Saturday, 4 April 2020

Back to White, Green and Red with New Faces (1991)

Remember these Bulgarian guys from long, long ago?   They made the magnificent progressive jazz LP called Don Juan (I think) then I bought their other seventies one that preceded that, not realizing they had one more set up their sleeve from much much later.  But they were uncompromising artists, or maybe as was typical for Eastern Europe, cut off from the rest of the world's zeitgeist, because this album sounds very much like it was made in the early 80s, with odd and bizarre chords and ideas mixing the folk melodies that were such a part of slavic jazz or fusion records of the period.  The only concession to the late year is the last song, the title track, but even that one sounds totally out of place in the setting of the year 1991, when Nirvana and alternative were all set to break out into the mainstream and leave old dinos Guns 'n' Roses in the dust.

Really, a stunner, and once again a lesson, that you have to try to complete these artists'   discographies.

The track called Reminiscence, by the keyboardist Peter Jourkov, made me literally scream and metaphorically fall off my chair, yet again:

Thursday, 2 April 2020

By request, the missing Christian Escoude Quintet's Reunion (1976)

We have covered this French jazz/fusion/prog guitarist extensively in the past on this blog (most recently here, which also turned out to be the most popular of the albums I posted!).  I actually really love some of his work which combines the French tendency for delicatesse with inventive and well-thought-out compositions that are far from hackneyed (like the US jazz I grew up on, add wink emoticon).  Someone gave a brief review on the discogs entry for this LP:

Fantastic Guitar Jazz record with many influences. Huge line up with Franck Able (Cane and Able, Afro Lafayette Rock Band and Bobby Boyd Congress) and Jean Querlier (Confluence & Dharma). Recommended!

For those familiar with those stalwarts of the seventies scene like Dharma Quintet, Confluence, etc., this is very similar and applicable.

Note all the nonsense titles, except for the first one.  The last track, called Eric et Raph, is the most similar to the old Confluence stuff although the central section becomes a little bit too generically jazzy:

Don't worry, there are more great tracks in there...

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Back to the old University Jazz with the missing HUJE 1981 (Howard University Jazz Ensemble)

Here's an old wishlist album that suddenly popped up to my complete surprise.  It's from so long ago that I couldn't for the life of me remember why I wanted to buy it, but I'm assuming my reasoning was sound.  Lately this assumption has been frequently tested, though it obtains for the most part when I'm in a relaxed state.  Which is a rarity, nowadays.  You can use the search function at the top left hand to find two other posts from these guys, HUJE '83 and '84.

It's the standard big band college music we have heard so often here before.  Information is here, as usual.

The amazing first track, called Caronstan:

I'm going to do something I've never done before and provide lossless rips for these records for everyone in the next little while so we can enjoy a bit of quarantine time.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

By request, Osiris Featuring Toto Blanke & Charlie Mariano‎, recorded 1978

Somebody pointed this out to me long ago, and it took this long for it to surface for sale.  Long before any pandemic was on the horizon.  Everyone now can have a listen.  I don't think I need to mention the two famous artists involved here, but note that the remainder of the musicians are not so well known.  It seems to be a one-off band in a live performance, with information included here.

Note that the sound of the recording is not ideal, and I'm being a little uncharacteristically complimentary, being on a par with some really rough and ready primitive mikes, maybe hidden in someone's briefs for the chief purpose of impressing a lady companion.  The first track in particular might drive you a little crazy in some parts as it did me with its static non-white noise.  Luckily that's a short drive for me.

There is a bit of eastern stuff, a bit of fusion, some nice electric and some nice acoustic guitar stuff.  All over the place, but more jazzy in general than I would've expected given those two huge talents dominating the set.  The duet of them 2 is nice and has the advantage of being familiar:

Recorded November 16th 1978, Festsaal Schweriner Schloß, Schwerin.
More requests upcoming.

Stay safe and be careful out there and let's hope the music sees us through to the day when it will be all carefree again like it was before...

Friday, 27 March 2020

Ron Johnston / Ian McDougall / Oliver Gannon - Rio (1988)

Here's a surprisingly late album coming in as follow-up to the Three from 48 hours ago, which has some more of that very mellow, very smooth jazz written in a highly competent manner.  The artists waste no time on the opener called Search with trombonist Ian McDougall setting up a nice unison melody with guitarist Gannon above the juicy electric keys:

I love when pianist Ron Johnston solo plays his electric keyboard magic, on Free Recall:

It's just jazz, but it's really well written jazz.