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Posts : 13203
Join date : 2013-01-16
Age : 64
Location : Seattle

PostSubject: Codona    Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:54 pm

This week I've been filling in gaps in my music collection of a particular circle of musicians.  

On Monday I ran across, quite by accident, free downloads of the first 4 Paul Winter Consort albums -- the first 2 of which have never been reissued on CD.  These records had been particular favorites of mine (and my dead sister's) back in '68-'72 when they came out.  Like Frederick Hand's "Jazzantigua" and some of the albums on Creed Taylor's CTI Records (Deodato, Jim Hall, Hubert Laws f.e.) they fused classical music with jazz, two pillars of my burgeoning interest in music.  And I've always loved stuff that bursts boundaries.

The Winter Consort albums led me to look for free downloads on some old Oregon albums (a descendant of the PWC) which I had on vinyl but haven't replaced.  This in turn led me to Codona, a descendant of Oregon, featuring COllin Walcott, DOn Cherry and NAna Vasconcelos.  I used to have their 3 LPs (Walcott was killed shortly after their 3rd) but hadn't sought out CDs because I remembered them as being pretty "free jazz" with a lot of wild sounds, and not much melody.

So I was pleased to find them readily available for free hi-res download.

And... playing them again, over my big stereo, I suddenly understand them now.  These are stereo demonstration discs more than anything else.  Vasconcelos's oddball percussion, sometimes buzzing, sometimes rattling, sometimes featuring HUGE drums) aren't in service of the music necessarily but are designed to give your speakers a workout.  Cherry's trumpet and melodica and other reed instruments provide depth and 3-dimensionality to the soundstage.  He sounds clear and immediate and like he's right in the room with you.  Pitched against the percussion it gives a well-defined focus to the pummeling going on in the percussion.  Add to this the sitar, dulcimer and tabla of Walcott, and you have some very genre-busting music.  It's not exactly jazz -- not structured like jazz -- and not "world music" either aside from some non-Western instruments.  It's informed by classical music, particularly the tone poems of Ravel or Ketelby, but it refuses to fall into that basket either.

Mostly it's just an astonishing cacophony of pure sound, most of it not-at-all unpleasant to listen to, pristinely recorded in Manfred Eicher's state-of-the-art studio in Ludwigsburg.
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PostSubject: Re: Codona    Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:57 pm

Playing the Paul Winter Consort albums again, I was reminded of a couple earlier Paul Winter albums I used to have, from back when he was a straight jazz player.  These were “Rio” and “Jazz Meets The Bossa Nova,” recorded in Brazil in 1962 & 1963, at least a year before the worldwide Bossa Nova jazz craze.  

Yep, easily accessible online.

Yep, very nice stuff.

These, I hasten to add, I did not discover when they came out.  I would have been only eight years old.  I only learned of them after I got into the Consort albums in 1972 and started backtracking.  By then they were already a decade old, almost half my own age.
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