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Rabshakeh

Jazz Modernism outside the Americas - Recommendations and recollections

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Belgian Big Band

now playing it but I thought I might as well post here... this is another crazy modernist record, millionaire race car driver Jean Blaton, "the quintessential gentleman driver" (link), bought himself a fine big band led by Fats Sadi to show off his considerable guitar skills in a program of mostly standards... recorded in 1972 so outside the strict scope of the thread but featuring quite a few musicians whose careers go back to the 40s and 50s like Freddy Rottier on drums, Frans van Dijk on trombone, "Johnny Hot" on piano, Herman Sandy on trumpet and, of course, Sadi himself...

what seems really European to me is that at the same time the band has quite a bit of overlap with Placebo, the country's leading fusion band (Richard Rousselet, Nicolas Fissette and "Johnny Dover" were 75% of Placebo's horn section plus Rottier on drums) - the music was foreign anyway so there was not much of a contradiction in playing dixieland, swing, bop, free jazz and fusion with different groups at the same time - these guys were true professionals... (Han Bennink for instance was still recording with Dixieland bands by the time the ICP thing had started)

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21 minutes ago, Joe said:

This is fine record, IMO.

As is this one:

 

Yes! 

The whole Swedish Jazz Masters series is a worth checking out. 

9 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Apart from the music, it's apparently an interesting record production that reflects its times. Rolf Kühn had left Eastern Germany in 1956 and went straight to the USA where he continued his career, and returned to WEST Germany in 1962. The above session from late 1964 was indeed released under Rolf Kühn's name (despite the fact that he had defected from the GDR) and the liner notes are surprisingly even-handed and balanced, mention his U.S. stay in due form and do not fall into the anti-Western "capitalist/commercial curruption" propaganda that was seen elsewhere. In 1966 Kühn managed to get his much younger brother Joachim (part of the line-up) out of the GDR via a musical tour in Vienna, and this may have caused the LP not to be repressed (as claimed by the Discogs entry). But the Discogs claim that "the musicians" fled the GDR after the session is not correct. And repressings of 60s GDR jazz records were VERY rare in the GDR anyway. At any rate, the regime (or the heads of the State music departments) cannot have been irked by the defection of Joachim Kühn for very long because the "Fascination Jazz" book published in the GDR in 1973 DOES list this particular record among the "important GDR jazz productions", although the record was credited to a "Workshop group" ("jazz workshops" were common aggregations in Eastern Europe in those years) and the line-up indicated did not single out Rolf Kühn as the nominal leader.

Very interesting. 

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1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

the "Fascination Jazz" book published in the GDR in 1973 DOES list this particular record among the "important GDR jazz productions", although the record was credited to a "Workshop group" ("jazz workshops" were common aggregations in Eastern Europe in those years) and the line-up indicated did not single out Rolf Kühn as the nominal leader.

That's interesting.

What is the Fascination Jazz book? Was it a government published book on the East German jazz scene? Does it highlight any other records of note?

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now playing another Belgian favorite, Miles Inspirations by the Janot Morales Quartet, the rare case of a library music album that was reissued under the musicians' names because it was just so good... again, it was recorded a bit too late, in 1974, but Janot Morales (tp, flh), Gus DeCock (p) and Paul Dubois (b) have discographies that reach back to the early forties, e.g. those Belgian recordings of Django Reinhardt from 1942... the liner notes start with a memory of Dubois and Morales meeting each other in Brussels in 1944 on Place Flagey when Morales' son Garcia had just been born... Garcia, an important studio drummer in the Germany of my childhood, is on drums... It seems that the task they had for this record was something like "Can you do an album in the style of Ascenseur Pour L'Échafaud or Miles early quartets? The fuck we can!" If you see this for decent money, you don't want to leave it in the store...

(the youtube clip has the alternative cover from the original library music release)

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Posted (edited)

@Rabshakeh:

"Government published" is hard to define in a Communist setting. It was published by the "VEB Lied der Zeit" üuslbishign house in East Berlin that also operated the Amiga (and Eterna etc.) record labels of the GDR. It is largely a picture book but also has (German) texts on the East German jazz scene - including coverage of (not extremely numerous) visits by U.S. and British stars as well as the happenings of Eastern Europeran jazz scene of the early 70s and its artists (many Polish and Czech as they were very present in the GDR), and while it also covers amateurs and the Trad scene it is HEAVY on modern jazz (which in that case leans towards the Euro-"Free" side, given what was happening in the early 70s). Considering its origins, it was VERY well done. Also because the author of the text was the #1 jazz scribe of the GDR and managed not to be too much engulfed by Communist obligations but steered a course that was at least halfway objective and broad-minded.
Tomorrow I'll try to scan the page with the record list (which is not comprehensive for that roughly 1960 to 1973 period but a starter).

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Posted (edited)

I'm surprised that no one's mentioned The Willem Breuker Kollektief. 

 

 

Edited by medjuck

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1 minute ago, Big Beat Steve said:

 Tomorrow I'll try to scan the page with the record list (which is not comprehensive for that roughly 1960 to 1973 period but a starter).

Thanks!

How much dialogue was there between the East German scene and the West German? Did information cross easily and were there frequent tours?

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Posted (edited)

@ medjuck: Maybe because the year it was founded (1974) was outside the time frame that Rabshakeh asked about ...

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, medjuck said:

I'm surprised that no one's mentioned The Willem Breuker Kollektief. 

 

 

I only know Breuker in the context of the ICP and Kollektief, which I guess is on the more "avant" side. Great group / great records, obviously.

4 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

@ medjuck: Maybe because the year it was founded (1974) was outside the time frame that Rabshakeh asked about ...

Yeah. As mentioned at the start, groups like the Kollektief loom pretty large in histories of Dutch and European jazz. I selected the date range to try to scratch at what went before a little bit. 

Edited by Rabshakeh

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Posted (edited)

28 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

Thanks!

How much dialogue was there between the East German scene and the West German? Did information cross easily and were there frequent tours?

Jazz went through various alternating periods of liberalism and clamping down in the GDR through the 50s and 60s so this is a very complicated history. As for the 70s and Euro-Free Jazz (that was particularly intense in Eastern Europe, including the GDR),  there were exchanges, though I do not know a lot about it as Euro-Free is not my center of interest in jazz. But i do know that the Gumpert/Sommer Duo + Manfred Hering had releases on FMP in the 70s, as did the Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky Quartet. So the West German "scene" labels were not above leasing masters from the GDR. Western records (not just jazz - everything) in the GDR of course were always rare and pricey (literally black-market items), though there at least was a steady trickle of Western jazz recordings leased by Amiga.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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3 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Academics were fond of using the word "problem" during that period. 

It always means, oh, here is something not from my world, what is it to now be? 

And the solutions for these "problems" are either:

  1. the person tries to change the thing into something that the person can understand
  2. the person tries to change themself in order to understand the thing

By their fruit you shall know them.

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Ms. TTK and I watched the Alain Delon film Any Number can Win, with a score by Thee Great Michel Magne.  I could not find the fantastic main title on the InterTubes.  

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On 25.7.2021 at 8:10 PM, Rabshakeh said:

What is the Fascination Jazz book? ... Does it highlight any other records of note?

A bit late (sorry) but better late than never ...

Here is the page with noteworthy East German jazz vinyl from the GDR included in the Fascination Jazz book. The listing is roughly chronologcal, covering the 1960 to 1973 period. Of course this is not all there was but it's a good cross-section.

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

A bit late (sorry) but better late than never ...

Here is the page with noteworthy East German jazz vinyl from the GDR included in the Fascination Jazz book. The listing is roughly chronologcal, covering the 1960 to 1973 period. Of course this is not all there was but it's a good cross-section.

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Thanks!

A surprisingly open minded selection: Petrowsky on FMP right next to "The Janaer Old Timers' mit Banjo und Tuba, which I am willing to bet would have sat oddly with Mr. J Gebers.

Edited by Rabshakeh

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was about to post this, too, since my copy of the book was in the mail today (thanks for the tip!), it's mostly a photo book about guys with long hair and beards playing trombones and the like... quite an amazing window into it's time and place... what I also remembered btw was that we once had a great bft here, introducing this time and place, bft 47 by former member couw (I still miss him a lot)

I would confidently buy any album that's mentioned there

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Interesting to read the time Manfred Krug in there... when I was a child in early 80s Western Germany, he was the fatherly figure in the (West) German version of Sesame Street (we all loved him, really did), but 20 years earlier, he'd not only been a popular jazz singer but also the difficult guy in his then country's most difficult movie (like Michael Moore in a Michael Moore movie)

 

(the guy with the hat and the earrings e.g. at 29:00 and at 1:22... the lone anarchist in a socialist environment)

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Inspired by this thread, this is really hitting the spot

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Jazz In Polish Cinema, Out Of The Underground 1958-1967. 4CDs.  Also streamable on Tidal 

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On 7/25/2021 at 9:28 AM, Д.Д. said:

Rolf Kühn Quintett "Solarius" is good (recorded 1964 in East Germany). It was reissued on CD in 2012 as a part of the very nice AMIGA JAZZ mini-series, an is already quite hard to find.

I'll echo this recommendation. Solarius is an excellent record. A Kühn Brothers effort that I like even more is East Berlin, 1966:

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Probably hard to find, but the music can stand alongside anything Jimmy Giuffre recorded in the 60's, as well as other groups like some of the earlier JCOA records.

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This just appeared as a new release on Dusty Groove:

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A tremendous tribute to a fantastic moment in jazz – the explosion of new sounds that happened in the British scene from the late 60s onward – a moment of music that barely touched our shores, but which was equally important to the changes taking place in modern jazz in the US! England got on the jazz bandwagon pretty quickly in earlier years – but for decades, most of their music was pretty tied to American styles – ties that broke strongly with work like this – which opened up all these new rhythms, patterns, and possibilities for expression – at a level that the British scene maybe never hit this strongly again! The collection features some incredibly well-chosen tracks that really illustrate the depth of this musical moment – including work from the legendary Landsdowne Series of recordings, and tracks from other labels too – all brought together with detailed notes that really illuminate the music. Titles include "Old San Juan" by Alan Skidmore, "Third Road" by Harry Beckett, "Matinee Days" by Stan Tracey, "Second Coming" by Michael Garrick, "Storm Warning" by Dick Morrissey, "To Segovia" by Mike Taylor, "A Matter Of Time" by Don Rendell, "Brew" by Colin Bates, "With Terry's Help" by John Surman & John Warren, "Waltz" by Mike Westbrook, Greek Variations/VI Kriti (edit)" by Neil Ardley, "Angle" by New Jazz Orchestra, "Don The Dreamer" by Kenny Wheeler & John Dankworth, and "Some Echoes Some Shadows" by Michael Gibbs.

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Posted (edited)

I'd completely forgotten this great compilation until I found it tidying the shelves yesterday. Fits squarely into this discussion I think 

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Forum-West-Modern-Jazz-From-West-Germany-1962-1968/master/56212

I also think there was a companion volume but I didn't find that, more tidying required obviously

 

 

Edited by mjazzg

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9 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

I'd completely forgotten this great compilation until I found it tidying the shelves yesterday. Fits squarely into this discussion I think 

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Forum-West-Modern-Jazz-From-West-Germany-1962-1968/master/56212

I also think there was a companion volume but I didn't find that, mor tidying required obviously

This looks great. Similar to the recent British comp and the older GP one in that it gives a good overview of the more famous names. Something to dig into. 

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, mjazzg said:

I'd completely forgotten this great compilation until I found it tidying the shelves yesterday. Fits squarely into this discussion I think 

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Forum-West-Modern-Jazz-From-West-Germany-1962-1968/master/56212

Used copy at Dusty at this moment…

https://www.dustygroove.com/item/505662

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, mjazzg said:

I'd completely forgotten this great compilation until I found it tidying the shelves yesterday. Fits squarely into this discussion I think 

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Forum-West-Modern-Jazz-From-West-Germany-1962-1968/master/56212

I also think there was a companion volume but I didn't find that, more tidying required obviously

 

 

Bought both sets of that one on 2LP vinyl back in the day. More stuff to dig out. 

Edited by sidewinder

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2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Bought both sets of that one on 2LP vinyl back in the day. More stuff to dig out. 

Do you recall what the second one is called.  I know I have it somewhere on CD but for the life of me...

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11 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

Do you recall what the second one is called.  I know I have it somewhere on CD but for the life of me...

This one - 

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Just found my copy and also the Forum West.

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