Saturday, 21 July 2018

Zebulon from Germany 1980

A fusion album which is oh so similar to the others from this era in Deutschland, like the exemplary Nimbus though inevitably and sadly not as good,  but with titles like "Opium Haut Opi Um," Pudding Explosion," and "Zombie D' Amour:"

you know there will be some progressive tendencies, at least...

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Ken Narita's First Album from 1971


So thanks to our friend PR for covering my holidays as a locum-- I appreciated the respite from the chores of posting, and let it be said most of my summer is still unfortunately spent babysitting young children who are still not yet, thanks be to god, addicted to social media and the internet in general plus texting on their phones.  Yes, let it be said there is much to recommend the innocence of childhood-- by innocence I mean unexposed to the uber-idiotic youtube that is.  And I suppose I have some of that childhood spirit too since I wish said summer holiday would last much much longer, without the intrusion of electronics.  PR? Not in the Cape again are you?

As I mentioned before in relation to his 1972 album, this one is not quite as strong, but still pleasant in the usual early 70s SSW Japanese style (as in the early Fukamachi I posted).  Note it's not recorded in the database.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Czeslaw Bartkowski - Drums Dream (POL - 1977)

I often avoid albums in which the drummer is the leader. Drums are a rhythm instrument. Who wants to hear a self-indulgent time-keeper playing a lead role? But when the backing band features the likes of Tomasz Stańko on trumpet, as this release does, you can expect a strong group effort. Bartkowski shines, but so does everyone else. This is among the best releases I've heard in the Polish Jazz Series.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Bob Brown and Joe Clark with the Entourage Music and Theatre Ensemble (Limited Time Only)

First up, all apologies (cf. Curt) for the extended holiday but all thanks too to PR for kicking in to give me a break at the beach (my turn, sucker...)

I was stunned when a friend sent to me the CD compilation of unreleased Entourage Music Group material, a band (discography here) I had never even heard of, but which was highly reminiscent of some of the best chamber music compositions on the Evergreen College albums-- remember those?  So we're talking intellectual progressive jazz here, along the lines of Oregon for example.  Going back into their (only 2) LP releases it's obvious we are dealing with some highly trained musicians with strong classical musical educations.  In particular, the guitarist reminds me so much of Ralph Towner on a track called Neptune Rising:

Alternatively you could say it's like the fabulous Icarus from Paul Winter that so blew me away last summer.  The thoughtfulness and emotion and intellectual drive just drive me to tears.  Speaking of which, one of the best tracks from the CD compilation has exactly that title:

Reminds me a little of a modernized version of Ravel's famous string quartets.  Subsequently reaching back into the oeuvre of these fine talents, I found the founder / leader of the group whose name is Joe Clark, created a mini-masterpiece with SSW Bob Brown in 1971 called Willoughby's Lament, consider this track called Interlude:

That series of chords accompanied by violins that follows each chorus really gets to me...
Will the musical wonders never cease?

The Entourage Music and Theater Ensemble was an ambient music group. The group was active from 1970 to 1983 and performed in theaters in combination with dance ensembles. 

The primary members were founder and director Joe Clark (2) on saxophones and keyboards; Rusti Clark on viola and guitar; Michael Smith (9) on drums and percussion; and Wall Matthews on guitars, keyboards, and percussion. 

Entourage formed in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 70's, relocated to Millbrook, New York, then moved to New London, Connecticut in the mid-seventies and finally re-settled in the Baltimore, Maryland area. The group disbanded after the death of Joe Clark in 1983.
From wikipedia

I didn't include the CD, but bunched the remainder into one big file.  Enjoy....

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Sami Swoi - The Locust (Polish Jazz, Vol. 67) (POL - 1982)

More from the Polish Jazz Series; this time a release from Sami Swoi, a well-known (in Poland, anyway) big band, playing "Round Midnight," a blues medley and more. 

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Michel Urbaniak - Constellation In Concert (Polish Jazz, Vol. 59) (POL - 1973)

Another Urbaniak release from the Polish jazz series.  Posted in lossless, but will post in MP3 if requested.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Michal Urbaniak's Group - Live Recording (Polish Jazz, Vol.24) (POL - 1971)

Like the Mini Jazz Club series, there's a generally sublime series of recordings of Polish jazz, of which this recording is #24.  It's pre-fusion Urbaniak and has an intensity I find lacking in his later recordings.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Piotr Figiel - Piotr (POL - 1970)

With all of the attention this blog has given Czech jazz and jazz-rock, we thought it would be a good idea to spend a bit of time posting some Polish jazz.  This release, which is heavy on the Hammond organ is certainly a product of its time, but in a very cool way.  And who doesn't like Hammond organ?

More Jun Fukamachi and probably the last one, this time for real: the rare 1982 Soundtrack to "Die Frau Mit Dem Roten Hut"

Sadly with this album I will have to close the book on the wonderful discography of Jun, who has given me, and hopefully you, so much pleasure in the last few months discovering his lost works.

From our wonderful resource the imdb,

In 1923 a Japanese comes to Munich and immediately falls in love with a street artist with a red hat, without knowing her past is. She turns to the Japanese, for the first time she thinks she has found her really great love- exotic strangers attract her. They say a lot, but they do not understand each other - but they can show their love. Nevertheless, the relationship is doomed to failure from the beginning. Disappointment, death and loss.

Not enough info in the synopsis to tell us the quality.

Clearly B1 競輪選手の死 whatever it's called introduces some really progressive composing:

The closing theme is just lovely--
Remember those days when soundtracks could have genuinely great music on a par with the best albums, not filled with has-been hits, facile radio pop songs, or generic symphonic orchestral garbage?