Sunday, April 26, 2009

Trilok Gurtu - North Sea Jazz Fest (2002) (mp3, 128kbps)

This stuff is so good, I don't even know what to say. You can read my comments on Trilok as I believe his work relates to Weather Report and Zawinul here, and there's another download here. This recording seems to be radio quality. I've tried to up the levels so that it's listenable in context of other recordings. Check out the furious drum solo at the end of Peace of the Five Elements. This isn't 'world music' or 'jazz' or 'rock' or 'fusion' - its all of that, but so much more. This is music transcended with the enduring energy and eternal spirit of love.

North Sea Jazz Festival - Netherlands
July 13, 2002
  1. Jhulelal
  2. Peace of the Five Elements
  3. Africa Con India
  4. Pasanana's Love
  5. Dance With My Lover
  6. intriduction
  7. God Rhythm
The link is in the comments

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weather Report - Solarizations (1973) (aac, 128kbps)

The jam is simply tremendous. When I have some time, I will have to ruminate on how great this band was. Here are some brief thoughts.

Weather Report is, perhaps most famous for their output from the late 70's. At that time, Shorter and Zawinul had established a successful touring and recording method that mixed beautiful melody with other-worldly improvisation, almost always founded in the grooves that these two men help creat on 'In A Silent Way' where they first worked together. In the late 70's, Jaco Pastorius became a superstar sideman and Weather Report had a big hit with Zawinul's 'Birdland'. This is before all that; before Jaco and before radio-friendy hits which, inadvertantly, gave way to smooth jazz and easy listening, without ever having the quality of either.

When I finally discovered earlier Weather Report, two things struck me right away. I have never forgotten these two aspect of the music. they relate as much to me as they do to the band's aspirations and accomplishments. They are (1) that this was one fo svseral 'first' generation fusion bands that spun off directly from Miles Davis' In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew (Others included 'Return to Forever', 'Mahavishnu Orchestra', and 'Headhunters'), and (2) there was no guitar, not even rhythm guitar. Armed with these two thoughts, I began to delve into the pre-Jaco era.

This is a bootleg that I puchased (!?!) before such things were widely available. The sound quality is superior, as this was undoubtedly a radio show at some point. I have given you the song list as it appears on the CD package. These titles are not correct, but there is so much improvisation, that I understand how the mistakes were made. I think the first song is mostly 'Nubian Sundance', second is 'Freezing Fire', I think, third is a drum solo with some melody from 'Scarlet Woman', and last is 'Boogie Woogie Waltz.' I have also seen some comments that suggest the date and venue are incorrectly marked also. While this is certainly possible, it does not matter. The jam is so hot, you won't really care what the songs are called. Despite the other labelling issues, the lineup appears to be accurate. Here's the info from the CD:

Weather Report
Philadelphia, PA 12/8/74

01. Mysterious Traveller [sic.] 13:07
02. American Tango [sic.] 13:00
03. Nubian Sundance [sic.] 11:57
04. Black Thorn Rose [sic.] 16:34

Joe Zawinul : keyboards
Wayne Shorter : saxophones
Alphonso Johnson : bass
Chester Thompson : drums
Dom Um Romao : percussion

The link is in the comments.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Genesis - As Good As Gold (1980) (mp3, 128kbps)

While it may be more of a Wind & Wuthering-type day (cold and rainy), I'm still upset about the loss of Harry Kalas. My first thought was to post a little blues, but then I though about listening to Genesis - Duke when I was eight years old. I had not formed any kind of sophisticated musical pallette at that time, but I knew I liked this album. That was a good thing, becuase my Dad (apparently not knowing this was big-time prog) played this record over and over at high volume. I especially remember loving 'Heathaze' and 'Duchess', the latter of which is included on this glorious bootleg. Like the voice of Harry Kalas calling the Phillies, the sound of that record was a great comfort to me from long ago.

This is the London Lyceum, May 7, 1980. Genesis were busy finding out that they could conquer the world, play prog and make a gazillion dollars with hits like 'Turn It On Again' and 'Misunderstanding.' These were happy times. Everyone was contributing as much as they wanted. Collins was more and more comfortable as the front man and Tony was not yet threatened by Collins' success. All three members were getting their solo careers going and they clearly sensed that the skt was the limit. Given what happened over the next 6 years, they undoubtedly underestimated their commercial potential.

This show was prepeed for the radio, and I'm sure some portion of it went out over the air, but this is the WHOLE show in pre-FM format. That means no ads, no DJ's, no interruptions, just pure music. It's a great set, but mainly because ther album they were touring was so good. they were getting away from some of the more cumbersome prog-o-sourus tunes from the early cretaceous (70's), but there are still a few teases from the Gabriel days.

Deep In the Motherlode 6:17
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (intro) 1:49
Carpet Crawlers 5:38
Squonk 7:37
One For the Vine 15:06
Behind The Lines 5:22
Duchess 6:48
Guide Vocal 1:39
Turn It On Again 4:43
Duke's Travels 7:15
Duke's End 4:32
Say It's Alright Joe 7:52
The Lady Lies 9:21
Ripples 13:06
In The Cage / Slipperman 8:36
Afterglow 4:40
Follow You, Follow Me 4:42
Dance On A Volcano 4:41
Drum Duet 0:51
Los Endos 7:22
I Know What I Like 10:16
The Knife 3:59

Banks, Rutherford, Collins, Thompson & Steurmer

The link is in the comments.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Miles Davis - Two Miles Live (1971) (mp3, 160kbps)

I purchased this one (!!) in a shop in Greenwich Village that probably doesn't exist anymore. It's a doozie, in part because there are no song dividers. Track 1 is 52 minutes and Track 2 is 49 minutes. It also happens to represent an especially inspired performance of Miles' band as they stormed across Europe in 1971.

The band had existed in very much this format before the trip to Europe, but Jack DeJohnette was not able to make the tour. As a result, the far inferior Leon Chancellor got the dream call to tour with Miles. Amazingly, he more than rose to the occasion. Keith Jarrett brought his beautiful boogie-woogie, and Gary Bartz and Michael Henderson showed they could keep up and even add their own special talents to the jam. But it is Miles, directing traffic, changing it up, conducting with his horn, on and off the wah-wah pedal, he is strong and he is in charge. Almost all shows from this tour were broadcast, so there are some fine examples of what this combo could do, but the sound quality on this release is noticeably better than the others.

Compare this recording to the official releases Complete Celler Door and Live/Evil, both of which feature Dejohnette on drums and the wonderfully destabilizing guitar of John McLaughlin. Unlike the jagged genius of those sessions, this recording give us a polished, platinum stilletto.

Disc One: 52.11
Band Warming Up
Directions (J. Zawinul) 15:09
Theme stated at 3:58, 4:57.
Honky Tonk (M. Davis) 13:04
What I Say (M. Davis) 16:42
Sanctuary (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 3:05

Disc Two: 48.57
It's About That Time (M. Davis) 17:36
Yesternow (M. Davis) 14:27
Funky Tonk (M. Davis) 19:30
Sanctuary (W. Shorter-M. Davis) (closing theme) 1:14

Miles Davis - Trumpet
Gary Bartz - Soprano & Alto Saxes
Keith Jarrett - El Piano, Organ
Michael Henderson - El Bass
Ndugu Leon Chancler - Drums
Charles Don Alias - Percussion
James Mtume Foreman - Percussion

The link is in the comments.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cannonball Adderley - Bordeaux (1969) (mp3, 256kbps)

When you compare this pristine FM bootleg to my earlier Cannonball post, it's hard to believe that the music was all performed in the same year! That was the genius of this underrated musician and band leader. On this recording, the same five piece band sounds so much more kie the Cannonball Adderley who appeared on the landmark Miles Davis record 'Kind Of Blue', rather than the smoldering boogie-woogie of The Country Preacher. Zawinul does evetually make his way to the Fender Rhodes, but the mood has already been set.

Enjoy this more 'classic' sounding jazz from a great innovator who, even at the moment he played this concert, stood at the crossroads of what had been jazz and what jazz would become.

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Cannonball Adderley
Recorded Friday, March 14, 1969

Bordeaux, France

ORTF Radio Recording

Personnel: Nat Adderley (cornet); Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (alto sax); Joe Zawinul (keyboards); Victor Gaskin (bass); Roy McCurdy (drums).

  1. The Scavenger [9:00] Joe Zawinul
  2. Manha de Carnival [7:20] Luis Bonfa/ C.Jobim
  3. Work Song [9:05] Nat Adderley
  4. Somewhere [4:50] Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim
  5. Experience in E [11:10] Joe Zawinul & William Fischer
  6. Why Am I Treated So Bad? [7:30] Roebuck Staples
  7. Blue N' Boogie [8:30] John "Dizzy" Gillespie & Frank Paparelli
The link is in the comments.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

John McLaughlin - Extrapolation (1969) (mp3, 160kbps)

This is a beautiful 'Jazz' record that captures an extremely talented guitarist at a moment when he is searching for the right fit, the right band, the right sound, the right influence. There are four John McLaughlin records between 1969 and 1970. This was the first of that string and his first solo recording overall. The same year this record was recorded, McLaughlin played with Miles Davis on 'In A Silent Way'. The following year they collaborated on 'Bitches Brew'. The year after that they did Jack Johnson. Of the our actual McLaughlin records, two are jazz, one is Indian-influenced acoustic and the last is a rock-psychedelic tribute to Jimi Hendrix - 'Devotion'.

This record is far from the ferocity that would be such a big part of McLaughlin's sound in the 70's. These pieces, however, draw a nice early portrait of the artist as a composer. The band is tight and the sound is spare, at times sparse.

  1. "Extrapolation" – 2:57
  2. "It's Funny" – 4:25
  3. "Arjen's Bag" – 4:25
  4. "Pete the Poet" – 5:00
  5. "This Is for Us to Share" – 3:30
  6. "Spectrum" – 2:45
  7. "Binky's Beam" – 7:05 (This track is often incorrectly listed as "Binky's Dream")
  8. "Really You Know" – 4:25
  9. "Two for Two" – 3:35
  10. "Peace Piece" – 1:50

  • John McLaughlin – guitar
  • Brian Odgers (incorrectly named "Odges" on the album notes) - bass
  • Tony Oxley – drums
  • John Surman – baritone and soprano saxophones
The link is in the comments.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Squeeze - Price Center, San Diego (1993) (mp3, 160kbps)

We just saw Tilbrook last night at World Cafe Live. Check out my contemporaneous comments from the show. The man can sing, write and play the shit out of that guitar. This show features Difford and Tilbrook, along with the amazing Paul Carrack. I guess at the time it was called 'new wave' but now it just sounds like great rock music played by passionate artists who were (and in Tilbrook's case, still are) wholly committed to doing something extraordinary. I think this is from a radio broadcst, so quality is pretty good. It's a bit on the quiet side, but I jacked it up a bit so only minimal adjustments will be needed while you're listening.

  1. intro (0:20)
  2. Cool For Cats (3:24)
  3. Third Rail (3:27)
  4. Loving You Tonight (5:00)
  5. Pullin Mussels (4:00)
  6. Everything In The World (4:27)
  7. Annie Get Your Gun (4:15)
  8. How Long (4:33)
  9. Can't Buy Me Love (2:14)
  10. Some Fantastic Place (5:08)
  11. Take Me I'm Yours (4:11)
  12. Tempted (4:14)
  13. Hourglass (4:08)
The link is in the comments.