New Arrivals, Restocks, & Reduced - late spring 2017

This fiery, previously unreleased duo performance from Cleve Pozar (drums & sirens) & Gene Y. Ashton (later Cooper-Moore, piano) was recorded c. late 1973 / early 1974 at a free Sunday night concert produced by WBAI & held at a former church (now gone) on E. 62nd Street in NYC. Cleve fondly recalls the audience response to his sirens: looking around & thinking the show was going to get busted by the cops.

Some historical context: Their first solos / duos performance took place at the Cyclorama Building of the Boston Center of the Arts in January 1973. At the time of this WBAI gig, GYA / C-M had established the 501 Canal performance / living space but had not yet made his recorded debut on Alan Braufman’s Valley of Search LP, c.1975. Pozar would soon issue his Cleve Solo Percussion LP in September 1974.

Deep thanks to Cooper-Moore & Cleve for their permission to post this wonderful performance. See this interview with Pozar for much more about Cleve Solo Percussion; final copies from Cleve's stash are available here. The extensive interview with Cooper-Moore that was published in 50 Miles of Elbow Room no. 1 is newly available online, right over here.

Cooper-Moore will receive the Lifetime of Achievement award at the 2017 Vision Festival at Judson Memorial Church in NYC on Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day). That night, C-M will perform with Digital Primitives, Gerald Cleaver's Black Host, & William Parker's In Order to Survive. Details at the Arts for Art website.



Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
75 Dollar Bill
Southeaster / Like Like Laundry
no label / private release
cassette
$9

“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. Found a copy of this out of print tape that had fallen down behind the shelves. Download code included. Hear it on Bandcamp: https://75dollarbill.bandcamp.com/album/southeaster-b-w-like-like-laundry

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Clarence Ashley
Live and In Person: Greenwich Village 1963
Jalopy Records
LP
$15

"Clarence Ashley - Live And In Person is the first all-new album in over 50 years by the legendary singer and banjo player who helped introduce old time country music to audiences throughout the nation. Clarence Ashley (1895-1967) recorded for Columbia Records in 1929, was featured on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music in 1952, and toured the US in the 1960s. Jalopy's vinyl-only release was produced in 2016 by Peter K. Siegel, from tapes he personally recorded in 1963 at the Greenwich Village folk club Gerdes Folk City. All 14 tracks are being released for the first time. John Cohen, founding member of The New Lost City Ramblers, wrote the liner notes and provided never-before-seen photographs of Ashley in Greenwich Village. A 16-page illustrated booklet includes additional notes by Peter K. Siegel and Eli Smith. Live And In Person is Clarence Ashley's first and only live album. He is accompanied on the album by guitarist Tex Isley, a member of Charlie Monroe's Kentucky Partners." - Jalopy Records. Hear a clip of his classic Dark Holler & The Wreck of the Old 97.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Kostas Bezos and the White Birds
s/t
Mississippi
LP & CD
$15

"The first-ever compilation of Xabagies ('havagies'), the nearly forgotten Hawaiian-influenced music of 1930s Greece, focuses on the compositions of Kostas Bezos and his ensemble The White Birds. A world-class slide guitarist, political cartoonist, & sleepless Bohemian, Kostas Bezos created some of the most unique music of any era: surrealist guitar portraits blending Athens & Honolulu, haunting tropical serenades, wild acoustic orchestras, & heartbreaking steel guitar duets. Included are a 28-page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Klein & Dimitri Kourtis, unpublished photographs, lyrics, obituaries, & a bonus CD containing 18 additional tracks. Mastered from original 78s, this release is limited to 1000 copies." - Mississippi. Hear White Bird in the Mountains

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Darby and Tarlton
s/t
Mississippi
LP
$15

"Some of the more blues inflected country performances of the late 1920's - early 1930's were made by Darby and Tarlton. This LP is a collection of some of their finest tunes. Very popular in their time, the pair recorded tons of blues, country ballads, & standards. Jimmy Tarlton's voice soars in the higher registers while Tom Darby holds it down with his almost droney low registered voice. Both play some fancy slide guitar work that veers towards the Hawaiian sound to accompany these severe emotional duets. Limited one time pressing of 500 copies, housed in a beautiful silk screened cover." - Mississippi. Hear their Slow Wicked Blues.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Harmonica Frank Floyd
s/t
Mississippi
LP
$15

"One of the more curious country / blues / early rock n' roll performers - here we have a collection of all of the recordings of Harmonica Frank made between 1951 & 1954. Frank plays many types of folk music and is a mimic, effortlessly switching from humorous hillbilly ballads to deep country blues.  With his self-taught harmonica technique, he was a one-man band, able to play the instrument without his hands or the need for a neck brace. While also playing guitar, he perfected a technique of manipulating the harmonica with his mouth while he sang out of the other side. He could also play harmonica with his nose and thus play two harmonicas at once. On this LP we find early proto rock and roll, country blues, weird humorous recitations (with generous "eephing" solos), and some country music. This record might be difficult for some to listen to...Limited one time pressing of 500 copies, housed in a beautiful silkscreened sleeve." - Mississippi. Hear Howlin' Tomcat.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
The Freestyle Band (Henry Warner, Earl Freeman, Philip Spigner)
s/t
NoBusiness Records
CD
$10

Right on time reissue of this great underground free jazz classic, complete with two previously unissued tracks totaling over 20 minutes (!) and in-depth liner notes by Ed Hazell. Nice price on this Lithuanian import due to peripheral 50 Miles involvement. 50 Miles used to offer the original vinyl pressing, and that write-up is below. More on Freeman & 50 Miles' ongoing research on this fascinating artist on the Freestyle Band page.

"I watch the things all around me and I shy away, reject and go away, and sometimes it's more successful." - Earl Freeman, quoted in "Freeman Fighter," written by Valerie Wilmer, published in Melody Maker, May 13, 1972.

earl freeman Earl "Goggles" Freeman (1931-1994) was an outcat's outcat: musician, poet, visual artist, and all-around interesting fellow. Born in Oakland, Freeman was a noteworthy but somewhat enigmatic musician who was most active recording-wise when he was an expat on the '60s Paris free jazz scene. His discography includes dates by Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Kenneth Terroade, Noah Howard, Selwyn Lissack, Mike Osborne, and even Gong's first record. A Korean War veteran, he often wore an aviator's cap and goggles, hence his nickname. (He is also rumored to have worn a parachute onstage on at least one occasion.) In 1972, French state investigators hauled Freeman in for questioning and subsequently declared that he possessed a "Dangerous Political Image." Under threat of imprisonment, he hightailed it to Amsterdam. He hung there for a while until some folks smashed his bass, signaling that it might be time for another move.

Freeman was living in New York City by the mid-'70s, where he would occasionally perform with The Music Ensemble. He also directed the Universal Jazz Symphonette, as heard on the elusive Sound Craft '75 album. While its fidelity leaves quite a bit to be desired, the LP is highly sought after because it features some of the earliest recorded work from William Parker, Daniel Carter, Raphe Malik, Billy Bang, and many other young players on the scene during that period, including Henry P. Warner and Philip Spigner, a.k.a. Adeyeme (incorrectly credited as Abe Yeme on the LP sleeve), who would later collaborate with Freeman in The Freestyle Band.

henry warnerHenry P. Warner was born in New York City in 1940. Notable early entries in his discography include William Parker's Through Acceptance of the Mystery Peace and New York Collage by Billy Bang's Survival Ensemble. He was also the music director for Bang's Outline No. 12 LP, and has performed with Sun Ra, Wilbur Ware, Earl Cross, Frank Lowe, Clarence "C" Sharpe, and many others. He subsequently went on to lead his own bands, perform with groups such as the Vibrational Therapists, and take part in jam sessions in a multitude of scenes in and around New York City. He believed in the importance of the role of the musician within the community, and was a teacher of long-standing at Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center in the Bronx. William Parker's book Conversations features an extensive interview with Mr. Warner. Sadly he passed on April 9, 2014.

philip spignerBorn in Manhattan in 1951, Philip B. Spigner has led a multifaceted life that could be considered somewhat characteristic of many subterranean artists. A member of the Black Panthers at 17 years old, he was later offered a full scholarship to New York University but instead pursued an occasionally illicit underground life. He subsequently adopted the African name Adeyeme (Yoruba for "the crown becomes me") and became a hand-drummer on the NYC free jazz scene during the '70s and '80s. He also appeared at jazz festivals in France and Luxembourg. Soon afterward he relocated to Arkansas where he would play solo gigs in and around Little Rock at the YWCA, Senior Citizen's Tea, and at junior high schools. Today he continues to play "freestyle" hand drums semi-formally in California.

Warner and Spigner often performed together at a venue called The Bakery (aka The Basement) before later joining forces with Earl Freeman in The Freestyle Band. They privately pressed 500 copies of this LP in 1984, their only commercially available document, and it is one of my favorite dispatches from the free jazz underground. Freeman's bubbly electric bass and the steady patter of Spigner's percolating hand drums create an ominously undulating backdrop upon which Warner's clarinets (both b-flat and alto) flutter and fly.

Unfortunately, various circumstances resulted in making the record particularly obscure. A third party diverted overseas promoters who wanted to book the band, and eventually the group split up. A shame, as I've never heard anything else quite like this terrific album. Hear a couple clips: The Roach Approach & Pelican

Playing with Earl and Henry was like flying in formation…we took turns flying out front…we would rotate positions…we were dreaming in harmony.” - Philip Spigner, March 4, 2016

Credits:
Earl Freeman: bass guitar, piano
Henry Warner: b-flat clarinet, alto clarinet
Philip Spigner: hand drums

Artist:
Title:
Publisher:
Format:
Price:
Michael Heller
Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s
University of California Press
paperback book, 272 pages
$30

“The New York loft jazz scene of the 1970s was a pivotal period for uncompromising, artist-produced work. Faced with a flagging jazz economy, a group of young avant-garde improvisers chose to eschew the commercial sphere and develop alternative venues in the abandoned factories and warehouses of Lower Manhattan. Loft Jazz provides the first book-length study of this period, tracing its history amid a series of overlapping discourses surrounding collectivism, urban renewal, experimentalist aesthetics, underground archives, and the radical politics of self-determination.” - University of California Press

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Monroe "Guy" Jackson
Got the Boogie Woogie Blues / Lonesome Home Blues
Rustron Records
45 rpm 7"
$15

Monroe "Guy" Jackson was a blues musician who lived in the Holly Springs area of north Mississippi, and I have been told that he played mostly in & around that vicinity, though curiously he apparently made a trip to NYC to play at Lincoln Center in 1985. In a preview for the NY Times, Robert Palmer noted that Jackson was 77 years old at the time and “grew up in the northern Mississippi hill country, which nurtured a blues culture much different from that of the better-known Mississippi Delta. Living on small farms, the hill country blacks developed a lilting, strangely archaic sounding brand of music, and Mr. Jackson is a worthy representative of it.”

That's also the year when he cut this highly enjoyable record for the local Rustron label (who also released the James Son Thomas Gateway to the Delta LP that flew out of here recently) that appears to be his only release. The songs heard here have an open-ended feel that suggests a relaxed informality with his music, and he deals in a couple of the eternal themes: 1) returning to his home after a long absence, and 2) being forbidden to take part in the boogie woogie. (maybe why he left in the first place) The A-side is a droney & danceable northern Mississippi blues, while the flip has some nice bottleneck work. Great stuff, and a pretty obscure release that I'm particularly pleased to be able to offer here. Hear some of Got the Boogie Woogie Blues & Lonesome Home Blues.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Rev. Leon Pinson
The George Mitchell Collection
Fat Possum / Big Legal Mess
LP
$12

“Rev. Leon Pinson grew up in north Mississippi, then lived in the Delta for over three decades, steadily playing his brand of blues-inflected gospel. Beginning in 1929, Rev. Pinson traveled the northern Mississippi region alongside his musical partner, the harmonica player Elder Roma Wilson. The pair built a strong following on the church circuit, earning renown for their renditions of 'This Train,' 'Lily of the Valley,' and 'Better Get Ready.' In the 1940s, Elder Wilson left Mississippi for Detroit, where he would make his first recordings. Meanwhile, Rev. Pinson settled in Cleveland, MS, where he’d play outside of Charlie White’s barber shop. Later he opened his own shoe shine stand, picking up the guitar when business was slow. Rev. Pinson and Elder Wilson were reunited in the 1970s, when Wilson returned to Mississippi. The pair gained widespread acclaim from appearing at several prominent festivals.” - Sam Sweet

George Mitchell: “We found him playing outside this little store. We recorded him a lot on acoustic, but when he was in public, he had a little loudspeaker and an electric guitar, and he made some noise. His gospel felt like blues. He had a really beautiful sound.” These lovely recordings were made in Cleveland, MS, in 1967. Hear Hush, Somebody is Calling My Name. LP includes download card.

Alan Young’s Woke Me Up this Morning book includes this tantalizing bit of info: “These days, he carries cassette tapes for sale at concerts and other performances. But he has eliminated the recording studio and the need for professional duplication. When he decides to make some tapes, he sets up his portable recorder and sings and plays into it. When he has filled up a 60 minute cassette tape, he uses another twin-deck recorder to run off a dozen or so copies. He sells them at $11 each; when they’re all gone, he loads his little red portable recorder, sets up his instruments, and makes another tape. He keeps no store of ‘master tapes’; each batch of tapes he makes contains new recordings.” (!)

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Various Artists
African American Spirituals of Alabama
Alabama Traditions
CD
$12

“Recorded both within and outside of a church setting in Alabama from 1947-2011, these selections present an American sacred folk music tradition. For over thirty years, Steve Grauberger and his colleagues Joey Brackner, Joyce Cauthen, Dr. Maggie Holtzberg, Anne Kimzey, Dr. Brenda McCallum, & Joe Wilson contributed to the collection of African American spirituals by conducting fieldwork. Two additional selections are included on the CD, one from the Byron Arnold collection held at the University of Alabama and one permitted by Ernestine Hill Robinson, director of the Plantation Heirs from Auburn, AL.” - Alabama Traditions. Beautiful collection with some very deep sounds. Hear a couple favorites: Oh Please Lord Have Mercy by Mary Lee Bendolph (celebrated quilter from Gee's Bend) & China Pettway and Child of God Keep Marching, led by the Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Choir.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Various Artists
Lost Train Blues
Jalopy Records
LP
$14

Lost Train Blues features 22 selections from the vast holdings of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, 13 of them have never been issued before. The record includes work songs, ballads, blues, political and union songs, guitar, banjo & fiddle music, and Native American vocal music. These recordings were made between 1933 and 1950 and represent the birth of the folk music collections at the Library of Congress, now the largest repository of folk and enthographic holdings in the world. The record demonstrates the groundbreaking work of Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax, but also places them with the context of other important early field workers.

“The deluxe record includes liner notes by Alan Lomax archive curator Nathan Salsburg, as well as a 14 page booklet with photographs and original research about each song, artist and folklorist. The cover features an original lithograph by artist Jeff Tocci. Each selection has been retransferred from original discs and tapes at the Library of Congress and has been carefully remastered by sound engineer Don Fierro making for the best possible audio fidelity.” - Jalopy. Hear Camp Morris & Group's Captain Haney Blues & Buster Buzz Ezell's Roosevelt & Hitler.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Various Artists
Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 1
Outernational Records
2LP
$18

“This series of archival 78 transfers was originally released in 1995 on CD only. Now for the first time on vinyl, a deluxe gatefold presentation and limited edition pressings. Produced by Hisham Mayet (Sublime Frequencies) in conjunction with Yazoo Records.

“Compiled here are many of the greatest performances of world and ethnic music ever recorded. This volume represents a trip around the world, stopping at each port to sample one of that country’s finest recordings of its indigenous music. Each of these recordings was captured at a period during the golden age of recording when traditional styles were at their peak of power and emotion. Included inside are extensive notes and beautiful period photographs that work together with the music to communicate an exciting sense of discovery.” “One of the most consistently rewarding world music compilations in years, the cuts range from Macedonian fiddle jaunts to Puerto Rican Christmas tunes, from Abyssinian religious chants to ominous Japanese court music. The instruments include Ukrainian sleigh bells, Sardinian triple pipes, Vietnamese moon lutes and Ethiopian one-string violins...a profound artistry lurks beneath the alien vernaculars.” -- Village Voice; Vol. 1 contains music from Nigeria, Sardinia, Russia, Ceylon, Rajahstan, Cuba, Rumania, Vietnam, Macedonia, Morocco, and more. Hear Efisio Melis' headspinning Fiorassiu.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Various Artists
Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 2
Outernational Records
2LP
$18

“This series of archival 78 transfers was originally released in 1995 on CD only. Now for the first time on vinyl, a deluxe gatefold presentation and limited edition pressing. Reissue produced by Hisham Mayet (Sublime Frequencies) in conjunction with Yazoo Records. Compiled here are many of the greatest performances of world and ethnic music ever recorded. This volume represents a trip around the world, stopping at each port to sample one of that country's finest recordings of its indigenous music. Each of these recordings was captured at a period during the golden age of recording when traditional styles were at their peak of power and emotion. Included inside are extensive notes and beautiful period photographs that work together with the music to communicate an exciting sense of discovery. Early 20th century recordings from Bulgaria, Puerto Rico, India, Mozambique, Ukraine, Trinidad, Kazakhstan, Ceylon, Tibet and elsewhere, compiled by archivist Pat Conte.” – Outernational. Hear Rita Abatzi's Prepei na Skeptetai Kaneis.

Artist:
Title:
Label:
Format:
Price:
Various Artists
Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 3
Outernational Records
2LP
$18

“Outernational Records is pleased to announce the third volume of this legendary series is now available on the vinyl format. This series of archival 78 transfers was originally released in 1995 on CD only. Now for the first time on vinyl, a deluxe gatefold presentation and limited edition pressing. Reissue produced by Hisham Mayet (Sublime Frequencies) in conjunction with Yazoo Records. Compiled here are many of the greatest performances of world and ethnic music ever recorded. This volume represents a trip around the world, stopping at each port to sample one of that country's finest recordings of its indigenous music. Each of these recordings was captured at a period during the golden age of recording when traditional styles were at their peak of power and emotion. Included inside are extensive notes and beautiful period photographs that work together with the music to communicate an exciting sense of discovery. Early 20th century recordings from Poland, Spain, China, Angola, Turkey, Mongolia, Russia, the Congo, and elsewhere, compiled by archivist Pat Conte.” – Outernational. Hear Iran Dowleh Helen's Byyatt Turk.