Friday, September 24, 2010

Linc Chamberland and David Friesen: Yet to Come, 1981

Linc Chamberland is an incredible guitarist. I once heard a story that he turned down an opportunity to place in Miles Davis's quintet because he could make more money giving private lessons. Although this album is not as popular as the earlier A Place Within, which you can find here:, this album is definitely also essential. I've never really heard anyone play like Chamberland, but the other musicians on this album (David Friesen on bass, Gary Hobbs on drums) do a fine job keeping up and contribute well with their own playing. As far as I know, Yet to Come and A Place Within are Chamberland's only two commercially available recordings. Chamberland would die 6 years after recording this album, but his legacy as a musician is sure to live on through his recordings and his many students.

I Hear a Rhapsody by Easyjams

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Zaire Volume 2- The Kinshasa United Artists: Dr. Nico et L'Orchestre African Fiesta b/w Orchestre Bana Mambo, 1981

This is a split LP between the great Docteur Nico (Side A) and Orchestre Bana Mambo (Side B). Both sides are full of great soukous. Docteur Nico's contribution is solid, but I was especially impressed with the Bana Mambo tracks. Although they are not as percussion-heavy as the songs on the A side, the two tracks making up the B side are full of intricate, inspired, driving guitar lines with a really raw sound. From what I can gather, Orchestre Bana Manbo was a short-lived project (this might have been their only release,) featuring singer Kanda Bongo Man, who would go on to have a very successful career. The record was a little warped, so both sides, especially the A side, start off with some record noise, but the sound quality is pretty good otherwise.

Mwana Na Ngai Pt. 1 & 2 by Easyjams

Monday, September 6, 2010

George Russell Sextet: At Beethoven Hall II Guest Don Cherry, 1965

George Russell kicks off this album with a 10+ minute long cover of You Are My Sunshine that ranges from very abstract to almost straight ahead. He always amazes me with his compositions and arrangements. He had been exploring the sextet format for some years by this point and you really get the sense how comfortable he was with a combo of that size by the time of this recording (although there are actually 7 musicians on this session.) As far out as this album is, you still get the sense that every note is perfectly placed. Strong performances all around.

George Russell: piano, leader, composer, arranger
Don Cherry: trumpet
Bertil Loevgren: trumpet
Brian Trentham: trombone
Ray Pitts: tenor saxophone
Cam Brown: bass
Al Heath: drums

You Are My Sunshine by Easyjams