BIOSPHERE - N-PLANTS (2011)
Severely underestimated ambient/electronic work of Biosphere, with some nice mellow beats to start your day with.
An album dedicated to the Japanese post-war reconstruction and, specifically, the country's futuristic nuclear program.
After surveying numerous photos he became fascinated by the idea that nuclear power plants could be built so close to the sea in
earthquake-prone areas, and this slowly became the focus for his recordings. Quite visionairy, if you consider the disasters that would follow a few months After
releasing the album.
WERNER VAN MECHELEN & JOZEF DE BEENHOUWER - IN FLANDERS' FIELDS VOL. 19 - LODEWIJK MORTELMANS (1999)
Lodewijk Mortelmans (1868-1952) composed close to eighty songs, between 1887 and 1948. In them he remained faithful to the romantic ideals which Peter Benoit, his teacher at the Antwerp City School of Music had instilled him. Yet they are highly individual, owing to their deep spiritual expression and their atmosphere, which occasionally comes close to impressionism. His fellow composer Paul Gilson rightly called Mortelmans 'the prince of Flemish art song'.
In the summer of 1900, less han a year after the death of the great Flemish poet Guido Gezelle (1830-1899), Mortelmans composed a series of songs which at a stroke established himself as the Gezelle composer par excellence.
Besides based on Gezelle, this release also contains songs based on poems of Pol de Mont.
PHAROAH SANDERS - IZIPHO ZAM (MY GIFTS) (1969)
Early free and avant-garde jazz record by Pharoah Sanders, one of the best tenor saxophonists ever. The young Pharoah Sanders is featured on pioneering free jazz records such as Coltrane's Ascension and Meditations (both 1965). Izipho Zam features a cast of 13 people, all talented and at that time young jazz musicians and is full of refreshing sounds (in particular percussion). The opening track Prince of Peace features the fantastic vocals of Leon Thomas and is a typical Sanders spiritual and soulful piece. Balance is a real hardcore free jazz track with heavy blowing violence where Sanders comes in the foreground. The 28 minute title track is flows slowly and searching at first with the vocals of Thomas in the center, this evolves in an almost african sounding interplay with loads of percussion and a prominent guitar. In the end everything breaks loose and enters total blowing chaos. A magnificent and intense listen.
GRACHAN MONCUR III - EVOLUTION (1963)
Evolution is the first LP of avant-garde jazz trombonist/composer Grachan Moncur, at that time 26.
This recording of four of his own compositions for the Blue Note label marks one of the key releases
in the second wave of american avant-garde jazz. Moncur's themes are adventurous, yet often quite
simple, and together with the audacious open and quasi-free solo and group improvisations make this
LP a highly recommended listen.
Grachan Moncur performed on this session with musicians he knew very well and played numerous times with,
giving his compositions the best crew possible. The influence of alto soxophonist Jackie Mc Lean on this
work is undeniably present (listen for example to his album "Destination... Out!" starring Grachan Moncur III
and Bobby Hutcherson as well), and his and trumpeter Lee Morgan's solos together with the vibes of
Hutcherson give the clear 60's avant-garde sound. Complex bass and drums from Bob Crenshaw and
Anthony Williams make this session a driving and pulsing whole, preceding Dolphy's Out To lunch landmark
in this wave of avant-garde jazz.
Moncur himself (from the back of the sleeve):
Air Raid: "This makes a picture for me. Everybody was swinging, everybody meant what they played."
Evolution: "I use only whole notes on Evolution. I wanted the melody and the rhythm to be one thing,
so I tried to keep the time as much in the horns as in the drums. By the title I meant to suggest the
beginning of a change in mankind."
The Coaster: "I was thinking of the coaster at Coney Island. The idea was to play as if you were
Monk In Wonderland: "Most of the accomplished musicians today have come thru Monk, I know he's been
a good guide for me in rhythm and in learning to liste generally. Notice the shift from 3/4 to 4/4 in the
solos, the pulse stays the same while the beat changes. That's the way Monk plays."