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A previously unreleased concert recording from 1986 of a group of leading out jazz artists (Billy Bang, Fred Hopkins, Andrew Cyrille, &c.) playing original compositions as well as a cover of Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat".
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Catalog ID: NBCD 50
Squidco Product Code: 17184
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded live on September 13th, 1986 at the Jazz Center of New York.
Ahmed Abdullah-trumpet, flugelhorn
Marion Brown-alto saxophone
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1. Joann's Green Satin Dress 8:41
2. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat 18:21
3. La Placita 18:27
4. Shift Below 6:00
5. Amapondo 25:16
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Top 40 for 2013
sample the album:
"Part of the magic of jazz in New York City is groups of musicians coming together for brief engagements and then moving off into other groups and configurations, leaving fond memories but little recorded evidence of their existence. The Group was a very talented amalgam of musicians, veterans of the free jazz and loft scenes: Ahmed Abdullah on trumpet and flugelhorn, Marion Brown on alto saxophone, Billy Bang on violin, Sirone and Fred Hopkins on bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums. This previously unissued concert was recorded at the Jazz Center of New York in September 1986. The musicians stretch out on long performances of originals and a fascinating cover of Charles Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." "Joann's Green Satin Dress" opens the concert will a well played medium-uptempo free-bop performance, the music is exciting and serious, but quite accessible. The Mingus composition is taken apart at length, and it takes a lot of stamina and patience to play at a slower pace for extended period of time, but the song works really well as each member of the band touches on the melody and makes it their own. "La Placita" has a jaunty Latin or Caribbean vibe to it, reinforced by Marion Brown's wonderful opening solo, seemingly adrift on currents of air, backed by hand percussion and drums. Over twenty-five minutes in length, "Amanpondo" takes the music even further out, playing free but with a great degree of lyrical content. The musicians are very comfortable with each other and this brings out the joy in the music."-Tim Niland, Music and MoreAlso available on Vinyl LP.
• 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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