Week Ending 24th October
After nearly six decades, a private recording of a rare, nightclub performance by John Coltrane of his magnum opus, A Love Supreme, has a commercial release. Recorded in late 1965 on the culminating evening of a historic week-long run at The Penthouse in Seattle, A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle is a musical revelation of historic importance, capturing Coltrane as he began to expand his classic quartet—adding Pharoah Sanders on second saxophone and Donald Garrett on second bass—and catapulting him into the intense, spiritually focused final phase of his career. The album A Love Supreme Live in Seattle released on October 8, on Impulse! Records
The significance of A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle is heightened by the fact that Coltrane seldom performed his four-part suite after originally recording it in the studio in 1964. Composed and created as a public declaration of his personal spiritual beliefs and universalist sentiment, it became a best-seller and received a GRAMMY nod the next year. For more than six decades, it seemed the only recorded public performance of A Love Supreme took place at a French festival at Juan-Les-Pains in July 1965 and was released almost twenty years ago. The tape reels containing this performance from October 1965 sat in the private collection of Seattle saxophonist and educator Joe Brazil, heard by a few fortunate musicians and friends—and largely unknown until now.
A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle is a fascinating and rare performance of the full suite, marked by a looser and more improvisational approach, and a overriding sense of communal participation—much like a Sunday church service; the lineup featured John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders on saxophones, McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison and Donald (Rafael) Garrett on basses. Carlos Ward, then a young saxophonist just getting started on the scene, sat in as well.
As music historian Ashley Kahn puts it in the liner notes, A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle “offers the first evidence of the master of spiritual expression performing his signature work in the close confines of a jazz club…on October 2, 1965, a Saturday, in Seattle, the necessary elements were in alignment: music, players, venue, a spirit of connection, a certain political charge. Coltrane chose to perform it, and significantly, the moment was recorded.”
Kahn’s extensive liner notes tell the story of A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle not only through the words of the musicians themselves, but also through a number of witnesses whose lives were changed by Coltrane’s visit to Seattle in 1965 (his sole visit to the city as a leader), including Brazil, Ward, and bassist David Friesen, who states: “I’ve always pursued the spiritual aspect of the music and I still do. I remember sitting with Coltrane during one break that week and…what touched me was the way he treated other people. He showed mercy and kindness to people from what I could see around me for the week that I was there.”
The music on A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle was recorded with a two-microphone set-up onstage, connected to an Ampex reel-to-reel machine, and the only copies of the tapes were well cared for, yielding a remarkably clear and distortion-free recording. “What’s remarkable is that tapes from this era often suffer over the years from heat or moisture damage, or simply being stacked horizontally,” writes engineer Kevin Reeves who produced this release. “However, these tapes are in excellent condition… and the results are among the best amateur recordings of John Coltrane we’ve had the pleasure to work on.”
The story of the A Love Supreme suite is the story of John Coltrane—his musical journey, and his spiritual path. It has become one of the most celebrated and influential recordings to come out of the jazz canon, revered and studied by musicians far beyond the jazz realm. Rolling Stone magazine consistently lists it among the top albums of all time. “Of his many musical creations, Coltrane looked upon A Love Supreme in a very special light,” Kahn notes in the liner notes to A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle. “He called A Love Supreme a ‘humble offering to the Divine; no other composition or recording was similarly offered nor did he append his signature to any other work. A Love Supreme was as much an individual testament as it was a public statement—a sermon of universalist belief.” A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle now expands the story of both a great musician and a timeless piece of music.
Eduardo Elia’s new release, a solo piano project, pays homage to Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, inspired by and grounded in his proclamation that, “The expression ‘atonal music’ is most unfortunate, it is on a par with calling flying ‘the art of not falling.” In 1911, Schoenberg composed his now-renowned “6 Little Piano Pieces Op19,” a project that challenged the parameters established until then. He was searching for a spontaneous sound that would emulate a free association of ideas, especially as they were produced by improvisation, “an expression of the feeling as if it were really the feeling.” A century later, Eduardo Elia used these six short pieces as an initial point to improvise, by rereading the written material and, once presented, improvising on it. To close the recording, in ‘The Art of Not Falling,’ a freely improvised take pays homage to the music developed by Schoenberg during that era. The resulting project is an elegant and simple series of compositions that simultaneously draws on the music of the Austrian composer, but reveals the personal voice of the contemporary Argentinian pianist. Releases December 10th on Orbit 577
Adventures of Salvador
The ever reliable Paul Forshaw recorded the Salvador’s gig on October 15th at AATMA, Manchester. Mr Doyle sent it over and Mr Beck agreed that we might release it after some mastering and eq had been applied. There are nine tracks adding up to 41 minutes, there’s the new single Skin ‘n’ Bones and three new tracks Where Have The Cowboys Gone?, Never Get A Penny Out Of Me, and, The Brain of Eno. As usual the band is on fire – Lux Interior meets Johnny Rotten in a Jeffrey Lee Pierce fever dream, blooming marvellous! It will be out early December.
Emma Famin – Bass clarinet and compositions
Juan Bayón – Double bass
Andrés Elstein – Drums
After many years of participating in the jazz scene in Buenos Aires as a saxophonist, Limbo is Emma Famin’s first project as a bass clarinetist. In this way, the album fulfills a kind of “new letter of introduction” to Famin on an new instrument.
The project arises from his interest in the sounds that can be achieved between the bass clarinet and the rhythmic base, without the contribution of harmonic instruments, as well as in the exploration of the instrument’s registers, particularly as a soloist. It is a combination that allows you to clearly appreciate the sound of each instrument, and at the same time a very well achieved group sound is perceived.
The songs are mostly original by Famin, to which some compositions by Monk, Mingus and Tristano are added, and they leave a lot of room for improvisation. Juan Bayón and Andrés Elstein are two very important composers of contemporary Argentine jazz, who contributed their vision, experience and musicality to shape the compositions.
Tobias Pfister – tenor sax
Santiago Leibson – piano
Santiago Lamisovski – bass
Samir Böhringer – drums
Emitime´s debut album Scarce is the result of a collaboration between musicians living in three different cities: Buenos Aires, New York, and Zurich. Their experiences and distinct musical backgrounds find a common ground in these chamber-jazz compositions where all the voices create something bigger. The recording was made after touring in Switzerland (January 2020) and in New York (March 2020).
The band was formed in Brooklyn in October 2019 where Argentine pianist Santiago Leibson, bassist Santiago Lamisovsky, and Swiss drummer Samir Böhringer met as a trio for the first time. They hadn’t played before but the musical affinity was there: influences of modern and chamber jazz and free improvisation with a clear leaning towards creating meaningful creative music. Swiss tenor saxophonist Tobias Pfister, an old collaborator with drummer Samir Böhringer and also known by Leibson, was the perfect fit to finish the band. He was added to the first European tour in January 2020 and in March 2020 the quartet came to New York to record. All the compositions were brought by the “Argentinian legs” of the band: Leibson and Lamisovsky but all of them also were reworked as a band; thus, the final pieces are a product of a collective effort.
All the tunes showcase some of the different possibilities that a true “band” has to tell a story. In this manner, the arrangements sometimes feature duos, trios, and even solos, combining these different formats to shape and color larger structures. The compositional and improvisational focus is on the counterpoint and interaction between the instruments. The written material gives a structure that is meant to be amplified by the improvisational skills of the players. Most pieces are five minutes in length; they are concise musical ideas that develop into larger forms where the intention is for the listener to always be eager to know what happens next.
Liquid Sound Company
Formed in 1996 by Solitude Aeturnus guitarist John Perez and Last Chapter drummer Jason Spradlin. The goal: create mind expanding psychedelic sounds for the head! With the nucleus of the band being John Perez &Jason Spradlin the band also includes current members Alan Wise, Mark Cook, and Ron McCain. With a new album their fourth, Psychoactive Songs For The Psoul, in 2021 and live trips in the works, it’s a welcome return for these masters of fuzzed out psychedelia.
As an ex-pat Northamptonian it seems only fitting for me to mark the passing of Pat Fish (The Jazz Butcher). He emerged a while after I left the town of my birth so I was not particularly aware of his work other than in come strange sort of synchronicity he wrote a song referencing the singer of my (perhaps) favourite band, who lived just up the hill from me in my new abode. In another synchronous manifestation ex Lizard Brain member and mastermind behind the excellent Everlasting Records, Tony Jenkins, has written a very fine tribute to Mr Fish. As Alan Moore opines Northampton is the centre of the known universe and its influence resonates psychogeographically across the country, in musical terms this seems to particularly correct. Spooky and Fishy.
Chet Sounds is the solo project by enigmatic DIY artist Chet Tucker, most recognised for his contributions to Sydney psych-folk outfit The Uplifting Bell Ends. Similar to the Bell Ends, Chet’s creations have a timeless nature, with noticeable shades of 70’s classic rock, folk and psychedelia.
Drift. is the project of London based artist Nathalie Bruno. Starting in 2015, her debut EP ‘Black Devotion’ was released on the Italian label Avant! Records. After playing a range of diverse shows in UK and Europe and the release of the second EP, ‘Genderland’ in 2017, she locked herself in her East London studio to assimilate a new set of influences that synthesised in what became ’Symbiosis’, her first full length record.
Lola In Slacks
Fronted by petite chanteuse Louise Reid, Lola in Slacks exude the garage swagger of The Velvet Underground spiked with the bold confidence and freedom of Tim Buckley. Having developed her distinctive vocal and performance style playing on the streets and café bars of Paris as a teenager, Reid brings a Piaf-like authority to the group’s noir atmospherics. Reid’s affaire de coeur with Scotland’s ancient ally runs through the band’s songs.
Their indelible songs are written by Reid and guitarist Brian McFie and brought to life with the help of a stellar line-up featuring Lesley McLaren (drums), Davy Irvin (bass) and Fiona Shannon (keys).
“We were raring to go,” says W. H. Lung’s Tom Sharkett of the band’s desire to keep the momentum going after the huge success of their debut album 2019’s Incidental Music, a vivacious concoction of krautrock, synth pop and infectious grooves, which topped end of year lists with the likes of Piccadilly Records and Resident. However, it quickly became apparent that a repeat performance was of no interest to the band. “We were 100% sure on it not being Incidental Music part 2.” The resultant ‘Vanities’ is a bold electronic leap forward into the dance music they love. A record that is direct, punchy and potent – an ode to the dance floor that they had missed over the last year or so.
x-blu are an Avant-garde/Post Punk band who formed at the beginning of this year in Thamesmead, SE London and are influenced by The Velvet Underground, Joy Division and Doves. In this short space of time, the band have already built a reputation for passionate live performances and the innovative use of digital media. They are a band from diverse backgrounds and equality and diversity are at the heart of their ethos. x-blu are Gary Parker (guitar, key boards, vocals and production) Dani Tagen
vocals, production, and creative director) and Sybil Mayard (vocals, keyboards, production and digital director).
Whilst encapsulating Punk, Soul and Electronica they are a digital media band working in visual art, film, music, poetry, live performance and video. This is their debut single ‘Fear’.
Legendary Scottish music-sculptor Robin Guthrie has released a beautiful new 4-track EP, called ‘Mockingbird Love’, via Soleil Après Minuit with distribution in North America via Darla and Europe covered by Cargo.
The first in a series of releases that Guthrie will be releasing this year, ‘Mockingbird Love’ is the first new music from Guthrie since the ‘Another Flower’ album with the late Harold Budd, released just days before Budd’s passing in December 2020. Brooklyn Vegan says that this music is “typically gorgeous instrumental, drenched in Guthrie’s signature shimmery layers”.