Archive for 1983

Sun Ra in Lugano 1985

Posted in clips, Sun Ra with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2014 by crownpropeller

I managed to see the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen three times this year (more about that on this blog soon). The last concert I saw was in Lugano on July 11, where after the concert I had the chance to talk to percussionist/tour manager Elson Nascimento for a while. Elson remarked that the last time he played in Lugano was in 1990, when Sun Ra was still on this planet. I told him that there was footage from the 1990 concert on youtube as well as from the Arkestra’s 1985 Lugano appearance. I was wrong about the 1985 concert though. I thought I had seen it there, but maybe it has been taken off again.

So I have put it up again.  Boring technical problems unfortunately made me cut it into three parts. Furthermore there are some fade-ins and fade-outs – but with really not much missing in between tracks.

The Arkestra on this date: Sun Ra (ldr, p, synth, voc), Ronnie Brown (tp), Tyrone Hill (tb, voc), Marshall Allen (as, fl, picc, perc), John Gilmore (ts, cl, timbales, voc), Ronald Wilson (ts, picc), Danny Ray Thompson (bars, fl, bgo), James Jacson (bassoon, fl, Infinity Drum, Eloe Omoe (bcl, as, perc), Bruce Edwards (g), Rollo Radford (eb), Avreeayl Amen Ra (dr), unidentified (dr), June Tyson (voc, dance tambourine); unidentified (dance).

So: Enjoy!

 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

 

 

 

 

 

R.I.P. Ronald Shannon Jackson

Posted in clips, Free Funk with tags , , , , , , , on October 25, 2013 by crownpropeller

Ronald_Shannon-Jackson_montreuxRonald Shannon Jackson at Jazz Festival Montreux, 1983

The sad news of drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson’s passing reached the jazz world a few days ago.

When I seriously started to listen to jazz in the early eighties, I was a big fan of all the Ornette Coleman influenced Free Funk bands that were around then: Of course Ornette’s own Prime Time Band was number one, and I saw them several times. Then there were James Blood Ulmer’s different bands – and of course Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society with it’s blend of disparate influences held together by the wonderful multifaceted drumming of Jackson. His name was known quite widely then as the Punk/New Wave scene in its ongoing search for something new turned to Harmolodic Free Funk for a while.

Also quite widely known was Last Exit, the colloborative band consisting of Furor Teutonicus Peter Brötzmann on different reeds, guitarist Sonny Sharrock, bassist Bill Laswell and Jackson that literally made a lot of noise in the mid eighties. I saw Last Exit five or six times and I can tell you that it was a cathartic experience every time.

Unfortunately I never saw Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society live. So I was happy to find nearly half an hour of the band playing at the Jazz Festival Montreux on July 21, 1983 on one of the VHS cassettes in the archive of my friend, the late jazz researcher Otto Flückiger:

You see and hear Zane Massey (as, ts), Henry Scott (tp), Vernon Reid (g), Bruce Johnson and Melvin Gibbs (eb) and of course  Ronald Shannon Jackson (dr).

Enjoy!

More music with Clarence “C” Sharpe

Posted in Clarence C Sharpe, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by crownpropeller

A while after I out up some music featuring legendary alto saxophonist Clarence “C” Sharpe in this posting,  canadian born multiinstrumentalist Phil Dwyer contacted me, writing that he found a tape  fom Jerry Thomas’ loft including Sharpe and Sonny Fortune on alto sax, Steve Grossman and Phil Dwyer himself on tenor. Hakim Jamil was playing bass, Jerry Thomas was playing the drums. Phil did not know the pianist and did not get to know him later, so he does not know his name.

clarence_c_sharpe_blueClarence “C” Sharpe. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Here is what Phil wrote to me about this session:

It took place in a loft in Brooklyn belonging to Jerry Thomas and his wife (Mary??). Anyway this was back in 1983 or so (could have been early 1984), during a time where I was living in New York and hanging out a lot with Steve Grossman. As I remember, late one afternoon I hopped in a cab with Grossman to go to Jerry Thomas’ loft for a session. I think it may have been in the Red Hook area, just based on my recollection of the route we took. Anyway I remember it being a nice big, welcoming space, Jerry’s wife made some food for us, it was comfortable. Tough neighbourhood.

Phil Dwyer

Phil Dwyer around 1984/1985. Courtesy Phil Dwyer

I would have just turned 18 at the time this tape was made. I don’t remember recording it, but maybe Steve did and gave it to me. I had been spending way too much time with Grossman and at the time this tape was made I recall being under the influence of [different stuff] (…)

“C” was generally up for a party, at the time he was the same age I am now (46) but had a lot of street miles on him. He totally lit it up on these two tunes though. I hadn’t heard him play before this, but we ended up hanging out a bit in the year or so after this.

Phil was so generous to allow me to post 45 minutes of music from that evening on my blog. You hear the band playing two long tracks.

First we have the standard “Star Eyes”, with the following solo order:

Sharpe, Grossman, Fortune, Dwyer, unknown pianist, Hakim

The second tune is Miles Davis’ composition “Vierd Blues”. The order of soloists:

Sharpe, Dwyer, Fortune, Grossman (fade out)

I know that there are many people out there who cherish every newly found music featuring Clarence C Sharpe and this here is a very fine example indeed, also as regarding the other musicians and last but not least the sound quality which really is fine regarding the circumstances. So my heartfelt thanks go out to Phil Dwyer!

Enjoy!

An Interview with Abdullah Ibrahim (1995)

Posted in Abdullah Ibrahim, clips, Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2012 by crownpropeller

Back in 1995 I had the chance to interview south african pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand), on the day before his concert at the Musik der Welt Festival in Basel. Originally my friend Buffo, who worked as a photographer at that time, and me were to talk to Ibrahim in his hotel room, but because the hotel had noted him down as “Ibrahim Abdullah” they did not realize whom we were trying too reach for about thirty minutes. So we arrived at his room door rather late. Ibrahim was nervous, because his wife Bea Benjamin was due to arrive any minute, so he asked us to come to the rehearsal in Radio Studio Basel later in the day.

A few hours later, after a short verbal hustle with the studio’s doorman we finally met Ibrahim,  who stopped the rehearsal to talk to us for about an hour, while sitting at the piano. Continue reading

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