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Bud Powell Live at the Blue Note Café, Paris 1961

Bud Powell

Jazz - Released January 1, 1966 | ESP-Disk

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Cutting Board (feat. Christopher Diasparra & Edward Schneider)

Alan Sondheim

Jazz - Released October 28, 2014 | ESP-Disk

Booklet
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The Albert Ayler Story

Albert Ayler

Jazz - Released July 29, 2014 | ESP-Disk

Booklet
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The East Village Other

Steve Weber

Jazz - Released February 17, 2014 | ESP-Disk

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Birdland 1953

Bud Powell

Jazz - Released February 4, 2014 | ESP-Disk

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Sun Worship

Tiger Hatchery

Jazz - Released November 19, 2013 | ESP-Disk

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Bells

Timothy Leary

Classical - Released November 19, 2013 | ESP-Disk

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Plays Solo Piano

Ran Blake

Jazz - Released May 1, 1965 | ESP-Disk

Distinctions Top du mois de Jazznews
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Sunny Murray

Sunny Murray

Jazz - Released September 3, 2013 | ESP-Disk

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Albert Ayler: Bells

Albert Ayler

Free Jazz & Avant-Garde - Released September 3, 2013 | ESP-Disk

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Live On the Riviera

Albert Ayler

Jazz - Released June 4, 2013 | ESP-Disk

This Albert Ayler concert performance was previously unreleased when the revived ESP label put it out in 2005. Performed a few days before Ayler's final recordings, it features the avant-garde innovator romping with bassist Steve Tintweiss and drummer Allen Blairman in a quartet augmented by singer Mary Maria. Unfortunately, Maria's contributions lower the quality of the performances a bit for her singing on half the numbers and chanting on "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe" is an acquired taste and slightly inhibits the other musicians, taking up valuable space. She also plays soprano on one number. Ayler himself is in excellent form throughout, best on the playful "Birth of Mirth" and his theme song, "Ghosts." Bassist Steve Tintweiss and drummer Allen Blairman work well with Ayler, making one regret that this group did not last longer and record a full set as a trio. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Local Colour

Peter Lemer Quintet

Jazz - Released January 1, 1966 | ESP-Disk

British pianist Peter Lemer is one of the U.K. jazz scene's primary links between '60s free jazz and '70s fusion, but his sole album as a leader, recorded in 1966, sticks closely to the former. Lemer, a former student of Paul Bley, opens the set with a rattling version of Carla Bley's "Ictus," then runs through a program of originals that run from fairly "out" ("City" has some absolutely frenzied free blowing by saxophonists Nisar Ahmad Khan and John Surman, accompanied at one point by Lemer banging on the top of his piano) to relatively restrained (the melody of "Frowville" wouldn't sound out of place on a Dave Brubeck album). Although Lemer's often highly rhythmic piano playing drives the band, Khan and Surman are the stars of the album, taking most of the solos. (The bass solo comes late in "In the Out" -- have your fast-forward finger ready accordingly, but don't miss the remarkable Khan/Surman duel right after.) Even the most experimental pieces, however, keep the traditional theme-solos-theme structure, so Local Colour is the sort of album that's useful for the free jazz novice. It's just traditional enough that it's not scary, but neither is it so traditional that it's boring. It's a shame this group didn't get a chance to record more. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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More

Giuseppi Logan

Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | ESP-Disk

Never one of the great virtuosoes, Giuseppi Logan showed some potential on his two ESP recordings but he largely disappeared after 1966 and has not been heard from since. This set matches his reeds with the young pianist Don Pullen, either Reggie Johnson or Eddie Gomez on bass and drummer Milford Graves. Despite his best efforts on the four blowouts (playing piano on "Curve Eleven"), Logan is largely overshadowed by his sidemen on this CD reissue and his energetic and colorful solos are somewhat erratic. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Fortress of the Sun

Arborea

Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | ESP-Disk

Booklet
The first thing a listener encounters on Arborea's Fortress of the Sun is the clarity of its sounds, all introduced separately and pristinely. On opener "Pale Horse," they slip from the silence to the center of a mix that wraps itself around Shanti Curran's nearly gossamer alto with requisite warmth and space. Buck Curran's electric slide and acoustic guitars, and his backing vocals, color Shanti’s airborne shimmer while Anders Griffen's spectral drumming roots it in the earth. While there is no question that Arborea's music is psychedelic folk, it offers none of the amateurish playing or songwriting that the genre distinction sometimes bears in the 21st century. These songs are composed with precise melodic ideas and produced with great care. There is a series of loosely knit themes at work here as well, centering on notions of travel -- across land, through history -- with the recurring image of a horse as the being that ties together earthly and spiritual dimensions. It’s the combination of musics woven so purposefully that sets Arborea apart from many of their peers. They use the frames of many roots traditions in a thoroughly modern context, from British, Celtic, and American folk music to country to neo-psych to near-Gothic (à la This Mortal Coil), yet strip out anything and everything that doesn’t suit their aesthetic, which, in sum, seems to be the sound of twilight itself. "Daughters of Man" uses a repetitive, hypnotic, droning strain of Appalachian folk music (the same way Bob Dylan did à la "Ballad of Hollis Brown") via Shanti's acoustic guitar and nocturnal, otherworldly singing that moves the tune over a border and closer to Pentangle, especially given the interplay of Buck's electric and e-bow guitars. The juxtaposition of these textures moves it into its own realm. Shanti's use of a muted, treated banjo and harmonium on "Ghost" surrounds her whispered lead vocals and seemingly wordless backing-vocal tapestry to create a blur of atmospheric richness and elegant spirit music: "I sigh and pull the veil and leave this place again/Divide the world/ Divide the world and see you fade into the mist…." On "Rider," the very next track, Buck's baritone intones through a mercurial folk blues, highlighted by Shanti's celestial backing vocal. On "When I Was on Horseback," Buck's modern guitars are tilted back in time by Shanti's hammered dulcimer. Here, Shirley & Dolly Collins, Pentangle, Davy Graham, and Martin & Jessica Ruby Simpson, breeze through one another as Arborea extends the reach and influence of each into the new century. Closer "Cherry Tree Carol" is a traditional number, thoroughly revisioned through the Curran's multivalent, gauzily textured gaze, as e-bow, banjo, acoustic guitars, and hammered dulcimer are answered by a droning viola from the ether. Fortress of the Sun, Arborea's debut on the revitalized ESP-Disk, brings all of the elemental gifts that graced their four previous albums in a dark, poetic, and glorious, whole. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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College Tour

Giuseppi Logan

Jazz - Released April 30, 2013 | ESP-Disk

Although this live show was only recorded a few months after the Sings session, it's hardly extraneous, featuring entirely different material. It's also a considerably more aggressive and free-leaning effort than her debut, as Waters challenges herself and the audience with avant-garde crescendos of peals and wordless, whispering moans, although she doesn't entirely neglect the more subdued and accessible features of her voice. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Byron Allen Trio

Byron Allen Trio

Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | ESP-Disk

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Recital

Studio guitarist

Classical - Released November 14, 2006 | ESP-Disk

Booklet
At a time when almost no one could have expected new material from the long dormant ESP label or the reclusive Yma Sumac, here comes a newly discovered recording of Sumac...and it's on ESP...and it's live! Recital is a live recording from Romania in 1961, featuring her musical partner and husband, Moises Vivanco, on guitar and full orchestral accompaniment on many tracks. The first track is one of several cuts that just feature the orchestra, and the listener is immediately struck by the excellent sound quality. One might have thought that poor sound quality played a role in this recording remaining unreleased, but that is not the case. These seem to be radio transcriptions, as the liner notes give translations of an announcer's introductions to the songs (which are edited out of the release itself). The great sound allows one to hear all the nuances of Sumac's performance from her whispers to growls to flights of high-pitched fancy. Her voice is simply amazing. "Goomba Boomba" and "Amor Indio" are uptempo highlights with swinging orchestral accompaniment. "Cueca Chilena" and "Ccori Canastitay" are female duets with Cholita Rivera accompanied by just Vivanco on guitar. But it's on the moody "Chuncho" that Sumac pulls out all the stops, making unreal sounds and even getting some echo added to her voice to excellent effect. Yma Sumac may still be seen by some as kitsch, but the fact is that she was an amazing vocal talent the likes of which has not been seen since. Listeners who know her real value will be delighted with this excellent live date. © Sean Westergaard /TiVo
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The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1

Sun Ra Arkestra

Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | ESP-Disk

Sun Ra's pivotal recording Heliocentric Worlds, Vol. I is one of those efforts that any fan of challenging improvised music should own. Done in the spring of 1965, it parallels many of the more important statements of the time, like John Coltrane's movement toward unabashed free jazz, the developed music of Ornette Coleman, emerging figures like Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, and a fully flowered Albert Ayler. The Solar Arkestra was a solid 11-piece group, with hefty contributions by saxophonists Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, Danny Davis, and Robert Cummings, lone trumpeter Chris Capers, trombonists Teddy Nance and Bernard Pettaway, and the exceptional bassist Ronnie Boykins, playing strictly instrumental music, with no chants or vocal space stories. What is most intruguing about this Ra band is that the leader plays very little acoustic piano, choosing to focus his attention primarily on the bass marimba, and to a lesser extent an electrically amplified celeste. It's the prelude of his move to a raw but technologically driven sound as the synthesizer would come into his arsenal of instruments shortly after this. There's the deep blues of "Heliocentric," low key until lion-roaring horns enter, but the rip-snorting attitude of "Outer Nothingness" changes the tone, as multiple layers of improvisation build only to a mezzo forte level, with a collective percussion solo and the deeply hued, resonant, wooden bass marimba as played by the leader. Ra returns to his plucky sounding acoustic piano for the improvised "Other Worlds," then moves to the shimmering celeste while Boykins leads the charge of the full ensemble with a scattershot, fiery, chaotic, mad free bop. Perhaps a track that most perfectly represents the democratic nature of the Arkestra, "The Cosmos" features many segments stitched together, whether it be the bowed bass of Boykins stringing tied notes in seconds and thirds, Ra's galactic celeste, or bits and pieces of the horn section stepping up and out, with the final note struck by Jimhmi Johnson's royal tympani. An Egyptian, march-implied theme ruminates through "Of Heavenly Things" with the bass marimba and Allen's piccolo in the middle, "Nebulae" is a feature for the dense celeste of Ra played alone, and the conclusionary "Dancing in the Sun" is a two-minute burst of free bebop with Ra back at the piano. What makes this music so joyful and even organized is the way that individual voicings are able to both stand on their own, and work in context improvisationally. Though not quite the full-blown, magnum opus, operatic space drama the band would eventually conceive, the planted seeds from the huge tree of what they were about to accomplish are sown in this truly remarkable effort, still an event, and a turning point for early creative music. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Balaklava (1968)

Pearls Before Swine

Pop - Released April 1, 2013 | ESP-Disk

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One Nation Underground

Pearls Before Swine

Pop - Released April 1, 2013 | ESP-Disk