I really thought I was finished with digitizing all the McCoy Tyner Video I found on my friend’s old VHS cassettes. But I discovered that there is even more footage from Montreux 1973 than I thought.
Archive for Montreux
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).
snapshot from video
While digitizing the Donald Byrd footage from Montreux, I discovered a nice thirty minutes of video featuring blues piano legend Memphis Slim from the same festival. Since I synchronized the whole VHS cassette, I thought I might as well put it up on youtube as well. Memphis Slim is one of my favorite blues singers, and I hope you like this clip as much as I do.
Slim is accompanied by legendary session guitarist Mickey Baker, bassist Benny Turner and drummer Charles Meyers.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: (February 27, 2013): Blue Note is now offering the audio of the whole concert (for free) here.
Donald Byrd in Montreux, Switzerland, on July 5, 1973
Unfortunately it is true. Jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd passed on February 4, 2013. I would like to pay tribute to the man and his music, so I just uploaded nearly half an hour of video from the archives, showing the Donald Byrd/Nathan Davis group at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, on July 5, 1973. I am not too well versed in Byrd’s repertoire of that time, so if anyone knows what is played here, it would be nice if you could tell me. According to Tom Lord’s Jazz Discography, the concert was recorded by Blue Note – but never issued. Lord gives the following titles: “Poco-mania”, “You’ve got it bad, girl”, “Untitled no. 3″, “Black Byrd” and “Flight time”. So maybe someone knows how this fits together. I chopped the video into three parts. The video was partly not in synch and this made it easier for me to bring it into synch again.
You will be hearing and seeing: Donald Byrd (tp,flhrn) Fonce Mizell (tp) Allan Barnes (fl,ts) Nathan Davis (sop,ts) Larry Mizell (synt) Kevin Toney (el-p) Barney Perry (el-g) Henry Franklin (el-b) Keith Killgo (d,vcl) Ray Armando (cga,perc)
In part 2 the band is playing “Black Byrd” (thanks to Ehsan Khoshbakt for identifying the title)
As I keep on digitizing all of Otto Flückiger’s old VHS cassettes, I recently found some rare clips, which show some of my favourite piano players. I can really add nothing relevant to what has already been written about these masters. So let’s turn to the lessons they have to teach us right away.
First up is Earl Hines, captured in concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 2nd 1974 (parts of this concert were released on LP and CD as “West Side Story”).
Clip number two gives you nearly twenty minutes of the Thelonious Monk Quartet in Bussum, Netherlands on April 15 1961.Thelonious Monk,Charlie Rouse, John Ore and Frankie Dunlop are playing “Nutty”, “Bemsha Swing”, “Crepuscule With Nellie” and “I Mean You”. Parts of this video have been on (and still are) on youtube. But that is only a part of everything that was broadcast and it is vary faded and greenish. This version is reddish instead – but much clearer. Unfortunately there are two longer gaps in this video, I accidentally left them in. Also Monk is starting to play “Epistrophy” before “Crepuscule …” This footage is missing on the VHS cassette I have here.
The third and final clip was filmed on the same day and in the same location as the Hines track, Montreux July 2 1974 that is. Parts of this concert by piano master Cecil Taylor were released on te LP and Cd under the title “Silent Tongues”. I can not tell you if the music from the LP is in this clip, since I do not have it at hand.
The 1976 European tour of Sun Ra and his Arkestra with concerts in Italy, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands did a lot for the popularity of that band from outer space among european jazz fans. One of the reasons for this besides the impressive show that Sun Ra and band delivered, was that several state owned European TV stations filmed the concerts (or at least parts thereof).
Here is some footage from the concert in Pescara, Italy (uploaded by youtube user chieflittlenuts):
Youtube user chieflittlenuts alo uploaded the first part of the surviving footage from the Montreux concert on July 9th
As I think there can never be enough good quality Sun Ra on youtube, I have uploaded the rest of the known footage from the Montreux concert: Twelve minutes of Sun Ra and his Arkestra playing Billy Strayhorn’s “Take The A Train”. It starts with a long solo introduction by Ra and also offers a classic John Gilmore solo and lots of drumming by Clifford Jarvis.
“Junp, Jazz, Jive, Vintage R’n'B” this blog is subtitled. So where has the R’n'B been lately, you might ask. The answer: It had to be digitized first. So straight from an old video tape from the Otto Flückiger collection here is Bo Diddley doing an uplifting version of Mona at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival.
Shave and a haircut: Go, Bo!
The two LPs full of music that Archie Shepp recorded with his quintet at the Jazz Festival Montreux in 1975 are widely acclaimed as the best work from the start of his neoclassicist period in the early to mid-seventies.
When I started listening to jazz in the early eighties, I started with the classic free jazz of the sixties, and Archie Shepp was one of my early favorites (still is). His albums for Impulse up to 1967 were on my daily listening list. I have to admit that I was disappointed when I acquired “Montreux One” then, as young and ignorant me thought it was tame compared to ”Fire Music” or “On This Night”. I only came to like and love the music years later, when I stumbled over a cheap copy of “Montreux Two” which I bought just to fill the hole in my collection. And surprise: I liked it very much. And my feelings extended to “Montreux One” as well.
When I got to know swiss jazz collector and researcher Otto Flückiger in the early nineties, visits to his house always ended with Otto showing some jazz videos he had collected over the years. One evening he asked me what I would like to see, handing me a list of his VHS cassettes. When I saw Shepp’s Montreux concert on the list, I immediately picked that one. I remember Otto searching quite a while for it, but he did not manage to come up with the cassette. The box in which it should have been was empty. But two days ago, I opened up another box of old VHS cassettes and found the TV broadcast in an unmarked box. As soon as I noticed that the music really was as fine as I remembered, I decided to digitize it and put it up on the internet. Unfortunately picture quality is rather grainy and the colors have become flat. Oh how I wish Claude Nobs would edit all the Montreux stuff and put it on DVDs, there were so many great artists filmed in Montreux, especially in the seventies!
So here for your enjoyment are Archie Shepp, Charles Majid Greenlee, Dave Burrell, Cameron Brown and Beaver Harris playing “Crucificado” by Dave Burrell and “Miss Toni” written by trombonist Greenlee on July 18, 1975, at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
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
Here’s a small clip that I just uploaded as a Christmas present for all you out there. As there have been so many words about Dexter Gordon and his art lets’s go straight to Dexter playing “Body and Soul” at the Montreux Jazz Festival, June 18, 1970. Continue reading