(Roaratorio - ROAR17) LP $16.50 (Out-of-stock)
Alto completes a discrete trilogy within Joe McPhee’s catalog of unaccompanied waxings (Tenor, 1977, and Soprano, 2007). Recorded live at a Lower East Side bar in 2009, McPhee’s explorations on alto saxophone and clarinet are alternately fiery and contemplative, imbued with the masterful intelligence that’s marked his work for over forty years. This is a limited edition of 525 copies on 180-gram vinyl, with a Judith Lindbloom silkscreen print on rice paper and liner notes by Hank Shteamer. Digital download coupon included.
(Roaratorio - ROAR34) LP $15.75
Turkish free-improv group led by guitarist Umut Çağlar collaborating with the legendary saxophonist in Istanbul with no prior rehearsal or discussion, although the seamless meshing could fool anyone into thinking that they were a longtime working group. Çağlar, who comes to free jazz via electronic music, incorporates moogs and theremin. Babylon swings from space-raga improv to soaring, full-throated anthemic melodies, to transmissions from some sort of Joe Meek jazz world where bird squeal falsettos pierce through a current of drums, only to struggle for breath, come up laughing, and take off far above. Includes free download card.
Everything Happens for a Reason
(Roaratorio) LP $15.00 (Out-of-stock)
McPhee’s solo albums stand out as supreme ur-texts of his consummate improvising and compositional skills. Joining the ranks of such landmark records as Tenor, Graphics, and As Serious As Your Life, Everything Happens For A Reason features McPhee on pocket trumpet, soprano and alto saxophones, recorded live in Austria in November 2003. Limited edition of 500 copies on 180-gram vinyl, with a Judith Lindbloom silkscreen print on rice paper and liner notes by McPhee.
Scraps and Shadows
(Roaratorio - roar26) LP $15.00
This follow-up to the duo’s Under A Double Moon finds McPhee largely on tenor sax rather than alto. Seven dedicatory pieces recorded live in Milwaukee in 2011, from the delicate balladry of “For Adrienne P” to the appropriately combustible “For Han Bennink.” Corsano’s stupendously detailed drumming and McPhee’s free-soul love cries weave a master latticework. Cover art by Judith Lindbloom. Download coupon included.
Solos: The Lost Tapes (1980 – 1981 – 1984)
(Roaratorio - ROAR38) LP $15.75 (Out-of-stock)
Material from McPhee’s personal archives that shines new light on the legendary multi-instrumentalist’s work from the early 1980s. “Wind Cycles,” for tenor saxophone, explores the permutations of breath on reed and brass, from quiet whispers to full-throated cries and back again. With “The Redwood Rag,” McPhee takes a jaunty melody and gives it a swinging workout with Steve Lacy-like precision. The free-blowing alto excursion “Ice Blu,” is in McPhee’s words, “a sound which evokes an image, which asks a question ‘What is that?’ and the answer is, a sound which evokes an image which asks a question.” “Voices,” one of his signature compositions, gets a particularly haunting treatment here on soprano with the incorporations of mesmerizing electronics. Includes a download coupon for the full album plus a bonus interview, conducted at the New Music America Festival in 1981.
Hear an excerpt from “Voices”: http://roaratorio.com/uncategorized/joe-mcphee-solos-the-lost-tapes-1980-1981-1984/
(Roaratorio) LP $15.00 (Out-of-stock)
This document of McPhee’s first solo concert devoted exclusively to the straight horn is a companion to his critically lauded Everything Happens For A Reason LP, as well as an overdue follow-up to his classic album Tenor, which raised the bar for solo saxophone music over 30 years ago. Recorded live in St. George’s Church at the Guelph Jazz Festival in 1998, Soprano was inspired by Pauline Oliveros’s Deep Listening performance at the venue the previous year. The acoustics of the church provide a natural web of reverberation and delay. A thoughtful, passionate music from one of jazz’s most eloquent practitioners, pressed in a limited edition of 500 on 180-gram vinyl, with a Judith Lindbloom silkscreen print on rice paper and liner notes by McPhee and Oliveros.
(Roaratorio - ROAR28) LP (one-sided) $17.00
In June of 1977, when they shared a double bill in Basel, Switzerland, Lacy invited McPhee to join him for a duet to close his set, for which McPhee elected to bring out his own soprano saxophone. The main part of Lacy’s performance was issued on the classic Clinkers LP (Hat Hut 1978); after thirty-six years, Roaratorio delivers The Rest, a one-sided LP marking the first and only time they’ve played together. The simpatico meshing of their distinctly individual voices points toward a shared history on a different plane. Includes download coupon.
(Atavistic) Used CD $6.00
Outer space jazz, blues, and avant soul recorded in the parish hall of a Catholic Church. Atavistic’s 2000 CD reissue from the master tapes blows away the sound quality of the original groove-crammed LP (CjR 1971). On the spatially expansive “Ionization,” drummer Harold Smith moves through polyrhythms at blinding speed while McPhee recontextualizes without overcompensating, and Mike Kull enters pianissimo, throwing the energy into a tailspin of dynamic response. “Astral Spirits” has Kull playing an electric piano, McPhee roots his tenor playing in groove and nuance, while Smith dances on the cymbals. On the expressionist work “Delta,” Kull gets into an avant funk, McPhee goes modal, playing deep blues and Memphis soul without regard for bars and measures. The track is grease and fire personified, the cry of a bluer-than-black blues, cut through the belly with ghostly funk and a free jazz aesthetic. It slips in the back door almost undetected and wails its gospel-like roar as it exits.
Under A Double Moon
(Roaratorio - ROAR22) LP $16.00
With a career now spanning over forty years and more than one-hundred recordings, Joe McPhee has shown that in the world of creative improvised music, emotional content and theoretical underpinnings are thoroughly compatible — and, in fact, a critically important pairing. Since recording The Hated Music with Paul Flaherty in 2000, Chris Corsano has been active in far-reaching corners of the free improvised world. Recorded live in Paris during their spring 2010 tour of Europe, Under A Double Moon is McPhee and Corsano's first album together. Cover artwork by Judith Lindbloom. Liner notes by John Szwed. Includes download coupon.
(Leo - LR295) Used CD $5.00
Joined by McPhee on soprano and tenor saxophones and Heward on drums and kalimba, Duval steers the trio through mostly short free improvisations to many of which there is a quietness, though hardly a lack of intensity. Heward’s carefully constructed, prodding kicks urge on his compatriots. Duval's distorted, squeaky bass lines weave in and out. The stunning McPhee swings, stretches, and instantaneously composes at virtually any tempo or level of dynamics.