Friday, 1 May 2020

VA ‎– Spiritual Jazz (Esoteric, Modal + Deep Jazz From The Underground 1968-77) (2009)

Style: Free Jazz, Space-Age, Modal, Soul-Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Jazzman, Now-Again Records

Tracklist:
01.   James Tatum Trio - Plus Introduction
02.   Lloyd Miller - Gol-E Gandom
03.   Morris Wilson Beau Bailey Quintet - Paul's Ark
04.   P.E. Hewitt Jazz Ensemble - Bada Que Bash
05.   Mor Thiam - Ayo Ayo Nene
06.   The Lightmen Plus One - All Praises To Allah (Parts & Two - Edit)
07.   Ndikho Xaba & The Natives - Nomusa
08.   Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band - Neveen
09.   The Positive Force With Ade Olatunji - The Afrikan In Winter
10.   The Frank Derrick Total Experience - No Jive
11.   Hastings Street Jazz Experience - Ja Mil
12.   Ronnie Boykins - The Will Come, Is Now
13.   Leon Gardner - Be There
14.   Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble - Psych City

Credits:
Compiled By, Research – Malcolm Catto
Compiled By, Research, Liner Notes – Hugo Mendez
Reissue Producer, Compiled By, Research, Liner Notes – Gerald Short

SPIRITUAL JAZZ, SOUL JAZZ, BLACK JAZZ, FREE JAZZ: these terms emerged in the late 60s / early 70s to describe a moment in music that was being increasingly defined by the rife socio-political climes surrounding the jazz world. Some of these recordings have gone on to such adoration, they eclipse the decades of foundational jazz that precede it; others languish in obscurity and are quickly forgotten, only to be dredged up by discerning sound seekers like the gang at UK’s Jazzman Records. This first volume of the Spiritual Jazz series was originally released in 2008, collecting 12 sides of avant-garde and politically-charged soul jazz by scene fixtures from the American underground and beyond. From Egyptian drummer Salah Ragab to third-string Arkestra bassist Ronnie Boykins, none of these artists will likely be familiar even to the most seasoned heads, let alone household names. As such, many of the original pressings from whence these recordings originally appeared are now impossibly rare - Jazzman does the deep digging (and licensing) here so you don’t have to. The series has since grown to become one of the most reliable surveys of this music and its various strains plucked from the worldwide jazz diaspora, and volume 1 is a near-perfect primer for anyone humbly looking to expand their jazz horizons. Check out James Tatum Trio Plus’ neutralizing “Introduction,” Morris Wilson Beau Bailey Quintet’s funky “Paul's Ark,” Hastings Street Jazz Experience’s widescreen “Ja Mil” or The Frank Derrick Total Experience’s self-explanatory “No Jive” for a taste. Limited double vinyl repress with remastered audio and extensive liner notes executed in signature Jazzman style, recommended.
Nick Nightingale / Turntable Lab

VA ‎– Spiritual Jazz Volume 7 - Islam (2017)

Style: Free Jazz, Modal, Free Improvisation
Format: CD, VinylFLAC
Label: Jazzman Records Ltd.

Tracklist:
01.   Maurice McIntyre - Humility In The Light Of Creator (alt. version)
02.   Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio With Malachi Favors & Ari Brown Feat. Pharoah Sanders - Africanos/Latinos
03.   Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim Feat. The Times At Hand Orchestra - Kalahari Suite
04.   Creative Arts Ensemble - Uhuru
05.   East New York Ensemble De Music - Mevlana
06.   Idrees & Jamila Sulieman - The Camel
07.   Yusef Lateef - Morning
08.   Sabu Martinez & Sahib Shihab - Nus
09.   Abdelrahman ‘Abdo’ Elkhatib Feat. Solar Plexus - Ah Ya Zen
10.   The Lightmen Plus One - All Praises To Allah (parts 1 & 2)
11.   Ahmed Abdul-Malik - Nadusilma
12.   Dawan Muhammad - Taumbu

The latest instalment of Jazzman’s excellent Spiritual Jazz series profiles the influence of Islam on some of the genre’s key players. 
Islam has had an ongoing relationship with jazz since the 40s, when the Ahmadiyya school took on many converts amongst the African- American community. Though early advocates including Art Blakey and Ahmad Jamal displayed little influence of their faith in recordings, multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef was to prove a key trailblazer in opening up jazz to reflect Eastern influences. Included here, his contemplative 1957 cut Morning gently evokes the east with its softly plucked Indian Rabaab. 
While Lateef’s path was taken up by other musicians in the 60s (represented here by Idrees Sulieman’s Arabic-tinged big band bopper The Camel and Ahmed Abdul- Malik’s oud-heavy Nadusilma), it wasn’t until the following decade that its influence spread beyond appropriation of musical tropes. Inspired by John Coltrane’s example, many musicians pursued a more determinedly spiritual direction. The best of the examples featured here, East New York Ensemble De Music’s stately 1974 track Mevlana, combines African rhythms and Turkish religious melodies with a search for divine transcendence. 
Paul Bowler / Record Collector

Três Tristes Tigres ‎– Mínima Luz (2020)

Genre: Electronic, Rock, Pop
Format: FLAC, CD
Label: Nor On Label

1.   Galanteio
2.   Jasmim
3.   À tona
4.   Estado de espírito
5.   Língua franca
6.   Tigre
7.   Curativo
8.   Purpurina
9.   Surrealina

Credits:
Ana Deus - Voz
Rui Martelo - Baixo
Fred Ferreira, Gustavo Costa - Percussão
Angelica Salvi - Harpa
Alexandre Soares - Guitarras, Sintetizadores, Percussão e Programação

Com um legado ímpar na cena artística portuguesa, Ana Deus e Alexandre Soares têm uma linguagem e estética muito próprias que os distingue quando se fala de Arte. Da música à dança, passando pelo teatro e a literatura, não têm fronteiras e os vários projectos que têm desenvolvido são disso um bom exemplo. Da palavra cantada à dita, a solo ou como Osso Vaidoso – projecto que têm em comum desde 2010 e com o qual já editaram dois discos –, Ana Deus e Alexandre Soares continuam a ter o que dizer e “Mínima Luz” é a prova. Desafiados pelo Porto Best Of – Rivoli a vestirem a pele de Três Tristes Tigres em 2017, para comemoração do 20.º aniversário do álbum de estreia, “Guia Espiritual”, ficou claro que ainda havia vontade de ouvir e espaço para a dupla.

“Mínima Luz”, o disco que marca o regresso dos Três Tristes Tigres aos originais, é editado sexta-feira, 1 de Maio, em CD e em formato digital. No final de Maio estará também disponível em vinil. 
O desejado sucessor de “Comum” (1998) – o terceiro álbum da dupla que se estreou em 1993 com “Partes Sensíveis”, ao qual se seguiu “Guia Espiritual” (1996) – foi composto e produzido por Alexandre Soares e Ana Deus e conta com a participação do baterista Fred Ferreira, do baixista Rui Martelo, do percussionista Gustavo Costa e da harpista Angélica Salvi, e com cinco poemas originais de Regina Guimarães, um de Luca Argel, um de Ana Deus e traduções adaptadas de poemas de William Blake e Langston Hughes.

“Para este disco comecei por sugerir que a temática se aproximasse de profecias ou rezas, desejos. Sair, na medida do possível, da realidade diária já tão multiplicada em notícias, partilhas e comentários. Mas esquecer o tema também foi importante e inevitável, as circunstâncias de cada um também se manifestaram. O resto resultou de uma rotina quase diária de ensaios e gravações ao longo de dois anos”, explica Ana Deus. 
Alexandre Soares enquadra o processo de composição: “A sonoridade foi construída nos últimos dois anos e reflecte esse caminho. A composição e a estrutura do som foram desenvolvidas entre o encontro de guitarras eléctricas de vertente mais rock ou processadas, e acústicas mais espacializadas em contraponto a sintetizadores modulares, e sampler granular. É um retorno à electrónica com percussão acústica a complementar, e também a associar convidados com empatia musical forte. Mas não é a soma das partes que define o som dos Três Tristes Tigres, é a vontade de estar presente no hoje, e ser parte dele também.” 
“Língua Franca”, “À  Tona” e “Galanteio” foram os primeiros singles de “Mínima Luz”, uma edição de autor, que é composta por nove temas. Gravado no Estúdio Sonoscopia, foi misturado no Estúdio Meifumado por Zé Nando Pimenta (excepto “Estado de Espírito” e “Jasmim”, misturados no Estúdio Sonoscopia por Alexandre Soares), e masterizado por Miguel Marques Arda Recording Co. 
Devido ao Estado de Emergência, e enquanto não abrem as lojas de discos, “Mínima Luz” está  disponível por encomenda através do mail (correiodostigres@gmail.com). Os interessados podem encomendar o CD e receber um exemplar em casa, por 10€ + portes de envio.
Comunidade Cultura e Arte

José Mauro ‎– Obnoxius (1970)

Genre: Jazz, Latin, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Quartin, Far Out Recordings

Tracklist:
A1.   Obnóxius
A2.   Tarde De Núpcias
A3.   Memória
A4.   Ponto De Chamada
A5.   As Aventuras Sentimentais De Espiroqueta Camargo
B1.   Talismã
B2.   Arraial Da Lua Cheia
B3.   Ancoradouro
B4.   Canção Da Casa Iluminada
B5.   Apocalipse
B6.   Exaltação E Lamento Do Último Rei

Credits:
Acoustic Guitar – José Mauro
Alto Saxophone – Paulo Moura
Bass – Sebastião Marinho
Violin Conductor – Roberto Quartin
Drums – Wilson das Neves
Flute – Altamiro Carrilho
Guitar – Geraldo Vespar
Organ, Piano, Harpsichord – Salvador
Percussion – Juquinha, Mamao
Tambora – Rildo Hora
Trumpet – Maurilio
Arranged By – Lindolfo Gaya
Producer – Roberto Quartin

The oddly-titled Obnoxius bears precious little, and yet quite curious, baggage. Little is known about its original 1971 release other than it came out on a label founded by Brazilian producer Roberto Quartin, who also worked with Eumir Deodato. 
We seem to know even less about songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and arranger Jose Mauro. We know he co-composed Obnoxius with Brazilian writer and journalist Ana Maria Bahiana, and, from its lushly layered sound, that Mauro greatly admired the orchestral arrangements of Lindolfo Gaya, one of Brazil's most accomplished composers, arrangers and orchestrators. 
But there his trail stops: He seems to have disappeared before Obnoxius was finalized for release. Rumors of his disappearance include him being abducted by the Brazilian military to silence his voice, or being killed in a fatal car accident. Eventually, Quartin finished Mauro's project with subtle yet brilliant string arrangements and released Obnoxius. 
45 years later, as the first title in Far Out Recordings' planned series of Brazilian label reissues, Obnoxius unveils deep and mysterious, dreamlike—almost subliminal—music. Like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Mauro does not sing with exceptional vocal technique but wins your ears over with the great feeling and nimble phrasing of his plaintive, genuinely warm voice. In the opening, title track, his spoken word vocal flutters like a bird trapped in its mainstream 1960s jazz brass arrangement. "Tarde Nupcias," a glorious combination of percussion, guitar, horns and strings, lasts little more than two minutes but renders emotion and ideas so much bigger than that. Built upon swirling strings, Bahiana's mid-song recitation and Mauro's acoustic guitar chords, strummed more hard and dark, "Memoria" suggests an acoustic prayer played as a whisper by the Velvet Underground. 
Resoundingly ominous chords open and close Mauro's political protest "Apocalipse," which Wilson das Neves moves with slight yet powerful drum strokes, the pulsating sound of Dom Um Romao's legendary performance on the classic Francis Albert Sinatra / Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967, Reprise). The end of "Apocalipse" melts into the opening of "Exaltacao e Lamento de Ultimo Rei," a vocal ensemble piece that joyously, colorfully dances upon percussive Brazilian rhythms into this set's closing fade.
Track Listing
Chris M. Slawecki / All About Jazz

The Ahmad Jamal Trio ‎– The Awakening (1971)

Genre: Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Impulse!, ABC Records, MCA Records

Tracklist:
A1.   The Awakening
2A.   I Love Music
A3.   Patterns
B1.   Dolphin Dance
B2.   You're My Everything
B3.   Stolen Moments
B4.   Wave

Credits:
Bass – Jamil Nasser
Drums – Frank Gant
Piano – Ahmad Jamal
Producer – Ed Michel

Miles Davis was a great admirer and defender of the pianist Ahmad Jamal, who in the 1950s was not taken seriously by many jazz critics. But the sublime ear of Miles Davis instead recognized a light, exquisite touch, one of varied complexity despite Jamal’s commercial success. 
“I loved his lyricism on piano, the way he played, and the spacing he used in the ensemble voicings of his groups,” Miles wrote in 1989. “ I have always thought Ahmad Jamal was a great piano player who never got the recognition he deserved.” 
That recognition would eventually come, and Jamal’s stature has only grown over the decades. The Awakening, recently reissued on vinyl by Be With Records, is a fine example of Jamal’s stately—and understated—elegance punctuated with doodles of whimsy. The album, recorded in early February 1970, is made up of two Jamal originals, a standard, and pieces by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Oliver Nelson, and Herbie Hancock, a pianist of similar disposition who Miles famously hired in his “Second Great Quintet.”

In Michael Jarrett’s new book, Pressed For All Time, Ed Michel, who produced the original album for Impulse!, remembers that “Jamal absolutely knew what he wanted to record….We were recording during Ramadan. He was fasting during the day, until sunset. The only real condition was, he said, ‘At six fifteen, we’ve got to take a break. You’ve got to tell us precisely. We’re all hungry.’” 
The “we” Jamal is likely referring to is his working trio at the time, the drummer Frank Gant and bassist Jamil Nasser, who sounds especially inspired on this outing. Hip-hop was still years away, but by the 1980s, MCs would begin sampling Jamal extensively—The Awakening in particular. The compelling Jamal-penned title track, for instance, turned up in Gang Starr’s 1989 “DJ Premier In Deep Concentration” and in Shadez Of Brooklyn’s “Change.” The following track, “I Love Music” (written by Hale Smith and Emil Boyd), is almost a total solo performance for Jamal. It ended up on a classic recording of a different kind, nearly a quarter-century later, Illmatic, where Nas, intimately connected with the jazz idiom, and producer Pete Rock used Jamal’s lush interpretation on “The World Is Yours.” When the esteemed jazz critic Leonard Feather—of whom Miles also approved—wrote in The Awakening’s original liner notes that “Ahmad Jamal is one of the most pianistic of pianists,” it’s especially resonant here. 
Taking on pieces like Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance” and Nelson’s “Stolen Moments,” as memorable a composition as anything from the 1960s, is trickier considering the drama that the horns—and what horns!—provided in the originals: George Coleman on the former; Nelson on the latter, with Eric Dolphy on flute; and Freddie Hubbard on both. Jamal’s versions are truncated and stripped down—his “Dolphin Dance” is quickened, too—but they still manage to stir. “You’re My Everything,” the only standard on the set, popularized by Billy Eckstine, Nat Cole, and Sarah Vaughan, is almost unrecognizable in Jamal’s hands, but has, like much on this album, a wonderful playfulness, especially at either end of the keyboard, with deep, perfectly-placed thumps with his left hand answered by fanciful phrases in the highest register. 
Feather’s last line in the notes, written forty-seven years ago, still may say it best: “…for youngsters and newcomers, let this album serve as a delightful if belated awakening.”
Michael J. Agovino / Pitchfork

Brown, Reininger, Bodson ‎– Clear Tears | Troubled Waters / MTM VOL. 39 (2013)

Genre: Rock, Classical, Stage & Screen
Format: CD
Label: Crammed Discs, Made To Measure

Tracklist:
01.   Caged Bass
02.   Less-More
03.   Tears Matrix
04.   String Crossing
05.   Second Part
06.   Utopia
07.   In A New World
08.   Incantato
09.   Agoria
10.   Five Not One
11.   BB
12.   Seven Not Five
13.   Fibo
14.   Incantato Reprise
15.   Ouverture
16.   Tears Crossing

Credits:
Recorded By – Daniel Léon, Jarek Frankowski
Electronics, Bass, Voice, Score Editor – Maxime Bodson
Piano, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Voice – Steven Brown
Violin, Bass, Guitar, Vocals – Blaine L. Reininger
Written-By – Blaine L. Reininger, Maxime Bodson, Steven Brown