Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Marion Brown / Ornette Coleman

Hey everyone -- It's been a while. Grad school is no walk in the park. But fortunately I've been keeping up with my tune transcribing, for various shows and groups. Here are a couple new ones:

Marion Brown - "Capricorn Moon"

A nice little tune, used as a vehicle for extended modal/free solos (the album version is more than 20 minutes long). This is the opening track on The Marion Brown Quartet (1966), featuring trumpeter Alan Shorter, drummer Rashied Ali, and bassists Reggie Johnson and Ronnie Boykins (from Sun Ra's band). Bennie Maupin also plays on the album, but is not on this track.

A few towering figures often define the New York jazz avant-garde of the 1960's: John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Pharaoh Sanders... we often forget about figures like John Tchicai, Don Pullen, Alan Silva, Bill Dixon and Marion Brown, who were engaged with similar lines of inquiry: new ways of approaching improvisation, and new ways of blending it with composition. ESP-Disk' is an indispensable source for documentation of this very important musical scene.

Ornette Coleman - "Street Woman" 

Recorded in the early 70's, released on Science Fiction (1972). This album is a hodge-podge of elements tossed together, and slow-cooked to perfection. We hear many of Ornette's frequent collaborators like Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, Billy Higgins, Don Cherry and Dewey Redman, as well as a few fairly uncommon collaborators. For example, trumpeter Bobby Bradford, and New York Philharmonic trumpeters Gerard Schwarz (1973-1978) and Carmine Fornarotto (1962-1994). Additionally, two tracks feature the remarkable singer Asha Puthli, in some of her earliest recordings (she can also be heard on Peter Ivers' Take It Out On Me, and she has numerous excellent solo albums). Poet David Henderson can be heard on the title track. The album's production team is to credit as well, for they help to create the strange aural space that much of the album possesses. Engineers Stan Tonkel, Russ Payne, and producer James Jordan: props. James Jordan, also produced Coleman's Skies of America, as well as his most recent release Sound Grammar (check out this blog's very first post for a transcription of "Jordan" from this album)

Also, I haven't forgotten about "Splashdown"! In fact, it's almost done. I just need to figure out the weird keyboard/bass interlude... In the next post, I'll share a couple transcriptions of tunes by Giuseppi Logan, to me one of the oddest figures from the ESP-Disk' scene.