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Blindfold Test 186 - The reveal!


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Well here we go, the big BFT reveal! Pardon my English in advance please, I’ll do my best to make sense ;)




1. Andrew Cyrille – South of The Border Serenade (My Friend Louis, DIW, 1991) 

With: Marvin ‘Hannibal’ Peterson (trumpet), Oliver Lake (alto sax), Steve Colson (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), Andrew Cyrille (drums)

God I love this album, one of my very freebop favorites. Really dig the soulful but oh so loud playing by Hannibal here: the format seems to suit him very well. I also like his ‘70’s stuff but I am not a big fan of the vocal parts on those albums. In a quintet format he really ‘shines’ and the interaction with the rest of the band is lovely. What is there left to say? Rhythm section is tight as a motherfucker. Lake sounds inspired. The compositions are lovely: especially the Malcolm X tribute written by Hannibal.


2. Robert Ruff – Ruff’s Blues (Shaza-Ra, Baystate, 1978)

With: Raqib Hassan, William Mathews (tenor sax), Mwalim Atif (piano), Robert Ruff (bass), Syd Smart (drums)

A band fully unknown to me, and Robert Ruff was also till I found this record. Ruff is also the bassist in the Worlds Experience Orchestra. Most of the other musicians are only known for this one record. I found this one exploring the Baystate Spiritual series Japanese reissues. Typical ‘70’s spiritual freejazz stuff with a fine groove and a clear structure. Love it. Wish there was more to explore by Ruff but there is not unfortunately. I once opened a topic about him called ‘What about Robert Ruff’. Clifford_Thornton had some info about the guy.


3. Kora Jazz Trio – N’Dyabe (Kora Jazz Trio, Melodie, 2003)

With: Djeli Moussa Diawara (kora), Abdoulaye Diabaté (bass), Moussa Cissoko (percussion)

Three gifted musicians from Mali and Guinea: this is worldjazz crossover as I like it the most. It’s great to hear how well the West-African Kora blends with traditional jazz. The music swings, it grooves and most of all: it makes me very happy. This first album by them, is my very favorite. Far from cliché and quite original: this is music I love! Try to your feet tight while listening this.


4. Wardell Gray – The Man I Love (One for Prez, Black Lion, 1988)

With: Wardell Gray (tenor saxophone), Dodo Marmarosa (piano), Red Callender (bass), Chuck Thompson (drums)

Not a lot of jazz from before the 1950’s in my BFT: not because I don’t like it because most of my collection is jazz from between 1945 and 1970. But I ain’t no expert and I couldn’t really find a lot of records that were hard to guess as I am sure other users know this period way better than me. So I tried to find someone less known than the usual suspects. Good old Wardell, I love his style. In fact he is one of my favorites from the ‘40s on tenor. I like his swinging bop. To me this whole recording is made out of underestimated musicians: Dodo Marmarosa never got the credit he deserved and Red Callender is one of the finest accompanists on bass I know. This interpretation of this jazz classic is wonderful. Never get enough of Gray.


5. The Thing – Drop The Gun! (Bag It!, Smalltown Superjazz, 2009)

With: Mats Gustafsson (baritone saxophone), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums)

To be honest: I am not a noise fan, nor a fan of crossovers with rock music. But there are exceptions. The Thing is one of those exceptions. I like the concept, love the energy. It is the kind of music I listen to in the gym. I like Gustafsson here more than in other projects. Nice, different and complicated stuff.



6. Mal Waldron – The Call (The Call, JAPO, 1971)

With: Mal Waldron (electric piano), Jimmy Jackson (organ), Eberhard Weber (bass), Fred Braceful (drums)

Waldron is the only artist, with Coltrane, that I am obsessed about to have his complete discography. Not a day passes without listening at least one song by him. But Waldron also is very easy to identify so I had to make it a bit harder to guess. Then there is this: a real psychedelic fusion album by Mal Waldron, so much different from his usual stuff, and still so good. Waldron plays electric piano and although he still sounds like himself, the music is really something else. It’s freaky stuff but not to freaky and still got that typical Mal Waldron groove. Unique music but most of all: very underrated stuff. Fred Braceful is killing on this album.


7. Hamid Drake & Joe McPhee – Emancipation Proclemation (Emancipation Proclemation, Okka, 2000)

I have loved sax/drums duo’s from the very first time I heard Coltrane’s Interstellar Space. To me, in freejazz there aint no other drummer anymore like Hamid Drake. Happy to have seen him live a couple of times and every time he just stuns me with his mindblowing technique and energy. McPhee is one of my favorite horn blowers in the current freejazz scéne. His the kind of player that goes far but never too far out.


8. J.F. Jenny Clark – Ozone (Unison, CMP, 1987)

With: J.F. Jenny Clark (solo bass on this track), Walter Quintes (electronics also on this track), Joachim Kuhn (piano on other tracks), Christof Lauer (tenor saxophone on other tracks)

I know Clark mainly from his works with Steve Lacy. One of the finest bassists in Europe. The music on the whole album goes from freejazz to near classical music, the avant-garde into ambient kind of stuff. Interesting music that keeps your attention the whole duration of the album. Kuhn is in ridiculously good form on some of the tracks. But it is also the sound quality that is truly stunning. I use this track Ozone always to test speakers. The heavy bass sounds almost make your glasses break ☺


9. Hannibal & The Sunrise Orchestra – The Light (The Light, Baystate, 1978)

 With: Hannibal Marvin Peterson (trumpet, koto and bells), Frank Wright (bass clarinet), Michael Cochrane (piano), Diedre Murray (cello), Cecil McBee (bass), David Lee (drums, percussion) Marcella Allen (vocals)

Another one from the vaults of Baystate. Spiritual freebop from the ‘70’s… it is one of my favorite genres within jazz. And Hannibal was a leader in that field of course. On this track specifically he is accompanied by the great Frank Wright. I love this kind of music, don’t have really much to say about it. Only very big downside: I hate the vocals on these kind of records. God they are afwul. Mrs. Allen: I am sorry to say but you just can’t sing. Fortunately: the music itself makes up for it !


10. Hal Galper – Stelly By Starlight (Art-Work, Origin, 2009)

With: Hal Galper (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), Rashied Ali (drums)

I have chosen this one because it’s quite unknown. Nothing very special but a nice trio outing by a very nice band. Love the interaction between Workman and Ali but Galper does not make a very lasting impression on me on this record.


11. Erkan Ogur – Mor Daglar (Bir Ömurlük Misafir, Kalan, 2000)

With: Erkan Ogur (guitar, vocals), Francis (keyboards), Melik Yermibir (bass), Arto Tuncboyaciyan (percussion)

Almost classical Turkish music… Ogur’s music goes right trough your soul. I have always been fond Middle-Eastern: the modal elements from these styles were a big influence on lots of jazz I like. Jazz is also a prominent element in Ogur’s music. The music is floating, softly meandering. It’s the kind of music you put on when youre in a bus deep in the Turkish mountains. That is what I did at least. And then just dream away.


12. Elina Duni Quartet - Kur Të Kujtosh (Matane Malit, ECM, 2012)

With: Elina Duni (vocals), Colin Vallon (piano), Patrice Moret (bass), Norbert Pfammatter (drums)

I am not necessarily an ECM freak but there is certainly nice stuff to pick up. This Albanese-Swiss singer has got a beautiful voice and so is the music: beautiful. The Albanese language mixes perfectly with the soft touches of Vallon’s piano. Dreamy music with lots of depth. Music for a perfect start up Sunday morning. But certainly not boring. ECM at it’s best.


13. Billy Harper – Soran Bushi B.H. (Soran Bushi B.T., Denon, 1978)

With: Billy Harper (tenor saxophone), Everett Hollins (trumpet), Harold Mabern (piano), Greg Maker (bass), Billy Hart, Horacee Arnold (drums)

Speaking of musicians that didn’t got the credits they deserved: hello mr. Harper! His loud, passionate roaring tenor is one of my very favorite sounds in jazz. He always find the perfect balance between the free and the structured, the out and the in. He gives me the same feeling as Coltrane: like your in his horn, feel every step he takes. I do like the solo track on this album by the way. Very unfortunate that such a lot of stuff is long OOP. I’ll buy me some more overpriced second hand vinyl because Harper almost never disappoints me.


14. Atomic – Boom Boom (The Bikini Tapes, Jazzland, 2005)

With: Magnus Broo (trumpet), Fredrik Ljunkvist (tenor saxophone), Havard Wilk (piano), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums)

I think it’s strange that the European freejazz scene remains much unspoken on this forum. At least the younger generations. A shame I think because there is quite a lot of talent to be found. Atomic is one of those groups, Hera is another. This particular 3cd received a crown in the Penguin Guide and I can fully understand why. The music is playful, inventive, creative and moving within and outside the lines of contemporary jazz. I feel the spirit of Ornette and Steve Lacy in this music. These guys are talented and you can hear it al trough the music. I never had any connection with the older scene like Evan Parker, Barry Guy, Fred van Hove or Derek Bailey. Those are the guys that are to abstract for me, like someone mentioned here before: Anthony Braxton for example. I see what theyre doing, appreciate their contributions to the music but I just don’t feel it. Atomic is not abstract to me, it is feeling. This 3cd set is highly recommended! So is the music by the Polish formation Hera by the way.

I really enjoyed to contribute to this topic. A pity not a lot attended as it is quite a bit of work, for me but also for Tom Keith of course. I hope those attended enjoyed the music ☺ Next time I will choose short songs haha!


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Thanks so much for the wonderful BFT.  And your English is excellent, no need to apologize!  Yes, I am sorry that not more people participate (although you got twice as many people participating as I did on my December BFT). But I did find some new treasures in the Robert Ruff (on my want list) and the Atomic (ordered for $3.99 + shipping on ebay).  Thanks again!

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Well, as is usually the case when I see the reveal, I feel like a damn idiot. :lol:

I used to have the Robert Ruff!! I can't believe it. That track is so good and I didn't even keep the damn album. I remember liking it, but I guess not well enough to keep it? :wacko:

Funny that I identified the bass player & drummer on the Waldron album, but not Waldron! I need to get a copy of this one, really dug it.

The Drake/McPhee recording is phenomenal. Really enjoyed that J.F. Jenny-Clark too, that's a nice surprise. And I definitely need Hannibal's "The Light"... I don't have a copy of that one.

All in all, this was really fun, and you and I definitely have some similar tastes. Thanks for sharing all this incredible music! :tup


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