Monthly Archives: July 2012

Sad news, New Albion closes shop and the catalog is now digital only.

My first exposure to Morton Feldman was a New Albion recording of Rothko Chapel and Why Patterns?. This was a rich catalog, full of wonder with many classic recordings, many first recordings by Terry Riley, Harold Budd, John Cage, Stephen Scott, Stefano Scodanibbio, Deep Listening, Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Kyle Gann, John Luther Adams, Lou Harrison, Michael Harrison, David Hykes, Alvin Curran, Rova Saxophone Quartet and many others.

After 25 years of making and releasing new music records, New Albion has closed its retail shop.  Whatever existing stock we have on the shelves will be sent to the individual artists this summer so you may still have a chance to get copies directly from them. We will still manage the digital sales and all the master licensing requests that come in. Thank you very much for your ongoing interest and support of New Albion. Our audience has always been artists, musicians, composers, dancers and all those who like to start out the windows of perception. The actual infrastructure that New Albion was created in, one that resembled an independent record label, no longer exists and has yet to be replaced in the new order, so we are moving on.

discography at


Mosaic Select: Beirach & Liebman
Mosaic Select: Pendulum

Pendulum is a three disk live set from ’79, nice to hear them tackle Well You Needn’t by Monk. More interesting is the Richie Bierach and David Liebman set. Disk one, Lookout Farm from ’76 sounds dated. Disk two is a great duet and disk three, 1988/1991 live shows from Quest smoke. Liebman is almost always a joy.

Jon Hassell -– Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street (ECM)

Previously reviewed for DMG. This is still a very exciting recording for me, it’s a shame that Hassell doesn’t record more, but he’s getting on in years…someone should throw a lot of money at him and maybe the legend will give new material a serious thought. Please.

Mal Waldron/Steve Lacy – Sempre Amore (Soul Note)
Steve Lacy/Mal Waldrom – CommunIque (Soul Note)
Steve Lacy Trio – the Window (Soul Note)

Totally digging it, Steve Lacys soprano tone is much earthier than those that came later like Coltrane, Shorter and Liebman. I like how he digs into the low range.

Billy Hart – All Our Reasons (ECM)

Just checking it out.

Wim van Dullemen, piano – Gurdjieff’s Music for the Movements (Channel Crossings)
Keith Jarrett – Gurdjieff, Sacred Hymns (ECM)

Vintage, quiet, dusty old music…but I like it. Robert Fripp’s very public interest in Gurdjieff  moved me to buy a few books 32 years ago, then I later heard some of the Jarrett album on WNYC’s New Sounds.

McCoy Tyner – Time for Tyner  (Blue Note)
McCoy Tyner – Today and Tomorrow  (Blue Note)

Sam Rivers – Waves (Tomato)
Miles Davis – Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970: It’s About that Time (Columbia/Legacy)
Miles Davis – Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West (Columbia/Legacy)
Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock – 1+1 (Polygram)
Bobby Hutcherson – Stick-Up! (Blue Note)
Bill Dixon – Vade Mecum (Soul Note)
Bill Dixon – Thoughts (Soul Note)
Bill Dixon – Son of Sisyphus (Soul Note)
Marilyn Crispell -Woodstock Concert (1995) (Music & Arts)
Eberhard Weber – Stages of a Long Journey (ECM)
Keith Jarrett – The Köln Concert (ECM)
Anat Fort with Paul Motian – A Long Story (ECM)
Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Music from the Penguin Cafe (Obscure/Editions EG)
John Cage – In a Landscape (Catalyst/RCA)
Leo Kottke – 6- and 12-String Guitar (Takoma)
Pink Floyd – Meddle (Capitol)
David Gilmour – Live in Gdańsk (EMI/Columbia)

Jan Garbarek with Terje Rypdal – SART (ECM)

Jan Garbarek had a lot of interesting guitarists in his band, but I also like his early saxophone playing, quite a raw, distinctive beast. I think his sound got more polished and slicker as time wore on, not what it used to be, but more accessible to folks over the years.

On this album:  Terje Rypdal, Bobo Stenson, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen, musicans who would go on to make many albums for ECM as leaders and sideman. A box with a few albums from this era is coming out on ECM any day now and the big news is the live recording with Keith Jarrett’s European group  from the vaults.

Terje Rypdal was special, a perfect match for Garbarek’s edgy intonation. Distinctive rock guitar that’s a combination of non-tempered whammy bar vibrato and volume swell atmospherics drenched in reverb, he’s been cited as an influence by many such as David Torn, Bill Frisell and others. He recently played a rare show in NYC.

Jan Garbarek and Ralph Towner – Dis (ECM)

Duets from 1977 + wind harp(!). I used to hear this on WNYC’s New Sounds all the time in the 1980. There’s some really beautiful textures here, Jan even plays some wooden flute, the wind harp adds some mysterious drones.

Solstice with Jan, Ralph and band was one of my first ECM albums, probably because of an article in Guitar Player. Guitarist Towner wasn’t just playing jazz on a classical guitar, but doubling on 12 string and playing with his fingernails and classical technique. More on the amazing Ralph later.

Jan Garbarek with John Abercrombie and Nana Vasconcelos – Eventyr (ECM)

There’s some stunning textures on this album. I hear birds, bells…

Jan Garbarek with Bill Frisell – Wayfarer (ECM)

An early 1983 listen to jazz legend, guitarist Bill Frisell. Very listenable.

Jan Garbarek with David Torn – It’s OK to Listen to the Gray Voice (ECM)

An early high profile gig for Torn, although he’d already made a few appearances on the label by 1985. His electronic simulation of tape loops still sound a lot like this today. More on Torn later.

Jan Garbarek and Miroslav Vitous – Atmos (ECM)

A particularly beautiful duet album with Weather Report founding member Vitous on bass.

Al DiMeola – Elegant Gypsy
Al DiMeola – Casino
Al DiMeola – Scenario (Columbia)

Yikes! I do like Scenario, always have…it’s really a Jan Hammer album masquerading as a DiMeola platter. Extensive Fairlight CMI (early sampling workstation) programming by Jan gives the album a particular dreamy sound. I remember buying it because off duty King Crimson members Tony Levin and Bill Bruford were on one cut. Al always seemed to be such a tool of the industry and didn’t quite live up to the hype for a lot of us. His playing in Return to Forever was a bit of a disappointment after he replaced the great Bill Connors. I’m not familiar with his work after this album.

Tangerine Dream – Phaedra (Virgin)
Tangerine Dream – Rubycon (Virgin)
Brian Eno – Discreet Music (Editons EG)

Three electronic music classics from my teenage years. Murky and dreamy Sunday morning music, perfect for resting between trips on a busy weekend.

Joe Zawinul – Zawinul (Columbia)

Recently found, it’s been lost in the collection for months. I love this album…the solo album between Miles Davis and Weather Report.

Years ago I decided I had to check out some Jazz guitarists. I headed down to the used record store with a list of names copied from Guitar Player Magazine and found a stash of good stuff. Apparently they had just bought a guitar album collection that had a nice selection of Jimmy Raney. I really resonated with his playing, Raney sounded like he had adsorbed a lot of Bop and Bach and I still love his playing to this day.

Side one

Suite for Guitar Quartet (1957)

Jazz guitar and a string quartet, quite an amazing sound. I really like the chamber jazz vibe. The liner notes compare this piece to Béla Bartók and Alban Berg, I would say this is a bit more accessable than those composers. Also we find out that Raney studied with Hal Overton, who arranged the charts for the Thelonious Monk at Town Hall album. I’d love to hear someone talented transcribe, perform and record this piece, so it doesn’t slip away in the sands of time like an out of print record. Jimmy is such an important player and it seems like only true aficionados….Jazz guitarists, historians and record store employees seem to know who he is.

Side two

Here we hear 1969 Raney in his usual context, a jazz quintet with Bobby Jones (tenor sax), Bob Lam (piano), Jack Brengle (bass) and John Roy (drums). Four tunes, Bernie’s Tune, Darn That Dream, Stella by Starlight and ‘Round Midnight are exactly what I expect from the crafty and inspired Raney.

Here’s what All Music has to say:

This important Muse LP, only the fourth release by the label, teams together a pair of very interesting and never previously released sessions featuring guitarist Jimmy Raney. The first side, from 1957, has Raney joined by violin, viola, cello, bassist Peter Ind and drummer Nick Stabulas for his five-part “Suite for Guitar Quintet.” the music is influenced a bit by composers Béla Bartók (one section is called “Homage to Bartok”) and Alan Berg, but still swings in its own fashion and is a superior showcase for Raney’s beautiful sound. The second side has four jazz standards (including “Bernie’s Tune” and “Stella by Starlight”) performed by Raney in 1969 in a quintet with tenor saxophonist Bobby Jones, pianist Bob Lam, bassist Jack Brengle, and drummer John Roy. Recorded live at a gig in Louisville, KY, this session was Raney’s only recording of the 1965-1973 period and only his second date since the 1957 string set. The hard to find Muse LP is highly recommended.

As previously noted, an old friend of mine recently gave me a very nice turntable recently, but now it’s a rare moment when I have a chance to listen. So I pick my vinyl for listening carefully….

I picked this up about 22-24 years ago for $3.99 and apparently it’s a rare one. Out of print and shouldn’t be.

I’ve been on the road a lot, so that means lots of tunes. Here’s a list.

Chick Corea – Piano Improvisation, Vol. 1 (ECM)
Chick Corea – Septet (ECM)
Chick Corea – the Complete IS Sessions (Blue Note)
Chick Corea – Forever (Concord)

Trying to make up my mind about Chick.

Dave Holland and Sam Rivers (IAI)

Duos fom the golden age of Dave Holland.

McCoy Tyner – Guitars (McCoy Tyner Music)
Alvin Lucier – Music on a Long Thin Wire (Lovely Music)
Daniel Lentz – On the Leopard Altar (Cold Blue)
Julius Hemphill – Roi Boye & the Gotham Minstrels (Sackville)

Bjork – Biophilia (One Little Indian/Polydor, the Japanese import version with extra tunes)

I love her voice.

First listens:

Miroslav Vitous- Remembering Weather Report (ECM)
Randy Weston – Tanjah (Polydor)
Wayne Shorter – Phantom Navigator (Columbia)
Pat Metheny – Orchestrion (Nonesuch)

and of course, a chunk of the Sunday afternoon broadcast of Jazz Profiles on WKCR. This week I heard Andrew Hill.

…and a bunch of other stuff.


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