Thursday, October 20, 2005

Jazz Collection

Andy's Jazz Collection


After a painful delay I have updated and edited my collection of jazz cds, ECM collection and mp3. If you have any questions about any of them please do not hesitate to ask!

I have split them into three sections to make them less large.


Ps The Cd shown here is a rare Kenny Burrell Japanese LP called Swingin which has been reissued on several different cds recently and contains some of my favourite Kenny Burrell at the moment!

Jazz A to G

Jazz H to L

Jazz M to R

Jazz S to Z

ECM Collection

Mp3 Collection

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Kenny Cox Blue Note Recommended

Kenny Cox

Introducing the Kenny Cox Quintet

This is a really good record from the unknown and rare ish Blue Note side of life

Well worth a listen for its innovation as is his other Blue Note release Multidirection.

Sadly neither are on CD...yet although rare copies can be hunted down for not alot of wonga...enquiries to me!

Here is some more info from a site about the quintet which got named the Contempary Jazz Quintet from

The CJQ (Moore/trumpet, Leon Henderson/Tenor, Kenny Cox/Piano, Ron Brooks/Bass, Danny Spencer/Drums) was a very exciting and innovative ensemble active in Detroit in the late 60's/early 70's, They were also involved in sustaining a important artist-run perfomance space in Detroit called the Strata Concert Gallery where I went to hear them every chance I could get.
The CJQ played original compostions (usually by Cox or Moore) that were much more than just tunes, but overall concepts of how an entire ensemble would improvise. This had an expressive as well as formal impact upon the music because the demands of this approach necessitated raising the degree and intensity of group concentration beyond average, habitual common denominators. They were generating music from deeper levels of what's possible in this music. The rhythm section's role and development of the music was as important and as out front as that of the winds. The thinking and impact in this sense was more interactive and more truly orchestral.
The existing recordings don't reveal the actual breadth and energy of what I remember hearing (especially the centrality of Danny Spencer's exuberant and inventive drumming), and unfortunately for us here in posterity, you just had to have been there.
(Recently, Charles told me that MULTIDIRECTIONS was to be the group’s breakout concept album. There was a wholistic layout that allowed the compositions to be extended along the lines of Miles Ahead, Sketches of Spain, etc.. However, how the CJQ had actually wanted to present this music on MULTIDIRECTIONS didn't exactly get the most supportive response from Blue Note as it turned out, and this approach had to be deconstructed for the recording.)
Aethetically African derived musics may be perceived in terms of their close relationship with movement, either in a direct conjunction with dance or as kinetically sculptural in the sense of “dancing in your head” (to borrow Ornette Coleman's title). The CJQ, among other things, was particularly involved with opening up the potentials of what might be expressed and experienced in terms of motion.
(When I was listening to their music back then, I could feel the impact all of this, but what they were actually doing was still over my head. After some years of experimenting with getting to these kinds of sensations through my own music, I got a copy of MULTIDIRECTIONS from Danny and checked it out again.)
The special momentum of Snuck In develops from the dynamic tension among three different varieties of motion:
A 6/4 Vamp
Walking 4/4
3/4 marked by dotted half notes
Each of these states of motion, especially when placed side by side in contrast with each other, carries a distinctive sensation,
Vamps often have an effect of making time psychologically stand still, A vamp defines the size, shape and flavor of a moment, and it keeps coming back, over and over again. Time is going around in a circle. It doesn't go anywhere. Vamps can also function as Spirals in which energy builds up with each repetition, much as water accumulates behind a dam, or as a bow is drawn more taut.
Swinging 4/4 clearly goes straight ahead. In Snuck In, the 4/4 functions as the release of that stationary tension.
The impact of the episodes of 3/4 feels like the brakes coming on, of time moving almost backwards, crashing against breaking waves and such.
Put them all together in sequence at a quick tempo and you get an effect different than any of these particular grooves alone, but something that results only from their combination, Each of the states of motion collides and ripples across each other, as would our own listening dance/metronome sense also ripple across these brisk alterations in pattern, (The asymetrical groupings of 5 measures of 4/4 and 3/4 respectively makes each of these particular episodes a bit more unstable, and the slipping between meters arrives more unexpectedly.) The exact calibration and total effect of these specific alternations between contrasting rhythmic sensations, the overall rhythm of the movements between these varying states of movement, might be called Snuck In’s own particular metagroove.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Andrew Hill (courtesy of Blue Note Records) Posted by Hello

Andrew Hill Mosaic Select

by Andy Bleaden

Posted by Hello

This stunning find is the box set to die for for all Mosaic /Blue Note fans as it was a dream come true in all senses of the word. Mosaic originally released some of Hills best work on a set a while ago which took all his mid sixties sessions and some rare pieces too. This set became out of print and now fetches very high prices on Ebay. Since then Blue Note have issued a few of his later Blue Notes such as Grass Roots, Lift every Voice with extra tracks from other unissued sessions.

More recently Blue Note released Dance with Death to much aclaim but more importently a totally unissued collection on Passing Ships which left many fans demanding to know if there was any more left in the can ( which they knew there was) This material had been rejected before as unusable before clean masters were discovered. Passing Ships was such a success that Blue Note approached Andrew Hill to discuss releasing more of his unissued work. It resulted in a three disc set which cleaned out the vaults once and for all. An unheard of act for even major artists but for a jazz artist it was a strong investment.

The box set gathers together all of Andrew Hill remaining unissued material and along with stunning photos and texts gives listeners an opportunity to explore the full range of an artist that both Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff made an enormous personal investment in. The set includes a never on cd two fer that Blue Note issued in the 70's and a track seen only on a compilation. With the release of these sessions, recorded between 1967 and '70, every piece of music from Andrew Hill's Blue Note recordings has been issued.

This outstanding, unique pianist-composer is heard in a variety of contexts, and only six of the 31 selections on this set have ever been out in any form. Their common denominator is Andrew's brilliant improvisations and unique compositions. The 1970 sextet with trumpeter Charles Tolliver and saxophonists Pat Patrick and Bennie Maupin features six challenging pieces played with drive and swing. Some of the best writing in the set comes from two 1969 dates that pair Hill's quartet (Maupin, Ron Carter and Mickey Roker or Carlos Garnett, Richard Davis and Freddie Waits) with a fully integrated string quartet.

Three tunes from each of these projects were previously issued, but now the entire sessions have been newly remixed from the original eight-track tapes for release. A February 1967 session with saxophonists Robin Kenyatta and Sam Rivers features Hill's recorded debut at the organ on two selections, an instrument to which he returns for two pieces on his May 1967 trio date with Ron Carter and Teddy Robinson. From October 1967 comes a powerful septet date with Woody Shaw, Kenyatta, Rivers and Howard Johnson in the front line. Get hold of this one if you can!


Track Listing: Disc 1: Without Malice; Ocho Rios; Diddy Wah; Ode to Infinity; The Dance; Satin Lady; Ocho Rios (second version); Monkash; Mahogany.

Disc 2: Illusion; Poinsettia; Fragments; Soul Mate; Illusion (alternate take); Interfusion; Resolution; Chained; MOMA; Nine at the Bottom; Six at the Top; Nine at the Bottom (alternate take).

Disc 3:For Blue People Only; Enamorado; Mother's Tale; Oriba (first version); Oriba (second version); Awake; Now; I; Yomo; Prevue.

Personnel: Andrew Hill- piano, soprano saxophone on “Six at the Top,” organ on “Resolution” and “Nine at the Bottom;” Ron Carter, Richard Davis, Herbie Lewis, Cecil McBee- bass; Paul Motian, Ben Riley, Freddie Waits, Mickey Roker, Teddy Robinson- drums; Pat Patrick- flute, alto clarinet, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone; Bennie Maupin- flute, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Robin Kenyatta- alto saxophone; Sam Rivers- flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Carlos Garnett- tenor saxophone; Howard Johnson- baritone saxophone, tuba; Woody Shaw- trumpet; Charles Tolliver- trumpet, flugelhorn; Nadi Qamar- thumb piano; Sanford Allen- violin; Selwart Clarke, Booker Rowe, Al Brown- viola; Kermit Moore- cello.

Here is what All ABout Jazz said about it:

All but six of the 31 tracks on this 3-CD boxed set from Mosaic have never been issued before. Recorded between 1967 and 1970, the mainstream jazz on Andrew Hill's Mosaic Select 16 represents the last remaining unissued sessions from his Blue Note years. All the compositions are Hill's. Using a sextet, trio and septet format, the pianist creates torrents of improvised sounds that bring his ensembles together with clarity and a cohesive interface. Hill communicates with his audience through a driving rhythmic groove and through the music's myriad impressions. Like a suite of ideas, each piece casts changing moods along the way. Ensemble phrasing and individual soloing combine to layer each piece with spontaneity.

With saxophonists Pat Patrick and Bennie Maupin, trumpeter Charles Tolliver, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Ben Riley, Hill creates seven tracks that whisper the essence of jazz. Nothing can be taken for granted. Each bend in the trail calls for a surprising lift. With bassist Richard Davis, saxophonists Maupin or Carlos Garnett, drummers Freddie Waits or Mickey Roker and strings, the pianist lays down seven tracks that continue to push the envelope. Dramatic intensity increases, as Hill explores the thrills of communicating openly with the element of surprise at hand. He reaches for the piano's uppermost and bottommost keys, as he swirls the ensemble's emotions around solid themes.

As “Soul Mate” romps evenly at a hip tempo with its cool rhythmic stride, the pianist toys with the string section. He draws upon the artists in his ensemble to create a relaxed scene where the audience can feel at home while witnessing refreshingly original material. With drummer Teddy Robinson and bassist Carter, the pianist creates seven exciting tracks that place more emphasis on his solo artistry. His off-center rhythmic phrases and multi-dimensional chording define the individualistic qualities of his music. Bass and drums lend strong support and climb out eagerly with improvised bouts of passion.

Hill's use of organ lends a dramatic flair, while his soprano saxophone outing on “Six at the Top” adds an exotic touch. As he trades fours with Carter, Hill's saxophone sings out in the manner of a snake charmer at the local bazaar. With trumpeter Woody Shaw, saxophonists Robin Kenyatta, Howard Johnson and Sam Rivers, bassist Herbie Lewis and drummer Robinson, the pianist creates five tracks that stretch boundaries. Kenyatta's hot approach lends a significant twist to “For Blue People Only,” while Shaw's “Oriba” solo flows evenly with a beautiful luster.

With Johnson on tuba, the piece comes in two versions, each capturing the best part of Mosaic Select 16. Rivers and Kenyatta help Hill create a powerful storm of emotion that lets his audience absorb and relate. They return for the compilation's final five tracks, along with drummer Robinson, bassist Cecil McBee, and Nadi Qamar at the thumb piano. Somewhat more mellow, the ensemble lounges for a while with graceful postures. Rivers' flute solo on “Awake” and his tenor solo on “Now” provide stirring examples of the heartfelt emotion that goes into his performances. “I” proves cacophonous, while “Yomo” moves sensuously behind a graceful thumb piano introduction designed to evoke natural emotion.

The compilation ends with “Prevue,” a hawkish monster of free jazz that includes the use of organ to disseminate dramatic forces throughout the ensemble. Cohesiveness breaks down, as the artists each go their own way with emphasis.

These previously unreleased sessions provide an all-encompassing look at the eclectic nature of pianist and composer Andrew Hill.