We need your help – please
'Ray' is Ashley Paul's bright, sensual return to Slip: a lifting, delighting suite of yearning winds, loose beats, and cocooning, humid bass coming together and falling apart as songs. The LP airs Paul's new trio, alongside bass clarinettist Yoni Silver and bassist Otto Willberg, who fatten out and shine light on her singularly intimate, multi-instrumental with mystery and grace. 2018's 'Lost In Shadows' wrote into the bewildering ecstasy of recent motherhood with a tingling resolve. On 'Ray' - recorded remotely during lockdown - Paul's deliciously hesitant songcraft is an outpouring and an anchor in freshly tumultuous times. Says Ashley: Over the past six months I've found myself needing music in a new way, a way of coping. I found again albums I had loved in the past, full of melody and humour, to cancel out the barrage of terrible news happening outside. I think this album is a reflection of that need. There is the playfulness of spending my days with our four year old, and the hours spent tending to plants in the garden and examining bugs, and also the pain of missing family and friends. It’s hard for me to fully comprehend the breadth of emotion I've felt recently but maybe this is a small window. The trio idea had been formulating in my head for months, and then lockdown happened. At first I was very disappointed and thought I'd be waiting forever to finally make it a reality, but time passed. I started working on a new album and could only hear it with these guys. We recorded remotely. I sent material in a variety of ways; written, aurally and verbal ideas/queues, sometimes with just a shell of a track and other times nearly completed. I wanted all our voices to be present, and to allow freedom in the parts for interpretation and improvisation. Maybe because we've all worked together in various situations and are friends, I’m not sure, but it came together naturally, magically and quickly.
Ashley Paul - voice, alto saxophone, clarinet, guitar, percussion Yoni Silver - bass clarinet Otto Willberg - double bass Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi Painting by Gayle Paul Design by Ashley Paul
Slip Records, 2020
Ashley Paul – Ray
Original GRM member Beatriz Ferreyra deploys a gripping trio of concrète works spanning 40 years (1977-2007) and revealing some of her most mysterious, freeform and otherworldly work comparable to Schaeffer and Parmegiani, but with a poetic playfulness of her own.
This vinyl record brings together three pieces that play mischievously with the voice as a sound source, narrative source or diverted object: "Huellas Entreveradas" (2018), "La Baballe du Chien Chien à la Mé-Mère" (2001) and "Deux Dents Dehors" (2007).
“Beatriz Ferreyra has been at the forefront of electroacoustic music composition since 1963 when she joined the Groupe de Recherches Musicales as one of Pierre Schaeffer’s research assistants. She is one of very few composers still performing who was instrumental at the beginning of Schaeffer’s theories of sound objects and reduced listening techniques. She continues to compose commissioned works and perform around the world in a career that has spanned some sixty years.
From the 1960s until 1997 Beatriz composed tape pieces for multi-speaker performance using three or four Revox reel-to-reel tape machines at each concert. She now works on Pro Tools with GRM plug-ins but still uses the Revoxes for certain tape techniques that can’t be achieved with computer software. Beatriz discusses her music in the Schaefferian way, as a series of impulsions [sharp attacks], iteratives [repetitions], percutés [percussive hits], and trames [sustains] whilst also using her own onomatopoeic descriptions such as ‘schkllang, prrrrwip, ferrrwisssssh, takatak’ communicating sounds freely and directly as she hears them.
Her music is about movement; the movement of sounds around a performance space, or the positioning of sounds as point sources within the illusory stereo field between loudspeakers. It is also about movement within individual sounds, where each one is a composition of different shifting components and a ‘little structure’ in its own right, with its own character. She likens her sounds to a Russian doll, inside each is another one, which contains another, and so on.
During her time at Schaeffer’s studios, Beatriz developed her own research project, Objets Construits, (constructed objects). These are layers of short sounds, chords made of different noises. Each layer is isolated on a separate piece of tape to analyse the relationships between components and the effect of minimal alterations in pitch, dynamics or timing, to the overall perception of the chord. This was a way of thinking about sound slowly and patiently, of taking time to experiment, analyse and contemplate each manipulation, that is lost in the speedy world of vast ready-made digital sound libraries and the immediacy of save and recall buttons.
In Beatriz’s work, small, playful sounds interact like chattering creatures and merge into vast cavernous and mysterious immersive landscapes. These three signature pieces use snippets of speech which are gradually deconstructed to create abstract textures, interweaving vocals with percussive and sustained sounds. Small, playful sounds interact like chattering creatures and merge into vast cavernous and mysterious immersive landscapes. La Baballe du Chien Chien [The doggie’s little ball] (2001) is a playful take on the way that we speak in a childlike way to pets. A brief narrative at the start invites the listener into this ‘pet speak’ scene, with the sound of footsteps and chatter. These gradually crescendo and morph into a cacophonous swirling explosion. Deux Dents Dehors [two teeth sticking out] (2007) is a pun on Bernard Parmegiani’s piece Dedans Dehors [Inside Outside] (1977), composed for his birthday. It takes snippets of lively vernacular and processes these into complex patterns of unintelligible and unrecognisable speech, in sustained or percussive sequences and glissandi. Heullas Entreveradas (2018) is a new commission that transforms vocal sounds into choral textures which fragment, granulate and transform into continuous whorls and tidal washes interspersed with her trademark short silences.”
Beatriz Ferreyra – Huellas Entreveradas
Otoroku is extremely proud to present the first vinyl reissue of one of the most legendary free jazz records ever produced. Originally released in 1978 on Ogun recordings, Louis Moholo Octet’s Spirits Rejoice! is a high achievement in the movement of the era as it soars beyond oppression with a raucous and spiritually uplifting surge of movement and melody
Featuring Harry Miller, Johnny Dyani, Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, Nick Evans, Radu Malfatti and Kenny Wheeler, this is former Blue Note artist Louis Moholo’s first album under his own name and is a classic example of the cross-pollination between South African and British players. Mongezi Feza’s ‘You Ain’t Gonna Know Me ‘Cos You Think You Know Me’ alone is enough to make your life a better place.
From Matthew Wright’s new liner notes:
The South African melodies, now so familiar, were wholeheartedly taken on board by the individual musicians, their unity of purpose mirroring the belief in the strength of the collective. Stunning solos, often close to the edge, feature throughout – Evan Parker and Keith Tippett on “Shine Wherever You Are”; the contrasting trombone styles of Nick Evans and Radu Malfatti on “You Ain’t Gonna Know Me...”; the octet sounding like a full big band; and behind them, the relentlessly rhythmic urgency of the piano, bass and drums. Add to this Kenny Wheeler’s moving and all-encompassing trumpet on the elegiac “Amaxesha Osizi” and the joyous flamboyancy of “Wedding Hymn” with Parker’s relatively straight-ahead tenor and Tippett’s dextrous piano solo over a bed of riffing horns, (fast) walking bass lines and a supreme sense of swing. Louis’ early hero, Big Sid Catlett, would have loved it!
This 2019 re-issue has been made with permission and in association with Ogun records. Features an exact reproduction of the original artwork and liner notes along with new liner notes from Matthew Wright. Remastered by Giuseppe IIelasi and packaged in a high gloss sleeve this is the definitive release of one of the absolute free jazz classics of the 20th Century.
Edition of 1000 copies.
Louis Moholo Octet – Spirits Rejoice!
"Recorded in 1970, Amon Düül's only album for Ohr was a visionary slice of acid-folk which has gained cult status as years passed by. Ritualistic folk-rock, pastoral hippie songs, stoned jams, Eastern flavors, mystical passages and heavy hypnotic riffing which are in fact very different from the early Amon Düül epic freaked-out improvisations (Psychedelic Underground) or Amon Düül II complex and psyched-up progressive works (Phallus Dei). These were in fact archival recordings done by a different incarnation of Amon Duul, one that combined members of both factions into a floating line up welcoming many a guest, and which were released by R.U. Kaiser without the musicians knowledge or authorization, most likely in order to catch up with Amon Düül II rising popularity.
All in all, a mythical recording featuring such underground classics as 'Love Is Peace,' 'Snow Your Thurst Sun Open Your Mouth' and 'Paramechanische Welt.' Included also on our edition is their sought after Ohr single: 'Paramechanical World' / 'Eternal Flow.' Another legendary title from the Ohr catalogue rescued by Wah Wah for your listening pleasure.
Strictly limited to 500 copies. Sleeve reproducing original artwork from the Ohr original issue. Featuring bonus tracks 'Paramechanical World' and 'Eternal Flow' (originally released as 7" single)."
Wah Wah records, 2020
Amon Düül – Paradieswarts Duul
Popular and increasingly in demand, IZIPHO ZAM (my gifts) falls into the ‘rare’ category among record collectors and is a gift to fans of master Pharoah Sanders. This demand is partially galvanized by the fact that ‘Prince Of Peace’ has become an inspirational mine to Hip Hop artists and is much loved by samplers. I
zipho Zam is Pharoah Sander’s 3rd album, initially recorded in january 1969, it was originally released on the Strata-East label in 1973. On Izipho Zam Sanders and his band take you on a journey into another world providing an amazing experience! Passionate, intense and free, Sanders saxophone especially, is exquisite, pouring out its soul telling a story of its own. Hailed by peers as the best tenor saxophonist in the world, Pharoah Sanders is a legend in Jazz music. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of free jazz and is the mentor of jazz giant, saxophonist Robert Stewart. Born in 1940 into a musical family as Farell Sanders in Arkansas, he first played the clarinet before switching to tenor saxophone in High school. After High school he moved to California to study music and art.
In 1961 Sanders moved to New York where he often played gigs with a number of free jazz dignitaries including Billy Higgins, Sun Ra and Don Cherry. His name ‘Pharoah” was given to him by Sun Ra, who was his bandleader then. It was during one of these gigs that he met John Coltrane who became his mentor. While playing with Coltrane, Sanders inevitably rose to prominence due to his very distinctive tenor saxophone sound.
PHAROAH SANDERS – Izipho Zam (My Gifts)
This is the legendary Krzystof Komeda Quintet caught live at the Jazz Jamboree Festival in Warsaw in 1963. A marvelous combo featuring some of the greatest Polish jazz musicians, such as Tomasz Stanko (trumpet), Michal Urbaniak (tenor sax), Maciej Suzin (bass), and Czeslaw Bartowski (drums). Komeda, Stanko, and Urbaniak were sort of pioneers who effectively opened up a way for jazz in Poland.
Komeda's fluent modern jazz conception was a perfect synthesis between the American influence and a certain Slavic lyricism. The album includes an astonishing version of Ballad From Knife In Water from Komeda's soundtrack for the 1962 Roman Polanski movie. A major statement in the East-European music history.
Naked Lunch, 2020
Krzysztof Komeda – Jazz Jamboree 63
This album is definitely a one-of a kind unique release on Strata East - out of print for nearly 50 years and unbelievably hard to find. Do not miss out if you want one as Strata East always sell out!
'Handscapes' is a double live album by The Piano Choir featuring an absolutely HEAVYWEIGHT set of pianists together - Strata-East co-founder Stanley Cowell alongside Nat Jones, Hugh Lawson, Webster Lewis, Harold Mabern, Danny Mixon, and Sonelius Smith recorded and originally released in 1972.
At the time of release Ebony reviewer Phyl Garland said "One needn't be a "piano freak" to appreciate a truly new recording. First of all imagine seven gifted and talented pianists sitting down to seven grand pianos (with electric piano, organ, harpsichord, a few tambourines for spice) and proceeding to tear up these instruments - musically, that is. ...the torrrent of sound springing from their 70 fingers is so powerful and majestic as to be unlike anything one has ever heard."
THE PIANO CHOIR – Handscapes
Celebrated in jazz collectors circles, in the lofi beat scene, and among music diggers around the world, Cat has become one of the most sought after Japanese jazz albums of all time and, much like Ryo Fukui’s Scenery, has fascinated old and young generations alike.
Cat was recorded in October 1975 at Nippon Columbia Studio, while Hiroshi Suzuki was visiting his home country of Japan after moving to Las Vegas in 1971 to play with Buddy Rich and perfect his craft. Back on his old stomping grounds, the man known as Neko (Cat) immediately reunited with his dear friends for an epic two day session of groove magic. The chemistry was still intact. The skills and style had grown.
The result, Cat, is a smooth masterpiece, a deep and soulful affair where stunning trombone solos by Hiroshi Suzuki flirt with Takeru Muraoka’s heavenly saxophone and the sensual rhythm section of Hiromasa Suzuki (keyboards), Kunimitsu Inaba (bass), and Akira Ishikawa (drums).
Trombone: Hiroshi Suzuki. Keyboards: Hiromasa Suzuki. Bass: Kunimitsu Inaba. Drums: Akira Ishikawa. Saxophone: Takeru Muraoka.
Recorded at Nippon-Columbia Daiichi Studio, on Oct 8-10, 1975.
Klimt Records, 2019
Hiroshi Suzuki – Cat
"Atlantis is an exhilarating listen, equally thanks to its fierce free jazz and brightly textural abstraction" Antonio Poscic, The WIRE, Feb 2020
Following closely on the heels of his ravishing solo album Tomorrow is Too Late, Stockholm-based synthesist and improviser John Chantler switches gears to unleash the stunning second album by his trio with saxophonist Seymour Wright and drummer Steve Noble, Atlantis. Chantler is well-known for his solo electronic work, which frequently explodes richly layered ambient soundscapes into visceral explosions and thrilling physicality, to say nothing of his imaginative experimentation with the organ, heard in radically transformed mode on the recent solo recording. But Chantler is equally invested in real-time improvisation and he’s developed a dazzling rapport and sound world with Wright and Noble, two of England’s most distinctive, active, and turbulent figures in spontaneous music over the last couple of decades. The pair has worked together in numerous contexts over the years, but it took Chantler to create an ongoing context for them, and since forming in 2017 the trio’s rigour and level of communication have steadily expanded.“My fantasy idea in the beginning when I wanted to do this trio was thinking about taking Derek Bailey’s role in the Topography of the Lungs trio,” he says, referring to the classic 1970 album with Evan Parker and Han Bennink. “That’s not what happened, but that was my way of imagining how I could make the synthesizer have the kind of range and ability to both comment on stuff and guide and push in certain ways, like Derek did in that group. That remains a kind of ambition even if aesthetically it doesn’t feel very close to that, but that’s how I first thought about what my role would be.” Indeed, Chantler serves as a pesky interrogator, his serrated tones and viscous globules cutting through the kinetic din dished out by Wright and Noble, and on the new album his integration is more fully realised to the point where it’s often impossible to decipher where the output of one musician ends—the sibilant bowed cymbals of Noble or the feedback-laced lines of Wright—and the pushback of another begins.The album was cut and mixed in a single day with in-house engineer Janne Hansson at Stockholm’s legendary Atlantis Studio, a facility made famous by the chart-topping albums recorded there by Abba in the 1970s, when the place was known as Metronome. Prior to entering the studio the trio spent an exhausting, all-in week rehearsing at the arts space Fylkingen—where they also played a show—in addition to playing a handful of gigs in Norway. Locked in, they discovered much different acoustic qualities at Atlantis from what they’d previously encountered. “There’s a very specific sound at the studio, and we’d been playing for a week together at Fylkingen, so we started to develop a thing that really works in that room, and then you move somewhere else, and the drums in particular sounded really different, and in some ways they had a bit more of a rock ‘n’ roll kind of feeling.” explains Chantler. Responding to that radically different, reverb-soaked ambience, he and Wright took advantage of a pair of matching Fender tube amps, charging their individual signals to match the booming, resonant sprawl of Noble’s pinpoint clatter.Compared to the group’s debut album Front and Above—a live recording of the trio’s very first performance at London’s Café Oto—which Chantler edited to emphasise the sparser expanses of the raucous, performance, the new album reveals a more open-ended spectrum, from delicate to crushing. Noble’s beautifully metallic rustling and throbbing snare bombs hang pregnantly in the air, and Chantler and Wright thicken the atmosphere with twinned abstractions, alternately ethereal and punishing. The transitions between calm and chaos are sometimes seamless, sometimes abrupt, but the full landscape transports the listener to another realm regardless of how ferocious or gentle the attack may be. As strong as the trio’s first album was, Atlantis marks a massive step forward. “The more you play together the more it starts to cohere into some kind of specific language,” says Chantler. “You start to understand the point of what a particular constellation might be.” With Atlantis there’s little doubt these three improvisers know exactly what the point of it all is, which thrillingly means that many new paths in the future have opened up.
John Chantler / synthesiser
Steve Noble / drums
Seymour Wright / alto saxophone
RECORDED AND MIXED AT ATLANTIS GRAMMOFON AB, STOCKHOLM 24 JANUARY 2018ENGINEER: JANNE HANSSONMASTERING: STEPHAN MATHIEUPAINTINGS: LESTER WRIGHT
RECORDING SESSION MADE POSSIBLE WITH SUPPORT FROM THE AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS
John Chantler / Steve Noble / Seymour Wright – ATLANTIS
“The Reinvention of Romance,” a new work for percussion and cello that examines the care and empathy that emerge when two lives share space. Over the course of 90 minutes, a series of repeating patterns creates a peculiar kind of harmony in which two musicians are rarely “playing together” but are nonetheless intimately bonded. The Knoxville-based duo Two-Way Street (Ashlee Booth and Adam Lion) commissioned Hennies to compose “a very long piece;” for this recording they step into its two intertwining roles.
Composed by Sarah Hennies Performed by Two-Way Street: Ashlee Booth, cello & Adam Lion, percussion
Released 2020; Astral Spirits
Sarah Hennies – The Reinvention of Romance
Kuzu was formed only in 2017 but the trio already has a stellar reputation in noise-jazz circles, so their torrid pace of production is a windfall. Even if their upcoming third offering got delayed a bit due to the pandemic.
The Glass Delusion— out March 5, 2021 from Astral Spirits Records — was recorded live and without any pre-thought like all Kuzu releases. It even draws from the same 2018 tour as some of those other records were culled from.
Kuzu recordings are highly instinctual and intuitional; the same can be said about any quality improv music unit. Where Kuzu makes its mark is that each of its members, Dave Rempis (saxes), Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums), are highly individualistic musicians who play their instruments well outside the bounds of conformity. There are sounds you don’t often hear from each of these instruments and even less so as a group. Add to that their penchant for zigging when you expect them to zag, and it all adds up to adventurous and rewarding listening experience.
DAVE REMPIS - alto/tenor/baritone saxophones TASHI DORJI - guitar TYLER DAMON - drums
Released 2021; Astral Spirits
Kuzu – The Glass Delusion
Originally released in 1972, Lord Of Lords was Alice Coltrane’s final album for Impulse! and the last installment in her awe-inspiring trilogy that also included Universal Consciousness and World Galaxy.
While all three records featured strings alongside a jazz ensemble, Lords Of Lords stood apart from its predecessors due to the sheer size of the orchestra (12 violins, 6 violas and 7 cellos, arranged and conducted by Coltrane herself) and its refined, blissful performances - shining a vital light on the devotional path that she would follow for the rest of her career. On the first two pieces, “Andromeda’s Suffering” and “Sri Rama Ohnedaruth” (titled after the spiritual name for her late husband), Alice’s dazzling piano and harp blend perfectly with the blanket of strings, while the haunting rhythm section of Charlie Haden and Ben Riley and a magnificent, droning electric organ emerge immaculately on the title track and closer “Going Home.” Coltrane’s musical vision is bold in its imagination and cosmic in scope, yet remains intensely personal and immediate.
Lord Of Lords points inward as much as to the beyond, recalling her classical roots and recasting Eastern modes to radically invert the American avant-garde and spiritual jazz traditions. This first-time vinyl reissue has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes.
Super Viaduct, 2021
ALICE COLTRANE – Lord Of Lords
'Most people are familiar with the Ethiopian music of the "golden seventies". The great CD series of "Ethiopiques" focuses on this remarkable period of truly amazing and rich music. The era of the big brass bands came to an end in the period of the "Derg", the military government in Ethiopia from 1975 till 1991. After that, the scene seemed confused. Many great musicians were forced into exile or passed away. The horns mostly disappeared and were replaced by cheap keyboards everywhere. Awful bombastic overproduced "plastic" pop-productions flooded the market. Synthesisers, vocoders, drum machines and hasty productions that all sound alike.
But in the last few years something new is emerging. Young producers have started combining traditional rhythms and strong dance beat production. The result is very original, uplifting and very danceable music. The gurage, wollo, gondar, oromo and other traditional rhythms work wonders for this new dance music. And the Ethiopian youth loves it. It can be heard not only in the hip areas like Bole, but all over Addis and other Ethiopian urban areas. Blasting from restaurants, taxis, coffeeplaces, grocerystores and Addis' giant market, the Mercato. The "Ililta" CD is a compilation of this new Ethiopian dance music, recorded with a new generation of singers over the last decade. A cross-selection of the production work of Mesele Asmamaw and some of his close colleagues. ' Play loud and go for it!
Various Artists – Ililta! New Ethiopian Dance Music
We're not sure why New Zealand's Roy Montgomery isn't more widely appreciated; he's been working tirelessly for forty years at this point, and while his particular brand of exquisite dream pop is still consigned to the underground, his imitators are too numerous to mention. "Island of Lost Souls" is the first of four albums slated for release this year and serves as a welcome reminder of his compositional skill and restraint. Comprising four long tracks, the album is a sequence of dedications to some of Montgomery's biggest influences. Opener 'Cowboy Mouth (For Sam Shepard)' sounds like an effervescent shoegaze reimagining of Jean-Michel Jarre's "Oxygene", but considering the recently-passed American playwright and actor, you could almost hear it alongside Terrence Malick's "Days of Heaven", humming gently over the infinite sunset.
Each piece is built from transcendent layers of reverberating guitar, dense with harmony and dancing with flutter. If My Bloody Valentine showed one extreme this suggests another, a crushing quietness where extremity is found in meaning, resolve and discipline. This is never more evident on the album's epic closer, 'The Electric Children of Hildegard von Bingen (For Florian Fricke)', a track that honors the Popol Vuh founder and godfather of kosmische music, influenced by the 2nd century nun who inspired hundreds of years of music, science and theology. Musically, Montgomery wears his Fricke appreciation on his sleeve here, evoking fond memories of "Hosianna Mantra" with rhythmic, chiming strums that whirlpool into a blissful, transcendent abyss.
This is a cosmic corner of the musical universe that's often visited but rarely respected or explored successfully. For some reason, the crossover with new age attracts rogue elements, but hearing Montgomery in his comfort zone just reminds us how supreme the dream pop/kosmische crossover is when approached with sincerity and caution.
This one's going to be on rotation for a while - it's divine.
ROY MONTGOMERY – Island of Lost Souls
Soul Jazz Records release flautist Lloyd McNeill’s album ‘Treasures’ (1976). Originally issued on the artists’ own private press Baobab label in New York, the album is a serious collectors’ piece, a heavyweight and fascinating fusion of deep and spiritual jazz sensibilities blended with Brazilian and Latin rhythms and melodies.
"Lloyd McNeill is a cultural polymath - a multi-disciplinarian flautist, painter, academic, poet, and photographer - who as a musician has worked with everyone from Mulatu by Picasso!). McNeill grew up during the era of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and his life and work is a reflection of those ideals. All of his music was only ever released on his own private-press record label, echoing the Civil Rights and African-American themes of the era - black economic empowerment and self-sufficiency - and there is a beautiful spirituality in all his music. In the late 1960s McNeill became teacher of both jazz and painting at the New Thing Art and Architecture Center in Washington and in 1969 he was the first African- American professor hired to teach African-American Music History, at Rutgers University.
As part of these academic studies McNeill travelled extensively throughout Brazil between 1971-76, studying Afro-Brazilian music. On his first trip to Brazil he met the pianist Dom Salvador, leader of the fusion group Aboliçao and over the next few years worked with many Brazilian musicians including the guitarist Paulinho da Viola, saxophonist Paolo Moura and singer Martinho da Villa. On his return to New York in 1973 he formed a regular and fluid live group that included Brazilian players Dom Salvador, Nana Vasconceles and Portinho as well as many heavyweight jazz musicians such as Ron Carter, Cecil McBee, Marcus Miller, Charlie Rouse, Bob Cranshaw and many more.
‘Treasures’ was the culmination of this intense period for McNeill, fusing Brazilian, jazz and Latin sensibilities together. The album features McNeill on flute, Cecil McBee on bass, Dom Salvador on piano and three percussionists - the Brazilian multiinstrumentalist Portinho, Latin percussionist Ray Armando and jazz drummer Brian Brake. This is the fourth Lloyd McNeill album that Soul Jazz Records have released and follows on from the earlier albums ‘Asha’ (1969), ‘Tanner Suite’ (1969) and ‘Washington Suite’ (1970), all of which are being re-pressed to coincide with this new release."
Sould Jazz records, 2019
Lloyd McNeill – Treasures
The legendary tune "Play On Mr. Music" from a documentary film "Roots Rock Reggae" comes alive.
This compilation celebrates some uncommon gems from the greatest golden years of the Black Ark Studio and Lee Perry's works. “Play On Mr Music” by the Upsetter Revue featuring The Heptones, The Congos and Junior Murvin, had long been the Holy Grail for roots reggae connoisseurs, until Rocka Shacka issued it on a 10-inch EP. The result of an impromptu studio jam (captured on celluloid for Jeremy Marre’s Roots Rock Reggae documentary in May 1977), the track celebrates the undeniable pull of Perry’s musical artistry, with both musicians and onlookers enhanced by the uplifting qualities of a marijuana spliff. "Milte Hi Ankhen" by Sam Carty is a full vocal cut to the oriental dub known as "Bird In Hand" which was included the dub masterpiece "Return Of The Super Ape". You can also enjoy the unreleased dub mix of the deep rasta tune "Rejoice Jah Jah Children" by The Silvertones, also the unreleased take of Carlton Jackson's big tune "History", an irie roots rock version of Curtis Mayfield "People Get Ready" by Junior Murvin and the soulful Perry's vocal on "Soul Fire".
Lee "Scratch" Perry – Play On Mr. Music: Black Ark Days
Mustapha Skandrani. Besides having an excellent name, this man, a luminary of Algerian music, possessed a unique musical sense, able to transcend the borders of musical cultures to create a distinctive fusion of Arabo-Andalusian and European styles. "Istikhbars and Improvisations", recorded in 1965 in Paris, is a solo piano album presenting a trans-Mediterranean crossover based on traditional Algerian vocal pieces known as Istikhbars. Playing these istikhbars (which have roots in the Islamic Arabo-Andalusian culture which flourished in Spain) on the piano, that quintessentially European instrument, Skandrani was greeted with derision by some purists. Skandrani's powerful musical vision, however, perceives the European element involved in Arabo-Andalusian musical culture, a world of exchange and co-existence, and his decision to play this music on the piano reminds us of this European influence. Skandrani's modus operandi on this release is to present each istikhbar, modal in nature, then to play an improvisation based on the istikhbar and its attendant mode. This A/B alternation continues throughout. The pellucid clarity of Skandrani's playing on this album may remind the listener of a modal Goldberg Variations, Bach and Glenn Gould transplanted to Andalucia. Other ears will hear the Arabic/Maghreb elements more strongly. Skandrani's precise touch and clear, symmetrical rhythmic sense links both worlds, assuring us that the Mediterranean is not a barrier, but a unifier, and that the differences between the cultures are not vast. This is an admirable acheivement, resulting in beautiful music of a rare charm. Mustapha Skandrani was born in Algiers in 1920, and died there in 2005. He mastered a number of instruments at an early age, and his musical prowess led him to work with the great singers and ensembles of his day, in live performances, recordings, and radio broadcasts. Later in his life, he devoted much energy to education.
Em Records, 2021
Mustapha Skandrani – Istikhbars and Improvisations
GO HIRANO’s third album, Corridor of Daylights, is a quiet work of dreamlike brilliance. A home field recording where fragile piano melodies float alongside wind-chimes and wistful melodicas — insects hum in the distance and a breeze gently rustles as summer day eases toward evening. Originally released in Japan by P.S.F. Records in 2004, Corridor of Daylights is a beautiful, soulful dispatch from early aughts Tokyo. In the already eclectic spectrum of music released by the revered Tokyo based P.S.F. label, Go Hirano’s three releases are true outliers in the catalog’s thirty year history. In contrast to the loud or more maximalist rock releases by Keiji Haino and High Rise or the wild historical free jazz of Kaoru Abe and Masayuki Takayanagi, Go Hirano’s music floats in the gentler waters of the sonic palate. Hirano’s work emerges from a more intimate kind of intensity; he creates a sparsely contemplative and alternately playful music that at times evokes Erik Satie or even Hiroshi Yoshimura. A multi-instrumentalist and composer, Hirano’s main tools are piano, melodica, percussion and the spaces in between the repetitions. He utilizes slight variations of gently mapped out introspection while embracing a more organic sense of openness and feeling. Speaking of his approach when he first starting out Hirano states “It seemed like a lot of musicians were aiming for perfection, but the more they applied themselves to that pursuit, the less interesting the music became. The most important thing for me was that initial, unadorned expression, regardless of whether or not the playing was technically impressive or not.”
Go Hirano - Piano, Pianica, Windchime, Percussion, Voice Roderick Zala - Guitar, Effects on "coral" Engineer - Takashi Yoshida Producer - Hideo Ikeezumi Illustration - Kiyomi Enomoto Artwork - Rikako Tanaka Mastering - Elysian Masters
Black Editions, 2019
Go Hirano – Corridor of Daylight