Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Giuseppi Logan, More, Anniversary Edition

First off, I would like to wish ESP Disk a very happy anniversary. They are celebrating 50 years (hard to believe) as a label this year. To mark the occasion they are remastering a number of classic sides and making them available in vinyl and CD versions, with the original art and design intact. The Giuseppi Logan album More (ESP 1013) is one such release.

I've had this album for many years and I find it to be his best, for the effective groundbreaking live journey into "new thing" that it is, recorded at Town Hall in New York City in May of 1965. Giuseppi opened the concert and was followed by Albert Ayler and his group. The classic Bells recording came out of Albert's set.

So why do I like this album especially? Giuseppi's very free playing on alto, bass clarinet and flute reached a zenith that night. And his brief "Curve Eleven" piano solo is a very creditable effort in the free-ranging Tayloresque zone. He is supercharged. Then the rest of the band is fabulous as well. There is a great performance from a very young Don Pullen, playing definitive slam-bang avant piano. Milford Graves gives us a pristine version of his iconically percussive, orchestral style of free drumming. He sounds particularly beautiful on the set. Another icon, Eddie Gomez, gets a jump start on things with Giuseppi and you can hear him to good advantage on the final ten minutes of the recording. Reggie Johnson otherwise is the bassist of record, and does a quite credible job. Together the group reaches a fine zone of outness that makes the record a classic in the early "new-thing" discography.

I leave the most interesting part for last. An additional ten minutes of music was discovered while preparing the tapes for remastering. It turns out that the second half of "Shebar" was on the tape that otherwise contained Ayler's Bells set! It rounds out the performance and gives you a complete composition for the first time. Most importantly it is as vital as the rest of the set. So that's a very nice bonus.

So there you are. THIS is the version to have. It still sounds meaningful to me. If you don't know this album and want to get a feel for the early days of "free jazz" by all means check it out.

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