Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Free For All (1964)

Incredibly high energy level. Free For All is composed by Wayne Shorter and appears on the album Free For All, recorded in Van Gelder Studio in February 1964. Yay!

Shorter’s title track is one of the finest moments in the Jazz Messengers’ history. [source]

Lineup: Art Blakey – drums / Cedar Walton – piano / Wayne Shorter – tenor saxophone / Freddie Hubbard – trumpet / Curtis Fuller – trombone / Reggie Workman – bass



Max Roach & Anthony Braxton – Birth (1978)

Birth and Rebirth is an album by American jazz drummer Max Roach and saxophonist Anthony Braxton recorded in 1979 for the Italian Black Saint label. [source]

“The music in this album is a result of our belief in a continuum that links the present with the past. Our spontaneous improvisations are true to those well defined principles basic to African American culture. Thank you for listening.” – Max Roach / Anthony Braxton

Anthony Braxton – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, sopranino saxophone, clarinet / Max Roach – drums








[Dedicated Ronnie Rocket with a happy Birthday!]

Roland Kirk Quartet featuring Elvin Jones – Rip, Rig and Panic (1965)

Title track from the album Rip, Rig & Panic by The Roland Kirk Quartet, Featuring Elvin Jones.

The title of the album was explained by Kirk in the liner notes as follows: “Rip means Rip Van Winkle (or Rest in Peace?); it’s the way people, even musicians are. They’re asleep. Rig means like rigor mortis. That’s where a lot of peoples mind are. When they hear me doing things they didn’t think I could do they panic in their minds”. Kirk made a lot of references to pioneers of jazz. “No Tonic Pres” is a reference to Lester Young; “From Bechet, Byas, and Fats” is a homage to Sidney Bechet, Don Byas, and Fats Waller; and “Once in a While” was inspired by Clifford Brown. Kirk also mentioned the work of Edgar Varese, the compositions Poeme electronique and Ionisation, as inspiration for the album. [source]

Roland Kirk – Tenor Saxophone, Stritch, Manzello, Flute, Siren, Oboe, Castanets / Jaki Byard – Piano / Richard Davis – Bass / Elvin Jones – Drums


Guy Warren – J.A.I.S.I (Jazz As I See It) (1954)

J.A.I.S.I (Jazz As I See It) is last track on side A of the album Africa Speaks America Answers by Guy Warren With The Red Saunders Orchestra.

Guy Warren of Ghana (or Kofi Ghanaba) (4 May 1923 – 22 December 2008) was a Ghanaian musician, best known as the inventor of Afro-jazz and as a member of The Tempos. His virtuosity on the African drums earned him the appellation “The Divine Drummer”.

Max Roach said in 1974: “Ghanaba was so far ahead of what we were all doing, that none of us understood what he was saying, that in order for Afro-American music to be stronger, it must cross-fertilise with its African origins. Ghanaba’s conception, like that of Marcus Garvey, George Washington Carver etc. was beyond our grasp. We ignored him. Seventeen years later, Black Music in America has turned to Africa for inspiration and rejuvenation, and the African soundz of Ghanaba is now being imitated all over the United States where Afro American music is played”. [source]

Line up: Guy Warren & Red Saunders & His Orchestra  (Red SaundersJimmy Richardson), under the direction of Gene Esposito.



Clifford Brown & Max Roach – Joy Spring (1955)

Recorded August, 1954 – February, 1955.

According to the original 1955 liner notes to Clifford Brown and Max Roach, the announcement that Clifford Brown and Max Roach had begun recording and playing together sent shock waves throughout the jazz community and predictions ran rampant about how the two might shape bop to come. The last duo to really shape the music had begun over ten years earlier, with the relationship between Bird and Diz. This recording was early fruit from a tree that would only live as long as Clifford Brown was around to water it (1956, the year of his tragic auto accident). The result is by far some of the warmest and most sincere bebop performed and committed to tape. Brown’s tone is undeniably and characteristically warm, and he keeps the heat on alongside Roach’s lilting vamps and pummeling solos. [source]

Clifford Brown – trumpet / Harold Land – tenor saxophone / George Morrow – bass / Richie Powell – piano / Max Roach – drums



Milford Graves – Response (1977)

Tracks on Meditation Among Us by Milford Graves:
A: Together And Moving (19:56) / B: Response (16:04)

Recorded in 1977, Meditation Among Us is the collaboration of American vanguard jazz drummer Milford Graves with a Japanese jazz quartet which included trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, saxophonist Kaoru Abe, drummer Toshi Tsuchitori (who also plays piano on this session), and bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa. There are two long selections here, credited to Graves, but they feel like completely free improvisations. [source]

Kaoru Abe – Alto Saxophone, Sopranino Saxophone
Toshiyuki Tsuchitori – Drums, Percussion
Milford Graves – Drums, Percussion, Piano, Voice
Mototeru Takagi – Tenor Saxophone
Toshinori Kondo – Trumpet, Horns [Alto]