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Tsahar / Ragin / Kowald / Drake: Open Systems <i>[Used Item]</i> (Marge)

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product information:

Label: Marge
Catalog ID: 28
Squidco Product Code: 19520

Format: CD
Condition: VG
Released: 2001
Country: France
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at the La Fenetre Studio in Paris, France, on May 4th & 5th, 2001, by Phillipe Mate.

This is a USED (previously owned) item


Assif Tsahar-tenor saxophone, bass clarinet

Hugh Ragin-trumpet

Peter Kowald-bass, voice

Hamid Drake-drums, frame drums, voice

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Artist Biographies:

"Hugh Ragin is an American jazz trumpeter.

Ragin was raised in Houston, Texas, and began playing trumpet in his early teens, taking lessons in classical music, and was a member of the Houston All-City High School Orchestra. He received a degree in music education from the University of Houston and a degree in classical trumpet performance from Colorado State University. He continued his education in 1978 at the Creative Music Studio with Roscoe Mitchell. One year later he performed with Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, and the Creative Orchestra at the Moers Festival in Germany. He then toured with Anthony Braxton. During the early 1980s he toured with jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. He began an association with David Murray, becoming a member of Murray's band in the 1980s."

-Wikipedia (

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"Born 1944 in Germany, died 21 September 2002 New York City; double bass, voice, tuba.

Peter Brötzmann (Corbett, 1994) recounted that 'there was this young guy trying to play the bass, who was Mr Kowald, at that time seventeen years old. Peter lived with his parents. I had my little studio, so he was always hanging out at my place. But he had to be at home at 10.00, he was drinking milk. But we changed that, very soon. His parents were always very angry with me, because he never showed up at home anymore, he dropped studies of ancient languages, Greek and all that.' By this time (1962) Peter Kowald had been playing bass for two years and, with different drummers the two Peters were playing Mingus, Ornette, and Miles Davis things as well as listening to Coltrane, Stockhausen, Cage et al. Kowald was part of the European tour undertaken by the Carla Bley/Michael Mantler band in 1966 (also featuring Brötzmann) and then came work with other German musicians, membership of the Globe Unity Orchestra and the first recordings: Globe Unity, For Adolphe Sax and Summer 1967, recorded during a brief vacation in London. In particular, Evan Parker credits this visit to London for his invitation to play in the Pierre Favre/Irene Schweizer quartet and his subsequent longstanding involvement with German (and other European) musicians. Kowald's work with Brötzmann continued - on and off - on record at least, to the time of Kowald's death and included the Cooperative Trio with Andrew Cyrille, a duo on the Duos project and a recent mix of free jazz, hip-hop and rap.

Peter Kowald was a member of Globe Unity Orchestra for 12 years (1966 to 1978) and for much of this time played less of a side-man role and more of an equal partner - for example, conducting the band - with the person to whom the group has become most associated, Alex von Schlippenbach. His influence is particularly noticeable on Jahrmarkt/Local fair where the two sides of composition are by Kowald (as is the second side of Live in Wuppertal and he is also credited, along with Paul Lovens as 'producing' the record, presumably sorting out the sprawling theatricality and poor sound into two 'meaningful' fragments. In his notes to 20th anniversary, Schlippenbach emphasises the importance of Kowald in creating a programme that became a lot more 'colourful'; while further pointing out that he and Kowald gradually drifted further apart 'until one fine evening after lengthy discussions which resulted in a fight in a pub in Wuppertal, this chapter also closed'. However, before this ending, from 1973 to 1978, Kowald also worked with the Schlippenbach trio (Schlippenbach/ Parker/Paul Lovens), turning it for much of this time into a regular quartet.

Throughout his career, Peter Kowald worked with a wide variety of improvising musicians worldwide and in many considered and unusual situations. He recorded bass duets with Barry Guy, Barre Phillips, Peter Jacquemyn, Maarten Altena, Damon Smith and William Parker, released two solo bass recordings, and had regular groups with Leo Smith and Günter Sommer; with Joëlle Léandre and dancer Anne Martin (Trio Tartini); with dancers Cheryl Banks and Arnette de Mille and cellist Muneer Abdul Fataah (Music and Movement Improvisation); a trio with pianist Curtis Clark; a trio with Canadian alto saxophonist Yves Charuest and Louis Moholo; and Principle Life with Jeanne Lee, Klaus Hovman, and Marilyn Mazur. During the period 1980 to 1985 he was a member of the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra. He has spent periods in the US and in Japan and recorded three duo LPs (two CDs) with US, European and Japanese musicians. He also lived in Greece and similarly played and recorded with the Greek musicians Floros Floridis and Ilias Papadopoulos. By contrast, the 12 months May 1994 to May 1995 was designated Kowald's 'Year at home' project which comprised a mixture of solo works - out of which, to some extent, the last solo CD grew (Was da ist) - and group performances.

In addition, Peter Kowald collaborated extensively with poets and artists and with the dancers Gerlinde Lambeck, Anne Martin, Tadashi Endo, Patsy Parker, Maria Mitchell, Sally Silvers, Cherly Banks, Arnette de Mille, Sayonara Pereira, and Kazuo Ohno. Specific works included Die klage der kaiserin (1989) with Pina Bausch, Short pieces (since 1989) with Jean Sasportes, The spirit of adventure (1990) with Anastasia Lyra, Wasser in der hand (1990/91) with Christine Brunel, and Futan no sentaku/The burden of choice (1990/91) with Min Tanaka and Butch Morris."

-European Free Improv (

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"Hamid Drake (born August 3, 1955) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends a great deal of time touring worldwide. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and avant improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free-jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 70s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso's Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career.

Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker (in a large number of lineups)

He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks; using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake's questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Lonely Woman 16:13

2. The Lizards In The Maze 12:12

3. Fathers And Mothers (For Albert Ayler) 6:06

4. Hearts Rememberance 5:57

5. Standing Motion 9:49

6. Dream Weavers 11:19

7. The Call 11:05
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In 1969, pioneering free-jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler named an album Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe, and today bassist Peter Kowald, percussionist Hamid Drake, and reedist Assif Tsahar practice what he preached: their first tour was in Tsahar's native Israel this February, and the sight of a German, a Muslim, and a Jew onstage together, improvising with cathartic intensity, drew a deeply emotional response from the locals. The players are in tune with Ayler's music as well: Tsahar melts notes into fluid streams and ventures into the tenor saxophone's highest registers, echoing Ayler's own sound. And Kowald worked with Ayler's transatlantic counterpart, Peter Brotzmann, at the dawn of European free jazz; for the forthcoming Open Systems (Marge), on which this trio is joined by trumpeter Hugh Ragin, he composed an homage to Ayler called "Fathers & Mothers." The album's sole cover, of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," not only pays tribute to another trailblazer butserves as a reminder that Drake played frequently with one of Coleman's comrades, trumpeter Don Cherry, between 1978 and Cherry's death in 1995. But though Drake, Kowald, and Tsahar have learned their forefathers' tongues, they each speak a highly individual dialect. Kowald is just as much at home plucking a propulsive walking line as he is wrenching a knotted out-of-tempo figure from his bass, and when he pairs resonant bowed drones with his own guttural throat singing, there's no mistaking him for anyone else. Tsahar applies his gruff tone to cascading phrases equally informed by the blues and the Middle Eastern pop he heard growing up in Tel Aviv. And Drake doesn't merely wander among the myriad drumming styles he's mastered; he can be supportive or confrontational, forcing his partners to stretch by presenting them with unfamiliar beats--I've heard him challenge Brotzmann with reggae rhythms, and during only his second encounter with Tsahar (at HotHouse last September) he steeredthe saxist into a screaming rock 'n' roll blowout by sticking stubbornly to a hard backbeat."-Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader

Related Categories of Interest:

Used CDs

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Kowald, Peter

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