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Moondoc, Jemeel

Muntu Recordings [3CD Box + a Book]

Moondoc, Jemeel: Muntu Recordings [3CD Box + a Book] (NoBusiness)

Amazing package of Jemeel Moondoc's Muntu Ensemble with William Parker, Roy Campbell, Rashid Bakr, &c, 3 CDs and a 115 page book bout the Jazz Loft era in NYC.
 

Price: $54.95


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product information:


Limited edition of 1000 copies

UPC: 4771906003810

Label: NoBusiness
Catalog ID: NBCD 7-8-9
Squidco Product Code: 12770

Format: BOOK + 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: Lithuania
Packaging: Box Set
CD 1 recorded April 17, 1977 at Bob Blank Studios, New York City. Originally released in 1977 on Muntu Records 1001. CD 2 recorded March 30, 1979 live at Saint Marks Church in New York City by Peter Kuhn of Big City Records. Originally released in 1979 on Muntu Records 1002. CD 3 Recorded April 20, 1975 live at Ali's Alley, previously unreleased session.


Personnel:

Jemeel Moondoc

Arthur Williams

Roy Campbell Jr.

Mark Hennen

William Parker

Rashid Bakr

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track listing:


CD 1: Muntu Ensemble / First Feeding



1. First Feeding 5:11

2. Flight (From The Yellow Dog) 14:00

3. Theme For Milford (Mr. Body And Soul) 20:36



CD 2: Jemeel Mondoc & Muntu / The Evening of the Blue Men



1. The Evening Of The Blue Men, Part 3 (Double Expo) 21:05

2. Theme For Diane 19:38



CD 3: Muntu / Live at Ali's Alley



1. Theme for Milford (Mr. Body and Soul) 36:36
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Improvised Music
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NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Parker, William
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"I will not say that I have all of alto saxophonist's Jemeel Moondoc's albums, but close enough, with the exception of his earlier albums, released on his own Muntu label. Now, these albums are available again in a great triple CD-box, and that's great news.The box comes with a great booklet of more than 100 pages, with a short overview of the "loft" scene in New York in the seventies, an essay by Jemeel Moondoc, a detailed overview of the music on the three albums, and a complete sessionography.

Despite its limited number of recordings, the band stayed together for quite a while, with different line-ups, but still with the same rhythm section of William Parker and Rachid Bakr. The band had also some later recordings (New York Live! (1980), The Intrepid Live In Poland (1981), The Athens Concert (1982)), with Roy Campbell Jr. on trumpet. Moondoc kept playing with William Parker until now, in various line-ups and bands.

Although Moondoc clearly is the leader of the band, his main focus seems to be the coherence of the band's sound, rather than just him playing with a rhythm section. The music consists of multi-layered improvisations in which anything could happen,

Muntu Ensemble - First Feeding (1977)

"First Feeding" is possibly the most interesting discovery, with Arthur Williams on trumpet and Mark Hennen on piano, because these two other musicians do not show up in any of the later recordings. The three pieces are anchored in recognizable themes, but are otherwise long improvisational work-outs. Williams' tone on trumpet is warm and wild, Hennen's piano playing is pounding and extravagant, in the Cecil Taylor style. Moondoc gives lots of space to the other musicians in the three pieces, but especially on the long "Theme For Milford (Mr. Body & Soul)", and although is playing is excellent, I really would have wanted to hear him more. But the whole thing would fall to pieces if it wasn't so tightly held together by Parker and Bakr, who conserve the unity of the pieces, even if they let go of the rhythm and tempo once in a while. Both also get their own moment in the spotlight in the second part of the last track. The great thing about the album is its wonderful taste of the seventies: you sense the joy and the enthusiasm of the new musical possibilities that are being opened through free playing. It lacks some of the instrumental discipline we have come to know nowadays even in free playing, but it is so full of expansiveness and musical liberation that it is fun.

Listen to "Flight (From The Yellow Dog)"

Jemeel Moondoc & Muntu - The Evening Of The Blue Men (1979)

This line-up is possibly the best of the Muntu line-ups, with Moondoc on alto, Roy Campbell Jr. on trumpet, William Parker on bass, and Rashid Bakr on drums. From the book you can learn that pianist Hennen and Moondoc drifted apart musically, that the alto saxophonist wanted more openness in his music. William Parker introduced Roy Campbell to the band, when Arthur Williams could no longer play and tour, like he had introduced Bakr to Moondoc many years before.

The sound quality of this live recording is a little less than on the first album, but the music is stellar. Starting with a long meandering theme, the pieces quickly folds into a free boppish mode, with Moondoc's playing full of confidence, and joy. The interaction with Campbell is fun. In Moondoc's own words about Campbell: "He's got these huge ears, he can hear shit, easily. He not only hears it right away, he can interpret it right away. He can put it right back at you. That was easy, so wonderful". And this chemistry is almost palpable on this album. Campbell goes deep in his ensuing solo, which is followed by a Bakr and a Parker solo, before re-uniting for the theme. The second piece, "Theme For Diane", is a slow and open-ended bluesy piece, which shows Moondoc's sensitive side, a great context for Campbell to let us hear his bell-clear moaning sounds in response: brilliant. Again, to Moondoc's credit, he gives ample space to the entire band, but he ends the piece is one of the saddest modes imagineable.

Listen to "Evening Of The Blue Men"

Muntu - Live At Ali's Alley (1975)

The third album brings a reduced line-up, with Moondoc on alto, Parker on bass, and Bakr on drums. The performance was recorded in Rashied Ali's loft : Ali's Alley, and was never released before. The great thing about the trio format is that we now get the chance to fully appreciate Moondoc's playing. Although free in spirit, you can hear his natural sense of melody and his boppish background. The most incredible thing is his sense of focus: the piece is thirty-six minutes long, but he can carry the entire improvisation without moving too far away from its original concept, which he keeps exploring with varying levels of intensity, sensitivity and power, without falling back on automatisms.

This is a lengthy review, but the CD box is worth it. The music itself is not always of the highest level, because Moondoc is not the great innovator in jazz nor the most incredible sax-player, but the nature of the music, the historical context, and the unbelievable quality and dedication with which No Business offered this music back to the world, make this already now one of the most recommended albums of the year."-FreeJazz Stef


Limited edition of 1000 copies

Get additional information at

Artist Biographies:

"It was Cecil Taylor who brought the young JEMEEL MOONDOC into modern jazz, and Jemeel has remained a devoted disciple ever since. Moondoc studied with Cecil Taylor and played in his Black Music Ensemble at Antioch College in 1970 - 1971, becoming a featured soloist. Moondoc's own early groups, the Ensemble Muntu, which included Arthur Williams, Mark Hennen, Roy Campbell Jr. William Parker, Rashid Bakr, et al, was very much in the Taylor mold, but Moondoc remained open to other influences as well; the recent release of a three-CD box set, The Muntu Recordings, (NoBusiness Records NBCD 7-8-9) chronicles the first recordings and performances of Jemeel Moondoc and Muntu during the New York loft jazz scene. (see http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD27/PoD27Muntu.html)

In the 1980's Moondoc made three recordings for Soul Note Records including Judy's Bounce with Ed Blackwell and Fred Hopkins. This recording in particular gave Moondoc recognition as an innovative improviser and composer; his playing style sits somewhere between Ornette's country wail and Jimmy Lyons street corner preaching. In 1983 Moondoc formed the Jus Grew Orchestra, a group of improvisers that included Roy Campbell Jr. Bern Nix, Zane Massey, Steve Swell, Codaryl Moffett, Nathan Breedlove, John Voigt and others. Moondoc composed extensively, understanding, as did Mingus and Ellington, that t he strength and power of composition lies with the individual and unique talents of the orchestra members, he also use a technique called 'conduction' which is an improvisational technique were the conductor can guide the entire group through unwritten passages. At one point for about a year and a half during 1983 and 1984 Jemeel Moondoc and Jus Grew Orchestra performed every Thursday night at the Neither-Nor bookstore on East 5th Street. The Orchestra also did stints at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and First on First, with intermittent performances at the Fez. The Jus Grew Orchestra made two live CD performances - Spirit House [Eremite, 2000], recorded at UMASS at its Magic Triangle Jazz Series, and Live at the Vision Festival [Ayler, 2002].

Between 1985 and 1996 Jemeel Moondoc could not secure a recording date. "There was a lack of interest in recording so-called free jazz at the time", recalls Moondoc. "I remember thinking that the whole music scene was going downhill, I was still playing, I just didn't record, it didn't really bother me because I knew I was going to get the opportunity to record again".

In 1995 Moondoc began a recording relationship with the now renowned Eremite Records label (eremite.com/eremite); between 1996 and 2002 he recorded several records on Eremite. The most acclaimed is Revolt of the Negro Lawn Jockeys 2001. This recording "shows a musician capable of drawing together the post-bop linage that includes Jackie McClean and Charles Mingus, and the free-jazz energy music tradition of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor into one grand swinging synthesis", writes Ed Hazell in the liner notes. "Any quintet lineup featuring alto sax, vibes, bass and drums inevitably invites comparison with Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch. Hard act to follow, but Jemeel Moondoc can hold his head up high. Those who take perverse pleasure in announcing the death of jazz in all its forms, should be strapped to a table and forced to listen to this 47-minute set until their ears bleed". - Dan Warburton, Paiisiantransatlantic.com . Jemeel Moondoc's "unorthodoxies are deeply rooted in the knowledge of and a profound feeling for his craft. His heavily vocalized sound on alto combines the sharp edge of Jackie McLean and a gentleness of tone reminiscent of Joe Henderson. He manipulates timbre as expressively as Albert Ayler. The vivid animation and emotionalism of his playing again recall Ayler , along with another of Black Musuc's great exponents, the South African musician Dudu Pukwana". But "Moondoc's rhythmic concept, delivery, and sense of space are completely unique; his phrases slip and wobble prankishly, forming impossible oblique shapes, while somehow holding to a melodic line". "Moondoc gives everything he does an old-world, future-world, other-word plurality. He is one of the most singular players in music, and one of the most eloquent and communicative storytellers", explains Michael Ehlers of Eremite Records.

Moondoc is currently associated with the newly formed Relative Pitch Records, his newly released CD, Two 2012, is an intriguing duo dialogue between Connie Crothers and Moondoc, "the program finds the two players engaging in an off-the-cuff improvisations - the takeaway from this intimate series of duets is that Crothers and Moondoc are kindred souls - not the sort who traffic in cheap musical melodrama - the emotional reach in their interactions is real." (Derek Taylor - Dusted Magazine). Moondoc's newest release The Zookeeper's House 2014, has started to gain some critical acclaim. "Alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc has been keeping the faith in a post-free-jazz mindset for many years, working with bassist William Parker and others on the adventuresome avant-jazz fringes. He continues his progression with The Zookeeper's House, The new five-track set, with different groupings and musical angles, captures a distinctly live vibrancy and in-the-moment vulnerability in the studio. On the opening track, Moondoc is joined by sensitive foil Matthew Shipp on piano, bassist Hilliard Green and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, laying out the rumbling ruminations for Moondoc's six note, Albert Ayler-esque theme, played with brittle fervor by the saxophonist. Structure yields to abandon, and Moondoc's toothy, sharp-toned burst, angular fragments and sense of space alight, with empathetic help from his allies. On "Little Blue Elvira," a kind of ambling, slap-happy horn trio-with trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr. (who died a few months after this session, and to whom the album is dedicated) and trombonist Steve Swell joining the leader in unison-conjures up a Mingus vibe. Loose essences of Coltrane (or the Coltranes) are worked into the album's fabric with Alice Coltrane's "Ptah The El Daoud," another chord-less setting with Swell and Campbell, and the aptly named "One For Monk & Trane." "For The Love Of Cindy," with only drums, bass and the saxophonist's poetically embracing space, ends the album on an airy note, with a bittersweet ambiance vaguely redolent of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," but less lonely. With The Zookeeper's House; Moondoc returns-and-continues-a bit deeper and wiser". Josef Woodard-Downbeat Magizine October 2014"

-Jemeel Moondoc Website (https://www.jemeelmoondoc.com/biography)
8/15/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."

-William Parker Website (http://www.williamparker.net/)
8/15/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Rashid Bakr (born Charles Downs, October 3, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American free jazz drummer. During the 1970s he was active in the New York Loft Jazz scene, performing at venues such as Rashied Ali's "Ali's Alley" and Sam Rivers' "Studio Rivbea" as a member of Ensemble Muntu along with Jemeel Moondoc among others. He went on to perform with Cecil Taylor in the early 1980s, appearing on the albums "The Eighth" and"Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants)". Bakr is a member of Other Dimensions in Music, along with Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter and William Parker."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_Bakr_(musician))
8/15/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

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