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Feza, Mongezi  / Rosengren Quartet, Bernt: Free Jam [2 CDs] (Ayler)

Double disc of South-African trumpeter Mongezi Feza, who worked with Robert Wyatt, Henry Cow, &c, from 1972 recordings in an amazing group of Swedish improvisers.

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product information:

UPC: 7320470037331

Label: Ayler
Catalog ID: aylCD-048/49
Squidco Product Code: 9788

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2004
Country: Sweden
Packaging: Digipack Double CD
Recorded live at ASEA, in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 15th, and 24th, and December 5th, 1972.


Mongezi Feza-trumpet

Bernt Rosengren-alto, tenor sax, flute, piano

Tommy Koverhult-tenor sax, flute, euphonium

Torbjorn Hultcranz-bass

Leif Wennerstrom-drums

Okay Temiz-percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Bernt Rosengren (born 24 December 1937, in Stockholm) is a Swedish jazz tenor saxophonist. His recordings have earned him five Gyllene Skivan awards in Sweden.

Rosengren first played professionally at age 19, as a member of the Jazz Club 57, and two years later in 1959 he played in the Newport Jazz Band. Roman Polanski's collaborator Krzysztof Komeda used Rosengren in the performance of his jazz score for Polanski's film Knife in the Water (1962). Rosengren recorded a string of critically acclaimed albums in the 1960s and 1970s, including Stockholm Dues (1965), Improvisations (1969), and Notes from Underground (1974).

He played in a sextet led by George Russell in the 1960s in Europe. Later in the decade he moved from hard bop into post-bop experimentation, playing with Don Cherry; in the 1970s, as a member of Sevda led by trumpeter Muvaffak "Maffy" Falay, he began working with elements of Turkish and Middle Eastern music. He also formed his own big band in the 1970s.

In the 1980s, Rosengren worked frequently with American Jazz musicians, including Doug Raney, George Russell, Don Cherry and Horace Parlan. Among his activities in the 1990s include an album of songs from Porgy & Bess.

Chris Mosey, a jazz critic from AllAboutJazz, said in his review of Rosengren's album I'm Flying (2009): "All in all, I'm Flying is a worthy Golden Record." Jack Bowers, also writing for AllAboutJazz, wrote in his review of the same album: "Rosengren, for his part, is a model of elegance and consistency, inspiring his companions without stealing their thunder. Together they comprise a tight-knit and consistently engaging foursome. Besides blowing superbly, Rosengren wrote seven of the album's twelve selections. - Rosengren rides their talents like an Indy car driver, and the result is an exemplary team effort that is as stylish as it is rewarding."

-Wikipedia (

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"Tommy Koverhult: Swedish jazz saxophonist, born 11 December 1945, died 9 December 2010.

In Groups: Bernt Rosengren Big Band, Bernt Rosengren Group, Bernt Rosengren Octet, Bernt Rosengren Quartet, Bernt Rosengren Tentet, Herr T Och Hans Spelmän, Staffan Abeleen Quintet, Tommy Koverhult Trio, Tommy Koverhults Kvintett, Wallgrens Orkester."

-Discogs (

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"Leif Wennerström: Swedish jazz drummer, born in 1937.

Benny Bailey Quintet, Bernt Rosengren Big Band, Bernt Rosengren Group, Bernt Rosengren Octet, Bernt Rosengren Quartet, Bernt Rosengren Quintet, Bernt Rosengren Trio, Per Henrik Wallin Trio.

-Discogs (

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track listing:

Disc 1

1. Theme Of The Day I 39:16

2. Group Notes I 7:46

3. Group Notes II 13:15

Disc 2

4. Theme Of The Day II 5:16

5. Moong«s Research I 4:07

6. Group Notes III 21:08

7. Moong«s Research II 5:22

8. Moong«s Research III 4:19

9. Moong«s Research IV 4:04

10. Group Notes IV 14:20
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The brief career of South-African trumpeter Mongezi Feza has been cruelly neglected in current discographies. By his death at age 30, he had made a fair number of recordings, many of which have never been issued on CD. His work with Robert Wyatt and Henry Cow has been widely available, but it does not adequately represent the breadth of his talent. Ayler Records is to be commended for bringing these November/December 1972 recordings to light, hopefully affording some overdue recognition to a more than deserving improviser.

While Ayler has chosen to highlight Feza with this release, it is first and foremost a group effort. Equally prominent and worthy of rediscovery is saxophonist Bernt Rosengren's quartet, purportedly one of the finest Swedish free improvising groups of its day. These recordings certainly back that claim, as the series of pieces entitled "Group Notes" and "Theme of the Day" draw attention to a unit in full communicative effect. The incredibly detailed and scholarly liner notes speak of early 70s Sweden as a bastion of world music study and absorption, and these collective improvisations show adventurous allegiance to all manner of jazz prototypes-blues, swing, hard bop and the occasional appropriation of a pop tune. Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz convincingly adds non-pejoratively stereotypical "Eastern" elements to rhythm and timbre. These group pieces are a thick and sometimes long draught to drink, but the rewards are equally bountiful.

For me, the most revelatory moments come with another series of pieces called "Moong's Research". These four excursions highlight Feza, still in a collective setting but in more of a conventional solo role. Far from the meditatively modal playing he did for Wyatt's Rockbottom or Henry Cow's In Praise of Learning, these are whirlwind performances. Feza combines the inventiveness of Don Cherry or Booker Little with the speed and precision of Clifford Brown to staggering results. His rapid fire liquid blurs are not "free"-a misused term if ever one existed-but veer between tonality and atonality with the agility possessed only by those with ears as good as their chops.

"Moong's Research II" opens in B-flat in a proto-blues feel, and Feza immediately asserts the tonal center while tossing in the devil's own tritone just for good measure. When an uncredited piano player begins to chord harmonies emphasizing other keys, Feza is right on top of every subtle shift, as he is throughout the whole set. As with Coltrane interacting with his final quintet, Feza shows himself willing and able to explore admirably the inner and outer extremities of any music Rosengren's group serves up.

Other reviewers have documented problems with Free Jam's recorded sound. While many of the tunes start and stop somewhat abruptly, the two-mic stereo sound poses no significant problems. The balance is actually remarkable given the limitations on what was surely a spontaneously recorded series of events, possibly never meant for official release. Such technical trifles should deter no one from enjoying an extremely important addition to the Feza discography, and Ayler should be applauded for all the care and research that went into its realization."-Marc Medwin, One Final Note

Related Categories of Interest:

Ayler Records

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Septet recordings

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
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Stockholm Connection [3 CDs]
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Wallin, Per Henrik
Proklamation I & Farewell To Sweden [2 CDs]

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