Wednesday, May 9, 2007

IRAs Favorite ESPs

Noah Howard -
Quartet / Live at Judson Hall
By now, IRA readers will note that I've got a thing for ESP jazz. These are the two albums that got that ball rolling. And a couple of rare jewels lost in jazz history.
Howard was (and is) an alto player in a free jazz bag. Seeing a piano-less quartet led by an alto and a trumpet, you'd probably think his quartet album is Ornette-lite. Not so, I'd call it way more formally structured and more melodic. And in areas more fiery than Coleman. I'm having a hard time with a good comparison, because I find this record so unique.
The second album is a little more standard free jazz fare. It sounds very enamored of the Coltrane of Live at the Village Vanguard Again - lots of that rolling and placid piano keeping things anchored down. The second side is surprisingly funky in parts - not a feel you'd usually associate with an ESP session.
If I had to choose between the two, I think I like the quartet album a little more. I think the piano rooting things down gives the live set a little more of a sleepy feel, even though I really like the piano player (Dave Burrell). The live set sound leaves a bit to be desired - a lot of cavernous room sound dulls the energy a bit, too. Still, they are both great records, and a must if you like the style.
A fun backstory on these records - they both used to belong to famous activist John Sinclair. I bought 'em second hand in Detroit because they had his name written on the back as well as because they were on ESP. I wonder if he had to hock his precious and famous free jazz collection to help foot a legal bill at one point or another. If that's the case, they found a good home, John, and thanks for sharing.


gomonkeygo said...

Agree: the Quartet album is great! A friend ripped it for me from his vinyl a couple years ago. I'll check out the live one - thanks for posting.

Boromir said...

Many thanks for these great posts.

Ellaguru said...

thanx tba!!great records!
viva esp!!

dreamy said...

Here's part 4 of the Eroc cycle...One more after this ('Wolkenreise')

Eroc - (1982) Eroc 4


1. Hinterview (CD-Bonustitel, 1983) 1:05
2. Piratensender Kolibri (CD-Bonustitel, 1983) 1:40
3. Hundertwasser 2:32
4. Zimperlein 3:52
5. Intro Vogelfrei 1:58
6. Vogelfrei 4:07
7. Javea 4:41
8. Tausendwasser 2:32
9. Krieg der Zwerge 4:34
10. Von der Insel 7:43
11. Brauntöne 2:19
12. Hagener Wellenreiter 3:02
13. Let's gläntz (ab hier CD-Bonustitel; 1983) 3:05
14. Wer rettet die Welt (1984) 4:00
15. Alles Inordnung (1983) 2:49
16. Detlef ist weg (1985) 3:59
17. Die Kinder ziehen fort (1984) 3:33
18. Der Prophet (1984) 6:26
19. Sonntagsfahrt (1981) 4:07
20. Fantastico (1986) 3:51
21. Radio Puschkino (2004) 6:04
22. Auf Widder Hörn (1983)


- Eroc / all instruments

320kb, covers included
pw --> dreamy

Enjoy!!! Dream

H&H said...

Thanks for the Noah Howard albums, IRA ; what a nice surprise


X8 said...

first time hearing about Noah Howard, fabuloso!
Where have I been? Thanks for the tremendous musica!!

ghostrancedance said...

Thanks for the Noah Howard!

Εσάρ Σεβεντιουάν said...

Noah Howard! And i thought i knew about free jazz. Wonderfull record! Thanks for sharing!

Reza said...

thanks for sharing didnt have the quartet album really looking forward to it :)

Mima said...

Man, your blog is awesome. You bring up some of the coolest stuff I've never heard. Speaking of which, you should check out IODA Promonet ( I have an account with them, and they actually have Noah Howard in their catalog, along with other very obscure stuff you could put up on your site. Check them out. And awesome blog, again!