NoBusiness Records

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Bobby Bradford, Hafez Modirzadeh, Mark Dresser, Alex Cline
Live at the Open Gate
NoBusiness Records
LP
$22

Always a treat to hear more music from living legend Bobby Bradford (check his recordings with John Carter if you haven’t already. In particular, their Self-Determination Music LP has gotten lots of play in my home over the years). This album was recorded live at the Center for the Arts in Los Angeles on March 3, 2013. LP only edition of 500. Hear a bit of Bradford's Song for the Unsung, one of my favorite tunes, & Modirzadeh's Facet 5.

Bobby Bradford: cornet
Hafez Modirzadeh: alto saxophone
Mark Dresser
: bass
Alex Cline: drums

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John Carter
Echoes from Rudolph's
NoBusiness Records
2CD
$17

"Echoes from Rudolph's has topped my list of Albums Most in Need of Reissuing for the longest time. Not only is it one of clarinetist-composer John Carter's greatest performances on record, it is also the only documentation of a critical period in the evolution of his art. It is the only album he made as a leader or co-leader between Secrets in 1972 and Variations in 1979. And it comes from the period in which he decided to discard his other horns and to focus exclusively on the clarinet.

"Every Sunday afternoon for two and a half years, between 1973 and 1976, the John Carter Trio made Rudolph's Fine Art Center their home. A former dentist's office located at 3320 West 50th Street in South Central Los Angeles, Rudolph's had a raised stage at one end of the room. To the right was the green room, to the left was a door to individual rooms and a bath. In between was a little table for wine and cheese. Capacity was about 30, but there were usually fewer people than that in attendance. In this intimate setting, accompanied by his son Stanley on bass and longtime collaborator William Jeffrey on drums, Carter developed his art and grew to realize that the clarinet was his instrument of destiny.

"As 'Amin' shows, Carter was an original voice on soprano sax. In fact there was another tune for soprano saxophone recorded for the album, 'Blues for Ruby Pearl,' but it was never released. At the last minute, Carter replaced it with 'Angles,' a solo clarinet piece. As good as he was on soprano, it was on clarinet that Carter truly takes wing and soars. The new solo track signaled his transition exclusively to the instrument.

"Carter released Echoes from Rudolph's in late October or early November 1977 in an edition of only 550 copies on his own Ibedon label. 'I be done' is a Black southern idiom common during John's Texas childhood. Cornetist Bobby Bradford gives an example of its usage: 'I be done go upside yo' haid.' For Carter, the name not only connects to his Fort Worth roots, it also sounds suggestive of Africa.

"The second disc of this set contains a rare broadcast recording by the trio. After Rudolph's closed, the group was invited to perform on the Goodbye Porkpie Hat program on KPFK. Recorded in March 1977, just months before Carter added the solo clarinet track to the LP, it is very likely the last recording of Carter on soprano sax.

"With most of his earliest recorded work with Bobby Bradford now back in print, Carter's revolutionary achievements as an instrumentalist and composer can be reassessed and better appreciated. These trio sessions capture Carter at the very birth of his mature period, when clarinet became his sole instrument. In a sense, Echoes from Rudolph's is the missing link between the New Art Jazz Ensemble of the late '60s/early '70s and his compositional masterpiece, Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music, released on five albums throughout the 198os and one of the great triumphs of that decade" - Ed Hazell

Hear clips of To a Fallen Poppy and Amin

John Carter: clarinet, soprano saxophone
Stanley Carter: bass
William Jeffrey: drums, percussion
Chris Carter: cymbal (CD 1, track 2)
Melba Joyce: vocals (CD 1, track 2)

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Ted Daniel's Energy Module
Innerconnection
NoBusiness Records
2LP
$34 (out of stock; would gladly reorder if prompted)

Trumpeter Ted Daniel's Energy Module was an unfortunately short-lived outfit, performing only 2 gigs in their time together. This hot live recording was their last, recorded November 8, 1975, at Sunrise Studio in New York City. They burned through an array of tunes by Albert Ayler (their version of "Ghosts" is glorious), Dewey Redman, Sunny Murray, and Ornette Coleman, plus a couple originals by Daniel, who also contributes some brief, evocative notes for the record. Edition of 400, gatefold sleeve. Hear some of Jiblet and The Probe.

Ted Daniel: trumpet, flugelhorn, French hunting horn, Moroccan bugle
Daniel Carter: tenor saxophone
Oliver Lake: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, piccolo, cow bell
Richard Pierce: bass
Tatsuya Nakamura: drums
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Ted Daniel's Energy Module
Innerconnection
NoBusiness Records
2CD
$17
2CD version of this killer set, also on vinyl as above. Additional notes by Ed Hazell accompany the CD.
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The Freestyle Band (Henry Warner, Earl Freeman, Philip Spigner)
s/t
NoBusiness Records
CD
$10

Right on time reissue of this great underground free jazz classic, complete with two previously unissued tracks totaling over 20 minutes (!) and in-depth liner notes by Ed Hazell. Nice price on this Lithuanian import due to peripheral 50 Miles involvement. 50 Miles used to offer the original vinyl pressing, and that write-up is below:

"I watch the things all around me and I shy away, reject and go away, and sometimes it's more successful." - Earl Freeman, quoted in "Freeman Fighter," written by Valerie Wilmer, published in Melody Maker, May 13, 1972.


earl freeman Earl "Goggles" Freeman (1931-1994) was an outcat's outcat: musician, poet, visual artist, and all-around interesting fellow. Born in Oakland, Freeman was a noteworthy but somewhat enigmatic musician who was most active recording-wise when he was an expat on the '60s Paris free jazz scene. His discography includes dates by Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Kenneth Terroade, Noah Howard, Selwyn Lissack, Mike Osborne, and even Gong's first record. A Korean War veteran, he often wore an aviator's cap and goggles, hence his nickname. (He is also rumored to have worn a parachute onstage on at least one occasion.) In 1972, French state investigators hauled Freeman in for questioning and subsequently declared that he possessed a "Dangerous Political Image." Under threat of imprisonment, he hightailed it to Amsterdam. He hung there for a while until some folks smashed his bass, signaling that it might be time for another move.

Freeman was living in New York City by the mid-'70s, where he would occasionally perform with The Music Ensemble. He also directed the Universal Jazz Symphonette, as heard on the elusive Soundcraft '75 album. While its fidelity leaves quite a bit to be desired, the LP is highly sought after because it features some of the earliest recorded work from William Parker, Daniel Carter, Raphe Malik, Billy Bang, and many other young players on the scene during that period, including Henry P. Warner and Philip Spigner, a.k.a. Adeyeme (incorrectly credited as Abe Yeme on the LP sleeve), who would later collaborate with Freeman in The Freestyle Band.

henry warnerHenry P. Warner was born in New York City in 1940. Notable early entries in his discography include William Parker's Through Acceptance of the Mystery Peace and New York Collage by Billy Bang's Survival Ensemble. He was also the music director for Bang's Outline No. 12 LP, and performed with Sun Ra, Wilbur Ware, Earl Cross, Frank Lowe, Clarence "C" Sharpe, and many others. He subsequently went on to lead his own bands, perform with groups such as the Vibrational Therapists, and take part in jam sessions in a multitude of scenes in and around New York City. He believed in the importance of the role of the musician within the community, and was a teacher of long-standing at Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center in the Bronx. William Parker's book Conversations features an extensive interview with Mr. Warner. Sadly he passed on April 9, 2014.

philip spignerBorn in Manhattan in 1951, Philip B. Spigner has led a multifaceted life that could be considered somewhat characteristic of many subterranean artists. A member of the Black Panthers at 17 years old, he was later offered a full scholarship to New York University but instead pursued an occasionally illicit underground life. He subsequently adopted the African name Adeyeme (Yoruba for "the crown becomes me") and became a hand-drummer on the NYC free jazz scene during the '70s and '80s. He also appeared at jazz festivals in France and Luxembourg. Soon afterward he relocated to Arkansas where he would play solo gigs in and around Little Rock at the YWCA, Senior Citizen's Tea, and at junior high schools. Today he continues to play "freestyle" hand drums semi-formally in California.


Warner and Spigner often performed together at a venue called The Bakery (aka The Basement) before later joining forces with Earl Freeman in The Freestyle Band. They privately pressed 500 copies of this LP in 1984, their only commercially available document, and it is one of my favorite dispatches from the free jazz underground. Freeman's bubbly electric bass and the steady patter of Spigner's percolating hand drums create an ominously undulating backdrop upon which Warner's clarinets (both b-flat and alto) flutter and fly.

Unfortunately, various circumstances resulted in making the record particularly obscure. A third party diverted overseas promoters who wanted to book the band, and eventually the group split up. A shame, as I've never heard anything else quite like this terrific album. Hear a couple clips: The Roach Approach & Pelican

Playing with Earl and Henry was like flying in formation…we took turns flying out front…we would rotate positions…we were dreaming in harmony.” - Philip Spigner, March 4, 2016

It was always such a pleasure to play music with Earl because he was so tuned in to the cosmos. He always had that thread going and there was never any hesitation in his approach. As a drummer, playing with Earl, it was just like riding on a wave of sonic bliss......virtually effortless and so inspirational.” - Roger Baird, December 17, 2016

Credits:
Earl Freeman: bass guitar, piano
Henry Warner: b-flat clarinet, alto clarinet
Philip Spigner: hand drums

More information about Earl Freeman is on the Freestyle Band artist page.

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Peter Kuhn
No Coming, No Going: The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979
NoBusiness Records
2CD
$18

Reissue of Kuhn's privately pressed Livin' Right LP & a previously unreleased session with the always wonderful drummer Denis Charles.

Livin' Right is a product of the amazing NYC loft scene of the 1970s, where players from around the world gathered in a rare period of community, harmony, and creativity, a time when a relative unknown from California could meet and play with the great musicians on this disc. William Parker was already a phenomenon at the time, but there was no way to predict the depth of his amazing ultimate contribution to music. Denis Charles had already been on pivotal albums with Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, and Steve Lacy but was just coming back from the obscurity of his own musical hiatus. Arthur Williams had played with Milford Graves and Cecil Taylor but was greatly unrecognised beyond the Lower East Side. Kondo was just over from Japan and a relative unknown in the US but, like William, a phenomenon in the making. There is exuberance in the music that reflects the spirit of the times, and I am really happy to have the unedited live broadcast performance released as played for the first time. (The original release was edited to fit the limitations of an LP).

“The live set with Denis is an added bonus for me. I had no idea the recording existed, and we simply don’t have enough of Denis’ music in this world. He’s in great spirits here and a joy to listen to, as always. It was a fun night and road trip as he told stories about his mentors Art Blakey, Ed Blackwell, and Sonny Rollins and we discussed the night’s music.

“The jazz life is known for tragedy and majesty. Arthur died only a few years after this broadcast, and while Denis lived decades more, he too is no longer with us. Balancing the heights of near telepathic communion and creative openness with the harsh realities of economics, politics, and daily life is a tall order even for a creative improvising artist. Too many of us burn out, die young, or succumb to addiction or other maladies. In my case, as I was gaining international acclaim with Livin' Right and albums on the Hat Hut and Soul Note labels, the disease of addiction was progressing to the point I could barely function as a human being, let alone as a creative artist. While John Coltrane was a huge inspiration, it took me many years and a lot of suffering before I could follow his example finding freedom from addiction and on a spiritual path. In my ignorance, I had confused drugs as being spiritual for many years.

“Addiction led to jails and other institutions before I found my way to recovery in 1986. As I struggled to support a habit, music clearly fell to the wayside and most of my instruments were lost to the pawn shop. In recovery, music was always in my heart, but I had to learn how to square up, hold a job, raise a family, and take care of the inner work needed to have what I most wanted to offer. Where music was a path to well-being back in the day, the rest of my life was pretty much a drag. Today the path of well-being has led me back to making music, and I can approach the instrument with a greater sense of identity and fulfillment.” - Peter Kuhn

Hear clips of Headed Home and Red Tape.

Peter Kuhn: B flat & bass clarinets
Toshinori Kondo: trumpet, alto horn
Arthur Williams: trumpet
William Parker: bass
Denis Charles: drums

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Melodic Art-Tet
s/t
NoBusiness Records
2LP
$30

Very glad to finally get to hear some music of the Melodic Art-tet, a group who was active on the NYC loft jazz scene in the 1970s and often mentioned by musicians & historians, but who never had any records issued during their lifetime. It’s especially welcome that most of the tunes here are by Charles Brackeen, perhaps best known for the Rhythm X LP on Strata East (with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, & Edward Blackwell) and whose discography as a leader is fairly modest. The tunes are engaging and open, occasionally a bit Ayler-ish, though not so stratospheric and holy rolling. No liner notes with the vinyl edition but a there is a handsome gatefold sleeve with Raymond Ross’ photographs of the musicians. Recorded October 15, 1974, at WKCR in New York City. Edition of 400. Hear a bit of Above the Cross.

Charles Brackeen: flute, soprano & tenor saxophones
Ahmed Abdullah: trumpet
William Parker: bass
Roger Blank: drums
Tony Waters (Ramadan Mumeen): percussion

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Purple Patio
s/t
NoBusiness Records
LP
$20

Very cool & engaging session led by Nate Wooley, one of the leading young-ish trumpeters on the NYC creative music scene, with plenty of potent & pointed improvising. Limited edition of 300 copies, LP only. Hear some of Animals.

“‘Parturition’ has Wooley taking immediate inspiration from the dense mesh of percussion, embarking on a solo that splatters rapid lines and brassy blasts around the studio. He launches an unaccompanied exploration of alternative techniques to begin ‘Aurora’—evocative, strangely furtive play with air—until the drummers join in. Antunes is an exceptionally grounded bassist, with a big sound and a strong sense of line, whether insisting on a pulse or coming to the fore as an equal melodic partner on the almost balladic ‘Aurora’ or the pointed and splintering speculations of 'Sueca.' The drummers contribute as much taste and invention as sheer force: on their feature, ‘Triangle,’ the threesome construct a spacious, subtly detailed world of varied percussion sounds.” - Stuart Broomer, NYC Jazz Record

Nate Wooley: trumpet
Hugo Antunes: bass
Jorge Queijo: drums
Mário Costa: drums
Chris Corsano: drums

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Arthur Williams
Forgiveness Suite
NoBusiness Records
LP
$22

Trumpeter Arthur Williams was active on the NYC loft jazz scene in the 1970s. He played with Jemeel Moondoc’s Muntu, William Parker, Frank Lowe, Milford Graves, Cecil Taylor, and Peter Kuhn, among others. Very fondly remembered by his compatriots, he didn’t record often, one reason why this LP, the first document of a group under his leadership, is so welcome. Its open, searching, & free-flowing spirit brings later groups such as Other Dimensions in Music to mind. Recorded at WKCR in New York City on December 19, 1979. LP only edition of 400. Hear a bit of Forgiveness Suite.

To glimpse Williams in action, here is some live footage of him playing with Milford Graves in 1973: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwkHCLI1j1w

Arthur Williams: trumpet
Toshinori Kondo: trumpet
Peter Kuhn
: saxophone
William Parker
: bass
Denis Charles: drums