Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Or at least these CD-R "burns" he sent me are making me hotter than my dumper after a three-course Mexican meal! Thanks to the graciousness of Mr. Shute, I have been sated tremendously with his filling in of a whole load of gaps in my obviously gap-prone free jazz collection, and if it weren't for the efforts of Mr. Bill who knows what I would be doing on this here blog, like re-reviewing some old dusty record rotting away in the collection or heaven's know what else!!! Here are just two of the most recent listens that I procured from his latest care package!

Ted Curson Quartet-URGE CD-R Burn (Fontana)

I know I wrote about this Ted Curson guy before, at least in the pages of BLACK TO COMM #25 when I reviewed his '64 Arista/Freedom platter entitled TEARS FOR DOLPHY. I didn't care for that one much and I don't exactly think it was because of a comment that Curson made in a DOWN BEAT interview about how he was offered big money to do a disco album and, brave free-thinking soul that he was turned it down only to end up doing a disco album some time before the seventies clocked out for good. (OK, at least that's the way I remember it!) It was just a bland session that didn't click with me, that's all.

This '66 session fares much better with Curson playing especially spry and angular on his trumpet, and his band featuring should-be legendary tenor saxist Booker Ervin do a surprisingly good job trying to approach Albert Ayler-level nova music levels. Dunno about you, but I find this rather inspirational as the quartet takes the prevailing post-bop free sound and decides to get even more into the upcoming late-sixties jazz free fall. Available where all good mp3s are sold, or stolen.
Burton Greene/Daoud Amin-TREES CD-R Burn (Button Nose)

Frankly, this is one of those disques I fear reviewing if only because I might actually slip into frilly ROLLING STONE-speak about its "universal karmic credo" or "ability to transcend the physical and psychological boundaries of culture and civilization in a fashion that truly makes us all one in spirit, mind and kahoutek." You know, real UP WITH PEOPLE caca. And we do not want that to happen, do we? All facetous comments aside, here's another one of those "gee I didn't know it existed" recs which only goes to show you what impeccable tastes this guy has in free jazz blare that doesn't get into low energy fru-fruness.

Greene always has been a mind-gauging enough pianist for me ever since I first heard him scraping the inner strings of his instrument while Patty Waters would puke epiglottal all over "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair", and his other efforts on and off the ESP label have been ear-bending to say the least. And how could I forget tuning into him during the CBGB Lounge Sunday night Freestyle Music series, one of many such shutter jazz moments in time I certainly would like to re-live, or at least want to have and hold as my very own. Now in his early-seventies, Greene is one of the few survivors of the sixties underground jazz scene still up and functioning and maybe we should all chip in and build a monument to him to show him just how much we like those cluster-y chords he plays, or at least get someone to make a documentary on him that would be a nice change from those horrid pretentious and stilted POV "cutting edge" docs that PBS loves to show all the time.

On this album Greene is joined by a Daoud Amin on bongos and percussion live at the Doelen Alternative Jazz Festival in Rotterdam June of '73. As you'd expect, Greene starts things off in a nice mid-east spells kinda classical style before Amin joins in boppin' and clunkin' like some kid who just heard a Ravi Shankar record and decided to groove on on those wild rhythms found therein. Only this ain't some jokester neophyte but the real thing, and the results are as close to the early ESP spirit as I've had the pleasure of hearing for quite some time.

The album does run a bit short (I tagged it at about a half hour) but it's worth seeking out. If you seek the mp3 jazz blogs like I assume Bill did (but I couldn't), maybe ye shall find.


Bill S. said...

Glad you enjoyed these two items.
I saw Burton Greene and Perry Robinson as a duo in Austin TX a few months ago, and they were completely amazing. As they've played together since the 1960's, they had the kind of oneness associated with, say, the Steve Lacy-Mal Waldron duo. Mr. Greene provided witty and informative spoken intros to each piece, with occasional comments from Perry Robinson, who resembles a skinny bohemian version of Larry Fine. These two men are still taking chances and exploring new areas in music after all these decades. Greene and Robinson are national treasures. And for someone who might once have been typed as an "angry young man" of the freejazz scene, Greene was the most amiable person one could imagine, coming out into the audience between sets and chatting with anyone, but very laidback and calm. He mentioned doing yoga every morning, maybe that's the trick!
David K told me that when he booked Patty Waters to play some UK festival a while back, Burton Greene was her accompanist and the person DK dealt with in negotiating the deal for the performance. Perhaps he could add some more about Mr. Greene. I have one of his avant-klezmer albums on the BHVAAST label, and it's truly a joyous experience.

I think I still have some more CDR's for you when you've played all the ones I sent so far.

Just got three episodes of the old 60s tv show "T.H.E. CAT" starring Robert Loggia---it's kind of strange, although Loggia has always had a certain charisma that shines through the bad writing. Imagine JOHNNY STACCATO without the atmosphere (or with a third-rate attempt at the atmosphere) and played on a cartoon level like a Republic serial, but not aware that it's coming off like a cartoon. At least AMOS BURKE, SECRET AGENT (which I recently got the complete run of) knew it was ridiculous, and thus worked well IMHO.

JazzDoIt said...

Is there anyway that u could rip & post your Ted Curson-Tears for Dolphy album?

Christopher Stigliano said...

Sorry can't do it since I do not have the proper technology, which around here is still stuck somewhere between 1946 and whenever they introduced the Kenner's Give-A-Show Projector!