New Arrivals & Restocks - summer 2016

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75 Dollar Bill
Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock
Thin Wrist Recordings
LP
$16

Restocked! "The expansive second album from one of NYC's most vital new bands. 75 Dollar Bill, the duo of Rick Brown and Che Chen, creates hypnotic pulsing music that weaves an ecstatic line from raw electric blues, Arabic modes, and entrancing folk minimalism back to the streets of New York." - Thin Wrist Recordings. Download included. Check the promo trailer on youtube & hear Beni Said.

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75 Dollar Bill
Southeaster / Like Like Laundry
no label / private release
cassette
$6

Restocked! “Clocking in at nearly 70 minutes of music, this album features a selection of in-the-rough gems from our ever expanding archive. Track/Side one, ‘Southeaster’ features a collage of phased out guitar & drum jams, spectral fiddle music and percussion/horn blowouts originally assembled for our 2015 South East tour CD-r. Beginning and ending sections feature some great guitar work by old friend and collaborator, Steve Maing. Track/Side two features a side-length performance of ‘Like Like Laundry.’ Often a part of our live set whenever we can get Andrew or Cheryl to sit in with us, this is the first recording of ‘Like Like Laundry’ (not to be confused with ‘Like Laundry’) we've made available. Andrew (upright bass) and Cheryl (bari sax) are both in top form here, fusing with Rick's box to create shifting rhythmic pockets in the lower registers to great effect. A half hour of variations on a single rhythmic vamp.” - 75 Dollar Bill. Download included. Hear some of Southeaster.

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Bobby Bradford, Hafez Modirzadeh, Mark Dresser, Alex Cline
Live at the Open Gate
NoBusiness Records
LP
$22

Always a treat to hear more music from living legend Bobby Bradford (check his recordings with John Carter if you haven’t already. In particular, their Self-Determination Music LP has gotten lots of play in my home over the years). This album was recorded live at the Center for the Arts in Los Angeles on March 3, 2013. LP only edition of 500. Hear a bit of Modirzadeh's Facet 5 & Bradford's Song for the Unsung, one of my favorite tunes.

Bobby Bradford: cornet
Hafez Modirzadeh: alto saxophone
Mark Dresser
: bass
Alex Cline: drums

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Jim Bunkley / George Henry Bussey
The George Mitchell Collection
Fat Possum
LP
$14

“This 17-track collection of stripped down traditional blues songs performed by Jim Bunkley and George Henry Bussey was recorded by George Mitchell in Geneva & Waverly Hall, GA, in 1969. Jim Bunkley, born & raised in Geneva, GA, ‘made friends with the guitar’ at age eight. The self-proclaimed best known musician in Talbot County, Bunkley would take the stage with a great big ole cowboy hat, cracked a whole lot of jokes, & then played his heart out. George Henry Bussey was a woodworker, born near Waverly Hall, GA, about 15 miles from Geneva, where Bunkley lived. Although coming from a musical family in which everyone seemed to play an instrument & sing, Bussey didn't start playing the guitar until he was 18. ‘I listened to a lot of Blind Boy Fuller's records, but I wouldn't try to play it like he played it. I just played it in my own way.’” - Fat Possum. Download included. Hear Bunkley's Them Greasy Greens, Black Gal (with Lottie Kate Bunkley), & Bussey's Blues Around My Bed.

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RL Burnside
Mississippi Hill Country Blues
Fat Possum
LP
$14

"It's a pleasure to hear RL Burnside's early acoustic blues played the way he learned them in the hill country of Northern Mississippi. Three of these tracks date from 1967 and were recorded in Coldwater, MS, by folklorist George Mitchell, while the remaining were recorded in the early '80s by Swingmaster operator Leo Bruin in Groningen, Netherlands. This is Burnside playing solo (and mainly) acoustic country blues with the only addition to his guitar & voice being the harmonica of Red Ramsey on 'Rolling and Tumbling.' While you can't go wrong with the purchase of any Burnside recording, these Swingmaster sessions portray a natural relaxed unaccompanied Burnside." - Fat Possum / Al Campbell, All Music. Originally issued by Swingmaster. Download included. Hear Miss Maybelle.

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John Carter
Echoes from Rudolph's
NoBusiness Records
2CD
$17

"Echoes from Rudolph's has topped my list of Albums Most in Need of Reissuing for the longest time. Not only is it one of clarinetist-composer John Carter's greatest performances on record, it is also the only documentation of a critical period in the evolution of his art. It is the only album he made as a leader or co-leader between Secrets in 1972 and Variations in 1979. And it comes from the period in which he decided to discard his other horns and to focus exclusively on the clarinet.

"Every Sunday afternoon for two and a half years, between 1973 and 1976, the John Carter Trio made Rudolph's Fine Art Center their home. A former dentist's office located at 3320 West 50th Street in South Central Los Angeles, Rudolph's had a raised stage at one end of the room. To the right was the green room, to the left was a door to individual rooms and a bath. In between was a little table for wine and cheese. Capacity was about 30, but there were usually fewer people than that in attendance. In this intimate setting, accompanied by his son Stanley on bass and longtime collaborator William Jeffrey on drums, Carter developed his art and grew to realize that the clarinet was his instrument of destiny.

"As 'Amin' shows, Carter was an original voice on soprano sax. In fact there was another tune for soprano saxophone recorded for the album, 'Blues for Ruby Pearl,' but it was never released. At the last minute, Carter replaced it with 'Angles,' a solo clarinet piece. As good as he was on soprano, it was on clarinet that Carter truly takes wing and soars. The new solo track signaled his transition exclusively to the instrument.

"Carter released Echoes from Rudolph's in late October or early November 1977 in an edition of only 550 copies on his own Ibedon label. 'I be done' is a Black southern idiom common during John's Texas childhood. Cornetist Bobby Bradford gives an example of its usage: 'I be done go upside yo' haid.' For Carter, the name not only connects to his Fort Worth roots, it also sounds suggestive of Africa.

"The second disc of this set contains a rare broadcast recording by the trio. After Rudolph's closed, the group was invited to perform on the Goodbye Porkpie Hat program on KPFK. Recorded in March 1977, just months before Carter added the solo clarinet track to the LP, it is very likely the last recording of Carter on soprano sax.

"With most of his earliest recorded work with Bobby Bradford now back in print, Carter's revolutionary achievements as an instrumentalist and composer can be reassessed and better appreciated. These trio sessions capture Carter at the very birth of his mature period, when clarinet became his sole instrument. In a sense, Echoes from Rudolph's is the missing link between the New Art Jazz Ensemble of the late '60s/early '70s and his compositional masterpiece, Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music, released on five albums throughout the 198os and one of the great triumphs of that decade" - Ed Hazell

Hear clips of To a Fallen Poppy and Amin

John Carter: clarinet, soprano saxophone
Stanley Carter: bass
William Jeffrey: drums, percussion
Chris Carter: cymbal (CD 1, track 2)
Melba Joyce: vocals (CD 1, track 2)

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Elizabeth Cotten
Shake Sugaree
Folkways
LP
$18

“Elizabeth Cotten's second & most varied LP features some her greatest performances: blues, ballads, breakdowns, & folk songs as only Elizabeth could play them. This is a limited edition with a 'tip on' cover & 180 gram vinyl.” - Folkways. Hear Ruben & Washington Blues.

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Ted Daniel's Energy Module
Innerconnection
NoBusiness Records
2CD
$17

Trumpeter Ted Daniel's Energy Module was an unfortunately short-lived outfit, performing only 2 gigs in their time together. This hot live recording was their last, recorded November 8, 1975, at Sunrise Studio in New York City. They burned through an array of tunes by Albert Ayler (their version of "Ghosts" is glorious), Dewey Redman, Sunny Murray, and Ornette Coleman, plus a couple originals by Daniel, who also contributes some brief, evocative notes for the record. Hear some of Jiblet and The Probe. Limited 2LP version also available.

Ted Daniel: trumpet, flugelhorn, French hunting horn, Moroccan bugle
Daniel Carter: tenor saxophone
Oliver Lake: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, piccolo, cow bell
Richard Pierce: bass
Tatsuya Nakamura: drums
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James Davis
Vol. 43 of the George Mitchell collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7" EP
$5

It would be pretty difficult for an artist to be further up the 50 Miles alley than James Davis. Davis played "Georgia drumbeat," an instrumental music that contains elements of blues, fife-and-drum, and country. Within five minutes of my first exposure to Mr. Davis' music, I was having visions of visiting him down in Georgia and/or flying him up to NYC to play at a party. (regrettably, he has since passed away) There are four tunes here, all rockers. Hear Old Country Rock #1.

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Lum Guffin
s/t
Mississippi
LP
$14

“Lum Guffin has been called 'The Walking Victrola' - a human depository of many musical styles and songs. This LP features great performances recorded [by Bengt Olsson] in the early 1970's of Lum - playing guitar and singing. His style is distinctive and beautiful. A true great of the blues genre who has been seldom heard. We are proud to present this beautiful limited edition of his material with a silk screened cover (4 different color variations have been made - you will get a random selection when ordering). A co-release with the king of blues reissues labels - Sutro Park.” - Mississippi. Hear Jack of Diamonds. Read the notes to his original Walking Victrola LP via Stefan Wirz's indispensable website: http://www.wirz.de/music/flyright/grafik/503b4.jpg

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Peter Kuhn
No Coming, No Going: The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979
NoBusiness Records
2CD
$18

Reissue of Kuhn's privately pressed Livin' Right LP & a previously unreleased session with the always wonderful drummer Denis Charles.

Livin' Right is a product of the amazing NYC loft scene of the 1970s, where players from around the world gathered in a rare period of community, harmony, and creativity, a time when a relative unknown from California could meet and play with the great musicians on this disc. William Parker was already a phenomenon at the time, but there was no way to predict the depth of his amazing ultimate contribution to music. Denis Charles had already been on pivotal albums with Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, and Steve Lacy but was just coming back from the obscurity of his own musical hiatus. Arthur Williams had played with Milford Graves and Cecil Taylor but was greatly unrecognised beyond the Lower East Side. Kondo was just over from Japan and a relative unknown in the US but, like William, a phenomenon in the making. There is exuberance in the music that reflects the spirit of the times, and I am really happy to have the unedited live broadcast performance released as played for the first time. (The original release was edited to fit the limitations of an LP).

“The live set with Denis is an added bonus for me. I had no idea the recording existed, and we simply don’t have enough of Denis’ music in this world. He’s in great spirits here and a joy to listen to, as always. It was a fun night and road trip as he told stories about his mentors Art Blakey, Ed Blackwell, and Sonny Rollins and we discussed the night’s music.

“The jazz life is known for tragedy and majesty. Arthur died only a few years after this broadcast, and while Denis lived decades more, he too is no longer with us. Balancing the heights of near telepathic communion and creative openness with the harsh realities of economics, politics, and daily life is a tall order even for a creative improvising artist. Too many of us burn out, die young, or succumb to addiction or other maladies. In my case, as I was gaining international acclaim with Livin' Right and albums on the Hat Hut and Soul Note labels, the disease of addiction was progressing to the point I could barely function as a human being, let alone as a creative artist. While John Coltrane was a huge inspiration, it took me many years and a lot of suffering before I could follow his example finding freedom from addiction and on a spiritual path. In my ignorance, I had confused drugs as being spiritual for many years.

“Addiction led to jails and other institutions before I found my way to recovery in 1986. As I struggled to support a habit, music clearly fell to the wayside and most of my instruments were lost to the pawn shop. In recovery, music was always in my heart, but I had to learn how to square up, hold a job, raise a family, and take care of the inner work needed to have what I most wanted to offer. Where music was a path to well-being back in the day, the rest of my life was pretty much a drag. Today the path of well-being has led me back to making music, and I can approach the instrument with a greater sense of identity and fulfillment.” - Peter Kuhn

Hear clips of Headed Home and Red Tape.

Peter Kuhn: B flat & bass clarinets
Toshinori Kondo: trumpet, alto horn
Arthur Williams: trumpet
William Parker: bass
Denis Charles: drums

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Furry Lewis
Good Morning Judge
Fat Possum
LP
$14

Very fine & sometimes charmingly off-kilter “revival” era recordings of the great Furry Lewis, recorded in Memphis, TN, by George Mitchell in 1962 & ’67. Hear Furry Lewis Rag, an enduring favorite here. Download included.

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Sonny Simmons
Global Jungle
Deal with It
CD
$12

CD issue of this somewhat elusive Sonny Simmons session, recorded in 1982 & first released on this format in 1985. Notable also for an appearance of Earl Freeman on side A. Hear some of Global Jungle.

“Sonny Simmons is a revered and unrelenting pioneer, one of the remaining few. His dozen or so recordings from 1961-1970 established him as one of the most exciting new horn players of that era. During the ‘70s and ‘80s, Simmons stayed true to his art form, writing some of his major compositions, working with local musicians, and ‘dealing with it.’ Unfortunately, this time period produced little recorded material.

Global Jungle is one of the rare recordings that captures Simmons’ prolific work of the 1980s. Listening to these compositions, one hears searing white hot saxophone, the long winded legato, and multiple tonguing techniques for which Simmons is noted. The fluidity of this recording is further enhanced by the spontaneous and direct response from the rhythm section. Global Jungle is raw and real. It is life drama.” - from the liner notes. Also still have stock on the original cassette issue.

As a side note, Simmons very generously sat down to speak with me about Earl Freeman back in the summer of 2014. Here is some recent footage of him telling deep stories, part of a project by the good folks of the Jazz Foundation of America: https://vimeo.com/117605409

Sonny Simmons: alto saxophone & vocals
Kirk Charles Heydt: cello
Dylan Morgan
: drums
Earl Freeman: electric fretless bass (side A)
Perry Thorsell: acoustic bass (side A)
Freddie "Bon Ganni" Williams: acoustic bass (side B)
Jeffrey Donald: vocals (side B)

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Houston Stackhouse
Houston Stackhouse & Friends: The George Mitchell Collection
Fat Possum
LP
$14

“Born in Wesson, MS, in 1918, Houston Stackhouse's first instrument was the harmonica. Throughout the 1930s Stackhouse played around Mississippi with the Mississippi Sheiks & Robert Johnson. Stackhouse taught the slide guitar to his cousin, Robert Nighthawk, and the two would play together on Mother's Best Flower Hour & the King Biscuit Time show, both broadcast on KFFA in Helena, AR. Playing on KFFA, Stackhouse was brought into contact with James Elmore, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Roosevelt Sykes, & Earl Hooker. Electric guitar became Stackhouse's full-time instrument. This twelve-track collection of stripped down traditional blues songs performed by Houston Stackhouse & Friends was recorded by folklorist George Mitchell in Dundee, MS, in 1967 and is appearing on vinyl for the first time.” - Fat Possum. Absolutely love James "Peck" Curtis' drumming, as on Right Around the Corner. Download included.

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Steve Swell Quintet
Soul Travelers
Rogue Art
LP
$18

Trombonist Steve Swell is one of the stalwarts on the NYC free jazz scene as both a player & an educator. This studio recording from June 2015 features a top flight band comprised of Swell’s longtime collaborators (William Parker & Jemeel Moondoc) & newer partners (Dave Burrell & Gerald Cleaver). LP only release, gatefold sleeve, download included (the liner notes suggest this contains an additional track). Hear clips of Soul Travelers & The Consequence of Curiosity.

Steve Swell: trombone
Jemeel Moondoc: alto saxophone
Dave Burrell: piano
William Parker: double bass
Gerald Cleaver: drums

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Arthur Williams
Forgiveness Suite
NoBusiness Records
LP
$22

Trumpeter Arthur Williams was active on the NYC loft jazz scene in the 1970s. He played with Jemeel Moondoc’s Muntu, William Parker, Frank Lowe, Milford Graves, Cecil Taylor, and Peter Kuhn, among others. Very fondly remembered by his compatriots, he didn’t record often, one reason why this LP, the first document of a group under his leadership, is so welcome. Its open, searching, & free-flowing spirit brings later groups such as Other Dimensions in Music to mind. Recorded at WKCR in New York City on December 19, 1979. LP only edition of 400. Hear a bit of Forgiveness Suite.

To glimpse Williams in action, here is some live footage of him playing with Milford Graves in 1973: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwkHCLI1j1w

Arthur Williams: trumpet
Toshinori Kondo: trumpet
Peter Kuhn
: saxophone
William Parker
: bass
Denis Charles: drums