The Squid's Ear Magazine


Bradford, Bobby / Frode Gjerstad / Kent Carter / John Stevens: Blue Cat [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

The 2nd in NoBusiness' archive series of the Norwegian Detail collective, here with Frode Gjerstad on alto sax, Bobby Bradford on cornet, Kent Carter on bass, and John Stevens on drums, captured live in London in 1991 during a UK record, in a 3-part work of informed free-jazz and free playing, exciting music with complex, swinging subtlety.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Bobby Bradford-cornet

Frode Gjerstad-alto saxophone

Kent Carter-acoustic bass

John Stevens-drums


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Label: NoBusiness
Catalog ID: NBLP130
Squidco Product Code: 28277

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Lithuania
Packaging: LP
Recorded in Albany, London, United Kingdom, in June, 1991, by Frode Gjerstad.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Following on from Day Two (2019), the Lithuanian NoBusiness imprint issues another archive tape by Detail, the collective founded by Norwegian reedman Frode Gjerstad and English drummer John Stevens. By 1991 when this live set was captured, original bassist Johnny Dyani had died and had been replaced by expatriate American Kent Carter. Also on the album and deserving top billing was special guest cornetist Bobby Bradford, a onetime sideman to Ornette Coleman, who had toured and recorded with the previous version of Detail back in 1986.

With his fanfares, blues inflections and boppish idioms, Bradford links the freewheeling organic exchanges back to an older tradition, and together with Stevens' affection for a regular pulse, creates a lyrical swinging avant-garde. His interplay with Gjerstad's alto saxophone is one of the pleasures of this 45-minute limited edition LP. There was a discernible Coleman influence on Gjerstad too, much more so than now, manifest in some of his phrasing, although subject to more extreme twists and compressions in sonority. It's left to Carter on bass, to anchor proceedings with solemn figures.

Indeed the Coleman connection is invoked further on "Part II," where Bradford sounds as if he is channeling Ornette's classic "Lonely Woman," while Stevens mallets a rolling groove and Gjerstad circles in the background. When he steps forward the saxophonist alternates his recurring tremolo with contrasting mournful cries to good effect before a whickering discourse with the cornetist. Such conversational episodes are the lifeblood of the group, with Stevens also in on the discussion, using one part of his kit to maintain time and another to dialogue with the soloist, first punchy snare accents, and later bass drum kicks with Bradford on "Part I."

The disc ends with Bradford outlining a lilting lullaby, with Gjerstad murmuring softly in accompaniment, to wish the chattering audience a gentle goodnight."-John Sharpe, All About Jazz


Get additional information at All About Jazz

Artist Biographies

"Bobby Lee Bradford (born July 19, 1934) is an American jazz trumpeter, cornetist, bandleader, and composer. He is noted for his work with Ornette Coleman. In October 2009, Bradford became the second recipient of the Festival of New Trumpet Music's Award of Recognition.

Bobby Lee Bradford's life begins in Mississippi, he and his family then moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1946. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1953 where he reunited with Ornette Coleman, whom he had previously known in Texas. Bradford subsequently joined Coleman's ensemble, but was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and replaced by Don Cherry.

After playing in military bands from late 1954 to late 1958, he rejoined Coleman's quartet from 1961 to 1963, which infrequently performed in public, but was indeed recorded under Coleman's Atlantic contract. Quite unfortunately, these tapes were among those many destroyed in the Great Atlantic Vault Fire. Freddie Hubbard acted as Bradford's replacement upon his departure to return to the West Coast and pursue further studies. Bradford soon began a long-running and relatively well-documented association with the clarinetist John Carter, a pairing that brought both increased exposure at international festivals (though the records remain scantily available, when one excludes web rips and bootlegs). Following Carter's death in 1991, Bradford fronted his own ensemble known as The Mo'tet, with which he has continued to perform since. He is the father of drummer Dennis Bradford. He is also the father of jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford.

He holds a B.M. degree from Huston-Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University) in Austin, Texas.

In addition to Coleman, Bradford has performed with Eric Dolphy, Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Ingebrigt HŒker-Flaten, Bob Stewart, Charlie Haden, George Lewis (trmbn.), James Newton, Frode Gjerstad, Vinny Golia, Paal Nilssen-Love, and David Murray, who was previously a student of his in the 1970s.

He is an instructor at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California, and Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he teaches The History of Jazz, known to be one of the most popular classes available."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Bradford)
7/10/2024

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

"Frode Gjerstad was born in Stavanger, Norway, 24-03-1948. He started trying to play improvised music as a trumpeter in 1968. When he moved to Lund in Sweden (1971 to 1975) he got a chance to meet, talk and play with musicians interested in this music. He had at that time started playing tenor saxophone (1969).

After he came back to Stavanger in 1975 he started collaborating with keyboardist Eivin One Pedersen. Together, they explored many different aspects of improvised music, as a duo or with others, but it was not until 1981, when they first played with John Stevens, that he had a real chance to feel what a dedicated musicians can do to the music-making.

At the early stage of his career, he choose mainly to play with international musicians because there was no tradition in Norway for the free music. However, after the club Blå opened in Oslo in 1996, a good number of younger musicians are now picking up on the music.

His relationship with British drummer, John Stevens which started in -81 and lasted up until his death in -94, was of great importance both musically as well as on a personal level. Through Stevens, he was introduced to some of the finest British improvisers and got to know their way of playing. Together, they led the trio "Detail" starting with Johnny Dyani on bass. And after Johnny died in -86, with Kent Carter.

He has also been active, running a larger group of mostly Norwegian musicians, the Circulasione Totale Orchestra. He started the group using electric instruments and modern rock-oriented rhythms. He has used the band to present his own compositions as well as a workshop and a place for young people to get to know free music. The band presented a commissioned work at the Molde Festival in -89 with a 13 man band combining free improvisations, compositions as well as rapping and scratching.(Three horns, three bassists, three drummers, accordeon, guitar a rapper and a DJ). The Circulasione Totale Orchestra is a powerful ever-changing band.

But it´s not easy to keep such a big group together. In 1998 he decided to keep the core of the band which at that time was Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and Øyvind Storesund on bass and try to develop that sound. It became Frode Gjerstad Trio. So far the trio has toured Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Polen, Italy, Austria, Portugal, England, Canada and the United States.

He has received several grants from various foundations and has been very active in the Norwegian Jazzmusicians Federation as well as in the committee for the Norwegian Contemporary Music Federation. Voted Jazz Musician of the Year in Norway, 1997. Part of the price was a concert where he could freely choose which musicians to use. This was the first meeting with Hamid Drake and William Parker. The concert became a tour of Scandinavia in -97 and the US in 2000.

US Pianist Borah Bergman has also been important to Frode. They first met in -94 and have played as a duo and also as trio with Evan Parker and later Peter Brøtzmann. Borah has been a great inspiration and a challenge over the years!

English bassist Nicholas Stephens first played with Frode in 1984. He played electric bass at the time, but it was not until after John Stevens died in 1994 that they started working together as "Calling Signals". First with a tour of England in 1995 with Paul Rutherford and Terje Isungset. And in 1996 with Louis Moholo and Danish guitarist, Hasse Poulsen. The latest version of the group has been with accordionist Eivin One Pederesen and Paal Nilssen-Love or Tony Marsh on drums. Frode also met and worked with US percussionist Kevin Norton in 2004 and they have found a common ground. They have a trio with Nicholas Stephens: Instinctual Eye.

Electronic music started to make an impact when he met Lasse Marhaug. They have played some concerts together and made some recordings. Lasses sounds have opened up a whole new territory of possibilities and came at a time when Frode started playing clarinets. A very fruitful combination!

Another side of the electronic thing was the group Ultralyd which was Frodes idea: to bring in a loud powerful electric bass with drums, guitar and reeds. After about a year, he left the band because the sound level was unbearable for the old man.! And he left it to the youngsters to decide how loud the band should be. Still, he has continued playing with Morten, Anders and Kjetil in other projects."

-Frode Gjerstad Website (http://frodegjerstad.com/?page_id=162)
7/10/2024

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

"Kent Carter (born June 14, 1939 in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. Carter studied several instruments before settling on bass. In the late 50s-early 60s, he studied at Berklee College Of Music, played with Lowell Davidson, and in New York with Jazz Composers Orchestra. From the mid-60s he was in Europe with artists including as Barry Altschul, Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, Carla Bley, Paul Bley, Bobby Bradford, Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Michael Mantler, Enrico Rava, Max Roach, Roswell Rudd and Mal Waldron. During the 70s he continued his association with Lacy, was with John Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble, TOK, a trio with Takashi Kako and Oliver Johnson, and formed his own trio with Carlos Zingaro and François Dreno.

By the 80s, Carter had relocated to France, teaching at the Beaux Art School, Angouleme, and with his wife forming MAD, a music, arts and dance studio. He worked in Detail, with Frode Gjerstad and Stevens, Project, with Karl Berger, Claude Bernard, Klaus Kugel, Charlie Mariano and Albrecht Maurer, and Voyage, with Beñat Achiary and David Holmes. Carter has also played with Billy Bang, Petras Vysniauskas, Theo Jorgensmann, Andreas Willers and Eckard Koltermann. Carter composes for theatre and film, and performs internationally."

-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/kent-carter-mn0000086603/biography)
7/10/2024

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

"John William Stevens (10 June 1940 in Brentford, Middlesex - 13 September 1994 in Ealing, west London) was an English drummer. He was one of the most significant figures in early free improvisation, and a founding member of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (SME).

Stevens was born in Brentford, the son of a tap dancer. He used to listen to jazz as a child, but was initially more interested in drawing and painting (media through which he also expressed himself throughout his life). He studied at the Ealing Art College and then started work in a design studio, but left at 19 to join the Royal Air Force. He studied the drums at the Royal Air Force School of Music in Uxbridge, and while there met Trevor Watts and Paul Rutherford, two musicians who became close collaborators.

In the mid-1960s Stevens began to play in London jazz groups alongside musicians like Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, and in 1965 he fronted a septet. Influenced by the free jazz he was hearing coming out of the United States by players like Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler, his style began to move away from fairly traditional be-bop to something more experimental.

In 1966 SME was formed with Watts and Rutherford and the group moved into the Little Theatre Club at Garrick Yard, St. Martin's Lane, London to develop their new music. In 1967 their first album, Challenge, was released. Stevens then became interested in the music of Anton Webern, and the SME began to play generally very quiet music. Stevens also became interested in non-Western musics.

The SME went on to make a large number of records with an ever changing line-up and an ever changing number of members, but Stevens was always there, at the centre of the group's activity. He also played in a number of other groups, drumming in Watts' group Amalgam and later forming bands like Freebop and Fast Colour, for example, but the SME remained at the centre of his activities.

In the latter part of 1967 Evan Parker joined the SME and worked closely with Stevens in the group, eventually becoming one of the longest standing members. He later summed up Stevens' approach to improvising in two basic maxims: if you can't hear another musician, then you're too loud; and there is no point in group improvisation if what you are playing doesn't relate to what other members of the group are playing.

Stevens also devised a number of basic starting points for improvisation. These were not "compositions" as such, but rather a means of getting improvisational activity started, which could then go off in any direction. One of these was the so-called "Click Piece" which essentially asked for each player to repeatedly play a note as short as possible.

Stevens played alongside a large number of prominent free improvisors in the SME, including Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Julie Tippetts and Robert Calvert, but from the mid-1970s, the make-up of the SME began to settle down to a regular group of Stevens, Nigel Coombes playing violin, and Roger Smith playing guitar. During the mid-1970s Stevens played regularly with guitarist and songwriter John Martyn as part of a trio that included bassist Danny Thompson. This line up can be heard on Martyn's 1976 recording Live at Leeds.

From 1983 Stevens was involved with Community Music (CM), an organisation through which he took his form of music making to youth clubs, mental health institutions and other unusual places. Notes taken during these sessions were later turned into a book for the Open University called Search and Reflect (1985). In the late 70s and early 80s John was a regular performer at the Bracknell Jazz Festival.

Aside from SME, Stevens also ran or helped to organise groups that were more jazz or jazz-rock based, such as Splinters, the John Stevens Dance Orchestra, Away, Freebop, Folkus, Fast Colour, PRS, and the John Stevens Quintet and Quartet. He also contributed significantly to Trevor Watts' group Amalgam and Frode Gjerstad's Detail, as well as collaborating with Bobby Bradford on several occasions.

The SME continued to play, the last time being in 1994 with a group including John Butcher. Stevens died later that year."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stevens_(drummer))
7/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. Part I 22:14

SIDE B



1. Part II 13:04

2. Part III 10:30

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Collective Free Improvsation
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Quartet Recordings
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