Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some quickies to keep you until the next quickies (or quickie) in a few days. 's not like there's not much goin' on 'round here now, but let's just say that I've been biding my time playin' and readin' lotsa old stuff that I've either previously mentioned on the blog or is just too obvious to be mentioned (which come to think of it never stopped me before) so why should I bother boring you even more with my patented repetition (something that is loathe to many a blogwatcher out there...unless said watcher is wallowing in his own form of acceptable repitition as a gander at a Jay Hinman blog will tell you)? Some current replays include the John Cale/Terry Riley classic CHURCH OF ANTHRAX, the three-disque reissue of the WILDFLOWERS loft jazz sessions held at Sam Rivers' Studio Rivbea and the ever-lovin' EGE BAMYASI as well as Sandy Bull's STILL ST. VALENTINE'S DAY, all of which are keeping me company better'n any of you duds out there could ever hope to. I think that I just might get the opportunity to whip up enough inspiration to break outta doin' these overblown reviews for once, but until then you're stuck with this dross! And true, I know some of you readers might find it of worth but hey, I've given up on second-guessing you reg'lars long ago!

Paul Bley-LIVE AT THE HILLCREST CLUB 1958 LP (Inner City)

Do any of you serious BTC readers remember when this particular platter briefly snuggled its way into the record bins during the latter days of 1976? If you do then you certainly must have a good memory because not too soon after LIVE AT THE HILLCREST got into the shops none other than Ornette Coleman called his legal eagles who in turn had it ripped off the market faster than you can say "klactoveesedstene". Dunno why, though if in fact this was being pushed as a Coleman album despite it being a Paul Bley gig (as I understood it was) then maybe that might have had something to do with it. Though for all intent purposes I somehow suspect the reason behind this legal chicanery probably had more to do with moolah than with aesthetics.

Years later the entire Hillcrest set has been reissued on Cee-Dee (and under Coleman's name!), but for years this 'un along with that Arista/Freedom LIVE IN LONDON double-LP set seemed to last within the flap on an eyelid out there in music listening land. Well, at least I got this original Inner City version which I kinda like, if only because I used to think that Inner City along with Muse was one of the better outta-nowhere labels that were (re)issuing a lotta rare and hardly-ever-heard avant garde jazz as if Anthony Braxton solo saxophone recordings were going to sell as briskly as Return to Forever.

Not surprisingly this live set does take on the lilt of Coleman ca. '59 right about the time he was about to burst onto the jazz scene like a festering ball o' pus. That would figure since the group he's playing with (Cherry/Haden/Higgins) is the same he made all of those legendary quartet platters with after Atlantic had the good sense to scoop him up. Sound's surprisingly good enough even if it's a little out of kilter, but that's to be expected considering how this was just a mere "audience" recording, that is if you consider how Bley's soon to be ex Carly was manipulating the reel-to-reel from beneath hubby's piano.

One side of covers (including Charlie Parker's "Klactoveesedstene"...why else the reference above?) and the other two Coleman originals which even at that early stage show just why more than a few more "traditional" minded jazz aficionados would've been willing to stand in line to punch the guy in the kisser! But in all, this sure is a pretty exploratory idea of things that were just about to pop out all over the sphere with that great snat ambiance (kinda like the kind you got on Cecil Taylor's NEFERTITI double set recorded a few years later) and a performance that ignites no matter who is supposed to be leading the set!

After reading those fantastic early Bob Montana strips you'd probably wonder why I'd even bother going near this collection of mid-sixties "camped-up" Archie-as-superhero comics. Yeah I kinda wonder to, since (to sum it up for you lazyass types who won't even click a highlighted link to be taken to a specific article in question) the comic strip was vastly superior to the comic book which suffered from too many inferior artists who did their worst to capture Montana's style as well as sub-sputum writers who seemed to cut and paste their efforts with excerpts from old THIS IS THE LIFE scripts. But hey, I was feeling no pain so I decided to latch onto this collection just for the halibut figuring that maybe they would make some nice fresh evening reading to accompany some Czech underground rock that just happened to make its way to my abode (Archie Andrews and Josef Vondruska...whatta combination!).

Actually I find the entire presentation...middling if good honest fun, more often than not a reminder of what might have turned up in a Sunday afternoon's worth of flea market/garage sale hopping circa 1972 rather than what you WANTED to turn up but the pickings were mighty slim that day. These sagas with Archie, Jughead, Betty and Reggie as superheroes do have their own special kicks and of course the pre-planned Archie Comics Group corniness, but as can be expected at times the humor seems stalled somewhere down the line with story twists devolving into downright ginchiness or even "social significance" (see "The Quest of Dr. Detest", an early foray into wishy-washy relevance). Artwork ain't that up to snuff either even if most of it was delineated by Bill Vigoda (who was doing Archie since the beginning alongside Montana), and unfortunately one of the better stories of the genre featuring Betty as Superteen trying to discover who the big brain of the evil empire is (finding out that each brain is subject to an ever bigger one) is missing! But I like it feeble attempts at superhero cash in craze and all, and of course you could do much worse with regards to your comic book intake especially in these days where we're drifting away from those once-hallowed Golden/Silver Age ideals at a rapidly increasing pace.
You're probably wondering why the Vondruska namedop two paragraphs above, right???? Well, that's only because the double disc retrospective of his work with both Umela Hmota III and Dom has finally been issued to an ever-rabid Czech proto-punk rock community, but don't expect any review of that in THESE pages. Reason why is that my writeup is actually slated to appear in the next issue of UGLY THINGS, a short (s'posed to be 300 words but I think I snuck a few extra in) effort but sweet enough to convey my feelings to you the reader. And for the sake of Vondruska, I'm sure a few thousand more people will be aware of it via that magazine 'stead of this blog. If it gets bumped for whatever reason I'll just wing another one atcha, but for now let's just say yes, it is good!
Once again, Gavin McInnes had me rolling in the aisles with an overall critique of what exactly is wrong with you. Please, I do hope you are offended.
Here's one to hit the trail with...Low Society and Avant Duel (Von LMO and Otto von Ruggins) live at the recent Max's Kansas City night that was held at NYC hotspot Otto's Shrunken Head. It sure is surprising, perhaps unbelievable on one level that the two are even alive, let alone functioning in the here and now but they are and I am glad. Kinda makes me wonder what Jay and Dave will be doing when they hit the ages of these stellar talents, eh? Probably more concerned with their latest dole check or portfolio to care about the wild, throbbing tones of rock, right? (I 'll letcha guys know what I'm up to since I obv. got a good head start on the the two of 'em, but I got the feeling that if I'm not six feet under or dribbling in some rest home I'll still be kicking out the jams with the best of 'em! And why not?):

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