Keeping this essential album in print, Corbett vs Dempsey reissues the saxophonist & pocket trumpeter's 1971 release on the CJR label alongside 3 bonus tracks, a smoking album titled for a poem by Amiri Baraka, captured live at Vassar College Urban Center for Black Studies with Mike Kull (piano), Tyrone Crabb (bass), Bruce Thompson (percussion) and Ernest Bostic (percussion).
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Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsD CD054
Squidco Product Code: 26573
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York, on December 12th and 13th, 1970, by Craig Johnson.
Joe McPhee-tenor and soprano saxophone, trumpet
Mike Kull-piano, electric piano
Tyrone Crabb-bass, electric bass, trumpet
Bruce Thompson-drums, percussion
Ernest Bostic-drums, percussion
Otis Greene-alto saxophone
Dave Jones-electric guitar
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• Show Bio for Joe McPhee
"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.
His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.
In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.
In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."-Joe McPhee Website (http://joemcphee.com/bio.html)
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1. Nation Time (18:36)
2. Shakey Jake (13:40)
3. Scorpio's Dance (8:47)
4. Blues In C (10:07)
5. Naima (4:27)
6. Secret Love (9:23)
sample the album:
"It's been nearly five decades since Joe McPhee assembled a group of musicians to perform the weekend concerts that would become Nation Time, his second LP. It was December 1970, thirty-one-year-old McPhee was inspired by Amiri Baraka's poem 'It's Nation Time,' and the students at Vassar College didn't know what hit them. 'What time is it?' shouted McPhee. 'Come on, you can do better than that. What time is it?!!'
The music on Nation Time came out of a fertile, but little-known creative jazz scene in Poughkeepsie, New York, McPhee's home base. Two bands were deployed, one with a funky free foundation featuring guitar and organ, the other consisting of a more standard jazz formation, with two drummers and the brilliant Mike Kull at the piano. Across the concert and the next afternoon's audience-less recording session, the band was ignited by McPhee's passion and his gorgeous post-Coltrane / post-Pharoah tenor. On 'Shakey Jake,' they hit a James Brown groove filtered through Archie Shepp, while the sidelong title track is as searching and poignant today as it was during its heyday.
Originally released in 1971 on CjR, an imprint started expressly to document McPhee's work, Nation Time has a sense of urgency and inspiration. Additional material from those December days would later appear on Black Magic Man, Hat Hut's first release. In fact, the first four records on this seminal Swiss label all featured McPhee. Nation Time was largely unknown a quarter century or so later, when it was first issued on CD through the Unheard Music Series.
On Corbett vs. Dempsey, we reissued the album along with all known tapes leading up to and around it as a CD box set, but the standalone LP has remained incredibly rare. In preparing to reissue the CD on its own, a new, previously- unknown tape was discovered with three tracks recorded at the original concert in 1970. These include an intense version of Coltrane's "Naima," all of them feature pianist Kull, and none have been issued before this.
Now is the time for a new generation of freaks to lose their shit when settling into the cushy beat of 'Shakey Jake' and answering the call with the only appropriate response: It's NATION TIME!"-Corbett VS. Dempsey
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