Aktualisierungen November, 2020 Kommentarverlauf ein-/ausschalten | Tastaturkürzel

  • blechtram 2:21 pm am November 22, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
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    Lead Belly: How many versions of „Easy Rider“ (See See Rider, C.C. Rider) did Lead Belly record? 

    Answer: Probably about five.

    But aha! This is another update to my Complete Discography of Lead Belly recordings. This time, a contradiction was spotted by Bernard Sigaud.

    My list used to have a take of „Easy Rider (See See Rider“ for the session of May 1944 (appearing on DOCD-5310 and SFW40045) and another take, „Easy Rider“, for June 1946 (appearing on DOCD-5311 and SFW40201). Bernard noticed that these two takes seem to be the exact same take.

    And he’s right!

    When I went throught the available documentation, there seems to be an uncertainty or a mistake for the May 1944-session (and its following documentation) that goes something like this:

    The take certainly stems from some mid-1940s session Lead Belly made for Moses Asch – this much was always known, but the details of those sessions seemed to be unclear for a long time. The title „Easy Rider (See See Rider)-1“ does show up in the discography by Wolfe/Lornell (1992) for the session in May 1944, but this session does have the Wolfe/Lornell disclaimer „[It is uncertain if these selections were recorded at the same session]“. Wolfe/Lornell give the 1950-Folkways LP 4 (or 2034 or FP34) as the first appearance of this track. They note the title „Easy Rider-2“ for June 1946, with an non-label „Disc 5501“ as first source.

    These two takes mentioned separately by Wolfe/Lornell are the same take in question.

    The liner notes of the first big CD-reissue of Folkways FP34, which is SFW40045, follow Wolfe/Lornell and also note the „Easy Rider“ take as from May 1944.

    Liner notes Bourgeois Blues – Lead Belly Legacy Vol. 2, Smithsonian Folkways 40045

    The Document Records CD DOCD-5310 also reproduces this and puts the take at May 1944. Now, as Wolfe/Lornell noted, there was always doubt about the tracks of this May 1944-session: „[It is uncertain if these selections were recorded at the same session]“. As it turns out, the discography by Fancourt/McGrath (2006) does list a number of songs from FP34, but „Easy Rider“ is not to be found there. But the title „Easy rider (See see rider)-1“ does show up for June 1946, with „Disc 5501?, Fw FP 34“ as source. The later Folkways Collection SFW40201 notes „Easy Rider“ as from June 1946 with Folkways 2034 (FP34) as the first appearance.

    Liner notes Lead Belly – The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, Smithsonian Folkways 40201

    So in both instances, this would be the take that Wolfe/Lornell had placed for May 1944. The Document Records DOCD-5311 simply works with this information and uses the take as from June 1946.
    The mistake seems to be simple: Folkways mistakenly placed the take in 1944 for its first issue in 1950 and there was contradictory information in Wolfe/Lornell with an „Easy Rider“-take for May 1944 and for June 1946. As this turned out to be the same take, it was obviously concluded at some point (I don’t know anything about the specifics) that there was no „Easy Rider“-take for May 1944 after all.
    The placement of the take on DOCD-5310 is therefore misplaced and outdated – at least that’s what the documents say now. It would be interesting to have a look at the documentation to find out when the knowledge arose that this mid-1940s Asch-recording of „Easy Rider“ wasn’t from 1944 but from 1946. But I have no idea.

    Short take away:

    1. There is (as of now) no „Easy Rider“-take from May 1944.
    2. DOCD-5310 and SFW40045 mistakenly list an „Easy Rider“ -take from May 1944.
    3. DOCD-5311 contains the same take, listed for June 1946.
    4. SFW40201 contains the same take, listed for June 1946.

    I deleted the „Easy Rider“-entry in my list for May 1944 and put a note for the version of June 1946.

    Thanks, Bernard!

     
  • blechtram 11:40 am am October 25, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 2.6/10, 3P, A Guy Called Gerald, Air Liquide, , Ambient House, Black Radio, , Bruce Gilbert, , Carl Craig, Downtempo, Drum&Bass, Electronic, Electronic Dance Music, for Completists, François Kerkovian, Hiller/Kaiser/Leda, House, Pete Shelley, Progressive House, Remixes, Rob Rives, Secret Knowledge, Sonic Youth, Sunroof, System 7, The Orb, U.N.K.L.E., Westbam, Wharton Tiers   

    Can: Sacrilege 

    Rating: 2.6/10
    Rated as
    : Album / Remixes
    Album Status
    : for Completists
    Released: 1997
    Specific Genres: Downtempo, Drum&Bass, House, Ambient House, Progressive House
    Main Genre: Electronic, Electronic Dance Music
    Label: Spoon

    1.1 Brian Eno – PNOOM (Moon Up Mix) 1.2 Sonic Youth with Wharton Tiers – Spoon (Sonic Youth Mix) 1.3 François Kevorkian & Rob Rives – Blue Bag (Inside Paper) (Toroid Mix) 1.4 A Guy Called Gerald – Tango Whiskyman (A Guy Called Gerald Mix) 1.5 Bruce Gilbert – TV Spot (Bruce Gilbert Mix) 1.6 U.N.K.L.E. – Vitamin C (U.N.K.L.E. Mix) 1.7 The Orb – Halleluwah (Halleluwa Orbus 2) 1.8 Sunroof – Oh Yeah (Sunroof Mix)
    2.1 Hiller/Kaiser/Leda – Unfinished (Hiller/Kaiser/Leda Mix) 2.2 Carl Craig – Future Days (Blade Runner Mix) 2.3 Westbam – …And More (Westbam Mix) 2.4 Pete Shelley & Black Radio – Father Cannot Yell (Pete Shelley/Black Radio Mix) 2.5 System 7 – Dizzy Spoon (System 7 Mix) 2.6 3P – Yoo Doo Right (3P Mix) 2.7 Air Liquide – Flow Motion (Air Liquide Mix) 2.8 Secret Knowledge – Oh Yeah (Secret Knowledge Mix)

    Paralysis and peer-recognition

    Well, if your band directly influenced any given genre from ambient techno to tribal house or zoological worldbeat-funk to the point of receiving co-credit for each without being reducible to a single convention of those genres, a collection like this was always bound to happen: Who was hip in their respective electronic genre three decades after the big bang? Who gets to serenade the ancient gods of groove psychedelia, the creators of kraut-funk, the elders of rhythm&bleeps El Dorado? And as rituals rarely ask: Why? Of course, these kinds of tribute albums tend to be one long parade of performing and out-performing Harold Bloom‘s anxiety of influence: How to pay tribute to a band as unassailed by time as Can without sounding like an idiot fan? Without sounding like a trie-hard? Or like wannabe-above the situation?

    But who cares about these questions if the remixes are exciting in any way? Let’s try to treat it as if the tribute-framing wouldn’t add the element of showcasing (the double-disc does after all feature some of the most prominent electronica names of the late 1990s): While most of these remixes simply have no idea what to do with the source material (in a mix of paralysis and peer-recognition: why remix something that already does everything I do?), this or that track here finds some way out of the project’s conceptual obstructions: „Yoo Doo Right“ by 3P Mix applies a sort of downtempo-esque ambient wooziness à la Moby to the piece and successfully fuses the original’s paranoid hypno-grooves with breezy synths and bright moods: this is an actually transformative piece. Congrats! And Sunroof’s „Oh Yeah“ does the opposite, it recognizes that a Liebezeit-beat can’t be exactly topped and goes with the simplest solution. No messing with the structure, no extra-ideas – just take the original and paint brightly over it, flesh out some drum&bass beats (that the piece arguably already had, in a way) and basically leave it at that. The synths soar, that bass fucking bounces and everything’s good! At least good enough.

    But if you want to hear over-ambitiousness gone completely wrong, check out the „Spoon“-remix. It tries to cram everything grand about a Can-track (hypnotics, freak-outs, inner space texture, agile avant-excitement) into the mix with no sense of improvising dramaturgy – it’s a completely helpless approach. And since most other pieces here sound preprogrammed, like paint-by-structure, this collected huge amounts of dust in the last two decades, coming off as a contractual obligation by the involved genre stereotypes.

     
  • blechtram 8:17 am am May 6, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
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    April 2020 Updates: Complete Blues Discographies 

    These are the April updates for my Complete Blues Bio-Discographies list. A more complete version (as of now) is here.

    Please note that this is the order in which I updated the list, not the order of living dates, recording dates or order in which the names appear on the list.

    Henry Thomas
    Washington Phillips
    Gus Cannon / Cannon’s Jug Stompers
    Jimmy Reed
    Jim Jackson
    Sam Collins
    Skip James
    Otis Rush
    Frank Stokes
    Ishman Bracey
    Big Bill Broonzy
    Blind Willie Johnson
    Blind Willie McTell
    Texas Alexander
    Barbecue Bob
    The Beale Street Sheiks
    Memphis Jug Band
    William Harris
    St. Louis Bessie
    Walter «Buddy Boy» Hawkins
    Alice Moore
    Mississippi John Hurt

     
  • blechtram 11:38 am am April 23, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: , , , , , Krautrock, , Must for Fans,   

    Can: Tago Mago [40th Anniversary Edition Bonus CD] 

    Rating: 7.1/10
    Rated as
    : Archival / Live
    Album Status
    : Must for Fans
    Released: 2011
    Recorded: 1972
    Specific Genre: Krautrock
    Main Genre: Experimental Rock, Rock
    Undertones
    : Ambient, Free Improvisation, Psychedelic Rock
    Label: Spoon 40SPOON6/7

    [Disc 1: 1.1 Paperhouse 1.2 Mushroom 1.3 Oh Yeah 1.4 Halleluhwah 1.5 Aumgn 1.6 Peking O 1.7 Bring Me Coffee or Tea]
    Disc 2: 2.1 Mushroom 2.2 Spoon 2.3 Halleluhwah

    Love me! You gotta love me!

    Tago Mago is – at least in recurring intervals – my favourite album. But let’s talk about the live bonus material from the 40th-anniversary edition. The bonus CD with the live material contains three tracks from a live performance in 1972. Unsurprisingly, the sound quality isn’t quite up to snuff – aside from being murky, especially Karoli’s guitar suffers from being buried in the mix, sounding as if he played from down the hallway. Well, we do with what we can get. I’ll go into the details, but what you get it is what you want and expect: Anxious, extremely rhythm-driven nightmares, amazing examples of free form tension-and-release, some chaotic nonsense, irresistible grooves: bleak, hypnotic, riveting. Well, it’s Can. What did you expect?

    Two main points: The rather murky sound quality doesn’t really damage the enterprise, because it fits the claustrophobic, future-noir sound. But besides a riveting second track and an at least interesting mini-version of „Halleluhwah“, there is nothing to learn about Can here that can’t be experienced as good or better on other available live material. Secondly: The reason to get this is the 30-minute second track „Spoon“ which features everything you want in a Can jam: disorientation, paranoia, exploration and a beautiful, ethereal ending in an ambient-style hinting at 1973’s Future Days. Only half of this jam is available on The Lost Tapes (as is the less interesting opener „Mushroom“, a rare jam where they lose focus and decide to run the thing into the ground). The third track is a brief nine-minute „Halleluhwah“, in an interesting version where everything happens slightly too fast, it plays like a one-act-version of the epic original and fades out before the climax – I can only assume due to some technical error or scrambled tapes.

    PS. The cover art hasn’t been changed. The photograph you see on the cover is a detachable carton sleeve to protect the gatefold vinyl replica inside, featuring the famous original head and is very nicely done all in all. Complete with several interesting liner notes by fawning fellow musicians but little historical information, it is a beautifully made reissue, less informative than it could be.

     
  • blechtram 1:20 pm am April 10, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
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    Lead Belly: His complete Victor/Bluebird recordings 

    How to acquire all recordings Lead Belly made for the Victor Records label (absorbed by RCA Records in 1929) and its subsidiary label Bluebird Records? Lead Belly recorded for Victor RCA/Bluebird on two dates: June 15th and June 17th of 1940 (a saturday and a monday, as it happens), a total of 27 known tracks.

    The Lead Belly collection Take This Hammer – The Secret History of Rock & Roll (Bluebird 82876 50957 2 or RCA 50957), the fifth volume of Bluebird series When the Sun Goes Down sometimes has the claim to sport „The Complete RCA Victor Recordings“.

    This is one track short of the truth: While it does have the unissued first take „Grey Goose“ (Victor 051327-1), it misses the alternate take of „Grey Goose (Take 2)“ (Victor 051327-2). These are often mistaken for one another, as the vocal performances of Lead Belly and the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet were very precise – but apart from slightly different speeds (which could be due to pitch differences), some of the Quartet vocalists do notably different things in the background on the two tracks.

    This track, „Grey Goose (Take 2)“ can almost exclusively be found on Document Records „Too Late, Too Late“: More Newly Discovered Titles And Alternate Takes, Volume 6 (1924-1946) (DOCD-5461).

    There are two more Document Records that contain Victor/Bluebird recordings: Complete Recorded Works 1939-1947 In Chronological Order: Volume 1 (1 April 1939 To 15 June 1940) (DOCD-5226) and Complete Recorded Works 1939-1947 In Chronological Order: Volume 2 (17 June 1940 To Summer 1943) (DOCD-5227).

    These are excellent compilations that contain many other Lead Belly tracks that you can almost exclusively get on them – so you need them. But they do not contain two tracks from the Victor sessions that are available on Take This Hammer: versions of „Yellow Gal“ and „Julianne Johnson“.

    This creates one of the more unfortunate overlap situations for Lead Belly: If you get all three Document Records compilations (which you should), you’ll need to get Bluebird’s Take This Hammer for just two tracks.

    This is a problem that nowadays can be solved through downloads, I guess, but then you miss out of the liner notes. Here is the tabella for Lead Belly’s Victor/Bluebird sessions:

    Lead Belly’s Victor/Bluebird Recordings
    No. / SourceTitleDocumentothersRemarks
    New York June 15, 1940  Huddie Ledbetter   vocal/guitar with speech-1
    051295-1, Victor 27268Pick A Bale Of CottonDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051296- , Victor unissuedYellow GalRCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye; RCA 50957 notes it as „051296-1“
    051297-, Victor unissuedWhoa Back, BuckDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051298-1, VictorMidnight SpecialDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051299-1, Victor 27268Alabama BoundDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051500-1, VictorRock Island LineDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051501-, Bluebird B8791Good Morning BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051502-, Bluebird B8791Leaving BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051503-1, VictorT.B. BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051504-, Bluebird B8709Red Cross Store BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051505-, Bluebird B8550Sail On, Little Girl, Sail OnDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051506-, Bluebird B8709RobertaDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051507-, Bluebird B8559AlbertaDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051508-1, VictorI’m on My Last Go RoundDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    New York June 17, 1940  Huddie Ledbetter   vocal/guitar with speech-1
    051322-1, Victor Easy RiderDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051323-1, Bluebird B8750New York CityDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051324-, Bluebird B8570Worried BluesDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051325-, Bluebird B8570Don’t You Love Your Daddy No More?DOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye. Fancourt notes that Wolfe/Lornell also incorrectly note this track for August 4, 1949.
    051326-1, Bluebird B8750You Can’t Lose-A Me ChollyDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye. Fancourt notes that Wolfe/Lornell also incorrectly note this track for August 4, 1949.
    051327-1, Victor unissuedGrey GooseDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051327-2, Victor 27267Grey Goose (Take 2)DOCD-5461in: Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051328-1, Victor unissuedDidn’t Ol‘ John Cross The Water?DOCD-5411RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051329-1, Victor 27267Stew BallDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051330-, Victor unissuedTake This HammerDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051331-, Victor unissuedCan’t You Line ‚EmDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
    051332-Julianne JohnsonRCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye; RCA 50957 notes it as „051332-1“
    051333-1, Victor 27266Ham An‘ EggsDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
     
  • blechtram 9:12 am am April 1, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
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    March 2020 Updates: Complete Blues Discographies 

    These are the March updates for my Complete Blues Bio-Discographies list. A more complete version (as of now) is here.

    Please note that this is the order in which I updated the list, not the order of living dates, recording dates or order in which the names appear on the list.

    Martha Copeland
    Maggie Jones
    Bessie Smith
    Clara Smith
    Sister Rosetta Tharpe
    Junior Parker
    Edna Hicks
    J.B. Lenoir
    Big Maceo Merriweather
    Furry Lewis
    Mississippi Fred McDowell
    Sylvester Weaver
    Margaret Johnson
    Hazel Meyers
    Memphis Minnie
    Laura Smith
    Robert Nighthawk
    Sippie Wallace
    Papa Charlie Jackson
    Butterbeans and Susie
    Blind Lemon Jefferson
    Lonnie Johnson
    Peg Leg Howell
    Robert Lockwood Jr.
    Blind Blake
    Bo Weavil Jackson

     
  • blechtram 1:24 pm am March 24, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 3.6/10, , , , , , ,   

    Lightnin' Hopkins: Ground Hog Blues – "Sittin In With" Sessions 

    Rating: 3.6/10
    Rated as
    : Collection
    Compilation Status
    : Obsolete
    Released: 2004
    Recorded: 1947–1951
    Specific Genre: Acoustic Texas Blues
    Main Genre: Acoustic Blues, Blues
    Label: Universe [Italy]

    Disc 1: 1.1 Coffee Blues 1.2 Gotta Move 1.3 Freight Train 1.4 Don’t Think I’m Crazy 1.5 Dirty House Blues 1.6 Everything Happens to Me 1.7 Cairo Blues [by Lil‘ Son Jackson] 1.8 Bad Whiskey [by Lil‘ Son Jackson] 1.9 Ground Hog Blues [by Lil‘ Son Jackson] 1.10 Automobile Blues 1.11 Got to Go [Zolo Go] 1.12 Unsuccessful Blues 1.13 Rollin‘ Woman Blues 1.14 Big Mama Jump (Little Mama Blues) 1.15 Ida Mae 1.16 Shining Moon 1.17 Give Me Central (Hello Central) 1.18 Contrary Mary 1.19 Bald Headed Woman
    Disc 2: 2.1 One Kind Favor (See that My Grave Is Kept Clean) 2.2 I Wonder Why 2.3 Tap Dance Boogie 2.4 Down to the River 2.5 New Short Haired Woman 2.6 Broken Hearted Blues 2.7 New York Boogie 2.8 Long Way from Texas 2.9 Mad as I Can Be [Tell Me Boogie] 2.10 I’m Beggin‘ You 2.11 Why Did You Get Mad at Me? 2.12 Home in the Woods [No Good Woman] 2.13 Praying Ground Blues 2.14 Back Home Boogie 2.15 Studio Chatter/My Heart to Weep 2.17 New Worried Life Blues 2.18 I’ll Never Forget the Day [You Do Too]

    John Lee Hooker told me one day, he said: if you don’t get it like this you’re wrong

    Let’s see, there is a lot to unpack here. This is advertised as the sessions for the „Sittin‘ In With“ label, issued by an obscure Italian label („Universe“) focusing on vintage reissues. And while a slight majority of the tracks in fact stems from these 1951 sessions (in New York and Houston), there are some tracks that Hopkins made in 1948/49 for the Gold Star Records label (1.10–1.16, with 1.14 „Big Mama Jump“ actually from 1947). Several of the tracks were issued later, under labels such as Mainstream, Time, Jax and Mercury.

    This makes some sense: Producer Bob Shad had founded numerous labels, Sittin‘ In With, Time, Jax, Mainstream and others, then later sold Sittin‘ In With to Mercury (under which umbrella he started EmArcy, so Bob Shad turns out to be… something of a giant. He is also the grandfather of Judd Apatow. Judd’s sister Mia Apatow manages the label’s properties nowadays). And Shad issued records under his labels that were licensed from and had been earlier recorded by the Gold Star label. This explains the numerous labels involved – they all had something to do with Bob Shad and all the recordings were made – at least very roughly – during contiguous sessions.

    This is where the good news for this compilation stop because to say that the obscure „Universe“ label here did a shoddy job would be an understatement. Let’s see: First, there is no rhyme or reason to what made this double disc from these sessions. These are neither the complete Sittin‘ In With sessions nor is there are a comprehensive approach to the sublabel tracks. Secondly, here is no sense at all in the few scattered Gold Star tracks, no comprehensiveness, no session cohesion, no chronology. Lots of holes. Furthermore, some of the information and track titles are plain wrong („Somebody’s Got to Go“ here is a different number called „Zolo Go“ or „Zologo“). Worst of all, contrary to the information given here, three of the tracks were not recorded by Lightnin‘ Hopkins at all: „Cairo Blues“, „Bad Whiskey“, and, in a major plot twist, the bloody [i]title track[/i] „Ground Hog Blues“ from 1948/49 (for Gold Star). Why? Gold Star also housed a young aspiring bluesman called Lil‘ Son Jackson (check out his discography for reference), who could mimic Hopkins to a tee as he learned the blues from his mentor and who is often lumped together on large Texas blues compilations alongside Hopkins and others.

    This kind of reckless editing gives me fits. Even worse: This collection is completely obsolete, as you can get the entire sessions elsewhere, with no holes and no need for scavenging needlessly scattered tracks on other collections. The definite one being JSP’s All the Classics: 1946–1951. In fairness, that huge collection for some reason misses „Tap Dance Boogie“ and „You Do Too (I’ll Never Forget the Day)“, both of which are here. But you can get those and more on serious collection like Hello Central – The Best of Lightnin‘ Hopkins (which incidentally has some tracks missing on All the Classics).

    So, be all that as it may: This is an obsolete, borderline useless slapdash cheapo ragbag to which you should give no serious consideration. The music here of course is laidback, great acoustic and electric Texas blues, but the poor and careless research ruins the fun of owning this set with overall great music. There are numerous collections that are far more serious and superior. I also worry at night about the fact that this has become one of the more wide-spread compilations, but maybe I should know better.

     
  • blechtram 10:48 am am March 6, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 8.8/10, , , , Genre Classic, , John Coltrane, Spiritual Jazz   

    John Coltrane: Ascension 

    Rating: 8.8/10
    Rated as
    : Album
    Album Status: Genre Classic
    Released: 1966
    Recorded: 1965
    Specific Genre: Free Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz
    Undertones
    : Experimental Big Band
    Label: Impulse!

    1 Ascension (Edition II)
    Bonus Tracks: 2 Ascension (Edition I)

    Like a seagull thrown around by the tides

    This is Coltrane’s „free jazz“-album which might alienate people who mainly go for his 1950s hard bop and ballads. Up to this point, Coltrane already had been flirting and entangled with avant-garde here and there, but this is the wedding announcement. If you listen to free jazz at all, I’d say this is the second record you should pick up (you can figure out the first for yourself). And, to exactly no one’s surprise, it’s great. The energy is amazing, makes you feel like a seagull thrown around by the tides, waves and winds, and I regularly find myself having gone through these 40 minutes without really noticing in the best way – this record sort of suspends my sense of time.

    While free jazz shouldn’t make you „tune out“ mentally, you really don’t have a lot of listening „work“ to do here: The sheer, frenzied soul displayed by the very unususal set-up just carries you right through the piece. The performance of the (large) collective is so good it makes your brain forget that this is, at least supposedly, „cerebral“ music. It is also a very different approach compared to Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz: While that album was more of a thoroughly collective effort, Ascension follows a pretty tight structure that has ensemble and soloists alternating every few minutes in a specific order (everyone involved gets one solo, except Garrison and Davis on the double-basses get a duet). That’s not better or worse than Coleman’s stress on collective dynamics of development, but it does give you slightly more to hold on to structurally when you’re starting out in the genre. As the record that announced Coltrane‘s complete take-off into the stratosphere, it’s pretty bold and astounding in terms of full realisation – no „transitional“ aspects here.

     
  • blechtram 11:16 am am March 3, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 7.7/10, , Backdoor Classic, , , Nils Petter Molvær, Nu Jazz   

    Nils Petter Molvær: Khmer 

    Rating: 7.7/10
    Rated as
    : Album
    Album Status
    : Backdoor Classic
    Released: 1997
    Specific Genre: Nu Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Electronic
    Undertones
    : EDM, Breakbeat, Trip Hop, ECM Style Jazz
    Label: ECM

    1 Khmer 2 Tløn 3 Access/Song of Sand I 4 On Stream 5 Platonic Years 6 Phum 7 Song of Sand II 8 Exit

    An explorative but very disciplined approach extending jazz into electronic music on equal terms

    To me, this sounds like Tutu gone well – replacing tired old 1980s-funk with contemporary engery of trip hop and EDM. Obviously, Molvær‘s stylistic godfather regarding his trumpet sound is Miles Davis, especially Marcus Miller’s Davis – and quite openly so: The trumpet lick of „Platonic Years“ is the exact one that opens Davis’s Doo-Bop album with „Mystery“. While such a description should make me run for shelter, this release is actually quite terrific and (partially) makes me see even the lesser aspects of Davis’s synth-jazz era as a forerunner of successful outings of electronic and nujazz such as this.

    Khmer is a primarily stylistic affair. The sound is crystal clear, dominated by Molvær‘s now piercing, now soothing trumpet, floating over mostly programmed (?) beats which range from ambient background to heavy thunder, bordering on wild outbreaks à la Massive Attack here and there. Distorted guitars and filtered cellos (?) add to an explorative but very disciplined approach extending jazz into electronic music on equal terms. Molvær adds an eastern element to the grooves (the tabla-like percussion on „On Stream“ sounds like a sample from an Indian raga) over which he supplies his druidic trumpet solos.

    After the two mesmerizing, beat-and-crunched-guitar-driven openers and a great trip hop freakout on „Access/Song of Sand I“, the record gets dreamier and borderline ambient towards the middle, approaching Eno-territory on the mellow „Platonic Years“ and „Phum“. In a suite-like dramaturgy, the hypnotic beats of „Song of Sand II“ make an reappearance and the record glides away with „Exit“, less of a song and more of a coda. But what makes this work? Is it just the deliberate craftsmanship that adds layer on layer, creating an amazing array of musical details and nuances, rewarding a close listen? The true strength of this distorted and programmed approach to jazz is the fact that Molvær evokes yearning emotions mostly through timbre, swerving from heavy EDM beats to pure blissful melancholia to soothing inner landscapes of stalagmitical ice caves with astounding consistency.

    The criticism Khmer draws is easily explained: It does feel like an approach that works for one album. This is too experimental and cerebral for „Café-del-Mar“-listeners, but too electronic and ‚easy‘ for jazz snobs. I like to see this as an advantage of Khmer. It’s thinkable to give this to totally different people such as trip hoppers, house-junkies, jazz aficionados and chill-sound-folks, with at least some of each group ending up liking it. As an icicle blazing through the European jazz scene in the late 1990s, it’s still a cold gust of wind more than twenty years later.

     
  • blechtram 1:29 pm am February 29, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
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    Complete Blues Bio-Discographies Update 

    I’ll change how I post update to my Complete Blues Discographies because the single mentions of the updated artists do clutter up the timeline. I’ll post a monthly or bi-weekly update with just all the names. I also deleted the entries so far.

    The links below all lead to the same general page, they are just jump-links to the specific artist.

    These are the update for February 2020:

    Mamie Smith, lived 1883–1946, recorded 1920–1942

    Lucille Hegamin, lived 1894–1970, recorded 1920–1932, 1961–62.

    Clarence Williams, lived 1893 or 1898–1965, recorded 1921–1947

    Mary Stafford, lived ca. 1895–ca. 1938, recorded 1921–1926

    Alberta Hunter, lived 1895–1984, recorded 1921–1946, 1961, 1977–1983.

    Edith Wilson, lived 1896–1980, recorded 1921–1976(?)

    Johnny Dunn, lived 1897–1937, recorded 1921–1928

    Daisy Martin, unknown birth date – ca. 1925, recorded 1921–1923

    Sara Martin, lived 1884–1955, recorded 1922–1929

    Eva Taylor, lived 1895–1977, recorded 1922–1941, 196X–1976

    Lena Wilson, lived ca. 1898–1939, recorded 1922–1924, 1930

    Trixie Smith, lived 1895–1943, recorded 1922–1925, 1938–1939

    Ma Rainey, lived 1886–1939, recorded 1923–1928

    Virginia Liston, lived ca. 1890–1932, recorded 1923–1926

    Charley Patton, unknown birth date – 1934, recorded 1929–1934

    Peetie Wheatstraw, lived 1902–1941, recorded 1930–1941

    Earl Hooker, lived 1929–1970, recorded 1952–1970

    Magic Sam, lived 1937–1969, recorded 1957–1969

    Mance Lipscomb, lived 1895–1976, recorded 1960–1973

     
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