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obscure 1964 Friedrich Gulda piano trio album, with Jimmie Rowser & Albert Heath (a little bit progressive?)


Rooster_Ties
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Mrs. Rooster and I were in Raleigh, NC for a long weekend over Columbus Day last week -- and I found up a pretty obscure(?) 1964 piano trio date by a pianist I'd never heard of before: Friedrich Gulda.  From Austria, Gulda was apparently primarily a classical pianist (or classical albums seem to be the greater bulk of his output), but seemingly also a somewhat free-leaning or at least open-minded jazz player as well.  Rounding out his trio was Jimmy Rowser (bass), and none other than Albert Heath (drums).  The album, simply called "Gulda Jazz" seems to have been recorded in Sao Paulo.

The album I found is simply called "Gulda Jazz" - and the particular issue I found is a 1977 reissue from the Musical Heritage Society.  Here's a unload of the entire album from YouTube ?)that I discovered.  Side one is just one 20-minute tune ("Suite 1962") -- with 4 other tunes on side two (which seem to be ordered differently, depending on which release you happen to have - ?!)

It's maybe 75% of the sort of thing that the Valdo Williams date is for Savoy, or (the 'legendary') Hasaan Ibn Ali with Max Roach (though the writing on both the Valdo and Hasaan dates is stronger).  But the approach isn't entirely dissimilar.  Or maybe some of the more (slightly) out-leaning *bonus material* from the Denny Zeilin Columbia Trio Mosaic Select might be another comparison (not quite, but within the realm).

Anyone else dig this?  Or have any other Friedrich Guilda jazz sides to recommend?

Embedded YouTube video right here, with album images from Discogs below that.  My copy is the B&W cover from Musical Heritage (MHS), at the very bottom.

 

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Edited by Rooster_Ties
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recorded in January 1967 in Vienna(Austria and released the same year on Preisler Records, this features beneath some geman language chansons (written by George Kreisler) a outstanding 20 min track titled "Little Suite" with Friedrich Gulda (p) + Jimmy Woode (b) + Albert Heath (dr) ....

Edit : if having only little interest in classical music, you should listen to Gulda playing Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert ....

Edited by soulpope
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I remember well that record with the trio with Jimmy Rowser and Tootie Heath.

My father, who didn´t like jazz, got it from somewhere and actually it was the first "jazz" I heard, when I was only 6 years old. I remember it fascinated me. Much later, already a jazz buff and playing myself I listened to it again and it´s like Art Farmer told Mr. Gulda once: "Get that edge off!" Mr. Gulda sure was one of the greatest classical pianists, but at least at that stage of his jazz playing, it doesn´t swing even if it´s straight ahead. It sounds like a great classical piano player who WANTS to play jazz.

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18 minutes ago, Gheorghe said:

...but at least at that stage of his jazz playing, it doesn´t swing even if it´s straight ahead.

That's actually one one of the things I like about it, or at least that makes it somewhat unique.  It's not so much "out" as it is "in" but somewhere else "in" than where everyone else (was in).

It's an intriguing album, at least.

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More I've been thinking about this album, I think it's the lack of clichéd playing I think I find the most refreshing about this odd trio date.  The playing is a bit square, definitely - but it's also NOT filled with tons of predictable chord changes (though I'll grant that the changes that are there aren't necessarily the most exciting either).

The guy obviously has some skills -- even if making stuff swing *isn't* foremost in his wheelhouse (or at least not yet - don't know about his later stuff - ?).

Sure, I don't think the entire album really gels -- but there's a lot going on, and they're clearly trying hard to make it happen.  And it was certainly worth the $12 I paid.

[We'd put our names in at a restaurant about 5 blocks away, and thought we had 45 minutes to kill.  I'd just walked into the record store, and not 5 minutes later my wife notices a missed call on her cell-phone that our table was open 20 minutes early).  I'd only gotten through up to the G's in their jazz titles (A-Z), but they didn't have a listening station.  But the guy at the counter was nice enough to put it on the house system for the first minute of each side, and I pretty much bought it sight-unseen.  Meaning I never even looked at the vinyl, which was fortunally in Ex- condition, my guess.]

So that's how I found something this obscure and bought it in barely 7-minutes flat.  Like it had some homing beacon on it, or something.:g

Edited by Rooster_Ties
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12 hours ago, soulpope said:

Edit : if having only little interest in classical music, you should listen to Gulda playing Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert ....

I've never warmed to Gulda's jazz playing, but I think his classical recordings are very special indeed. One particular favorite: Gulda's recordings of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier are some of the best I've ever heard. (I'm partial to the set that he originally recorded for MPS, which was subsequently reissued by Philips.)

 

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1 hour ago, HutchFan said:

I've never warmed to Gulda's jazz playing, but I think his classical recordings are very special indeed. One particular favorite: Gulda's recordings of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier are some of the best I've ever heard. (I'm partial to the set that he originally recorded for MPS, which was subsequently reissued by Philips.)

 

How could I forget about Gulda`s "Well Tempered Clavier" - a revelation indeed ....

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/15/2018 at 7:24 AM, jlhoots said:

Next time I see "Tootie" I'll ask him if he remembers this.

I saw Tootie tonight at the George Cables concert in Albuquerque. He said he remembered very well playing with Gulda. According to Tootie, Gulda was eccentric & once played a concert in the nude.

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3 hours ago, jlhoots said:

I saw Tootie tonight at the George Cables concert in Albuquerque. He said he remembered very well playing with Gulda. According to Tootie, Gulda was eccentric & once played a concert in the nude.

I didn't know about the concert in the nude, but I'm not surprised. In parallel to his "straight" classical career, Gulda was really into experimental and free music in the 1970's.

Gulda fans with adventurous tastes should check his recordings with the wonderful Anima. Here's a picture of the back cover of the first LP, with Gulda proudly signing the declaration that all the music is totally improvised. That's a pretty long way from your ordinary Beethoven recital.

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I remember a TV show where he demonstrated jazz improvising methods and structures for classical listeners - maybe the first crossover artist? 

I once saw the Fuchs couple peform, but cannot remember Gulda being with them. It kind of encouraged us to consider releasing our rehearsal tapes .... :g

I think I had that album, but saw no point in keeping it - not when you can do that kind of thing yourselves.

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4 hours ago, mikeweil said:

I remember a TV show where he demonstrated jazz improvising methods and structures for classical listeners - maybe the first crossover artist? 

I once saw the Fuchs couple peform, but cannot remember Gulda being with them. It kind of encouraged us to consider releasing our rehearsal tapes .... :g

I think I had that album, but saw no point in keeping it - not when you can do that kind of thing yourselves.

That resembles the good old "Any three year old with a brush could paint this" argument against abstract art, doesn't it? :)

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7 hours ago, corto maltese said:

I didn't know about the concert in the nude, but I'm not surprised. In parallel to his "straight" classical career, Gulda was really into experimental and free music in the 1970's.

Gulda fans with adventurous tastes should check his recordings with the wonderful Anima. Here's a picture of the back cover of the first LP, with Gulda proudly signing the declaration that all the music is totally improvised. That's a pretty long way from your ordinary Beethoven recital.

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I remember the bass player J.A. Rettenbacher very well. Too bad he died too early. He and his younger brother were great bassists. One of J.A.´s last projects was a band called "So Near So Far". They were, as I was, regulars at the then very popular little jazz club "Spelunke".

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7 hours ago, corto maltese said:

That resembles the good old "Any three year old with a brush could paint this" argument against abstract art, doesn't it? :)

No - I don't know about painting processes, but I've played many different types of music and know from experience how hard it is to play a real good spontaneous improvisation. Most musicians tend to overplay, do not leave enough space, and often it is more fun for the performer than for the listener, at least for me. I'd rather do it myself than listen to others do it. Just my point of view, of course.

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