Gato Barbieri – Cancion del Llamero/Tango (1969)

The Third World is the initial session that mixed Gato Barbieri’s free jazz tenor playing with Latin and Brazilian influences. It’s also the album that brought Barbieri positive attention from the college crowds of the late ’60s. He would expand on this musical combination with his next few Flying Dutchman releases as well as his first recordings for the Impulse! label. The records made between 1969 through 1974 find Barbieri creating a danceable yet fiery combination of South American rhythms and free jazz forcefulness. Strangely, once Barbieri signed with A&M, he began making commercial records geared to fans of Herb Alpert, sounding nothing like his earlier albums.

Gato Barbieri – tenor sax, flute & vocal
Charlie Haden – bass
Beaver Harris – drums
Richard Landrum – percussion
Roswell Rudd – trombone
Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. – piano

Recorded in New York City, November 24 & 25, 1969
Flying Dutchman Records FDS-117

Still available, buy at your local record store or here.


Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra – The Introduction – Song of The United Front (1969)

Liberation Music Orchestra is a jazz album by Charlie Haden, released in 1969. It was Haden’s first album as leader. The inspiration for the album came when Haden heard songs from the Spanish Civil War. He included three of those songs on the album (the trilogy “El Quinto Regimiento”, “Los Cuatro Generales”, and “Viva la Quince Brigada”, which are old Spanish folk songs given new words during the war. Other tracks on the album include Ornette Coleman’s “War Orphans”, which Haden had played with Coleman in 1967, three pieces by Carla Bley, who also contributed much of the arranging, two of Haden’s own compositions, one dedicated to Che Guevara and one inspired by the 1968 National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party:

“After the minority plank on Vietnam was defeated in a vote taken on the convention floor, the California and New York delegations spontaneously began to sing ‘We Shall Overcome’ [the last track on the album] in protest. Unable to gain control of the floor, the rostrum instructed the convention orchestra to drown out the singing. ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’ and ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ could then be heard trying to stifle ‘We Shall Overcome’. To me this told the story, in music, of what was happening in our country politically.” (Charlie Haden, original liner notes)

In “Circus ’68 ’69” the musicians are thus divided into two bands in recreation of the events on the convention floor.
The Liberation Music Orchestra’s next album, The Ballad of the Fallen, didn’t appear until 1983.

Perry Robinson — clarinet
Gato Barbieri — tenor saxophone, clarinet
Dewey Redman — alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Michael Mantler — trumpet
Roswell Rudd — trombone
Bob Northern — French horn, hand wood blocks, crow call, bells, military whistle
Howard Johnson — tuba
Sam Brown — guitar, Tanganyikan guitar, thumb piano
Carla Bley — piano, tambourine
Charlie Haden — bass
Paul Motian — drums, percussion

Lennie Tristano – Turkish Mambo (1955)

Lennie Tristano, also known as Tristano, is a 1956 album by bebop jazz pianist Lennie Tristano. At its release, the album was controversial for its innovative use of technology, with Tristano overdubbing piano and manipulating tape speed for effect on the first four tracks. The final five songs are live recordings. Originally released as Tristano’s Atlantic Records debut, the album was released on CD in 1994 by Rhino Records in combined form with Tristano’s 1960 follow-up, The New Tristano, and as part of a collection, The Complete Atlantic Recordings of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh, in 1997. It was subsequently re-issued in original form and track-list order by Warner Jazz (2002), Rhino (2003) and Collectables (2004). In 1997, The New York Times dubbed the album a masterpiece. AMG describes the album as “gorgeous…with a beautiful juxtaposition between the first half and the second half between the rhythmic and intervallic genius of Tristano as an improviser and as a supreme lyrical and swinging harmonist on the back half”. According to Ira Gitler in The Masters of Be-Bop, the overdubbing and tape speed manipulation on this album unleashed a furor. Tristano had begun experimenting in 1951, when he had additional piano tracks, some of which had been speeded by engineer Rudy van Gelder, added to his recording of the songs “Ju Ju” and “Pastime”. Tristano later recalled that not a single reviewer questioned the multitracking of those songs. According to Tristano, questions began to arise six months to a year later. At the time, Tristano declined to discuss it. In an interview years later, he described a private incident where Leonard Bernstein and Willie Kapell debated the topic in his home. After Bernstein declared his certainty that the songs were multitracked, Kapell demonstrated that the speed was possible by playing a Mozart tune 16 times faster than it would generally be played. Following the release of Lennie Tristano, the usage of multitracking and tape speed was widely questioned and criticized on the songs “Line Up”, “Turkish Mambo” and “East Thirty-Second”. In the case of “Turkish Mambo”, Tristano played three separate and conflicting piano tracks, with left-hand rhythms of five, six and seven beats beneath right-hand improvisation. Tristano made specific reference to that song in defending his choice, stating that “if I do multiple tapes, I don’t feel I’m a phony thereby. Take “The Turkish Mambo”. There is no other way I could do it so that I could get the rhythms to go together the way I feel them.” On the question of tape speed, he added, “If people want to think I speeded up the piano on “Line Up” and “East Thirty-Second”, I don’t care. What I care about is that the result sounded good to me.” Contributing bassist Peter Ind, inspired to later use the same technique on his own album Looking Out, argued on the contrary to those who feel this is a deceptive technique that it is simply another tool an artist may use to craft his work. Through controversial immediately on release, Tristano’s decision to use the technique was described in 1997 by The New York Times as “celebrated”.

Listen to “Requiem” from the same album here.

Patrick Williams – Threshold (1973)

Throughout most of the 1960s, Patrick Williams was one of many composers/arrangers kicking around the NYC studio music scene. In the late ’60s he arranged/composed several Muzak-molded LPs (Heavy Vibrations , Think and Shades of Today among them) that only occasionally hinted at the ebullience and brilliance unleashed on his 1974 Grammy Award winning album Threshold. Perhaps due to his nationally successful composing/arranging credits for both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show (from 1970 and 1972, respectively), he was able to compose/arrange and finance Threshold , his pet project, that featured big band jazz/rock/classical compositions and stellar soloists that swung like mad. The title opus, “Threshold,” begins with a Bach-like brass chorale fanfare that is alternatively juxtaposed with and contrasted against a funk/rock theme with swirling flutes (all multi-tracked by Tom Scott). The catchy and infectious 8-note motive is developed and morphed into some beautifully lyrical lines by both Stamm and Scott. Then finally after both choruses, Williams has the entire band wail on his own written development of the the motive. (Try listening to this cut just once.) [Source]

David Murray – Ming (1980)

Ming is the third album by David Murray to be released on the Italian Black Saint label and the first to feature his Octet. It was released in 1980 and features performances by Murray, Henry Threadgill, Olu Dara, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Wilbur Morris and Steve McCall. The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested Core Collection. The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow awarded the album 5 stars stating “His octet was always the perfect setting for tenor saxophonist David Murray, large enough to generate power but not as out of control as many of his big-band performances. Murray contributed all five originals (including “Ming” and “Dewey’s Circle”) and arrangements, and is in superior form on both tenor and bass clarinet. The “backup crew” is also quite notable: altoist Henry Threadgill, trumpeter Olu Dara, cornetist Butch Morris, trombonist George Lewis, pianist Anthony Davis, bassist Wilbur Morris, and drummer Steve McCall. These avant-garde performances (reissued on CD) are often rhythmic enough to reach a slightly larger audience than usual, and the individuality shown by each of these major players is quite impressive. Recommended.”.