Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Back at last... three tracks... Alice Coltrane... Jerry Lee Lewis... Alexander Von Schlippenbach...

A crazy weekend culminating in a great gig at Taylor John's where Michael Gira was incandescently brilliant left me even further in the hole physically... mainly self-inflicted... just starting to pick up things again... review tomorrow plus photos...

I have no idea where I acquired this – searching for another album I found this single track by Alice Coltrane, a re-recording of the title track from her husband's somewhat famous album 'A Love Supreme.' This really shouldn't work - but it does... A swirling orchestral beginning then an invocation from her guru Swami Satchidananda edging into New Age territory (but each to their own, hey?) until the familiar theme surfaces on electronic keyboard/organ and the rhythm picks up – Alice soon plunges into more aggressive figures, a mirror of the searching, shattering brilliance of her late husband. Leroy Jenkins steps up to saw away into increasingly lengthening spirals, melodic cascades again matching the soaring lines of the original. The organ returns to damp the emotion down as more peaceful orchestral figures commence, shot through with ascending/descending keyboard and the Swami returns briefly to take it out. Shh/Peaceful...

One of my first loves (musical, musical!) - Jerry Lee Lewis. The Killer. Southern white fried country blues boogie rock and roll... A firm loping swagger through the old 12 bar 'Matchbox' from a rough and ready live show recorded at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1964, backed by the Nashville Teens. As Edwin C. Faust said in a review:

'What kind of middle-of-the-road, pussy willow, drag ass society do we live in where “Jerry Lee Lewis At The Star Club” isn’t the number one top-selling live album of all time!?' (From Stylus magazine article here... ).

Indeed.

Alexander Von Schlippenbach and the boys – Evan Parker and Paul Lovens – one of the longest-lasting bands in European free jazz. Recorded live in Berlin in 1975 with Peter Kowald on bass added. This is 'Black Holes,' a title which evokes science and mystery simultaneously.. Scrawl and scratch and bang by sax, bass and percussion/drums until the piano finally comes in - minimally and soon dropping out as ultra high notes take over the sonic area - like a hip penny whistle. Sparse piano returns, repeated single notes until a final fade. Laid back stuff by this band's standards, with a reverse climax almost as the busy beginning slowly falls backwards.

Andrew Hill – an alternate take of 'The Griots' from his 1964 album 'Andrew!!' John Gilmore, who plays on this album, is not present here – just a quarter with Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Chambers and Richard Davis. Hill solos first, plunging into the changes, suddenly back-spinning a long cascading line – sparkling stuff. Davis, who is superb in his underpinning throughout, takes a scampering solo after the pianist. Hill returns until Hutcherson comes in to restate the theme. Spikily brilliant.

Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane (org) Reggie Workman (b) Ben Riley (d) Elayne Jones (tim) Frank Lowe (saxes, perc) Swami Satchidananda (voice) Leroy Jenkins (v)
A Love Supreme
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Jerry Lee Lewis (p, v) plus Nashville Teens
Matchbox
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Alexander Von Schlippenbach
Alexander von Schlippenbach (p) Evan Parker (ss, ts) Peter Kowald (b) Paul Lovens (perc)
Black holes
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Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill (p) Bobby Hutcherson (vib) Richard Davis (b) Joe Chambers (d)
The Griots (alternate take)
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3 comments:

david_grundy said...

That Alice Coltrane track is from her album 'with strings' - WORLD GALAXY. She also covers 'My Favorite Things' (on organ), and there's plenty of bizarre orchestral writing. As always on her stuff, some of it drags a bit, but I do like it overall.

godoggo said...

Love the Killer. I think in his prime was not only the best rock n' roll singer, but also the best country singer, and I actually prefer the latter. Not that familiar with his discography, but I've been plying through his youtubes lately and think he peaked around '69.

We had an awesome AC tribute concert in Little Tokyo about a month back, with two tenors, two basses, singer, violin, cello, bassoon, French horn, drums, percussion, harp, and a huge painting of Alice on stage and about 8 actual Coltranes in attendance.

Rod... said...

Jerry Lee was always my favourite rock and roller - and I also love his country stuff - the first record I ever bought was him singing 'Great balls of fire' - on a 78... a big UK hit before all the scandal over here...

The AC tribute concert sounds good - there's a wild dash to her music that seems to cut through just when you think it's getting a bit soupy - I was looking forward to seeing her this year on tour over here - but sadly not to be...