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Guy Berger

Clean Feed Records

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

I'm interested in recommendations on this insanely prolific label.  I know it's been discussed in the Funny Rat threads but those are challenging to wade through.

So far I've picked up:

Tim Berne, INSOMNIA

And I am definitely planning to pick up the two Chris Lightcap records (DELUXE, EPICENTER) and the Sclavis/Taborn/Rainey album.

Any other recommendations?

Edited by Guy Berger

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Lots of choices. depends what you like - ? Martin Kuchen, ? Marty Ehrlich, ?Kirk Knuffke, Friends & Neighbors, Cortex etc.

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I have been perusing the annual spring sales for several years and have also started following their new releases to some extent, and occasionally stocking up on stuff that didn't yet make the sales (older items still get cheaper after a while).

There's tons of fine stuff there, but I would say hardly a true masterpiece.

Off the top of the mind, going by artist (and not looking up all the album titles, no time for that right now):

Eve Risser, young French pianist whom I like a lot ... she has a solo album that is minimalist and beautiful, a large group that is prob. composed for large parts, includin some solos I'd assume ... or they're "set"), and then there's a piano duo with Kaja Draksler, too

Kaja Draksler, another young pianist, from Slovenia ... her solo album is marvelous, her duo with Portuguese trumpet player Susana Santos Silva is beautiful, her octet with two singers is weird but pretty good (saw the group live as well - Ada Rave and Ab Baars on saxes - not too shabby!)

Susana Santos Silva, trumpet player from Portugal, she has a recent (early 2018) solo album out that is quite stunning, the duo with Kaja Draksler is wonderful, there are several albums by the group LAMA, two with guest Joachim Badenhorst and one with guest Chris Speed ... she is also on several collaborative albums (one "Life and Other Transient Storms", I also heard live and found it quite amazing), and she guests on the stunning fourth Volume of the "Basement Sessions"

Joachim Badenhorst does his stuff himself usually, but his large group, the Carate Urio Orchestra, is wonderful indeed (with Pascal Niggenkemper and Frantz Loriot, some other Clean Feed labelmates are part of the group, which again I heard live in an almost life-chaning concert).

Speaking of pianists, there is plenty of Kris Davis on Clean Feed, including a solo album, collaborations with various other musicians, and a pair of mighty good trio albums led by bassist Eric Revis, who again has more on the label.

There is also some fine stuff by pianist Angelica Sanchez (actually, having heard the Davis/Sanchez duo at Willisau last summer, there'd be another piano duo album in the making there, but so far we only got some bits on Davis' mighty good "Duopoly", not on Clean Feed).

Then, there is Tony Malaby, w/Sanchez, with his band Tamarindo, including a live set w/Wadada Leo Smith, there is also a pretty wonderful duo album by Wadada/Angelica Sanchez

... and there is so much more ... Joe McPhee ("Ticonderoga" by Jamie Saft with McPhee, Morris, Downs may be one of the masterpieces), there's some Brötzmann, some Evan Parker (including a duo with Alexander Hawkins of course, who provided liner notes to the Risser/Draksler duo album, btw), there's a Steve Lacy disc, there's Dennis Gonzalez, there's Gerry Hemingway, there's some BassDrumBone, Ralph Alessi, Nate Wooley, Harris Eisenstad ("Guewel" is big fun) ... and I'm sure once I'll be checking at home, I'll find I forgot plenty of fine ones

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Not my “go to” label as it's quality & sound are a notch below the true ‘concierge’ labels such as Not Two, Intakt, Ayler, Nessa, Trost & No Business. In the past I’d put Hat ART, Silkheart & even Okkadisc in the premium label category.

Clean Feed is kind of like Cunieform in that regard although the British label is much more attuned to self-editing. 

so I only dabble in their releases as there are so (too?!?!) many but a few of the ones I’ve heard that are close to classic/top notch include some mentioned above and the few mentioned below:

Ticonderoga: McPhee is great here as is the quartet - especially great to get a rare hearing of Charles Downs behind the kit

John Butcher with The Red Trio: Summer Skyshift. Great to hear the great trio in a blistering set with Butcher in his more agressive & expressive free jazz mode

Tamarindo - the first one with Malaby, William Parker & Nasheet Waits - the last one (Somos Agusti) is good as well but neither gets to the core power of the great trio when they hit the groove. Malaby’s Novella is also a good release but don’t expect much roaring tenor - the band is the story here.

avoid the Tamarindo with Wadada Leo Smith - the sound is hideous - one wonders if anyone listened to the recording before they released it!!!

Parker-Guy-Lytton with Peter Evans: Scenes from the House of Music - greatvsession but the sound doesn’t match what one would hear on Intakt & certainly not the depth of sound that happens on a Not Two release. 

“Soul Food” from Brotzmann with Edwards & Noble is an example of something NOT to get - again one wonders who is minding the store....way to many other tremendous Peter Brotzmann releases on better labels - I should have taken my own advice hear as well...

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I'd say the ratio very good, it's the masterpieces that are quite rare, but the pace of good stuff they're churning out is totally nuts ...

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I don't disagree, all I've heard is mostly really solid stuff.

But enough about this new shit. Let's discuss a Coltrane's rehearsal tape!!!!!!!! Or wish Happy Birthday to somebody who's been dead for 30 years!!!!!!

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This is a great record.

600x600-55.jpg

As is this one.

cf042cd.jpg

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37 minutes ago, Joe said:

This is a great record.

600x600-55.jpg

As is this one.

cf042cd.jpg

Let me give those another spin. I wasn’t so excited about these recordings when I got them a number of years ago. Maybe I didn’t give them the attention they deserved. What I remember is that this is about when Ellery Eskelin started playing in a much more reserved and traditional manner. Not to the point of playing 2/3rds ballads which is where he was at a few years ago when I last saw his organ trio. 

 

3 hours ago, Д.Д. said:

I don't disagree, all I've heard is mostly really solid stuff.

But enough about this new shit. Let's discuss a Coltrane's rehearsal tape!!!!!!!! Or wish Happy Birthday to somebody who's been dead for 30 years!!!!!!

So glad I’m not the only one who feels this way!!

as far as great modern classic recordings, yes only a few I know of on Clean Feed but I know of dozens of incredible releases on other labels over the past 15 or 20 or even 30 years that are not even included in the “so-called” Pantheon of Jazz Classics. When “The Marmalade King” or “Coming Down the Mountain” or “Searching for Adam” or “Blue Winter” or “Captain of the Deep” are heard by more than 2-3 of us here, then maybe there will be some hope of a more rational perspective.

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You guys are amazing.  Thank you.

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