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Classic British Modern & Free Jazz Recommendations

Discussion in 'music' started by poco a poco, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    As I recommended the last available CD's of this release back on post 176 (page9) that George Foster was selling to aid Alzheimer's Research (Alzheimer's devastated the final years of Ian Carr life) I was surprised at this sloppy review. I have the double LP vinyl version, not the CD, that I bought shortly after its release in 2010 by Stamford Audio, but that is what LCJ seems to be reviewing.

    Normally I have have quite a lot of respect for the LCJ website. He does have a number of particular opinions that I don't agree with, but when talking about early jazz labels and pressings he is usually meticulous in producing the evidence base. Not in this case though. It would take too long to challenge all the assumptions he makes about recording and pressing method, but he does not even appear to have read the sleeve notes, "I don’t know who the recorder of the session “George Foster” was, perhaps a friend of the band". In a page of the sleeve notes George Foster states who he was at that time (Secretary of the Student Union Jazz Society) and that he became a friend of Ian Carr for over 40 years. He describes the session and recording in some detail. LCJ "the tape ended up in the possession of Michael Garrick. I think not a professional recording engineer, who knows" "The use of three mics sounds promising (no mention of type of mic) but I suspect the reason for it being a mono recording as late as 1966 is not in pursuit of “glorious mono” but a consequence of necessity, because there was no mixing facility to control the input of each mic in either real time or post production." George Foster, "I tapped into the PA system. I cannot remember what recorder I used, but looking at my web pictures I recognise a Vortexion 3 channel mixer pre-amp and must have taken a feed off that". He then goes on to describe the microphones (Reslo ribbon mikes) and their positioning in some detail. He admits the sound balance wasn't great.

    George found the tape under Ian Carr's bed in 2007 when Ian had to move into a care home. He took it to Tony Rees for a high resolution transfer. I could go on about LCJ's other assumptions, but I have already taken up too much time and space. Everyone can of course make up their own mind about the musicianship here, there are a number of tracks on YouTube in addition to Ursula posted by LCJ. Unfortunately though not Hot Rod that is possibly the best track and can be compared to the Quintets other versions. I find the sound quality much better than just adequate and I think I prefer this live performance over the professionally recorded 'Don Rendell / Ian Carr - Live, Landsdown Series recording. To quote George Foster "This band achieves an up-tempo wildness threatening to disintegrate into chaos, pushing the music to the edge of incoherence and deftly pulling it back again". I think the CD version is still available from George Foster, the £10 going to support Alzheimer's Research and despite LCJ complaining (this from someone who spends multiple hundred pounds on early Blue Note pressings) "I paid a premium for a sealed (vinyl) copy" M- copies can be found for around £40 - £50.
    Link to CD and sleeve notes on Jazzhouse records blog:

    Edit: couple of typo's corrected and just to note this LP sounds much better when played with a good mono cartridge than a (my even better) stereo one. No compression or noise reduction was used in the mastering. Just playing it again now - not bad at all. :)
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    Seanm, paulfromcamden and Graham H like this.
  2. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Excellent, Jim. I mentioned it in the first place as I was puzzled by what LJC has written.
  3. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Following my rant above ;) and a replay of 'Live at the Union' I played my copy of the Don Rendell Quartet recording 'Time Presence', Live at the Bull's Head, Barnes Bridge recorded in 1986 and thought that it is well worth recommending here. Never reissued as far as I know, but copies can be found for around £40. Don signed mine though. :)
  4. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    Hi Jim

    I agree with your thoughts on this: it's a 'raw' recording, but I find it full of energy. I didn't bother with the vinyl, but picked up the CD from Allan at Jazzhouse - and it's perfectly fine in terms of SQ and performance.

    Then again, I've disagreed with LCJ on some of his ratings in the past, and his adherence to 'foo': it doesn't help to always agree :)
    poco a poco likes this.
  5. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than cis feelings

    Mine arrived too. I like mono records of this era, no messing about. Heads down working jazz, sort of a supergroup vibe to it.
    scotty38 likes this.
  6. herb

    herb music live

  7. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Mine arrived today - just about to play it :)
    scotty38 likes this.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I know it’s not ‘classic’ yet, but it will be... today’s new thing (to me) is Binker & Moses Journey To The Mountain Of Forever (Amazon). Double LP of (first LP) sax and drums aesthetically similar to Coltrane’s Interstellar Space, but rather more rooted in tonality and modern beats, and on the second LP they are joined with harp, trumpet and sax (Evan Parker!). Absolutely wonderful stuff and well worth a punt.

    There is an astonishing jazz scene in That London at present with music coming up from the streets and clubs exactly as it should do. Nothing cold, overly-intellectual or archaic about any of it, this is real fresh new stuff, much of it carrying a political message. Great to see jazz becoming the music of the young again. Finally!

    PS Big plug for the whole scene; Shabaka & The Ancestors, Nubya Garcia, The Comet Is Coming, Sons Of Kemet, Maisha, Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Kokoroko etc. Stuff is properly happening. Anyone looking for an intro check out the We Out Here compilation from a few years back (Amazon)
    kjb likes this.
  9. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Side one ending as we speak.......
  10. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Paul - Brian Olewnick has an excellent blog called Just Outside - you probably already know it. Here is a link just in case you don’t. There are two grouped reviews of Confront material if you scroll down, including the Tony Oxley and Arild Andersen titles I recommended. The Mike Cooper title is also on my radar:

    I think we’re in the wrong thread, but you did ask.
  11. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Totally agree - it does have the most misleading sleeve though. Looks like a Roger Dean sleeve from the 70’s!
    Your comments on the London scene are 100% spot on.
    Tony L likes this.
  12. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    R6 playing a fair bit of jazz the last 6 months or so. Moses Boyd hosted a few shows, good new stuff
  13. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Perfect, thanks Graham - at a glance it seems a promising mix of stuff I recognise and stuff that's new to me.
  14. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

  15. John C

    John C pfm Member

    Not sure if this is the right thread. Horace Tapscott and pan african peoples archestra live at IUCC. Amazing music and very honorable 3 LP vinyl reissue. Honest Jon’s involved
    Caliente, Graham H and paulfromcamden like this.
  16. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    I’ve been listening to Horace Tapscott quite a bit recently - his music takes many unpredictable twists and turns which I find engrossing. Some brilliant playing and arrangements.

    On vinyl I have the Real Gone reissue of The Giant Is Awakened, which is a beautiful record from beginning to end and I believe the recording debut of Arthur Blyth - the sound and remastering are excellent. I also have Flight 17 reissued by Outer National. Again some brilliant music, but unfortunately this one sounds like a needle drop -(noticeable pitch instability issues and noise).

    I’ve been streaming Live at the IUCC and tempted by the vinyl set. I’m hoping for some reassurance that this one isn’t a needle drop.

    For a different perspective I’d also recommend The Dark Tree double CD on Hat Art - a trio concert recording from the late 80s.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  17. John C

    John C pfm Member

    Yes the Dark Tree is wonderful. Outer National say they have licensed the Nimbus material. Probably a needle drop but the original recording is variable due to live setting. Sounds fine to me.
    Graham H likes this.
  18. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    I have a Nimbus 45rpm reissue of Creative Arts Ensemble from Outernational Sounds. It sounds great; to my ears it does not seem like a needle drop. Am not sure of the Tapscott ones as I own most of them on original Nimbus pressings, bought when they were not fashionable and relatively affordable.

    I also have a few Nimbus records from Pure Pleasure. They sound ok if not great. These may be from needle drops but am not sure. Some of the original Nimbus CDs sound great so they are a better option than any dodgy vinyl reissues.
    Graham H likes this.
  19. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Thanks John and Hockman. Very mixed results from Pure Pleasure Strata East reissues - as I’ve previously mentioned - but nonetheless so good to hear some half forgotten treasures.
  20. John C

    John C pfm Member

    The guy behind outernational mans the front of house in Honest Jon’s in Kings X. Also has radio Programme on Tuesday am which I will try and dig up link to. He’s a great enthusiast.
    Graham H likes this.

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