Sun Ra – The Magic City (1965)

The boundaries of Sun Ra’s self-proclaimed “space jazz” underwent a transformation in the mid-’60s. The Magic City is an aural snapshot of that metamorphic process. Many enthusiasts and scholars consider this to be among Ra’s most definitive studio recordings. [source]

Alto Saxophone – Harry Spencer / Alto Saxophone, Flute – Danny Davis / Alto Saxophone, Flute, Oboe, Piccolo Flute – Marshall Allen / Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Timpani – Pat Patrick / Bass – Ronnie Boykins / Bass Clarinet – Robert Cummings / Keyboards [Clavioline], Celesta [Electronic Celeste], Piano, Marimba [Bass], Harp [Sun Harp], Percussion [Dragon Drum], Timpani – Sun Ra / Percussion – Jimmi Johnson, Roger Blank / Tenor Saxophone – John Gilmore / Trombone – Ali Hassan, Bernard Pettaway, Teddy Nance / Trumpet – Chris Capers, Walter Miller



Gil Evans – “Little Wing” (1986)

Recording from Gil Evans´ Concert in Jazzhouse Montmartre, Copenhagen 13. juli 1986.

Lew Soloff – Trumpet / Miles Evans – Trumpet / Shunzo Ono – Trumpet / David Taylor – Trombone / Tom Malone – Trombone / Chris Hunter – Alto Saxophone / John Surman – Barytone Saxophone /  Dave Bardien – French Horn / Delmar Brown – Keyboard / Gill Evans – Keyboard / Kenwood Dennard – Drums / Marilyn Mazur – Guest (Percussions) / Palle Mikkelborg – Guest (Trumpet)


[via Ronnie Rocket]

Hamiet Bluiett – Footprints (1983)

From the album Bearer of the Holy Flame by Hamiet Bluiett, recorded on July 25 in 1983 and released in 1984 on Black Fire.

Tracks on Bearer of the Holy Flame : Footprints / EBU / Song Song / Headless Blues / I´ll Close My Eyes / Gumbo (Vegetarian Style)

Hamiet Bluiett – Baritone Sax, Clarinet, Alto flute
John Hicks – Piano
Fred Hopkins – Bass
Marvin Smitty Smith – Drums
Chief Bey – African Drums, Percussion

Anthony Braxton – All The Things You Are (1972)

All The Things You Are is from the album Town Hall 1972 by Anthony Braxton, recorded on 22 May 1972 at Town Hall, NYC

For those seeking the deep roots of Anthony Braxton´s numbered series of compositions — numbering close to 200 — this 1972 concert is essential in that it features live recordings of “Composition 1” (for percussionist Jerome Cooper), “Composition 2” (for pianist Frederic Rzewski), and “Composition 3.” This marks a return home, albeit a temporary one, for the composer and multi-instrumentalist — Braxton left the United States for France in 1968, where he made a few recordings for European labels. Braxton showcases his work in a number of settings here — in a pair of trios with bassist Dave Holland and drummers Phillip Wilson and Barry Altschul, and on “Composition 3” (for vocalist Jeanne Lee) saxophonist John Stubblefield and Lee herself become a part of the band. Also in the mix is in a wildly abstract but street-tough read of “All the Things You Are.” On “Composition 1,” Braxton, Holland, and Wilson establish early on what would be a trait in the composer’s improvisations, which is the notion of a theme thoroughly stated, abstracted, deconstructed, and reconstructed into something wholly other while remaining recognizable. Critics have argued this, but those who deny it just don’t listen closely enough. Here Braxton´s first quotations from Warne Marsh make their way onto tape, and his manner of shifting pitch against chromatic and even whole-tone harmonics to create the appearance of diatonic abstraction comes into play as the body of the work. Holland plays away from it, moving toward Braxton´s outer reach while Wilson moves inside the thematic construct, opening it up enough to keep Holland within reach of the subtle shifts some of the improvisation requires for articulation.  [source]

Anthony Braxton – Alto Saxophone
Dave Holland  – Bass
Philip Wilson – Percussion










[dedicated as a tribute to Ronnie Rocket]

Human Arts Ensemble with Oliver Lake & Lester Bowie – Under The Sun (1973) (full album)

Under The Sun is recorded in July 1973 in St. Louis, Missouri under the sun. The album is produced by the Committee for Universal Justice and released in 1974 on Universial Justice Records.

Side A. “Lover´s Desire” (26:00) is a free music symphony based on an Afganistan folk melody, ‘Lover’s Desire’  transcribed from radio Kabul. Arranged by Charles W. Shaw, James Marshall, Marty Ehrlich.                                                                                                                                     Side B. “Hazrat, The Sufi” (22:00) is composed by James Marshall and arranged by Charles W. Shaw, James Marshall, Marty Ehrlich.

Lester Bowie – Trumpet
Oliver Lake – Alto Sax
Marty Erlich – Alto Sax, Tin Flute, Small Instruments
Carol Marshall – Vocal and Small Instruments
James Marshall – Alto Sax, Wooden Flutes, Punji (Snake Charmer Flute), Small Instruments
J.D. Parran – Bass Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Flute, Piccolo, Harmonica, Small Instruments
Victor Reef – Trombone
Charles Bobo Shaw, Jr – Drums
Butch Smith – Bass
Abdallah Yakub – Percussion, Small Instruments, Voice
Alan Suits – Tamboura
Vincent Terrell – Cello



Dave Holland – Conference Of The Birds (1972)

Conference Of The Birds is the titletrack (last track on side A) on the album by bassist Dave Holland.

Conference of the Birds is an album by the Dave Holland Quartet, recorded in 1972 and released in 1973. It is jazz bassist Holland’s second collaboration with composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, as well as his second album on EMC records. The liner notes describe how birds would congregate each morning outside Holland’s London apartment and join with one another in song.

Each piece on the album is “open form,” with a theme stated at the beginning to set key, tempo, and mood. The players are then free to improvise in whatever direction they choose. Stuart Nicholson writes: “Conference of the Birds emerged as a definitive statement of swinging free expression. It was, in essence, a return to the rugged discipline of early 1960s free improvising by working off melodic foundations using the ‘time, no changes’ principle to achieve greater control over that elusive quarry, freedom.”[source]

All compositions by Dave Holland: Four Winds / Q & A / Conference of the Birds / Interception / Now Here (Nowhere) / See-Saw

Dave Holland – Bass
Sam Rivers – Reeds, Flute
Anthony Braxton – Reeds, Flute
Barry Altschul – Percussion, Marimba


Albert Ayler – Angels (1966)

Angels is the second track on the side B on the album Spirits Rejoice by Albert Ayler, recorded and released in 1965.

Recorded live at New York’s Judson Hall in 1965, Spirits Rejoice is one of Albert Ayler´s wildest, noisiest albums, partly because it’s one of the very few that teams him with another saxophonist, altoist Charles Tyler. It’s also one of the earliest recordings to feature Ayler´s brother Don playing an amateurish but expressive trumpet, and the ensemble is further expanded by using bassists Henry Grimes and Bary Peacock together on three of the five tracks; plus, the rubato “Angels” finds Ayler interacting with Call Cobbs´ harpsichord in an odd, twinkling evocation of the spiritual spheres. Aside from that more spacious reflection, most of the album is given over to furious ensemble interaction and hard-blowing solos that always place in-the-moment passion above standard jazz technique. [read more]

Albert Ayler – Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Donald Ayler – Trumpet
Call Cobbs – Harp, Harpichord
Henry Grimes – Bass
Sunny Muray – Drums, Percussion
Gary Peacock – Bass
Charles Tyler – Alto Saxophone, Unknown Contributor Role