Joseph Jarman, alto, soprano, flute, bassoon, oboe, percussion; Malachi Favors, bass, percussion; Don Moye, drums, percussion;

Released on "Les Stances à Sophie" (Nessa), available in the Americans Swinging in Paris series (EMI).

I had gone to great trouble to reduce the playing time and this tune is not only quite long, but it furthermore did not seem to fit with the rest of my initial choices, so I threw it out. In the end, after I had added some short titles that fit rather well with it, it turned out I miraculously had loads of room left (thank you MicroSoft :rolleyes). So here 'tis! And, HELLYEAH! This one swings like a mofo! The "deviation" from the beaten path during the statement of the rather simplistic theme reminds me of Zappa. There is a bit of an amateurish feel to this performance at times. I like it nevertheless or rather even because of that, as the commitment of the players more than makes up for any musical mishaps.

The vamp and the soulful singing provide a nice contrast to the weird wildness of the theme statement and the solos that follow. This was a rather complete MINDPHUCK to me when I first heard it, hitting in all the places where it should and shouldn't. So here's another HELLYEAH!

One of the things that did put me down (veryveryvery) slightly on this one is the tambourine, I could do without it myself, like others, it seems, reading the comments. There is a real mess up of the rhythmic flow at some point, really not good; same thing with the bassist (though this at times rather sounds as if it may be a re-mastering mistake (I mean, WTF is happening at around 1:26?) I'm with you on that deus62). Not good if you overdo it. It's a decision you have to make, either you mess around and don't have the commitment to the steady beat, or you don't mess around that much (cf. the previous track) and go for the beat. At times, it seems they're not very sure what they want. I know they are changing their objectives in this respect throughout the track; the slow down during the trumpet solo is way cool. And, on the other hand, it definitely adds to the charm and I have got used to it.

So, it IS a whole lot of fun to listen to I find. Maybe it's just that you have to have the humour in place already and that this track is not going to deliver it to you...

Several points were being made about this music sounding not very convincing. I guess there's a whole lot of justification to be found in the context of the album and the other output of this group. I couldn't include that here of course. Most probable, however, is that you yourself have to provide the context for this stuff to make a convincing impression. In other words, either you like it or you don't. I am not going to try and convince you, even if I myself am more than just a little convinced.

Like with track 6, also on this track sound quality was sacrificed for volume. Furthermore, the album was dubbed from vinyl for the EMI CD reissue. It darn well makes music available that needs to be, but it somehow makes me sad when I know that Chuck actually offered EMI to use his original (second generation?) tapes. First they take our Board and then they ruin some important music releases. Anyhow, I am very glad it's out there and available. :)

Vint w/ the Golden Arm, please do post your link with the great, great article about the piece

Track 11: Xero Slingsby and The Works - UranguTango (Colan-Slingsby-Velocette)

Recorded 23 March 1985. Xero Slingsby (Mathew Coe), alto & associated cacophony; Louis Colan, bass; Gene Velocette, drums;

Released on "Shove It!" (Paan Produktion) LP.

This short-lived band made two records that I know of and I found them both in the very small second hand shop I frequent. In mint condition, underlining the fact that way too few copies of these albums had been sold when they hit the market. This music functions somewhere on the verge of jazz, ska, wave, and punk during the roaring eighties just after jazz had died. And it sounds thoroughly British and rather angry. Probably the players are not the best in their field, but they have some cool ideas, they play some very cool tunes, and they sound totally convinced of what they are doing. There seems to be a thoroughly worked out concept here. I am not sure what it is, but it works for me.

These guys are not about soloing much it seems. Many of their tracks feature unisono bass-alto lines in weird metre and develop like worked out performances. With a lot of improvisation for sure, but the energy and capital letter FUN rather seem to be the key here. The playing NOW sounds as if it is the last thing these guys think they will achieve in this life. The alto player uses quite a lot of seemingly old-fashioned licks and puts them in a very new, original context, which I for one find very enjoyable. His use of electronic enhancers is a nice touch, especially when considering that this is a live recording. Slingsby built most of the "exotic" instruments he uses on other tracks, like the bikapumpaphone, from scrap himself. The bass player is way cool as well. He likes to run the scales and bend the strings and contributes a lot to the urging sound of the group. And his rubbery bass ("reptilian, amphibious") makes for a nice contrast with the stone cold rock that is the drummer.

For me, the element of FUN and the sincerity that pervade this music wins hands down from the lack of soloing. The latter rather strikes me as a part of the concept, in fact. This is definitely something DIFFERENT, these overt anarchists are presenting us here. Something you may have to get used to, but heck, if Louis Armstrong can bring soloing to jazz, Xero Slingsby can very well take it away and come up with something meaningful in the process I should think. Pity he died from a brain tumour in 1988 at thirty years old. Listen to the alto "outwitting" the rhythm around the 1:20 mark: great, great moment.

The selection I included was one of two that stuck to my mind after the first listen to the album. The other one was the title song and according to the introduction, done "in a major new onslaught on the Conservative Party of Great Britain and all other governments, Xero Slingsby and The Works bring you: Shove It!" spoken in a very British accent at that! (Listen to an mp3: hi (1.4 Mb) lo (517 Kb).) By now, all of the tracks are stored upstairs in couw's head.

Released (on vinyl only) on the German Paan label, the next album (Up Down) was released merely a year later on the Heartbeat (Ex-Paan) label; just to illustrate the turmoil in which this wonderful stuff was created and saved for posterity. There are no liner notes and Google used to draw a blank as well (besides delving up some ancient concert announcements). Used to, because in order to test the truth of this statement, I did a new search not too long ago and to my astonishment found a rather large site entirely dedicated to Xero Slingsby and The Works, done by their former "manager" (link). It's a bit idolatrous, but very informative nonetheless, and a gas to read through once you get past the reverential parts. And, reading through it, the remark that was made on the alto being totally psycho proves to be spot on! There are some mp3 files on there as well. To save you the search, here's a listing of those:

- The Mauve Mercedes with the Padlock on the Boot: hi (767 Kb] lo (277 Kb)

- Dearly Beloved: hi 972 Kb) lo (389 Kb); very powerful.

- The End: hi (2,1 Mb) lo (784 Kb); a very beautiful performance. Adds a short piano solo spot.

- Unicycling (Live in Damberd): hi (904 Kb) lo (282 Kb); great breakneck noise!

- Unicycling (Live in Köln): hi (1,8 Mb) lo (556 Kb); more great breakneck noise!

I really liked the guesses and comments on this one. I knew this was an unbreakable nut from the start. There was only one person I knew of on this Board who could/would/might be able to recognise it, because I sent him dubs once; yes, it's you Mr Sangrey... I guess you will have to dive into that box of crappy stuff people keep sending you and fish this one out to listen to it with some fresh ears. :g

Strikingly, with this track I have included yet another electric or electrically enhanced bass. This although I am one of those people who say they do not like the sound of fender/electric bass in a jazz setting. So what's up? Why am I not bothered by that on these tracks? Is it the lack of piano? :)

Track 12: Ray Anderson - It Just So Happens (Ray Anderson)

Recorded 31 January/01 February 1987. Ray Anderson, trombone; Stanton Davis, trumpet; Perry Robinson, clarinet; Bob Stewart, tuba; Mark Dresser, bass; Ronnie Burrage, drums;

Released and available on "It Just So Happens" (Enja).

I love the way the theme is stated here. It sounds as if it can break down any moment with more than just one guy falling out of line. Yet they keep it all together and proceed to carry the looseness of their approach into the solos. It just so happens indeed. The bass opening plays a large role in the original theme statement. I like that.

The album features a wide variety of music. These guys keep their approach intact, however, and it doesn't turn into another post-modern style-fest. There are many reverend references to traditional jazz music on the album, showing a great sense of continuity. The more so because the tracks like the one I included do not stick out like so many sore thumbs, but rather fit into that tradition, proving that jazz was not dead when everyone thought it was.

The trombone solo is - like many have pointed out - awesome. The guy can play and not just a little. Judging from the comments there is some danger of falling into traps of unserious music (?) when it comes to Anderson. There is not much Ray Anderson in my collection. I might have to correct that and I would welcome some recommendations. Notably also to steer me away from the pitfalls.

Track 13: Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim) - It Never Entered My Mind (R. Rodgers-L. Hart)

Recorded 29 May 1983. Carlos Ward, flute (alto on other tracks); Dollar Brand, soprano (piano on other track); Essiet Okun Essiet, bass; Don Mumford, drums;

Released and available on "Zimbabwe" (Enja)

Leaving his piano be for this track, Ibrahim on soprano plays a beautiful duet with Carlos Ward on flute. That's a bit mean of course, because Ward usually does the sax playing; but if you want to include some Ibrahim without reverting to piano, there aren't a lot of choices... The bass vamp fits like a glove here and the arco parts are very distinguee, making it sound like they are honouring a great person for great things. There is a very serene and sincerely beautiful quality to this music.

This has been released on CD I believe; I took it from LP though. The album features a very beautiful version of Kramat to start it off.

I am very picky when it comes to Ibrahim. There are some titles I really wouldn't want to live without (like the aforementioned version of Kramat), other albums I really didn't like and I put them back in the bin. What does strike me is that (at least on the stuff I do enjoy) he remains very recognisable even if he is principally a piano player, and you all know what trouble I have in identifying those! What's more, even on this track, where he is playing a horn, I can recognise him (with a little help maybe). Besides his playing, also his writing and arranging is very original.

The title seemed apt for a Blindfold Test. I myself have been wandering around the house trying to think of title or performer of a Blindfold Track I was certain I knew but couldn't put a tag on. I hate it when that happens, but it's certainly also one of the masochistic kicks that belong with the Blindfold tradition. Here's in honour of that tradition.

The best thing of course is that it took you all so long to figure out the title. :g

Track 14: Pee Wee Russell - Ask Me Now (Thelonious Monk)

Recorded 09/10 April 1963. Pee Wee Russell, clarinet; Marshall Brown, valve trombone, bass trumpet; Russell George, bass; Ronnie Bedford, drums;

Released on "Ask Me Now" (Impulse!) and available in the Verve LPR series.

I have always found it intriguing how an "old" guy like Russell went into such modern territories unafraid of anything or anyone. On this album he masters the likes of Ornette, Monk, and Trane like stirring his vodka-martini. Truly marvellous stuff.

Brown plays lovely support on this track as he does throughout the disk. This song (as RDK pointed out) is indeed of ideal length. It's somehow too slow to support it going on any longer. Similarly, the album itself is perfectly programmed. Have no qualms here people! Get this album. You will NOT be disappointed.

The album was recently reissued in the Verve Mini LP series. My advice: get it while supplies last. Is there more where this comes from? I don't know, but if you do, don't hesitate to mention it.

Track 15: Art Pepper - Loverman (Davis-Ramirez-Sherman)

Recorded 25/26 May 1979. Unaccompanied alto sax solo.

Released on "New York Album" (Galaxy) and part of the 16CD Galaxy set (disk 4, track 1).

I don't believe there is much beyond this. This is the stuff that dreams are made on. What Pepper draws out of this stale old standard is beyond imagination. And he stays close to the theme at that! (Compare to the Lucky T track and see that there is wisdom in RDK's "mistake.")

This is very emotional, very beautiful, very personal, very, very, very...

I had long been hesitating whether to buy the hugemongous Galaxy set. My first confrontation with Pepper was on a CD with his complete Savoy output. Nice stuff for sure, but nothing extraordinary I found. A couple of months later I found an LP copy of his Friday Night at the Village Vanguard album; made after Pepper had "reinvented" himself and had incorporated some of his Traneian type essence into his playing. Only then was I struck by the immense emotional impact that Pepper's music carries for me, but still not enough to jump on the Galaxy set. One time I decided not to strike the set off my zweitausendeins order form in last minute - it had been on there many times - and for once I did the sensible thing and left it on. I have never regretted it. This track is certainly a good indicator of the high quality of the music on this set, believe it or not. Aside from it being one of the not so many unaccompanied tracks, it does not stand out as being exceptionally good. It's all this good.

Those of you who still doubted on the set when it went out at a discount price at zweitausendeins may now start their self-flagellation. :g

I've been listening to many versions of this song ever since I became a bit more interested in jazz. It has always been a favourite. Charlie Parker did some AWESOME stuff with it and there are great versions by J.J., Rollins, and others ranging from Byas to Guiffre in my collection. Yet this version by Pepper stands out with a sincerity this song was somehow written to express, but which nobody knew about until he found out. It may very well be that his almost repetitious way of dealing with the song opens some of the thus far closed territories. But what do I know.

In his book Straight Life, Pepper talks about playing solo saxophone in prison. I have always imagined that prison to re-sound with the beauty of this performance. Somehow, that picture fits beyond my ability to explain why. It may be the slight echo/reverb. All I can say is that if any music deserves a HELLYEAH comment, this is it. That qualification doesn't fit somehow though. Maybe I should opt for a HEAVENYEAH, but that doesn't sound right either, so I'll go for the much more subdued, appreciative, reverend silence.

Breaking that silence, I would like to thank you all very much for your attention and your interesting remarks and discussions. It really is WAY MORE fun to be on this side of the fence than on the other in such a Blindfold Test.

Thank you all.

As a bonus, and just because it's you, here's one that did not make the final selection:

Track X: Jackie McLean - Quadrangle

Released and available on "Jackie's Bag" (Blue Note)

If you have this album (recently released in the RVG series), give the track a listen. It was a real surprise for me when I first heard it. Recorded in 1959, it goes WAY out there when compared to what Jackie Mac would record before he completely became the cutting edge for a while. Byrd sounds really possessed on this one as well. Of course Sonny Clarke was present at the session but sat out.

So, what unites these tracks besides the lack of chordal instruments? Probably more questions than answers...

For one there's more room for the bass and the drums and that's nothing bad in my book. And certainly nothing to be afraid of. One question that indeed springs to mind is whether bassists and drummers try to fill the space left wide open or that we simple hear more of them. Then, there is a lot of melody here, I think. (Is there more melody when there is no piano?) Certainly not on all the tracks, but I do believe that much of what I like is related to melody and melodic improvisation. When my wife persuades me to go dancing, which happens rarely, I either steal the show or tend to make a fool of myself (usually the latter), by dancing mainly to the melody instead of to the rhythm like all the others. So the next question would be what the relation between rhythm and melody is. I hear some very melodic rhythm sections on this disk and I like that. On the other hand, I hear some straight time keeping rhythm sections supporting some very melodic players/improvisers; and I like that just as much. (BTW: there is a separate spin-off thread discussing piano-less jazz here.)

As it is and even without answers to those questions, I like the music on this disk. I am glad many of you join me in that. Some of you don't and that's fine as well. Being on this board proves that we have much more in common than that disagreement.

I put quite a lot of effort into the sequencing of the tracks and would like to thank those who complimented me on that. It was my objective to have riddles and stuff I like combined with pleasure for the listener, and I am glad I have succeeded to some extent. Although track 4 and 5 present a secret culmination point, the disk somehow revolves around the selections 9 thru 11. This became unavoidable once I included the AEC track (10). The preceding selections somehow had to build up to that and the latter ones had to tear it all down again without ending in nothingness. PeeWee and Pepper came to the rescue and proved to be two of the most important figures in jazz once again.

Thank you all very much for your very interesting and insightful remarks. Some of the wrong guesses have put me onto trails I have not yet ventured, so those are as valuable as the right guesses; probably even more so as they have broadened the scope of discussion. I invite you all to give me some more insightful, witty, strange, personal, specialist, and whatever remarks. You are all welcome at the after party in my apartment. I am afraid the music will be the same, but the discussion will be all the better informed.

Drinks are on me.

Edited by couw

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ouch! I own disc #5 and didn't recognize it. Time to bring it back out for a listen again. I also highly recommend this disc to anyone who hasn't picked it up yet. The live Quartet Out disc is great fun, too.

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Thanks for posting the replies, John!

I hugely enjoyed your set! HELL, I DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THE IBRAHIM TRACK!!

I will read your post tonight, and may answer/post some more here.

Sangrey, send me your CD anytime :tup

(GO SPAM and link us to your site here, this is the chance to sell some!)

The Mangelsdorff track is very good - would love to have that sucker!

ubu

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by the way HUGE OUCH again, as I have "The Ear of the Behearer" (it's been quite some time though, since I heard it last).

ubu

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I will read your post tonight, and may answer/post some more here.

I got a bit carried away (and finished all the beer in the house <_< ), sorry it came out so long. Hope people will read and reacrt anyhow.

(subliminal message: BUY QUARTET OUT!) ;)

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I will read your post tonight, and may answer/post some more here.

I got a bit carried away (and finished all the beer in the house <_< ), sorry it came out so long. Hope people will read and reacrt anyhow.

(subliminal message: BUY QUARTET OUT!) ;)

Length is no problem at all! I like it. I made a 12x12cm print out of Sngry's post and put that right into the jewel cases of the discs. Nice to re-read when listening to the disc at a later point!

ubu

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Hey, Catesta - did you post your answers? Otherwise: move out of this thread NOW!

ubu ;)

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Thanks for your illuminating comments and the blindfold test in general, John. I haven't changed my mind about #9 and #11, but kudos to that Sangrey guy for #5. I mean, playing that well is great, and recording that playing is even better, but being selected for an Organissimo blindfold test--now that's prestige!

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Length is no problem at all! I like it. I made a 12x12cm print out of Sngry's post and put that right into the jewel cases of the discs.

font size = 1 or 2?

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4 User(s) are reading this topic (0 Guests and 1 Anonymous Users)

3 Members: couw, rockefeller center, catesta

WHAT DID I TELL YOU Mr TESTA!!! :rmad::rmad::rmad:

;)

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Thanks again John!

I've listened hard to this set and always find something new (obviously since it still is new, duh) everytime. Lots of new avenues down which to proceed. (And the thugs in your alley will no doubt steal my wallet-full of PayPal and drain that baby quick as quite a few of these have been ear-marked not even knowing what they were until now.)

Most especially Jim's QO selection. I laughed out loud when you revealed Track #5. Worried of what my comment might have been, it is now completely perfect :" 5) I really do know this song but it ain't coming to me... That's what I get for trying to enhance the musical experience during those formative years." :g Obviously Mancini with a different kind of "twist"! :party:

I've listed that link to the Fontella w/ AEC as seeking the obscure. I really did think that was Leena Conquest from the get go. It's amazing when one finds the roots. I am hoping that Mr. Nessa might weigh in here regarding that session. My comment about the 'bombastic' as unwarranted is now moot- this is AEC dinner music! This one is en route as we type. If anyone has not checked out Ms. Bass with that whole legion of "downtown northwesterners" on No Ways Tired, this should be done despite AMG's errant rating. Or even this one with David Murray. Beautiful stuff you might find real cheap.

Now that you have revealed your sources I'll be off on another hunt to quench my own little jazz head knowledge base. While I can't hold a candle to most of the discussions and revelations from posters throughout this board this BFT thing is a real treat. (thanks DG) You all will get the call someday to front my innervention when it is finally revealed that I am consumed by obscure jazz roumminations (that's how couw's spell it).

...and I do rather like 'vint' with the golden arm'.

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Length is no problem at all! I like it. I made a 12x12cm print out of Sngry's post and put that right into the jewel cases of the discs.

font size = 1 or 2?

font size 4 or 5, made for 20 or so pages... but a good read!

ubu

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Okay here it goes and I've got to admit doing it this way makes it all that much easier. ;)

As I see your answers the only two I would have posted correctly would have been tracks 5 and 15. Number five was fresh in my memory since I had just given Sangrey's cd a spin last week.

I had absolutely no clue on tracks 11 and 13.

Track 9 was probably the least enjoyable for me, it sounded like somehting by Dolphy.

This BFT was especially difficult for me for a couple of reasons.

1. I love piano so I don't have too much jazz without it.

2. I picked a bad time to move my office and was unable to dedicate the time to this. It would have been no big deal if I had a computer up and running at home, but since I moved into a new house a couple of months ago it has not been very high on my priority list. It's tough since I only post from work and had to try and make notes.

Couw thanks again, you put together a great cd. I will be making some purchases as a result. :tup

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4 User(s) are reading this topic (0 Guests and 1 Anonymous Users)

3 Members: couw, rockefeller center, catesta

WHAT DID I TELL YOU Mr TESTA!!! :rmad::rmad::rmad:

;)

BUSTED! :g

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Hey, Catesta - did you post your answers? Otherwise: move out of this thread NOW!

ubu ;)

What can I tell you? The temptation was too great and I folded like a cheap suit.

I gave in damn it, I gave in. 1e-sobbing.gif

If it was me instead of Adam sitting woth Eve and that eating the apple screw up thing I can tell you this, present time would seem like a cake walk compared to the wrath that would have been dealt. ;)

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Now I know why #13 sounded so familiar - I have it on vinyl. Thanks very much for compiling/providing the disc and your comments, couw :tup. Bravo JSngry! Re #10 - I'm glad to have heard this version now since the Universal Sound release which I have sounds as if you're listening through a pillow.

Edited by rockefeller center

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Re #10 - I'm glad to have this version since the Universal Sound release which I have sounds as if you're listening through a pillow.

But this one is awfully trebly. See the remark I made on the sound quality of the Lucky T track; it goes for the AEC track as well.

The music shines through of course.

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I, too, must join with Catesta. I only got a chance to seriously listen to this disc last night so I'm a little to late to post but I can tell you I wouldn't have gotten any of these anyway.

The ones I particularly liked were Max Roach's Parisian Sketches, Elvin's Polycurrents (I did recognize Pepper and was impressed with the tenors; I may have to consider getting this or the Mosaic some day), Lucky Thompson (embarrasingly, I have this and will be listening to it again tonight), Slide Hampton, Ear of the Behearer was not bad (impressed with Dewey), Pee Wee (another embarrasment that I have) and Art Pepper, very moving solo.

The others did really nothing for me.

Must pickups for me are the Art Pepper, Slide Hampton and Max Roach's Parisian Sketches. So, I'll be on the lookout.

Thanks again John.

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I'd like to thank John for including a piece by Quartet Out in his BFT, and I'm heartened by all the positive response to it. There is a bit of a story behind the album, and that cut in particular, but I don't have time to go into it right now. Besides, we need some more comments now that the answers have been revealed!

But FWIW, the vocal thing heard before the music starts is the words, "whilst travelling through this unfriendly world". It's a sample I lifted off of a Gospel compilation CD and had some Beatle-esue fun with (as happened several times on the album), and it's spoken by Evangelist Sister Winn.

I'll talk about that (and other things pertaining to the cut) in greater detail after others have weighed in.

(and yes - I am TOTALLY embarrased that I'm the one person who should have gotten #11 and didn't!)

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Do not play poker with this man!

TRACK 5 - People seem to think that this is a "European" band, but frankly, I don't hear that. Maybe superficailly, in the drumming, but not really. Whatever, it's an absolutely gorgeous tune, and the tenorist who plays the melody does so superbly. The tenor soloist is telling his story his own way, too. Definitely nothing innovative, but definitely a truly personal expression all the way around, and that means a lot to me. Can't wait for the identity to be revealed!

After this I believe he could sit stone-faced through the entirety of Animal House!

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:g

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*phew*

I got some right (just because I did listen to some of the cuts over Christmas) ... or at least knew who was playing (tracks 2,3,4,7 and 10).

I'm not a tenth as knowledgable as many others who posted their thoughts, comments and ideas, but I enjoyed reading them very much. Aside from the ones I guessed/knew straight away, I have to admit the rest I had no idea about. I just sat on the sidelines watching the conversation.

What really impressed me about this set was its scope ... I love being sent into new directions to explore, and I will go ahead and have a look/listen.

The immediate result of this BFT was that I spent quite a bit of time getting to know my Slide Hampton again. Besides my Jazz in Paris sides I checked out Dedicated To Diz: Slide Hampton & The Jazz Masters (not much Slide, but an excellent album) and especially the wonderful arrangements and the sound on Spirit of the Horn.

So, John, thanks for the many hours of enjoyment I got out of your BFT!

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Self-flagellation starts HERE!

I've always known I'm jazz ignorant, but every now and then I get into some kind of comfort zone where I feel like I've heard it all and don't need to make any more purchases.

What a fool I am, as this disc happily points out! Some random thoughts:

Track 2: MUST get this album!

Track 3: Oh well, at least I got the drummer and the bari player correct. Can't believe I ever got rid of this CD. Is the Mosaic set as good as this track?

Track 4: Is the rest of the album in a good groove like this? I think I listened to this track the most from the outset, just for that GROOVE!

Track 5: Y'know that scene from A Fish Called Wanda, where Kevin Kline is dangling John Cleese out the window, and Cleese is offering his most profound apologies for doubting Kline's abilities? Well, I'm Cleese, and Sangrey has every right to dangle me from a window for failing to purchase either of his fine Quartet's CDs. That is being remedied even as we speak.

Seriously, though, that track entranced me like nothing else. The higher of the two saxes sounded like an alto to me, so I know that threw me off.

Track 6: ANOTHER must get! Y'know, my first thought was that this was one of the bonus cuts from Lee Konitz'z Motion, cuz I knew it wasn't Elvin. What a groove!

Track 7: Man, what have I been missing with these Jazz from Paris series?

Track 8: I have to confess that at this point, things started sounding a little the same. I need to listen to this again!

Track 9: Never been to big a fan of bass clarinets, but I like the groove on this!

Track 10: Okay, I'm a jazz naif: I've yet to hear anything by AEC that didn't send me running for cover! Sorry!

Track 11: Wow! Weird! Cool! HELLUVA groove!

Track 12: Ray Anderson! Wish I'd known! I woulda listened to this a little better! He's another I should get into, but have never had the time, money, or inclination.

Track 13: I think by this time I'd kinda stopped listening and given up. Oh what fool I am! Listening to this again after reading the answers revealed this track's beauty!

Track 14: This one I knew, and I agree that it's a fantastic album. However, as of right now, it has yet to grab me. But that's okay; I've got time. It's not going anywhere.

Track 15: THAT'S Art Pepper? I told you I know nothing about jazz! :g

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Al,

WRT track 4: yes.

WRT track 5: I did warn you that Jim likes to screem at times.

WRT track 8: this is by no means representative for the CD album I took it from. I'm hoping someone can point me towards more stuff in the vein of this track

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Egg all over my face! ^_^

Seriously, the most ear-opening numbers for me were a couple of tracks by people I'd never heard of before (9) or artists who I'd heard of but never actually heard (4).

The other realization for me is my apparent "talent" for getting the names of familiar tracks wrong. :rolleyes: I was so certain that track 5 was a Mingus tune that I posted it twice!

Now on to listening to the disc again armed with the knowledge of who's who and what's what...

Again, my thanks to Couw for such a wonderful disc! I'm enjoying these tests so much...

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