Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wow, what a dearth of subject matter (at least of a rockist nature) to gab about this weekend! Well, at least I'll give it the ol' college try, and besides there are things other'n music that I could gab about in order to look all-encompassing and innerlectual, like perhaps the recent execution of Troy Davis down in Georgia. Talk about mixed emotions...really, with all of the evidence that seemed to (perhaps) go in the guy's direction you think they woulda at least gotten 'round to a stay of execution even if on the surface it did seem like he was guiltier'n sin. Then again, there seems to be more to this story than meets the eye which doesn't quite lead to the conclusion that Davis was exactly the type of man who came off as innocent and dignified as some would like us all to believe. And then again, why do some of his supporters, at least the ones who were present protesting his execution as it transpired, seem like the same truly intolerant buncha crybabies who like to stamp their feet and create havoc if they don't get their way and eventually end up showing their dark sides in the process. Y'know, like the dolts who fill the comboxes of a woman who mentioned how she doesn't like the idea of homosexuals making out in the park in front of her children with threats of rape (to writer and children!) or, in this case, resort to calling Michelle Malkin a "chink" because she happened to agree with Davis' execution? (Actually she's Filipino but I guess to some folk out there it's the same thing.) And although I am not the sort of person who thinks we should kill 'em all an' let God sort 'em out, I must say that if Al Sharpton is gonna come to one's defense like he did with Davis isn't that more than a temptation to speed up the execution process? If you're on death row and happen to read this take my not accept any help from Al Sharpton if he decides to make you the next cause du jour.

Hey, what happened to the Deniz Tek blog anyway??? The last few entries seemed rather suspicious what with their strange technogarbled descriptions, and on closer inspection I found 'em to be nothing but ads for office equipment cartridges!  Not only that, but the "archives" as they were have been deleted of Tek's old scribings detailing his personal and rock-oriented life which really did throw me for the ol' loop! Needless to say I took the blog offa the "roll" so-to-speak and to this very day I wonder...just what was it that made Tek sell out to the likes of Sharp and Sanyo and inspired him hawk their wares on his once-interesting site???

Well whattaya know, I guess this will be a post featuring recordings previously unheard by me 'stead of the usual wallowing is decades-old wornouts I've been boring you with for nigh on six months! Some niceities here and some so-so's, but I'm sure you'd wanna know about it all no matter what, savvy?
MEET SPUTNIK CD (, or try CD Baby like I did)

As you all know, sometimes I always like to take a chance on some outta-the-way musical act that might just have something worthwhile to say even though for the most part these groups tend to wallow in the same genre of overused ideas and worn out aesthetics that made me turn away from whatever they were doing with a bold passion. Sometimes I win, but most of the time I get stuck with yet another item to clog up my collection thus depriving it of room that could be used for the umpteenth Les Rallizes Denudes dig-up! Well, with Sputnik I must say that I'm running par for the course...not that they're hideous the same way a whole number of various amerindie acts that cluttered up my YOUR FLESH promo packages were back in the early-nineties, but they still fail to sate. For me, Sputnik come off like the standard stripped down post-post VU/Richman stylings we've heard ad infinitum for the past thirty years complete with an accordion which in this case does not recall Angel Corpus Christi or any other accordion-based groups I can think of offhand (Ben Vaughn?). To be honest wit'cha, some moments of interest do transpire such as on the moody cover of the Beach Boys' "The Warmth of the Sun", but naturally that doesn't quite make up for the rest. Now if you happen to go for this kinda expression go to it, but as you all know I like my musings a li'l more stoopid (like this review).

Bought a stack of Larry Young recordings which I'm pretty sure'll make their mark in upcoming episodes of this (extremely) particular blog. I figured that, since Young was not only such a stand-out on those two Tony Williams Lifetime albums plus he sure knew how to make a racket on the Love Cry Want outing, the bulk of his many recordings would also stand the test of my rather discerning ears. Of course I could be wrong, but then again what do you want me to spend my spare change on anyway...back issues of ROCK AND RAP CONFIDENTIAL?????

Anyhoo, this 'un came out in '75 right at the beginning of the big jazz-rock push at the major labels, though unlike the mass of Return this album To the store where it will remain Forever efforts that were cluttering up the bins FUEL does have a bit of redeeming value to it. Naw, I wouldn't call it anything that'll stick to my laser launching pad, but like Sonny and Linda Sharrock's PARADISE there's quite enough gunch to help me make it through despite the usual commercial overtures complete with the standard seventies synth doodles that tag these efforts as quickie fusion cash-in fodder!!!.

A bit of this does tend to waft, though since I was wafting myself during the two times I've spun it I thought it fit in pretty well.  And even with the standard post-Miles Davis swipes tossed in you probably won't be offended as much as you were during the entire co-opting of jazz into a vain attempt to mainstream itself once again movement that probably turned more'n a few of even you casual readers off. Best track is definitely the Cee-Dee closer "New York Electric Street Music" (with vocals by Young 'stead of the femme cooer who appears everywhere else)  which not so surprisingly points the way at the rock/funk/punk merger that would overtake that city in a good five year's time, and I do not kid you one bit!
Art Ensemble of Chicago-CERTAIN BLACKS LP (Inner City)

After having evaded my grasps for quite a longer time than I can recall, this French-era AEC platter's finally been reissued exactamundo-like complete with the old Inner City label that naturally gives this ish that teste-tingling seventies jazz aroma that I so duly desire! Sends me straight back to the late-seventies when, after reading many a ref. via CREEM and even DOWN BEAT I used to cruise the shopping mall jazz bins espying such items as this wonderin' what in heck it was all about. Years later I am sated, yet the youthful wonderment continues to excite me even though at this late stage in the game I'M SUPPOSED TO KNOW BETTER!  But thankfully hey, I don't.

Great 'un here anyway with the original quartet being joined by Parisian reg's (the harmonica team of) Chicago Beau and Julio Finn and oddly enough not Don Moye but a William Howell on drums. Side long title track's a great free play extravaganza in the trad. of PEOPLE IN SORROW with a few hints of Archie Shepp tossed in while the other's got an ode to Jarman written by Beau which sounds like one of those tender lullabies that the longtime AEC multi-instrumentalist would compose. Sonny Boy Williamson also gets his fair due with a particularly bloozy cover of "Bye Bye Baby" which should prove to you that the "Great Black Music" of the AEC was a pretty encompassing vision that ranged from the roots to the future, and in fact at-times transcended racial boundaries when the tempo so desired.

It's really nice seein' this once again available (most m.o. places who deal in the free jazz realm should be stocking it) if only to help fill in the gaping holes in my swiss cheese-like collection. Great package, recording, pressing (on thick vinyl) and I don't care what you think, but I really do like to read these Nat Hentoff liner notes which might lower your opinion of me as a whole (or hole) but then again, what else is old?
Patti Smith-THE POETRY PROJECT 1971 CD bootleg (no label)

Nice early-Patti Smith surprise outta bootleg-land featuring a rare poetry reading from St. Mark's Church from way back '71 way during a time when Smith was beginning to spread herself onto the local underground art/poetry/rockscribing scene mighty thick if you ask me, but then again better her'n Ellen Willis. No musical backing here, but you do get to hear the roots of Patti as the snotty, sassy and fowl-mouthed poetess that thrilled millions of Midwestern plumpoids wanting to run away to En Why See to "be with it". So if ya wanna, go blame Smith for Lydia Lunch but then again please don't be too harsh.

Also on the disque are those three tracks Patti did in '73 (no real information given natch!) where she was backed by this particularly noisy splat that more or less recalled the no wave spurt of '77/'78 as well as a '74 Max's Kansas City gig that, although way down there in standard bootleg grading levels does give us a nice glimpse into the Patti shows ya used to see before she became really hot fodder for Earl Wilson columns. A nice slice of early Smithdom that sure seemed to hold loads of CREEM-y promise at least until it ALL came down right in front of our very eyes.

1 comment:

timnapalm said...

I suspect Brother Deniz' blog has been hacked, and he's completely unaware. Oddly, I found a Deniz Tek solo tour t-shirt for two bucks yesterday at one of my fave thrift stores here in Denver! That certainly made me yell, "YEH HUP!" (Which, of course, scared many an elderly church lady in the bric-a-brac department!)