Never before released material from 1977 of Billy Bang's seminal NY loft band, Survival Ensemble: 2 CDs and a 40 page booklet of essays, images and flyers - essential!
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Catalog ID: NBCD30-31
Squidco Product Code: 14823
Format: 2 CDs
Packaging: 2 CDs in a single Jewel tray
Disc 1 was recorded on May 29th, 1977 at A Day in Solidarity with Soweto: A Fund Raiser, Harlem Fight-Back at 1 East 125th St., New York. Disc 2 was recorded live at Columbia University Radio WKCR 89.9 FM on May 16th,1978 by Taylor Storer.
Billy Bang-violin, poetry, bells, shaker, percussion
Bilal Abdur Rahman-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bull horn, percussion
Henry Warner-alto saxophone, bells, shaker, percussion
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DISC 1: Black Man's Blues
1. 1 Spoken Introduction 1:09
2. 2 Albert Ayler/Know Your Enemy 19:29
3. 3 Ganges/Enchantment/Tapestry 30:47
4. 4 Black Man's Blues 21:10
DISC 2: New York Collage
1. Nobody Hear the Music the Same Way 12:11
2. For JosiePart II 9:53
3. Illustration 8:16
4. Subhanallah 14:16
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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2011 Top 40
sample the album:
"This release contains never earlier released Survival Ensemble session from 29th May, 1977 recorded at A Day of Solidarity with Soweto in New York City. Also a 40 pages booklet with essay written by Ed Hazell about the Survival Ensemble, original flyers, photos, etc."-NoBusiness
"Violinist Billy Bang made his recording debut as a leader with the Survival Ensemble, the first working band he ever led, on New York Collage in 1979. Bang, saxophonists Bilal Abdur Rahman and Henry Warner, bassist William Parker, and percussionists Rashid Bakr and Khuwana John Fuller played incendiary free jazz more clearly indebted to the New York avant-garde of the preceding decade than any album Bang would record again. The music's urgency and passion arose from the exhilaration of artistic self-discovery shared by everyone in the group, and the intensity of their need to express their feelings. The albums really are a loft era classic. Proudly flaunting its New York roots, it insists that music based on the innovations of Coltrane, Ayler, Taylor, could grow in new directions, absorb new influences, and engage contemporary political realities."-Ed Hazel
"Violinist Billy Bang had been through a lot by the time he was ready to record his first LP as a leader, included as part of this extraordinary two-disc collection of his early work. Bang had survived a harrowing tour of duty in Vietnam, an influx of competing musicians from the Midwest, and the economic hardships that creative musicians in New York City always face. The music itself however, is raw and fascinating. The lengthy liner essay by Ed Hazel documents the scene in great detail, citing the influence of Black Nationalism and particularly the writings of Malcolm X as a driving force behind the group's mission. The Survival Ensemble consisted of: Billy Bang on violin, Bilal Abdur Rahman on tenor and soprano saxophones, Henry Warner on alto saxophone, William Parker on bass, Khuwana Fuller on congas and Rashid Bakr on drums. In addition, musicians would recite poetry and play percussion instruments as well. The first disc, entitled Black Man's Blues was recorded in 1977 at an anti-apartheid fund raiser, consists of two lengthy medleys, "Albert Ayler/Know Your Enemy" and "Ganges/Enchantment/Tapestry" along with Rahman's strong "Black Man's Blues." Incorporating spoken word extolling the life and music of Albert Ayler, the first medley builds to a wonderfully deep and raw exploration of improvised music. The half-hour long middle medley written by William Parker, allows the bands dynamism to come to the forefront, developing open sections of bass and percussion with full band improvisation. "Black Man's Blues" includes some incendiary poetry before the equally powerful music that follows. Disc two was Bang's first proper album, New York Collage, originally released on the small Anima label in 1978. Recorded at the studios of WKCR, the music is even tighter and more polished than the previous disc. Dedicate to John Coltrane, Bang's "Nobody Hear Music the Same Way" is a wonderful exploration of the late period Coltrane aesthetic, as is the deeply moving "For Josie, Part II." Mixing poetry and music is "Illustration" which develops a patchwork of words and music into a coherent whole. Rahman's "Subhanallah" wraps up the album with a strong and potent improvisation. This was a very well done release with the re-mastered music sounding crisp and clear and the extensive liner notes and photography putting everything in context. This is a model historical jazz release and serves as a potent reminder not just of the potency of Billy Bang's music but a missing link to the music of the Loft Jazz Era."-Tim Niland, Music and More Blog
• Show Bio for Billy Bang
"Billy Bang (September 20, 1947 Ð April 11, 2011), born William Vincent Walker, was an American free jazz violinist and composer.
Bang's family moved to New York City's Bronx neighborhood while he was still an infant, and as a child he attended a special school for musicians in nearby Harlem. At that school, students were assigned instruments based on their physical size. Bang was fairly small, so he received a violin instead of either of his first choices, the saxophone or the drums. It was around this time that he acquired the nickname of "Billy Bang", derived from a popular cartoon character.
Bang studied the violin until he earned a hardship scholarship to the Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, at which point he abandoned the instrument because the school did not have a music program. He had difficulty adjusting to life at the school, where he encountered racism and developed confusion about his identity, which he later blamed for his onset of schizophrenia. Bang felt that he had little in common with the largely privileged children at the school, who included Jackie Robinson, Jr. (son of baseball star Jackie Robinson) and Arlo Guthrie, and he struggled to reconcile the disparity between the wealth of the school and the poverty of his home in New York. He left the school after two years and attended a school in the Bronx. He did not graduate, decided not to return to school after receiving his draft papers, and at the age of 18, he was drafted into the United States Army.
Bang spent six months in basic training and another two weeks learning jungle warfare, arriving in Vietnam just in time for the Tet Offensive. Starting out as an infantryman, he did one tour of combat duty, rising to the rank of sergeant before he mustered out.
After Bang returned from the war, his life lacked direction. The job he had held before the army had been filled in his absence. He pursued and then abandoned a law degree, before becoming politically active and falling in with an underground group of revolutionaries. The group recognized Bang's knowledge of weapons from his time in the Army, and they used him to procure firearms for the group during trips to Maryland and Virginia, buying from pawnshops and other small operators who did not conduct extensive background checks. During one of these trips, Bang spotted three violins hanging at the back of a pawnshop, and he impulsively purchased one.
He later joined Sun Ra's band. In 1977, Bang co-founded the String Trio of New York (with guitarist James Emery and double bassist John Lindberg). Billy Bang explored his experience in Vietnam in two albums: Vietnam: The Aftermath (2001) and Vietnam: Reflections (2005), recorded with a band which included several other veterans of that war. The latter album also features two Vietnamese musicians based in the United States (voice and ˆn tranh zither).
Bang died on April 11, 2011. According to an associate, Bang had suffered from lung cancer. He had been scheduled to perform on the opening day of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival on June 10, 2011. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bang)
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• Show Bio for William Parker
"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/)
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• Show Bio for Rashid Bakr
"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))
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