Miles Davis – High Speed Chase (1991)

From the album Doo-Bop, released 1992.

Doo-Bop was jazz musician Miles Davis’ final studio album, which would have marked the beginning of the artist’s turn to hip-hop-oriented tracks. However, Davis died on September 28, 1991, at which time only six pieces for the album had been completed.  To finish off the album, producer Easy Mo Bee was asked to take some of the unreleased trumpet performances (stemming from what Davis called the RubberBand Session), and build tracks that Miles ‘would have loved’ around the recordings. The album’s posthumous tracks (as stated in the liner notes) are “High Speed Chase” and “Fantasy”. [source]

If On the Corner suggested hip-hop beats as far back as two decades ago, then consider Doo-Bop as offspring. Miles’ teaming with producer Easy Mo Bee is a natural — more in league with England’s acid jazz scene than anything in the trumpeter’s recent canon. Those who’ve howled over the post-Bithes Brew work will find no solace here; instead, chalk this up as one of Miles’ most entertaining efforts. [source]

Miles Davis – Trumpet, Composer, Primary Artist.
Easy Mo Bee – Composer, Guest Artist, Performer, Primary Artist, Producer
Larry Mitchel – Composer
Mat Pearson – Aditional Producer
J. R. – Performer, Primary Artist

5344WPGR10017[dedicated to Ronnie Rocket; with lots of thanks and the best wishes for a Happy New Year]


The Bill Dixon Orchestra – Voices (1967)

From the album Intents and Purposes by  Bill Dixon, recorded Jan. 17, 1967 in New York City

Since his decisive involvement in 1964’s October Revolution in Jazz and lengthy tenure at Bennington College in Vermont (1968-1995), Dixon has been renowned for his skills as an organizer and an educator rather than his pioneering advancements as an instrumentalist and composer. As a former student of painting as well as music, Dixon’s conceptual organization of sound relies heavily on color, shade and texture, with a keen sensitivity to dynamics—aspects that quickly placed him at the creative forefront of the 1960s New Thing. Originally recorded for RCA when he was 42, Intents And Purposes was Dixon’s third album as a leader, following two efforts for Savoy in 1962 and 1964 that were co-led by tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp.

“Voices” pushes the aesthetic envelope even further, forming a startling alliance between austere classicism and the primal immediacy of ritualized rhythm. Performed by a string-heavy quintet, the lengthy piece features Dixon’s melancholy horn refrains and Lancaster’s otherworldly bass clarinet drifting over haunting string glissandi that eventually trade the sinuous sustain of legato melodies for the polyrhythmic power of tribal drumming. [source]

Bill Dixon – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Catherine Norris – Cello
Jimmy Garrison – Bass
Robert Frank Pozar – Drums
Byard Lancaster – Bass clarinet



Larry Young – Khalid Of Space Part Two (Welcome) (1973)

From the album Lawrence of Newark by Larry Young.

The centerpiece of the album is “Khalid of Space Pt. 2: Welcome.” Sun Ra’s edict about all of his musicians being percussionists holds almost literally true in Young’s case. The soprano saxophonist sounds as if it could be Sonny Fortune (billed as “mystery guest”), but he’s way out on an Eastern modal limb. Young’s right hand is punching home the counterpoint rhythm as Abdul Shadi runs all over his kit. Blood Ulmer is accenting the end of each line with overdriven power chords, and various bells, drums, congas, and djembes enter and depart the mix mysteriously. Young is digging deep into the minor and open drone chords, signaling — à la Miles — changes in intonation, tempo, and frequency of rhythmic attack. And the cut never loses its pocket funk for all that improvisation. It’s steamy, dark, brooding, and saturated with groove. [source]

Don Pate – Bass / Juni Booth – Bass / Abdoul Hakim – Bongos / Diedre Johnson – Cello / Stacy Edwards – Congas / Umar Abdul Muizz – Congas / Abdul Shahid – Drums / Howard King – Drums / James Flores – Drums / Art Gore – Drums, Electric Piano / Cedric Lawson – Electric Piano / James Blood Ulmer – Guitar / Larry Young – Organ, Bongos, Vocals / Armen Halburian – Percussion / Jumma Santos – Percussion / Poppy La Boy – Percussion / Dennis Mourouse – Saxophone / Charles Magee – Trumpet



Jayne Cortez – Maintain Control/Economic Love Song I (1986)

First two tracks from the album Maintain Control by Jayne Cortez And The Firespitters.

Jayne Cortez (May 10, 1936 – December 28, 2012) was an American poet, and performance artist. Cortez was born May 10, 1936 in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and grew up in California. She was the author of ten books of poems and performed her poetry with music on nine recordings. Cortez presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. [source]

Al MacDowel – Bass
Bern Nix – Guitar
Denardo Coleman – Percussion
Charles Moffett Jr. – Tenor Saxophone
Jayne Cortez – Voice


jaynecortez-1024x1024    [in remembrance of Jayne Cortez]

Earl Hines – Memories of You (1965)

Earl “Fatha” Hines perform “Memories of You”, in a piano workshop in Berlin in 1965.

Earl Kenneth Hines, universally known as Earl “Fatha” Hines (December 28, 1903 – April 22, 1983), was an American jazzpianist. Hines was one of the most influential figures in the development of modern jazz piano and, according to one major source, is “one of a small number of pianists whose playing shaped the history of jazz”. [source]



Photo: Earl Hines, Jazz-Tage Berlin 1965 by Max Jacoby.

Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire (1972) (full album)

Birds of Fire is Mahavishnu Orchechestra´s second album. It was released in the first half of 1973 and is the last studio album by the original Mahavishnu Orchestra line-up, before the group dissolved, although Between Nothingness and Eternity, a live album, was recorded and released later that same year. [source]

All compositions by John McLaughlin, except “Miles Beyond”, by Miles Davis:

Birds of Fire (5:50) / Miles Beyond (4:47) / Celestial Terrestrial Commuters (2:54) / Saphire Bullets of Pure Love (0:24) / Thousand Island Park (3:23) / Hope (1:59) / One Word (9:57) / Sanctuary (5:05) /Open Country Joy (3:56) / Resolution  (2:09)

The Mahavishnu Orchestra:
John McLaughlin – Guitar
Rick Laird – Bass
Billy Cobham – Drums, Percussion
Jerry Goodman – Violin
Jan Hammer – Keyboards, Moog



Don Pullen – New beginnings (1988)

New Beginnings is from the album New beginnings by Don Pullen, recorded in New York City on December 12, 1988 and released on Blue Note in 1989.

Don Pullen (December 25, 1941 – April 22, 1995) was an American jazzpianist and organist. Pullen developed a strikingly individual style throughout his career. He composed masterworks ranging from blues to bebop and modern jazz. The great variety of his body of work makes it difficult to pigeonhole his musical style. [source]

To my ears, the sweetest music on this set comes from the third album, New Beginnings, which places Pullen in a trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Tony Williams. For a one-off unit, it sounds amazingly connected. Part of the success of the venture comes from the rhythm section’s forward, muscular stance. Peacock’s an amazingly versatile bassist, and here he not only offers due respect for vamps and the groove, but works the nooks and crannies in unexpected ways.

Pieces like “Once Upon a Time,” “Warriors,” and “New Beginnings” build from relatively simple vamp-oriented foundations, which offer Pullen ample opportunity to engage in his signature swoops and swirls. For some listeners, the intensity may be over the top, so be aware. But to hear the pianist fly free, launched skyward by sympathetic players who share his affinity for outer sounds, is high-octane rocket fuel for the soul. [source]

Gary Peacock – Bass / Tony Williams – Drums / Don Pullen – Piano