Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday Getz Set

The final post for March is a tasty anniversary special from one of the Jazz deities.
This was taped for French radio 47 years ago today, and it's lost none of its flavor since, trust me.
Thankfully France Musique rebroadcasted both halves of this show at the end of last year. You'll hear concerts like this, in their entirety, on American radio at roughly about the same time mythical White Jesus returns with pumpkin-spiced crack rocks for his flock.
What the Caucasian fuck do you need Jesus for anyhow? You have Stan Getz with a tenor saxophone in his hands.
If you don't know who Stan Getz was/is, just close this page and go back to your Mumford & Sons collection.
Look at him. You know he gets more chicks than you, and he's been dead since 1991.
This performance -- one of my top 20 Jazz bootlegs -- is almost two full hours of eclectic blowing, with Stan in the company of three tight French players, including smokin' guitarissimo René Thomas.
The energy onstage is palpable, and this band swings like a postcard from the hanging because Stan Getz didn't play another way, ever, even when he was making billion-selling platters that still get played on the radio. Just not in America.
Stan Getz Quartet
Studio 104
Maison de la Radio
Paris, France
3.28.1971

01 Annie from Abyssinia
02 Our Kind of Sabi
03 Mona
04 Theme for Emmanuel
05 I Remember Clifford
06 Dum! Dum!
07 Invitation
08 Chega de Saudade
09 Ballad for Leo
10 'Round Midnight

Total time: 1:46:32
disc break goes after Track 05

Stan Getz - tenor saxophone
René Thomas - guitar
Eddy Louiss - organ
Bernard Lubat - drums

digital capture of two 2017 France Musique rebroadcasts, comprising the complete concert
494 MB FLAC here
I'll be back real soon with an April full of amazing, but for now you better get after this Stan Getz Quartet set before Jazz is declared illegal and the penalty for improvisation is incarceration.--J.
2.2.1927 - 6.6.1991

Sunday, March 25, 2018

'Ree Spectacular

It's Sunday. Off to church, then.
For today is the 76th anniversary on Earth of perhaps the most beloved and classic vocalist ever to emerge from the world of the devotional to take over the world of the secular.
Example: if you ever watch those American Idol/The Voice-type shows, where the singers always turn the last syllable of a line into a 33-syllable testimony, swooping and soaring through ten million grace notes? Her.
She's pointing at you there, making sure you remember who invented this whole modern style of emotive, enraptured singing that you've seen and heard all around you for decades.
Strangely, I remember watching her dad -- evangelist Rev. C.L. Franklin -- when he had his program on Sunday mornings such as this as a child. I despise religion since age 7, but it always did have the deepest musical segments.
It was from the environment of her father's church that she emerged, armed with the music of Sunday morning and the sentiments of Saturday night, in the mid-1960s to reduce the popular musical world to rubble.
Now, 50 years on, she is still doing it, but having health problems. These forced her to cancel all her 2018 dates. Word is she may not be in that great of shape.
So we are here this lovely Sunday morn with a Happy Birthday, get-well-immediately-if-not-sooner tribute to the singular force that has been, is and will always be Aretha Franklin.
Aretha Franklin
two FM broadcasts, 1970+1982

i.
Festival de Jazz d'Antibes
Juan-les-Pins, France
7.21.1970

01 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
02 Respect
03 (You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman
04 I Say a Little Prayer
05 Eleanor Rigby
06 (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone
07 Tighten Up
08 Put On a Happy Face
09 A Brand New Me
10 Doctor Feelgood
11 You Send Me
12 Spirit In the Dark

Total time: 52:15

Aretha Franklin - piano, vocals
Donald Towns, John Wilson, Charles Horse & Clay Robinson - trumpets
Chancey Outcalt & René Pitts - trombones
Louis Barnett, Miller Brisker, Donald Walden & Charlie Gabriel - saxophones
Truman Thomas - organ
Ted Sheely - piano
Leslie Harvey - guitar
Melvin Jackson - bass
Hindel Butts - drums
Evelyn Green, Almeta Latimer & Wyline Ivy - vocals

digital capture of a 2017 France Musique rebroadcast
287 MB FLAC here

ii.
Jamaica World Music Festival
Bob Marley Performing Arts Center
Montego Bay, Jamaica
11.26.1982

01 introduction
02 Hold On, I'm Coming
03 Love Me Forever
04 It's Your Thing
05 Make It Up to You
06 Daydreaming
07 Rock Steady
08 Say a Little Prayer
09 Respect
10 I Hurt Myself (I'm Guilty)
11 Ain't No Way
12 Because of You
13 Jump to It

Total time: 59:57

Aretha Franklin - vocals & piano
The Aretha Franklin Orchestra, conducted by H.B. Barnum and featuring Tommy McCook, horns
Sandra Dance, Estelle Brown, Margaret Branch & Cousin Brenda - vocals

FM cassette master, transferred & remastered by the legendary Charlie Miller
352 MB FLAC here
These two smokin' sets are from 12 years apart... the first dates from the beginning of the Seventies and the second from the start of the Eighties. Both are amazing FM captures and the latter one is transferred and remastered by taper legend Charlie Miller.
I'm not sure of the band for the 1982 set, but it does sound like Marcus Miller is on bass, and not hesitating to thump a thumb-crater in the Jamaican night, either.
I shall return on Wednesday next with some lush and vintage Jazziness for your auditory stimulation, but for now it's the 76th birthday of Aretha Franklin, and this is my way of saying Thank You 'Ree <3--J.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Vertical Equinox of the Fourth World Traveler

We're back to inaugurate Spring with a 71st b'day bash in honor of one of my supreme favorite instrumentalists and conceptualists.
His approach to the trumpet and the contexts it can inhabit is, to say the least, singular and impossible not to identify by a single note.
His pioneering use of MIDI triggers and electronic treatments for his instrument has almost no analog, in terms of people you could name that do what he has done with brass.
Even more central to his career has been the concept of vertical integration in his music, where care is taken to render the various elements of it untraceable, or not directly referenced to music that has gone before.
This principle has enabled him to construct a completely individual and unique oeuvre on an instrument that most people can't play one note upon without someone saying "they sound like" a Miles Davis or a Clark Terry or a Lee Morgan or a Pops.
The universal truth here is that no one, but no one, sounds like trumpet visionary Jon Hassell, born this day in 1947.
Not too many artists can say they are responsible for a genre that didn't exist before they came around, but this is one of them.
He refers to what he does as Fourth World music, beyond the readily-identifiable musics of Worlds I-III. It's almost intended to be a kind of tribal music of a tribe that never existed.
Anyway it's hard to explain -- writing about music being akin to dancing about architecture and all that -- but then that's why we were born with ears.
Jon Hassell
Fabrik 
Hamburg, Germany
5.15.1985

01 Power Spot
02 The Elephant and the Orchid
03 Wing Melodies
04 Air

Total time: 1:17:49

Jon Hassell - trumpet, percussion, electronics
J.A. Deane - acoustic and electronic percussion, alto flute
Jean-Philippe Rykiel - electronic keyboards, facsimile bass, percussion, strings
Michael Brook - guitar, electronic treatments

possibly a master or 1st gen off-air FM reel, remastered by EN
356 MB FLAC here
This one is quite a monster 78 minutes of ambient trance marathon, recorded for German radio in the mid-1980s, so I dusted it down for maximum audioliciousness. I did a whole bunch of high end repair at first, but then scrapped those modifications (too much) and dialed what I had been doing back a bunch using the usual tools, i.e. Sound Forge 11 EQ and Graphic Dynamics adjustments. No NR was used.
I removed a whole bunch of bursts of FM noise, smoothed the disorienting and sudden transition from the first track into the second, and adjusted the latter very subtly to make it volume-consistent with the rest, which I felt it was not.
No other changes were made, but I modified the (really cool IMO) artwork a little bit to reflect that it's been remastered and listed the tracks on the back artwork, which lacked them. New tags, titles, fingerprints and some remaster notes later, here it is for your pleasure.
I shall return on Sunday to pay more Respects to the delicious and deserving, but for now as always do enjoy this incredible concert, and of course (it goes without saying) a happy b'day #71 to Maestro Jon Hassell! And many more!--J.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Patrick's of the Trade: Uilleann Calendar

Let's use this fine St. Patrick's Day for a necessary tribute to a recently-departed master.
On Wednesday, we lost the acknowledged master of one of the musical instruments of our world.
It just so happens that the instrument in question happens to be sort of the unofficial official instrument of our honoree's native country.
See, there was never, isn't and will likely never be a more adept manipulator of the uilleann pipes of Ireland than our hero, Liam O'Flynn.
He's been on a billion records from Mike Oldfield to Kate Bush to Van Morrison, but it's from his membership in one of the most beloved ensembles in the annals of Irish music that most people know his name. 
This group began in 1972 as kind of a Irish Folk supergroup, and has endured with on-and-off records and tours ever since.
Today's share in tribute to his magnificent career concerns this group -- I blogged them once before -- and was captured at the dawn of their run for Irish Television back in the day.
It's a PAL DVD of a 2011 rebroadcast. It looks and sounds great and features Liam -- looking hilariously out of place like a college music professor amongst the hippies in the band -- crushing away on the pipes and several tin whistles.
Planxty
National Stadium
Dublin, Ireland
Summer 1972

01 programme intro
02 Three Drunken Maidens/tune
03 tune/When First Into this Country
04 Sweet Thames Flow Softly
05 The Gold Ring 
06 Kitty Gone a-Milking/The Merry Blacksmith
07 Only Our Rivers Run Free
08 Raggle Taggle Gypsy/Tabhair Dom do Lámh
09 Three Drunken Maidens (reprise)

Total time: 25:19

Christy Moore - vocals, guitar
Liam O’Flynn - uilleann pipes, tin whistle
Andy Irvine - mandolin, harmonica
Dónal Lunny - bouzouki, vocals

B&W PAL DVD of a 2011 RTE broadcast
878 MB PAL here
I had been meaning to put this up anyway for today's holiday, so I felt it was simple and appropriate to repurpose it to honor this exemplary Maestro of the uilleann pipes.
I shall return soon with more, but for now I encourage you to pull down this great clip of Planxty and make your St. Patty's experience just a wee bit more authentic. As you do, remember the musicians like Liam O'Flynn, who passed this week at 72, but whose immeasurable and unique contributions help make what good is left of our spiraling world what it is.--J.
4.15.1945 - 3.14.2018