Leo Records

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Leo Records

"Saved from oblivion by Anthony Braxton himself this recording can't be more welcome, for at the time of the release other Braxton's solo CDs are mostly unavailable. But make no mistake: the thing that will strike your ears is how absolutely contemporary this music sounds. Recorded twenty four years ago it sounds as if it has been recorded today. It was a long concert, but we managed to save every sound by editiong out bursts of applause after each piece. Yet it happened to be the longest recording in the entire Leo Records catalogue: 78'02." "Not released until 24 years after it was recorded, this classic solo album by one of the giants of the saxophone is a welcome addition to Anthony Braxton's discography. Performing solely on alto sax, there is a searing lyricism and a surprisingly jazz-oriented underpinning to even the most abstract of Braxton's improvisations. While most of the compositions are originals, the two that are not -- "You Go to My Head" and "Impressions" -- reveal Braxton's remarkable ability to delve deeply inside a song's structure and make it his own. In later years, Braxton often revealed a mellow tinge to his playing, even in solo performances. The instant release, though, reveals him in an energetic mood, and should satisfy those who appreciate his more radical side within the "mainstream" of the jazz avant-garde. He barks, screeches (though only occasionally and in characteristically good taste), and shows some outstanding technical skills, including incredible speed. While he has recorded some of these compositions elsewhere (for example, as Steve Day writes in the liner notes, four of the compositions appear on the impressive Alto Saxophone Improvisations 1979), Braxton is in peak form on this one and the results are uniformly excellent. Braxton enthusiasts (and others, too) will want this in their collections." - Surfing the Odyssey

Anthony Braxton - Solo (Koln) 1978

Seven original compositions plus two bonus tracks previously unissued. "36 minutes of the Man from Saturn and his Arkestra - the length of a good LP in the old days. Plus, how can any Saturnian resist the lure of a Ra disc recorded in the shadow of the Sphinx herself, right in Cairo? Top it off with 33 more minutes of Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band, and you've got a real treat. This is Ra in 1983 and 1984, sounding surprisingly close to the tight Ra band of the Fifties, rather than to the later, looser ensembles. To be sure, there isn't a lot of intricate ensemble work on these three Ra tracks, but the heads do have a bit of a throwback bop feel. Plus, "Egypt Strut" and "Dawn" both feature John Gilmore solos of terrific architectonic coherence and passion, and Marshall Allen chimes in on flute just as mellifluously. The Sun himself contributes a keyboard solo of ringing power on "Egypt Strut." "Watusa," meanwhile, is a feast of percussion in the grand Ra fashion. The Cairo jazz ensembles, which range from 21 members ("Ramadan") to five ("Oriental Mood,") hold up their end of the disc wonderfully. This is energetic and deeply sincere jazz with a marvelous Middle Eastern feel, complete with chanting on "Ramadan." All the instrumentalists are first-rate, especially pianist Khamis El Khouly, especially on "A Farewell Theme." A great one. A feast. Don't miss it." All About Jazz

The Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab In Egypt

"Poco a Poco, the first Ganelin CD released by Leo back in 1988, was reissued late last year in a limited edition of 500 copies. If you missed it the first time around, don’t make the same mistake twice; this is not only one of the group’s finest documents, but one of the most distinctive visions of post-’60s avant-garde jazz available. The disc presents a concert recorded in Novosibirsk in February 1978. The recording quality, as might be expected, is brittle and thin; these are, after all, “officially” unauthorized recordings. Still, it takes little effort to get used to the sound, and the quality of the performance far outweighs such a caveat.Ganelin’s music does not prove so very foreign to those with an affinity for the A.A.C.M., especially in its members’ multi-instrumentalism and theatricality, and the Dutch avant-garde, with which the Trio shares a particularly European brand of whimsy and an informed thumbing of the nose at tradition. Tarasov’s barreling drum assaults are reminiscent of Han Bennink’s similar outbursts, but, like Bennink, Tarasov is capable of delicacy and can also swing mightily. Ganelin conflates stride, boogie, modern classical pianism and post-Taylor tumult into an impressive arsenal perfectly suited to the band’s compression of decades of jazz history-and on occasion, native folk music-into the span of a show or even a single piece. And Chekasin, inscrutable and often seemingly detached, mines a vein not far removed from Roland Kirk or the Art Ensemble’s reedmen Poco a Poco captures a vivid suite (the pieces are titled “Poco 1” through “Poco 11”) that displays the band at its best, and if the element of visual theatricality is absent, it is scarcely missed. - Steve Smith" "The Ganelin Trio in live performance must have been an impossibly seductive occasion. Most jazz life in the former Soviet Union centred around festivals which no doubt provided the usual opportunities for predictable caravans of musicians to practise their scales. The most important was the Autumn Rhythms Festival in Leningrad (present day St. Petersburg) where no band was invited to play two years in a row. The exception to the rule was always the Ganelin Trio. They played every year." - Steve Kulak "Maybe not since the first Ornette Coleman records appeared has Western European jazz experienced quite such a shock of the totally unexpected as the Ganelin Trio produced." - The Wire --- Vladimir Tarasov / drums, percussionVyacheslav Ganelin / piano, keyboards, dulcimer, guitarVladimir Chekasin / reeds, flute, ocarina, voice --- Recorded live in Novosibirsk, February 1978. Remastered by Alan Mosley

The Ganelin Trio - Poco-a-Poco

After a successful tour supporting The Hour of the Star, the group's remarkable 2011 debut for Leo Records, Perelman decided to explore his relationship with each member of the unit in more intimate settings. Having worked with Matt Shipp and Gerald Cleaver on Family Ties (LR 630) Ivo Perelman continues to explore his relationship with each member of his quartet in a slightly different setting.  "This is more free than the previous album; yes, I agree with that. I think because Matthew is such a wonderful musician, and he has this antenna; and because Gerald can go any way the music goes...Since the piano is a harmonic instrument you would think it would limit the choices, but with Matthew it does not. And when I do venture out of tonal Western music, into noises and microtones, this doesn't scare him; he takes it as an opportunity to expand the music." - Ivo Perelman "The Foreign Legion is Perelman's eighth record named in honor of one of Clarice Lispector's novels. Emboldened by the stellar contributions of his empathetic sidemen, the leader's cathartic performances transpose the Brazilian author's emotionally charged narratives into pure sonic expression, continuing his fertile exploration of a vibrant new tradition." All About Jazz --- Ivo Perelman / tenor sax Matt Shipp / piano Gerald Cleaver / drums --- Recorded, mixed and mastered at Park West studios, Brooklyn, NY, December 2011.

Perelman / Shipp / Cleaver - The Foreign Legion

Taylor reads his poetry on the subject of composition, accompanied by small percussion.  "What kind of writing Is Chinampas? Cecil presents no graphic system - if Chinampas is writing, it is so in the absence of visuality. Under what conditions, then, could Chinampas be called "writing"? Perhaps within an understanding of writing more broadly conceived as nonverbal, as well as verbal, systems of graphic communication. Yet, since what we have there is nongraphic verbalcommunication, the legitimacy of its claim to writing is not self-evident. Nevertheless ideas of and about graphic systems are presented in Chinampas, sound blurrring vision in the improvisation of another writing; and image, position, and direction are so encoded- the visual-spatial so embedded -in the poem that what we have is something more complex even than some newly included Outside of writing. Rather, Chinampas is out from the outside of writing as it is conventionally defined or redefined in what have become conventional redefinitions. Writing is, in Chinampas, a visual-spatial-tactile improvisation of system that activates the aural resources of the language. The poem is an improvisation of writing not to be appropriated by, not proper to, an older and somehow more inclusive graphesis: it is not a valorization but an improvisation of the nonverbal; not an abandonment but a (re)sounding of the visual-spatial." - Fred Moton Great essay by Moten on this piece here. --- Cecil Taylor / poetry, voice, tympany, bells, small percussion --- Recorded at Doodlehums Studio, London 16th & 17th November 1987 by Alan Mosley. Artwork by Lora Denis. Original painting by Malik Cisse.

Cecil Taylor - Chinampas

"It is as though I've known, seen, heard Steve forever with his groups, projects, and his music! It is an honour for me to see this recording released. Steve loved this duo! Improvising with Steve was always an adventure. The music was simply there, immediate, full of play and emotioins, surprises, joy, and paradoxically, full of control and freedom! "Just make music and follow it," - as Steve said so well. I would like to dedecate this to Irene Aebi, his lifelong companion and beautiful musician. Hey Steve, so long, we miss you so much!" - Joëlle Léandre  "This recording documents a live meeting of two of the strongest and most radically different improvisers in the world. The pairing of the convolutedly logical and ironic Lacy and the aggressive and passionate Leandre stands as one of the best examples of the ability of conscientious artists to meet and create great music. Check the first track where Lacy’s restrained yet harmonically probing architecture joins in a stately waltz with a neo-classical bowed response from Leandre. Track two features water buffalo groans and African wood trumpet sounds from a decidedly atypical Lacy, which seems to spark the musical equivalent of raised eyebrows and laughter from Leandre. Track three starts with Lacy chanting "one more time” with Leandre joining in a extemporaneous rant in French before they get to their instruments in a seamless finale. Track four is the most poignant of all; it’s a minute long phone message from Steve Lacy in French expressing his joy at the performance and his affection for Leandre (he passed away two years later fromliver cancer). This last track, for me, makes this CD a beautiful and touching tribute to one of the icons of music, the Satie of Jazz, Steve Lacy." - Nilnan Perera --- Steve Lacy / saxophone Joëlle Léandre / double bass --- Recorded live at Cafe Belga, 28th July 2002. This concert was part of Lacy's farewell tour of Europe before he went back to the USA in 2002. The concert was organised by Cedric D'hondt/ Champauditif. Recorded and mastered at Odeon Mobile Unit studio. The last track is a phone message left on Léandre's answering machine by Lacy, expressing his wish for this performance to be released.

Steve Lacy and Joëlle Léandre - One More TIme