27 maggio 2006

ALIAS supplemento de il manifesto ha oggi un articolo su Phil Manzanera, con stralci di intervista piena di riferimenti anche a Robert Wyatt. Riporto qui solo la chiusura:
"Quando ho realizzato il mio nuovo studio, ho voluto espressamente che potesse essere comodo anche per Robert Wyatt: infatti quando registra i suoi album, praticamente vive lì... Robert, Alfie, io e mia moglie siamo molto amici: per me è un musicista straordinario, un meraviglioso pensatore e la sua musica è davvero molto speciale. Recentemente ho partecipato a un bel documentario della BBC sulla vita e la carriera di Robert. Fortunatamente negli ultimi anni la sua attività è stata abbastanza riconosciuta: finalmente può davvero essere considerato una sorta di tesoro nazionale! Nei prossimi mesi dovrebbe venire nel mio studio per registrare materiale per un nuovo album..."

26 maggio 2006

Esce ufficialmente a inizio luglio il nuovo album di Soft Machine Legacy, inciso in studio lo scorso settembre dallo stesso quartetto di Live In Zaandam:

Elton Dean saxello, alto sax, Fender Rhodes, percussion
John Etheridge electric guitar
Hugh Hopper electric bass
John Marshall drums, percussion

http://www.moonjunerecords.com/softmachinelegacy ci sono brevi assaggi dei brani (chissà perché vien voglia di cliccar per primo il n. 2...)

12 maggio 2006

Sarà bene metter da parte qualche soldino per acquistare in blocco i nuovi titoli (maggio 2006) Cuneiform. Difficile di questi tempi pensare a un set di uscite discografiche altrettanto entusiasmante. Bravo Steve Feigenbaum!

"Working within the instrumental parameters of the standard post-bop combo - piano, bass, drums and saxophones - the band situates itself in a space midway between what could be called Brit-Improv and American energy music...their sound is, if anything, more exhilarating than it has ever been."-Jazz Weekly. For almost two decades, this British free-jazz quartet has been working and refining their dynamic take on improvised jazz with the same quartet of musicians, all of whom are long-time mainstays on the English and European free-jazz scene: Paul Dunmall-saxes, Tony Levin-drums, Paul Rogers-7 string A.L.L. double bass and Keith Tippett-piano. On this, their sixth album for Cuneiform, they do what they have always done, which is to dig in and to investigate the music and where the music takes them, which in this case is a single, 45' long piece! "...the band has been together for many years, producing tasty, adventurous music that pushes the barriers of convention, but never sacrifices high standards. Each of these four musicians is a significant soloist, yet the totality of their balanced, collective sound is due to a certain synergy among them as they create sculptures of an almost transcendent nature... Grandstanding is discarded in favor of a more nuanced approach. Sometimes it even rises to the level of magnificence. The quartet forges a distinct sound, radical yet accessible, unconventional but comforting."-AMG

HARRY MILLER'S ISIPINGO [with MONGEZI FEZA, MARC CHARIG, MIKE OSBORNE, NICK EVANS, KEITH TIPPETT, LOUIS MOHOLO] - Which Way Now: Live In Bremen 1975 (Cuneiform 233; USA) Featuring Harry Miller, Louis Moholo, Keith Tippett, Mike Osborne, Nick Evans, Mongezi Feza! - excellent quality, never before released from Radio Bremen)
Bassist Harry Miller was born in South Africa, but he was the Brit-jazz bassist throughout the 1970s, playing with John Surman, Centipede, Mike Westbrook, Keith Tippett, Mike Osborne, King Crimson, Julie Tippetts, Alan Skidmore and Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, among many others, as well as co-founding the legendary Ogun label, which did so much to document the Brit-jazz scene in the 1970s. Harry's group, Isipingo, which he led for a number of years, could be compared to a smaller-scale, more "swinging" take on the wonderful kwela-influenced jazz of the Brotherhood. The band includes six of the greatest of Britain's jazzers of the mid 70's: Nick Evans-trombone, Mongezi Feza-trumpet, Harry Miller-double bass, Louis Moholo-drums, Mike Osborne-alto sax and Keith Tippett-piano. Which Way Now features over 70 minutes of music from a beautifully recorded radio concert from November 20, 1975; it sounds as if you are in the room right with the band! The package includes a 16 page booklet with a number of stunning, never-before seen photos, as well as extensive liner notes by Francesco Martinelli. Since Isipingo only released one album during their lifetime [re-issued in the 3CD Harry Miller box on Ogun], this release dramatically extends their legacy and like Cuneiform's important and historical work with the Brotherhood of Breath, brings this hugely enjoyable, nearly-forgotten music to a new audience.

SOFT MACHINE [MIKE RATLEDGE, ROBERT WYATT, HUGH HOPPER, ELTON DEAN] - Grides [CD + DVD] (Cuneiform 230/231; USA) a CD/DVD package with a great concert from 10/25/1970 on the CD AND a 20' DVD of the band on the German Beat Club TV show in March, 1971, which includes 8' of footage shot but never broadcast and taken from the original master video tapes for the best quality!
"Soft Machine was one of first and one of the greatest jazz/rock bands of all time. Their importance and influence was especially great in Europe, where they influenced several generations of bands, and their influences can still be heard to this day in so many bands. Grides presents the most famous version of the band (Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge, Robert Wyatt) recorded live at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on October 25, 1970, in a high-quality, previously unreleased recording, just a few months after the release of Third and at the peak of their popularity. It showcases them in transition between releases, with the band performing 3 of the four works from Third, as well as some of the earliest recordings of material from the upcoming Fourth, including some very different arrangements to what would eventually end up on that release. In addition, it features the earliest recording of Elton's Neo-Caliban Grides, which has a fairly lengthy composed section that was never heard again. Also included in this set is the first-ever DVD release by Soft Machine! It was recorded at the TV studios of Radio Bremen on the same date (March 23, 1971) as the radio session that Cuneiform released as Virtually, but is a completely different performance. This was the band's final European tour with Robert Wyatt and is a 20-minute set, professionally recorded by a multi-camera crew. The audio and video quality is excellent for the time period (over 35 years old now!), as we worked from the original videotape master in the archives of Radio Bremen. Bottom line: another excellent and essential archival release from a great band!" - Steve Feigenbaum, Wayside

ED PALERMO BIG BAND//FRANK ZAPPA - Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (Cuneiform 225; USA) For the last 12 years, Ed and his 15-piece band have been performing the music of Frank Zappa, and this recording captures his unique take on the master's compositions. Due to their regular gig schedule, this is an amazingly tight large ensemble
"In arranging Zappa's tunes for big band, Ed Palermo has thrown new light on his legacy while retaining the composer's original melodic and harmonic designs. The arrangements also leave plenty of room for the band's gifted soloists..."-The Washington Post. Ed Palermo is an alto sax player and arranger; he has had a big band for twenty-five years, which is an impressive feat in itself, and has had his band performing the music of Frank Zappa for over a decade. Years and years of playing these pieces in front of enthusiastic crowds at a number of venues in New York City and beyond have honed the band's skills with this difficult material to where they can glide through these charts as if they were butter. There are a number of ensembles performing the music of this great 20th century American composer, but no one does it with this ease, skill and originality; Ed is not afraid to turn a piece into a salsa number (the title track) or to take what was a one minute miniature and to develop it out into a six minute work. The band is a 15-piece ensemble of 6 woodwind players, two trumpeters, three trombonists, two keyboardists, bass and drums, plus a few guests. All of these musicians are NYC professionals, and they have been playing this music for years with Ed, because, like Ed, they recognize and appreciate the genius inherent in the huge body of Zappa's work, and they want to keep this great music alive and in front of the public. "[Palermo's] wisely chosen to emphasize Zappa's early and mid-career work, as that's the music which is more fluid and graceful--and more apt to swing ....reveals the lighthearted playfulness and rhythmic intelligence at the core of Zappa's best work..."-Downbeat.

HAMSTER THEATRE - The Public Execution of Mister Personality/Quasi Day Room [2 CD set] (Cuneiform 226/227; USA) "...a highly skilled chamber ensemble...offering a literate synthesis of rock, jazz and European folk forms. You can't really put this music into a tidy little compartment, but it's unforced, sophisticated and highly entertaining."-Alternative Press. Hamster Theatre straddle the edges of folk music, avant-garde, world music, early 20th century French composers, such as Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel, contemporary composition and many other musical forms, bringing together elements of all these styles while never sounding 'just like' any one of them. Using an instrumentation of accordion, keyboards, trombones, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, guitars, mandolin, bass, drums and percussion, their pieces are always filled with delightful melodies and surprising orchestrations. In addition to the new studio album included here, there is a second disc of the band's stupendous live performance from August, 2002 at The Moore Theatre in Seattle. This CD is a perfect compliment to the studio disc, as it shows the amazing performance that 'the Hamsters' can put on in a live environment; Hugh Hopper called this performance, "Some of the most interesting music and one of the best live shows I've seen for years." Both discs were mixed by Bob Drake, the noted musician/composer/producer/engineer.

02 maggio 2006

Esce in questi giorni un doppio CD di Soft Machine Legacy registrato a Parigi il 12 dicembre scorso. Lo pubblica inakustik con il titolo THE PARIS CONCERT - THE 40TH YEAR JUBILEE CELEBRATION, annunciandone una imminente versione anche su DVD.

Questa la breve scheda di presentazione:
As a celestial phenomenon neighboring the musical big bang of the Sixties, The Soft Machine Legacy echoes the melodious growl of an era when rock'n'roll, blues, jazz, jazz-rock, funk, soul, pop were, as yet, nothing more than a magma of sounds challenging the musicians' ability to shape the course of music to come. In those days, Soft Machine symbolized the uncompromising dialog between those rock and jazz musicians who were determined to create a synthesis of the untamed energy of rock and the improvisational thrust of jazz.
Forty years later, The Soft Machine Legacy musicians have not forsaken their dreams. Immune to the leveling pressures of show biz, Hugh Hopper, John Marshall, John Etheridge and Elton Dean - who died shortly after this last reunion at the New Morning - still mesmerized their fans. Whether the cheeks be rosy, or the heads speckled with grey: freedom is ageless.
Recorded: December 12th 2005