Artists – on selection Bulbs
Jimmy Lyons (alto saxophone) Archie Shepp (tenor saxophone) Cecil Taylor (piano) Henry Grimes (bass) Sunny Murray as Jimmy Murray (drums) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, October 10, 1961
On other tracks:
John Glasel, Joe Wilder, Clark Terry, Doc Severinsen or Ted Curson (trumpet) Urbie Green or Roswell Rudd (trombone) Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone) Harvey Phillips (tuba) Jim Buffington (French horn) Gene Quill or Phil Woods (alto saxophone) Eddie Costa (piano, vibraphone) Barry Galbraith (guitar) Milt Hinton (bass) Art Davis (bass) Osie Johnson (drums) John Carisi (composer, arranger, trumpet) Gil Evans (supervisor and conductor) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 14. October 6, 10 and 31, 1961)
As a recent convert to Free-lite, I find this quite rewarding music, which merits attention. Billed as jazz at the crossroads between the Mainstream and “The New Thing”, Gill Evans
created supervised brought in the sandwiches for the recording of this ambitious montage from the vantage point of 1961, which contains much adventurous music at the time, from both perspectives. John Carisi was a new name to me. He apparently directed composed for 1949-50 Miles Davis nonet. Great thing, always to be learning.
The Cecil Taylor contributions, with their trademark enigmatic titles “Bulbs” , “Pots” and “Mixed”, anticipate his later self, and he is teamed here with Shepp, also at an early stage of his personal development. To my ears, the music of breaking free is more rewarding than the later stage of being free. (Philosophy class: Gee mom, do I have to be free?)
The New Thing is another Sixties reference point. Newness is over-rated. As I have observed before, everything was new once. Modern Art, Modern Jazz, “modern” is a territorial claim, a code word for inter-generational tensions: overthrow tradition! You’ve had your time, now it’s mine. Fair enough.Sometimes it’s a relief not to have to keep up. To be free is to be able to pick and choose from everything on its merits.
Not all music has aged well, but the past doesn’t have a monopoly of rubbish or wisdom: there is plenty of modern rubbish about. Take the current preoccupation with “diversity”. Chick Corea was boasting at a recent gig about how many different countries his current group came from. Is that how you judge music now? Not whether it was any good, but where the players were born? They each moved to America to find work.
Cover: The original Impulse A-9:
Usually I prefer the US original but I have to say it doesn’t communicate about the nature of the music within. Gill Evans Orchestra? Cecil Taylor and Archie Shepp? Oddly enough for once I think the second-time around World Record Club have struck the more authentic note.
Vinyl: World Record Club ST 748; 1968 stereo UK edition of US Impulse AS 9
EMI press 1968 – 141gm vinyl – alternative cover
A record often seen in record shops, not everyone’s taste but having discovered the positive side of “jazz orchestra” arrangements, and Cecil Taylor/Archie Shepp, and Phil Woods/ Gene Quill, this unusual UK stereo World Record Club edition of the famous eclectic “new thing”/mainstream mash-up from Gil Evans Impulse AS-9 seemed to good to pass up. Time enough to pick up a US stereo Impulse – if seen and if wanted.
Problem for us Brits is the dearth of US Stereo original Impulse circulating in the UK market. In its day we had HMV licensed 1st UK editions, pressed by EMI, in most cases only in mono – that stereo thing had yet to catch on big time. Second wind was the West London-based World Record Club, who issued some still very sought after pressings of Zoot Sims, Paul Gonsalves and others. More than a few times I have been shot down in an Ebay dogfight, surprised how collectible they are.
May be I’ll get round to one of those AmPar original laminated gatefold editions.