The CELESTRIAL COMMUNICATION ORCHSTRA
An orchestra with a varying a geometry formed on a permanent core (20 musicians) and several guest.
ALAN SILVA came to live in Paris in 1969. From then until 1972 he devoted himslelf to creating musical events reuniting the greatest musicians passing through or living in Paris under the name of CELESTRIAL COMMUNICATION ORCHESTRA. He has played with this orchestra at the Maison de la Radio, for the Biennial of Paris, at the National Theatre of Paris, for the International Festival of Contemporary Music at La Rochelle, in Royan, Geneva, etc...
He reformed the CELESTRIAL COMMUNICATION ORCHSTRA in 1977, with the goal of having a fixed personnel for the orchestra while always keeping free chairs for musicians visiting Paris. The C.C.O. then appears at Le Palace, La Chapelle des Lombards, Le Petit Forum, the Beaubourg Center during the Festival du Marais, at the Dunois Theatre, at the Humanite Fair (French communist party and newspaper), the Cafe de la Gare, during the First International Jazz Festival of Paris at the Theatre Present, at the Theatre du Lierre, for the printer's guild of Le Monde newspaper, in Douai, etc...
A music tightly prepared in rehearsal and yet very improvisational at the moment of the concert. Dialectic between the composer and the musicians / improvisers / creaters. SILVA composes for specific individuals rather than writing for instruments. The orchestra writes, interpretesappropriates the leader's ideas. In concert, free run for the collective energy. Mass mouvements. Unity. Diversity. Explosion.
Celestrial Communications Orchestra American Edition
will perform on May 24. and May 27. 2001 at the Uncool Festival
Title of the composition:
Resolution 557 Improvisation Is A American Treasure
Poetic Vocals: Ijeoma Thomas
Trumpets: Roy Campbell, Raphe Malik, Baikida Carroll
Trombones: Joseph Bowie, Steve Swell, Johannes Bauer
Bass Trombone and Tuba: Bill Lowe, Joseph Daley
Alto Saxophone: Marshall Allen
Tenor Saxophone: Kid Jordan, Sabir Mateen, Francis Wong
Clarinets and Baritone Saxophone: J.D. Perran
Reeds: Daniel Carter
Winds: Oluyemi Thomas
Basson: Karen Borca
Contrabasses: Wilber Morris, William Parker
Percussion: Warren Smith
Drums: Jackson Krall
Piano: Bobby Few
Freeform Improvisations composed and conductions by ALAN SILVA.
Unter www.center-of-the-world.de / IMPROVISATION AND SOCIETY findet sich ein lesenswerter Text zu diesem Thema von Matthew Goodheart, entnommen aus: FREEDOM AND INDIVIDUALITY IN THE MUSIC OF CECIL TAYLOR, Part I.
Ferner ist der Originaltext veröffentlicht, der in leicht veränderter Form (Improvisation ersetzt Jazz) als programmatischer Titel gesetzt wird: Concurrent Resolution 57 (1987) - jazz as a rare and valuable national American treasure:
Introduced by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan
March 3, 1987
Expressing the sense of Congress respecting the designation of jazz as a rare and valuable national American treasure.
Whereas, jazz has achieved preeminence throughout the world as an indigenous American music and art form, bringing to this country and the world a uniquely American musical synthesis and culture through the African-American experience and
makes evident to the world an outstanding artistic model of individual expression and democratic cooperation within the creative process, thus fulfilling the highest ideals and aspirations of our republic,
is a unifying force, bridging cultural, religious, ethnic and age differences in our diverse society,
is a true music of people, finding its inspiration in the cultures and most personal experiences of the diverse peoples that constitute our Nation,
has evolved into a multifaceted art form which continues to birth and nurture new stylistic idioms and cultural fusions,
has had a historic, pervasive, and continuing influence on other genres of music both here and abroad, and
has become a true international language adopted by musicians around the world as a music best able to express contemporary realities from a personal perspective; and
Whereas this great American musical art form has not yet been properly recognized nor accorded the institutional status commensurate with its value and importance;
Whereas, it is important for the youth of America to recognize and understand jazz as a significant part of their cultural and intellectual heritage;
Whereas, in as much as there exists no effective national infrastructure to support and preserve jazz;
Whereas, documentation and archival support required by such a great art form has yet to be systematically applied to the jazz field; and
Whereas, it is in the best interest of the national welfare and all of our citizens to preserve and celebrate this unique art form: Now, therefore be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that Jazz, is hereby designated as a rare and valuable national American treasure to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated.
Passed the House of Representatives September 23, 1987.
Passed the Senate December 4, 1987.
Born 22 January 1939, Bermuda. Silva grew up in New York, studying piano and violin from the age of 10. He also took trumpet lessons from Donald Byrd for three years. He only started playing double bass at the age of 23. His acute musical ear and interest in new sounds made him ideal for some of Cecil Taylor's most demanding music: he played on the classic Blue Note Records releases of 1966, Unit Structures and Conquistador!, and played with Taylor until 1969. Together with Burton Greene he formed the Free Form Improvisation Ensemble, and also worked for other key innovators, including Sun Ra (1965-70), Albert Ayler (1966-70), Sunny Murray (1969) and Archie Shepp (1969). In 1970 he moved to France and formed the Celestrial Communication Orchestra to play free jazz with various instrumentations. He also played in smaller groups with tenor saxophonist Frank Wright, pianist Bobby Few and drummer Muhammad Ali. From the mid-70s he lived and taught in both New York and Paris, recording with Taylor, trumpeter Bill Dixon and pianist Andrew Hill. In 1982 he recorded with the Globe Unity Orchestra. In the mid-80s he dropped out of performance, declaring that the scene had become sterile (though 1986's Take Some Risks makes one question that judgement). In 1990 he returned to performance with the pioneering British percussionist Roger Turner and tenor saxophonist Gary Todd, playing at the Crawley Outside In Festival in 1990 and touring in 1991. On this last tour he played only keyboards - a Roland U-20 - declaring that he found his bass playing no longer surprised him. An intensely involving and visual performer, Silva is a great educationalist and communicator. He needs to be witnessed live to appreciate the energy and passion of his playing.
Concert Review: Raphe Malik Quartet
By Nils Jacobson
Little-known trumpeter Raphe Malik appeared Saturday night at the ICA in Boston with his quartet. Malik is most famous for his work with Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Lyons, though he has recently had a creative resurgence of his own. The group that performed in Boston consisted of Malik with multi-reedist Sabir Mateen, bassist Larry Rolands, and drummer Cody Moffett. A special event, this concert was the debut performance of Maliks new composition Looking East: A Suite in Three Parts. Without an intermission, the evening required stamina on behalf of both the performers and the audience. But fortunately, the pace and flow provided enough variety to hold interest throughout.
Maliks earlier recordings (at least the ones Im familiar with) have featured him in a free improvisation setting, where each player adds color from his own musical palette without relying on conventional forms. This performance was an exception, mostly because of the rock/funk drumming of Cody Moffett. It was quite unexpected to hear Malik and Mateen play the most far-out post-Ayler wailing imaginable over a get-down-with-it funk groove (meanwhie, bassist Rolands ended up trapped somewhere in the middle). Actually, it worked surprisingly well, and that must have been the sound Malik had in mind when he composed the suite. In the spirit of the avant garde, Malik brought together disparate elements to see what could happen at their rough intersection. To tie things together, each piece started with a simple theme, stated in unison by Malik and Mateen, then evolved into soloing and group improvisation, eventually returning to a restatement of the theme.
While Maliks virtuosity shone through all along, his playing tended at times to be a bit disjointed---or perhaps just too abstract for these ears. Much of his soloing consisted of melodic stabs jumping registers, repeated trills, or short, impossibly fast runs. The few times he decided to play more melodically, his work garnered more of my interest. However, his playing with Mateen was always mature and synergistic. Malik clearly listens well. (And he talks well too--offering humorous tidbits during the show.) Reedist Sabir Mateen, who switched back and forth between about six different instruments, played with amazing versatility. While he seemed comfortable with slow ballad-like melodies, he was just as adept with dizzying note flurries running at the speed of sound. And when he unleashed his primordial screaming wail, the earth quaked.
In summary: a few surprises, some amazing playing, and a lot of personality. Altogether an excellent show.
1977 Spoken Word
1982 Shadows and Reflections
1995 Door of the Cage
BAIKIDA CARROLL One of the better accompanists and section musicians, Baikida Carroll has added textures, colors and bright solos to various free jazz ensembles and groups, among them the Black Artists Group (BAG) in St. Louis. He's been an active composer, having written film soundtracks and scores and displayed a striking, full sound and solo approach. Carroll attended Southern Illinois University and the Armed Forces School of Music before directing the BAG's free jazz band. He went to Europe with other group members in the mid-'70s, and recorded in Paris in 1974. Carroll's recorded with Oliver Lake, Michael Gregory Jackson, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jack DeJohnette and David Murray in the '70s and '80s, as well as cutting a solo album in the late '70s and heading a combo in the early '80s. A 1994 session on Soul Note features Carroll in fine form with a quintet.~ Ron Wynn, All Music Guide
Business.com Search Results for Baikida Carroll 264 web sites found from the entire web
Joseph Bowie's life has been dominated by music since childhood. Son of a retired St. Louis music teacher and younger brother of Broadway arranger Byron K. Bowie and legendary trumpeter Lester Bowie, Joseph began trombone lessons at age 11. By age 15, Bowie joined St. Louis' Black Artist Group and advanced to studying with saxophonists Julius Hemphill, Hamiett Bluiett and Oliver Lake, all artists of enormous influence and reputation. At age 19, Bowie, with other members of the Black Artist Group, left St. Louis for Paris.
In 1973, Bowie returned to the States via New York where ,with Bobo Shaw, he organized the Human Arts Ensemble and began constantly seeking to redefine the boundaries of jazz. This period proved to be fruitful for Bowie, who concurrently managed the legendary La Mama Theater and perform with all the major jazz innovators of the day - Cecil Taylor, Frank Lowe and Anthony Braxton. Also during this period, Bowie formed the St. Louis Creative Ensemble with altoist Luther Thomas and performed with the New York All-Star Blues Band which featured legendary bluesman Left Hand Frank and contemporaries Philip Wilson and Henry Threadgill.
Still largely dissatisfied with the rigid confines of the jazz idiom, Joseph Bowie set out to formulate a musical concept fusing his varied musical experiences with something danceable and widely accessible - something commercially viable that still allowed for freedom and improvisation. In 1978, with this in mind, Bowie composed a band that combined conscious-raising lyrics, a funky rhythmic approach, sinewy bass lines, metallic guitar, assaultive horns topped with maniacal vocals to create the distinctive sound that became Defunkt's trademark. From its inception until 1983, Defunkt turned New York's radical underground music scene on its ear producing three classic albums, Defunkt, Razor's Edge and Thermonuclear Sweat, and after a glorious beginning Defunkt disbanded and Joseph Bowie went into self-imposed exile on the Island of St. Croix to reorganize his life and gain some strength. In 1986, Joseph Bowie returned to New York, reassembled Defunkt, and two-years later released the critically acclaimed album Defunkt in America.
The following year, Defunkt signed with Enemy Records and has just concluded a lucrative four-year association during which they released 6 recordings including the critically acclaimed Defunkt Special Edition Tribute to Muddy Waters and Jimi Hendrix. Now in its 17th year, Defunkt has again received wide critical acclaim m in Europe and Japan for their Spring 1995 release One World, their first recording on the Dutch BlueFunk label. Bowie describes this latest effort, which he produced, as a pivotal move to a larger, more polished production, incorporating an expanded horn section and backup vocalists, representing the beginning of Defunkt Music Incorporated: A Big Band for the 21st Century.
In addition to his work as leader and founder of Defunkt, Bowie's musical pursuits are more diverse than ever. Among his involvements are his integral membership of the Chicago-based African blues trio the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, touring with Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra, performing with the David Murray Big Band, guest lecturing for the Smithsonian Institution's Campus on the Mall Program, and performing and recording with the late pianist Don Pullen, the African Brazilian Connection and the Chief Cliff Singers, a Native American drumming ensemble, on Pullen's final project for BlueNote Records. Bowie also tours and records with a number of European artists including the Vienna Arts Orchestra, Count Basic and the Sebastian Piekarek Quartet.
Still, Joseph Bowie's first love and concern is Defunkt, and after a decade of hard work and determination it is apparent that the international acclaim and reputation of the ensemble is steadily growing as evidenced by the consistently sold out European and North American audiences for which the group performs.
In 1996, Defunkt embarked on a new relationship with European tour promoter, Gert Pfankuch of Musikburo. Through Gert's efforts, Defunkt performed to sold-out audiences at all the major summer music festivals, including Holland's North Sea Jazz Festival, the La Villette Jazz Festival in Vienne, France, Stuttgart's Jazz Open Festival, and the Cactus Festival in Brugge, Belgium. The band has shared the stage with artists such as Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, Isaac Hayes, Marcus Miller, Cassandra Wilson, Maceo Parker and the Groove Collective. The band is a main attraction throughout Europe and hopes to expand this reality to the US by securing a North American recording deal during the 96/97 season.
"Steve is unquestionably a trombone player; he attacks and exploits the instrument's peculiarities as a race car driver would a Ferrari. No wind-blown instrument is more capable of tonal extremes than the trombone, a fact that Swell makes manifest with his howling glissandi and chattering chromaticism, to say nothing of a postbop linearity that would make J.J. Johnson proud. Swell has an extraordinary conventional technique which he puts to quite unconventional use, spiced liberally with an assortment of his own very personal idiosyncrasies." --Jazz Now Magazine
JOSEPH P. DALEY
Tuba & Euphonium
Music & Art High School - Academic Diploma 1967
Manhattan School of Music - Bachelors Degree in Performance (Tuba) 1972
Manhattan School of Music - Masters Degree in Music Education 1973
Sam Rivers Trio, Quartet and Orchestra - U.S. and European Tours
Howard Johnson and Gravity - U.S., Brazilian and European Tours
Carla Bley Orchestra - U.S. and European Tours
Jazzmobile Dream Band with Frank Foster - 1980 Winter Olympics
Taj Mahal Blues Band - U.S. Tour-Bremen/Berlin Festivals "Real Thing" Reunion
Muhal Richard Abrams - N.Y. Public Theater / European Tour
George Gruntz Band - U.S. Tour / Israel and European Tours
Gil Evans Orchestra
Bill Cole "Untempered Trio" - U.S. Tours
Bill Cole "Untempered Ensemble" - U.S. Tours
Ebony Brass Quintet
Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra - Tours of Japan, Canada, Europe and the U.S.
Far East Side Band China, U.S. and European Tours
Paradigm Shift - New England Tour
Jellys Last Jam - Virginia Theater
Further Mo New Orleans Musical - Village Gate
One Mo Time - Village Gate
Howard Johnson & Gravity- "Right Now": VERVE RECORDS
Howard Johnson & Gravity - " Gravity": VERVE RECORDS
Ebony Brass - "A Brand New Bag": MAPLESHADE RECORDS
Far East Side Band - "Urban Archaeology": VICTO RECORDS
Liberation Music Orchestra - "Dreamkeeper": BLUE NOTE RECORDS*
Liberation Music Orchestra - "The Montreal Tapes": VERVE RECORDS
Ellery Eskelin - "Figure of Speech": SOUL NOTE RECORDS
Ellery Eskelin - "Ramifications": HAT HUT RECORDS
Phil Haynes - "4 Horns & What?" : OPEN MIND RECORDS
"Jellys Last Jam": MERCURY RECORDS
Bill Cole - "Untempered Trio": SHADRACK RECORDS
Bill Cole - "Untempered Ensemble": BOXHOLDER RECORDS
Muhal Richard Abrams - "Blu Blu Blu": BLACK SAINT RECORDS
Muhal Richard Abrams- "Critic Picks, Vol 1": BLACK SAINT RECORDS
George Gruntz - "First Prize": ENJA RECORDS
George Gruntz - "25 Years": TCOB RECORDS
Jayne Cortez - "Unsubmissive Blues": BOLA PRESS RECORDS
Taj Mahal - "The Real Thing": COLUMBIA RECORDS
Taj Mahal - "Happy To Be As I Am": COLUMBIA RECORDS
Taj Mahal- "In Progress and In Motion": COLUMBIA RECORDS
Carla Bley - "I Remember Nino Rota": HANNIBAL RECORDS
Carla Bley - "Social Studies": WATT/EMC RECORDS
Gil Evans - "Svengali": ATLANTIC RECORDS
Gil Evans - "There Comes A Time": RCA RECORDS
Sam Rivers - "Crystals": IMPULSE RECORDS
Sam Rivers - "Tuba Trio Volumes 1 and 2": CIRCLE RECORDS
Sam Rivers - "Waves": TOMATO RECORDS
Sam Rivers - "Inspiration": BMG/RCA RECORDS
Sam Rivers - "Culmination": BMG/RCA RECORDS
Edward Vesala- "Heavylife": LEO RECORDS
Paradigm Shift- "The Raw Field Recordings": TAUTOLOGY RECORDS
Assif Tsahar Brass Reed Ensemble- "The Hollow World": HOPSCOTCH RECORDS
National Endowment for the Arts Award for Music Composition - 1990
NJ Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award - 1987
"IT MAKES YOU BOOOMPH!"
Marshall Allen interviewed by Edwin Pouncey
29th May 1995
Just before his solo performance at the LMC 1995 Festival, saxophonist MARSHALL ALLEN looks back on a lifetime of working for Sun RA: Interview by EDWIN POUNCEY.
This interview with Marshall Allen was conducted in a small room above the Conway Hall in London prior to his solo performance there that evening. A veteran of the late Sun Ra's Arkestra and a principal member whose playing has enriched the legacy and legendary status of the band, Marshall proved to be, as promised, a gregarious interviewee whose enthusiasm was infectious. While we were talking he told me that tenor saxophonist and Sun Ra's successor John Gilmore was ill and that he had been requested to stand in for him until he recovered. Marshall insisted that John would return to lead the Arkestra into the 21st century, but unfortunately that was not to be. John Gilmore died on August 20, 1995 aged 63.
Again the future of the Arkestra is in doubt, but if Marshall Allen decides to take on the mantle of leader then there is no doubt that he will wear it with style.
With respect and gratitude to John Gilmore whose playing on this planet will never be forgotten by those who heard it.
EP: Would you explain to people how the Arkestra is functioning now that Sun Ra has passed on? You said something about John Gilmore is the new director...
MA: Yeah, John Gilmore is the director, he's the leader...
EP: But he's not very well...
MA: ...and since he's a little ill now I substitute directing the band on jobs, and at the house we have John, myself, Tyrone Hill, James Jackson and, so we run things at that end. And we have a fellow that takes care of the money...
EP: You've got an accountant?
MA: Yeah....it functions pretty good for us, because we split the jobs up. Sun Ra would mastermind all of it and we wouldn't have to worry about it, we would do as he told us to do, but now that he's gone we have to split the work up...the load is pretty heavy.
EP: How about the re-issue programme that Evidence are doing, is that on hold?
MA: They re-issued 13 or 15 in all on CD's. ... but we haven't done any new work recording because we're waiting 'til they settle what they're doing.
EP: So the Arkestra still functions then, it's still a playing band...
MA: It's still a playing band, and active.
EP: How do your performances go down?
MA: In the band we're using two drummers, bass and guitar, we use vibes and trombones, trumpets and saxophones. So it's like it was when Sun Ra gathered all these musicians together.
EP: I hope that this next question doesn't sound bizarre or disrespectful, but do you feel that Sun Ra is with you when you play?
EP: You still feel his presence?
MA: The memorial day is today, but on Saturday night the first tune I played was the Space Call, and then I played a tune that I wrote and dedicated to him. And then we went on with the regular programme. The theme songs and tunes to create the spirit.
EP: So now he's even more of a spiritual guide in a way.
MA: He's still there, the presence is there. When I go to the house I can feel it. When I get there it's not like my own home, at home I can't do the things, but I get there and everything's coming together. Whatever I'm going to do, rehearse or do things with some new tunes or play things that we haven't played in probably months. When I go to the house his presence is there. So I go every day.
EP: The performance you're going to give tonight is a solo performance, how many times have you done that before?
MA: With Sun Ra we used to play like the first half hour of a show, he would pick somebody to open the show....so I guess that what this is now.
EP: I was watching the 'Joyful Noise' film on video this morning and I got to a point where you do an incredible solo where you were almost strumming your saxophone, you know the one I'm talking about?
MA: I'm dealing with sound...using the technique to get the sound like a Whooosh! - and if that's what I hear and I have to do it, I just do it. I don't think, 'Oh, I'm going to do this'. I don't know what I'm going to do. With the nerves and all, and the sound mixed together, and it makes you Booomph!.
EP: To me it was an example of the finest in improvised music, where the player is possessed by something that he isn't completely in control of, but he is in control.
MA: He was the master of what he was doing, and there was time for us to listen........and what comes out, that's what comes out.
EP: Before, you were playing with people like Art Simmons, at the very beginning...
MA: Yeah, that's when I was in the army and we called ourselves the Fourstars. We had bass, drummer, piano and alto. And that army network they had, we were living at the studio and playing for the radio, and broadcast live. We got out of the army in '49, Art Simmons and myself, and went to Paris and studied at the conservatory. We all went together as a group and went to study at the conservatory. For a while there we worked all around town...
EP: And you got in with James Moody as well didn't you?
MA: James Moody and Don Byass were staying in Paris and we were all staying in this little hotel room in Champs Elysees, right around the corner from the Lido. And some of us were down at St Germain, but every night there was somebody in town or a club where we could jam or play gigs. Then I went to Chicago in '51, and there I met Sun Ra: I heard this record, with one tune, like a demo. They took six or seven different bands and they put sides of them. My friend Joe in Chicago he said...I used to go buy records all the time...and he told me, "I got something that you probably would like, it's real good stuff", and he plays Sun Ra and I heard that sound that Sun Ra was getting, and that band! I was waiting for a band because I love playing in a band and I started hunting them down, I started inquiring, "Where's Sun Ra?", and one of the trumpet players said, " You ought to go round to the ballroom, they rehearse around there every day. Go round and talk to him he's looking for musicians." So I went to play for Sun Ra, and there was about two weeks of talking! I had to stay up and listen to what he was saying about what he wanted. And one day he said "We'll be playing next week", and so I went there and I wanted to play and everybody got in his seat and I said, "What about a chair for me!" - and he stood me in the corner by the piano and he would direct me from there. And I was standing there and everybody was just playing and I was just holding my horn. And he said tomorrow you meet me at my house where there's a piano and we'll practice some things with you. And that's when we did things like "Spontaneous Simplicity" and a few things - and then I had a little spot in the band, and then I had one or two tunes that I could play on. And he began to write me saxophone parts...that's the way I remember it.
EP: Could you always play these instruments like oboe and piccolo and things like that or were you instructed by Sun Ra...
MA: I had a problem with my teeth and for two or three years I had to leave that oboe alone. But I have my piccolo, my oboe and flute and I got an electronic instrument when I went to Italy and they gave us an electronic trumpet and it's got seven octaves to it. They gave Sun Ra an organ, and they gave us seven instruments which you put in an amplifier to play. So we plugged into the amplifier and everybody starts playing and Booom! And nobody didn't know how to play them then, you know. But Sun Ra, the first day we got them he said play them. And boy! the sound was just Wooaarr!
EP: For the period we've just been talking about, when you first joined, the titles on the first Transition album sound - you know, there is that element of Sun Ra in the music, but there's nothing too way out...
MA: If you listen, that sound! That's what got me, you know I heard this, I said, Oh! Harmony - cos I love all the big bands...
EP: But the real space music was yet to come wasn't it?
MA: He had it all then but he had to develop the musicians. To the concept of something different.
EP: How did he introduce you to that music. Did he plug you in and that was it?
MA: No, you'd come to private lessons and you'd sit there every day, all day long, rehearsing just with the flute and piano.
EP: But the extraordinary way-out stuff, how did you get introduced to that? Did he come in and say "We're going to do something different today"?
MA: You'd play something and the leader said "No, I don't like that, that's too sentimental, or that's too this or too that." Then he won't leave you nothing left, but now, what does he want! And many times I went away sad because I was playing my little riffs and my notes and he said "That's not what I'm looking for, that's not the sound". And that's when I first began to understand it was something else he wanted me to do. So I began to listen more to him, to get the concept, and it grew step by step by step.
EP: What did you prefer to do, record or perform with the band?
MA: I feel good making a record too, but performing live, it's alive! You do things once and that's it. So you see it's a different feeling you get in a recording studio. Playing live, like for instance on Saturday night, I raised my hand...of course I'd given them some chords before we went on the stage, so that's all they got, they didn't get any music, but they knew I was coming out and hit, so that's what we got. They didn't have this new tune that I was playing...only two people that was in Philadelphia had it, that had practised with me, and so I said, "That's it, give me a space chord", and pointed to the bassoon player to start the tune, and I looked at the trumpet player, and all the trumpets started the tune, and the rhythm fitted in, and they weren't going to drown nothing out because they didn't know where this tune was yet. Until the mood was set and they felt what they could put in there, but I kept checking to be sure not to overdo nothing. I'd just created it and I had no idea where I was going, but I knew where I was going to stop. Therefore I gave the musicians room to create a tune, a melody, to enhance the melody that I played for them. After one chorus the tune grew and grew. I doubt if it would come like that again...it would be another arrangement, cos that was the first time when everybody experienced it and it went over fine.
EP: Obviously live it's completely different to recording, but I did wonder how you worked on a record like "Heliocentric Worlds'.
MA: Saying the same thing I'm just telling you about. Sun Ra would go to the studio and he would play something, the bass would come in, the drums would come in, and if he didn't like it he'd stop it, and he'd give the drummer a particular rhythm, tell the bass he wanted not a 'boom boom boom', but something else, and then he'd begin to try out the horns, we're all standing there wondering what's next.
EP: So he'd literally do it in one take...
MA: A lot of those things was one take, because he was creating on the spot.
EP: There's a fine piccolo solo on Heliocentric.
MA: I just picked up the piccolo and worked with what was going on, what mood they set, or what feeling they had. A lot of things we'd be rehearsing and we did the wrong things and Sun Ra stopped the arrangement and changed it. Or he would change the person who was playing the particular solo, so that changes the arrangement. So the one that was soloing would get the part and the one that was playing the part would get another part given to him personally. Cos he knew people. He could understand what you could do better so he would fit that in with what he would tell you. He wouldn't give you a part that he wrote for me. It wouldn't fit.
EP: When the Saturn records were being done, were you informed, "Now we're going to make a record"? Or was it just made from tapes?
MA: The company was young then and they didn't have very good tape recorders. We would go to a place that had pretty good acoustics, it might be a ballroom or it might be a club, just like "Cosmic tones for mental therapy" (?!) , that was done in a club which had a nice sound. So then we would hand-print the covers.
EP: This was a job that everybody had to do?
MA: Everybody would print the covers and we'd put out stacks and stacks of covers, hand-painted, each one different.
EP: Some very elaborate ones as well, some had photographs involved in them and then overlaid with sticky plastic...
MA: I've got a few of them at home and they're just beautiful.
EP: Sun Ra I think called those records 'Cosmic Newspapers', they were like a way of getting his word out on the street really quick, and I thought that was a really good way of describing them...
MA: The word of mouth, the street word was - Pshwooo! - it would be all over town whatever you say or do.
EP: He'd press a limited quantity of those records and they'd sell at gigs or what?
MA: You'd press 200 and then next time you'd press a record it would be something else because he had so much music to work with. We made albums in a better studio with better equipment, and those are the ones you still hear, but a lot of them there was only a couple of hundred made.
EP: Are there any plans to record the Arkestra now?
MA: We've got plans to continue right on with what we're doing, right now we are together as a band, working, keeping the fire and the life, and the music. All the recording dates and things ...they're coming. The first thing to do is keep the organisation intact and keep the idea that was given to us. It's set up, all we have to do is do it. We've got all the music that we haven't recorded, and with Sun Ra we rehearsed every day, for almost forty years, every day, Friday Saturday Sunday, holidays.
The Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen
Sabir Mateen: a standing miracle wave
How many people are listening to classic recordings of artists such as Mance Lipscomb, Charlie Parker, Charles Ives and Albert Ayler but would never have known, or cared, to attend the performances of these people while they were alive? The answer is, approximately the same as the number of people who will someday be checking out Sabir Mateen.
While his style is reminiscent of late Coletrane, Sabir inflects the cascading torrents of sixteenth and thirtysecond notes with blues, soul, folk and atonal sensibilties. He has been known to work with almost every genre of music, from Filipino folk rock to electronic noise to hard post-bop and neo-classical.
Brought up in Philadelphia, Sabir has worked in L.A., where he was part of Horace Tapscott's ensemble. He moved to New York around the beginning of this decade, and although he played several gigs with Sun Ra, mostly resisted overtures to join the Arkestra in favor of forging his own path.
Now a favorite of musical esotericists, frequently featured in jazz magazines such as Coda and JAZZIZ, Mateen often leaves on tours of the US and the world but almost never misses a Mammals gig. A typical Mammals show will have Sabir performing on alto and tenor saxophones, flute, clarinet, piano and vocals.
IJEOMA THOMAS und OLUYEMI THOMAS
Warren Smith's reputation as a dynamic leader of a vibrant and creative ensemble often overshadows his abilities as a composer, arranger and percussionist.His exemplary technical skills, whether behind a battery of drums or the vibes, complement a marvelous intuition for rhythm and harmony. A consummate musician, Smith knows when and how to put the heat to a rhythm section, and where to be an unobtrusive and delicate accompanist.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Warren I. Smith, Jr. (W.I.S. to the people close to him) entered the professional music world at the early age of fourteen, working in various family bands in the late 1940's and later in the mid-50's with Captain Waiter H. Dyett's concert and marching bands. Warren Smith has firm roots grounded in the Chicago south side music scene. Along with other emissaries & visionaries such as Johnny Griffin, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM)- including Lester Bowie, Don Moye Amina Myers, Joseph Jarman, et al., and a host of other jazz and blues players from the era, Warren is a part of an essential element in the development and definition of Afro-American music.
Warren relocated to New York City in 1957, and completed his Masters of Music at the Manhattan School of Music in 1958. That same year brought his first jazz gig in New York City with Kenny Burrell at Minton's Play House. W.I.S. played Birdland in 1959 with Gil Evans, and from 1960-1972 worked regularly with Johnny Richards' Bigband. It was around that time that Warren began extensive work both in the studios and on Broadway. To his credit are the original Broadway and road production and the 2nd Broadway run of West Side Story; Lena Home- The Lady and Her Music and Jelly's Last Jam (on the life of Jelly Roll Morton).
Though already an articulate voice within the jazz community, Warren Smith found himself deep inside the Motown scene throughout the 1960's and 70's. Being the unsung percussionist on the scene with Bernard Purdie, Warren played on all the early Gladys Knight and the Pips' 45 hit singles; performed on numerous occasions with Dionne Warwick; did several tours, recording sessions and TV dates with Harry Bellafonte; backed up Nat King Cole on his 8 week summer tour of New England, 1964; played the R n R shows with Murray the K. in Brooklyn; toured with Barbara Streisand throughout U.S. in 1965; worked on the ABC, New York, staff orchestra 1964-67- including the Jimmy Dean Show and the Les Crane/Nippsy Russell Show; recorded on the only collaborative album done by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell; musical director of Janis Joplin in 1969- playing the Ed Sullivan Show, the San Francisco Ice Palace and the only Europe tour; recorded, toured and did live TV performances with Aretha Franklin from 1965-1978, including a performance at the 1971 Montreaux Jazz Festival- which he also played with Tony Williams Lifetime Ego that same year.
Concurrent with his extensive Motown and studio work, Warren Smith began to teach at Adelphi University in 1969 and later at the State University of New York, Old Westbury in 1971, where he has remained as a tenured professor in the music department. Never loosing sight however of his roots, throughout such a diversified performance career, Warren has remained a prominent percussionist and drummer within the Jazz world. Performing, touring and recording with every progressive- from Charles Mingus to Miles Davis, from Muhal Richard Abrams to Sam Rivers, Max Roach, M'Boom, Jabbo Ware, David Murray, Sonny Sharock, Anthony Davis and too many other masters to encapsulate here. A book would be needed to fully cover this man's history.
Currently Warren is working with Jack Jeffers New York Classic, Jabbo Ware's Me, We and Them Orchestra, and several other smallgroups, both locally on the New York scene and internationally. He is leading his 30 plus year established Composers Workshop Ensemble, and does numerous solo, duet and trio performances and recordings. As well, Warren Smith continues to teach music at S.U.N.Y. Old Westbury and directs Chelsea Performing Arts- Studio W.I.S.-his non-profit performance/ rehearsal space in Manhattan.
A...Few words...about Bobby:
Childhood friend of Albert Ayler,born into a family of musicians,Bobby Few started studying the piano and organ at the age of seven and gave his first classical recital five years later.After studying harmony and composition at Cleveland Instituteof Music,he took up the vibraphone and played in bands with his cousin Bob Cunningham. Urged by Albert Ayler,he went to New York where he joined Bill Dixon's "Free Jazz Workshop" and gave a show with Frank Right ,whom he'd met in Cleveland in 1956,and Booker Ervin.He set up a short lived trio with Wilbur Ware (b) and Leroy Williams (dm),worked as a pianist and musical director for the singer Brook Benton (1968),then accompanied Frank Foster and Roland Kirk.Having moved to Europe in 1969,he got together with Frank Wright,Noah Howard and Muhammed Ali to create the "Center of the World" group which was also a production and editoring company.Then he became dedicated to teaching for a while and joined Alan Silva's "Celestrial Communication Orchestra".From 1980 to 1992 he was a member of Steve Lacy's sextet with which he toured Europe,Japan and the U.S.A..In 1993 he formed his own trio and since then he has performed with visiting american musicians and singers in Paris.
Bobby Few has performed or recorded more than thirty albums in solo or with:
BOOKER ERVIN ROLAND KIRK ART TAYLOR FRANK FOSTER ALBERT AYLER ARCHIE SHEPP SUNNY MURRAY KENNY CLARKE FRANK WRIGHT ALAN SILVA NOAH HOWARD MUHAMMED ALI WILBUR WARE NAT ADDERLEY NATHAN DAVIS IDRISS MOHAMED JOE HENDERSON WOODY SHAW HAL SINGER J.J.AVENEL STEVE LACY JOHN BETSCH STEVE POTTS NOEL Mc GHEE RAYMOND DOUMBE HARRY SWIFT JOE LEE WILSON TALIB KIBWE DAVID MURRAY RICKY FORD JAMES LEWIS PATRICIA KAAS
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