Thursday, November 22, 2018

Weather Report - 1973-05-__, The Quiet Knight, Chicago,

Hey! Its Thanksgiving weekend, unless you're like me,and don't live in the US. In which case, I hope you're not too cold, or too warm, as the case may be.

Today's share is an interesting Weather Report show from 1973, at a club in Chicago called the Quiet Knight, which hosted a variety of styles: I also have tapes of Bob Marley and Bruce Cockburn playing this club. But since I've yet to share any Weather Report here, I figured this was as good a place as any to start!

The material is heavy on early Weather Report - and there's couple tunes Zawinul wrote for Miles Davis - but it's got a nice, funky groove as it goes on. This was near the end of the run for Miroslav Vitous, too, which makes it interesting in that sense: as I understand it, he didn't like the funk/fusion direction they were going in. Didn't stop him from releasing an album where he's welding a double-neck guitar, tho. He's joined by Zawinul on keys, Eric Gravatt on drums, Dom Um Romao on percussion, and Wayne Shorter on sax.
  1. Intro
  2. Vertical Invador
  3. 125th Street Congress
  4. In A Silent Way
  5. It's About That Time
  6. Unknown Soldier
  7. It's About That Time
  8. Boogie Woogie Waltz

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Dramarama - 10-10-1990, Max's On Broadway, Baltimore, MA (FM)

I'd be lying if I said I was a huge Dramarama fan. But I came across this tape many years ago at the old Infinite Foolishness blog (if you're out there, my guy, leave me a comment!) and was blown away by how red-hot this performance was.

You can practically see Dramarama frontman John Easdale pacing the stage, bantering with the audience ("oh it's great to be here in Baltimore," he drawls, "it really is'), before launching into a high-powered version of "Last Cigarette."

Indeed, if you're unsure about this boot, then try just that track and see how it gets you. For me, it's as good as anything the Faces did live, and when they were on, they were really on. So, I guess, was this lineup of Dramarama.

Oh, and if you're really tempted by this show, Rhino has a one-disc Best Of that you can snag over at Discogs.

  1. Questions
  2. No Regrets
  3. Scenario
  4. In Quiet Rooms
  5. Haven't Got A Clue
  6. 70's TV
  7. Until the Next Time
  8. On the Streets
  9. Wonderamaland
  10. Seven Minutes (Or Less)
  11. Tiny Candles
  12. Lullabye
  13. Would You Like
  14. Ain't It the Truth
  15. Last Cigarette
  16. talk
  17. Some Crazy Dame
  18. I'll Give You Anything

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tony Joe White - 1970-08-28, Isle of Wight

White at Wight...

On the poster advertising the 1970 Isle of Wight festival is a litany of famous rockers: Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and tucked away at the bottom is Sly and the Family Stone. Absent: Miles Davis (really?) and one Tony Joe White.

White died the other day, not long after releasing his latest - and probably final - album Bad Mouthin'. It's a good record, but not one that made many waves, which suggests that over the years, he never really lost it, just that tastes changed. Too bad, because he was a heck of performer. For me, his music hits a sweet spot right between CCR's swampy rock and the 70s outlaw vibes of Waylon Jennings.

This share came to me buried deep on a limited-edition, out of print box set The Complete Monument Recordings (find it here at Discogs) and I think the music's too good not to sit on, and with White's passing, it's worth a listen. It's short, to the point, and White's accompanied only by Cozy Powell, who he allegedly only met a few hours before the gig. You'd never know it from the way they mesh.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Tony Williams - 1989-12-15, New York City

I've been listening to a lot of Tony Williams lately, mostly thanks to this video. During his run at Blue Note in the late 80s/early 90s, Williams released a tremendous string of albums and to help promote them, a video was shot in New York.

On the evening (I assume it was nighttime, anyway) of December 15, Tony Williams and his band - Ira Coleman on bass, Wallace Roney on trumpet, Bill Pierce on sax, and Mulgrew Miller on piano - played a set at Chelsea Studios in New York, and it was taped and released on laserdisc the next year. Like anything I've heard of him live, it blazes: the band is in good shape (Miller is especially fun to listen to), but it's Williams' drumming that takes the cake.

He'd taken some classes on composition and harmony earlier in the decade, and I think they'd shaped his drumming. His solos are more varied and exciting than anything he did with Lifetime in the 70s and honestly, sets like this help make the case he's one of the most exciting jazz drummers of his generation. He's certainly more interesting than DeJohnette's playing at the time, and while Cobham can blast the roof off any time he wants, I don't think his playing has the same nuances and subtlety.

Anyway, no download, just a one-hour video I've watched like four times this week and I hope you get as much enjoyment out of, too!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

John Coltrane - 1965-03-19, The Half Note, NYC

Today would've been John Coltrane's 92nd birthday. Instead of writing about his influence, or whatever, I'll just suggest you download this boot of him and his classic group live at the Half Note in early 1965.

1. Chim Chim Cheree
2.  Impressions

John Coltrane ts, Elvin Jones, dr, Jimmy Garrison b, McCoy Tyner p

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Procol Harum - 1971-04-12 - A&R Studios, NYC

AKA: Trower's last stand...
 Fall is in the air up here, and that means it's time to listen to some Procol Harum, a band I always associate with cool breezes, changing leaves and driving around aimlessly on my days off.

This share comes from late in Robin Trower's stint in the band, and in fact may represent his final gig with the band? I'm not sure about that, but it's gotten the bootleggy title of Robin's Last Stand which is too fun not to share. I am sure that it's a solid gig, performed live-to-air from New York's A&R Studios (where Pharoah Sanders would record Black Unity only a few months later!) and was broadcast on WPLJ, which sources tell me was in this case a radio station and not a song about mixing wine with lemon juice.

It opens with a rockin' "Memorial Drive," featuring Trower's chunky guitar and Gary Brooker busting out some boogie piano. From there, they launch into slower material: "Nothing That I Did," the driving blues of "Simple Sister," and the lengthy "Whaling Stories," which builds up like a storm and has a ton of energy. "A Salty Dog" has some of the same vibes, although at a slower tempo.

As noted, this was pretty close to the end of one phase of the band. From here, it wasn't far until they were playing with symphony orchestras and dabbling with roots-rock (roots prog?) on Exotic Birds and Fruit. Which Esoteric Records just released in a deluxe, 3CD set, and I reviewed it a while back for Live in Limbo. So do check that out, it's got the Replacement Programming seal of approval.

  1. Memorial Drive
  2. Still There'll Be More
  3. Nothing That I Didn't Know
  4. Simple Sister
  5. Luskus Delph
  6. Shine On Brightly
  7. Whaling Stories
  8. Broken Barricades
  9. Juicy John Pink
  10. A Salty Dog
  11. Whiskey Train
  12. Power Failure

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Steve Lacy - 1977-04-09 - Jazzbehne, East Berlin, GDR

Things have been a little busy with me lately - work stuff, transition stuff, etc etc - so I've been slacking in sharing, But not in listening, because god help me, I listen to way too much stuff. Lately, it's been Steve Lacy.
Straight horn, mostly straight posture

I don't know why, but I had this idea that Lacy was a free jazz type, a sort of peer to Anthony Braxton, and I avoided him for that reason. But after listening to Jane Bunnett's New York Duets, I went to Lacy, her main influence on the soprano, and found I was completely wrong about Lacy. Since then, I've been going hard on the records he made with Mal Waldron (indeed, Duets owes a debt to Waldron/Lacy's Sempre Amore), and the early stuff he did on Prestige records.

This share, however, comes from a different part of Lacy's career: the late 70s, when he was gigging around with a lineup including: Steve Potts on reeds, Irene Aebi on cello, violin and vocals, Kent Carter on bass and  Oliver Johnson on drums. This share came to me as one long file, but one site has the tracklisting as follows: "The Crust," "Papa's Midnight Hop," "The New Duck," and "Revolutionary Suicide." So, I suppose, no Monk staples like "Epistrophy," this time around. Still, I like this one a lot, hope you do, too! 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Richard and Linda Thompson - 05-01-1977, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London

Oh it's the madness of love...

I've been on a Richard Thompson kick lately, and thought I'd dig this tape out and give 'er another listen. What is it exactly? Well, it's a rough-yet-ready audience tape from May 1977, catching Richard and Linda Thompson working out some songs on the road, and has Richard's playing in fine form and both of them strong in voice.

But it's more than that, too: a lot of these songs never saw release. To the best of my knowledge, "The Madness of Love" is the only "new" one they released, and even then it was on the limited-edition Doom and Gloom From the Tomb cassette that went to fan club members, or something. It's too bad: the songs here are sharp, and I love the slow groove of "Madness..." and how RT turns in a slow, twisting solo. But there's more: the call and response chorus of "Rescue Me," and how it whips into the verses (there's an inspired RT solo, too), or the jazzy vibes of "Bird in God's Garden."

A few older songs are given a nice polish, too: "Night Comes In" builds in a slow burn, while "When I Get to the Border" has a ramshackle groove; sorta makes me wonder how Crazy Horse would cover it.

The sound's a little rough, but nothing a good pair of headphones (or just playing it really loud) won't fix. The music's great, however, and maybe someday Thompson will see fit to release these tunes. Until then, tho...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Charles Mingus - 1974-04-22 - Mackenzie Corner House, Toronto, ON

The 70s were not the strongest decade for Charles Mingus, but the peaks are quite good. For me, Changes One and Two are two very strong, overlooked records that feature a crack band of George Adams, Don Pullen, Dannie Richmond and Jack Walrath.

A few months before the Changes session, Mingus and his band - which also included Hamiet Bluiett on baritone sax for this date - rolled into Toronto. The gig was taped (by whom?), and part of it was broadcast on the radio. I don't have details, but I suspect Mingus' soundman taped the gig and it was broadcast over a NYC radio station. I can't imagine any station in Toronto playing this, except maybe the CBC, and this broadcast doesn't match their style (compare it to the Arthur Blythe or Bill Evans gigs they broadcast). 

 The set list? "Opus 3," which appeared on Mingus Moves. Yep. just one song, but it's a good one and a lengthy performance. It shows Pullen, Adams and everyone taking solos and stretching out; Mingus has a solo where he goofs around, drawing a few laughs from the crowd. It's a pretty compelling performance, and makes me wonder if there's more kicking around someplace. Hopefully! Maybe Sue Mingus has them in an archive, somewhere.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Jerry Garcia - 1982-11-09, E.M. Lowe's Theater, Worceste, MA (Early Show)

Jerry and Lisa

I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a lousy Deadhead. I like their shorter, more rockin' tunes than the lengthy, spaced-out jams. I liked those Road Trip releases where they'd have the best moments from a handful of shows. And when it comes to solo Jerry, I have a soft spot for the 80s.

These were not exactly great years for Garcia. Hooked on heroin and in poor health, he'd wind up in a diabetic coma before the decade was out. His marriage to Mountain Girl was in shambles and they didn't live together. And John Kahn was providing a notably bad influence on him when he was away from the band.

That said, when he was on in the 80s, he was really on. This show in Massachusetts is a great example, featuring him in prime form. I especially like this version of "Dear Prudence," which has his reedy voice full of emotion and some choice soloing: slow, deliberate and downright bluesy. There's more, of course: a jaunty "Tangled Up In Blue," and rockin' "Deal," and two sweet Motown covers. But if I'm being honest, I like to go back to this version of Prudence. Something about Melvin Seals' organ and the way Garcia's guitar licks mesh always does it for me. FWIW, the sound's great too: it's a soundboard, but not one where his guitar is buried in the mix.