Monday, June 11, 2012

Ni Kantu's Wish List

Bunny Claus is nonplussed.
Okay, so we’re pretty lucky in this day and age to have a lot of music – a LOT – available, either on disc/wax or in the blogosphere. Whether new or reissued, it can be hard to keep track of it all. And yeah, sure, I’m a collector as well as being someone who’s very invested in new music. It’s sometimes hard to be both, and the pendulum swings in various ways (though I’d like to say that, no matter what, at least it’s “swinging”). Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something new and absolutely killing will come down the pike – say, The Cherry Thing (Neneh Cherry & The Thing) or a trio of Peter Brötzmann, Masahiko Sato and Takeo Moriyama forthcoming on Not Two Records (and you said you had enough Brotzm. records). And the reissues keep coming too – an exhaustive Coleman Hawkins set just came out on Mosaic, and we can look forward to music from William Parker's archives, a Joe Daley Trio boxed set, Bobby Bradford/John Carter and Horace Tapscott reissues in the next year or less. I was thinking about this in respect to the near-absolute lack of in print material from Bengt Nordström and in that spirit, here are a few things (if anyone’s listening) that I’d love to see available before too long:

Bill Dixon – Bennington and Beyond: a boxed set cherry-picking Dixon’s work with his own ensembles and student-participatory groups from the early 1970s through the 1990s. It’d also be great for the Dixon/Taylor duo recordings to see the light of day, because they’re incredible.

Bengt “Frippe” Nordström – The Complete Bird Notes Recordings: a boxed set reissuing all of the Swedish saxophonist’s small-run LPs and singles for his Bird Notes label, 1962-1970. Solos, duos with Don Cherry, and all manner of small groups as well as the practice recordings made as he blew over Miles Davis LPs and the like. Some of these were issued in fewer than five copies, and haven’t been heard by anybody other than this guy.

Manfred Schoof Quintet and the John Surman Trio – two of the most visible European jazz groups on the festival/recording circuit in the late ‘60s (Schoof) and early ‘70s (Surman) deserve comprehensive reissue programs.

Stephen Haynes – more from the Parrhesia group (with Joe Morris and Warren Smith), or any of the Real Art Ways ensembles he’s been putting together. I can live vicariously through Facebook posts, but hopefully someone will step in soon with studio time and a release budget to make these things happen. Along with Morris and Smith, he’s done some great-looking performances with Tyshawn Sorey, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Chris Critella.

Ingrid Laubrock & Anthony Braxton duets – I saw them perform together in 2011 as part of the Tri-Centric festival in New York, and they work really well as a pairing of horns. It seems like just a matter of time.

Mary Halvorson guitar soli LP (because I Never Meta Guitar just whet the appetite).

Names we just don’t hear enough of, for a start: Rozanne Levine, Kirk Knuffke, Nobu Stowe, Ted Daniel, John Blum.

We can always hear more from: Nate Wooley, Joe Morris, Weasel Walter, Alexander Hawkins, Darius Jones and many others.


  1. A box with unreleased Bill Dixon recordings woould be most welcome - I remember the different line-up's in "Dixonia"...
    Manfred Schoof's groups from about 1966 up to 1973 are more than worth a long overdue release.
    "Parrhesia" is one of my favourite CDs of the last years - sadly an announced quartet recording on Hat Art has vanished from the list of upcoming CDs.

    ...and yes: Tapscott, Nordström and Surman - please!!

    Also: some reissues from the 1970's scene of east german (Free) Jazzers'. Up to now this music is still in the dungeons of a socalled global-player.

    In general I advocate a re-issue of all those now mostly unknown groups: Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe, Perception, Rundfunk Jazz Ensemble Studio IV etc, etc...

    Thanks for reminding us.

  2. Thanks onxidlib - I agree about the DDR archives, pretty much un-mined except for some (admittedly great) Synopsis/Zentralquartett and Uli Gumpert CDs in recent years. But Friedhelm Schoenfeld, for example, and some of the workshop bands would be great to hear more of.

    I'm with you on the MJQK and all that early Joos material - great stuff! Only one Perception album has been reissued, if I'm not mistaken - the beautiful ADMI and Le Chant Du Monde records remain unheard by most as well.

    As for the possibility of Haynes on Hat Hut, it didn't work out but if I'm not mistaken, the recordings were made and he still has them, so maybe it'll come out elsewhere.