Sunday, September 30, 2007

Worship At the Altar of Number 9

[UK Fontana, 1970]

This one was featured on Church Number Nine back in May, but the link was removed a couple months ago. I want to dedicate this post to them, because I most likely wouldn't have been exposed to Ric Colbeck if they hadn't posted it. Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth proclaims this as #5 on his top 10 from the Free Jazz underground list, and I can definitely see why.

"Aphrodite" starts with a frenzied drum solo right out the gates that stands up to Rashied Ali's dynamic work on Coltrane's "Interstellar Space". The drums continue this erratic tempo throughout the entire song but are joined by flurries of intense blowing from Mike Osborne on Alto Sax and Ric Colbeck on trumpet. There are some electrifying parts around the ten minute mark of the song where Ric's trumpet and Mike's alto sax combine for a dissonant mind-melting excursion. Towards the end of the track, a bass solo slows down the tempo and then the original theme is reintroduced to close this epic song. "Subdued" has an amazing melody which is reminiscent of a New Orleans marching band playing at a dirge-like funereal pace. The title track starts off with a short bass intro with brassy trumpet paving the way for a cacophony of sax and trumpet slash and burn histrionics. "Lowlands" is the slowest track on the record, but it maintains an amazing slow-burn intensity throughout, evoking a soundtrack for the imaginary film that flickers in our minds. Enjoy!

Your comments are always appreciated!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Afro-Psychedelic Sunshine

I recently heard this blasting in a record store and I had to have it. Catchy, upbeat melodies collide with psychedelic fuzz guitar solos to create a sound that immediately grabs the listener by the ear. People who have a predilection for Nigerian and high-life music as well as lo-fi garage and 60's psych-rock will definitley dig this. Besides having "Oh Yeh Yeh" featured on the Love Peace and Poetry-African Psychedelic Music comp and the praise from a few underground DJ's, the exposure to Chrissy Zebby Tembo's music has been minimal. The album was recently reissued on wax after being out-of-print for a long time, and it looks to be a limited presssing of 430 copies. I have uploaded the entire record for you to sample. If you like the album, please purchase it at your local independent record store or by following this link.

Your comments are always appreciated!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spinning Circles Around Your Mind

I don't know how many of you have actually heard this one, but a DJ/music junkie friend of mine turned me on to it several years ago. There is an incredibly eclectic melange of styles represented here that runs the gamut from ambient electronic moog experiments to funky jazz fusion recalling Tony Williams "Emergency" sessions . William S. Fischer was an arranger for Herbie Mann and Nat Adderly records before Herbie gave William the opportunity to record his own record for his Embryo label. The personnel on this one is top-notch- Billy Cobham- Drums, Ron Carter-Bass, Hugh McCracken and Eric Weissberg on gutiars, William Fischer- moog synthesizer and Bill Robinson- vocals.

"Patience Is Virtue" combines a commanding Eugene McDaniels-inspired vocal with an infectious funky rock groove. "Saigon" pummels you into submission with a rapid-fire tempo combined with Axelrod-inspired orchestral flourishes that is guaranteed to get your blood pumping. The two showcases for the electronic moog synthesizer appear on the eerie and experimental "Electrix" and the epic seven minute masterpiece of ambient electronica "Capsule". There is something on here that would appeal to almost anyone who likes experimental electronic music with ambient textures and sweeping orchestral arrangements mixed with soul-jazz. William S. Fischer never recorded another album, so this is the only piece of recorded evidence that we have for him. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

I am posting the entire album, as I'm pretty sure it's out of print.

Your comments are always appreciated!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shards of Delicate Noise

Sir Richard Bishop of Sun City Girls

I posted something on here in dedication to the Sun City Girl's Charlie Gocher back in February. Here's a link to that post if you're interested in checking it out. I'm not sure if the links are still up for the music, but let me know and I can re-up them.

I have been alerted by someone that the link for the Sun City Girls live show from La Sala Rossa is no longer active.
Here is a reup of that show:

Sun City Girls- La Sala Rossa Disc 1

Sun City Girls- La Sala Rossa Disc 2

Sir Richard Bishop's solo stuff is worlds away from the avant garde experimentalism of the Sun City Girls. Still, he is the only person I know of that can play an acoustic guitar so loud that you'll be reaching for your earplugs. I have seen him live about four times now, but there is really no way of explaining the beauty and noise created by his gifted hands. He is equal parts John Fahey, Django Reinhardt, Manitas De Platas and Fred Frith, but this only scratches the surface of his sound. You have to experience his music in a live setting to truly appreciate the multiple sheets of sound that resonate from his acoustic guitar. One minute he is playing a mellow ballad which slowly unfolds into a mind-bending journey into dynamics and rapid-fire riffing.

Yesterday, I witnessed an amazing Sir Richard Bishop live performance at Exiled Records in Portland, Oregon. He performed at Exiled Records last year around September too, so I think it is becoming an annual thing. He started off the set looking bedraggled and that he had less than 40 winks the night before. Nevertheless, he delivered a masterful set of inspired covers as well as songs from his various albums. This was a decidely mellow set by Richard's standards, and he even admitted to the crowd that he was in a mellow mood. He did an Ennio Morricone cover, a few Django Reinhardt covers including "Echoes of Spain", and two Sun City Girls songs.

However, the highlights for me were the two lengthy improvisational workouts towards the end that aren't available on any of Richard's records, at least not in their entirety. These two pieces began with a mellow tempo that culminated into a series of dynamically soul-stirring finger-plucking exercises. Then, the whole thing explodes into a frenzy of start-stop riffing that would make Thurston Moore and Nels Cline proud. The entire standing-room only crowd at Exiled Records clapped exuberantly with their mouths held agape after such an astonishing performance.

After the show, I was inspired to figure out what the two improvisations were at the end of the show. I was able to find Richard's show from last year's Exiled Records in-store performance as well as his performance from the 2006 Halleleuwah Festival at Disjecta. I was pleased to find out that both of these performances featured the improvisations that I heard at Exiled Records yesterday. The sound on both of these recordings is excellent and I highly recommend that you download them for your listening pleasure. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Sir Richard Bishop has a new slab of wax coming out on Drag City on September 25th entitled Polytheistic Fragments.

Sir Richard Bishop-Exiled Records- 9-2-06

Sir Richard Bishop- Halleluwah- Disjecta- 9-1-06

Your comments are always appreciated!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Future Queens Vol.11

Recently a lot of my favorite blogs have decided to call it a day. Church Number Nine, Prostrate Before a Periwinkle and Cut-Out have recently announced that they will no longer be updating their blogs for various reasons. Daily pressures such as worryingg about how ethical it is to share out-of-print music, constant hassles from record companies and lack of time and energy are the main reasons that they decided to quit blogging. However, these bloggers should be proud of what they have accomplished. They have not only opened up the eyes of the record industry in regards to reissuing out-of print records, but they have gained a cult status among record collecting enthusiasts around the world. These were all blogs that I visited daily and they never failed to have something new and interesting to share.

At this time, I would like to give a shout out to these blogs for setting the bar higher for myself and countless others who strive to introduce people to rare and interesting music that would otherwise go unheard. It will be a lonelier place without these guys, but I appreciate their dedication and perseverance to expose people to eclectic music.

Church Number Nine opend it's doors last October and gained a loyal readership due to it's amazing posts regarding free jazz legends such as Sun Ra, Anthony Braxton and Ornette Coleman. Atanase single-handedly maintained Church Number Nine and posted from his own collection as well as from other sources. He always removed links to albums that were out of print when record companies requested this of him, or if he found out that something had been reissued. Sometime around May, a couple of his loyal readers, Centrifuge and Fluxus started contributing out-of-print free jazz relics from their own collection to keep the "Church" going while Atanase was taking a break from blogging. Church Number Nine was the name of a legendary free jazz record by The Frank Wright Quartet and while I haven't heard the record yet, I'm sure that it is as amazing as the site that took it's name. Peace and goodwill to Atanase, Fluxus and Centrifuge.

Ever since I started blogging last October, I have been searching out for blogs that speak to me and help me feel connected to something. Lucky, the mastermind behind other prolific blogs such as Orang-Aural, Border Music, Cineville and Mr. Lucky has recently decided to close down his latest blog called Cut-Out. I have followed Lucky around from his soundtrack blogs(Cineville, Mr. Lucky) to experimental (Border Music, Cut-Out, Avant Records) and all I can say is that he is passionate about posting things that matter to him and responds to his reader's comments on a regular basis. His posts were always well thought out, entertaining and informative. The music he featured included the pioneering free jazz drummer Han Bennink, Samurai soundtrack legend Takeshi Terauchi and East European hurdy gurdy master, Robert Mandel. I am really sad to see him go, but hopefully I will see him reincarnated in another form somewhere. Thanks for providing the benchmark for greatness, Lucky.

Arboribus, one of the main contributors of the fantastic Future Queens compilations, has decided to close his blog called Prostrate Before a Periwinkle. I have been coming to this site for the past six months primarily for the next installment of the compilations, but he always has something interesting to share. His posts are well constructed and the music featured throughout the blog is diverse and challenging. He has everything from acid jazz legend Leon Spencer to experimental guitarist Fred Frith. His site is still up, but I don't think you can download many of the links anymore. Please stop by and say goodbye to Arboribus.

I posted a comment on his blog regarding the Future Queens compilations and that I was thinking of doing one myself. He responded that he was glad that the legacy of Future Queens would be continued on Eclectic Grooves. It is and honor and a privilege for me to contribute to the rich legacy of the Future Queens compilations. Without further ado, I present to you Future Queens Vol.11.

1. Jessie Mae Hemphill: Streamline Train- 5:09
From the album "Get Right Blues"

2. Davis Sisters: Earnestly Praying- 2:24
From the album "The Famous Davis Sister's Album"

3. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: Pick It Up, Lay It In the Cut-4:07
From the album "Dap Dippin' With"

4. Selda: Ince Ince- 3:42
From the album "Selda"

5. Jan Mink: Come on In-2:22
From the 45 " Oh No! No! No! b/w Come On In"

6.Afrirampo: Want You- 4:04
From the album "Kore Ga Mayaku Du

7. Cherry Blossoms: Can We Trust the Waters
From the album "The Cherry Blossoms"

8. Baptist Arms: Mary Magdalene-1:40
No official album release yet. This was taken from a live performance in Portland, OR

9. Lau Nau: Jos Minulla Olin- 3:53
From the album "Kuutratha"

10. Alela Diane: Brown Dirt- 3:34
From the album "Forest Parade" (Out of print)

11. Catherine Ribeiro: Lumiere Ecarlate-4:00
From the album "S/T" (Out of print)

12. Grace Slick and the Great Society: Sally Go Round the Roses- 6:34
From the album "S/T"

13. Stereolab: Three-Dee Melodie-4:56
From the album "Mars Audiac Quintet"

14. Big Mama Thornton: Ball and Chain-6:52
From the album "Ball and Chain"

15. Sibylle Baier: The End- 2:27
From the album "Colour Green"

Total time: 61:04

Your comments are always appreciated!!