Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ornette Coleman- Live at PDX Jazz Fest 2008

I know that it has been awhile since I've updated this site, but I am still alive and kicking. I have received several requests for re-ups to links in the archives that have been deleted for various reasons. So, during the past two weeks, I have taken the liberty of re-upping the links from October 2006 and I am working my way up to the most current posts. Some of the file-sharing services receive complaints and take down links, and some of the links expire after a certain number of downloads or length of time. Due to these limitations, it is difficult to ensure that links are consistently active.
Also, some of the files from posts in the archives are not on my external hard drive, and have not been updated at this time. Please feel free to ask me about anything that isn't updated at this time, and I will work on getting it updated as soon as I have a chance. Please enjoy visiting the archives, and let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for making this blog better.

A couple weeks ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to see Ornette Coleman in a live setting for the second time. I couldn't pass up the chance to see Ornette at the PDX Jazz Fest, despite the fact that I was unemployed and broke when tickets went on sale. This was a once in a lifetime chance to witness the sheer artistry and musicianship of the present-day Ornette Coleman quintet.

I decided to preserve this concert on a new digital recorder that I purchased at the last minute when I realized that my Minidisc player could not be fixed in time to record the show. May of the shows that I've recorded in the past were recorded on this minidisc player, including the Evan Parker show at the 411 club and the Ornette Coleman show at the New Orleans Jazz Fest 2003. However, it was not meant to be this time.

Because this was the first show that I've recorded on this device, it is far from a perfect recording. I was worried about the recorder getting confiscated by the ushers at the Arlene Schnitzer hall, so there are several points throughout the show that you may hear me shuffing the device around. I was also on an aisle seat and there were people who arrived after the show started and needed me to move. This happened three times after the performance had started, so I had to grin and bear it. I was seated in the back of the auditorium, but the sound in the Schnitzer is exceptional, so I feel that this is a very good recording. The bass was a little muddled and the drums could have been louder and crisper, but Ornette's saxophone and the three basses created a shimmering blanket of melody and dissonance.
This performance featured Tony Falanga on upright-bass, Charnett Moffett on electric bass, Greg Cohen on acoustic bass, Ornette on alto sax, trumpet and violin and his son Denardo pounding the skins. When Ornette was playing the trumpet and Charnett's electric bass really started cookin', it made me feel like I was witnessing a live Miles Davis show in the late 60's Bitches Brew era.

I don't know the exact setlist, so please comment if you have information to share about this. I do know that the highlight for me was the evening closer "Lonely Woman" from The Shape of Jazz to Come. It was spectacular to hear this song that was originally created in 1959 come alive in the context of 2008. The audience recognized the song immediately from Ornette's moody alto sax intro and responded with fervent enhusiasm. What a fitting way to end an amazing night of intensely passionate and complex sound sculptures from the master of harmolodics.

I highly recommend that you download and listen to this performance as it is an accurate representation of the essence of free jazz in it's purest form. I haven't altered the sound of these recordings, except for softening the fade-out of the applause at the end of the show. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of the show.

Coming up soon: Space Age Funk and International Mixes as well as Cecil Taylor live at Marriott Ballroom- PDX Jazz Fest

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nigerian Funk Grooves

The Nigerian Police Force Band
- Asiko Mi Ni
Dan Satch & His Atomic 8 Dance Band of Aba- Alabeke

This compilation was released a couple weeks ago on Soundway Records. That's right, the same Soundway Records that released such gems as Afro Baby- The Evolution of the Afro Sound In Nigeria, 1970-1979 , Ghana Soundz Vol.1 and Ghana Soundz Vol.2. How can you go wrong here? The answer is you can't.

If you like african-fuzz guitar, afro-beat and infectious high-life music, run to your local record store and pick up this spectacular double-disc album showcasing the rarest Nigerian music out there. Soundway has done an amazing job with the packaging and have compiled extensive liner notes on the backgrounds of the musicians involved. It features an awe-inspiring mixture of high-life, afro-beat, jazz, blues and psych rock that will have you reaching for the repeat button every time. I am featuring a couple tunes from this for you to sample, but you will definitely want to have your own copy to hear in true stereo sound.

Buy it here!

Coming soon: Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor- live concerts from the Portland Jazz Fest 2008 and another eclectic mix.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Night Trippers From Distant Galaxies

Last night I was hanging out with Rich from Kill Ugly Radio and Daniel Flessas during Daniel's KBOO radio show, "The Outside World", when I came to the realization that I need to start doing podcasts on Eclectic Grooves. Around three a.m., I dragged myself home in that state somewhere between the realm of awareness and sleep. When I arrived at the apartment, I compiled this mix that I am featuring today. This mix features a wide variety of styles that seem to coalesce into a psychedelic space-rock contingent. Even though this is not a podcast, I plan on featuring podcasts here in the near future. I hope you enjoy the mix, and would love to hear what you guys think.

Night Trippers From Distant Galaxies

1) D. Charles Speer & the Helix- Sit Right There- 4:18
2) Boredoms- Relerer- 7:09
3) Sun Araw- Hive Burner- 7:16
4) The Strange Flowers- Mars Behind Our Eyes- 5:03
5) Eddie Fisher- Jeremiah Puckett-4:32
6) Moussa Dombia- Yeye Mousso- 5:03
7) Tim Berne Caos Totale- Bass Voodoo- 9:58
8) The Focus Group- Pan Calling- :50
9) Strategy- Future Rock- 9:07
10) Far East Family Band- The Cave, Down to Earth- 8:33
11) Sun Ra- The Night of the Purple Moon- 3:43
12) King Tubby- Dub From the Roots- 2:27

Total time: 67 mins

I just picked up Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues 1970-6 today, and will be posting a couple tracks from it within the next week. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for that.

Your comments are always appreciated!