Reviews that mention Harry Miller

September 26, 2015

Mike Osborne

Dawn
Cuneiform RUNE 392

Phil Seamen

The Late Great

SWP 037

Participating in the transition from Jazz to Free Jazz were two British musicians who physically or mentally didn’t survive the 1970s. Individually, alto saxophonist Mike Osborne (1941-2007) and drummer Phil Seamen (1926-1972), participated in many of the define sessions that marked the definition of Jazz in the United Kingdom as a separate, non-American idiom in the 1950s and 1960s (Seamen) and the 1960s and 1970s (Osborne) and these CDs collect some of their most notable work. MORE

July 11, 2014

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Procession (Live at Toulouse)
Ogun OGCD 40

By Ken Waxman

The best jazz is often created through the synthesis of conflicting, sometime clashing musical impulses. So it was with the work of South African pianist Chris McGregor (1936-1990), whose all-star Blue Notes band of the ‘60s combined hard bop and (South) African musical influences. McGregor’s references multiplied during his European expatriate years when he created the Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band. On these live late ‘70s performances, sinuous kwela melodies and bop’s breakneck speed are part of the band’s disciplined Basie-like swing, yet at the same time sound extensions introduced by affiliated European free players have become more apparent in the writing and playing. MORE

July 6, 2014

Harry Miller

Different Times, Different Places
Ogun OGCD 041

Via flamboyant performances from 1973 and 1976, Different Times, Different Places celebrates a particularly fertile period in British Free Jazz by unearthing hitherto unissued performances by two top-flight combos under the leadership of bassist Harry Miller. Importantly, the CD also adds material to the catalogue of three players who have since died. South African-born Miller (1941-1983), killed in an auto accident in the Netherlands; alto saxophonist Mike Osborne (1941-2007), whose mental illness prevented him from playing after the early 1980s; and pianist Chris McGregor (1936-1990), another South African, whose London-based Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band was a meeting ground for advanced African and European jazzers. MORE

December 8, 2013

Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath

Procession: Live At Toulouse
Ogun OGCD 39

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton

Live at Maya Recordings Festival

NoBusiness NBCD 55

Butcher/Buck/Mayas/Stangl

Plume

Unsounds 35u

Michel Doneda/Joris Rühl

Linge

Umlaut Records umfrcd 07

Lori Freedman & John Heward

On No On

Mode Avant 16

Matt Mitchell

Fiction

Pi Recordings PI50

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake
MORE

December 5, 2011

Ogun Records

Label Spotlight
By Ken Waxman

Nearly 40 years after it released its first disc – and after pressing about 40 LPs and 30 CDs – London-based Ogun Records is still chugging along, with managing director Hazel Miller maintaining it as a one-woman show. Strongly identified with the South African musicians who fled Apartheid for the United Kingdom during the 1960s as well as with the British innovators affiliated with them, Ogun puts out three to four CDs annually. The discs are a mixture of CD transfers of important LPs; newly recorded discs; plus never-before-released historical sessions. MORE

October 30, 2011

Elton Dean’s Ninesense

Suite
Jazzwerkstatt JW 107

Louis Moholo-Moholo/Dudu Pukwana/Johnny Dyani/Rev. Frank Wright

Spiritual Knowledge And Grace

Ogun OGCD 035

Prime, hitherto-unreleased slices of Jazz’s past, these CDs not only bring into circulation historically important live performances, but also confirm the skills of featured percussionist Louis Moholo-Moholo. One of the last surviving members of the many South African improvisers who left the country in the early 1960s because of Apartheid, Moholo, 71, still plays in fine form, and has returned to live in South Africa. MORE

June 11, 2010

Elton Dean’s Ninesense

Happy Daze + Oh! For The Edge
Ogun OGCD 032

Keith Tippett Septet

A loose kite in a gentle wind floating with only my will for an anchor

Ogun OGCD 030

Although the principal lure of these two reissues may be the availability of prime slices of 1970s and 1980s British Free Jazz, unexpected revelations appear while listening. The facility of the session leaders and most sidemen on these discs by pianist Keith Tippett’s septet plus the ensembles led by saxophonist Elton Dean is widely known. But one musician whose talents seem to have slipped below the radar since that time is Welsh jazz trombonist Nick Evans. MORE

December 23, 2008

Mike Osborne Trio

All Night Long
Ogun OGCD 029

Graham Collier

Deep Dark Blue Centre/ Portraits/The Alternate Mosaics

BGO CD 822

While most of the attention in Britain and overseas in the late 1960s, early 1970s was focused on progressive rock and pop music coming from England, far more notable sounds were being developed outside of the mainstream. Although the most far-reaching of these advances may turn out to be the non-idiomatic improv advanced by the likes of Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, two other strains deserve attention. MORE

December 23, 2008

Graham Collier

Deep Dark Blue Centre/ Portraits/The Alternate Mosaics
BGO CD 822

Mike Osborne Trio

All Night Long

Ogun OGCD 029

While most of the attention in Britain and overseas in the late 1960s, early 1970s was focused on progressive rock and pop music coming from England, far more notable sounds were being developed outside of the mainstream. Although the most far-reaching of these advances may turn out to be the non-idiomatic improv advanced by the likes of Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, two other strains deserve attention.

One, represented here by Graham Collier’s session for septet and sextets, collected from three different LPs, expressed the depths of the composer-arranger’s art. Its variations on color, texture, space and voicing cemented Collier’s reputation in that tricky hyphenate’s top ranks. All Night Long on the other hand, is a free-for-all blowing session from three musicians who while fellow travellers, were not fundamental believers in Bailey-Parker-styled lower-case pure improv. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath
Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent
Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn
Cuneiform Rune 262

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

May 18, 2008

Sven-Åke Johansson, Moderne Nordeuropäische Dorfmusik

Berlin Symfonie MIND1968 - 72
Olof Bright Editions OBCD 14-15

Selwyn Lissack’s Friendship Next of Kin

Facets of the Univers

DMG ARC 702

Operating in the shade of rock music’s hegemony and somewhat overshadowed by American experiments, in the late 1960s-early 1970s European-based improvisers were creating their own answers to the question of how to forge modern music.

As these little-known period CDs led by drummer-conceptual artists demonstrate, these responses could take a multitude of forms. Better known of the leaders is Swede Sven Åke Johansson, a long-time Berlin resident, whose affiliation with the avant-garde ranges from his early participation in saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s bands –including the seminal Machine Gun session – to his position today when he still plays with youngish experimenters like trumpeter Axel Dörner. His art is a sideline. MORE

May 18, 2008

Selwyn Lissack’s Friendship Next of Kin

Facets of the Univers
DMG ARC 702

Sven-Åke Johansson, Moderne Nordeuropäische Dorfmusik

Berlin Symfonie MIND1968 - 72

Olof Bright Editions OBCD 14-15

Operating in the shade of rock music’s hegemony and somewhat overshadowed by American experiments, in the late 1960s-early 1970s European-based improvisers were creating their own answers to the question of how to forge modern music.

As these little-known period CDs led by drummer-conceptual artists demonstrate, these responses could take a multitude of forms. Better known of the leaders is Swede Sven Åke Johansson, a long-time Berlin resident, whose affiliation with the avant-garde ranges from his early participation in saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s bands –including the seminal Machine Gun session – to his position today when he still plays with youngish experimenters like trumpeter Axel Dörner. His art is a sideline. MORE

November 14, 2006

Peter Brötzmann

Alarm
Atavistic ALP257CD

Brötzmann/Mangelsdorff/Sommer
Pica Pica
Atavistic ALP258CD

Two more valuable CD reissues of Wuppertal, Germany-based saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s work for FMP in the 1980s once again show his versatility. One disk offers proof positive that the hard-driving reedist can easily hold up his side in an all-star trio configuration, while the other shows how he helps spark aural fireworks in a nonet situation.

Ironically the aptly-named Alarm almost ended up being more than a fanciful “blast from the past”. This Hamburg radio gig with a multi-national cast of nine Free Jazzers had to be interrupted after the 40 odd minutes captured on the disc were recorded because a phoned-in bomb threat meant that the audience, technicians and musicians had to quickly evacuate the hall. MORE

August 21, 2006

HARRY MILLER’S ISIPINGO

Which Way Now
Cuneiform Records Rune 233

By Ken Waxman

Free Bop with a touch with kwela is probably the best way to describe this CD of never-before-released tracks from bassist Harry Miller’s 1975 Isipingo sextet. But this high quality session consisting of four of Miller’s compositions is more than that. It adds another document to the underrepresented story of South African/British improv.

Starting in the 1960s, usually fed up or fleeing apartheid, a variety of South African musicians abandoned their homeland and set up shop in the United Kingdom. Soon they interacted with some of the more advanced British players to develop a variant of Hard Bop mixed with transformed homeland melodies and touches of Free Jazz. Most – including trumpeter Mongezi Feza and drummer Louis Moholo featured here – were graduates of Chris McGregor’s Blue Notes combo. MORE

August 4, 2006

Louis Moholo-Moholo

Bra Louis-Bra Bra-Tebs/Spirits Rejoice
Ogun CD017/018

Sole survivor of the legendary Blue Notes band that left Apartheid-era South Africa in the mid-1960s, drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo finally returned permanently to Cape Town in 2004. But during the three decades that he and his fellow exiled countrymen lived in Europe they added an undiluted tincture of African sensibility to the developing Free Music scene.

This CD assembles two important large group sessions. Spirits Rejoice, released on LP in 1978, is an octet date, which finds the drummer and two other expatriate South Africans – bassist Johnny Dyani, another former Blue Note, and bassist Harry Miller, who left the country on his own – working out with the ne plus ultra of BritImprov including trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, tenor saxophonist Evan Parker and pianist Keith Tippett. Elaborated are five longish pieces that mix Xhosa tribe rhythmic inflections, revivalist hymns and freeform Energy Music. MORE

May 30, 2005

Guus Janssen and his Orchestra

Dancing Series
Geestgronen

Leo Cupyers
Zeeland Suite & Johnny Rep Suite
Bvhaast

By Ken Waxman
May 30, 2005

Mythmaking abounds in improvised music – as much in European free sounds as in American jazz – after all, this genre has been the romantic music for more than 100 years.

Sadly, empirical research can reinterpret many of those fables as efficiently as it demythologizes other subjects. This brings up the tales of anarchistic Dutch jazz/free music. Since the majority of jazz fans – i.e. North Americans – didn’t start to pay attention to the Netherlands until late 1980s, it appeared as if the mixture of zany humor and serious musicianship that characterized high-profile aggregations like the ICP Orchestra and Willem Breuker’s Kollektief (WBK) was a universal concept. Later bands lead by composers like pianists Guus Janssen and Michel Braam seemed to confirm this. MORE

January 17, 2005

Mike Osborne Trio & Quintet

Border crossing & Marcel’s Muse
Ogun

Joe Harriott Quintet
Swings High
Cadillac

By Ken Waxman
January 17, 2005

All during the 1960s and 1970s, a group of forward-thinking British improvisers was working on different strategies to move their music past what was then considered modern jazz. Some, like guitarist Derek Bailey and saxophonist Evan Parker, emphasized their distance from jazz to create irregularly pulsed so-called Free Improvisation.

Others, who didn’t want as radical a break from the tradition, evolved a free bop style that put the advances of American innovators like Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane into a rapidly paced framework. Years later, the advances of non-representational practitioners like Parker are better remembered than the experiments of the modifiers. Of course it helps that many of the free musicians -- and their Continental colleagues -- are still alive and playing impressively today. MORE