Eric Dolphy – God Bless the Child (1961)

Good Bless the Child (originally written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog), is from the live jazz album The Stockholm Sessions, recorded in 1961 in Stockholm and Berlin, released in 1981 by Inner City Records.

Eric Allan Dolphy, Jr. (June 20, 1928 – June 29, 1964) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, flutist, and bass clarinetist. On a few occasions he also played the clarinet, piccolo, and baritone saxophone. Dolphy was one of several multi-instrumentalists to gain prominence in the 1960s. He was also the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz, and among the earliest significant flute soloists. His improvisational style was characterized by the use of wide intervals, in addition to using an array of extended techniques, to reproduce human- and animal-like effects which almost literally made his instruments speak. Although Dolphy’s work is sometimes classified as free jazz, his compositions and solos were often rooted in conventional (if highly abstracted) tonal bebop harmony and melodic lines that suggest the influences of modern classical composers Béla Bartok and Igor Stravinsky. [source]

Line up: Eric Dolpy – Bass Klarinet











[dedicated Adrian Aurelius with all the best wishes for the future]



Anthony Braxton – Black Monday (2000)

Drawing heavily on the post-bop songbooks of 60s icons Andrew Hill and George Coleman Braxton’s quartet almost approximates the sound of a forward thinking Blue Note era hard bop band. Programmatically speaking it has antecedents in earlier projects like his pair of In the Tradition albums for Steeplechase and later tribute vehicles like The Charlie Parker Project and Eight (+3) Tristano Compostions (both on Hat Art). Hearing Braxton’s ripe interpretations of these classic compositions is consistently captivating treat. His sound on alto edges deliciously close to soprano range and his acrobatic agility at defying harmonic/melodic strictures is often the only hint at freer leanings. His sidemen two of who are former pupils, fit perfectly into his designs. O’Neil takes on the role of hard bop plectrist, but still evidences the speed and veracity of a plucker well versed in the rigors of free improvisation. Norton moves from colorful texturalist to propulsive catalyst crafting a variety of engaging rhythms and Eulau often offers up flexible walking support. [Source]

[Dedicated to Rikke Malene Nielsen with a happy birthday!]

Paul Bley – Closer (1972)

Closer is the opening track of  Paul Bleys Solo Album Open, to Love, recorded on September 11, 1972, at Arne Bendiksen Studio, Oslo.

Open, to Love is a jazz album by Paul Bley. It features Bley performing seven solo piano pieces and is regarded to be not only one of his best albums, but a defining album in the history of the EMC record label. Three of the tracks were composed by ex-wife Carla Bley and another two by Bley’s then-wife Annette Peacock. The album is one of the first showcases of the pointillism and silence that would inform much of his later work.

Open, to Love was selected to be part of the ECM Touchstones series as one of the most influential recordings on the label. [source]

Closer (Carla Bley) (5:55) / Ida Lupino (Carla Bley) (7:35) / Started (Paul Bley) – 5:21 / Open, to Love (Annette Peacock) (7:14) / Harlem (Paul Bley) (3:26) / Seven (Carla Bley) (7:25) / Nothing Ever Was, Anyway (Annette Peacock) (6:02)

Paul Bley – Piano


Wayne Shorter – Introducing Wayne Shorter (Full Album) (1959)

Introducing Wayne Shorter is the debut album by Wayne Shorter in the hard bop medium, performing with other jazz greats like Lee Morgan and Paul Chambers. The album has also been released under the titles Blues A La Carte and Shorter Moments. [source]

All compositions by Wayne Shorter except as indicated:
1. Blues a la Carte (5:35)
2. Harry’s Last Stand (4:40)
3. Down in the Depths (9:41)
4. Pug Nose” (6:49)
5. Black Diamond (Roland Kirk) (6:00)
6. Mack the Knife (Blitzstein, Brecht, Weill) (4:27)

Wayne Shorter – Tenor Saxophone
Lee Morgan – Trumpet
Paul Chambers – Double Bass
Wynton Kelly – Piano
Jimmy Cobb – Drums

Recorded on November 9 (#1-2) and November 10 (#3-6), 1959.


Archie Shepp & Mal Waldron – I Only Have Eyes For You (2002)

I Only Have Eyes For You is from the album Left Alone Revisited: A Tribute to Billie Holiday by Archie Shepp & Mal Waldron,  recorded Februar 7 & 8 in 2002 at La Muse en Circuit, Paris, and released on Enja Records in 2002.

Mal Waldron´s first tribute to Billie Holiday, titled Left Alone, was recorded in 1959, mere months before the singer’s death. He returned to salute the legendary vocalist on several occasions since then, with this CD likely being his final tribute, recorded less than a year before his own death. Waldron, who worked with Holiday during her last years, is intimately familiar with her takes of the six standards heard on this disc, along with her own “Lady Sings the Blues.” Archie Shepp´s often gritty tenor sax is reminiscent of the texture of Holiday´s  voice, yet he perfectly complements Waldron´s lush piano. They also pack a punch with their stark performance of “Left Alone” (Shepp´s occasional reed squeaks seem deliberate, as if to imitate breaks in her voice). Waldron also recites Holiday´s lyrics set to his composition at the conclusion of the CD. Shepp switches to soprano sax for an emotional take of “Everything Happens to Me” and “I Only Have Eyes for You,” with the latter song sounding as if the unheard singer is being ignored by her love interest. Shepp´s “Blues for 52nd Street” is both sassy and swinging. This instrumental salute to Billie Holiday is one of the best albums ever to honor her memory. [source]

Tracks: Easy Living / Nice Work If You Can Get It / Everything Happens To Me / Left Alone / When Your Lover Has Gone / I Only Have Eyes For You / Blues For 52nd Street / Porgy / Lady Sings The Blues / Left Alone (Spoken Lyrics)

Mal Waldron – Piano
Archie Shepp – Vocals, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor saxophone


David S. Ware – Astral Earth (2009)

Astral Earth is from the CD Onecept by David S. Ware, recorded live in december 2009, released in 2010.

David Spencer Ware (November 7, 1949 – October 18, 2012), was an American jazz saxophonist  working mostly in free jazz. In 2001 critic Gary Giddins described Ware’s quartet as “the best small band in jazz today. [source]

In the press release for Onecept, David S. Ware makes much of the concept of spontaneous form. This is worth mentioning because the degree of continuity between notion and outcome is exceptional. Ware’s work—and, indeed, his musical life, perhaps—is now at a stage where the reedman doesn’t have to be combustible all the time, and it shows in this trio’s collection of three equal voices. The implied democracy hasn’t resulted in a quenching of the fire, but rather a group music based upon such a level of intuitive understanding that it can only be described as extraordinary. [source]

Track Listing: Book Of Krittika / Wheel Of Life / Celestial / Desire Worlds / Astral Earth / Savaka / Bardo / Anagami / Vata.

Personnel: David S. Ware – Tenor saxophone, Stritch,  Saxello / William Parker – Bass / Warren Smith –  Drums, Tympani, Percussion.

Ahmed Abdullah – Life’s Force (1979)

Life’s Force is composed by Ahmed Abdullah and is the last track on his album by same name. It is recorded in New York City and was released in 1979.

The short-lived About Time label started off with this stimulating release from trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah. Abdullah, who has an appealing tone and an adventurous style, heads a sextet also including the french horn of Vincent Chancey, vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, cellist Munneer Abdul Fatah, bassist Jerome Hunter and drummer Rashied Sinan for explorations of five of his compositions plus Cal Massey´s “Assunata.” The unusual blend of colorful instruments is the prime reason to pick up this obscure Lp. [source]

Tracks: Eternal Spiraling Spirit / Assunta / Qhude / Song Of Tenderness / A Long Time Black / Life’s Force

Line Up : Jerome Hunter – Bass  / Muneer Abdul Fatah – Cello /  Rashied Sinan – Drums / Vincent Chancey – French Horn / Ahmed Abdullah – Trumpet / Jay Hoggard – Vibraphone