Friday, May 11, 2007

Four Tet/Joe Henderson... Albert Ayler... Kidd Jordan... Kid Parker... Annette Peacock...

Keiran Hebden in his guise as Four Tet brought out a succession of re-mixes – here's one of them, his take on Joe Henderson's 'Earth.' Not everyone's cup of meat, to be sure... perhaps a sonic cross between electric Miles and Alice Coltrane -who plays on the original album, 'The Elements.' Some nice Charlie Haden solo bass...

'N Y E&E C is, simply put, one of the most boring, annoying and completely insulting films I've ever had the displeasure to watch. Improper exposures, lack of composition (both within the film frame and structurally), empty subject matter, run-on scene-takes, and a soul-strangling "freestyle" Jazz soundtrack (imagine bleating goats, whinnying horses and trumpeting elephants all thrown in a blender and set on "Mince") only begin to exemplify what this film pushed out on the audience like so much afterbirth. It became clear quickly that Snow really didn't have much of a plan going into the shooting or editing of the work, and throwing in his famous Walking Woman cut-outs seemed like a weak attempt to legitimize whatever artistic leanings the piece might be able to scrape by on. Once again, the Avant-Garde inherits another legacy of half-baked, infantile, self-satisfying palp.'
(From here...).

... always character-building to consult opposing views... 'self-satisfying palp'... interesting... here's something from the soundtrack to that film 'New York Eye and Ear Control.'

'...imagine bleating goats, whinnying horses and trumpeting elephants...'


Reviews of this album were/are mixed and comparisons always made, understandably, with 'Free Jazz' and 'Ascension.' I think it holds up well, given the different underpinning that Sunny Murray especially gives compared to its illustrious predecessors... Discography details: the group were assembled by film maker Michael Snow and the collective improvisation that forms the soundtrack to the movie was recorded July 17, 1964. This is track two: 'AY.' The track starts at a fast lick, Ayler hurling his enormous saxophone blast into the ensuing mêlée... jumpcuts in tempo to a slower crawl... Cherry skids in and out and Tchicai sounds interesting. Rudd mournful and reticent, emerging occasionally as if peeping out from behind a bush. Upping his game with blats and roars in his solo section, a long way from J.J.'s conception of bebop trombone. Peacock puts in some abrasive arco and fast moving pizzicato – Murray as mentioned above giving the ensemble a rolling rhythmic freedom – that must - at this time - have taken some getting used to. Cherry solos over chattering bass and Murray's sudden lurching rolls. Tchicai picks up a motif from him and throws it at the ensemble as they re-gather. A good front line balance overall in a somewhat muddy recording between the high Cherry and low Rudd with Ayler going from gruff to squeal as the spirit moves him and Tchicai high and fluid. Runs out a steam a little towards the end – but a late rally... Albert takes it on points, I think... A further thought: any long, improvised performance will have inconsistencies – that, surely, is the nature of the high-wire act ongoing... further, that the finished performance is enhanced by the inconsistencies if it can both enfold them – and transcend them... Hegelian free jazz criticism what?

Kidd Jordan is one of those underground jazz legends, a man from New Orleans who chose a quieter road perhaps as teacher and educator, better known among his peers than the wider public. (Whose house was sadly devastated during the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina). From 'Palm of Soul,' here's 'Resolution.' When I think of what 'world music' could be – rather than the often-produced banalities it became – this, perhaps, would figure strongly as a contending voice – although the urgency of Jordan's tenor roots it firmly in jazz. A long introductory roll of drums - the track proceeds with incantory vocal over bass and percussion. Jordan weaves his saxophone lines around the mournful voice. Conjuring up a distant memory of Coltrane's 'Kule Se Mama,' which I must get out again soon... The tempo settles into a bass-led groove as voice and tenor follow each other round and round. Mesmeric...

'Asked to define his work, Jordan calls it "creative improvisational music." ' (From here...)

Here's one of my appalling links, spinning on Kid... a track from the even more obscure Delta Blues singer, Kid Parker. 'Mississippi Bottom Blues.' Taken fom an old 78 and released on a Delta Blues compilation, its scratchy distance eery and atmospheric. Blues from another time...

Another singer – a bit more contemporary. Annette Peacock performing 'Gesture without plot,' from her album 'I'm the One.' Another underground cult hero, romantically involved with Gary Peacock (playing on the Albert Ayler track above) and later Paul Bley. Pioneer of synths in live shows... After an arctic winds intro, slow, strange vocal bends and turns over spartan piano. Pretty weird for 1972, given the market it was aimed at... Peacock's voice is bluesy yet distanced:

'this music comes from the same what-the-FUCK universe as Buckley's Starsailor and Nico's Marble Index .' (Extracted from a good review here...). As icily brilliant as the latter-mentioned track...

In the Videodrome...

Annette Peacock in the 1970's

Kidd Jordan with William Parker – a brief clip from New Orleans but a few weeks ago...

...More Parker with his traps buddy, Hamid Drake – and Anthony Braxton...

I found this on Carrot RopeSonny Rollins and Leonard Cohen (have a feeling I've posted it way back but too pushed for time to check...)

Four Tet remix/Joe Henderson


New York Eye and Ear Control
Albert Ayler (ts) Don Cherry (pt) Roswell Rudd (tr) John Tchicai (as) Gary Peacock (b) Sunny Murray (d)


Kidd Jordan
Kidd Jordan (ts) William Parker (b, guimbre, gongs, bowls, talking drum) Hamid Drake (d, tablas, frame drum, voice).


Kid Bailey (g, v)
Mississippi Bottom Blues


Annette Peacock
Collective personnel for album
Annette Peacock (v, key) Tom Cosgrove (g) Stu Woods (b) Rick Morotta (d) Paul Bley (key) Michael Moss (ts) Barry Altschul, Airto Moreira (perc) Michael Garson (p, org)
Gesture without plot

Hard to obtain – try second hand...


Hayden Jackson said...

I found this on Carrot Rope – Sonny Rollins and Leonard Cohen (have a feeling I've posted it way back but too pushed for time to check...)

Well, if you did, thanks for posting it again!

Rod... said...

... you're welcome...