This is a fascinating piece of art. Harold Budd and Eraldo Bernocchi's collaboration on Music for fragments from the inside is captured inside the atmosphere of Palazzo Delle Papesse, Siena, Italy before a live audience. Bernocchi lays down soundscapes, samples and rhythms over which Budd can improvise and move freely. I had't been exposed to the work of Harold Budd before but his piano style and timbre are quiet unique. Ambient comes to mind Budd doesn't agree to the fact of being related to the genre.

Recorded in 2003.

Sub Rosa SRV239

A side:

  1. Fragment 1
  2. Fragment 2

B side:

  1. Fragment 3
  2. Fragment 4

C side:

  1. Fragment 5
  2. Fragment 6

D side:

  1. Fragment 7
Harold Budd/Eraldo Bernocchi

Must have been 25 years ago when I stumbled upon this box in a record shop. It was heavily overpriced back then but I always wanted a copy. So I recently discovered one for sale on Discogs. This is the European version containing two compact discs: 5"CD album and 3"EP. The Japanese contained 3 discs if I am right.

The 5"CD album contains compositions from the Sakamoto catalogue arranged for orchestra, performed here by Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Of course there's material from The Last Emperor and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. The color all together is trademark Sakamoto, his signature is present throughout all tunes ranging from romantic to dark, sometimes with heavy Japanese percussion accents. The 3"EP is also orchestral but rather experimental in sound and feel.

Beautiful designed by Shinro Ohtake the package is a true beauty, holding the discs, a short playlist and a poem/tribute from Sakamoto. When one shakes the box there's a rattling noise. I once read that these are little stones originating from Mount Fuji, however there's no proof of that.

Sakamoto plays Sakamoto Box Set
Sakamoto plays Sakamoto Box Set
Sakamoto plays Sakamoto Box Set
Sakamoto plays Sakamoto Box Set
Sakamoto plays Sakamoto Box Set

Dick Hyman is one of those, may I say so, old school jazz players who can fit any situation. A man who knows his standards but is not afraid to stretch out either. I would imagine him accompanying a jazz vocalist or playing the classic jazz quartet.

But he has also a love for the Moog and moves back and forth between acoustic piano and synth in this clip. All together leaving us with a short but moodsetting (moogsetting?) improvisation.

Perfect for both the end of the day or just to get relaxed at the beginning of a new one. No hurry, the work can wait just a little bit longer.

This album covers very early Monk recordings from the mid to late Forties. Already there is significant proof of the groundbreaking role Monk would play in jazz development. Included are Monk classics as Round About Midnight, Ruby My Dear, I Mean You, Misterioso and Welll You Needn't. There is also a second volume but this one is a nice starter for Monk beginners. He is accompanied by Art Blakey, Milt Jackson, Gene Ramey, Sahib Shibab and others.

Thelonious Monk was a true genius of modern music and Blue Note makes us witness of that.

Blue Note 1510

A side:

  1. Round about midnight
  2. Off minor
  3. Ruby my dear
  4. I mean you
  5. April in Paris
  6. In walked Bud

B side:

  1. Thelonious
  2. Epistrophy
  3. Misterioso
  4. Well you needn't
  5. Introspection
  6. Humph
Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music vol 1 Blue Note 1510 front
Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music vol 1 Blue Note 1510 back

At the time of release this record may have come as a shock to most Arthur Blythe fans. Blythe was an (alto) saxophone player mainly associated with contemporary jazzmen as Chico Freeman, Jack DeJohnette and Art Ensemble of Chicago trumpeter Lester Bowie.

On this album however the music is composed/produced by Bruce Purse and Todd Cochran. The duo weaving an electronic carpet of keyboards, computer drums and synth bass on which Blythe can take a ride. Some people may consider this smooth jazz but the music is to intensive for that.

Fusion icons and stellar bass players Stanley Clarke and Alphonso Johnson join in, as do drummers Ndugu Chancelor, Gerry Brown and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa.  Closing piece is "Sentimental Walk" by Vladimir Cosma originally composed for the French movie "Diva". A very enjoyable album to my ears, all together showing the extraordinary sax playing of Blythe, no matter the setting.

Released in 1985 on CBS Records.

A side:

  1. Tumalumah
  2. Put sunshine in it
  3. Uptown strut

B side:

  1. Silhouette
  2. #5
  3. Sentimental walk (theme from "Diva")
Arthur Blythe - Put Sunshine In It - front cover
Arthur Blythe - Put Sunshine In It - back cover

Inspired by the whole Vinyl Community movement and in need for ideas other then just posting favorite videos I decided to pick a vinyl from my small collection once in a while.

To start off I would like to feature Swedish band Mwendo Dawa. Mwendo Dawa is recording since the late seventies and consists of three steady members: Ove Johansson (sax), Susanna Lindeborg (piano,keyboards) and David Sundby (drums). Throughout the years they have been joined by different bass players. Amongst them Anders Jormin and Lars Danielsson, the latter playing on this album.

There's always been a mixed influence of hard bop, free jazz and avant-garde in the music and later in the development a lot of experimentation with electronics. The electronics here are Lindeborg's keyboards who sometimes go in unison with Johansson's sax line. However in those years the music stays mainly composed and melodic.

This is a wonderful set, capturing the outstanding musicianship of all members. I saw them live that same summer and what strikes me after all these years is the enormous maturity in Danielsson's bass playing at such an young age. Only 25 at the time of recording, he composes repertoire and drives the band, keeping things together, leaving space for Sundby to stretch out and playing keys as well.

Published on Dragon Records. Recorded at the North Sea Jazz Festival, July 9th, 1983

A side:

  1. Metropol
  2. Snow Mills

B side:

  1. Seven Strings
  2. Cherokee/The Ninth One
Mwendo Dawa Live North Sea Jazz Front
Mwendo Dawa Live North Sea Jazz Back