Joe McPhee / Charlie McPhee / Graham Lambkin / Oliver Lambkin – Live In The Batcave

"Our music was born from the sounds of jazz, funk, soul, noise -- sounds with no other reason so exist, except because they did, sounds which occurred like putting one step in front of the other to see if the way was clear to take the next step. The plan was, there is no plan, just start at the beginning, end at the end and party like it's 1999" - Joe McPhee.

Black Truffle invite you to an evening of drunken revelry in the Batcave! After a chance meeting at a local supermarket in Poughkeepsie, New York, Joe McPhee and Graham Lambkin have performed together as a duo extensively in recent years, in addition to their joint work excavating some of the wildest tapes from McPhee's archive for Lambkin's now defunct Kye label. Live in the Batcave documents an evening the two friends spent together in the company of Joe's brother Charlie and Lambkin's son Oliver in November 2017 at Charlie's house in Poughkeepsie. The LP captures seven increasingly drunken snapshots of the four shooting the breeze, playing flutes and whistles, drumming on anything at hand, and playing records.

Edited together in Lambkin's distinctive style of lo-fi domestic tape collage, the multiple simultaneous cassette recordings of the shenanigans abruptly cut in and out and fall out of sync, creating disorientating, woozy echoes. Mics are bumped, stories are told, drinks are poured, text messages arrive, and AACM-esque flute jams are interrupted by violent bursts of laughter and wet-mouthed sound poetry. All the while, classic soul records play, initially in the background, but coming increasingly to the fore until the record culminates in a strangely moving free-associative singalong. Live in the Batcave is a truly unique document that exists somewhere between free jazz, audio verité, performance art, and everyday life. File next to your copy of Das Kümmerling Trio.

Gatefold sleeve with extensive photographic documentation and liner notes from Joe McPhee. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

Joe McPhee

Since his emergence on the creative jazz and new music scene in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Joe McPhee has been a deeply emotional composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist, as well as a thoughtful conceptualist and theoretician. 

McPhee’s first recordings as leader appeared on the CjR label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson . These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet in 1969, Nation Time by Joe McPhee in 1970, and Trinity by Joe McPhee, Harold E. Smith and Mike Kull in 1971. 

By 1974, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger had become aware of McPhee’s recordings and unreleased tapes. Uehlinger was so impressed that he decided to form the Hat Hut label as a vehicle to release McPhee’s work. The label’s first LP was Black Magic Man, which had been recorded by McPhee in 1970. Black Magic Man was followed by The Willisau Concert and the landmark solo recording Tenor, released by Hat Hut in 1976. The earliest recordings by McPhee are often informed by the revolutionary movements of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s; for example, Nation Time is a tribute to poet Amiri Baraka and Joe McPhee & Survival Unit II at WBAI’s Free Music Store, 1971 (finally released as a Hat Art CD in 1996) is a sometimes anguished post-Coltrane cry for freedom. 

During the 1990’s, McPhee finally began to attract wider attention from the North American creative jazz community. He has since been performing and recording prodigiously as both leader and collaborator, appearing on such labels as CIMP, Okkadisk, Music & Arts, and Victo. In 1996, 20 years after Tenor, Hatology released As Serious As Your Life, another solo recording (this time featuring McPhee performing on various instruments). McPhee also began a fruitful relationship with Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark , engaging in a set of improvisational dialogues with Vandermark and bassist Kent Kessler on the 1998 Okkadisk CD A Meeting in Chicago. The Vandermark connection also led to McPhee’s appearance on the Peter BrotzmanChicagoOctet/Tentet three-CD box set released by Okkadisk that same year. As the 1990s drew to a close, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen- TRIO X. 

"He is a stellar improviser, relishing his sound materials so caringly and for so long, the kind of player that invites you to really step outside of whatever mix you're and think and feel for a while." Hank Shteamer, Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches