Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SUNNY MURRAY CD-R (Shandar, France)

Just when I was ready to reach for the revolver (or maybe the rubber soul while I was at it) due to the lack of new moozical wares what arrives but a parcel from Bill Shute featuring not only a few of his and Brad Kohler's recent chapbooks (which I will probably peruse after re-reading the PLASTIC MAN volumes I just dug up) but a good dozen and a half (or even more!) of burnt Cee-Dees the man had the kindness as well as patience to burn for me. Now that's a "bailout" that I can really get into, and thanks to Bill I don't have to re-review some old Swell Maps album or Lester "Roadhog" Moran like I was plannin' for the guy has helped sate my listening parameters for at least the next few months! Good for me, but bad for Volcanic Tongue!

And what better way to start out the recent glut of Cee-Dee-Ares than this pick off the top of the pile, the ultra-rare Sunny Murray album recorded while he and a few thousand other Amerigan avant garde jazzmen were camping out in Paris France. That's a city you'd think would've had about as much a liking to this sprawl as they do to being humble, but surprisingly enough there was a lot of hot music coming outta that city in the very-late sixties/very-early seventies so they must've had something on the ball! All kidding aside (read my true opinions on the gallic ones here if you so desire), France has been kind to the free jazz expatriates who have traveled there for fame and perhaps even fortune, and the variety of labels that had sprung up during the course of the late-sixties if only to document this budding movement should only be one aspect as to how much of a following avant jazz had over there back in the dangerous late-sixties. Too bad hardly if any of the labels PAID their recording artists, but maybe someone will get a little from these reissues and such if we only hope and pray!

This self-titled Sunny Murray album, which should not be confused with an earlier self-titled Murray LP on ESP features perhaps one of only two true free-play percussion trailblazers (other being Milford Graves...please notify me of any more you might think of!) live on the radio in Paris playing for a surprisingly appreciative audience with a group containing many of the up-and-coming French free players along with trumpeter Ambrose Jackson, a name that seems to slip in and out of many of these expat jazz discs of the cusp. Playing is excellent, heavily reminiscent of Murray's ESP debut as well as the primal yet arrhythmic throb of those yet-to-be-recorded BYG discs of which Murray recorded at least three (unless there's one snuck under the wire somewhere). Murray and group play like salmon swimming upstream (howzat for hip sex ref comparisons?) in a massive bellow that seems to speak about as much for decaying nervous systems as the Stooges did. Mighty fine and intense play here too, all built up by Murray's percussive lead drumming more or less which fills in the sound or at least accompanies it rather than sets s rhythmic pace. But you knew that already.

Dunno if this one's available at the local record store or if you have to pay through your schnoz for an original (most likely), but I'll betcha dollars to dilrubas that if you look hard enough the whole mess will be available somewhere online for free, so get searchin' all you budget conscious bloodhounds out there!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've been "looking hard enough" online for any and all Shandar releases for ages and all I've gotten are Lamonte Young, Terry Riley and some Pandit Pran The Man. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

This would have been one label to buy up back in the day, a person could be really sitting on something if he/she had multiple original vinyl of all the Shandar releases. I wouldn't even sell them, just would crank them up and gaze at the beautiful covers and WALLOW IN IT!