Peter Apfelbaum & The Hieroglyphics Ensemble: Jodoji Brightness. 1992. Polygram Records/Antilles: 314-512 320-2.
Peter Apfelbaum: tenor saxophone, piano, organ, synthesizer, drums, percussion
Bill Ortiz: trumpet, flugelhorn
Jeff Cressman: trombone, pyramid bell, percussion
James Harvey: trombone
Paul Hanson: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bassoon
Tony Jones: tenor saxophone
Peck Allmond: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet
Norbert Stachel: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, clarinet, flute, piccolo
Will Bernard: guitar
Stan Franks: guitar
Jai Uttal: guitar, harmonium, dotar, percussion
Bo Freeman: bass
Joshua Jones V: drums, timbales, bass drum, congas, bata, vocals
Deszon X. Claiborne: drums, percussion
"Buddha" Robert Huffman: congas, bell tree, gongs, bata, vocals
Rachel Durling: violin
Steven Bernstein: trumpet
Sekou Heath: bata, percussion, vocals
A dear friend, and frequent companion in the rotation, to these ears. Wonderful ensemble writing. A pan-stylistic approach to jazz that folds in a world of materials with respect for the history and humanity running throughout its various roots. Never a phrase or nod that feels anything less than deeply felt and human. One of the great recordings due some kind of revival.
Sun Ra: Disco 3000: Complete Milan Concert 1978. 2007. Art Yard Records: CD 001.
Sun Ra: piano, organ, moog synthesizer, rhythm machine, vocals
John Gilmore: tenor saxophone, drums, vocals
Luqman Ali: drums, vocals
Michael Ray: trumpet, vocals
June Tyson: vocals
How did this dimension contain the force of Sun Ra for as long as it did? Sun Ra with a great band working the outer limits (and a bit beyond) over a prolonged live show in Milan. At the core of the analog technology, the free blowing freak outs and sonic excursions well into the ether is a solid sense of the tunes (or even the blues). Space is a friendly place and Ra owns a big piece of it on this session. Many kudos to the folks at Art Yard for getting this double-CD out where more earth folks can experience it.
The Peter Brötzmann Octet: The Complete Machine Gun Sessions. 1968. Re-released in 2007. Atavistic/FMP: ALP262CD.
Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Sven-Ake Johansson: drums
Peter Kowald: Bass
Willem Breuker: tenor saxophone
Fred Van Hove: piano
Evan Parker: tenor saxophone
Buschi Niebergall: bass
Han Bennink: drums
The legendary European free jazz bombshell is still lethal. The relentless onslaught would send most running for cover long before one gets past the original LP material in this "complete" collection. A much needed reminder that jazz - and all musics - is entirely capable of working the relaxation-hostile end of the spectrum. Smoothing the rough edges of Machine Gun out would leave nothing in its wake. And it's a necessary and memorable experience for it. But then, they don't call it "pop gun" and these players aren't firing blanks.