"Yasmina, a black Woman / Live at the Panafrican Festival"
(LP. BYG rcds. 1971 / rec. 1969) [US]
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Albert Ayler – 1965 · Spirits Rejoice & Bells Revisited (Ezz-thetics)
Economy-sized ensembles are sort of the default setting in Albert Ayler’s tragically fixed discography. Trios abound, from his earliest recordings in the company of a pair of ill-equipped and recalcitrant Swedes to the seminal expletive-in-a-cathedral unit involving Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray. Quartets are also plentiful, with first Don Cherry and then sibling Donald following in fielding brass. Spirits Rejoice & Bells Revisited renews attention on a pair of pivotal larger group episodes, one concert, the other captured in a concert hall sans audience, where Ayler expanded measurably on the polyphonic possibilities of his music.
Sequencing situates the second performance first, a sextet with the brothers Ayler joined by altoist Charles Tyler, bassist Henry Grimes and old colleagues Peacock and Murray. Five originals cover a spectrum of bases starting with the clarion march “Spirits Rejoice” which is redolent with the sanctified Salvation Army atmosphere that was Albert’s trademark. Regal statement of an Aeolian theme is answered by Tyler’s limpid asides before a conflagration of collective free improvisation takes hold. “Holy Family,” by comparison, is almost jukebox-worthy in its shimmy-powered concision and Call Cobbs joins the fun on flurried and florid harpsichord for “Angel.”
“Bells” comes from an engagement at New York’s Town Hall four months earlier with bassist Lewis Worrell in place of Grimes and Peacock. Essayist Brian Olewnick makes astute linkages to Ornette Coleman’s “Free Jazz” in terms of its general linkage free and thematic passages, but Ayler’s extended design sounds more elemental and unhinged from the jump. Donald is a molten metallic fount abetted by his older brother’s exhortations and those of Tyler who was apparently making his recorded debut on the date. A series of exchanges ensues, broken by audience applause and shifts to subgroupings including a duet passage by leader and Peacock that’s never sounded clearer.
That new clarity dials focus directly to audio engineer Peter Pfister and it’s why this particular reissue really matters. Pfister has become a continuous and crucial footnote to these reissues on the Ezz-thetics imprint. As with earlier projects, he defogs and brightens the source material substantially, bringing particularly potent boosts to the bassists and Murray’s vocalizations. The effect is as conspicuous and revelatory as to render earlier ESP editions of the music instantly obsolete. Ayler’s tenor sound, a helical weave of textured striations and colors, is absolutely deserving of the royal aural treatment so copiously applied.
~ Derek Taylor
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Albert Ayler Trio (July 13, 1936-November 25, 1970) || spiritual unity
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#21 Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lions and of course Sunny Murray- Call- “Live at the Cafe Montmarte” (1962).
This song should be “consumed”-if music can be a form of consumption-with some precious scotch Laphroaig. Anyway, it is a pure pleasure without even pairing it with alcochol.
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cheikh tidiane fall / malachi favors / sunny murray -- african magic [album, 1979]
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Archie Shepp -Yasmina, a Black Woman (1969)
Archie Shepp – tenor saxophone, vocal
Clifford Thornton – cornet
Lester Bowie – trumpet
Arthur Jones – alto saxophone
Roscoe Mitchell – bass saxophone, piccolo
Dave Burrell – piano
Malachi Favors, Earl Freeman – bass
Sunny Murray – drums, percussions
Art Taylor – rhythm logs
Laurence Devereaux – balafon
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Here’s some Hotel Transylvania drawings I’ve made through the last week sjsj
I love them all :’Y
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Sunny Murray passed away a few days ago, aged 82, more here
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•••• musique jaune ••••
Sunny MURRAY & The UNTOUCHABLE FACTOR / Roscoe MITCHELL
(split LP. Casablanca rcds. 1977 / rec. 1976) [US]
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Albert Ayler Trio – 1964 Prophecy Revisited (Ezz-thetics)
Multiple tapes were rolling one June night in 1964 at the Cellar Café in New York City. The auspicious occasion was a concert by saxophonist Albert Ayler’s working trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray. ESP-Disk producer Bernard Stollman got his hands on one set. Murray had possession of another. 1964 Prophecy Revisited seeks to rectify several wrongs resulting from what transpired after.
As an original engine and architect of the music, Murray was incensed. His tapes resulted in a subsequent release, Albert Smiles with Sunny with superior fidelity and a more complete aural picture of the evening's proceedings. The set fell out of print and became a highly prized collector’s item. Enter producer Werner Uehlinger who’s made it a mission of his Ezz-thetics label to reconsider and reissue important free jazz artifacts from the idiom’s heyday. Part and parcel with these projects come the explicit sanctioning of their offing and in this case, Ayler’s daughter did just that.
Cartons of ink and millions of pixels have gone towards describing and contextualizing the music on this disc. What’s sets its newest iteration apart is the sound. Engineer Peter Pfister, who’s been Uehingler’s audio ace for decades, breathes life into Murray-sourced recording heretofore unheard. Peacock gains clarity and presence in the mix, his arco strokes in the opening incantatory “Spirits” scribbling and sawing over the patter of the drummer’s cascading cymbals, snare, and vocalized moans.
Ayler, too, is exceptionally served by Pfister’s restorative efforts. The grain and weight of his tenor ululations as he glides divination-like across registers are both bracing and effacing of the sonic obstacles posed by the crucible that was the venue acoustics. The trio burns through the leader’s eucharistic themes, placing repeated emphasis on collective improvisation that’s sometimes uncanny in its communal catharsis. Murray’s gone now passed on in 2017, but it’s heartening to imagine him echoing the title of his earlier release with a broad grin from on high shared with his old friend at the music finally done right.
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FREE JAZZ WORKSHOP - INTER FRÉQUENCES
En 1967 est mis sur pied le Free Jazz Workshop dont le premier disque, Inter Fréquences, ne sort qu’en 1973. Entretemps malheureusement, il n'existe aucune trace phonographique de ce groupe dont le premier batteur est Pierre Guyon avant d’être remplacé par Christian Rollet en 1970.
L’un des mots d’ordre de l’époque suffit à camper le tableau : « La libération des esthétiques n’est qu’un prélude à la libération de l’humanité. » De cette émancipation des mentalités telle qu’elle fut vécue en France par certains musiciens, la trajectoire du Free Jazz Workshop (devenu Workshop de Lyon en 1975 avec l’arrivée du clarinettiste-saxophoniste Louis Sclavis) se révèle emblématique. Trajectoire d’une longévité exceptionnelle, un « mi-centenaire » comme disent ses membres, durant lequel la formation - selon les mots-mêmes de Christian Rollet - passe « d’atelier exploratoire revendiquant de ne rien tenir pour acquis des certitudes musicales majoritaires » à institution devenue classique.
Dès ce premier album, l'on sait que la formation fera oeuvre commune, sans leadership. Héritées du free jazz américain, des influences s'entendent encore : Albert et Don Ayler, tout comme Ornette Coleman et Don Cherry chez les souffleurs Maurice Merle et Jean Mereu ; Cecil Taylor pour le pianiste Patrick Vollat, absent du groupe après le deuxième album, La Chasse de Shirah Sharibad ; Gary Peacock et Barre Phillips pour ce qui est de la basse ; Sunny Murray voire Milford Graves en ce qui concerne le foisonnement rythmique ; mais aussi l'Art Ensemble of Chicago dans la dimension collective.
À l'instar de ceux réalisés par le Cohelmec Ensemble à la même époque, ou par François Tusques précédemment, ce disque au lyrisme incandescent représente un des sommets du free jazz joué par des musiciens français.
The Free Jazz Workshop came into being in 1967 but their first album, Inter Fréquences, only appeared in 1973. Unfortunately there is no recorded trace of the group including the first drummer Pierre Guyon before he was replaced by Christian Rollet in 1970.
One of the slogans doing the rounds at the time sets the tone: "Aesthetic liberation is but a prelude to the liberation of humanity." The trajectory of the Free Jazz Workshop (which became the Workshop de Lyon in 1975 with the arrival of clarinetist-saxophonist Louis Sclavis) is emblematic of the emancipation of the mindset of certain French musicians during this period. It has been an exceptionally long-lived trajectory a "half-century" as the members say, during which the group - in Christian Rollet's own words – went from being "an exploratory workshop who claimed to take no account of the musical certitudes of the majority" to becoming something of a classic institution.
Right from this first album it is clear that the group would function as a collective with no designated leader. The legacy and influence of American free jazz can be heard throughout: Albert and Don Ayler, or Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry for the horns of Maurice Merle and Jean Mereu; Cecil Taylor for the pianist Patrick Vollat, absent from the group after the second album La Chasse de Shirah Sharibad; Gary Peacock and Barre Phillips for the bass; Sunny Murray or Milford Graves for the rhythmic agitation; but also the Art Ensemble of Chicago for the collective aspect.
This lyrical, incandescent album, alongside those released by François Tusques and the Cohelmec Ensemble at the same period, represents one the high points of free jazz produced by French musicians.
( Ornette Coleman, par là )
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Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet - Season 1 (2020) Review
I don’t really play video games, I don’t get how people get addicted to them. *Ghost of Tsushima is released.* I AM A SAMURAI AND THAT IS THAT!!!
Plot: The team behind the biggest multiplayer video game of all-time is tasked with building worlds, moulding heroes and creating legends, but the most hard-fought battles don't occur in the game -- they happen in the office.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a very Marmite show. You either like it or you don’t. There are numerous folks who would hate the offensive no-filter humour of it, I have many friends you love it and quote it endlessly, in turn also trying to compare themselves to the characters in the show, which is tad worrying and concerning, since the personalities of the show are, to put it simply, bad people who lack the sense of a moral compass. However the creative team behind It’s Always Sunny’s long lasting TV run (14 seasons and counting) have teamed up yet again to bring us Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, a comedic series more appropriate for a wider audience. It’s the typical office based sitcom, only with the added flavour of the video game background, meaning game players can enjoy a show featuring a ridiculous yet somewhat realistic behind-the-scenes look at how video games are made as well as a focus on the world of streaming, with how gamers provide game-plays and walkthroughs of game hits and how this impacts the market.
The show’s creators as such have partnered up with popular game developer Ubisoft to provide authenticity to this world. Game footage is a big part of Mythic Quest, not only as the central theme of the show's overall plot, but also as interstitial segues between scenes and stages for some of the series' most dramatic moments. To pull it off believably, Ubisoft actually created original game assets and actual working gameplay sandboxes that were shot practically as the actors played on set. So basically, Ubisoft went out of their way to make a fake game for the show that no one will ever get the chance to play in real life. Then again, the game within the show borrows a lot in it’s look from games such as For Honour and World of Warcraft, so I guess go and play those if you’d like. Or don’t, I’m not your mother, I can’t tell you what to do. Unless you are lacking a parental figure, but even then, I don’t think this is going to work out.
In any case, is Mythic Quest a good show? Generally speaking, yes. It’s enjoyable, offering enough laughs and providing us with a likeable central cast (Rob McElhenney on top form playing once again a self-absorbed diva), but I’d say the show plays it a bit too safe. Not many risks are taken, and as such, there’s a lack of surprise to the procedures. That being said, it’s never boring and also the production design is top notch. I mean, the latter makes sense since its one of the very first shows from the new streaming service AppleTV+ (which I got for free for one year due to getting a new iPhone 11 for my birthday so take that suckaz!!), so Apple, with its billions of safes that hold billions of dollars from selling billions of phones and tablets to billions and billions of people, has had no problem in shoving a lot of money into this thing. Hence, the lush look of the series and that nifty little deal with Ubisoft.
Where the series does shine is in it’s special episodes, most significantly two of them. Firstly I’d like to mention it’s most recent episode, a one-off special that was released during quarantine this year, and it’s quite impressive as the whole thing was written, filmed and edited in-quarantine all from the respectable homes of the show’s cast and crew, and the result is truly incredible. Yes, during lockdown a few shows did little specials like Parks & Recreation having their little adorable nostalgic reunion (“bye-bye Lil’ Sebastian, you’re 5000 candles in the winds....” *sob sob*) or Saturday Night Live not being live and being performed on webcam without a laughing audience and then late-night hosts did their shtick from the comfort of their households on YouTube, but with Mythic Quest, there was definitely a step-up in quality. The final result is, dare I say, a mythical effort. The show doesn’t treat its video-chat setup like a one-off gag but rather uses it to establish running concepts like Poppy’s stubborn refusal to shower, while also perfectly reacquainting the audiences with the show’s main trio and their quirks. And if that weren’t enough, it also marks the debut of McElhenney’s pale bare ass on the show. The result is one of the show’s most effective and funniest episodes. Then the other stand-out episode is episode 5 that comes bang in the middle of the first season. It’s an episode that takes a break from the main story-line of the series and instead features an entirely different cast led by Jake Johnson and Cristin Milioti and tells a tonally different, unrelated story that spans across 20 years and that episode alone was a solid 9/10! Simply put, it is a masterclass in storytelling. Over half an hour, the episode details the birth and death of a dream. It’s about a couple that come together to develop their video game, and then they find success in both their game and relationship until it all comes crashing down. It’s the idea of how one pours all their passion and heart into something, be it a video game or a relationship, the output can be truly incredible. But also what it does to you as a person is very remarkable, for better or for worse. This was a truly enthralling watch, with some strong Black Mirror vibes, and as such even if you don’t watch the entire series, I implore you to check out episode 5 of season 1 of Mythic Quest.
Overall score: 7/10
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it’s always sunny in gotham
expanded from this based on this scene
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Albert Ayler Trio - Ghosts: First Variation
“Spiritual Unity”, ESP Disk, 1965
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Freddy looks like Mac’s mom from Always Sunny here.
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Albert Ayler - Quartets 1964: Spirits to Ghosts Revisited (Ezz-thetic)
Once the bane or boon of music collectors depending on where they found themselves regarding ownership of a given album, the signifier “out of print” no longer holds much weight or consequence. Thank the vast levelling access of the internet for that nullification of scarcity and the good, bad, and ugly that comes with it. But for those who still covet and delight in the tactile and ocular pleasures of a physical recorded object in the context of pioneering free jazz, Quartets 1964: Spirits to Ghosts Revisited will likely prove appealing both in terms of content and presentation.
Saxophonist Albert Ayler was advancing another sea change in his music when he recorded the two studio dates included on the disc. Seven months separated the New York City sessions and across that temporal distance, Ayler solidified a working band that would become arguably his most iconic. The music was released under different titles in the ensuing years with Witches and Devils an alternate identifier for Spirits and Vibrations replacing Ghosts on occasion, but the evolutionary differences in organized sound still evident between them.
Ayler assembled bands for both that allowed him to jettison earlier and awkward adherences to jazz standard conventions made to accommodate convention-minded sidemen and focus instead on his own compositions. Spirits explores longer improvisational forms over four pieces with drummer Sunny Murray and bassist Henry Grimes slotting ably and enthusiastically into Ayler’s raucous theme-to-freedom frameworks. Trumpeter Norman Howard and bassist Earle Henderson fare less well by comparison. The former often resorts to abrasive scalar trills while the latter resorts at times to leaden thrums but each recoups in avidity what he might lack in facility.
Ghosts benefits from better sound and augments a core trio of Murray and bassist Gary Peacock who took part in Ayler’s seminal Spiritual Unity session that summer by adding trumpeter Don Cherry. The launching themes are still elemental and protean in feel and intensity, but the resulting polyphonic barrages don’t show their seams as easily. Murray and Peacock are often a blur of concerted motion with Ayler and Cherry injecting grain and texture into their galvanizing horn bursts that are by turns jarring and beautiful.
Aside from the convenience of bundling the sessions in a single package and a typically astute accompanying essay from Ayler expert Art Lange the release has other aspects to recommend it. Full licensure by the Ayler Estate for the contents means the proper parties are being compensated. Engineer Peter Pfister, like Lange a mainstay for project producer Werner X. Uehlinger, cleans up the recordings considerably with a fresh remaster completed this past summer. Seventy-plus minutes of Ayler is an investment, but nearly fifty-five years later there’s still nothing exactly like it.
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